The COVID-19 pandemic has changed many things. Professional setups have seen an overhaul in hiring, productivity, collaboration, crisis management, etc., and learned to re-tune themselves to a ‘new normal.’
One thing that instilled a ray of hope through the pandemic was how people supported each other. Companies, big or small, stood up for their employees and for the society-at-large.
While embracing the ‘new normal,’ the world around us has started getting ‘comfortable with the uncomfortable.’ Keeping this in mind, at TechSparks 2021, YourStory’s Senior Editor, Ramarko Sengupta spoke to HR leaders from, and to decode their journeys of ‘going beyond managing human resources.
In a roundtable titled, ‘Human beyond resources: Getting comfortable with the uncomfortable,’ Swati Rustagi, Director of HR, Amazon India Operations; Geetanjali Swamy, Head, Legal and People, Dunzo; and Siddhartha Shah, Chief HR BP & Chief Diversity Officer, Tata Steel shared their learnings, new policies, and practices they’ve put in place to cope in a post-pandemic world.
Of people, culture, and hearts full of hope
“There’s no one size that fits all when it comes to situations like these, so it’s important to hear everyone… and when you step up as an organization, your people step up for you in the times of need,” said Swati Rustagi, while talking about changes in policies made at Amazon India to enable flexible and efficient work conditions during the COVID-19 induced lockdowns.
“Be it our partners, sellers, employees… We worked towards finding a way to support [everyone],” she added.
Talking about the culture at Amazon, Swati shared that 1,900 employees volunteered to be COVID warriors and were helping the more prominent Amazon family with medical and food supplies.
Siddhartha Shah from Tata Steel also spoke about employees who supported the organization in times of crisis. “We tend to run entire townships in cities where we have our plants. We realized the power of the people when our employees volunteered to work in hospitals run by Tata Steel.”
“The pandemic has taught us, an enterprise as big as Tata steel, to think small but act fast,” added Siddhartha while highlighting that “work needs to be defined in a way that people find it comfortable and engaging.”
Lauding the exceptional work of Dunzo’s on-ground teams during the pandemic, Geetanjali Swamy mentioned that this unexpected crisis taught them the importance of ‘listening to employees.’ She elaborated, “[Currently] We are going back and listening to what people want and are creating policies on their feedback. We run many surveys, organize discussion groups, chai pe charcha type sessions, etc., to give employees a forum to talk and share.”