September

CSS Corp Launches Digital Assurance to Bring Automation to UX Testing

We recently talked with CSS Corp about its investments in QA, in particular its new Digital Assurance offering. Digital Assurance targets UX QA, an area that has not had the attention it deserves.

Clients have prioritized investment in continuous testing & automation
While many large organizations have devoted considerable time and effort to continuous testing and functional automation, they have invested only selectively on UX testing. Indeed, demand for UX testing has been limited. Regulation has driven some UX activity, particularly around accessibility testing. The heterogeneity of devices and screen sizes also means organizations spend on compatibility testing. Also, performance testing has become somewhat more UX-centric by tracking performance using end-user metrics.

To a large extent, this is it. QA and UX are two different worlds and do not feed on each other. UX would gain from the automation expertise of QA, while QA would benefit from opening up to new challenges. The world of UX is vast and growing, especially in the space of usability research and testing. But so far, it is not really automated.

CSS Corp has created a UX testing platform with Digital Assurance
So NelsonHall welcomes the investment by CSS Corp to expand the boundaries of UX testing, relying on automation. With Digital Assurance, CSS Corp has aggregated opensource software tools with proprietary accelerators. The scope of Digital Assurance is considerable, ranging from performance testing to usability testing. Within usability testing, CSS Corp has focused on several dimensions, including “appeal,” “navigation,” “search,” and “content & information.”

An example of an engagement where CSS Corp developed an “appeal” feature is for a tier-one cosmetics company, verifying that the color displayed on a screen for a lip pencil was consistent with the company’s color palette. The challenge was one of scale, the client having 3k URLs and color palettes to validate. CSS Corp used computer vision technology to compare images, thereby removing manual comparison for the client’s 78 brands.
Another example is around “search”. CSS Corp has integrated SEO as part of the metrics it tracks. For instance, it will analyze the structure of a website and identify the number of steps end-users need to go through to complete a transaction.

A third example of a feature available in Digital Assurance is in “content & information”. CSS Corp is automating localization testing with spell checks and bundling it with grammar validation and readability analysis.
Alongside these features, CSS Corp has added more common functionality such as performance testing (with end-user KPIs) and sentiment analysis (the classification into different sentiments of opinions gathered on app stores and social networks such as Twitter), along with accessibility testing.

CSS Corp pushes the boundaries of UX testing
We think Digital Assurance has two main benefits. Firstly, CSS Corp is systematically extending the boundaries of UX testing automation. UX research and testing remain labor-intensive activities, and we think the potential for further UX automation is immense (see below). Secondly, CSS Corp is steadily aggregating tools around Digital Assurance and provides an increasingly comprehensive UX testing service.

Potential for UX automation
The potential for automation in UX testing is immense. While QA has focused on test automation, UX research also has the potential for automation. An example is around videos: during the research phase, digital agencies record videos of end-user interviews. Going through these videos is time-consuming. AI bears the promise of focusing on parts of the video through sentiment detection, for instance. Once a website or a mobile app is in production, clients are increasingly correlating its technical performance with its business performance (e.g. through integration with such tools as Google Analytics). Currently, understanding the correlation of multiple events takes time: using intelligent automation will help.

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International Programmers’ Day: Here’re 5 tips from the tech leaders across the industry

International Programmers’ Day, also known as the “Day of the Programmers” is celebrated on the 256th day of the year to honor the software innovators who continue to change the world, one program at a time.

The day is celebrated based on binary code. Represented by an eight-bit byte, 256 equals 2 to the eighth power. The digit makes it the highest power of 2 that is less than 365. When translated to binary code, the day reads
1 0000 0000. Special, isn’t it?

Since this day is marked to honor and celebrate their nature of innovation, we at TechGig thought to make it more endearing by bringing in advice from the tech leaders across the IT industry. Let’s see what they have to say about the remarkable day.

