The world has changed a lot in the last 365 days. When the government began to issue stay-at-
home orders and companies mandated virtual work; everyone had to shift their priorities. The coronavirus pandemic changed all our lives and livelihood, so we will have to endure more change undoubtedly.
I had joined MUVI during this peak time when everyone, including me, was in an uncertain state. Even during this significant outbreak, we managed to grow in terms of business, and the workforce. Virtually managing 200+ employees was not an easy task. But gladly, we succeeded. Neither we stopped the appraisal nor the other activities for the employee engagement programs. Below are specific majors we have taken for the virtue of our prosperity which may indeed help some other organizations in managing their employees and workplace.
Actions taken by Muvi:
Established a pandemic preparedness framework
Form a team that represents all critical business functions and reports directly to executive management. The priority for this team is to assess the relative importance of business activities and organize them into tiers for response or recovery. For example, critical IT infrastructure such as network or VPN servers were our top priority for remedial action. As an innovative measure, we have introduced an internet allowance for all the employees to make their work from home life even smoother, and we made ourselves available for any network and hardware issues for our clients and employees.
Monitoring the situation to determine a change in severity
Numerous sources of information can help you monitor the rate at which the infection is spreading and its severity. We have prepared various Phases like Phase I, II, and III to determine our work mode. Where Phase I indicates a completely restricted office closure, Phase II indicates that the office is open, and no one will be forced to come to the office.#NoExplanation #Nojudgement. We are still waiting for Phase III when the situation will be back to normal, and we will be in the office physically again.
Extended our clean workplace/personal hygiene protocols
This pandemic taught us one thing, that prevention is better than cure. Prevention, utilizing hygiene measures and sanitary provisions inside the workplace, and guiding individuals to follow. Cleaning and sanitizing the office became a regular practice for us, and from then, we have made it a regular call. Apart from that, we have cared for the individuals and provided necessary hygiene equipment like Mask, Sanitizer, and Face shields for all our employees. We are planning to facilitate the vaccination for all our employees as well.
Reviewed HR policies and practices
We have closely monitored our organization’s absenteeism rate for any sign of a problem. Many of our employees were affected by the COVID 19. We were sensitive to changes in employee engagement and workplace preferences and considered offering extra sick leave, and made 25 annual leaves last year. We also brought a remote work program for some new joiners. To keep our employees motivated, we have conducted various programs for physical and mental well-being.
Established a pandemic communications program
People can feel out of the loop quickly, especially during a pandemic. We made sure that we talk to our people regularly. The respective managers and the HR team, including our CEO, tried to interact with all our employees whenever they got a chance. We stayed connected all the time and helped each other whenever the situation demanded.
Actions taken by the HR Team:
Took a pulse on employee sentiment. It was an ideal time to conduct online engagement activities for all employees. We have conducted programs like an Online Yoga session with renowned YOGA Gurus, a career Motivation session for all the employees, and A special session for Women’sWomen’s with a reputed Gynecologists to discuss their issues openly on Women’s day. We have also created a jolly and virtual workplace by conducting virtual fun activities and events such as Quiz, Antakshri, Pic-A-Boo, etc. To stay connected with our employees, we always motivated them to share a picture with their families about celebrating the local festivals. Our bond became more robust, and we strengthened our bonds by getting involved with each other on every occasion.
We had the right tools in place to boost remote collaboration. We ensured that all employees have access to email, a messaging platform like hangout, and a video tool to communicate effectively while working remotely. Team syncs, 1:1s, and all-hands meetings ideally took place over the video to foster connection and enable employees to read body language.
Established norms for working remotely. By setting guidelines early on, employees were more likely to stay connected and productive during this time. We recommended the following practices for all employees:
Adherence to expected daily working hours to drive consistency.
- Ask peers how they like to communicate, such as their preferred channels, level of
detail, and level of informality
- Instill your workplace culture by celebrating work anniversaries, business milestones,
and other accomplishments
Be a resource for your managers.
Regularly check in with managers to see how they are doing and if they need additional support or resources to manage their teams remotely. We recommend a regular manager meeting to share best practices on driving employee accountability, engagement and performance while they’re remote.
We continued to grow.
We were in a no-stop mode. We conducted e-Walkin and e-Hackathon. We continued our recruitment and hired 50+ employees during this pandemic to fulfill our workforce requirements. We have done two appraisal and increment cycles during this pandemic with a minimum hike of 12% in the basic salary. Unlike many other companies, we never compromised with our increment policies and prioritized our employees’ growth.
We cross-checked our journey.
Even after this success path, we turned back and analyzed the scope of improvements. We have done two successful employee satisfaction surveys and got more than 90% as a success rate in almost all criteria. Our survey is based on a concept called ” Q12 Employee Survey”.
Our recommendation for all other organizations –
We recommend all organizations’ HR teams be in continuous touch with the managers/employees to boost employee morale. To imply that, we have bi-weekly HR meet to build that connection among all the employees and find the GAP (if any) to improve our work culture even better. As a measure, we recommend the following.
A Proactive check on employee stress.
Fear and anxiety are common reactions to this global pandemic. Office and school closures may also have an impact on employees’ daily work environment. News and conversation may create more cause for concern among some of your employees. By addressing employee stress early on, you can help alleviate it and accelerate returning to normalcy.
Every employee is a cultural guide of their respective organization. We believe that good people with good culture bring great success. And this is a success mantra for all successful organizations.