Difficult situations call for some out-of-the-box thinking.
Since 8 November last week, we all have been impacted with the demonetization drive that has grappled the entire nation. Arguably, the crisis has spared no one but from all the news and social media reports, it seems as if the low income and middle class folks are impacted by this transition phase the most.
Serpentine queues at banks and ATMs (only few are functional) have become a norm. From the looks of it, the current scenario will take at least few more weeks to return to normalcy. In such a situation, how can you as the HR personnel help?
Here are a few tips that we believe can help alleviate the situation:
Arrange canteen food/ beverages on a credit basis: You can discuss with your caterers and come up with a credit plan wherein employees can have food now and maybe, pay for it in December. Hopefully, by then we can expect some normalcy in banking transactions, new notes issuance and their availability.
Provide cash loans to needy employees: You can discuss with your finance team and provide employees in need with cash loans ranging from INR 2,000 to INR 5,000 (as of today, the withdrawal limit is set to INR 50,000 per week (in some banks) for business entities with a Current Account for atleast three months).
Spread the word on Digital Wallets. If its adoption is not very common in your organization, you can run small workshops wherein current users can speak about their experience and also demonstrate how digital wallets work. Allay fears and encourage employees to use these options.
For employees not having credit cards, and who have an urgent need, you can use a corporate credit card to make a purchase and book the same as a loan given to the employee, which can then be repaid by the employee.
Give two-hour scheduled breaks: You can provide all employees scheduled two-hour breaks at the workplace during which time, they can go and complete their banking transactions. This can be planned and achieved in consultation with senior management and middle managers regarding work schedules and deadlines so that work is not impacted.
Encourage your employees to use a social platform, such as the greytHR Social Feeds to share information on the ATMs they visited, which have the shortest queues so that other employees can take advantage of such real-time information.
These are rare events and circumstances of uncertainty that we’re witnessing. A little bit of innovation, openness to change and help during such times will go a long way in dealing with and managing the emerging situation.
If you have any more suggestions or if you’ve already taken some steps or practical measures to help your employees tide over the current demonetization drive, please do post your comments. We (and our readers) would love to hear from you.
Disclaimer: These are tips based on our view of the current situation, at the time of publication. Bank withdrawal limits and other monetory specifics are subject to change as the situation alters in the coming days.