Covid-19 demands an adaptive response, says ICICI Pru Life Insurance

Amrita Nair-Ghaswalla Mumbai | Updated on May 10, 2020 Published on May 10, 2020

Judhajit Das, Chief-Human Resources, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company

On digital drive to boost staff productivity; taking steps for their safety too

Though Covid-19 continues to raise a number of unique challenges, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance is among companies to have adopted agile working to drive digital transformation and speed up decision-making. The company finds decentralisation delivering additional benefits.

Judhajit Das, Chief-Human Resources, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company Limited, says employees are key stakeholders for the company’s growth and as a general philosophy, the company will invest in boosting people productivity through digital adoption and virtual learning.

“Appraisals have been conducted as per schedule in a WFH mode and the emphasis now will be on development planning and feedback conversations,” Das told BusinessLine. While frontline employees and managers are to be rewarded with moderate increments, based on principles of meritocracy and fairness, senior management pay has been frozen for the year.

Support systems for employees

ICICI Prudential Life Insurance is also providing various healthcare support systems to its employees.

Noting that the uncertainty of the current situation has led to feelings of anxiety among employees about the future, Das stresses that leaders have a very important role to play (at times like this) in ensuring their team members feel connected and provide reassurance by stepping up engagement and communication.

“It demands an adaptive response as there are no clear answers and problem-solving will require thinking on multiple dimensions. Leaders who listen with empathy, evolve common ground and are solution-focused will help team members stay positive, help them adapt and change to emerging realities,” he points out.

Support for employee health and safety is provided wherever possible.

“To support employees and their immediate family members, we have instituted a panel of doctors who can be accessed for free tele-consultation. The doctors can be contacted over email and phone for medical advice,” says Das.

To mitigate stress and anxiety, an employee assistance programme has been launched for tele-counselling with professional counsellors. The company is tracking the health of all employees and also employees of service providers who work in the company’s offices on a daily basis, to provide proactive support wherever required.

It has also tied up with a service provider to help employees and their family members get tested for Covid-19 if they have been prescribed by a qualified medical practitioner to undergo testing.

Hospitalisation due to Covid-19 is covered for employees and eligible dependants under mediclaim/voluntary health cover policy.

Employee communication and engagement agenda has been stepped up significantly. “We have leveraged a variety of platforms, such as our internal social network, collaboration app - Microsoft Kaizala. All Covid-19 related updates are shared in a dedicated section on the company’s internal employee self-service app. Health advisories are being sent on a daily basis across all digital platforms,” says Das.

In addition, communication campaigns are being run on multiple digital platforms on the importance of employee and customer safety and social distancing, as well as the acknowledgement of contribution of employees to support customers.

Video messages to all sales employees highlighting the imperatives of personal safety, well-being and adapting in the context of current business environment are also regularly sent out.

WFH is key

The company is offering proactive and empathetic customer engagement to help manage the crisis better. Das says enablement of work from home has been key to business continuity.

“All our colleagues are operating in a WFH mode using tablets and laptops and they have access to emails and systems through VPN for servicing customers seamlessly without disruption. Sales and service processes are configured on a device-agnostic digital platform that operates like a virtual branch, thus enabling sales and service personnel to support customers virtually,” Das adds.

While remote working has been enabled for employees of service providers in IT/IT Infrastructure to offer virtual helpline support, video conferencing facilities have been provided to managers to facilitate virtual team meetings and training sessions.

Managers are also encouraged to enhance engagement and communication with team using online tools.

“We have stepped up our learning agenda to help employees adapt to the changing reality and become more productive. Training programmes are delivered through webinar sessions, video conferencing sessions and e-learning platforms for self-paced learning on the company’s LMS – Learner’s Box. Learners are encouraged to participate in social learning through the collaboration app-Microsoft Kaizala,” Das says.

Published on May 10, 2020

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