With organizations laying off employees in the face of the spread of coronavirus that has crippled the economy, a spike in involuntary attrition is inevitable in the coming months
The impending pandemic has put businesses on pause, leading to unparalleled losses and impacting the livelihood of millions employed. The OECD in its interim economic assessment, has forecasted that global economic growth will be just 2.4% this year, down from 2.9% in 2019. The anticipated drop reflects the impact of the virus across sectors. Worst hit being the aviation, travel, hospitality and tourism sector by the pandemic fallout.
Organizations in these sectors have already started laying off people. Recently, online travel booking agency Expedia announced to lay off 3,000 employees globally. GoAir also has already laid off its expat pilots, introduced leave without pay for its employees and announced paycuts. With organizations laying off employees in the face of the spread of coronavirus that has crippled the economy, a spike in involuntary attrition is inevitable in the coming months.
As per Deloitte India’s 2020 Workforce and Increment Trends Survey, attrition at an all India level in the current fiscal year is about 15%. Involuntary attrition (layoffs, restructuring, etc.) has increased to 20% of the total attrition which will go up further.
The pandemic has also forced organizations globally to try the work from home model, one of the biggest remote working trial in the history of mankind! The question remains whether this shift towards remote working will continue once the situation normalizes.
Here, we need to understand how sustainable remote working can turn out for employers and what impact it can have on employee productivity and attrition in times to come.
With the increasing mix of millennials and zillennials (Generation Z) in the global workforce, culture in organizations will have to focus on flexibility and providing an optimal employee experience. According to a Deloitte study, nearly 75 percent of Millennials believe that a “work from home” or “work remotely” policy is important. This outbreak has already pushed employers to move in that direction.
Also, a research shows that companies that promote remote working experience 25% less employee turnover than companies that do not allow it. One of the major reasons employees leave is due to lack of trust and autonomy. Remote working gives the perfect opportunity to employers to demonstrate confidence and appreciation for its people.
Both employer and employees benefit financially from the remote working model. Whether it is space, electricity consumption or travel cost, other overhead sit is a win-win situation for both.
In the midst of this outbreak, the silver lining of remote working which many organizations have had to embrace may turn out to be a critical retention tool in times to come.If it does then it may be time to get that home office in order soon!
Not to forget, this is the ideal time for employers to focus on developing and honing professional skills of their employees, engaging them effectively, communicating with them regularly, motivating them and supporting them during such tough times. This will work phenomenally in keeping employees productive and most importantly loyal to the organization in the long run.
(The author is Managing Partner of Marching Sheep)