Rendezvous with Pradyumna Pandey Chief Human Resource Officer, Mother Dairy on Employee Wellbeing amid the current crisis
Pradyumna is an HR professional with over 30 years of experience in Human Resource Management. A keen strategist with a flair for designing and implementing innovative HR strategies and OD interventions to suit the needs of the organization.
As Chief Human Resource Officer for Mother Dairy, a wholly-owned subsidiary of National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), responsible for providing strategic leadership by articulating Human Resource needs and plans, organizational capability building, people development, performance management, employee communication, policy development, legal compliances, and industrial relations, with a focus upon nurturing, shaping, and sustaining the overall cultural strategy for the company.
Q- What are the key challenges that you’re facing as CHRO when it comes to handling 2nd Wave of COVID-19?
The need of the hour is to ensure wellbeing of each and every employee of Mother Dairy and at the same time continue supporting the overall business. The top priorities have been confined to be in a crisis response mode with agility and resilience, keep the employees engaged, provide the right communication channels, provide appropriate tools for remote work, and more.
“We at Mother Dairy are driven by a Purpose and that gives us a strength to overcome all challenges.“
Additional focus areas include maintaining the highest hygiene and safety standards at the plants and workplace, instilling confidence and motivation amongst the workforce, etc. In these unprecedented times, we have been continuously supporting various business needs including maintaining desired manning at units and offices with rosters designed for essential staff and operational continuity.
Q- What are the major shifts in Talent Strategy due to the surge in COVID-19 cases?
Talent strategy is crucial for driving success! We have a workforce that is enthusiastic, loyal, committed, and fearless. They stand by the mission and vision of our organization. We continued hiring new talent in line with our goals & requirements and reskilling the existing employees to adapt to the situation at hand. As a result, even under adverse circumstances, they have ensured an uninterrupted supply of products including milk, milk products, edible oils, fruits, and vegetables, while maintaining hygiene and safety.
Q- How are you working on Employee wellbeing as a priority?
Our organization has been working day in and day out with unparalleled collaboration, achieving the desired results. Hence, in times like these, it is very important to have employment assistance programs which help in the overall wellbeing of the workforce.
From appointing nodal officers at various locations, designing rosters, restricting workforce attendance at workplace, to providing leaves, special allowance, conducting online yoga sessions, and extending the insurance coverage of employees, a multifold approach has been undertaken keeping the wellbeing of our employees as the topmost priority. We also have an employee WhatsApp Group ‘HR Keeping in Touch’ for faster and real-time communication with our employees.
We have initiated the additional following programs for our employees across all locations.
- Mother Dairy Task Force: We have created a ‘Task Force’ at Mother Dairy with an objective to mobilize resources and assist our employees and their immediate/dependent family members across various locations.
- Emergency Employee Helpdesk: The helpdesk helps in providing doctor-on-call/video consultation, investigation and diagnostics, home isolation assistance, ambulance assistance, and hospitalization.
- Plasma Donation: We have created a ‘Sanjivani Group’ wherein recovered employees can voluntarily donate plasma for any employee or their immediate family members. Appreciation certificates will be issued to recognize the contribution of such employees in these grim times.
- Vaccination Drive: As a responsible organization, we have initiated vaccination drives at various manufacturing facilities and locations. For instance, one such camp has already been organized at our Patparganj facility in Delhi and we will be rolling out similar camps in our Mangolpuri unit in Delhi and for our operations in Marathwada and Vidarbha in Maharashtra. The same is being organized as per the guidelines.
Q- What are your plans for employee vaccination and treatment if any infected?
As mentioned earlier, our employees have been working round the clock ensuring consistent supplies of daily essentials to numerous households. Given the current situation, vaccines seem to be the best choice in fighting off this pandemic.
Hence, we have initiated vaccination drives in line with the guidelines at our manufacturing facilities and offices in different locations. Mass vaccination drives have been organised with the help of district authorities at our Patparganj Plant. So far, we have received a very positive response, particularly in Delhi NCR. We will also be rolling out the vaccination drive across other locations soon.
Where such facilities are not available, employees are directed to visit nearby vaccination camp as indicated by the District authorities for getting the Vaccination done.
We have a dedicated team of Nodal Officers/Medical Team at locations to assist employees in trouble.
Q- Any concluding remarks?
Driven by our Vision/Purpose of Providing quality food and beverages to our consumers at an affordable price, while ensuring fair returns to the producers, we at Mother Dairy, have been serving our consumers by offering quality products in close vicinity, and for the same, we use multiple channels including our famed booth network, general trade, and modern retail outlets. Our existing infrastructure of owned exclusive outlets, which were catering to consumers throughout the lockdown period, played a crucial role. However, operations of many general retail and modern trade outlets were confined during that time. In turn, we expanded our sales infrastructure in the form of kiosks, temporary shops, etc. to further serve the residents of Delhi NCR at their doorstep.
Our employees have relentlessly worked towards ensuring that the residents of Delhi NCR and other areas of our operations get their supply of daily essentials without any hardships. In the last one year, we have come across so many such noble acts wherein employees have selflessly served the society.
Such enthusiastic tales are not only limited to the manufacturing/market-level but were also witnessed in remote areas of the country where our procurement teams have worked diligently to ensure that the raw materials are procured from the farmers continuously despite the lockdown.
And lastly a message for all readers … Mask, Sanitisation, Social Distancing, Vaccination and Socially responsible behaviour will bring those carefree days back. At this juncture it is important that we look out for each other and extend mutual help. We have the capability of generating a lot of capacity to overcome adversity when we coordinate and work together. Need is to keep a positive outlook and an optimistic attitude. Control stress by managing your worries. Instead of intense worrying about what might happen, just think back to past experiences and sources of personal strength that helped you through other crisis situations.
Thank You, Pradyumna!