The covid19 pandemic: expect salary cuts and keep your job

It has been reported that Sanyu FM radio station did the unthinkable: it fired all the staff who laid down their tools following a

It has been reported that Sanyu FM radio station did the unthinkable: it fired all the staff who laid down their tools following a 25% pay cut as a covid19 survival strategy. When your employer is a Forbes listed mogul, it is easy to forget that actual income may fall short of budget.

Every employer wants to work with staff who think like the business owner. Unfortunately, most people have different expectations that are not in sync with reality. Many staff may think the company is making a lot of profits, yet in reality, it is making losses.

It is true that staff are the most valuable asset and that no business can survive without quality employees. But it is not true that ALL staff are ‘most valuable asset.’ Only a few staff are. And no employer would want to lose such staff.

“Remember the game snakes and ladders?
In any company, some employees are ‘snakes’.
And others are ‘ladders.’”

Every employer wants staff who are ladders. The folks who make things happen. These are staff who do not have an entitlement mentality. They know what to do. They understand that business is about revenue generation and cost-cutting and that everything else just details. They are worried when they do not see money coming in. They get concerned when they do see new orders being signed. They come up with new ideas daily to make money and win. They pay attention to the details. They use company resources frugally. Ever mindful of cost-cutting and revenue leakages. They always share initiatives with the management about improving efficiency and business growth.

It does not matter who you are, if no revenue is coming and costs are increasing through the roof, maybe you are doing something wrong.  Radio stations make money from advertisements, sponsorships, and revenue share from production rights, among others. By far, placing ads on the radio station is the biggest revenue driver. Few, and I repeat, few radio stations earn from personality influencer rights for their key staff. If you are not concerned about revenue, you may be working hard but your effort may be in vain.

Many staff do not want to know about revenues and costs. They rarely read management briefings and management reports. They just move from their desk to home, and home to their desks, day in day out.

Such staff just wait for the end of moth to get their paycheque and the routine continues. Few staff get to know that the boat is struggling and about dip into an ice hill. Only a few staff get to know about the challenges at hand in terms of reducing revenue numbers amid unrelenting costs. Such staff are always willing to relax terms of employment, accept low pay, and work out a recovery plan to get the boat to balance. Those are the dream employees.

I know the staff have their reasons to be up in arms.

They sacrifice a lot of their youthful time for the business. They make the brand shine and the company to grow.

I want you to know that in many of the companies you see that truly run ethical and professional businesses: the CEO eats last. And most of the time, there is nothing to eat. It is common to find that all the revenue is spent. But the owner of the business always uses the excuse that “next year I will make the profits, and they are all mine.” In the process, the staff get paid their salary, however, small it may be. But the owner who worries most spends a lot of their brains thinking about the business, rarely gets paid.

Before you point fingers at the employer, look at the facts.

When a company collapses, people always ask: where was the Board? Where was the CEO? And of course, where were the managers. No one ever asks where were the staff.

Journalists and the staff themselves will laugh at the management like, “the staff were being paid a lot of money”, the company was spending beyond its means, giving staff several benefits, yet revenue was falling during the covid19 period, etc.

Change is a fact of life.

When times are tight, proactive management must review their strategy and cash flow forecasts and put in place a proper crisis response and recovery plan. And Sanyu FM leaders, by proactively looking at reducing staff salaries by 25%, did the right thing. I find the company is doing so well. Many big companies reduced staff salaries by more than 50%!

No wonder the vacant positions shall be filled so fast. And some have already been filled.

Remember, never leave a job before you find one.

And what you think is bad, many people out there would kill to get it.

“Know your company strategy
and cash flows. You will make
better decisions and win in your


Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, 2020. All rights reserved.

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