It is exactly 21 days, since the Prime Minister called for a complete lockdown, continuing with our series on how the industry is coping with the lockdown. The lockdown has been extended to another two weeks. The recent outbreak of the COVID – 19 has caused a tectonic shift in most people’s lives. There is so much stress and anxiety of job losses, loneliness, and other factors.
In this situation, all of us are working for home, and we Indians are not used to this scenario. But we have coped well, MediaNews4U continuing the series on, ‘Stay Positive’ spoke to Leaders in various sectors on how they are motivating their teams in dealing with this crisis
Sidharth Kedia, Group CEO, Nodwin Gaming, says “Our team at Nodwin is actually a bunch of really committed geeks! They have chosen the world of gaming because it probably runs in their blood, so in these times motivation is not the issue.
Globally esports is having a bit of a moment in the sun. The World Health Organization has urged the world to stay at home and play digital games. The gaming sector has launched the #PlayApartTogether initiative to inform and encourage the vast network of users to follow social safety norms. The NBA is the latest professional sports league to turn to esports in the absence of real events with the formation of a players-only NBA 2K20 tournament.
Gaming is in a really interesting spot right now. With people working from home, playing digital sports together is the new happy hour. It’s really fascinating that gaming has become the new ‘catch-up means’ during this time. So, the driver for our team is actually to be nimble and innovative at this time while dealing with the challenges of work-from-home and not able to enjoy the benefits of office collaboration.
Spirits are pretty good, despite the tough situation. We have two big events coming up- ESL India Premiership and Scrims that we are hosting for Tencent for which we are expecting millions of views. My primary role at the moment is to stay connected with the team, enable them to connect with each other, and ensure that the teams have all the access for decision making that they did in the earlier days.”
Sunil Mirani, Co-Founder, and CEO – Ugam, a Merkle Company
We can never choose our circumstances, but we can always choose our response.
As news of the Coronavirus outbreak grew across the world, at Ugam we took many proactive measures for the well-being of our employees. Right from sanitizing our offices to quickly ramping up our work from home coverage, in fact, even before this became an official mandate. This was supplemented with regular, transparent communication, which I believe is extremely vital in a time of such crisis. We set up a COVID 19 response team to ensure regular updates, keep communication lines open and take timely action to safeguard our employees. We have also introduced regular pulse checks to get a sense of the on-ground situation and make necessary amends. Along with it, I am regularly addressing the entire organization through virtual townhalls. We have received a lot of positive response from our employees – it has helped clarify doubts, ease anxiety and instill confidence.
The second key factor to motivating employees is manager empathy and understanding during these times. We have provided training material and conducted learning sessions to educate our teams with practical tips to effectively work from home. We have also sensitized our team managers to be more empathetic and empowered them to take decisions that safeguard employee well-being while ensuring minimal impact to clients. More so, we’ve received positive words from our clients that even during these challenging times, the quality of deliverables and response time is not compromised. They have in fact, appreciated our work, commitment and support which in turn is a big motivator for our teams.
The third key factor would be seamless collaboration and prompt appreciation. We have made available various collaboration tools and processes for our teams to stay connected while they work from home. This facilitates transparent communication and enables better team alignment while working remotely. We have also adapted employee engagement initiatives to a virtual environment, for instance, an all-digital Rewards & Recognition program. Some teams have introduced innovative engagement initiatives – virtual breakfast meetings, virtual birthday and work anniversary celebrations, scheduled team breakout sessions packed with fun activities like quizzes, etc.
Finally, in uncertain times like these, I recon the inspiring words of Lawrence Bacow President of Harvard University, “No one knows what we will face in the weeks ahead, but everyone knows enough to understand that COVID-19 will test our capacities to be kind and generous, and to see beyond ourselves and our own interests. Our task now is to bring the best of who we are and what we do to a world that is more complex and more confused than any of us would like it to be. May we all proceed with wisdom and grace.”
Imbibing the essence of this quote, all the above initiatives have helped our teams to feel positive, safe and energized as they work from home.
Alisha Malik, Vice President – Marketing and Ecommerce, Metro Brands.
“COVID 19 has impacted people across the world and dented the Global economy. Today, we are all working towards fighting the virus to resume to a healthier and safer world. In these trying times, it’s important to stay safe and positive. We at Metro Brands Pvt. Ltd. are strictly adhering to all the Government protocols and taking necessary measures like creating awareness among staff, work from home, and setting up helplines internally to ensure safety of our employees and customers.
While we maintain social distancing, these sudden changes and tense situations can be overwhelming. We realize that it is important to motivate all those around us, especially our employees. To help our customers deal with the current stressful times, we are consistently engaging with them on social media platforms through contests, activities, guiding them to stay connected with elders in the family, DIY and more. This not only helps us engage with our customers, but also motivates them and spreads positivity. We have been constantly trying to encourage our employees who are working from home to also utilize this time to enhance their own skills. There are many online courses available for which we can’t make time during our normal routines. This is the time to pursue them and channelize our energies in the right direction. We are exploring relevant content that can help educate and spread awareness about social distancing as well as content that encourages everyone to constructively spend their time at home in a qualitative manner. We are also consistently supporting our employees across the country even if they are unable to work from home.”