How corporates can care during the lockdown

Last month, on account of the lockdown, many working professionals in Bengaluru could not continue staying at their hostels and PG accommodations. That is when heart-warming stories of how companies looked out for these employees by finding them alternative accommodation emerged. Where greater difficulties had to be tided over, some organisations treated the affected employees with incredible solicitude.

Here are two stories that should easily be among the pick of the lot.

Ill-starred joining date

This new recruit (name kept under wraps as per company policy) had to join the Chennai office of Ramboll, an engineering company, on March 25. From Pune, he had arrived in Chennai a few days earlier, and was staying at a hotel, and then the lockdown happened. With the hotel downing the shutters, he got in touch with the HR department of Ramboll India, whose intervention ensured that he could stay at the hotel, but with nobody to wait on him hand and foot.

“He was the only person in the 40 room hotel; the staff, including those in the kitchen, had all left, so we had to arrange food from another place,” says Gayathri Shankar, head of HR, Ramboll India.

Besides, the company had tasked three people with checking on his well-being every day. While at the hotel, arrangements were made for him to onboard virtually.

“We did not want to defer on-boarding employees who were given offer letters before the Coronavirus started spreading, and in this case, the fresher was already in the city waiting to join the company,” says Gayathri.

Every day, she says, when all head of the departments log in for the morning meeting, an update of the employee is given. “We treat him with kid gloves,” says Gayathri.

The COVID-19 pandemic seems to have instilled a sense of responsibility in organisations. A study by Zinnov, a global research and management consulting firm, about the measures taken by organisations found that continual communication ranks high up on the list. Mental well-being of employees during this period is also a high-priority concern.

Lost and found

Here’s a case of how an organisation went out of its way to find the missing parents of an employee.

Parents of Pranabesh Dhara, employed at the Kolkata branch of Shriram Properties, were on a pilgrimage to Rameeshwaram with three other senior citizens, all of them women, when the nation-wide lockdown was announced and they could not be reached over phone. Dhara spent anxious hours connecting with friends and relatives as they were not reachable for more than a day. On March 26, he approached his office for help. The office contacted their head office in Bengaluru.

“We started reaching out to contacts we knew in and around Rameeshwaram and finally got in touch with the village administrative officer,” says Sridhar Rajendran, V-P (HR), Shriram Properties. On March 27, they were finally located with the help of the VAO. “He sent us photographs of the parents and that convinced Dhara they were safe,” says Rajendran.

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Printable version | Nov 26, 2020 12:11:37 AM |

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