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COVID-19 crisis: How to soften the financial blow to companies & employees

Business veteran Rajesh Srivastava offers some no-nonsense measures that businesses can take to mitigate the financial implications resulting from the global COVID-19 pandemic and the severe impact on the global economy.

As a senior member of the company here is what you should be doing:

Take a Pledge

  • Layoff: Not to lay off a single soul.
  • Salary at frequent intervals: Transfer the salary – 50% immediately. And thereafter, transfer every week till the situation improves. Presence of money in the bank reduces anxiety.
  • Enlist Stakeholders commitments: Speak to your stakeholders – vendors, agencies and others who do business with you, to take a pledge not to lay off a single soul. If they do then they will be debarred from doing business with you. Threat and fear works! This is the time to exercise it.
  • Create a fund:
    • Say ‘no’ to salary: You will not take salary/ perks for the next 90 days.
    • Senior Staff: Influence them to follow suit. But for 2 months.
  • Use of fund:
    • To set up an emergency helpline number: Any and every one form your company and its stakeholders can call and seek help. And no one will be turned away. The helpline people will reach out to every family and provide assistance for:
      • Medicine: They will check if medicine is required. If yes, then, it should be delivered through Online platform.
      • Essentials: They will ask if any help is required. If yes, they will place online order and get it delivered.
    • Get everyone in your company tested: WHO has maintained that ‘lock down’ is not sufficient. Everyone has to be tested. It is your moral responsivity to get everyone under your charge tested. For that provide number where testing can be done.

When you show concern and care for your people and their families they too will work extra hard from homes. Who will make sure that they are working? The family members whose care you are taking!

When the wind blows over, you will be happy to find that, your team works more cohesively, is more united and work with a sense of ownership that you always wanted them to display.

The author, Rajesh Srivastava is an alumnus of IIT Kanpur and IIM Bangalore. He spent over three decades in leadership roles in various sectors, like beverages, food, personal care and education. His first book, ‘The New Rules of Business’, is published by Penguin Portfolio.

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