The lockdown across the world is expected to have a cascading effect on jobs. Though most companies are tight-lipped on layoffs to avoid any controversy at the moment, the economic slump will force businesses to squeeze their team strength.
The severity of the axing is still to be estimated, but layoffs will happen. Companies will have to choose between its people — some will be on board when the ship starts sailing again, while some will be off-boarded.
While several factors will decide who all will be on the list, and who all will be struck off, an important aspect will be how an employee is behaving during the lockdown period.
Employers will evaluate whether Employees are performing critical or non-critical roles; whether their existing skills can be deployed in other roles or not
All employees expect empathy, support and an understanding behaviour from their employers during the time of crisis. However, there is a reciprocal expectation from the employers as well. Any employee who stands by his/her company during the downfall period, will be beneficial in the near future.
Zairus Master, CEO, Shine.com, says, “Organisations always wish to retain employees who are aligned with the company’s ethos and are proactive. Employees who remain cocooned in their respective shells tend to get outdated after some point of time. Hence, employees shouldn’t restrict themselves to their KRA and their 9 to 5 jobs. Rather, they should see to it that their job roles fulfil the company’s requirements too.”
It is true that understanding, alignment and proactiveness are important to keep one off the layoff list, but there are other factors that also come into play.
Suchismita Burman, CHRO, ITC Infotech, says, “Employees should continue to prove themselves in their roles and shouldn’t refuse projects at such a time. Most importantly, it is critical that they keep themselves upskilled in terms of technology and project requirements. They should bring in an attitude where they are willing to learn and experiment. The employees are required to be flexible and not rigid, else they will be laid off in a few months or years.”
Employees need to understand that layoff is something every company would prefer to avoid. Organisations spend money, time, and energy in hiring and training the workforce. Over a period of time, these employees actually become a part of a big family. It’s not easy to let go of family. But sometimes, certain situations make it unavoidable. To save many jobs, organisations have to sacrifice a few.
Employees should continue to prove themselves in their roles and shouldn’t refuse projects at Such a time
During these times, employees who have been stagnant for years and have been reluctant to don new hats are usually the ones who are likely to be left out.
Gaurav Chattur, MD, APAC, Catenon, opines, “Employers will evaluate whether employees are performing critical or non-critical roles; whether their existing skills can be deployed in other roles or not; or whether the skills they possess are easily available or not. At such time companies tend to evaluate and consider whether some other resource can run the ball in one’s absence or not.”
“Employees must understand that organisations today are changing dramatically. Gone are the days when one started in one function and ended there. Skills required in an employee are changing dramatically. If employees don’t upskill themselves, they tend to become redundant in the eyes of organisations. And hence, the organisations begin looking out for more upskilled candidates,” asserts Master.
employees shouldn’t restrict themselves to their KRA and their 9 to 5 jobs
Jagjit Singh, ex-CHRO, PWC, says, “As we go through the economic cycles, staff who haven’t been driven enough or curious enough to learn new or the next level of skills — what I call the ‘replace my boss’ mindset — shall find themselves in the spotlight as companies try to do more with less in these times.”
Employees need to be more realistic and more prudent, focusing on the fact that it’s all about performance. Upskilling oneself is good but one also has to prove to the employer one is capable of bringing something new to the table with one’s upskilling.
It is advisable to be smart and prepared either for the worst or for a better opportunity.