2020

World Mental Health Day: how corporates are ensuring the mental wellbeing of their employees

On the occasion of World Mental Health Day, SocialStory spoke to corporates to understand how they are enabling employees to cope with mental health issues and maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Since the onset of the pandemic, IT services company CSS Corp has been mindful about the mental wellbeing of its employees and has been offering sessions and 24×7 counselling support. Launched in April this year, it is motivating employees through its exclusive CHEER framework — ‘C’ stands for Communicating with employees; ‘H’ for Highlighting their accomplishments; ‘E’ for Energising them; ‘E’ for Engaging with them; and ‘R’ for Recognising and Rewarding them. Additionally, it also has an employee assistance programme called the Turning Point — an initiative that focusses on mental health, providing employees with the necessary time and resources to counter problems and strengthen themselves.

“Through this programme, we have ensured that the lines of communication are constantly open so that people can easily have access to professional help, as and when required,” says Satyanarayanan Visvanathan, SVP, Head of HR (Global) and Corporate Quality. With constant feedback from its employees, CSS Corp has been trying to resolve the problems of remote working. “We believe that having a healthy work-life balance is crucial, especially in the current scenario when people are struggling to delineate between work and home. We aim to proactively neutralise burnout, anxiety, stress, and the problems that emerge from working virtually over an extended time,” he notes.

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Gamification as Disruptor in Enterprise Technology

Whoever said that if you love your job, you won’t have to work a single day in your life had underscored the importance of having a sense of engagement at the workplace. Gamification, according to Gartner, is the use of game mechanics and experience design to digitally engage and motivate people to achieve their goals.

Brian Burke, Research VP at Gartner, mentioned in his blog post that the digital aspect makes all the difference. Be it an individual, a team, or an enterprise, gamification has donned the mantle of the silent coach who works behind the scenes to engage, motivate, and spur performance. From e-learning platforms and training programs to workday life, gamification has become the watchword for driving employee performance across the technology industry.

Embrace the Disruptor

Though full-scale adoption of this disruptor has met with some resistance, enterprises are getting caught up with the disruptive wave so much that every project’s performance metrics and quality parameters seem to increasingly weave the constructs of gamification. Gamification pioneer, Yu-kai Chou stated in his book that “Human-focused design” was a better term that emphasizes that humans are not rudimentary cogs in the system as opposed to “function-focused design” that optimizes only functional efficiency.

As managers become coaches, and their subordinates become players on the field of performance, the ensuing productivity gains and motivational spikes are clear for all to see. By the time managers schedule the weekly or quarterly reviews, teams have already brought their A-game to the table.

The synergy from the high-performance of various business units has a compounding impact on the enterprise as a whole. Gamification cuts across multiple business lines to transform production floors into premier league contests with performance scores running real-time on LCD displays.

Individuals are outdoing themselves like players, and teams are outplaying the others as though they’ve reached the finals of the playoffs. It’s real; it’s in action, its game on.

Disruptor in Enterprise Technology

In technology environments that are heavily contingent on human-support, gamification serves to boost the underlying motivation, morale of employees by inducing the game spirit. Production and operation heads are continually scanning their team’s performance metrics to see how they can improvise. It primarily performs miracles on the human factor (breaks monotony and mundanity) of support operations where production managers want their employees to put their best foot forward every day. As managers know who to coach, what to coach, when to coach, the result is an inspired workplace punctuated by competitive and productive employees who want to outperform and grow. The various aspects of gamification work to accelerate the performance curve and promote a culture of continuous learning and self-development.

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CSS Corp Wins ‘Outsource Partner of the Year 2020’ at Excellence in Customer Service Awards

CSS Corp, a new-age IT services and technology support company, today announced that it has won the Outsource Partner of the year 2020 award by the Business Intelligence Group at their Excellence in Customer Service Awards. The company was named as the winner at Philadelphia on April 20, 2020.

