Transparent companies did not resort to salary cuts during the quarantine

12/ 08/ 2020

Transparent companies did not resort to salary cuts during the quarantine as reported in the results of the “Key lessons learned in quarantine” study, conducted by Lugera Ukraine together with the European Business Association in June-July 2020 among the companies participating in the project “Transparent Business – Legal Salaries”.

So, what are the conclusions of the leading Ukrainian and international companies which are committed to official labor relations during the quarantine crisis? Did they cut staff? What cases and innovations did legal companies introduce during the period of remote work? These questions became the basis for an express survey conducted by Lugera Ukraine together with the European Business Association, among the companies participating in the joint project “Transparent Business – Legal Salaries” which work without “gray” schemes and salaries “in envelopes.” View the detailed presentation via the link.

The sample of surveyed companies from the League of Transparent Businesses is representative, as it includes more than half of the 24 companies participating in the project “Transparent Business – Legal Salaries” (as of July 2020) – BOSCH, “Sinevo”, Schneider Electric, Imperial Brands, MasterCard, FORUM, Kyivguma, LEMTRANS, Beltimport, Danfoss, Lugera Ukraine, and others.

Thus, the main conclusions and key lessons of the quarantine are as follows:

  • Employees can work remotely in an efficient and coordinated way (this is true for all departments from sales and customer service to accounting and HR);
  • Quarantine has changed people’s buying habits;
  • Quarantine is an excellent stress test, both for the efficiency of business processes in the company, and for the effective work of corporate teams;
  • The volume of online purchases has grown significantly, the demand for contactless payments and online commerce has increased;
  • There is an increased demand for food products, equipment and electronics, building materials, DIY products, family and video games, gardening, disinfection products, sports equipment for home, personal protective equipment;
  • The security of all personal data and digital payments became a priority matter;
  • Increased employee engagement and loyalty to the company;
  • Employees began to study online much more actively;
  • Employees learned about each other a lot of the unexpected and new over these months more than over all years of collaboration.

The study showed that the social security of employees in transparent companies is much higher than the average level in the market. The evidence is that none of the companies participating in the express survey resorted to staff reductions and the salaries and other staff payments remain at the pre-quarantine level. Almost 80% of surveyed companies did not suspend the recruitment of staff at all levels, including top managers, during the quarantine period. At the same time, all participants in the express survey, without exception, canceled offline events and conducted interviews with candidates for online positions. In general, more than 90% of the total number of staff of the surveyed companies was transferred to remote work.

When it comes to the impact of the quarantine on labor resources, the companies often noted: 

  • Remote online onboarding is organized for new employees,
  • Transportation of employees to workplaces and back is organized,
  • Employees worked 2-3 hours more daily than before the quarantine,
  • Employees began to study online much more actively,
  • People began to understand their value, their responsibility to the company, and to feel part of this large mechanism of the company,
  • Active work with physical inactivity and psychological overload of employees.

Remote work has forced companies to actively implement new standards and regulations for communication with their teams with the use of digital programs and applications. The most popular and effective online tools are Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex, Messenger, Zoom, and Telegram.

During the period of remote work, the employees have acquired the following important skills:

  • stress resistance,
  • work-efficiency,
  • effective task prioritization,
  • self-organization,
  • self-discipline,
  • active listening and multitasking.

In the course of the quarantine, companies were actively looking for ways to increase cohesion, involvement, and additional motivation of staff. That has resulted in the number of interesting cases and innovations, namely:

  • People Assistance program – small virtual sessions with employees on the best home working practices and ways to maintain a work-life balance.
  • Remote activities for employees: challenges, competitions, sports breaks, etc.
  • Virtual Coffee Machine group where employees post relevant cases, work situations, and memes.
  • Town halls meeting to provide constant communication and updates for the staff.
  • Coffee with Global Leaders is the set of online meetings with the top management of the company’s headquarters.
  • Training and webinars on health and work for remote teams.
  • Mental health training.
  • Themed online quests for employees as a new teambuilding format
  • Online competitions and online flash mobs on various topics: Vyshyvanka Day, Safety Day, photos on a set theme, short videos on “What makes me happy in quarantine. Also, an “antidepressant” flash mob, when employees recreate famous paintings and post their results on the Internet.

The study was conducted in June-July 2020.


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