Brijesh Balakrishnan, SVP – Talent Fulfilment & Digital at CSS Corp- “Fundamental knowledge across a variety of technologies is imperative to stay ahead of the curve, and to scale in this constantly changing technology ecosystem. This is the time to upskill and venture into synergistic learning skills. The onus is upon programmers to continue investing towards their growth and prowess in digital technologies and agile methodologies.”

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Marketing Changes Faster Than Lady Gaga’s Outfits

With plenty of talent available, there is a dire need to employ the right one and subsequently, the need of marketing the brand effectively. Top CEOs and marketers share their insight about acquiring and retaining customers as well as employees.

The CEOs and Marketers vision over hiring valuable talent is transforming with time as introduction of new technology and techniques dominate the marketing landscape. The HR Talent Acquisition Summit hosted by BW People gathered a combination of both HR and marketing heads, the two key departments that work very closely in an organization.

With a lively moderator, Pankaj Dutt, Managing Partner, Alexander Hughes, the session saw interaction among top HR leaders and marketing heads on the theme of Hiring Valuable Talent.

Satyen Vyas, CEO, Symphony SUMMIT initiated the discussion by saying, “There is plenty of talent available but the challenge is to find the right one. Don’t look for people when you need them. Instead, look for them when you don’t need them. Meet them and keep your search on all the time. Acquiring and retaining are two different things when it comes to customers and also when it comes to employees, retaining remains a big challenge.

Followed by Kushal Agarwal, Co-founder, XOXO who represented the start-up culture said, “The chaos in the start-up environment was exciting. Earlier, it was under the name of employee engagement. But it is a mess now. People walk in and ask for job description these days.

Shantanu Das, CHRO of Amway India talking about the employee engagement in direct sales said, “The entire game of direct selling has changed for us. Initial step is to engage your own people and then is to engage an entire sales force of about 200,000 people who have become entrepreneurs and are promoting and selling our products. The senior leadership should spend time in doing this. Engagement of the entire sales force is the fulcrum of our business.

Suchita Vishnoi, Director of Marketing, Salesforce spoke about the influence of technology in this process of recruitment and said, “Technology is impacting all of us. It is best to embrace it. New employees who walk into an organization and the existing employees should adapt with it and make the best of it.

About 5 years back, most of the jobs present today didn’t even exist. Recruitment happens when millennial and students find you as an interesting company. About 1 per cent of all the branding that we do goes into attracting talent. In that way, we actually face more competition from startups,” said Kisha Gupta, Global Head of Academic relations, Infosys Limited.

Vivian Gomes, VP, marketing and inside sales, CSS Corps speaking his viewpoint from a marketer’s standpoint said, “If you want to do marketing, you better learn to change as marketing changes faster than Lady Gaga’s outfits. In marketing, people need to break those shackles of sameness and bring in freshness.

Billa Bhandari, COO, Geneva Graduate School of Governance sharing his insight said, “You should understand what governance is. Lots of companies have such wonderful policies. People don’t understand the risk of governance in this part of the country.

Shraddhanjali Rao, Head of Human Resources, SAP India speaking her mind about the role of a leader in the present scenario said, “You can’t have a CEO to be a voice person. You won’t be attractive then. Technology is changing and we can’t control that. What we can control is the quality of people getting into an organization. This should be done by every leader across the organization. Not just the CEO.

Being the last panelist on this panel, Shridhar Marri, CEO, Senseforth said, “We do not have JDs in our organization. Because these are not just jobs but purposes. Before people were on the lookout for job stability but now they want more engagement. A very large chunk of people are disengaged now. People want to come to work for a purpose these days.

