Fifteen months have passed since the bugle was sounded for what has been the unfolding of unprecedented headlines in our life, none other than ‘Covid 19’. What has this meant to life as we knew it remains an evolving drama.
As I sit back and see its impact, I realise that this event like all other unprecedented events prior to it had no recknor that once could use. What amplified its magnitude was that this was an event that equally impacted all lives. There was no country or continent which did not face its trauma or pain.
Personally and Professionally people faced dilemmas of varying intensities. Lets identify a few, such as families were never made to spend time 24×7, Workplaces though over a period of time were beginning to offer work from home in pockets – such sudden velocity to make it work at home 24×7 was unthought of, children are actually getting promoted to the next grade without exams, workplaces are actually considering lesser investment in real estate and more in employee benefits to enhance living standards of employees to comply with the new contemporary norms. All this and many more examples which are difficult to collate in one such paper only seem to be the tip of the iceberg.
Human beings usually follow the fight or flight mode in such scenarios. As I look around me, from the initial uncertainty, to gradually understanding what this disease was all about, to basic measures of safety being adhered, to lock downs being lifted and then subsequent waves gutting all that was created as a means of first line of defense to improvised living within the new norms where digital economy now rules, human life is finally given equal importance in developed economies as well as third world countries is like coming of age. All of this showed great Resilience and Adaptability. In the workplace, as an example, teams and employees looked up to their supervisors/ managers to show the way just like in the military where the squads look onto their leaders. While training is provided to all, no amount of training can still prep you for a surprise attach which is what this disease was. Managers had to quickly first accept that they are in a situation where their own well being could be a threat, yet it was important to accept that there may or may not be a way out but together with the team different lines of defense can be drawn up. In doing so, they adapted new gig mediums to guide their teams, reach out and encourage them to think out of the box and find pathways to connect and continue doing business while ensuring they are safe. Look at the ingenuity which companies like Zomato are delivering oxygen in these trying times.
At the core of any business is its customer and the profits it makes. However, the heart is driven by its people. Employee productivity is an important measurement for assessing how successful a business is and is likely to continue to be. Employee productivity in these unprecedented times have been impacted as customers are far more cautious given the fact that medical emergencies are more critical to attend to vs other needs which would otherwise have had importance. Many businesses and industries have collapsed in these times and customers have re-assessed their needs, making productivity difficult but not impossible. Wherever employees have displayed empathy and been more mindful to engage with customers beyond what they are verbalizing, they have managed to create wealth and customers for life. Eg; home schooling is a reality where teachers are now more adept to assessing and addressing childrens needs in the new hybrid environment. BFSI has seen customers and employees adept in adopting digital channels paving the way for hybrid product bundling .
All in all, the human race has known to be able to be resilient, be adaptable and productive no matter what the challenge posed to them and we continue to evolve. Not the mightiest but the most adaptable learn to survive, eg; crocodiles are there even today but not dinosaurs…. !
Deepika Kinger, has managed leadership profiles in Human Resources and comes with over 2 decades of experience in Human Resources and Sales. Out of the Box thinking, ability to deal with complex regulations and managing critical operations in HR has been her forte as she has led functions of Training and Development, HR Governance and Payroll and Retirals. She is an ACTP Certified Coach, Assessment centre Certified by People Metrics, DISC Certified by Thomas Assessments and a Strengthsfinder Coach. Her core has been people in the form of external customers in Sales and Employees in Human Resources. She has won accolades for being an astute HR Professional, Best Trainers in India, etc by World HRD Congress. Passionate and Committed to making a difference to the people she works with is her motto and learning never stops her belief.