In moments of crisis we all tend to act impulsively and irrationally, when what is needed, more than ever, is to be rational.
By Fernando Senties
The general feeling of the companies is that the government, as has happened before, asks for solidarity in the face of the advance of the pandemic in Mexico, but does not show solidarity.
He often demeans businessmen, but whenever he finds himself in an emergency situation, they are the first to look for them to buy airline tickets, pay wages when there are no sales, and so on.
Given the economic impact generated by the loss of activity due to the advance of the Coronavirus (Covid-19), some companies are considering reducing their personnel, as is the case in the United States, where thousands of citizens have lost their source of income. But COVID-19 cannot be used to fire.
In moments of crisis we all tend to act impulsively and irrationally, when what is needed, more than ever, is to be rational. Impulsive acts lead us to act without measuring the consequences and we could end up regretting the decisions we make.
What ethical measures can be followed in companies to avoid mass layoffs by Covid?
From the outset, the Crisis Committee, or the general management and its team, must maintain the minimum resources to work, have the necessary cash flow, establish strategies to recover their collection, avoiding dismissal. Retraining, attending to the Business Continuity Plan every day to adjust scenarios, are other strategies. It is also recommended:
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UNDERSTAND THAT EACH COMPANY IS DIFFERENT, YOU CANNOT JUDGE ALL THE SAME. THERE IS NO “ONE SIZE FITS ALL”
We cannot expect a large company with thousands of employees and branches throughout the republic to react in the same way as a micro or small company.
Among other things, they may have unions and structures that cannot move as quickly as a small company where senior management meets with each employee personally.
Nature of business
As for nature, there are companies that have been particularly affected, such as the tourism and hospitality industry. Against companies such as technology applications (Uber, Rappi, Cornershop, Airbnb, etc.). Some need supplies from abroad, and others do not, some produce goods so they may require technical stoppages, and others provide services.
Some companies are less profitable than others. Some have cash and surplus areas, but most micro and small companies do not, do not have the cash flow to sustain themselves for more than a month without incurring debt.
TREAT OTHERS AS YOU WANT THEM TO TREAT YOU
The maxim of respect and healthy coexistence of “treat others as you would like them to treat you.” If you were to be suspended or fired, how would you like to be done?
THINKING MEDIUM AND LONG TERM
One of the questions that demonstrate an ethical business philosophy is to have medium and long-term goals. It has been shown that companies that push employees toward short-term achievement (monthly or quarterly goals) tend to engage up to 3 times to 1, in acts of lack of honesty, than companies that do not exert that pressure on them.
Companies cannot and should not lose sight of their objectives, they should only review the strategies to achieve them.
DEVELOP A CONTINGENCY PLAN
The company must try to cut all those expenses that are not INDISPENSABLE for the operation during the contingency, from per diem to gasoline vouchers, etc. That could save some jobs.
DO NOT CARRY OUT MASSIVE ACTIONS, BUT CASE BY CASE
If the company, thinking in the medium term and derived from the contingency, cannot maintain the current structure, it is valid to make a re-structure, but this must be a strategic way.
It is not recommended to reduce all employees indiscriminately, as they will soon find themselves in the need to re-recruit and hire, in many cases the same people and with the same profiles.
WORK THE AREAS TOGETHER
You must not decide who leaves and who stays in any particular area, for example finance, HR or legal, they must work together, so that the actions represent the greatest benefit, and the least risk and harm, both for employees and for the company. You need to have the whole business perspective, not one area.
If we can get employees to see the common good over the individual good, most will agree to a temporary negotiation rather than a permanent layoff. And it is important that they feel that they are being part of the decisions.
Also read: Are you an employee and don’t know what your pay should be in times of the coronavirus?
The opinions of this article are the responsibility of the author and independent of the editorial line and position of Fortune in Spanish.