One day, the employees of a company met the Proprietor in his office. The seniormost employee said, “Our company’s business has dropped significantly over the last few months due to a downturn in the economy. Nobody seems to know how long this downturn will last. We have all been paid our full salaries on time every month. But many of our friends working in other companies have been receiving only part of their salaries, that too one to two weeks late. We discussed this matter amongst ourselves and decided unanimously to request you that, if it is necessary, our salaries may be cut by 25% from this month. Once business recovers completely, the salary cut can be stopped.”
The Proprietor replied, “The situation is under control now. However, I have been aware that, if the economy does not start recovering in a few months or if it slides further down, it will be necessary to resort to a salary cut for everybody. I was planning to discuss this with you all this weekend. I’m glad you have raised the subject. I appreciate your thoughtfulness.
Let’s do it this way. Please discuss this matter with your respective families and decide whether a 25% salary cut should be implemented from this month, next month or the month after. Please note that once business improves, you will be paid full salary, and, whenever possible, the 25% deducted amount will be paid to you. Let us all meet again one week from today”
A week later, the employees decided that the salary cut would be implemented from that month itself.
Within 3 months, the economy started recovering, and the company’s business picked up. 2 months later, the salary cut was stopped. The deducted amount was paid back to the employees the next month.
In hindsight, it turned out that the salary cut might not have been needed. But, as a result of the thoughtfulness shown by the employees and by their employer, their mutual trust and respect increased considerably. The work environment in the company improved, and so did the turnover and the profitability. Obviously, the employees’ salaries and bonuses also increased considerably.
The thoughtfulness shown by the employees and by their employer had led to a win-win situation!