In the initial phases, it was a struggle to adapt to the new normal, especially since there was a lot of uncertainty with regard to how protracted the situation would become. We announced a work from home policy when the total number of cases were under 500, and today the cases have snowballed to almost 7 million, with no curve flattening in the near future looking clear.
Especially with regard to the employee onboarding processes, there were apprehensions pertaining to how to train, onboard efficiently, gauge and boost the new joinees’ motivation levels.
This challenge was primarily with the fresher graduates since they needed to transition from a college environment to a corporate one, and it becomes difficult to do so when you are not meeting and interacting with seniors, and colleagues like you would normally do.
However, due to our substantial digital investments, as well as robust collaboration mechanisms, we have been able to turn around all the apprehensions, and in most critical business areas we are performing even better as compared to pre-lockdown.
Our focus on touching base with our employees regularly through phones and video calls, so that we retain the family spirit even while working from home, have helped promote healthy employee engagement. During this time, we have also done more than 50 lateral and fresher hirings. With these new joinees, especially, it has been crucial to welcome them with the right set of processes in place.
#1. Engaging with employees after they have been onboarded is crucial, especially during the pandemic lockdown. It also gives them confidence in the stability of the company. At Polestar Solutions, we send birthday cards and keep the joinees engaged through activities on our social media channels - that elicit participation and gets them to know the company culture intimately. Virtual games, along with an emphasis on collaboration and communication, have helped build the team bond over a remote setting.
#2. Hardware is sent, and complete set-up is done remotely, to ensure that the new joinees are set up and running smoothly, and productivity is not impacted at all.
#3. Training and orientation programs have shifted online, with proper checks and balances in place to help the trainers understand where and who might be lagging. The training programs have been infused with appropriate evaluation mechanisms, milestone checks, performance measurements, as well as ensuring that we are imparting the philosophy of the organization as well as necessary soft skills training.
#4. Automation of HR processes - We have accelerated our adoption of HRMS platform, Vega HR, as it gives us a single place where crucial HR tasks and metrics are being captured, along with exceptional analytics. In the initial stages, we struggled with monitoring and managing the multiple manual touchpoints with employee onboarding, but now the HRMS is capturing information that helps us keep a tab on valuable HR metrics, as well as send assignments, and transparently address issues if any, etc.
#5. We have put the plan in place to start giving out a joining kit, which will give the new joinees an immediate sense of belonging.
In summary, we are more committed than before towards the digitization of our processes, and we have made more outreaches to understand our employees’ challenges, perspectives and backgrounds.
By making focussed and personalized communications on how their work is making a difference for the organization, we have been able to boost employee coordination and collective enthusiasm so that our employees are thriving while helping the company to succeed.