Over the past seventy years, the world has witnessed several crises and four major recessions that occurred in 1975, 1982, 1991, and 2009 resulting in the downfall of the global gross domestic product (GDP), economic activity (including employment and consumer spending), and GDP. Similar situations were faced in India during the covid 19 crisis, especially in the retail sector where labour supply shortages and the working condition of the employees were greatly impacted negatively. The activities of physical stores were more affected than online stores due to the lockdown and people also preferred to stay at their homes. It has been observed that even though the epidemic broke out swiftly, India’s retail sectors have executed several regulatory strategies to maintain their smooth functioning and keep the companies operational. It can be said based on the fact that currently, a large number of employees from support staff and administrative departments are still working remotely in the companies.
They continued their work from home, where they developed remote contact and collaboration channels because of which the chances of getting infected are quite low. The personnel ensured that they followed all of the health and safety guidelines given by the government and the authorized health authorities viz. washing their hands frequently, maintaining social distancing, wearing masks, and keeping the workplace clean and sanitised. Moreover, there is a major shift in the medium of sales as retail sectors have switched to e-commerce and digital platforms as a direct consequence of constraints imposed on conventional businesses and changes in client behaviour. With the use of digital marketing order fulfilment and online purchase, businesses have been able to continue functioning and offering services to customers.
It has been analysed that it is essential to recognize the influence of these factors which may not be similar to all companies and individuals. Considering these factors, companies that regulate the Indian retail sector necessarily make policies and strategies keeping in view the individual needs and situations of each of its employees. The COVID-19 outbreak has had a serve negative impact on a broad range of businesses in India, notably the retail sector. There are many key points to focus on when examining the influence of COVID-19 on worker motivation. The work conditions throughout the pandemic were developed in such a way that it ensured the health and safety of employees.
Several safety measures such as sanitisation, masks, contactless delivery etc are taken by the companies to make their employees feel less nervous about getting infected and provided a safe working environment for them. But still, a few people are worried about their ability to maintain their employment due to the outbreak’s unpredictability. Whereas people who are confident in their work environment are more likely to be driven to complete their tasks. In such a situation employee’s morale and motivation declines so it is important to boost them up through effective communication practices and rewards. It is critical to help workers with personal commitments such as caregiving, as well as the ability to work remotely, flexible hours, and appropriate work locations. Companies who put a high value on work-life balance and give their employees the tools to help them healthily fulfil their duties may experience an in morale among their workforce.
Analysing the impacts during and post covid19 on employees’ performance within the Indian retail industry to suggest relevant strategies for improvement.
What are the key factors that impact the Indian retail sector and employees’ performance?
How have during and post-pandemic conditions affected employees' performance?
What strategies are employed by the Indian retail sector to overcome the effect of a pandemic?
The covid 19 not only broke out in particular countries but the whole world was brought to a standstill due to its severity affecting the lives of people at an immense level. Due to the lockdown, retailers suffered considerable financial losses as the shops were open for a very short period, changed customer preferences and the rise of telecommuting. Though there was a major shift to remote working by companies to keep their functioning going, especially those in the information technology industry, it is quite difficult to expect conventional enterprises to move all of their activities online.