People@Work

The silver lining to a rainy day

Chitra Narayanan | Updated on July 04, 2018 Published on July 04, 2018

Being rained in can be an occasion for team-building   -  THE HINDU

An employee engagement firm devises a unique monsoon drill for corporates

Routine fire drills are par for the course at many offices. But how about a monsoon drill?

Increasingly, as our cities – especially Mumbai and Chennai on that horrific December day in 2015 – witness unprecedented scenes of rain and flooding, offices need to be prepared. The last two days, several offices in Mumbai told employees to work out of home rather than take a chance coming to work. But are there contingency plans when there is a downpour suddenly and employees get stuck at work?

Meet Pooja Bajaj, who runs employee engagement firm Extra Mile, and has come up with the idea of conducting monsoon drills for corporates. “It is on the same line of thought as fire drills,” she says. Getting out is the first thing. Can the office sew up deals with cab companies to help employees get home? Preparedness is next. Is the office stocked with enough food and first aid and other contingency items? And then come activities – can the positive side of being stranded in office be explored? “This could be the best time for employees to spend time with colleagues, and get to know each other,” says Bajaj, describing how Extra Mile has devised some team-building activities for such situations.

Warming up to the idea, she talks about how corporates can design communication and put up posters during the rainy season in washrooms and corridors telling employees what to do.

So, have any corporates accepted the proposal yet? Bajaj says she has offered it to her 60-plus clients, which include names such as Google, JSW, Kotak Mahindra Bank and so on.

“Some of them already do programmes around monsoon – newsletters, and fun-themed events. Why not take it to the next level with safety drills and productive activity?” she says.

Given the rising incidence of employees getting stranded at work, it’s not just the infrastructure firms such as power utilities, railways, and telcos that need to do mock drills before monsoon. There is merit in every corporate preparing their employees for a rainy day.

Published on July 04, 2018
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