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Engineer’s Day: Industry leaders talk about the innovation brought by engineers

Engineer’s Day is celebrated in India to honour and pay tribute to the greatest Engineer and Bharat Ratna Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya. Today, as we celebrate another year of acknowledgement and pride for the achievements brought in by the engineering community, this is what the leaders across industry vertices have to say about the engineers and the innovation in line.
Sunil Mittal, EVP at CSS Corp -“We are at the cusp of the fourth industrial revolution which is characterised by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological. Technology is the catalyst in transforming and accelerating progress across every sphere. Engineers are making an impact with their cutting-edge abilities, integrating data platforms, software tools, and digital infrastructure to accomplish results seamlessly and with ease. There is an inherent need for today’s engineers to break out of the mould of being proficient in niche skills, to rapidly move towards design thinking, learning, unlearning and relearning, and being adept in technical skills that transcend boundaries. While we are in the here and now, engineers of the future should endeavour to navigate through this dynamic technology ecosystem and future proof their skills to be attuned and equipped to take on any challenges and construct what the next revolution will hold.”

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Mid-size IT firms stay ahead on niche focus

The IT firms are focusing on growth of digital technology services by creating platforms

Mid-size information technology (IT) services firms have started pushing for digital technology services to remain competitive and achieve higher revenue growth.  Mumbai-based $500-million Hexaware Technologies claims it has a dedicated strategy to beat large peers in winning deals using digital service expertise such as customer experience transformation, migration of business operations to cloud, and marketing and sales-force transformation initiatives.

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CSS Corp’s Chief Executive Officer Manish Tandon Wins Gold Stevie®

CSS Corp, a new-age IT services and technology support company, today announced that its CEO, Manish Tandon, has won a Gold Stevie® in The 17th Annual International Business Awards®. Manish was honoured in the category of ‘Executive of the Year- Computer Services’ as an acknowledgement towards the stellar leadership, impactful Covid-19 response and strong growth achieved under his direction and guidance at CSS Corp.

Organizations are striving to navigate through the new normal in these unprecedented times. Amidst the uncertainty, CSS Corp, under Manish Tandon’s leadership at the helm, has reflected consistent growth and progress for the employees and the organization at large. His technology-led differentiation approach has expedited innovation and digital transformation in the company, with a continued focus on the people front. Tandon’s people-first approach was at the fore when CSS Corp announced salary hikes, variable pay and promotions in April 2020, when the impact of the pandemic was at its highest. Under his leadership, the company has been growing its revenue at a steady double-digit growth rate and is among the few IT services organizations to accelerate its growth post the pandemic.

“It is indeed an honour to be a recipient of the prestigious Stevie Award. This has been possible because of the passion and tireless efforts of the entire CSS Corp family and their indefatigable spirit to conquer and excel against all odds. I am proud of the resilience that the company has shown and accept this award on behalf of the global CSS Corp family,” said Manish Tandon, Chief Executive Officer, CSS Corp.

More than 3,800 nominations from 63 nations, across organizations of all sizes and in virtually every industry, were submitted this year for consideration in a wide range of categories. Stevie Award winners were determined by the average scores of more than 250 executives worldwide.

About CSS Corp

CSS Corp is a new-age IT services and technology support company that harnesses the power of AI, automation, analytics, cloud, and digital to address customer needs. The company partners with leading enterprises to help realize their strategic business outcomes. Its team of 7,500+ technology professionals across 18 global locations is passionate about helping customers differentiate and succeed. For more information, please visit www.csscorp.com

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Six Cloud Trends That are Making Waves in 2017

As CIOs and IT leaders rely on the cloud to grow their businesses, new trends and innovations will continue to emerge and reshape the future.
Cloud is no longer a buzzword that is only popular in big businesses, but, has trickled down to the masses. It is woven in our everyday lives, in the way we communicate, listen to music, watch movies, and store or share our data. Cloud has also dramatically transformed the way business is conducted. Recent studies have shown that businesses employing cloud services improve their productivity and grow 19.6% faster than those that don’t.

The digital economy we operate in, marks the boundless growth of new age technologies such as IoT, big data, real-time data capturing and analytics, and on-demand services. In this aggressively competitive scenario, cloud provides a conducive environment to create a lean, flexible, and responsive digital eco-system that is required to navigate the rough tides of the connected world.

