employer branding at randstad india - pushing back the borders of possibility.
Anjali Raghuvanshi shares her perspectives on how COVID-19 has affected employee sentiment, reshaped employer brands, and provided a catalyst for positive workplace change.
COVID-19 has changed the way we work, much of it permanently. The resulting upheaval has caused anxiety among many employers and employees. Yet it’s also brought welcome progress within the workplace, from greater acceptance of flexibility and remote working to readiness to address mental health issues. Anjali Raghuvanshi looks at what we can learn from the turmoil and tests of the past year, and how we can use this as a springboard for creating a more supportive, productive, and fulfilling world of work.
Randstad wants to make a difference by creating opportunities for work, and improving people’s lives.
How did you come to join Randstad, and what do you find most rewarding about your work?
"I joined Randstad seven years ago, having previously worked at Tata Motors. I was looking for new challenges, and with Randstad India in transition following a series of acquisitions, this was a great opportunity. This is a business that aligns with my values. Randstad wants to make a difference by creating opportunities for work, and improving people’s lives. I also like the fact that Randstad encourages a commercially-minded approach to HR, and enables me to work so closely with the business.
My immediate challenge when I joined was to bring together all the different acquired businesses and their different cultures. It was important to strike the right balance between instilling the One Randstad way of working and supporting our people, while retaining the strengths of these organizations, and ensuring people wouldn’t feel overwhelmed by now being part of a large global group."
How has COVID-19 affected the way Randstad India works?
"Like so many businesses around the world, we had to quickly switch to working from home. Apart from the tech sector, remote working had been rare here in India, and Randstad was no exception. Our IT infrastructure team did an amazing job putting all the necessary systems in place in just 48 hours. But the people side of the switch has proved to be more challenging. That’s why engagement, safety, and wellbeing have been our key properties from the outset. How do we keep in touch with our people now they’re working from home? What do they need? How do we know they’re keeping safe and well?
To protect and assure colleagues, we sent out a clear message that safety comes first, business second. We’ve carried out daily health surveys, offered free vaccinations and made sure our people are supported if they fall ill. We’ve also distributed essential equipment such as masks, thermometers, and oxygen meters. Thanks to support from Randstad group, we have also received 150 oxygen concentrators for use by employees or their families if they can’t get access to a ventilator.
Mental wellbeing has been just as important as physical safety. We check on employees’ mental health as part of our daily surveys, and offer counselling and support when needed. We’ve introduced ‘Clear your calendar’ Fridays, with no scheduled meetings, so people can de-stress and wind down for the weekend. To bring a little light relief for cooped up employees and their families, we’ve also been staging virtual social events, such as Randstad’s Got Talent.
As people fell ill or had to isolate, resources within our business were inevitably stretched. But output, productivity and client service have held up well. One of the keys to this has been distinguishing “must have”, “good to have” and “should we have” activities. People have also stepped in to cover for colleagues while they’re unwell. I don’t think we’ll ever go back to working in the office full-time. So, this initial experience of remote working has provided a valuable ‘warm-up’ for the move to hybrid working ahead."
We check on employees’ mental health as part of our daily surveys, and offer counselling and support when needed.
You can download and read the full interview with Anjali Raghuvanshi, Chief People Officer at Randstad India.