COVID and Long Term Investments

I recently ran into a friend who is a well-respected business owner. He looked happy and kept chuckling. I was intrigued and I asked him the reason for his happiness. He told me that he has recently got a big order which will help him to tide over all his COVID problems. When I could not understand, he explained that during the lock down he had retained his employees by giving them their salaries from his personal account while his competitor had laid off most of their staff. After the lock down, when the orders started coming in again, he had people who could complete the order in record time while his competitor who had to start looking for people again. My friend made a neat profit and I congratulated him on his foresight.

It is true. Finding the right people is a difficult process. Sometimes, you don’t get the right person, at times you get the right person but the person cannot continue because the circumstances are not right. Then there are times when you train the person only to lose him to a competitor. An employee who understands your business as much as you do or develops a bond with the company is easy to lose and hard to find. Perhaps, that is the difference between big multi-national companies and the small ones who don’t value their people.

Let us face it. We all work for the bottom line. In these hard times, when expenses are looming large and salaries are being cut, it is hard to be focused on a job where you cannot make the ends meet. Hence, dissatisfaction, low employee motivation and turnover of the employees will increase. An increase in leaves or absenteeism may also result.

In times like these, a far sighted business owner understands that things will change for the better sooner or later. For him, good employees are an investment, he needs to protect if he wants his business to run seamlessly.

Many people may argue that not all business owners have the back up plan to retain there employees in the Corona crisis. True. For those business owners, business continuity will be a challenge because hiring a new employee and training him will be even more expensive in the long run. There are some business owners who cut down on on some verticals and costs to keep afloat during this time. They may make some roles redundant to keep the business running.

The choice is yours! You need to weather the storm by hanging on to your ship when the sea gets rough. No matter what you do, remember without his crew, the captain cannot sail a ship! Retain your employees for a better tomorrow or when the tomorrow becomes today, start searching for new employees!


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