Here are some key cloud trends that impact IT strategies in 2017 for organizations looking to deploy cloud services:

1. Cloud 2.0

A new era in cloud technology has begun. From ‘cloud first’, companies are moving to ‘cloud only’. As per IDC Chief Analyst Frank Gens, cloud implementation is “moving beyond experimentation towards mass enterprise adoption.” Cloud 2.0 is about doing more with the data that is stored in the cloud- analyzing the patterns in data, identifying anomalies and drawing insights. According to Diane Greene, Senior VP of Google’s cloud businesses, organizations should reflect on the question, “Now that you’re in the cloud, how do you take advantage of it so that your business can operate at a whole new level?” Powered by Machine Learning and intelligent analytics, Cloud 2.0 is moving from mere storage to data analysis and more.

2. Cloud Containers

It is believed that the use of cloud containers will become more widespread. The portability, flexibility, and cost-efficiency in operations that containers enable, are the reasons for their increasing popularity. According to cloud experts, containers will be used for deploying solutions to solve real-world business problems. Companies will use them to provide new services that are secure, efficient, elastic, and scalable.

3. Cloud Microservices

Harnessing the real potential of cloud is possible through the use of microservices architecture. Cloud microservices is used for creating new applications, as well as for utilizing existing ones. This is especially useful for companies migrating to the cloud, which can create microservices around existing applications, thereby easing the transition. When combined with containers, microservices can bring to the forefront, the features of scalability, re-usability, and resilience that cloud promotes.

4. Cloud APIs

Cloud Application Programmer Interfaces (APIs) are becoming increasingly customer-centric. Being consumer focused is having a positive impact on their quality, maturity and scalability rate. Event economy (If This Then That), web automation, and digital transformation are fueling the growth of cloud APIs, as APIs help in the adoption and development of automation for businesses and consumers. APIs are playing a vital role in business because of their ability to integrate platforms and apps. They are able to remove barriers to revenue growth by facilitating the swift launch and scalability of business models.

5. Server-less Computing

Server-less Computing is a key trend that is bound to grow as it requires far fewer infrastructure resources and eases the load on developers. As the adoption of ‘Function-as-a-service’ increases, server-less computing will rise to support the shift from DevOps (scripted automation) to NoOps (intelligent operations). In line with AI, analytics, and automation, server-less computing will contribute to the creation and use of smarter machines that save time, effort, and money.

6. Cloud Security

Security still remains a concern for companies moving to the cloud, though, there is an increase in the number of organizations that are transitioning. In order to ease their worries, data security in the cloud will have to step up. The cloud is expected to be a strong provider of security as a fundamental offering. Storage options, flexibility, easy deployment, and scalability are features of the cloud that enable it to ensure complete safety of data.

Impact of Cloud Trends 2017

The trends affect multiple aspects of business – growth, cost, revenue, customer experience, and ability to innovate. As these aspects tend to be interconnected, we have examined the impact on the following key factors:

1. Enhanced Customer Experience

Cloud 2.0, being the era of data analytics, real-time intelligence, AI, automation, and machine learning, will enable organizations to understand customers and provide a seamless experience across multiple channels. E-commerce, loyalty programs, and on-demand support are examples of cloud services that aid in providing superior customer experience.

2. Reduced Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)

On account of being virtual, cloud is more cost efficient than physical infrastructure. Cloud technologies such as server-less computing are bound to reduce costs even further while increasing the organization’s productivity and efficiency. Also, the benefits of agility, flexibility, and scalability that the cloud provides, have long-term impact on optimizing costs.

3. Improved Agility and Business Intelligence (BI)

Cloud APIs help in the faster implementation of business models and their scalability. This means businesses can quickly respond to changes in the market using innovative strategies. Additionally, companies can draw actionable insights by processing and analyzing raw data in the cloud. These insights prove to be a solid base for developing innovative products, services, and solutions.

