Article: Aligning purpose, brand and culture during COVID 19


Aligning purpose, brand and culture during COVID 19

As part of the SAP HR Connect 2020 with People Matters, HR leaders from Titan and Godrej industries shared their approaches to aligning their culture and purpose to drive the business forward.
Aligning purpose, brand and culture during COVID 19

The world of work has changed in the last couple of months. Companies have had to upend their business models, enable their employees to work remotely and adjust to new business realities. Talent priorities have come into a sharp focus during this time. To understand how companies are working towards aligning their culture, a case study session was organized as a part of SAP HR Connect 2020 in partnership with People Matters. It shed light on how companies approached alignment of purpose, brand, and culture to their business goals during COVID 19.

The session featured Raj Narayan, CHRO, Titan and Sumit Mitra, Head, Group HR,  Godrej Industries Limited., who both spoke about the steps that their respective companies have taken to both engage employees and to boost productivity. Here are some of the key takeaways form the session:

Titan: Establish connect with customers and employees

At Titan, the company used this opportunity to establish customer connect. The time has been used to innovate, develop and connect. Because, ultimately, its connect that drives productivity. 

Raj noted that there were a number of measures to delight their customers including 1) Message from the Managing Director, 2) Personalized messaged from the store staff 3) Service calls to recent customers and 4) Music programs by employees for the customers. 

Apart from this, Titan employees also volunteered to provide food, water and basics for the underprivileged. The company also introduced Titan TV, through which employees showcase their talent with the wider organization. They also introduced a wellness digest with tips on how to eat right, stay fit and focus on being happy.

Learning also featured prominently in the company’s approach. Competency based learning series using webinars, an understanding of the brass-tracks of business facilitated by sessions by seasoned leaders, and understanding new ways or working in retail.

As a word of caution, Raj reminded the audience of the need to keep employees informed. “Bringing employees up to speed on business realities directly from the leadership is very important,” he said. 

Godrej: Reimagine, engage and support

“As we talk about business continuity, we need to talk about the welfare of our contract workers which is critical,” Sumit Mitra Head, Group HR, Godrej Industries said.  The company focused on providing relief to the affected population, provided safety kits for people in the ecosystem and supported national relief efforts.

Ramping up safety protocols in factories, construction sites and the marketplace was the next step along with a focus on the mental wellbeing of the employees. “We communicated the message to our employees that it’s ok to say that you’re worried,” Sumit said. 

To engage employees, the company launched virtual townhalls and cascades, introduced pulse surveys and also introduced music sessions to inspire and to keep their employees motivated. 

Learning, using both in-house experts as well as online learning tools was a key focus area during this time. 

Sumit spoke about the key HR steps that were helpful in aligning the company across businesses. 1) Re-imaging the business processes, 2) Prudently managing overheads and costs, 3) Adapting to new ways of working 4) Exploring digitalization across businesses by leveraging technology and data and 5) Re-crafting people policies and benefits.  

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Topics: Culture, Talent Management

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