…find out how to manage your finances and get your career back on track.

At times, it’s a bolt from the blue. At others, it’s the culmination of a long drawn deliberation. Either way, job loss disrupts life. Couched in different words–`sacked’, `laid-off’, `pink slip’, `fired’–it translates to the same after-effects. It impacts an individual not just financially, but also emotionally and psychologically, affecting his financial goals as well as relationships.

Current employment scenario

While there is no immediate threat of massive job cuts of the scale witnessed in 2008-9, there are visible signs of despair. Globally, MNCs have been announcing cuts for the past few months, with Cisco axing 14,000 jobs, Microsoft 4,700 and IBM 5,000 staffers.In India, the impact began small, with startups like Flipkart and Ola letting go of several hundred staffers, but is now becoming more pronounced due to demonetisation. “The impact of demonetisation on hir ings in the formal sector is about 5-6%, with the worst affected being the small manufacturing units and SMSE sector,“ says Neeti Sharma, Senior Vice-President, TeamLease. “But it may be a short-term impact, with the situation likely to normalise in about six months’ time,“ she adds (see Expected salary hikes).

Before the 8 November announcement on demonetisation, the cuts had not been significant across sectors. In fact, according to a CARE Ratings study of employment among 2,112 corporates across sectors, employment witnessed 1.6% growth in 2016 after a marginal decline in 2015.

Says Sanjay Modi, Managing Director, APAC and Middle East, Monster.com: “The job market displayed mixed sentiment, with some sectors facing challenges and others reaping benefits (see High and low).“ According to the Monster Employment Index, production and manufacturing sector showed the steepest long-term decline in employment, down 29% in October, the IT and e-commerce sectors saw slow-paced growth (21% and 8% rise, respectively), while education at a 67% increase showed strong growth. Reasons for job loss

The reasons for lay-offs can be macro or micro. While the former include global and domestic economic changes, turmoil in an industry, company performance and increasing automation, the latter is restricted to an individual’s performance.

“Automation, slowdown in industry, huge company debt, massive drop in stock prices, change of strategy or leadership, or clients going through a rough patch are the external and internal factors that can result in,“ says Devashish Chakravarty, Director, Executive Hiring, QuezX. “On the personal front, below-average rating in performance for two or more years despite counselling, fight with a decision-maker or ethical issues can lead to sacking,“ he adds.

For various reasons, as many as 550 jobs have been lost each day in the four years till 2015 and this could result in 7 million job losses by 2050, according to a study by Delhibased civil society group PRAHAR. This implies that overall the job creation in India is slowing down. It is an alarming prediction and one that needs to be heeded.

What should you do?

So what should one do if one suspects the axe is inevitable? “If the reason is macro and not in your control, there is little you can do except to be prepared,“ says Sharma. “Remember not to panic and focus on your marketable skills,“ she adds. If you are laid off for external reasons and you are good at your work, any company will be ready to hire you without taking advantage of your situation.If, however, you lose your job due to poor performance, you will have to put in the effort to improve it. Says Abhijit Bhaduri, Digital Transformation Coach: “The game changer in the future will be differentiated skills.Those who upgrade their current skills and learn on their own will find it easy, whereas the traditional learner who doesn’t add to his skills will face challenges.“

In the following pages, ET Wealth shall not only tell you how to make sure you retain your existing job, but also land a new job and tide over the financial constraints if you get a pink slip. For, no matter how shocking or unfair the blow, being prepared will make it easy to get through tough times and come out stronger.

Source: Economic Times
Date: 26th December 2016

HDFC Bank may also Sell Rival Cover Products

HDFC Bank will no longer exclusively sell its parent firm’s insurance products but will soon start selling its rivals’ products as well. It has shortlisted four life and four general insurance companies for this.

“HDFC Bank has shortlisted four life and general insurance companies, including Bharti Axa, Birla Sun Life, Tata AIA and Bajaj Allainz,“ said two people familiar with the development.“They may start selling products of two life (insurance) and two general insurance companies.“

An official of HDFC Bank said they would not like to comment on market speculation.

HDFC Bank will be joining the likes of Axis Bank, Saraswat Bank and Indian Overseas Bank that have adopted an open architecture model to sell products of more than one insurance company. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Irda) had recently allowed banks to tie up with up to three companies to sell their insurance products.The industry was however divided on this issue.

Those who had floated their own insurance ventures were opposed to opening up as it would affect their exclusive tie-ups, whereas others were lobbying for an open architecture model. The regulator is in the process of prescribing differential commission for banks, which may be lower than what an agency earns while selling policies.

