Corporate News

Report: Indian startups reduce full-time hiring by 61%

November 18, 2022
The Wellness Tribe Team
Report: Indian startups reduce full-time staffing by 61%

India is experiencing severe hiring cutbacks, according to a recent study released on Monday, showing that permanent staff recruitment has decreased by 61 percent over the last 12 months.

From October 2021 to September 2022, data were collected from more than 25,000 Indian workers working at more than 1,000 companies in 20 different industries.

A recent report from Razorpay's business banking platform RazorpayX Payroll reveals a 1,300% decline in hiring for chief experience officers (CXOs).

Due to the changing dynamics of the startup environment, employment trends have changed significantly over the last year.

The Indian startup ecosystem has proven to be robust and adaptable despite recent challenges. Taking macro forces into consideration, entrepreneurs have formed smaller but more powerful teams to maximize their workforce. Many businesses are cutting their workforces in the midst of the financial winter.

Indian Startups Cut 61% off Permanent Hiring: Razorpay Report
Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

Another report from my back-of-the-envelope assessment indicates that startups and major tech firms have laid off more than 5,000 Indians in the last month. 

According to some predictions, the Indian economy is anticipated to lay off 16,000 workers by the end of 2022. It seems nobody's job is safe, not even at global behemoths like Twitter or Byju's.

Even though there was a decrease in hiring, the total wage paid to full-time employees increased by 64.7%. It was noted in the survey that the increase in income, particularly among the highest-paid professionals, is not distributed equally between the sexes.

Although employment has declined overall, technology hiring appears to have been the least affected. Technology-related occupations have managed to slightly boost their contributions to the total workforce by 4%, even though the hiring trend has generally slowed down.

A Look at the Gig Economy

It is apparent that companies prefer gig workers over permanent employees as the number of permanent employees has declined. The number of payments made to gig workers has grown by 153% since October 2021. A semi-gig worker model is now being used by 15% more businesses than it was previously.

According to the survey, the majority of semi-skilled gig workers employed by startups earn less than Rs 20,000 per month, followed by those who earn between Rs 20,000 and Rs 40,000.

Interestingly, these employees have among the weakest growth rates, averaging 26% and 52%, respectively.

Research shows that competent gig workers with earnings between Rs 85,000 and more than Rs 150,000 have experienced the fastest growth over the last year, even though they contribute the least to the overall pool.


How to Battle Gaslighting and Toxic Workplaces

March 5, 2024
Mohit Sahni
How to Battle Gaslighting and Toxic Workplaces

Work should be a place where you feel motivated, valued, and have opportunities for growth. Unfortunately, toxic work environments and insidious tactics like gaslighting can make your professional life a nightmare.  Gaslighting, a form of psychological manipulation, involves making someone doubt their own perceptions, memories, and even their sanity. It often manifests in power imbalances and can erode your confidence and well-being.

Understanding these destructive dynamics is the first step towards protecting yourself and creating change.

Identifying Gaslighting: Red Flags to Watch Out For

Gaslighting: Learn the Warning Signs
Denial and Contradiction

Gaslighting can be deceptively subtle, making it difficult to recognize immediately. However, gaslighters often rely on certain patterns of speech and behavior designed to confuse and undermine you.  Let's look at some of the key tactics they use:

Denial and Contradiction

Gaslighters might flatly refuse to acknowledge something they said or did, even when you have proof.  This direct contradiction of your memory can leave you feeling disoriented and questioning your own experiences. For example, you might confront a colleague about their disparaging comments during a meeting, only to be met with the response, "That never happened. You must have misheard."

Trivialization and Minimization

When you express frustration or hurt, a gaslighter might downplay your emotions, making you feel like you're overreacting or being too sensitive. This is a way to invalidate your experiences and make you doubt your own feelings. For instance, you might express exasperation over being consistently overloaded with work, and they respond with, "Stop being so dramatic.  Everyone has a heavy workload sometimes".

Shifting Blame and Guilt-Tripping

Gaslighters are masters of redirecting blame.  Instead of taking responsibility for their actions, they twist situations to make it seem like everything is your fault. This manipulation can leave you feeling guilty and ashamed, preventing you from advocating for yourself. For example, when a project goes wrong, the gaslighter might say, "This entire disaster is your fault. If you hadn't been late with that report, none of this would've happened."

Gaslighting by Proxy

Sometimes, a gaslighter enlists others to participate in their manipulation. They might spread false rumors about you to colleagues or paint a misleading picture of your behavior, further eroding your confidence and isolating you within a team. For instance, a gaslighting boss could speak poorly of your work ethic to other managers, leading to a widespread perception of you as an unreliable employee.

Emotional Withholding and Silent Treatment

Emotional manipulation is a powerful tool for a gaslighter.  They might suddenly become cold and distant, refusing to talk or withdrawing affection as a form of punishment or to instill a sense of insecurity in you.  An example of this would be a gaslighting romantic partner who, following a minor disagreement, refuses to speak to you for days, leaving you feeling bewildered and questioning your actions.

