Bracing Compensation Changes

In one of the top business dailies today, I came across a headline talking about how start-ups are rationalising the compensation to their team members and preparing for funding winters. With many start-ups laying off people and trimming the size of their teams, are also restructuring their compensations. In the past, they attracted a lot of good people, where ESOPs and valuations drove the talent acquisition for these companies.

While everyone makes hay when the sun shines, it is in the challenging business environment that the organisations or the people have to come to terms by pulling up their socks, often in a sudden and abrupt move. That’s where the problem lies as it might just on one hand impact employee morale, and on another hand create disabilities for the organisations.

While most smart organisations always execute such decisions in a very planned and organised manner keeping the long-term future interests of those who they want to retain. These organisations ensure that the implementation of such decisions does not create negativity within the available talent pool and at the same time creates future opportunities for them. This is to ensure they are motivated enough to contribute towards the growth of the organisation and themselves as well.

ESOPs are often futuristic dreams and deliver back only when the organisations are prospering. It is a well-observed situation that the start-ups tend to burn cash during their early growth stages and create valuations for funding opportunities. And it creates a ‘taken for granted’ mindset for many of the employees, and sometimes even at the cost of their performance. It’s a feel-good factor created everywhere setting in complacency and hurting the business even more.

When you go through abrupt changes,  and when you have to take tough measures, how do you go about it discussing internally or externally to your stakeholders? Is it possible to address this kind of situation through communication? How one can go around planning about it? What insights, information, and data are required for this? What communications messages need to be built for this? How, when, and which tools of communication are to be used while addressing this situation?

Similarly, there are many more such questions that the organisations would face while addressing situations of this kind on their side. And, the answers can be provided by the corporate communications teams easily. Involving the corporate communications teams from the moment the organisations start thinking that there might be a need for executing such decisions can be the key.

A detailed brief on how the business is set to move ahead, and what could be the possible steps as far as employee compensations, ESOPs, profit sharing, etc. have been planned. Reworking compensations does not always mean bad for the employee pool, as after taking such decisions, the organisations often create new performance-based, and profit-sharing opportunities for the teams. Employees participating in the organisation’s growth by putting up a great performance can also be an excellent way for their personal growth.

The role of corporate communications here to craft and deliver the right message to all internal and external stakeholders becomes most important. While it helps in keeping the internal teams happy and motivated toward the organisation’s goals, it also ensures a positive image in the outside world without affecting future talent acquisitions.

Focused group meetings, internal memos, and open discussions can be used within the organisation to explain the necessity of such measures and the positive impact on the future of the business and its employees can make a significant difference in steering ahead.

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Praveen Nagda
Praveen Nagda is the CEO of Peregrine Public Relations, a full-service corporate communications and public relations consultancy firm delivering a pan-India reach to its clients. He also heads White Coffee, an independent events & celebrity engagement company.

Praveen has been closely associated with many national and international events related to cinema for children, art and culture. He has a well-rounded experience that cuts across all key sectors of PR & Corporate Communications.

He started his career with URJA Communications, an advertising agency specialising in technology brands, where he was instrumental in developing the PR division. Post this, he had a stint with Horizons Porter Novelli, a global public relations consultancy. Thereafter, he was heading the IT & Telecom division at Clea PR, a leading Indian public relations and communications company followed by a fairly long stint with Omnicom Group agencies viz. TBWA\India and Brodeur India.

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