Business, Job Losses Haunts Manali Hotels Under COVID-19 Lockdown

Manali: The prolonged lockdown has many fear losing their jobs, some have already seen pay cuts and appraisals are getting delayed. The COVID-19 crisis has left employees feeling anxious and worried about their future, prompting many corporate to look for ways to keep the staff motivated.

Some are roping in psychologists to conduct ”happiness sessions” for staff members over video conferencing, others have decided to keep communicating with them regularly about business updates and a few are also promising necessary steps to safeguard their career progression along with additional perks for ”performers” during such difficult times.

Experts said there is high stress that the current crisis has brought upon employees as well as organizations, and with the lockdown not looking to end soon, the emotional challenges employees are confronting have increased manifold.

“Yes, there is some amount of anxiety as it is a situation many of us including organizations have never been faced with. In terms of appraisals, it is too early to say on the stand of the organizations as COVID-19 has an impact on the employer as well in terms of business,” said Arun Thakur, who operates Adarash hotel.

An abandoned Mall Road, Manali under Coronavirus Lockdown (Photo: Sanjay Dutta)

On top of it, some hotels (only for operational Staff) have remained open during the pandemic and employees who are still working in maintenance of the property have different stress levels and concerns. They are worried about getting infected from co-workers.

Many hotel employees are worried whether their employer would be able to provide sufficient workplace safety, allowance, besides taking several steps to ensure employee safety including regular sanitization of high-touch surfaces, provision of masks, installing sanitizer’s stations and conducting temperature checks for all associates.

“We are particularly grateful to associates who work in our hotel and are selflessly serving at this time of maintaining social distancing” says Arun

“If we talk about the current situation, many people would have made plans for April and the coming months on the basis of appraisals they were expecting this month. But sadly that is not happening,” he said.

“Whether on has a job or losses one largely depends upon the circumstances today but one can take control of his or her finances. Spending smartly is the key to getting past this difficult time,” said Satish Kachroo, general manager of Coral Resort. “Hotels are worried about their employee well-being, positive mental state and ability to remain stable and loyal,” he added.

Nikhil Kapila, owner of Lifestyle hotel says, “this is a time of responsibility from both employers and employees. Corporate need to express empathy towards their staff, being transparent about the business conditions and help set clear expectations.

“Most business owners are faced with a tough choice,” he adds saying, “there is bound to be downsizing at some point over the next 12 months which will necessitate reviewing salaries, benefits and increments. In such loyalty and retention of staff is second priority, the first one is to sustain the business.”


Sanjay Dutta, an engineer by qualification but is a journalist by choice. He has worked for the premier new agency Press Trust of India and leading English daily Indian Express. With more than a decade of experience, he has been highlighting issues related to environment, tourism and other aspects affecting mountain ecology. Sanjay Dutta lives in a village close to Manali in Kullu valley of Himachal.

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