Even as the city of Mumbai struggled to hold its own against the raging rains yesterday, organizations played their part in keeping employees safe and sound. Be it by helping employees in reaching their homes safely, arranging for food for all in the office premises, or providing comfortable accommodation for the night, companies did their bit, each in its own way.
Piramal Group employed multiple communication channels and empowered its managers to take decisions, in order to assist employees.
Elaborating upon this, Vikram Bector, the Piramal Group CHRO said: “Assessing the situation at night, our first line admin managers took the decision to allow a few employees to stay in hotels, embodying our culture of empowerment. Our communication had started as early as 11 am, as soon as the safety advisory bulletins began to come in. By the evening, we had officially communicated that the next day would be a holiday for all employees.”
The company used WhatsApp groups as the fastest mode of communication, and also deployed its buses early to drive employees to the safety of their homes. “Like many other organizations, arrangements were made for employees to stay in the office, in case they were unable to go home,” Vikram added.
Welspun Group focused on staying connected with its employees, and on not pressing the panic button at any point of time. Rajesh Padmanabhan, CHRO of the Welspun Group told People Matters that the company stayed in constant touch with its employees through WhatsApp, and also asked all those who got stuck in the way, to come back to the office itself. Consequently, close to 400 employees stayed at the office through the night, 40 of which were women. All the employees were safely evacuated, the next morning and an official holiday was announced for everybody.
Tata Motors provided accommodation in hotels and guest houses to all its women employees who were stranded. It also arranged for food for all those who had to stay back in office. Similarly, Reliance Industries also arranged for guest house accommodation for those who could not reach home, and advised all employees to be careful, given the conditions.
Star India sent out an advisory to leave office as soon as the weather warnings came in, and another one for the next day, to avoid coming to office. Amita Maheshwari, President & Head HR at Star India said: “Dinner was served for 700 employees, and we had stocked water, and loads of biscuits, breads and butter and basic food grains. We also were in constant touch with employees who needed help, during travel. The leadership team was constantly monitoring the situation, and managers were asked to keep in touch with their teams and ensure safety.”
For Cipla, all the managers were in touch with their teams to either reach home safely or reach the nearest possible office. All those who didn't leave by 3pm, were advised to stay back in office, and dinner and overnight arrangements were made for them. The company also announced the next day to be a holiday for all employees across field force and offices, to prevent any further concerns.
Exceptional times call for exceptional measures, and this was one such instance where organizations displayed admirable alacrity and empathy to help their employees, when they needed it the most.