Leveraging Cloud to Grow your Business

As clearly indicated by the above trends, while there are immense benefits in moving to the cloud, jumping onto the cloud bandwagon without proper knowledge or guidance is far from a prudent business move. For companies to remain updated, relevant, and competitive in a world that is dominated by rapidly evolving technology, they need to have a strategic cloud framework in place that is agile, efficient, and flexible. Partnering with the right solution providers can give companies that edge.

The Road Ahead

As CIOs and IT leaders rely on the cloud to grow their businesses, new trends and innovations will continue to emerge and reshape the future. The use of hybrid models of public and private clouds will become the norm, as organizations use multiple different providers for specific services. Further, companies will have to invest in training the workforce to augment their cloud skills and incubate newer technologies.

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How COVID-19 Is Reshaping the Contact Center Industry

According to the Contact Center Satisfaction Index 2019 from CFI Group, a market research firm, customer satisfaction with contact centers has been on the decline in the past few years. With the COVID-19 outbreak, this trend took a sharper slide.

Let’s face it: Many contact centers, including those with well-prepared disaster recovery plans, were caught unprepared in the face of this global humanitarian and economic crisis. Many of them are still scrambling to tackle an unprecedented spike in overall call volume (particularly in health care, government, and financial services), as well as manage staffing resources and the huge transition to the work-from-home environment.

Weaknesses Revealed

When the coronavirus outbreak hit us, chaos loomed everywhere. Movement patterns of customers had flipped, and workforces got atomized. As they should, safety and reliability became the top priorities for businesses and customers alike.
As customer behavior moved from physical interactions to digital transactions, businesses came under enormous pressure to continue delivering customer services, with quality and compassion. As the customer demands soared in the contactless business environment, businesses found themselves short of capacity and unable to address the emerging needs and consumption patterns. Many businesses pivoted and retooled to adapt to this society-wide shift. But as the outbreak has intensified, and with online buying at an all-time high, logistical delays and related issues have again led to exceedingly high call volumes.

While customers were initially patient and understanding, they’re now realizing this is the new normal, and many believe, understandably, that customer service organizations should have this figured out by now. Faced with long wait times, being routed from one channel/agent to another, having to repeat themselves, and, worst of all, not getting their problems resolved, customers are no longer finding the situation acceptable. They have started hitting their breaking points and increasingly bidding a not-so-fond farewell to companies.

The contact center industry has been facing one of the greatest challenges in its history—a sharp need to augment its ability to serve COVID-19-related customer queries and emerge stronger in the aftermath. As businesses formulated and implemented short-term crisis management plans, some smart companies had their call centers respond by adopting forward-looking reallocation measures.

While some companies have succeeded in re-evaluating their contact center strategies, capabilities, and channel mix (live chat, voice channels, etc.) to support the heavier volumes, deliver quality customer experiences, and gain a competitive edge by earning customer trust, others still seem to be struggling to adapt.

Since customers understand that normality is not likely to be restored anytime soon, they are pinning their hopes on companies adapting to the crisis now, and may not be in a forgiving mood. For instance, Amazon shoppers have quickly lost tolerance for delays and damaged or lost items, and are posting negative reviews to a degree never seen before. We’re all too familiar with what a spate of bad reviews can do to organizations, with or without a pandemic.

It’s a no-brainer that a good customer experience during the crisis will create a positive brand perception and customer loyalty post-crisis. Conversely, ill-prepared, ineffective, or uncaring responses are likely to trigger an equally pronounced negative reaction, which may lead to permanent loss of customers sooner than most companies realize.

