Article (August-2020)


Communicate at all level and experiment new initiatives

Subir Verma

Designation : -   Head HR & IR

Organization : -  Tata Power DDL, Delhi


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During covid pandemic turmoil, most people have been through isolation, depression and anxiety, which are certainly going to reflect in their work attitude. How HR should address this challenge?

SV The Covid Pandemic has definitely impacted physical as well as mental well-being of many people around us. We have and can address these challenges by focusing on longer term solutions as well as resolving short term crisis situations. We need to ensure that good quality and accurate information is shared with all the employees on a regular basis. There is a need to constantly connect with all employees to provide them required support.

Difficult times need different approach. HR manager needs to think and implement out of the box measures keeping not only employees but their family member's physical, emotional and physiological wellbeing in mind. Besides regular HR programs, I highly recommend to focus on "Maximum Communication at all level" and "experiment with new initiatives" with measuring real time impact of each initiatives to ensure that objective are met. For example, we took many initiatives for employees and their family members, but three initiatives which all enjoyed with by far highest participation and related the most (contrary to HR team's believe!) was "My Lockdown Story - Story of employees & their family members","Symphony - Virtual Rockshow by and for employees & their families) and "MuskuratiJindagi - A web series involving employees & their families".

Post covid world of work would be changing so the behaviours. How the HR will inculcate new culture of changed behaviours in people at workplace?

SV One major change in the post covid world might be on how the organisations will have to embrace remote working as an integral part of their work culture. Social distancing is going to be a norm for a long time and the organisations would need to design their work place and processes around this. Full technological and emotional support is required to inculcate the new way of working by proving virtual platforms, leadership connect, e-learning platforms.

We also need to make efforts for creating an environment where employees can have a sense of belonging even when they are only virtually connected.Empathy and Genuineness in our approach get noticed and I believe these virtues exhibited by HR team in difficult times go a long way in building real trust. Simple gestures makes the deepest impact in hearts of people than any compensation or reward.

What plans do you have to drive positive mental well-being in organization?

SV Since this was a never before experience situation for all, it is important to address fear from the minds, take care of their emotional and psychological wellbeing. Employees enjoyed work from home for few weeks, but after that insecurity, disconnect and disengagement may come in if they are not connected and made to feel involved regularly. Use of communication technology and focus on adopting new practices in HR policies too needs to be looked into.

It is important to assess the level of well-being of our employees and capture their voices especially during such challenging times. A weekly surveys to monitor their engagement levels and capture feedback can be an important way to know what employees are looking for and this should work as an important input for all HR programs.

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