Banks’ income from insurance companies is likely to be affected as the insurance regulator will come out with a differential commission structure for agency and banks, which could shave off incentives for bankers selling insurance.


Source: The Economic Times

Date: 21st Dec, 2016

The Top 6 Compensation Stories of 2016

From salary budget forecasts to the rise of ratingsless reviews, these six articles on pay topics were some of the most-read all year on SHRM Online. They describe developments and trends that will have a continuing impact in 2017:

Salary Budget Expected to Rise 3% in 2017
Despite some signs of labor market tightening, compensation managers expect their base pay budgets for next year to increase by only about 3 percent, little changed from the past two years. But keep an eye out for faster—or slower—than expected economic growth, which could alter these predictions.

Study: Beware ‘Toxic’ Influence of Low-Performers
Organizations are falling short when it comes to rewarding and retaining high-performing employees—those who are self-motivated and hardworking. Worse, companies that don’t deal with “toxic” low-performers risk weakening their culture and driving away their best people.

Undoing Overtime Pay Changes Could Be Tricky
Some workers welcome being paid for overtime hours worked; others felt demoted when told that they would be paid hourly. For employees who like their change to nonexempt status, it might be worthwhile to keep it in place, even though the Department of Labor’s new overtime rule raising the salary limit has been put on hold. But if employees felt demeaned by being reclassified as nonexempt, consider reverting them back to exempt status, an employee relations expert advised.

Big Companies Are Raising Wages for Lower Earners
Facing labor cost hurdles, companies are trying to figure out how to stay competitive without busting their pay budgets. On the other hand, nobody wants to be the company that’s the last to raise its rates and risks losing its good talent.

Employers Seek Better Approaches to Pay for Performance
Despite embracing the concept of pay for performance, a surprisingly large number of employers say their programs aren’t doing what they were designed to do: drive and reward individual performance. That’s leading organizations to adjust both their merit pay and annual bonus tactics.

Ratingless Reviews Positively Affect Pay Practices
As more employers abandon annual scale-based employee ratings, many are turning to ratingless appraisals to evaluate and reward employees—focusing on performance and consequences, not rankings or grades.



Source: SHRM

Date: 20th Dec, 2016

“Communication can help retain employees.”

Communication at workplace can either be your best friend or your worst enemy. However, if used effectively, it goes a long way in improving the overall work culture. Good communication skills also help in eliminating barriers and resolving problems and at the same time helps in building a stronger workplace relationship.

Employers who spend time to define clear lines of communication skills, always ends up building a stronger workforce that trusts the organisation. This in turn increases the productivity and morale of its employees. Poor communication in the workplace can often lead to unmotivated and under confident staff that may begin to question their abilities and roles in the organisation.

Thus it is vital to have an effective and transparent communication, so that the employees have confidence in your organisation.

At Columbia Asia, our attrition rate is less than 7-8 %, especially among the senior employees. We use the method of an electronic noticeboard, as a mode of transparent communication system, which has all the details that an employee might require, right from values, vision and mission of the company, to regular updates on events, birthdays, manager on duty, newsletters, etc.

Also, it is important to lay down clear values and rules of the organization. This helps the employees to know about what they can or cannot do and hence removes ambiguity.

During induction of new employees, we define our golden rules to the employees. We communicate it clearly to everyone joining the organisation that breaking these golden rules would mean losing their jobs.

Whenever a new person joins an organisation, it is necessary for the employer to effectively communicate to the employee what are the benefits he can get from being in the organisation for the next 5 years. Make sure that you do not promise things that are not achievable. A better way would be to show the employee the opportunities and avenues where they can reach, being part of the organisation. Since, these opportunities are usually subjected to performance of the employees, this will help motivate the employee to work harder.

Between April 2011 and December 2015, close to 200 ex-employees of Columbia Asia, across various levels, who had left the organisation due to different reasons came back and joined us. Performance appraisal, clear career paths, and consistency in communication are important to help the employees stay in the organisation for a longer period of time.

Tips of effective communication in organisations:

  1. Define goals and expectations – It is important for managers to sit with their employees and set clear goals and objectives for each employee. This will help in bringing transparency in the project and further improving their performance.
  2. Be clear in your messages – Ensure that your message is clear and accessible to the intended audience. Once your message is created, make sure you deliver it in the right format. Face-to-face communication is one of the best ways to build trust with employees.
  3. Keep everyone involved – Actively seeking and encouraging reports and project updates is important. Also, all lines of communication should be kept open at all times.
  4. Be empathetic and listen – Communication is a two-way process and no organisation or an individual can survive if they are not open to opinions from other people. Effectively listening to your employees and showing respect can help you solve important issues within the organisation.


