Eric Worlali Domie’s thoughts ….Companies must value their employees

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I’m worried, I’m deeply worried not because I don’t see the “COVID-19” as “this too shall pass”. Am worried because of the little tiny decisions that are going to be taken by influential individuals at top most positions in various corporations/entities/companies/organizations/firms/enterprises etc.

According to the most recent United Nations estimates elaborated by Worldometer, the current world populations as at April 2020 is 7.8 billion. Out of this number, we have of this population working in the private sector and a few in the public sector.

I’m thinking what you assuming, the rest of the population are unemployed, students in schools, the informal sector etc. And all these people belong to families. Families they support whether emotionally, economically, relationship wise, financially etc. The support maybe occasionally or often. But the point am trying to make is, they provide some sort of completeness to their families.

Now, we are all aware of the global pandemic terrorizing the world like a plaque. And due to that, I must say we are in difficult times. Times where people literally do not matter to others, times where we rely mostly on our emotions to make decisions, times where people think only about their families, children and spouse.  But in times, the only thing one may need is some sort of word encouragement, financial assistance and guidance.

Government in a way to control this situation has implemented a number of policies, initiatives and also taken certain tough decisions which may seem not relevant to some class of people. Some of this directives include; lifting of ban on partial lockdown to foster economic activities in the country etc.

Globally, the pandemic has depleted a number of economies, shuttering and halting businesses activities in various countries. Ghana is not an exception. Federal reserves are being sort for, to manage the situations. According to a report by Deloitte on economic impact of Covid-19;

  • Ghana’s estimated GDP growth is set to drop from 6.8% to 2.6% in 2020
  • Decline in trading volumes and values due to disruption in supply chain globally
  • Contracting of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flows to Ghana due to uncertainties
  • Agriculture value chain could be adversely impacted due to disruptions in global supply chain and slowdown in demand as countries adjust
  • Hospitality industry adversely affected due to closure of borders and general slowdown in tourism and demand for international travel

 

World Bank Country Director, Pierre Laporte said “we are working with the governments through this fast track facility to support the countries efforts to slow transmission, prevent outbreaks and provide better quality care for all patients, especially the seriously ill”. He continued by saying it is crucial that we all work together with other partners to help minimize the negative impact of the pandemic on health systems, social services and economic activities.

The World Bank Group on April 2, 2020 issued a statement that it is rolling out $14 billion fast-track package to strengthen the Covid-19 response in developing countries and shorten the time of recovery.

The immediate response includes financing, policy advice and technical assistance to help countries cope with health and economic impacts of the pandemic. The International Financial Corporation (IFC) is providing $8 billion in financing to help private companies affected by the pandemic and preserve jobs. International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) are making an initial $6 billion available for the health- response. Also, in the article, the World Bank Group will deploy up to $160 billion over 15 months to protect the poor and vulnerable, support businesses and boost economic recovery.

All these measures are to help control the spread of the virus, preserve lives, care for citizens and ultimately appreciate human existence.

Government have taken a number of initiatives to mitigate the impact on the economy. Some of this are;

  • Adjust expenditures on Goods and Services and capex downwards by GHS1.2bn
  • Reduction in the policy rate by 150 basis points to 14% and a drop in regulatory reserve requirements from 10% to 8% to increase the supply of credit to private sector.
  • Amendment of BoG Act to allow for GoG to borrow from BoG in excess of the stimulated threshold
  • Commercial banks engaged to provide syndicated facility of GHS3bn to support key industry players; grant six (6) months freeze on principal repayments for selected businesses; reduction of interest rates by 200 basis points and also increase credit supply to the private sector.

Companies are being encouraged to lay off and or terminate contract of staff when they have explored all options. And all options mean all options. As a way of grouping customers, we have internal customers. Which means employees. So we have internal and external customers.

Internal customers play major roles in every organization. They are stakeholders who work within your company (employees) and require assistance from another individual or department to get their job done.

WORLD YOUTH KONNECT want to bring to light: 1000 employees’ sacked/terminated contract/laid off is equal to 1000 families about to be broken and left to suffer in misery. All these employees have families they support. And this job might be their only means of survival.

What happened to the saying if “an individual must at least have 6 months of income cover” then organisations must have at least one & half years of income cover to hold employees?

I still believe, there is something you can do. yes, you. i mean you. A number of options are running through my head right now and I can’t wait to bring them out. But first I would like to emphasize that these are VIEWS from a concerned citizen and an advocate for equitable opportunity at all levels.

Options

  • Cutting down on huge bonuses
  • Employers negotiating with employees to cut down basic allowance while maintaining the basic salary (temporal).
  • At worst- cutting down salaries to about 10 to 20%

 

Going forward

  • Create relief investment fund account for times like this
  • Cut down on huge bonuses and fuel this investment account. So we can properly wave goodbye to employees in times like this.

 

Some companies have been extraordinary.  There are Chief Executive across industries who are cutting their pay even to zero as part of the strategy to limit the impact of this pandemic. Texas Roadhouse CEO Kent Taylor is giving up his pay for the rest of the year to help struggling employees amid the pandemic. Why don’t many leaders think like this? (Article by Brigette Hyacinth April 2020).

Can you just imagine the outcome? about 60% to 85% of employees will save their jobs. which will reflect positively on job performance. don’t forget also that, you would have saved a lot of broken families.

A 2002 study by Magnus Sverke and Johnny Hellgren of Stockholm University and Katharina Naswall of University of Canterbury found that after lay off:

  • 20% decline in job performance from the remaining employees
  • 36% decline in organizational commitment
  • 41% decline in job satisfaction
  • 31% increase in voluntary turn over the next year

 

DON’T FORGET INNOVATION ALSO DROPS

I had a funny discussion with a friend. And I said after coronavirus, people will change churches because of how some pastors reacted during this pandemic. And I say employees are watching, customers are watching. companies that treat their employees well will reap greater benefits.

Employees are the branches of a tree that makes a company grow. They are your best brand ambassadors. Loyalty is a two-way affair. Don’t treat your people as means to an end. Demonstrate that you value people and in return, you will earn their loyalty (Article by Brigette Hyacinth April 2020).

Eric Worlali Domie works with EDC Investment Limited as a Sales Support Officeron the business Development Desk.

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