Someone once said, “I’m thankful for my struggles because without them I wouldn’t have stumbled upon my strengths.”
In the spirit of New Year and sudden surge of year-end optimism, we’ve compiled a powerful list of reasons around why the ongoing clouds of layoffs in India and hiring freeze have a silver lining. For everyone, employees, HR professionals, and founders.
First, let’s talk about employees.
How employees should look at layoffs in India
A catalyst to assess your career path
Do you know that MS Dhoni, one of the most beloved Indian cricketers, had originally started as a goalkeeper in football before a coach turned his attention to cricket? Imagine if he never gave up football!
The predicament of changing a career path can be a difficult and emotional experience, but it can also be a chance for individuals to reassess their goals and consider new opportunities that may not have been available to them before. This can be especially true for employees involved in a particular role or industry for a long period.
Lesson learnt: Take a long hard look at your career path and where you want to go in the long term. Assess your strengths, competencies, passion as well as growth prospects of various career opportunities available.
A time to learn and grow
Once you assess your career path and if it involves learning and acquiring new skills, make small investments in the form of short-term courses or online training to get skilled in that area. There are a lot of fields such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, network security and more that are ripe with opportunities and will always be relevant.
Of course, the first step towards something completely new is always the hardest. But with determination and strong will, you will be able to start a career in a new field and this in the hindsight might turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to you.
Lesson learnt: it’s time to adapt and acquire new skills.
Network and make connections
It can be a good time to build relationships with colleagues and other professionals in your industry. This can help you stay informed about potential job openings and opportunities internally and externally. You can also take the help of job coaches to crack interviews and figure out how to have a systematic approach to achieving your goals.
Lesson learnt: Stay abreast of what’s happening around you by networking with people around you and ask for help.
Now, let’s talk about founders and HR professionals.
Layoffs are hard for founders and HR too. Not only do they go through the emotional strain of telling someone to go home forever but also once the employees are fired, there is a gap that’s created in whatever responsibilities they undertook and an urgent need to fill that gap. Below mentioned are some silver linings for founders and HR departments.
How founders and HR professionals should deal with layoffs in India in 2023
Focus on cross-training & multiple roles
Every employee wants growth and learning on the job and this situation could be a golden opportunity for both employers and employees. For instance, if there is a hiring freeze, examine if someone working in the finance department wants to acquire training and skillset to also take care of certain administrative work of the company.
See if one of your employees can be an ‘SEO and growth specialist’ rather than only an SEO expert. The goal is to create a strong workforce whose output becomes greater than the hiring cost so that you can avoid layoffs altogether.
Lesson learnt: you might not require two resources for a job in the first place. In case, it doesn’t work out long-term, you can always hire later.
Introducing the right tech that lowers manual tasks & costs
There is a lot of work that can be easily automated with the right tech in your company. If you are spending heaps of money on outsourcing manual work to external agencies, replace it with affordable software. This way even employees can focus on more strategic work that directly contributes to business growth.
One such software for startup founders and HR is RazorpayX Payroll. It automates payroll, salary distribution, and compliance filings such as PF, PT, TDS, Flexi benefit plans, and other administrative tasks in just a few clicks.
Lesson learnt: you should implement the right tech to reduce outsourcing costs.
Prioritise retention of your best employees
Believe it or not–even during times of economic downturn and layoffs in India, your best employees are going to have choices. If you are going to give them additional responsibilities, ensure that you have a solid retention strategy in place so that they choose you over anyone else. Acknowledge and appreciate them for the extra mile they are going for you because loyalty is a two-way street!
Lesson learnt: retain your best players!
Support your employees emotionally and financially as much as you can
Rough times don’t last forever. As an employer, you should always try to look after the mental and financial well-being of your employees. If you are a founder, maybe taking less salary home during tough times and ensuring there are no pay cuts or pink slips will build respect and loyalty for your brand in the longer run. Who doesn’t like and advocate a hero?
Pro tip: If you are a small business and you don’t know where you can get group employee insurance plans, RazorpayX Payroll provides employee insurance to teams as small as 2!
Try everything in your power to avoid layoffs and even if you have to let go of your employees, do it in a manner as graceful as possible. As a founder, you can check within your circle if the laid-off employees can go join other companies. You can also take help from outplacement services. These are professional services that help employees who have been laid off in their transition to new employment. Whatever you do, do it with honesty and transparency–right from the start.
Lesson learnt: Provide emotional and financial support to your employees in times of need and have honest communications.
Above all, stay positive and focused
It can be easy to get discouraged during layoffs or times of economic downturn but try to stay positive and keep a long-term perspective. Focus on what you can control, and try to stay motivated and engaged in your work.
Stay focused with RazorpayX Payroll
RazorpayX Payroll is an award-winning payroll software that automates tedious administrative HR work of four days’ to barely 3 clicks. It has helped save over 150,000 hours on payroll processing which translates to ~ 6000+ days or 16 years of combined effort across organisations (in just the past year alone!)
- India’s fastest salary disbursals
- India’s only TDS, PF, PT, and other compliance built into the product, complete with TDS filing
- India’s only integrated employee insurance offering
- Is Slack, Whatsapp, Freshteam and other software integrated
- Interface so easy that a 7-year-old could process payroll
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