Source: TJ Insite

Date: December 16th 2016


“5 Simple Steps to Developing a Competitive Pay Practice”

In today’s competitive environment, employees are more educated than ever before about the current salary rates in their location and industry. If you want your business to remain competitive, and retain top talent, you need to stay one-step ahead of your competition, and have a solid pay strategy that’s based on accurate salary data – not speculation.

Here are a few simple steps to get you closer to a compensation strategy that retains talent and keeps your company ahead of the curve.

1)      Get a Pulse on Your Market

After a series of wage declines in 2009 and 2010, a number of industries are now seeing continual salary growth across multiple industries and locations. If your company’s compensation plan is based on the trends in those leaner years immediately after the recession, it’s probably time to revisit your pay strategy. Or you may be at risk of losing talent to competitors who’ve more quickly adapted to shifts in the market. Keep an eye on the PayScale Index to keep track of quarterly trends in pay by location, industry and job category.

2)      Benchmark Your Job Positions

It’s great to have a pulse on the overarching pay trends in your industry and area, but it’s another thing to have confidence that you’re actually paying top employees at the right rates for their job. By engaging in at least once-per-year salary benchmarking, you’ll be able to identify employees who are at a “high flight risk” of turnover, and be able to make smarter decisions about where you allocate your labor budget. Download PayScale’s How to Perform Compensation Benchmarking and Salary Ranges whitepaper for more information.

3)      Develop a Compensation Plan

Often times, businesses fear that having a compensation plan will limit their ability to make good business decisions, so they skip building a compensation plan in favor of fewer rules and less structure. But without a formalized compensation plan, companies often miss an opportunity to structure their pay decisions in a way that support business goals. As companies grow, the costs of compensation continue to rise, and without a formalized plan in place, companies often experience problems with pay inequities, employee retention, and engagement. Simply put, it’s easier, and more cost-effective to take small steps toward developing a smart compensation plan now, than it is to alter your course later down the line.

4)      Identify Pay Inequities

Some people live by the motto, “What you don’t know won’t hurt you.” That’s a motto your organization cannot afford to live by when it comes to internal pay inequities. Without a formalized comp plan, it’s often common for pay inequities to develop across organizations and departments. Those pay inequities can most definitely hurt you and your organization in the form of heightened turnover, over payment, and even litigation. Learn how to identify and resolve these inequities with PayScale’s guide to pay inequities.

5)      Communicate Your Compensation Strategy

If you go through the process of creating a compensation plan, don’t forget to let your employees know about it. In theory, your compensation strategy should reiterate and support your business goals. So, it’s important to communicate to employees how their work aligns with the goals of the organization, and how their compensation reflects that. If you share with your employees, and make your investments in talent clear to them, you’ll be surprised by the positive effect it has on employee morale. Check out PayScale’s Four Tips for Communicating Your Compensation Plan to Employees to help you get started.

Need help developing a competitive compensation strategy, or maintaining salary ranges for your workforce? PayScale offers access to the largest online salary database in the world. With data that’s updated on a daily basis, and software designed to help you maintain salary ranges, benchmark jobs, and allocate raises, PayScale is the choice for businesses who value accuracy and ROI in their pay practices. Request a demo of PayScale compensation software to learn how PayScale’s fresh, detailed data can support good compensation planning.


Source: HR Morning


“Recurring natural calamities to escalate insurance premium”

The growing concerns over the increasing natural calamities in the east coast of India is leading the general insurance players to look at increasing premium rates for properties, commercial establishments, factories and others which are located in the vulnerable areas, according to industry sources. In the last two or three years, these insurers had to field claims worth around Rs 9,000 crore due to natural calamities in this region.

The calamities include cyclone at Vishakapatnam (general insurance claims of around Rs 2,500 crore) two years back, cyclone at Orissa (claims of around Rs 500 crore), flood in Chennai during December 2015 (claims of around Rs 5,000 crore) and cyclone in December 2016 (initial claims of around Rs 1,000 crore) in Chennai.

The New India Assurance Co Ltd’s Chairman and Managing Director G Srinivasan said, “We are a bit concerned as these locations are now seeing the natural calamity on a yearly basis. East Coast has become vulenrable especially cities like Vizag and Chennai”.

He added, insurers may have to think of charging appropriate premiums for the properties located in the vulnerable areas of these locations. It will also have to look into the risks much more closely. For instance, the locations which were affected in the floods last year, was also affected during the cyclone this year, in Chennai. The risk inspection would be important and the premium would be based on this risk assessment.

