The way companies communicate and engage with their employees in this time of crisis is going to have long term effects on motivation.
It is understandable that managers and leaders are focused on business continuity (no business = no employees). Nonetheless, if that is the only thing they talk about, the rationale behind every action taken, the excuse to ask people to give more in a time when there’s little to give, that can turn out to be extremely counterproductive. Not many are happy to work for top and bottom line only.
Few examples of companies that have taken corageous actions to signal they care.
Whitbread, a British hotel operator, has decided to not pay out dividends this year and instead guarantee full pay to the employees that are forced not to work.
Workday, maker of the popular HR and finance software, will pay two weeks of bonus to most of their employees (executives and VPs excluded) to make sure they have additional support during this difficult period.
Walmart, the American retailer, has implemented a number of measures to make sure employees who cannot work, and even those who are not comfortable working, can safely take the decision to stay home.
Buzzfeed, the new website, is going to cut pays in a progressive way, starting from 5% for lower salaries up to 25% for certain executives.
Yum! Brands, owner of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, had the CEO forgo their salary for the rest of the year, to support a bonus for 1,200 restaurant general managers and provide initial support for an employee medical relief fund.
And close to home, in Finland, also Mapon’s CEO decided to not be paid for three months so that the company can at least delay laying off personnel.
If you are a business, the fact you care and worry about cash, revenue and profit is a given. Now is a great opportunity to show what else you care about.