The uncertainty of the Covid-19 epidemic has made people’s management an important task.
Ranging from executing layoffs to a forced work-from-home position to announce pay cuts on zoom calls and motivate employees through gaming apps, human resources (HR) teams across industries have this unprecedented status Have to come up with innovative solutions.
Realizing this challenge, Bangalore-based Sleep Solutions startup Wakefit.co believes that Covid-19 will be the most important HR leadership in the world.
“No matter how long the current crisis lasts and how each company navigates it, once we come out of it, every organization will be radically transformed. Everyone must have seen hard times, whether it was layoffs, salary cuts, or poor employee morale. Therefore, the HR team of any company will have an important job to do, ”Chaitanya Ramalingagouda, co-founder and director of Wakefit.F told Quartz in an interview.
He also explained why technology and research and development (R&D) will be important for startups in the future. Edited excerpts:
In what ways is your recruitment policy going to change due to the Covid-19 crisis?
Changes in core values that define our recruitment policies are unlikely. But the mix of talent is likely to change. For example, we may consider hiring young talent with a new approach, as long as they have the hunger to learn and develop their skill sets. We plan to invest more to hire people in technology and R&D divisions, as this pool typically has a non-linear impact on business.
What will be most important for the company Post Covid-19?
There are two jobs within the company that will be extremely important in the post-COVID era. One is HR leadership and employee engagement, the other is communication.
No matter how long the current crisis lasts and how each company navigates it, once we come out of it, every organization will be fundamentally changed. Everyone must have seen hard times, whether it was layoffs, salary cuts, or poor employee morale. Therefore, the HR team of any company will have an important job of ensuring employee engagement and motivation. This is going to be invaluable because a positive and happy workforce will always be more notable than a workforce that is motivated only by financial incentives or fear.
Chaitanya Ramalinga Gowda: Similarly, I believe that the Department of Communications, in both external and internal communications, will have a major role to play in the post-COVID world. The thought process of the founders, management, and core team needs to be shared with every concerned stakeholder including employees and society to ensure transparency and empathy.
When you appoint a candidate, what are your qualities?
The most important quality we seek is the openness to learn new things. Whoever believes that she or he knows it all and is not ready to develop it cannot be an asset to an organization. The second quality is the ambition to do something that people thought was unattainable and to do challenging tasks.
We also look at the long-term business goals of the individual. We ask ourselves if we see them working with us for the next five years. Skill sets may vary with each department and function, but these attributes help us determine the character of the company we want to build.
Has Covid-19 resulted in layoffs or pay cuts in your company?
We have a workforce of around 500 full-time employees and have given everyone full pay and incentives. However, given the uncertainty of the situation, we may have to consider other options in the future, such as incentives and pay cuts.
However, layoffs of employees will be the last resort and will not be considered as long as we can help it.
Are your appraisal and increment plans on track? How will employee performance evaluation change, if at all?
The promotion is on track, but the corresponding increment may be postponed until the normal salary is determined.
The promotion is on track, but the corresponding increment may be postponed until the normal salary is determined. Employees have earned title changes and new responsibilities based on their performance during the last financial year and will have value. Regarding valuation, we will look at the performance metrics and the value additions brought to the company.
Which people-centric HR policies have you introduced to fight the effects of the epidemic?
In addition to the general insurance cover provided to them, we are providing Covid-19 health insurance for all employees up to Rs 5 lakh. We have also assisted employees who were troubled by phone and internet connection while working from home.
We have established company-wide zoom calls to facilitate regular interactions. One of the challenges of the moment is maintaining employee morale and organizing our HR team engagements for this.