Don’t pass value judgements on job losses, says Aditya Birla Group HR head – Times of India

MUMBAI: In these trying times, some businesses may have taken the drastic step of cutting jobs or salaries. While these measures attract a lot of criticism, Santrupt Misra, director – HR, Aditya Birla Group, feels people should not pass value judgements on such matters.
Misra, who is also the CEO of Birla Carbon, said: “There is too much of moralistic discussion we have on jobs. We need to make sure employment is retained. But if a business does not survive, this may become a choice. There’s some pain everyone will have to share.”
Misra was speaking at a webinar organised by PeopleStrong on `Decoding the new normal for work and workplaces’.
Responding to a question as to whether there have been any job or salary cuts at the Aditya Birla Group, Misra said: “So far we have not announced any salary or job cuts. We have decided not to give increments this year. Whoever has earned a variable pay, will get the variable pay. We will look at how the situation evolves and depending on that take steps.”
Misra said businesses should treat the outbreak of Covid-19 as an opportunity to identify new ways of operating and study consumer behaviour to draw learnings.
He said leaders need to set examples to inspire people and win their confidence so that they feel safe at retail stores and other public places once the restrictions are lifted and normalcy is restored post-Covid. “Consumers will make individual choices on how they purchase post-Covid. Some may look at less number of features in an electronic item, for instance. Businesses need to learn from these behaviourial shifts and make informed decisions. Delivery models may also undergo a change,” said Misra.
On the other hand, maintaining social distancing norms may force business models to change. In sales, for instance, one needs to always be in touch with the customer. A lot of this would need to be done virtually.
“As factories gradually ramp up, the responsibilities will shift from government to employers to maintain hygiene, safe working norms, social distancing and, hopefully, people will carry these best practices back to their homes,” said Misra.

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