‘Pehli Taareekh’ may lose significance with weekly payoffs knocking India Inc’s door | ET HR World

Companies like IndiaMART and MemeChat have already taken the baton, as according to them this would perhaps increase employee satisfaction and their overall financial wellbeing.

In the times when consumerism is affected heavily by the digital platforms, social influencers, and increasing brand consciousness leading to more instant buying approaches, a few companies felt it is unfair for employees to wait for a month for their work’s payoff. “Meetha Hai Khaana, Aaj Pehli Taareekh Hai” days are gone by, as now the payday excitement has increased fourfold with weekly salary reimbursements.

Companies like IndiaMART and MemeChat have already taken the baton, as according to them this would perhaps increase employee satisfaction and their overall financial wellbeing. “We realised that the consistent flow of money is essential to the wellbeing, financial wellness, and employee motivation of any individual. Paying employees on a weekly basis makes it easier for them to meet their real-time fiscal obligations,” says Dinesh Gulati, COO, IndiaMART.

Not to mention how, according to Gulati, the excitement of the payday increases fourfold with the weekly payout, making employees more satisfied, happier, and, consequently, more motivated towards their purpose in the organisation. Hence, at IndiaMART, weekly salary pay disbursement was recently started with an intent to build a flexible and supportive work culture that guarantees instant gratification for an employee’s day-to-day contribution.

The company, however, is yet to study the impact and are in a very nascent stage to comment since it has been just a month when they started with the weekly salary model.

A small percentage of MemeChat’s staff has also opted for this weekly remuneration as the company announced about it a few days ago. “Being millennials leading a similar workforce, we do understand their sentiment on how a weekly payout aids in better saving policies, organising financial priorities and most importantly securing their financial needs,” says Taaran Chanana, Co-Founder and MD, MemeChat.

The fact that the frequency of receiving salary credit notifications will now be four times, according to Chanana, will automatically boost their motivation to work. In addition to weekly payouts, the company has also been providing additional non-financial benefits that, in Chanana’s words, motivate employees to excel. 

However, not many companies have adopted the weekly salary payout model and still believe in the importance of one payday. With IndiaMART and MemeChat the only ones blazing the trail as of now, it perhaps becomes imperative to understand if this model is here to sustain. Is the trend here to stay?

Can we even call it a trend?

When IndiaMart announced this policy, the company witnessed huge excitement across industries through social media and other digital mediums. There were YouTube videos by individuals discussing weekly salary payout and various polls happening around the topic. In many independent agency polls, we could see a majority of the people opting for the weekly payout option. The buzz around the same was all organic and IndiaMart was appreciated by many for this decision.

However, IndiaMart believes that it is yet to become a trend in India as the company is the first organisation that has implemented this at all hierarchy levels across all departments. “Although, we have already seen many organisations promoting Flexi work culture through various policies such as hybrid working model, and flexitime, weekly salary payout is another huge step towards improving the employee experience and keeping their morale high,” Gulati mentions.

But seeing its benefits, Gulati thinks that more and more organisations will adopt the frequent payout of salary in the future.

Although weekly payments are not yet popular in India, even Chanana believes that it is a very convenient and beneficial option for employees who work on an hourly basis, contracts, temporary workers, or interns. “It is all about how open and mindful companies are about their employees. Organizations should listen and cater to the needs of their employees to keep them happy and boost their performances. This trend will give morale and motivational boost to the employees,” Chanana says. 

This is because the most important factor for both IndiaMart and MemeChat is building an organizational culture that meets the needs of the evolving millennials, Gen Z and Gen Y. And according to the companies, the weekly payoff is a likable trend that would flourish even more in the coming days.

But are all the employees on the same page?

Well, both the companies have different approaches!

Mind the difference of opinions!

IndiaMart started taking steps in this direction a few years back when the company migrated to weekly incentive payouts for many roles across the organization. Further, the company initiated the weekly payout of salary as they believed that consistent cash flow will provide more financial freedom, greater motivation to achieve, and a better work-life balance for all. 

Gulati says, “We do understand that any big change has that initial resistance, but as an organization maintaining multiple regimes for the same policy is quite cumbersome.” Hence, the Weekly Salary Payout policy at IndiaMart applies to all levels across the hierarchy without any exemption.

But this wasn’t all of a sudden! Gulati says that the company planned well ahead for this roll-out and took some steps to help its employees easily navigate through this change. For instance, the rollout was made from 1st February this year post everyone received their January’s salary on the last working day of January. This gave a head start to the employees for the planning of weekly finances in a more conducive way before they started receiving their weekly salaries.

Various town halls were conducted along with business leaders that helped in sharing the information. “We encouraged employees to park their queries, concerns via ticketing mechanism or emails and get a resolution within hours,” says Gulati. A well-articulated policy along with all FAQs was shared with the employees to understand the change as well.

The company also initiated a ticketing mechanism that helped its employees get resolutions within hours and the employees could reach out to their respective HR Partners in case any further clarification was required. IndiaMart also gave the employees visibility of the weekly salary break up with all components that explained the earnings and deductions that lead to the payout amount enabling them to plan their finances in advance without any hindrance.

Since these weekly payouts ultimately act as an advance payment of their monthly salary, Gulati says, “We believe that employees will benefit from this payout by managing their expenses throughout the month.”

However, at MemeChat, flexibility triumphed!

Chanana says, “The salary structure is flexible as we do not want to disturb the mental health of our employees by forcing them to pick weekly payouts. Each employee has been given the option to choose the payout option as per their requirements. We, as a company, support and respect their decision.”

However, there are always employees coming from diverse backgrounds and age brackets which will lead to differences in opinions among them. This will result in a higher chance of imbalance in the ratio of employees agreeing and adopting such a system. All these differences might put immense pressure and responsibility on the company while deciding weekly payouts.

Avoid one size fits all approach!

Experts say that to overcome such challenges, companies need to plan everything in advance before rolling out the policy, considering their industry, work culture and employees’ sentiment. They should make a list of questions and common doubts that may arise after the policy is rolled out so that they are well prepared to serve and resolve employees’ queries at the earliest. Instead of monthly working which was in the case of monthly payout, weekly working needs to be done by the payroll department and hence payroll department should also be equipped for the same.

Gulati, however, believes one solution does not fit all problems. Hence, companies need to assess and adapt this policy according to their organization and its nuances.

Both Gulati and Chanana feel that this policy should be a game-changer in India for all, whether it is the work culture of Indian companies, the way the HR department works, or the way the salary is processed. With the weekly payout policy, the scope of savings is also increased since people tend to spend more money at a specific period of the month. The rest of the salary coming in the following weeks can hence be saved. It is also, according to the leaders, a very convenient and beneficial option for employees who work on an hourly basis, contracts, temporary workers, or interns. More employees who work on an hourly basis can be hired which will eventually benefit the organization financially.

ET HRWorld