​Delayed salaries, rents and EMIs

My first article for this series, dealing with the challenge and solution of deadlines and the stress caused thereon, spoke to a TA of corporate communication execs. For this one, I will look at the ills of financial mismanagement, aimed at a TA of corporate communication management. And by corporate communication, I don’t mean only in-house professionals, but anyone, whether in-house or consultancy side, involved in corporate reputation management!

I have, off late, been asked to arbitrate in multiple situations, where employees from various firms either didn’t get their salaries on time, or their full and final settlements was delayed on one pretext or the other. The perks or ills, I guess, of managing an industry forum, alongside an integrated marketing consultancy.

But as always, let me share an anecdote that helps explain I’ve walked this talk before.

My brother was involved in a road accident in Bandra, a few years ago. When we got to the nearest hospital, we were told that unless we deposited xx amount of money, my brother, with a gaping hole in his head, would not be admitted. I was at that time, working with a firm where salaries for January were credited in March, which meant what I had in my account was xx minus yy rupees. Asking our parents was definitely not an option, because handling tense parents while handling a medical emergency is a huge double negative, with no positives in sight.

Long story short, my brother was admitted close to 20 minutes late (but within the ‘golden hour’) as I went about collecting my dues, and thankfully, all was well, since things ended well.

What I’m trying to talk about here, is the fact that with thousands of people moving to India’s metros every year and with consultancies popping up at the drop of a hat across the same metros, proper financial management is not one of, but the imperative, on which teams can be built.

The premise of this article is not that one pay salaries on time, though that be the end purpose, definitely. It is in the fact that every CEO, every SVP, every account director, every manager, every client in Indian PR laments the lack of talent and high attrition rates within our industry. We discuss solutions ad infinitum from training programs to mentorship programs. What we would do well to also focus on, is the financial management of our businesses, that the salaries of personnel who have to pay EMIs on the fifth of every month and rents before the seventh, are credited on time.

How does this help retain clients, you may ask? When people leave, clientele get jittery. But people leave due to a variety of reasons, and not every dam can be plugged with an immediate solution. One dam that can however be plugged is that of understanding the financial challenges that one’s people face. No one likes the bank from where a person has taken a student loan giving a collection call to their parent, just because the father was listed as next of kin, and the EMI did not get paid on time. Neither will anyone like being bullied by one’s landlord for unpaid rent, especially after the entire day was spent managing crises for clientele. Therefore, when salaries are credited on time, personnel know that whatever the pressures of the job, their home base is not under fire.

While some things may take time to change and swiping right may not always ease pressure, managing company finances well, to make sure that people don’t get impacted, is something every organisation, big, medium-sized or small, would do well to adhere to. After all, when people stay, clients are happy. Happy clientele ensure healthy bottomlines. Healthy bottomlines ensure salaries-on-time.

As simple as this mantra seems, I have seen off late, an increase in the number of firms where salaries are delayed. Don’t do this to your people. Don’t do this to your industry’s people. Believe me you, the sins of the father shall be visited upon the son, and very soon, several CEOS shall not have teams to work with, increasing client pressure, leading to unhealthy bottomlines.

Sandeep Rao
Founding Partner at One Source
Sandeep has spent close to 15 years across advertising, public relations, journalism, corporate communication and marketing. He founded One Source, an 8,000-member strong forum for marketers and journalists in 2014 and One Source, the integrated marketing consultancy, in 2019.

He spends his time stopping to smell the roses when he isn't at work. Interests include teaching Shakespeare and the value of selfishness.

2 Comments on "​Delayed salaries, rents and EMIs"

  1. Freddy Castro | August 9, 2019 at 8:42 AM | Reply

    There is more to financial planning than paying salaries on time. Correct structuring of Account Planning / Client Management teams, timely invoicing & collection process, managing cash flows and working capital as well as managing client expectations as well as documentation among other things. All these are finely interlinked especially in the context of PR Projects or small businesses. Not sure whether taking a sliced view is fair view.

  2. I am not surprised to see no comments on this post. The sad truth is, this article couldn’t be more positive! Thank you Sandeep, for summarising our heartfelt emotions so well and being so honest at it. Great read, in fact, i am afraid a must must read for our industry members.

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