Noida, India – Jan 15th, 2020 – Ms. Preeti Gupta, GM-HR, speaks about how our business got impacted during the difficult times, the challenges faced in adapting to new ways, managing employee engagement & motivation and learnings for future – 2021 and beyond.
We (JK Technosoft Ltd.) had announced the closure of our office starting from March’2020 and later it got extended indefinitely keeping in view the situation as well as the government’s instructions.
As an organization, we too had to face the uncertainty of market conditions. During the initial days, our concern was to keep the customer billing intact and ensure that we take care of all our client’s concerns and continue with customer’s assignments without interruptions. Our preparations realising the need of the situation before the complete lockdown has helped us implement work from home without any major obstacles. Eventually, most of our clients were satisfied and consequently, we did not lose any major business or billing, though some minor reductions did happen. Also, few clients deferred some of the planned projects.
Despite the challenges, we are now well adapted to our work from home routine and have implemented many of the projects while working under new protocols. Overall, technological intervention and the adoption of digital services that we promote to our clients helped us to stay afloat despite the worldwide tension created by the pandemic.
It is very heartening to note that despite the big change and to some extent tough and trying situation, we have been quite successful in our working from home routine. We had clearly outlined the work from home policy to our employees. Talking about productivity, we have not faced any major productivity issues from any workgroup, team or location.
Some of the challenges that were faced by frontline executives, managers and leads were:
- Face-to-Face Meetings for some urgent technical, appraisal issues.
- Some initial administration/logistics issues like some hardware replacement, etc.
- Working almost 24*7 from a single fixed place. Most of the professionals were looking for some change in between and a better work-life balance.
- The normal fear of a pandemic among employees, especially the concern as to how long it will last, its impact on job and salary.
How the business adapted to new ways of working?
New ways / the “change” is inevitable and is nature’s law. It holds true in the professional world and is not unavoidable. Accepting it and getting accustomed to it is the best solution. And to make it possible, an organization plays an important role. We too had to take care of the concerns of our employees and help them get adapted to the new way of working.
- Taking employees into confidence – We made our employees understand the changes or conditions and how it was going to impact the business and how we’ll overcome it.
- Making employees feel safe and secure – We explained the cause and the outcome of the change which was likely to occur to the employees. We value our employees and thus made sure to take every possible action that is in the best interest for our employees.
- Helping employees to adapt to the change with relevant training programs – We provided them with proper education, training, illustration, coaching and practice or whatever it took to encourage them to adapt to the change.
- Keeping the employees highly engaged and motivated – We encourage employees to be optimistic for the future and keep them engaged by organizing different online employee engagement activities, knowledge sessions, yoga and mindfulness sessions and employee-leadership meetups to maintain transparency and openness between employer and employees.
- Focus on the well-being of employees and their families – This year we have come up with several initiatives keeping in mind the safety of our employees and their family. Furthermore, we conduct yoga, fitness and mindfulness sessions from time to time to keep our employees mentally and physically healthy.
- Allowing employees to contribute to the change and ask about their ideas and suggestions. This can be done by conducting meetings or polls to understand what can be done better to smoothly introduce and implement the new change.
- More of virtual meetings and communications to bridge that collaborative gap between office and home and stay connected and productive when working remotely.
Employee Engagement & Motivation
Employees are a very integral part of an organization and without them, neither a business can flourish nor it can achieve its goals. Employees are the ones who make things happen, give you the desired result, work through the operations and set the standard. In fact, the profitability of the business can never be enjoyed without the employees.
In this work from home environment keeping employee morale high is challenging yet of utmost importance. As stated, we conduct various recreational and fun activities from time to time. We have organized onboarding, Thank You Awards, festive celebrations and training sessions as a virtual event this year. We conduct various yoga, fitness and mindfulness e-sessions frequently to guide our employees in maintaining a healthy and positive lifestyle during the quarantine. This helps us build a deeper connection with our employees. Regarding performance appraisals, we leverage digital ways for the discussions. While evaluating, we consider parameters like the performance of the employees based on their KPIs defined, and on the quality of work, roles, responsibilities and other soft skills. Furthermore, we encourage employees to relinquish their comfort zone, grab the opportunities within the organization and take up new roles, that will help them with their career enhancement.
Learnings for Future – 2021 and Beyond
This year has been a tough one, but together we have been able to successfully weather this crisis by protecting our employees, strengthening customer relationships and maintaining sustainability. The challenge faced in the new way of working was to figure out the right balance between work and life as it’s difficult to completely get detached from the home environment. However, this was overcome by providing the employees with mentorship and flexibility in work schedule. This pandemic has made everyone learn to leverage digital ways to support business continuity and look beyond the workplace to build a strong relationship.
As a way forward, we look to the future, as not just aiming at adapting and recovering but also emerging stronger and more flexible. As a company, we are on our transformational journey. We are working on a five-year growth-oriented business plan which will help us focus on our core competencies and position us as leaders in specific domains and markets. Thus, to excel in our aim and execute business transformation we plan to build a strong team and empower every employee to govern our business journey.