Does your organisation have a ‘preparedness’ philosophy?

illustration: Sebastian Francis  

In Chennai, water scarcity has led some software companies operating from the city’s IT Corridor — better known as Old Mahabalipuram Road (OMR) — to ask a sizeable number of their employees to work from home, to deal with the crisis.

Amidst stories of such measures being taken to deal with the problem, there is a technology park that is reaping the benefits of an investment in a water management system that it made a year ago.

On Chennai’s IT Corridor, RMZ Millenia Business Park with 26 companies and over 20,000 employees took the help of a consultant, Greenvironment India, to implement an IoT-based real-time water management system.

“This pilot project has been hugely successful and has helped us save water by 40%, thereby enabling us to maintain and double the stocks,” says Jiji Thomas, associate director, RMZ Corp.

The water saving they achieve is made possible by real-time alerts to check leaks and warning on abnormality in consumption. The system also warns of any deterioration in water quality and helps optimise the function of STP plants. From early March this year, the IT park started an aggressive campaign, asking its tenants, which include IT and automobile companies, to reduce consumption.

“We would measure consumption by making an inspection, tower-wise, and would let each stakeholder know how much of water consumption should reduce, and ensured agreement on targets,” says Thomas.

As part of the ongoing campaign, daily updates are sent to the tenants and employees on how much water has been consumed and how much, saved.

Microsoft’s Hyderabad campus is also characterised by water-preparedness. It has a slew of water-conservation initiatives in place, which include sensor-based taps, aerators for taps, and back-up water for contingency. An automated Centrifuge System treats 20,000 litres of waste water in an hour.

Corporates that promote a philosophy of preparedness at their offices are always better equipped to deal with such crises.

Challenges can come in different forms. And so, the preparation has to be many-faceted. During the Kerala floods, corporates that were able to muster employees for relief work were useful. During the traffic nightmare that Gurgaon witnessed in 2016, actions by some organisations demonstrated the need for preparedness and having a disaster management strategy well in place.

ManipalCigna Health Insurance has a ‘Rain Advisory Committee’ comprising employees from different functions and locations. This was formed after the Andheri bridge collapsed due to the heavy rains that hit Mumbai in July 2018. The Committee monitors weather, forewarn employees about inclement weather conditions, and offer recommendations to the senior management on what steps should be taken.

During the Kerala floods, ACC Cement, in addition to donating funds, had employee volunteers from its offices in Kochi, Bengaluru and other cities working to provide ground assistance.

“Employees are the most important voices during a crisis,” says Aditya Narayan Mishra, CEO, CIEL HR Services. He says an organisation has to be proactive in taking the right steps and also in communicating the situation to the workforce.

Employees can be the single biggest determinant in how fast and how well an organisation responds to a crisis, and recovers from it.

“And, during a crisis, communication that comes from the top management is always more trusted and credible,” says Mishra.

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Printable version | Oct 15, 2021 7:19:22 AM |

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