The world seemed to be heading towards normalcy post COVID and workforce started to get aligned to the changed working patterns. Work From Home (WFH) became the norm for organizations!!

As companies also adapted to this model, there still seemed to be something amiss.

Work force participation, culture integration, inclusivity were some of the areas that were challenging. This lead many a companies to re-think on the post-covid working pattern and pushed employees to return back to work. With lots of resistance from the employees, the hybrid model seemed to be the panacea for the organizations.

The adapted work-force now is facing a challenge to either be cushioned in their homes, enjoying the WFH model or return back to their place of work but work on hybrid model. The global head-wings has pushed many organizations to either slow-down their growth or have pushed many to pause their growth plans leading to down-sizing and various other forms of cost-cutting. This in-turn has pushed the work-force to stick to the company guidelines to protect their jobs in these uncertain future of the job market, causing an unhappy work-force.

The challenge now with the companies are : Do they look at pleasing the employees at the cost of being profitable or do they please the share-holders at the cost of employees, by imposing cost-cutting and taking harder stance at work environment to create better profitability.

Balancing the interests of employees, shareholders and choosing a middle path, to ensure the overall financial health of the company is indeed a difficult task, although is the ideal one!

Here are some considerations:

Employee Well-being:

It's important for companies to prioritize the well-being of their employees. Happy and satisfied employees tend to be more productive and engaged, which can ultimately benefit the company's bottom line in the long term. Neglecting employee needs, such as a desire for flexible work arrangements, could lead to talent attrition and a negative company culture.

Hybrid Work Model:

The hybrid work model can be a compromise that allows employees some flexibility while maintaining a physical presence when necessary. This approach can be a win-win situation, as it accommodates employee preferences and can reduce real estate costs for the company. However, it requires clear policies, communication, and technology infrastructure to ensure it works effectively, as looks like it is a model that is going to be the new work-norm.

Profitability and Shareholders:

Companies have a responsibility to their shareholders to generate profits and provide returns on investments. Cost-cutting measures may be necessary in certain situations to ensure financial stability. However, these measures should be carefully considered and not come at the expense of employee well-being, as long-term profitability often depends on having a skilled and motivated workforce.

While the middle path may not always be perfect, it often offers the most sustainable solution. Striking a balance between employee satisfaction and shareholder interests is challenging but crucial. This might involve exploring alternative revenue streams, innovative business models, and efficient cost-cutting strategies that don't adversely affect employees.

Communication and Transparency:

Open and transparent communication is key in times of uncertainty. Companies should engage with employees and shareholders to explain the reasons behind their decisions and seek feedback. Involving employees in the decision-making process can help build trust and consensus.

Reskilling and Adaptation:

In a changing work landscape, investing in employee training and development can be a strategic move. Companies can help employees acquire new skills that align with evolving business needs, making them more adaptable and valuable in the long run.

Ultimately, each company will need to find its own balance between pleasing employees and shareholders based on its unique circumstances, industry, and business strategy. A well-thought-out approach that considers both short-term and long-term implications is essential for navigating these challenges successfully.

About the Author

Hema Malini  is Vertical Head - Diversity Hiring @  Her Second Innings. With over 25 years of experience in human resources and business advisory, she is  passionate about helping organizations and individuals achieve their full potential.  She  believes that diversity and inclusion are not only ethical imperatives, but also strategic advantages that can enhance creativity, innovation, and performance.

Her Second Innings supports women professionals on a sabbatical in their journey of getting back to work. The mission of HSI is to guide women to achieve financial independence. Support from HSI comes in the form of job interviewsreskilling programs in Automation, and, free Career Guidance Counselling. Sign up with us and complete your profile to get a call from our counselors to know your job fit.


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