Startups will reward and retain top performers despite crunch

Startups will reward and retain top performers despite crunch
A number of businesses, including upGrad, NoBroker, EnKash, Zepto, Cashkaro, and HomeLane, claim that despite a difficult external environment, the emphasis during the upcoming appraisals will be on rewarding and retaining high performers while keeping all team members motivated. This is despite ongoing layoffs, cost-cutting, and a slowdown in funding in the startup ecosystem. According to the creators of these firms, top talent will be rewarded with ESOPs, exclusive bonuses, bigger roles, trips, and quicker career advancement tracks. On the basis of organisational development, the accomplishment of company objectives, and market trends, overall increases will take place. At most startup units, the appraisals will be broadly consistent with those from last year.
These startups had paid out increments in the range of 10-30% last year, going up to even 100% in exceptional cases. Edtech company upGrad will grant ESOPs worth Rs 100 crore to select employees across levels in the upcoming appraisal cycle. “We will continue to go out of our way to reward and retain overachievers and top performers who have pivoted our growth trajectory while also accelerating our bottomline,” said Mayank Kumar, co-founder, upGrad.
Both sound financial management in the best interests of the company as a whole and maintaining high staff morale are significant to Cashkaro. "Good evaluations are an important factor in boosting employee motivation. Therefore, reducing wage increases or employee benefits has never been on our plan and won't be in 2023 either, according to co-founder Swati Bhargava. According to Bhargava, the company anticipates maintaining the raises it provided last year because of its strong capital position. Depending on the team, the income contribution, and the potential for the future, increments can range from 10% to more than 100%. ESOPs will be among them.
Hemant Vishnoi, co-founder at spend management platform EnKash, said that even during Covid, team members saw an average 25-30% growth in annual compensation. “This year seems no different to us, despite being a tough year for everyone,” said Vishnoi. EnKash has an ‘Attitude Bonus’ programme to reward employee initiatives beyond the call of duty. “As part of this, employees can take home higher packages for demonstrating ownership and driving larger impact, wherein they can earn up to 2X of bonus amount over and above their annual pay,” said Vishnoi.
NoBroker, a proptech business, intends to reward exceptional performers with a combination of further ESOP incentives and public recognition awards. The increases from the previous year ranged from 10% to 20%. The increments for this year will have a similar range and a conservative leaning, according to co-founder of NoBroker Amit Agarwal. "While the Indian economy is doing very well, the startup community is in a downbeat state because of the looming US recession, worries about inflation, and geopolitical difficulties. As a result, we would like to maintain a careful balance between encouraging our employees and saving money, Agarwal continued.
At home interiors solutions platform HomeLane, the average hike was around 13% last year and it's going to be in the similar range this year as well. Top performers will be given stock options as well. “Appraisals are a reflection of the company and an employee's year-round performance and a way of motivating and rewarding good performers. With that in mind, we will be cognisant of the macro-economic situation and take the appraisal discussion forward accordingly,” said Srikanth Iyer, co-founder, HomeLane
Zepto, a rapid commerce company, has made it a priority to treat its talent fairly, according to Roma Bindroo, the company's chief human resources officer. According to Bindroo, "For us, it is vital to strike a balance between how we recognise our people who have played a crucial role in this growing path and the macroeconomic difficulties impacting the business."