Discrediting Your Perceptions and Reality

The ultimate goal of gaslighting is to make you doubt your sanity – your memory, your judgment, and your very perception of reality. Phrases like "you're crazy," "that's just your paranoia," or "you're too sensitive" are common ways to chip away at your confidence in your own experiences. Imagine you bring up a clear inconsistency in a story the gaslighter has told, and they respond with, "You're clearly imagining things. Honestly, you might want to see a therapist."

Remember, gaslighting doesn't always manifest in blatant outbursts. Sometimes, it can be hidden within seemingly harmless jokes laced with criticism or backhanded compliments designed to sting. Pay attention to how your interactions make you feel.  And most importantly, trust your gut – if something consistently feels off, it likely is.

The Toll of a Toxic Workplace

Toxic workplaces aren't just about one bad apple. They are characterized by patterns of dysfunctional behavior that  impact everyone:

  • Lack of Communication: Healthy workplaces have transparency and open feedback. Toxic ones thrive on gossip, secrecy, and leaving employees in the dark.
  • Unrealistic Expectations and Pressure: Constant unreasonable demands and an atmosphere of fear and negativity lead to burnout.
  • Bullying and Harassment: This can be overt or subtle – insults, put-downs, exclusion from important meetings, or being micromanaged.
  • Favoritism and Lack of Recognition: Hard work goes unrewarded, while certain individuals receive preferential treatment, creating resentment and distrust.

Strategies to Combat Gaslighting and Toxicity

Surviving (and thriving) in these environments takes a combination of self-preservation, gathering support, and proactive steps to create change.

1. Trust Your Gut and Validate Yourself

Your instincts are powerful.  If something consistently feels off, honor that feeling.  Don't let anyone undermine your perception of reality. Practice self-affirmations and remind yourself of your strengths and capabilities.

2. Document Everything

Maintain a thorough record of incidents. Include dates, times, specific details of conversations, and the names of any witnesses. Save emails, project notes, and anything that provides a concrete record, both for validating your experiences and potential escalation.

3. Build a Support Network

Don't fight this battle alone.

  • Trusted Colleagues: See if others share your concerns and experiences. They can offer both emotional support and practical advice.
  • Friends, Family, Therapist: A safe space to vent, process your feelings, and gain outside perspective is invaluable in combating gaslighting.
  • HR and Employee Assistance Programs (EAP): If available, utilize these resources for guidance navigating your company's policies and procedures.

4. Set Boundaries

This is essential for regaining a sense of control:

  • Limit Contact: Minimize interactions with the gaslighter when possible. Choose email over in-person conversations for clear documentation.
  • Learn to Say "No": Respectfully decline requests outside your job responsibilities or that negatively impact your workload and well-being.
  • Assertive Communication: Practice clear, unemotional communication without aggression. State facts, avoid accusations, and focus on solutions.

5. Protect Your Mental Health

Toxic workplaces and gaslighting take a toll. Prioritize self-care habits:

  • Stress-Reduction Techniques: Deep breathing, mindfulness exercises, and meditation can calm your nervous system in the moment.
  • Physical Well-being: Focus on sleep, a balanced diet, and regular exercise to manage stress and boost resilience.
  • Therapy: Professional therapy offers tools to unpack the gaslighting, process its impact, and build long-term coping mechanisms.

6. Focus on What You Can Control

  • Your Reactions: While you can't control the gaslighter, you can choose how you respond. Limit emotional outbursts and strive for neutral responses.
  • Your Perspective: Reframe their manipulative behavior as a reflection of their own insecurities, not a deficit in you.
  • Your Goals: Stay focused on what you want to achieve professionally and don't let negativity derail your progress.

When Do You Stay or Walk Away?

Sadly, sometimes the best option is leaving a toxic workplace.   Consider these factors:

  • Severity and Impact: Is this a personality conflict with one individual or pervasive dysfunction in the company culture? Is the damage to your well-being too severe to stay?
  • Potential for Change: Does HR take these issues seriously? Have you tried addressing concerns with leadership, and is there any openness to improvement?
  • Alternative Options: Do you have another job lined up or the financial means to quit before securing one? Having a plan eases the transition.

If You Choose to Stay: Additional Strategies

If leaving isn't immediately possible, focus on harm mitigation:

  • Limit Interactions: Minimize contact with the gaslighter when possible. Communicate via email for documentation.
  • Grey Rock Technique: Become emotionally unresponsive, uninteresting to the gaslighter, and therefore a less appealing target.
  • Focus on Your Goals: What do you want to achieve in this role? Prioritize deliverables and minimize getting sidetracked by the negativity.
  • Build Your Exit Strategy: Start networking, update your resume, and actively look for opportunities that align with a healthier work environment.

