Bengaluru startup launches program to help laid-off employees

The startup’s initiative comes at a time when IT companies are firing many employees as a consequence of digitisation and automation.

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layoffs, pink slip, job loss

IT companies in India have already fired several employees this year and many more are expected to be shown the door. During such troublesome times, Bengaluru-based startup is launching a program known as ‘Fired to Fired Up’ to support employees that are being laid off from various organisations in the recent days. The program is an effort to support laid-off professionals, through counselling and career guidance, so that they can get off to a fresh start.

Starting 29 June, YourDOST, an online counselling and emotional wellness platform, will host a toll-free helpline number 1800-120-1322 from 9 am to 8 pm, which will be staffed by qualified psychologists and career coaches, providing free counselling and career guidance till 1 July. For the campaign, the company is also talking to multiple staffing and talent acquisition companies, to not only reach the pool of laid-off people but also offer dedicated content on support to such people.

The startup’s initiative comes at a time when IT companies are firing thousands of employees as a consequence of digitisation and automation. As per reports, seven of the biggest IT companies including Infosys, Wipro, and Cognizant are planning to lay off 56,000 engineers this year. Pink slips are being handed out to thousands of employees and this trend may continue for the next 1-2 years, according to experts.

Many professionals find themselves unemployable because of a lack of guidance on how to skill themselves to keep up with the fast pace of technological changes in the IT industry. With new technologies, emergence of artificial intelligence (AI), robotic process automation, and cloud computing, which help complete the job with less manpower, software companies are reconsidering their strategies.

According to YourDOST, these layoffs take a toll on the mental well-being of professionals. “Laid-off individuals have a long recovery period to attain back their earlier level of well-being including their mental health, self-esteem and satisfaction with life. The Fired to Fired up campaign is aimed at the mental upliftment of these individuals and helping them focus on building a brighter future.” 

Commenting on the initiative, YourDOST’s co-founder and CEO, Richa Singh said, “We do over 2,000 counselling sessions on our platform on a daily basis. Over 25 per cent of these sessions are work or career related. Considering the current job market scenario, we wanted to extend our support to these professionals by providing them a platform where they can share their thoughts and worries. Professional help will minimise their emotional suffering and provide them with the right guidance for their job hunt.”

Well, words cannot sober down the traumatic experience of being laid off, no matter how creative the companies get. Smart HR terminologies such as “downsizing” or “restructuring” used as alternatives hardly make any difference to the employees who have been asked to abruptly leave their jobs. According to the Holmes-Rahe scale of stressful life events, a job loss is considered the eighth most traumatic life experience one can have, preceded by divorce, serious illness or death in the family. In such a scenario, YourDOST’s forward-looking and action-oriented initiatives focussed on career guidance, is a positive attempt that could make some difference.                                  


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