Corporates roll out red carpet for employees with benefits, care programs, words of thanks

Sangeetha Chengappa Bengaluru | Updated on April 09, 2020

To ensure work-life balance for its employees who are working from home, Flipkart encourages ‘digital chai breaks

Digital chai breaks, ask-me-anything sessions with CEOs, fun virtual team meetings to celebrate birthdays, are some of the many programmes that are being rolled out to keep the morale of employees high as corporates struggle to keep their ship together during these unprecedented times.

Automation Anywhere, a global provider of RPA (robotic process automation) has introduced daily HR PowerHours, a virtual one-hour that HR hosts for its employees to join and share updates, seek clarity, share concerns, feedback on their current situation and how the organization can support them better.

“For three hours each day, all employees are invited to ‘drop-in’ to a virtual video, visiting with colleagues worldwide in the new Ten Forward lounge, which is named after the USS Enterprise-E in 'Star Trek the Next Generation', where crew from different cultures galaxy-wide, mingle and chat” said Milan Sheth, Executive Vice President, IMEA (India, Middle East, Africa), Automation Anywhere.

Cisco India has enabled virtual onboarding for its new hires and interns, teleconsultation with medical experts for its employees and virtual tips on staying fit while working from home by American fitness expert, Jessie Pavelka. The company has committed to full pay for its hourly workers including drivers, cafeteria and security staff, among others.

“Every week we have a global Q&A session by our CEO, Chuck Robbins, our Executive Leadership Team and medical experts, and there is one message that is reiterated - Take Care” said Anupam Trehan, Director, People and Communities, Cisco India & SAARC. Employees are using Cisco Webex for virtual team meetings with families, virtual pet parties, costume parties, birthday parties and posting pictures of their WFH experience on #LifeOnWebex stories.

Besides introducing preventive health measures at all its sites, Amazon India’s associates from its staffing agencies working at an Amazon site diagnosed with Covid-19 or placed under quarantine, will be able to avail an additional two weeks of paid leave and medical support from ESIC as per guidelines issued by the labour department of respective State Governments.

Online mattress firm, Wakefit, is paying full fixed and variable salary components for March and April, despite not working at capacity for 30-45 days. The company has frequent all-hands, ask-me-anything meetings with the founders to answer all doubts, concerns, queries and conducts one employee engagement activity like sketching and fitness every week.

Electric scooter sharing app, Zypp is providing all its 95 employees with daily essentials like dal, rice, atta. Haptik, an enterprise conversational AI platform has welcomed five new employees in tech and non-tech roles, with zero layoffs and Swiggy has introduced ‘Built Around You,’ a curated wellness program for Swiggsters, focused around the four pillars of physical, emotional, financial and legal wellness.

To ensure work-life balance for its employees who are working from home, Flipkart encourages ‘digital chai breaks.’ “For those missing chai breaks with friends in office or team catch-up sessions, they are setting aside around 15-20 minutes for a digital chai break over a video call. Flipsters are enjoying staying connected with each other over these breaks, with their pets and children making special appearances” said Krishna Raghavan, Chief People Officer in a Flipkart blog post.

Expressing his “deepest thanks” to each of them for stepping up to support the company and its customers during this Coronovirus crisis, Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella in an email to Microsoft employees said “Please know that the senior leadership team and I are thinking about you and prioritizing the health and safety of you and your families first and foremost. We are meeting and working each day on how we can best support you during this time.”

Referring to the extensibility and flexibility of benefits being provided by Global Centres of Excellence in the country, especially in response to force majeure crises like Covid-19, Faraz Khan, Principal & Delivery Head, Global Centres of Excellence Accelerator Platform, Zinnov said “They are not only extending insurance coverage for the physical well-being of their employees but are also taking care of the employees’ emotional well-being through dedicated helplines and are even reconsidering work allocation on a case-by-case basis.”

Published on April 09, 2020

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