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Small deals here to stay, enough room for all

According to Nigam, the consumption patterns are shifting from back office to front, and the IT is revenue enabler and therefore the consumption of solutions would be smaller in nature

Nishikant Nigam, EVP and Chief Delivery Officer, CSS Corp, and an ex-Infoscion, speaks about the evolving role of the delivery officer how a mid-tier outsourcing firm finds its niche among the larger players, and why he thinks smaller deal sizes in the industry are here to stay over the next 3-5 years.

Here are some edited excerpts from the interview:

 

Q: How is the role of a Chief Delivery Officer changing, with automation being such a constant theme?

 A: IT itself, is in my opinion, firmly in the driver seat in terms of any enterprise and it is the differentiator, it is the revenue generator for those enterprises.

In the past, it was probably the back-office role, therefore the role of the Delivery Officer or a Delivery Head of any organization becomes much more important, it is more connected to the clients and the businesses to solve the business problems which are the technologies, which are fairly new and maturing very fast.

Earlier there was an era of large deals; you would see 50-100 million dollars deals, a lot of focus was on executing those deals to perfection and that was the delivery main role, but today, with deal sizes have become much smaller, and therefore all the organizations who are providing IT services have to be different.

 

Q: You are a mid-tier services company, how is the kind of deals that you get into different from your larger peers? Do you think large deals are going to make a comeback?

A: My view is not in the near term because the consumption patterns are shifting from back office to front, and the IT is revenue enabler and therefore the consumption of solutions would be smaller in nature.

So, we won’t see 100 million dollars deals. It’s already happening, those are not there in the market. I think we are still three to five years away from a time when technology disruption of this kind takes place.

You would see the consumption pattern would always be small because our clients are also figuring this out (new technology), it takes time. And therefore I don’t think that we are going to see that kind of deal size in the near term but at the same time, the excitement and the consumption would increase on the smaller deal size, there would be many such deals because when you play on the revenue side the pie is much bigger. In the next 2-3 years, you would see multiple such deals happening in parallel and that is where we are also seeing traction.

We are getting into that part of the business and seeing the consumption growth in terms of numbers.

 

Q: So, what are the technologies that clients are most excited about?

A:  Data is becoming the most important thing we all know that people say “Data is the new oil, data is gold”. So, I think that technologies which are going to deal with real-time data are going to be very very important. The enterprises today have to make real-time decisions on their consumer behavior and therefore you need to have solutions which can enable that.

Technology-wise, there are multiple technologies which would come together. It would be a combination of data science, AI, analytics, IoT, virtual assistance. All those technologies or a combination of them would provide those kinds of experiences to our customer’s customer.

 

Q: You mentioned AI and IoT you have also been investing very heavily, internally in these technologies, could you talk a little bit, about the Cognitive Customer Experience Platform platform and other initiatives?

A: We invested very heavily some months ago in our Innovation Labs.

We have around 50 plus User experience designers, extreme programmers, we have around 40 data scientists, who are only working in the labs. Therefore, all these guys, the great brains are coming together.

Cognitive Customer Experience Platform is our AI platform which is one of the platforms, which is ingesting a lot of data, it also helps in virtual assistant in real time, it can be applied to conversational commerce, and it can be applied in the tech support area of where it becomes an enabler

Active Insights is a customer intelligence solution. We are sitting on the huge amount of data from our customers where we can find patterns in that data, we can apply those patterns into real-time work, in terms of either benefiting the business process or helping in terms of making the hyper-personalized experience for their customers so all that can be done through that.

We also have a context-driven IT operations and automation platform called Contelli, which can be applied to any infra world hybrid eco-system. It can quickly bring down the total cost of ownership as well as it has very contextual automation and we believe on the cost side in the contextual automation.

 

Q: How are you finding people with the requisite skill set? Are you retraining internally?

A: These are specialized services and I think that there is enough talent because in our lab we don’t need more than 100 people. So, from that point of view, you can attract talent. There are those kinds of people available, they may not be in large numbers. Secondly, you also need to re-purpose, re-orient.

