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Off-beat Employee Programs with a Purpose

Many organizations have started a variety of off-beat employee engagement programs with diverse objectives.

Says Nagina: “With offerings like MindFi (a mindfulness app subscription) and Employee Assistance Program, DBS Bank is looking to provide solutions to address employees’ mental wellbeing. Additionally, the bank organized a slew of informative webinars with experts for managers to equip them to detect and handle employee distress in a virtual setting. Our efforts have also focused on de-stigmatizing mental wellness through ‘coffee with counsellor’ sessions, giving our staff an avenue to connect with professional counsellors.”

The bank also launched the ‘Together Campaign’ to provide a psychological safety net to employees and reaffirm that DBS stands together in times of turmoil. Nagina says with this campaign, the bank built a ‘learn, share and teach’ community from within the bank to share stories ranging from fun activities to cooking recipes and more.

The bank also rolled out Covid Warriors campaign to recognize employees who had stepped beyond the line of duty to support customers, colleagues and the community at large. Virtual connections with the leadership teams increased manifold to establish a direct channel with the leadership. Another initiative was ‘Future Forward Week’ – a virtual learning festival for employees where internal and external panel discussions are arranged. Idea Vaults and Ideathons were conducted with seed funding for ideas that will shape the new normal.

Digit Insurance engaged all the teams together in monthly quarantine games. Whether it was Guess the Movie Challenge or the Disney Villain Puzzle, or 90’s Cartoon Quiz, the company has received overwhelming response from each team in every city across India.

Amrit added that they did not let covid dampen the spirits and those teams which could not physically meet got together and celebrated festivals virtually. “Our #HarDinDiwali virtual engagement challenge left a smile on every team member’s face. Participation were overwhelming and we could engage with employees across all our 50 locations,” says Amrit.

She further added that the organization has been memorializing the memories of Indian reformers for years and continue to look up to the work of influencers who are representing the country on a global platform through the sheer hard work in their respective industries. “And this Independence Day, we thought of celebrating their awesomeness with a little twist and loads of fun! The lockdown allowed us to cross-train team members on pre-inspection, non-motor and health operations. Sessions were done to bridge the knowledge gap and it was hearting to see so many team members willing to broaden their skills and willing to learn,” she said.

During these trying times, it became imperative for organizations to stay connected with their employees and keep a close track of their mental and physical well-being. Reliance Securities introduced several activities which included employees and their family members, such as the ‘Family Moments’ activity where employees, were encouraged to share small moments with their families while cooking, playing, etc.

Says Meenaa: “We also ran a photography contest on the theme of ‘view from the window’. Apart from that, we have been releasing ‘action calendars’ with a motivational theme every month, which helps employees stay positive and plan a work routine. An online 24×7 doctor’s care helpline was always made available for all our employees and their family members. As an additional layer of employee engagement, we ensured wishing the family members of our employees also on their birthdays.”

During the lockdown, when most of the Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance workforce was working from home, it provided a huge opportunity for the company to interact with a wider base including the family members of the employees. The company went completely digital in this engagement initiative. Some of the activities included team games on Zoom like treasure hunt, Tambola, Trivia Quiz to Dumb Charades, and other fun activities.

Kiran says: “Besides fun activities, we also conducted informative and engaging sessions such as Zumba, meditation, yoga, painting, drawing and storytelling sessions for children. All the good times that we had seen before the lockdown were a motivation for all of us, a reminder to look forward, activities such as sharing last year off-site pictures or sharing pictures with your best buddies. These were effective enough to not just create engagement but stirred a sense of looking forward to being able to do that all over again, and instilled hope and positivity amongst the employees.”

Staying connected and engaged while working remotely was the ultimate challenge at hand. CRIF Highmark conducted various online events like Fun Fridays with hobby and talent display, ‘guess your colleague’ contest through childhood photographs and ‘know your CRIF’ kind of activities. Continuous engagement along with a focus on learning was the key. Workshops and training sessions were also held on how to take online meetings, how to communicate and how to present oneself in online meetings. The motivational speaker session series had actor Ashish Vidyarthi interacting with all CRIFians talking about ‘making today matter’.

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