In the midst of a storm of job losses, pay cuts and deferred increments, a bunch of companies have held firm. Hindustan UnileverNSE 0.34 %, Asian Paints, Johnson & Johnson, HCCB, Flipkart, Myntra, CSS Corp, BharatPe, BSH Home Appliances and Inflexion Point Ventures are among those that have chosen to hike salaries, make variable payouts and promote employees even in these tough times.
Compensation experts said while companies across the board are taking decisions based on business realities, the concern they display during the Covid-19 crisis will have a lasting impact on employee goodwill.
“In these unprecedented times, it is a great opportunity for organisations to lead with empathy and take care of their employees’ interest. We believe that giving pay hikes will help add certainty in these uncertain times,” said Manish Tandon, CEO, CSS Corp. The IT services company has paid out increments and variable pay to its 7,000-strong workforce. At the lower bands, which constitute 70% of the workforce, the variable payout was 100%.
“It’s our job to keep the morale of employees high in these uncertain times and give them a sense of security,” says Neeraj Bahl, MD and CEO, BSH Home Appliances. While the firm cut marketing and travel costs and initiated a hiring freeze, staff were given increments and promotions went ahead.
‘Moves More Company-specific’
‘Paying scheduled salary increments and variable payouts is especially significant now, given the sheer number of companies that have gone in for salary cuts and layoffs in the past month or two. Many are struggling to retain jobs and current levels of remuneration.
“We took the decision of not cutting salaries or laying off people because, while the macro trends were looking weak starting March, we are a people-first organisation and believe that when we put people first, our people make things happen for the organization,” said Inflection Point Ventures CEO Vinay Bansal.
The likes of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Wipro, PwC India and Infosys have deferred hikes. Reliance Industries, Oyo Rooms and TVS Motors have cut salaries while Ola, Uber, Zomato and IBM are among those that have fired employees.
“We are seeing the response to be more company specific than industry. Naturally, certain industries such as consumer goods, food processing, etc are not as significantly impacted by the crisis as others and have the cash-flow buffer to be able to give salary increases or bonuses. However, we are finding companies in industries that are under significant pressure gave pay increases and bonuses,” said Anandorup Ghose, partner, Deloitte India. J&J did not respond to ET’s queries but sources said it had adopted a similar stance.
An HUL spokesperson said, “HUL follows an April-March cycle. Variable pay for the previous year and increments for the current year have already been paid out.”
BharatPe said annual appraisals were completed on time and it plans to move into a bigger office. High performers have been given increments of 20% and more.
Myntra completed its performance evaluation process, which had started when the lockdown was announced, said Sneha Arora, vice president, human capital. All job offers were honoured and the company has recruited more than 280 people during this period.
As reported by ET earlier, Coca-Cola’s bottling partner HCCB announced 7-8% increments and said there would be no layoffs and salary reductions on account of Covid-19. Asian Paints said it would give salary hikes to employees despite the coronavirus outbreak impacting business.
Source : PTI