The other thing is to retain talent. The employees need to also see whatever they are doing, they are able to generate interest in our client’s organization, and they are also contributing to our revenue growth.

As word spreads, this is how more and more people come in.

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Maximizing on positive reinforcement and adopting a reward-first culture

We are now more than six months into the pandemic- a never-before-seen situation for organizations worldwide. With an atomized workforce, every company has been tested on how they react to these stressful circumstances.
As the most influential model of motivation, Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs dissects the fundamental needs of humans – basic, psychological, and self-fulfillment needs. Employees’ needs are indeed a microcosmic reflection of this model and are vital to track their growth and development.

Maslow’s Hierarchy and Employee Engagement

Organizations can apply the psychoanalytic dimension of this model for employee engagement and effectively address their needs. Fair compensations meet their physiological and safety needs. Employee recognitions and rewards make them feel valued and appreciated thereby addressing their esteem needs. Thereby, making employees feel motivated to reach their true potential, thus carving a path for their self-actualization needs. It is a known fact that appreciation and motivation come hand in hand. Whether it is the plaudits an artist receives from the audience or a standing ovation after a batsman hits his century, the recognition received is unmatched even by loads of money

COVID-19: Putting theory into practice

We are now more than six months into the pandemic- a never-before-seen situation for organizations worldwide. With an atomized workforce, every company has been tested on how they react to these stressful circumstances.

Employee focus and engagement in uncertain times like these are coming across as one of the most common challenges.

When the different stages of Maslow’s hierarchy are not addressed, people are likely to suffer from mental health issues, affecting their overall well-being. This can gradually result into low employee engagement levels, morale, and productivity.

Understand the situation

The nature of the pandemic, its spread and health impacts coupled with isolated working have impinged upon the psyche of the employees with multifarious emotions viz. anxiety, uncertainty, fear, overwhelm, and pessimism. Thereby, shifting organizational focus to down a level or two on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Currently, employees are increasingly getting more motivated by the bottom three levels:

Physiological (food, water, sleep, clothing, shelter)
Safety and security (personal, emotional, financial, health)
Belonging (friends, relationships, family).
As such, organizations need to demonstrate dynamic cognition of the situation and innovate new ways of engaging with employees, ensuring a positive flow of energy and increased levels of recognition.

Many employee-centric companies have put on hold on-going initiatives, and reprioritized employee safety as a paramount requirement. The implementation of a work from anywhere policy is part of this employee-safety-first approach. For those companies where remote working was not fully feasible, employers ensured special efforts towards increased workspace separation and sanitation, social distancing, spacing work on manufacturing floors, and staggered shifts.

Many organizations like Amazon, Facebook, Walmart, Reliance, PepsiCo, and Paytm have also been taking care of employee compensations, organizing elaborate learning and development programs, and monitoring the mental well-being of their employees. PepsiCo has also pledged to pay full salaries to quarantined employees. Walmart has been hiring aggressively and paying extra bonuses to its employees for going above and beyond the call of duty in serving its customers during these challenging times. Facebook has also rewarded its employees with $1,000 bonuses to support their families in adapting during the crisis.

Mental wellness of employees is one of the most critical HR challenges in this health and economic crisis. ITC Hotels Group is treating mental wellness as its top priority. In this pursuit, each HR manager calls at least 10 employees daily to check upon their and family’s health and safety.

Organizations have had to rethink town halls and transform them into 100% virtual yet engaging sessions. Using collaboration platforms like Zoom, WebEx, Microsoft Teams, HR teams have been bringing the whole organization together in a virtual environment where leaders can share their thoughts and financial results with employees, address many hard-hitting questions from employees and reward top performers. Also, to address the fun and engagement facet of workforce management, HRs are now organizing multiple health and wellness webinars, virtual games, yoga sessions and virtual celebrations on special occasions and festivals.

All these employee-centric steps help companies to achieve their objective of keeping employees feel valued, appreciated, motivated, and cared for.

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