Embracing lessons learnt and looking ahead in next normal

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Alpa_Shukul
At Civica, we rapidly deployed key technologies across our teams to drive greater collaboration and also adapted our policies and practices to ensure remote working was available to everyone.

Embracing lessons learnt and looking ahead in next normal

With no clarity on how long it may take for the pandemic to run its course, many organizations are opting to continue with remote working for the foreseeable future as Next Normal.

The unprecedented events of recent months have certainly seen Civica’s BCP (Business Continuity Process) come to life and demanded that we rethink our approach especially when it comes to culture driving employee engagement and educating and supporting our people in adjusting to the ‘next normal’.

“Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes” -C. G. Jung

Although the future remains uncertain, one thing is for certain and that is the infinite and irreplaceable potential and skills of our people that need to be nurtured. As we look ahead we need to focus on our people and effectively lead them through this indefinite period of ongoing change.

Technology as an Enabler

There is no disputing just how disruptive this pandemic has been – it has literally turned our world upside down overnight. But, it has also been a unifying experience that has seen people throughout the world come together to maintain a sense of connection and well-being. Keeping a positive and open mind is something we have continued to encourage at Civica and this has certainly contributed to just how well we have adjusted to working remotely.

But remote teams must have access to the right tools and technology to seamlessly and securely stay connected for virtual collaboration and to stay productive. At Civica, we rapidly deployed key technologies across our teams to drive greater collaboration and also adapted our policies and practices to ensure remote working was available to everyone.

Our infrastructure team has played a fundamental role in ensuring the successful rollout of these new technologies and systems to support working from home, and in ensuring we have cybersecurity policies and processes in place which colleagues need to be vigilant about phishing attacks, malware and other security concerns.

Redefining Productivity Through a Balanced WFH Culture

At Civica, our people are at the heart of everything that we do. Employee health and wellbeing have always been our top priority and will continue to remain our primary focus, even post COVID-19. We have been dedicated to fostering inclusion and collaboration, core to our conscious culture, through open dialogue between leaders and teams, weekly global check-ins with the executive leadership team, virtual wellness programs as well as fun sessions. We have also launched an array of virtual learning offerings that allow individuals to upskill their talent for further career progression. Our Listening Board initiative continues to stay connected with our people addressing any kind of roadblocks or concerns that would hinder their productivity or wellbeing.

Going forward, we are now fully equipped with solutions to provide a blended way of working for our employees. This means that performance management will be more output-driven, providing flexible structure and rewarding work-life balance. Our strategy around return-to-office considers local pandemic status, government regulations, advice from medical experts, and most importantly the feedback from our employees. 

A New Sense of Belonging

With our people seamlessly adapting to remote working, there is a greater need to bring opportunities that can help them stay engaged and satisfied. According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, when people fail to meet the needs at the various stages of the hierarchy, they suffer from mental health issues. And it takes its toll on their overall wellbeing.

The very same way when employees’ hierarchical needs are not met, they show a low level of engagement and it impacts employee morale, productivity, and retention severely. At Civica, we constantly monitor and get a sense of employee sentiment through pulse surveys, which provide us with valuable employee insights. Appreciation and recognition is also more important than ever. That’s where our digital rewards and recognition platforms PRAISE & C-STAR (Civica Special Thanks And Recognition) provide the much-needed boosts to the employee morale and keeps our culture of continuous feedback intact as we continue to work remotely.

Resetting Policies

This pandemic has been a crash course in resilience. As mentioned earlier we carried out two pulse surveys to get an understanding of our employee perceptions and how they were personally coping during such unprecedented times. We revisited and restructured some of our policies and the outcome of these surveys has been encouraging, giving our colleagues a sense of reassurance that while things are evolving rapidly, we at Civica value each one of them and are committed to their well-being.  

Key Summary of Pulse Surveys:

Round 1: Early April 2020Round 2: Mid May 2020
86% of employees indicated a positive response to the changes at organizational, managerial and individual level.The results continued to remain strong and consistent with 94% of employees adjusting well to the current challenges.
People were clear of what they were expected to do & felt that they were able to make an important contribution to the team.A very high level of confidence and pride could be seen in the leadership teams in the way that Civica is responding to COVID-19 and supporting communities.
People felt connected to their colleagues and were well informed by the internal communications team. 
88% of employees displayed confidence in leadership teams. 

Taking feedback is a continuous process and not a one-time event at Civica. Hence we started the third round of pulse surveys for our employees.

Here’s a short round-up of just some of the initiatives we undertook as a direct result of their feedback!

Way Forward

We recognize that work is an activity, not a physical place. So, virtual workspaces will continue to augment work experience, and the lines between digital and physical offices will blur. In this next normal, our focus will be on creating sustainable businesses that put employee wellbeing front and centre. At Civica, our culture is built on KIA values (Knowledge, Integrity, and Action) which will play a vital role in charting the future course of our organization’s growth and success in the new world post-COVID-19.

As we look ahead, now is the time to embrace the lessons we’ve learnt and acted upon, as we shift towards adopting a sustainable model of living and truly secure digital way of working.

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Alpa Shukul
Alpa Shukul is the Executive Director of Civica Resource Private Limited, Vadodara. She is an accomplished business leader with over 2 decades of Software Industry experience in leading large-sized multidisciplinary teams, Global service deliveries, expertise in captive setup with profit and loss accountability. Her key responsibilities are to manage and support the team in Vadodara in line with Group strategy from the UK and International Divisions. She is passionate about building critical processes, policies, and programs that effectively balance the need to support rapid growth and efficient scalability and deliver real ROI without overburdening the enterprise.

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