Remember: You Are Not Alone

Gaslighting and toxic workplaces are, unfortunately, far too common.  By building awareness, setting boundaries, and seeking support, you can protect your well-being.  If possible  be part of the change by advocating for a healthier work culture. You deserve a workplace where you feel safe, respected,  and empowered to do your best.


5 Proven Psychological Frameworks to Rewire Your Workday

June 30, 2023
Mohit Sahni
5 Proven Psychological Frameworks to Rewire Your Workday

In the journey to greater productivity, understanding the underlying psychological principles that influence our behavior can be a game-changer. By learning these frameworks and how to apply them, we can optimize our work habits, maximize our output, and reduce burnout. 

Let's delve into five such frameworks that can transform the way we approach our work.

1. Zeigarnik Effect: The Pull of Unfinished Tasks

Named after Russian psychologist Bluma Zeigarnik, the Zeigarnik Effect is a psychological principle that posits that people remember unfinished or interrupted tasks better than completed ones. This cognitive bias is why uncompleted tasks can preoccupy our minds and hamper our focus on new tasks.

Leveraging the Zeigarnik Effect for productivity involves breaking down complex tasks into smaller, more manageable parts. When we complete these "mini tasks," we get a psychological reward in the form of a sense of achievement, fueling our motivation to proceed. Meanwhile, the unfinished larger task keeps our minds engaged, prompting us to return to it with renewed vigor and fresh insights.

For instance, if you're working on a comprehensive project report, break it down into sections and tackle each as a separate task. This approach provides frequent mental rewards, keeps your focus sharp, and can lead to a more thoroughly completed project. The benefits here include improved focus, enhanced motivation, and potentially better work quality due to ongoing mental processing.

2. The Pareto Principle: The Power of Prioritization

The Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, is a principle suggesting that 80% of effects come from 20% of causes. In terms of productivity, this translates to 80% of your results coming from 20% of your efforts.

Applying the Pareto Principle involves identifying and focusing on the tasks that yield the highest value—the 20%—rather than equally distributing your effort across all tasks. For example, if you are a salesperson, you might find that 20% of your clients bring in 80% of your revenue. By focusing more on these clients, you can maximize your returns with the same or less effort.

The benefits of using the Pareto Principle include efficient use of time, higher productivity, and potentially higher satisfaction as you see better results from your prioritized efforts.

3. Parkinson’s Law: The Efficiency of Time Constraints

Parkinson's Law, named after Cyril Northcote Parkinson, proposes that "work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion." This means that if you set a generous deadline for a task, you're likely to use up all that time, even if the task doesn't inherently require it.

To combat this, impose stricter, yet reasonable deadlines on your tasks. For instance, if a task could reasonably take three hours but you typically allow six, limit your time to three hours and stick to it. By doing this, you'll push yourself to work more efficiently, cut out distractions, and avoid unneeded perfectionism.

The benefits include higher productivity, better time management, and less time wasted on over-polishing or unnecessary additions.

4. The Pygmalion Effect: Boosting Performance

The Pygmalion Effect is a psychological principle that explains how our performance can improve when we have higher expectations of ourselves. In essence, if we believe we can achieve something, we are more likely to make it happen.

To use the Pygmalion Effect to enhance productivity, set ambitious but realistic goals for your tasks. Your belief in your ability to achieve these goals can stimulate a self-fulfilling prophecy, where your high expectations lead to improved performance. For instance, if you believe you can finish a high-priority task within a day, you're more likely to accomplish it within that timeframe.

The benefits of the Pygmalion Effect lie in improved focus, enhanced self-confidence, and higher levels of achievement, leading to a satisfying sense of competence.

5. Flow Theory: Optimal Zone of Functioning

The concept of 'Flow,' introduced by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, refers to a mental state of complete immersion and enjoyment in an activity. It's that sweet spot where the challenge of the task meets your skill level perfectly, leading to heightened productivity and creative thinking.

To achieve this state, it's necessary to find tasks that engage and challenge you, but not to the point of causing excessive stress or anxiety. For example, if you're a writer, the task of writing an article on a topic you're passionate about could trigger this state, where your words flow effortlessly, and you lose track of time.

The benefits of achieving a flow state are multifold, including improved concentration, increased satisfaction from work, heightened creativity, and of course, a significant boost in productivity.

Final Thoughts

By understanding and applying these psychological frameworks—the Zeigarnik Effect, Pareto Principle, Parkinson's Law, Pygmalion Effect, and Flow Theory—we can transform our work habits, maximizing productivity while reducing stress. As we consciously align our work methods with our mental processes, we move towards a more efficient, satisfying, and balanced work life.

Interested in seeing how these principles can revolutionize your team's productivity? Reach out to us today, and let's embark on a journey towards a more productive, satisfying, and balanced work experience for your team.

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