CSS Corp was awarded for emerging as the premier outsourcing partner of the year. Over the last few years, CSS Corp has significantly enhanced its capabilities in the customer service and technical support landscape through differentiated business models and customer support transformation from an effort-led to an intelligence-led ecosystem. The company’s prowess in leveraging new age solutions has enabled it to consistently deliver business outcomes for its customers. Its digitally infused operations have enabled the company to stay nimble and adapt itself to the fast-evolving industry landscape. In the current Covid19 crisis, CSS Corp has been one of the first service providers to transition to a 100% productive Work-From-Home model with zero impact to SLAs, by leveraging its RESILIENCE framework

Speaking on the occasion, Manish Tandon, Chief Executive Officer, CSS Corp said, “We are delighted to be recognized as the outsource partner of the year 2020 by the Business Intelligence Group. Over the past few years, CSS Corp has positioned itself as a leader in driving outcome focused CX transformation for our clients. We have been investing heavily in strengthening our capabilities as an end-to-end managed CX services provider and have emerged as a strategic partner of choice for global brands with our business transformation-themed services. In the services landscape, we understand that one size doesn’t fit all, hence we strive to engineer customized, but scalable solutions that fit within our clients’ business environments. This award is a testament to our continued pursuit of service excellence driven by our values of customer centricity, deep tech innovation and spirit of partnership with our customers.”

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HR leaders anchoring the transformation in the age of new normal

The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the entire economy to the back foot. These extreme uncertainties have caused ripples in the business models and, challenged some of the most well established workplaces policies and processes. The duration and the impact of this crisis is nearly impossible to calibrate, but still amid these rough times many organisations are leaving no stone unturned when it comes to ensuring employees’ well- being.

According to a recent TimesJobs survey titled ‘Indian workplaces response to COVID-19’, diversity was the flagpole for all hiring activities during the COVID-19 lockdown. This survey received responses from 1,145 HR professionals working across diverse industry verticals.

The survey highlights the various work regimes and that India Inc. adopted has been the top priorities for the companies amid the COVID-19 lockdown time.

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CSS Corp wins Silver Stevie® Award for its COVID response

CSS Corp, a new-age IT services and technology support company, today announced that it has won the Silver Stevie® Award in the ‘Most Valuable Employer – the Asia Pacific’, a COVID-19 response category in the fifth annual Stevie Awards for Great Employers.

CSS Corp bagged the award for prioritizing employee wellbeing and spearheading initiatives to ensure the holistic growth, development, and progress of its employees during this period of uncertainty.

The company rolled out annual increments, variable pay, and promotions in April 2020 for its global workforce of over 7,000 employees, spread across 18 global locations.

Additionally, advanced salary payments were made to support employees in the worst-hit geographies, along with additional incentives given to CSS Corp’s COVID heroes; the employees who worked round the clock on the business continuity plan.

Being one of the first movers in the industry to transition to a 100 per cent productive work from the home model at the onset of the lockdown, CSS Corp showcased resilience, determination, and fortitude that ensured seamless business continuity.

The company’s proprietary resilience framework – takes a three-pronged approach, which emphasizes preparedness, stabilization, and embracing the new normal.

Throughout this period, the company maintained complete transparency and communication with employees and consistently ensured their safety and wellbeing while factoring in their feedback through surveys.

This ensured that the company was able to adequately support and reassure all its employees. CSS Corp’s CHEER framework for employee engagement, employee assistance programs and dedicated 24/7 counselling support has been instrumental towards ensuring the mental wellbeing of employees while boosting their morale and rendering help wherever required. These initiatives have significantly reduced the attrition levels to all-time lows.

“At the onset of the pandemic, our immediate focus and attention shifted towards the safety and well-being of our employees. I was humbled to see how the employees responded with passion and collaboration towards the measures we introduced. This ensured we were able to not only maintain seamless business continuity for our clients but also do so with all employee interests taken care of. I believe organizations have a great opportunity to lead with empathy and provide certainty to their workforce during these unprecedented times. We are honoured to receive the Silver Stevie award and aim to continue leading, inspiring, and thriving in the new normal with the constant support and faith of our employees,” said Manish Tandon, Chief Executive Officer, CSS Corp.

