Who will stay and who will go?
A few days back, I wrote a short article about devastating long-term consequences for Russia, from the perspective of Human Resources and Human Capital (the full article is here). If we check the simplified equation and look through the lens of one concept — Employee Value Proposal, things were not looking good.
And not even 2 weeks into the war against Ukraine, many of those predictions are already unfolding. Already we can see many international companies stopping their operations in Russia, not because of any kind of peril, but as a response to the war. The list of brands that will not be available in Russia is growing day by day, and hundreds of workers will stay out of the job. And in many cases, these are well-educated professionals from the middle class upwards.
As that disruption in the labor market is not enough, it is, also as predicted, not the only one. The consequences of the image of the loose and unreliable country (at least in the western world) is not only affecting people and organizations in Russia, who will find it much harder to do the business but to all of those working globally for Russian-owned or connected companies. In the United States, the Russia Today branch was forced to fire all of their employees, based on the new business reality. The case of Sberbank in Europe I mentioned in the last article, but there are many similar downsizing happening. Creating another loop of distrust about the Russian companies from the perspective of candidates and employees who will flee to other opportunities.
What will be interesting to watch, is how will this PR tide turn onto companies that so far decided to stay and continue their business with Russia. That, of course, is a reasonable business decision, but backlash from the non-conforming with others could be greater than their potential loss of sales. A good case to monitor will be the global giant, and one of the most popular brands — Coca-Cola, who is for the moment — remaining.
So, in parallel to the real war on the Ukrainian ground, which is very visible and devastating, there is not so visible and tangible war with the consequences to the future of Russian “Human Resources” and “Human Capital” in the sense of people/employees/professionals who will or will not continue to work for, or in future get employed for Russian Companies. And that factor itself will lay the ground for the significant changes in the overall power of the countries, and specific consequences on the Russia “Soft Power” about which I wrote a bit in one my my previous articles — History of Power.