By Ritu Kochhar
We started 2020 on a promising note, but our operations were impacted, like many others, owing to the total lockdown faced by the country. During these challenging and unprecedented times, it became more important than ever to care for all our stakeholders– employees, customers, partners and our community. Based on Government approvals, we are gradually restoring our manufacturing and sales operations.
To create readiness, we have ensured that specific guidelines are put in place in accordance with WHO, MHA and respective state government advisories around social distancing and hygiene. We have come up with innovative solutions to scale up our manufacturing while maintaining social distancing in our shop floor, cafeteria and other common spaces. Additional buses are being run with 50% capacity for safe travel of our workforce to our plants. Our quality team has worked closely with our global team and put in place norms around sanitisation by detailing out the chemicals to be used and frequency. We have identified isolation rooms in each factories and have tied up with hospitals to be ready in case any worker shows symptoms of illness. We have focused a lot on communication by reiteration of norms of new normal by leaders, through posters, mailers and videos of our employees displaying the same.
In order to resume our distribution, our team is following the pre-detailed SOPs around things to do at home before going to field, at outlets, while traveling and after reaching back home from field to ensure workplace safety while striving for continuity in delivery of our products to consumers. We have ensured that our partners like distributors and depots are also adhering to the guidelines around social distancing and hygiene. We have also provided medical insurance and PPE allowances to ascertain safety of our field force.
The new normal has enhanced our usage of virtual learning and engagement initiatives not just for employees but also where families are a part of it. We have strengthened our communication channels by leveraging various levels of management to ensure cascade of business update and to ensure momentum through Management Team led Townhalls, Trailblazers connect (which includes our second line of management), monthly functional meets and virtual connect sessions in small groups with senior leaders. We are continuously talking about how we are contributing to communities around plants and saluting not just our HEROes in plants and in the marketplace but also Government officials and administrative staff.
As we scale up our operations, we have to wield our learnings to look at our business models in new reality, be aligned to new consumer behavior and ensure holistic well – being of employees.
The author is the Head Human Resources at Perfetti Van Melle India.