“In the fifth edition of the Stevie Awards for Great Employers, the judges were impressed by the Stevie winners who – during the crises we’ve confronted this year – continue to dedicate each day to make the lives of their employees and teams better through training, software, work-from-home plans, and more. We are pleased to celebrate them in 2020 and look forward to what they will accomplish in 2021,” said Maggie Gallagher, President of the Stevie Awards.

The Stevie Awards for Great Employers recognizes the world’s best employers and the human resources professionals, teams, achievements, and HR-related products and suppliers who help to create and drive great places to work.

More than 700 nominations from organizations of all sizes were submitted this year for consideration in a wide range of HR-related categories. Especially popular were six free-to-enter COVID-19 Response categories. More than 90 professionals worldwide participated in the judging process to select this year’s Stevie Award winners.

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Leaders need to be in perpetual mode of listening, understanding & acting to tackle employees’ mental health challenges

In these difficult times when organisations are trying to balance the economic compulsions with employee safety and health, Dr Rahul Kalia, Medical Director, India International SOS, said, “The inability to focus on the emerging mental health and wellbeing challenges amongst the workforce will surely undermine the overall health of the workforce and hence of the organisation in time to come, if not already.”

As companies are working remotely with employees geographically distributed, experts opine there will be a need to increase employee engagement with a greater focus on psychological safety so that people adapt to the new way of working and be more open in admitting their mistakes, without fear.

Working from home full time can sometimes cause one to feel isolated and lonely, which can further cause psychological distress. Therefore, as specialists say, communicating with your co-workers and staying in touch with your colleagues and friends are extremely important to remain mentally fit during these uncertain times.

Need for leaders to listen to their employees’ concerns and problems

Satyanarayanan Visvanathan, SVP and Head of HR (Global) & Corporate Quality, CSS Corp, said organisations need to go the extra mile to support employees in these times of need and to counter the probable seclusion and loneliness that has emerged owing to the remote working conditions.

He said CSS Corp recently introduced a platform, called Turning Point, that allows its employees to directly speak to experts and mental health practitioners, and seek their help towards alleviating the rigours and stress that emerge from working in today’s new normal.

“The innate need for socializing and human contact drives and motivates people. The lack of it thereof can lead to alienation and a disturbed workforce,” Visvanathan said.

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Maps that speak the same language as your consumers

Ever wanted to peek into how location-based technology has become essential to modern life? Just glance at your cab driver, checking the map on his phone before every turn. However, it’s not always a smooth drive with the maps (no pun intended). Apart from connectivity and network issues, language is often the main challenge, especially for those who are more comfortable with the local language. For instance, if your destination is a location that, perhaps, has been lost in translation and cannot be found on the map, then you’re in a soup. With more than 4000 written languages in the world (yes!), why on earth should something as critical as a map be limited to a few languages?

As globalization has become the essence of the omnichannel business landscape, there are a plethora of businesses that are looking for language-localization to connect with consumers in their preferred language. At the heart of the operational process of maps-based service-providers like cab aggregators, logistics, hyperlocal businesses, etc., lies the compelling need for translation and transliteration of maps. This would not only pave the way for regional adoption of maps, but also ensure increased ROI for local businesses, and unrivaled customer experiences. However, there are a couple of immediate challenges that need to be addressed in terms of both technology and competency levels.

Challenges for localization of maps

  • One of the primary constraints of producing maps in local languages is the quality of the translation. There are instances when names of certain places cannot be translated into the local language and having them retained in English can make more sense. Again, at times, the text in the native language must be excluded to make it more relevant. As such, translation to a different language needs to be carefully proofed and checked.
  • While many web-based translation tools are widely available, it is important to use a trusted source like native speakers, preferably those with geographic knowledge. For this, you need a strong combination of technology and human competence.
  • For maps being presented in multiple languages, the labels need to fall in the same place on each version of the map. This means the space for the label needs to accommodate the name with maximum letters, ensuring that each label does not overprint another. Also, if a name is changed, it has to be updated in several different languages.

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