Opinion

Post Covid Lockdown: Importance of Employer & Employee Relations

Anil Kumar Rai

Covid-19 is affecting our lives in multiple ways – socially, psychologically as well as financially. India has done a great job taking proactive lockdown decision extending for several weeks which shut down all the industries except few essential goods & service suppliers. All the business owners and corporate houses are now in a catch 22 situation: one side Govt. has asked business owners not to fire and also to pay the workers during the lockdown period and on the other side businesses don’t earn any money as no sales activity happened. Whatever help announced by Govt. is not good enough and covers very few very little on ground.

The physical lockdown has brought economic lockdown too and it will take some time for every organisation to recover from it. Corporate houses with large heart have announced full pay, advance pay etc. for their employees but majority of Organisations would be resorting to layoffs and employment contract terminations. These job terminations will create animosity between employer and employee for long time. It will also create a chaotic environment in society.

Jobs are scarce in the country and no one wants to loose the job. It’s time to reinforce this family like relationship value. This is the right time to have open dialogue with employees and explain the business situation transparently.

Post Covid, organisations would be needing employees back to work. However, those organisations keeping employees in job during Covid issue will be able to attract more employees and those firing their employees now would have great difficulty in attracting new talent. It’s very important that organisations take all measures to keep the employment intact during difficult times like Covid for their own survival & growth.

It is certain that this Covid will shut down certain businesses, offer new markets to certain business while many new businesses would be born and provide new opportunity for growth. Added advantage of keeping employees into their job during difficult time is being able to attract large pool of talented employees post Covid and grow the business swiftly, faster than competition.

Indian society is Indian society is “collectivistic” in that it promotes interdependence and co-operation, with the family forming the focal point of this social structure. Majority of Indians have learned and value relationship over so called professionalism. Jobs are scarce in the country and no one wants to loose the job. It’s time to reinforce this family like relationship value. This is the right time to have open dialogue with employees and explain the business situation transparently. It is very likely that employees will support the organisation and be ready to work for them at lower or no cost for certain period. This dialogue and association will also build a strong bond & loyalty for employee and go a very long way in growing the organisation.

Here are few options that can be discussed with Employees (subject to type, size, industry as well as the financial strength of the respective organisation) –

  • Managerial staff paid 50% of their usual salary or paid only basic Salary for lockdown plus 3 months’ period.
  • Workers getting Minimum wages for lockdown period.
  • All the staff members agree to take No Salary for Lockdown period.
  • Moratorium of salary payment for 6 months for all staff.

There could be combination of above options or various other mechanisms. Main idea here is to retain your staff specially those who are performers. Employer, be the friend in need.

It can be other way round too that employees approach their respective employers proactively and offer their understanding & support. Reinforce their loyalty and commitment to work. They offer to work with lower salary or no salary for certain period and show that they care for their employer. This will open up the dialogue and build a strong bond between them. This is a WIN-WIN proposition.

Indian business man can set a new example to the world during this unprecedented situation. I can be reached for any help with the process to build a mutually beneficial relationship between employer & employee in these difficult time.

 

(About Author: Anil Kumar Rai is Executive Director & COO with an American multinational with work experience of more than 25 years. His qualifications are – BE(Electronics), MA(Counselling Psychology), PGCBM (XLRI) and Certificate Course from HBS. He is passionate about enhancing life skills for better performance and healthy living.

Email: [email protected]

Contact No: +91-98181 68711)

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