Tojo Jose is Chief Human Resources Officer(CHRO) at Muthoot Fincorp Limited. He has been associated with the organization for the past two years. Jose has exposure to leading, facilitating, and enabling change in local and multinational/ multicultural work environments. In an exclusive interaction with People Matters, he shares the significance of communication during the time of crisis, how tech is helping in enhancing employee experience and more.
What are some of the challenges that organizations might face in providing a smooth employee experience while in crisis?
Challenges like lack of proper infrastructure can disrupt smooth communication between employees hampering their work. For companies heavily dependent on proper IT infrastructure, cybersecurity might become a challenge. Moreover, during this time of overdose of news, keeping employees engaged and motivated itself would be the biggest challenge for any organization to overcome.
How can organizations take charge when it comes to maintaining employee experience in a crisis?
Observe – By observing and sensing their need for support, companies can provide the best approaches and guidance to employees by facilitating regular communication. Anything from email reminders, virtual training sessions or even simple discussions can lift their spirits.
Empathize – Caring for and empathizing with your employees can be a gateway to calm anxieties that can positively impact their productivity and engagement. We have communicated to our employees the SPOC for each of the areas in HCMD for all the employee-related issues.
Communicate – To ensure high engagement levels it is vital for companies to have two-way communication with their employees. Providing them with the perspective they need, while allowing an atmosphere they can express themselves can boost positive sentiments. We also introduced the Daily Musings, a daily communication from the CHRO to the employees on what positives and benefits could accrue out of the forced lockdown which had a tremendous effect in spreading positivity.
How can businesses maintain employee experience and business continuity in times of crisis? What are 2-3 critical steps they need to take?
The current crisis is teaching us that unplanned events can have devastating effects on businesses if not planned for. A crisis, or a Black Swan event can hamper day to day activities and even lead some businesses to lose out on faithful customers. A good business continuity plan is one that identifies risks, prepares for emergencies and tests coping mechanisms.
With the help of technology, the communication gaps between employers and employees can be bridged. Under the countrywide WFH regime, virtual meetings using certain applications can be leveraged to maintain communication within the workforce, so work does not suffer. To boost employee morale and productivity companies can virtually upskill and reskill employees so they come out of the lockdown better equipped. While increasing dependence on remote collaborations, companies should also allot adequate attention to data security and risks that surface during a crisis.
How can technology help in maintaining employee experience in times of crisis?
During this time of crisis, technology can be leveraged by companies to not only stay connected to their workforce but also be productive. Be it team calls, trainings or even celebrating festivities, everything can now be done virtually from the benefit of people’s homes. Moreover, other functions like employee onboarding and documentation and internal-external upskilling programs can be great methods to engage employees positively affecting talent retention. With increasing data traffic and smartphone penetration in our country, adopting technology in a workplace will be a win-win for all.
Employee experience leads to employee retention. What are the areas where employers are struggling and in which areas they should work significantly?
In the current scenario where there is no dearth of opportunities and with many companies trying to recruit people, how can organizations ensure employee retention? Some things employers can keep in mind to achieve retaining employees are:
Hire selectively – it is imperative to maintain employee selectivity for decision-makers to ensure candidates are selected for relevant roles. Define objectives and required personality traits for a better selection of employees that will stay with the organization for longer
Work culture - Employees want to feel good and comfortable as they walk into their workplace every day. It is an employer’s duty to provide an open, engaging and safe environment for employees to perform, deliver and co-create. Ensure the work culture aligns to the company’s purpose, offer trainings, observe and implement
Timely appreciations- Recognize efforts and successes regularly – Perhaps the most important of all is to recognize employee accomplishments on a regular basis. One way to observe a healthy environment would be to conduct regular town halls where senior leaders can recognize employees
In a digital world with increasing transparency and the growing influence of millennials, employees expect a productive& engaging work experience. What are the key steps employers should take to maintain a seamless experience?
Employee experience is the future of the workplace. With an increasing number of many companies’ total workforce being millennials, organizations must transform to deliver a human-centered employee experience that is also personalized. It is also critical for companies to not only define internal satisfaction measures but also understand and measure the satisfaction level of employees. Companies that are willing to tap into the advantages of superior customer experience should look inwards too to ensure a sustainable and effective work environment that is reflected in the relationship between your employees and your customers.