“There is going to be some pressure on the rate in the coming year,” he added. Locations which are getting hit frequently and where something is inherently wrong, will be identified.

“We also end up paying higher cost to the re-insurer, this will lead to increase in the premium for the customers in these vulnerable areas,” said Srinivasan.

New India Assurance, one of the top public sector insurers in the region, received around 350 claims worth around Rs 50 crore so far and is expected to receive more claims in the coming days.

Chennai-based United India Insurance said that so far around 250 claims were reported to the company, post the cyclone which hit Chennai last week, with a claim of around Rs 100 crore. The company also expects more claims to come up this week.

An official from the company added that the reinsurance market will be hard for the general insurers, which inturn will lead to increase in prices at the domestic market in these vulnerable area.

Pankaj Verma, head of claims at SBI General Insurance echoed similar view on chances of premium rates going high in the east coast of India stating that it will have bearing on the rates, which has to be passed on to the consumers.

Like other insurers, SBI General is also evaluating methods to address the situation. It has so far received claims worth Rs 20 crore.

It was SMEs who were facing the heat most, during such calamities. To help them, insurers have started relaxing some documents and started portion of the claims immediately so that they can make their units up and running.

Srinivasan and Verma have confirmed that both their companies started doing this for the first time. In SBI, SMEs units gets around 50 per cent of their claim upfront so that they can start the units immediately ends

Source: Business Standard

Date: 18th December, 2016

Human resources: Top 5 tech based trends that 2017 is likely to see

Human resources are a key element in any organization. After all the difference between two similar businesses are its people. Naturally making the right investment in people can make or break an organization’s fortunes. This is why Human resources (HR) as a function is of paramount importance as far as organizations are concerned. At the anvil of a new financial year, we look at some HR trends that are set to rule the roost in the new age. The single biggest trend is that your mobile device is becoming the central tool for HR engaging with the work force and using that as a unified platform to communicate and act. Here are some key trends that are likely to be the focus next year.

Omnipresent Engagement

Mobile phones are changing HR dynamics to a large extent. With mobiles becoming completely commonplace, smart phones are being preferred over laptops/desktops. This gives a unique opportunity for HR personnel to engage with their audience continuously. Whether it is the basic activities like payroll, timesheet, or communication and productivity tools or benefits like exclusive shopping discounts, rewards, today everything is available through the mobile. The new age millennia’s will need to be addressed in a more tech savvy manner which indicates that app based technologies will certainly be more increasingly used. With convenience at the finger tips of the employees, employers will be able to leverage advantages of engaging continually whichwill create an atmosphere of open communication as well.

Continuous Feedback

Because of the omnipresent engagement through the mobile employees can give their feedback continually. This is as opposed to the traditional annual employee satisfaction survey which has a disadvantage that it could be influenced by proximity events, you have a continuous graph and HR can map it against the decisions that had been taken. Also, these help companies to take necessary action when it matters rather than wait for theappraisal period. This also means that the organization is able to better focus on building robust relationships with employees and ensure that they are able to act when it matters. This will ensure that employees have a long term relationship with the organization – and in today’s times loyalty matters the most.

Employee Engagement

Engaging with employees is of key importance to any employer. However this is easier said than done. The complications also arise becausethere is no unified platform to track all benefits being given. This is being used for all employee engagements – instead of HR dealing with multiple vendors and employees needing to login to different platforms, there will be one place where all the services are integrated. This is also being seen as an important HR trend in the upcoming year because this will ensure that employees are actually able to take advantage of the benefits they are entitled to in a convenient manner. Likewise, it becomes easier for employers to ensure thatthey are able to deliver these softer aspects of the benefits package to their employees.

Focus on Wellness

While most employers provide some form of health insurance to their employees, the focus is now slowly but surely shifting to wellness. Again this is a continuous rather than ad-hoc engagement. Instead of having an annual health check-up and having a static website with stagnant content you will have employers investing more in continuous wellness engagement. The mobile app helps here as it can track vital parameters and ensure that the employee is staying fit. This could be in the form of monitoring their exercise regimen too andgiving an indication of calories burnt.

Tracking Actionable Data

The trend to go digital and paperless is in. This ensures that all the data is captured and HR will be able to use the data in real actionable terms. Again what this means is that it becomes not just easy to document actions, but also ensure that a timeline is attached to them so they can becompleted. This will also ensure that employers and employees are able to follow up to see if the action has been completed in a timely manner. This also ensures that any unactioned items can be reviewed to understand the reason for it being incomplete and encourages review of the actions.


Source :The Financial Express

Date : 12-12-2016