Q&A library

Should I explore alternatives right now as I am getting indicators of a layoff due to the pandemic crisis?
Yes. If your organization is giving you indications of this please do explore options. There are some new platforms now such as Randstad that are providing rehiring and outplacement services to companies. And websites where you can register for free, that are asking employees who have lost their jobs due to Covid-19 to apply and helping to match them to roles.

Should I consider reducing employee salaries to cut costs?
Reducing salaries should be the last option for a business owner and he must carefully consider the following alternatives first:1. Encourage employees to utilize unutilized leaves2. Encourage employees to consider part time work hours or a reduced work week3. Discuss the finances and funds situation and understand completelyIf these are not viable options, you can consider salary reductions but it is important to ensure that the communication is done in a sensitive and transparent manner. Share the situation honestly and openly with the employees

What are the ways to engage employees who are working from home (WFH)?
Some effective ways we have seen the past few months are suggested as follows:•Schedule periodic team meetings for employees with a fluid agenda to simply share the experiences over the week and also include fun activities•Opportunities to attend online training programs•Opportunities created for online recreational activities as well for e.g. sponsor vouchers for an online healthy baking course.•Taking regular feedback from employees so that they feel involved in the decision making•Create early morning sessions around mindfulness, meditation etc.

How can I as an employee be more effective when I work from home?
Here are some tips you can consider:•Wake up at the same time that you would if you were stepping out for work, dress as if you are heading to work too - this automatically creates a rhythm and a focus for the day•Make a 'to do' list of just the top 5 items to be completed for the day and more importantly plan for certain periods of distraction as well. Allocate block times for responding to emails and do not do this in any other time of the day.•Set-up your dedicated working space/desk in the house. Try not to use this space for any other activity.•Do a few video meetings as well to build a deliberate need to stay focused and groomed everyday

What if as an employer you are facing a cash flow issue?
Many businesses are unfortunately dealing with this situation today. Some suggestions here may help you think about solutions that work for you:•You can share transparently with your trusted team members and invite their suggestions.•Consider any loan options based on the recent announcement by the government for working capital sanctions.Consider the options discussed in the above question that talks about salary reductions

How can I address a situation where my clients are unable to pay us dues for services rendered?
In a situation like what we are facing today, both service providers and clients are dealing with significant financial challenges. Hence it is firstly important to be sensitive to both. The following ways to deal with it may turn the challenge into an opportunity:•Discuss payment options with the client. Have a transparent discussion about how much they can consider paying and suggest the remaining payment in milestones that are comfortable for them as well.•Start motivating the sales team to strengthen their relationships and bring in more leads and enhance your pipeline•Encourage the team to come up with alternate business services and products which may have a lower ticket size or lower cost than your earlier products.•Work with the client transparently and maintain frank and frequent discussions - constantly try to come up with solutions to get paid as much as you can

What will be the impact of Covid-19 on low-wage employees in India?
Low-wage employees or daily-wage employees are a population that has been significantly affected. If a company is registered as an MSME then the union government has already announced certain relief schemes & is going to announce more in the future.Few of the announcements made are listed below:•31,000 crores can be used in order to provide relief to building construction workers•Govt would ensure the payment of PF (of employer & employee both) for 3 months (*note that it is only applicable if the employees’ size is less than 100 & 90% of the workforce earn less than 15k per month)•75% of EPFO non-refundable advance is permitted•People who work in health sector will get a medical cover of up to 50 lakhs

What should an organization do to manage emotions of employees amid the outbreak of coronavirus?
To keep your firm’s operations buoyant, you ought to manage, console & become a solace especially at this time because not only businesses but, the world is going through an emotional downhill.•Communicate everything transparently so that you get to know the emotional status of your employees•Be a good listener by listening to the problems that your employees might be going through•Assist the leaders & managers to evolve their team & bring in positivity•Increase the physical activities of your employees by fixing yoga, aerobics, or other training classes•Offer online meetings & courses so that the employees will have continuous learning opportunities•Ask the employees to stay safe & healthy (because this is the utmost important talk of the town)

Are there some networks that women entrepreneurs can join?
Yes there are several platforms but one of the best ones is SHEROES. They have over 15 million women on their platform which is designed to mentor, engage and support women in all ways including women run businesses. You can join communities on it and network to learn more about the opportunities available to you. HEN India is also a good networking platform. In addition to that, if you apply for the Cherie Blair Foundation's Women in Business Mentoring programme you can network with those who are mentors and mentees there. It is an excellent way to connect with women business owners across the world.

When will I break even?
That is a difficult question because it depends on the model you have for your business as well as the necessity of your product in the market. Some businesses break even as early as one year. But many take longer than that. It also depends on the extent of investment you have made. Its important to understand that while breaking even is important, creating a sustainable business is more important. That takes a lot of effort and time. Patience is the key. You need to also take small steps as you scale up especially in the current market scenario. Also try to set a small target for your business for each month instead of a seemingly impossible number to achieve.

#RestartIndia Response Network
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