New Delhi, 29 September 2020: About 73% of Indian firms resorted to salary cuts to keep their business going amid the tough COVID-19 situation, found a recent survey conducted by TimesJobs. About 1,385 HR managers working in different industries participated in the survey and said that the middle management level suffered the steepest pay cuts.
A significant finding is that among the firms who saw salary cuts, most (61%), are keen on revoking these cuts in an appropriate time. The TimesJobs survey aimed at understanding how India Inc. faced the COVID-19 times, the new approach to employee engagement and, the employers’ outlook in the ‘Unlock 4.0’ scenario.
Five important takeaways from this survey are:
- Less working hours to keep the workforce happy:
In the wake of salary cuts, most companies introduced new regimes. Most employers resorted to reduced working hours (voted by 25% of survey respondents), followed by 22% firms who offered extra leaves to their employees.
- Upskilling is beating even COVID insurance:
Most (38%) companies offered paid upskilling opportunities to their employees, as a means to connect with them more actively. About 25% HR managers said that they started recognising employee achievements publically to keep their workforce engaged, and 19% of respondents introduced paid insurance against COVID-19, as a measure to bond with employees.
- Office could restart for many, but not for everyone:
With Unlock 4.0 in progress, a majority (61%) of HR managers are keen on reopening their offices in the coming month. Whereas, 39% HR managers said that they do not plan to open their offices so soon. Those who were keen on restarting offices said that they will be doing so as soon as the next 30 days. Also, most want to call back about 40% employees, to begin with.
- Masks, sanitisers & ArogyaSetu status check before walking into workplaces:
With employers showing keenness on reopening their office premises, wearing masks and carrying sanitisers will be mandatory for those coming to office, said 50% surveyed HR managers. About 25% of HR managers said that they would mandate the use of ArogyaSetu verified health status for all employees coming to the office.
- Job market could regain activity in the next 6 months:
The TimesJobs survey also asked the HR managers if the job market will be buoyant any time soon, and 46% respondents said that it could take 6 months for the recruitment sentiment to get back to its old track. About 31% said it could take one year, and 15% said that it could take two years for the job market to be back.
Summarising the findings of the new TimesJobs survey, Sanjay Goyal, TimesJobs and TechGig said, “The COVID-19 pandemic is a litmus test for organisational structures, values and their commitment to the employees. The TimesJobs survey indicates that while many firms opted for pay cuts in challenging business times, they are willing to restore these back. It’s heartening to see that employers are trying out new concepts such as reduced working hours, extended leaves, offering paid upskilling opportunities and insurance against COVID-19, to keep employees engaged. This hints that ‘employee wellbeing’ is slowly becoming the cornerstone of workplace culture – a typical sign of mature and evolved workplaces.”