DOWN?

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - Guide - - FRONT PAGE -

The last few months have been tough for In­dia Inc. With the over­all econ­omy nose­div­ing to an abysmal low, al­most all or­gan­i­sa­tions have been busy trim­ming their bud­gets on var­i­ous op­er­a­tional counts. And this is re­flected in var­i­ous em­ployee-spe­cific poli­cies and pro­grammes. “The fo­cus is on spend­ing only on those things that are nec­es­sary. For in­stance, while all our women em­ploy­ees are pro­vided cabs to travel home af­ter of­fice hours, we are now try­ing to cut down on our ex­penses when it comes to al­lo­cat­ing cabs for of­fi­cial work dur­ing of­fice hours,” says an HR as­so­ciate from a Gur­gaon-based multi­na­tional IT firm on con­di­tions of anonymity.

She con­tin­ues, “To­day for us and most other compa- nies, it is a ver­i­ta­ble tug- ofwar in terms of keep­ing the em­ployee morale up­beat and en­sur­ing prof­its. So while we did host our an­nual of­fice party, we had to do with­out our an­nual em­ployee off­site.”

Given the ra­tio­nale of spend­ing on things that can­not be dis­pensed with, em­ployee off­sites seem like a log­i­cal sub­trac­tion to the bou­quet of com­pany ex­penses. How­ever, not all or­gan­i­sa­tions are say­ing no to them. “The an­swer is very sim­ple. Off­sites have re­mark­able po­ten­tial in terms of re­turn on in­vest­ment. It is im­por­tant to un­der­stand that to­day or­gan­i­sa­tions are con­strict­ing their bud­gets on things that do not di­rectly or in­di­rectly add to the value chain or profit base. How­ever, there is open­ness in terms of

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