Eight in 10 Indian companies not currently considering permanent staff layoffs or redundancies: Korn Ferry survey

From customer-facing staff, middle managers to executives, most respondents both globally and in India believe that adjustments to rewards and benefits as a result of Covid-19 will likely affect employees throughout the organisation, according to a survey by Korn Ferry.

According to the survey, 22% of organisations surveyed in APAC expect a serious impact on their business, where the company’s annual business revenue is expected to decline by more than 30%, with around half of these respondents expecting that the impact will be at least 50%.

In India, the most commonly implemented measures for rewards and benefits are on promotion and salary hike, with 23% organisations suspending the promotion increases and 18% organisations deferring and/or delaying salary increases. Three in 10 organisations have implemented or are considering implementing a salary freeze to manage costs.

Given the government’s extensive requests on avoiding laying off employees, the majority of companies have not implemented or are not currently considering permanent staff layoff/redundancies (84%) or temporary layoff/furlough (83% without government subsidy support and 91% leveraging government subsidy).

The survey also finds that 51% of the companies in India will prioritise employee engagement, and that beyond the pandemic, more than half the respondents in India indicated that they will continue to operate more virtually, with 63% saying that they will be more disciplined about cost management moving forward.

“Given the current circumstances and uncertainties on the recovery for market conditions, business leaders are trying everything to survive this storm and manage their costs. Among the dozens of ways organisations are taking out labour costs are layoffs, hiring freezes, reduced hours, less reliance on contractors, reducing overtime, delaying bonuses or merit increases, suspending certain benefits like retirement savings/capital accumulation programs, and many others,” said Roopank Chaudhary, client partner, Korn Ferry India.

The findings are basis a pulse survey conducted from 15th to 24th April 2020 on almost 4,000 respondents from 99 countries. This is the second global pulse survey that Korn Ferry has conducted to track the measures companies are taking as the pandemic evolves. The majority of respondents are from the compensation and benefits function and were at manager-level and above, currently working at a wide range of size, ownership and industry.

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