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Strengthening Bonds Through the Pandemic

The last two years have seen a huge churn of the world over. We were met with unprecedented times. In such challenging times, innovation was the need of the hour and companies were quick to reinvent their work environment. Within a few weeks we had come up with novel ways to continue our work with little or no impediment to productivity.

Mindset has always been quick to reinvent. Innovation is at the core of our being. So, when it came to our own employees, we wasted no time coming up with new ways to  help and support them in every possible way. Managing employee morale was one of the biggest challenges. Enthusiasm levels were waning and juggling individual routines with work was becoming increasingly difficult. However, through a deliberately planned employee engagement program and timely recognition of employee efforts, we were able to reduce these challenges to a large extent. Positive reinforcements and showing some love, understanding and care through gift hampers, performance certificates, and praises went a long way in improving morale. Sometimes, all you need is an informal chat to lend emotional support to someone who is genuinely struggling. One important learning I had in this time is that sometimes the smallest and most trivial of activities go a long way in bringing about a difference to someone’s life. 

When it was finally time to return to the office, we got down to planning for our colleagues returning to the physical work environment. We lent every support possible to make sure all our employees were vaccinated before returning to office. Realigning the office space to ensure social distancing, planting sanitizers throughout the office premises and abiding by the strict government guidelines were our priority. 

Mindset India started with a hybrid model of working. While some people were excited to come back and interact with their colleagues face to face, the decision to open offices was largely met with skepticism. Whether it was concern over their own safety, or their family’s health, there were a host of concerns, and understandably so. As an organization it was our duty to understand these concerns and provide our colleagues with the support and flexibility they needed to feel at ease and comfortable.

Employee engagement has never been more important than now. With a sudden shift in work environment and employee mindset, physical interaction between colleagues goes a long way in building and strengthening bonds in the workplace. We have seen the benefits of these activities especially in the recent months, when the morale has increased dramatically in comparison to what it was in the beginning of the year. 

Having said that, with the emergence of advanced virtual interactive tools, today it is far easier for colleagues across different locations and timezones to interact and engage with each other. While the pandemic has isolated us, platforms like zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams have brought us closer to our colleagues far away in different locations and helped us build a camaraderie that would’ve been impossible even a few years ago.

 

Bhargavi oversees HR & Delivery Operations for Mindset in India. Following
9+ years experience in various Human Resource fields like recruiting, process standardisation,employee’s orientation, learning & development and stakeholder management. She uses her knowledge to implement policies and processes at different levels of organization.

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