How to fix pay reductions caused by coronavirus


How to fix pay reductions caused by coronavirus

pay cutbacks
Staff are still required to put forth the same work output despite the pay cutbacks. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

During the past month, Kenyan employees faced an onslaught of job cuts, pay reductions, and employee restructurings. Last week’s Business Talk article highlighted the dismal outlook on employee motivation for firms who erroneously lower staff salaries during Covid-19 without appropriate cause.

Examples of the more egregious coronavirus pay cut scenarios include first, salary and payment reductions that are not uniform across an organisation.

Others are executives receiving the smallest percentage pay cut or none at all but cascading belt- tightening down the chain getting incrementally worse as the employees status, rank, and influence in the firm diminishes, with the lowest level workers receiving the greatest hatchet reduction to their earnings.

Second, some firms disproportionately reduce salaries on the most vulnerable workers which are typically casual, temporary, contract, and part-time employees while blaming coronavirus but not inflicting the same pain on their full-time workforce.

Third, firms restructure staff and change around reporting lines to settle long-held grudges but pretending that coronavirus necessitated the alterations. Fourth, companies cut more staff and salaries than pandemic revenue reductions justify.


In order to ascertain how your firm fares on organisational justice during the global pandemic, look at the following six statements.

Respond to each one and give these corresponding point values by determining whether you strongly disagree (1), disagree (2), neither agree nor disagree (3), agree (4), or strongly agree (5):

Pay cuts or delays at our organisation were made in exact proportion to the reduction in revenues from Covid-19.

Worker terminations were solely the result of coronavirus impacts and not a chance to settle scores or restructure staff.

The company reduced salaries by even percentages for all levels of workers. The firm protected vulnerable groups of part-time, casual, and contracted workers the same as full-time regular employees who are still required to put forth the same work output despite the pay cutbacks.

The organisation communicates transparently about the effects of both coronavirus induced sales and cost changes.

The executive management communicates transparently about expected time frames for Covid-19 caused or delayed payments to employees and suppliers.

Staff are treated with respect by their supervisors and not taken advantage of as a result of the pandemic.

Now, please total up your point responses to the six statements. If your organisation scored 24 or higher, then congratulations. You work in a fair and just firm.

Then, if you fall between 18 and 24, your firm is only mediocre.

Next, in the event your company scores below 18, then you subside in a dismal establishment. You have damage to employee morale, motivation, and satisfaction.

The mismanagement needs urgent correction in order to avoid permanent damage to future organisational outcomes such as profits, innovation and firm survival.

A prestigious study by Graham Dietz and Nicole Gillespie shows how companies who face organisational failures can mitigate the distrust they created.

In order to constrain the untrustworthy behaviour from structures, policies, and processes, the research shows that firms must revise decision-making authority and accountability.

In so doing, the organisations should impose checks, balances, and disciplinary procedures followed by standardised work processes and training in order to compensate for any lack of skills and knowledge.

Finally, the firm must offer coaching and mentoring to assist employees facing ethical dilemmas or difficult decisions.

Once distrust has been regulated, then an organisation can rebuild and renew trustworthiness by publicly demonstrating that the revised policies and procedures are perceived by employees to be fair, effective, and just.

Just policies and procedures are transparent and equitable appraisal systems that offer dispute- resolution and whistle-blowing protections and procedures. Then finally, utilise recruitment, selection, induction, and training processes that focus on personal and organisational integrity.

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