Leaders its time to Walk the Talk

if People are really your Greatest Asset

By | Ramesh Ranjan | Editor www.humanengineers.com

Audio Version :

Recorded by Dotcom Dollar

Every Leader worth his salt in every Organisation proclaims that

But when the Business situation gets tough, the first liability is PEOPLE. That explains why such large scale layoff and unemployment in this world. Shareholder value has begun to take precedence over employee loyalty and well-being.

The Corona Virus has affected 132 758 confirmed and caused  4955 deaths globally in around 122 countries as of 13 March 2020. As per WHO reports.

It has been declared a Pandemic Disease by WHO. Many countries have imposed travel ban and have quarantined themselves. The only way out to limit the damage is through social distancing and avoiding large congregation of people.

India & many Countries have taken proactive measures to contain the spread of the disease. The next couple of weeks are going to be very important in the containment of the disease. Many governments have mandated the closure of schools, colleges, universities, restaurants, pubs, public events, sporting events etc and even in some cases banned large gatherings in marriages etc. 

The Karnataka Government has issued an advisory note to the Corporate Organisations to encourage their employees to work from home. There is an eerie silence on the part of Corporate Organisations. Thousands of employees work in large Organisations and in large Tech Parks and congregate in thousands daily. The raging debate is not on the safety of the employees but whether the Government announcement is Mandatory or is it Advisory in nature. Should we or should we not comply with it?

People are ferried in large numbers in buses, work in air-conditioned offices, eat in cafeteria, have heard that there is no thermal scanners, people with cough, cold come to offices etc. When people have applied for leave they have been refused. They are at high risk and have potential to spread like wild fire if unchecked.

Its not the poor or the ordinary citizen who has carried these deadly disease. It was employees from Dell, Mindtree, Intel, Google, Accenture who have suspected to have contracted this disease and have potentially could spread them to others.

When all other pillars of the society have risen to the occasion and are working towards social distancing, what prevents Organization’s to suspend their operations or resort to work from home for at least a week to 10 days. Some of the organization’s have come forward like Google, Apple, IBM and a few others have sporadically adopted a work from home policy. Here is a list of companies that have adopted Staying at Home policy. But most others have stayed grim and non-committal.

We have heard comments from Business Leaders and HR Leaders that it is possible to work from home for Tech companies and Software Companies but for other organization’s it would not be possible. The Business will get affected.  If the safety of your employees is of primary concern and you really believe that People are your Greatest Asset, suspend operations. Yes your revenues will get affected, your profits will decline – so be it. You can’t earn profits over Peoples health and dead bodies.

Most of the Organisations work 5 day a week. Cant they suspend operations for the next week and compensate by working 5 other Saturdays. Cant HR in these organisations come up with a simple alternative solution.

Yes there will be disruption in services, Economy will tank, but no one is going to mind that but for the greedy Corporate Leaders who want to further fill their coffers. If organisations stand by their employees, history is replete with examples of how organisations, countries have bounced back from disastrous situations and crisis.

Its in their own interests, that Organisations and its leaders must realise that the transparency fostered by social media means their business might depend on how they behave towards their employees, the community and the world in these times of distress.

Profit maximization may be the ‘end’ but the means to achieve this end, is what matters, and that distinguishes a great Company and others

Its about time that we bring back the Humanness into the Organisation. Lets hope that the greedy heart is purified by the virus and pray that the disease is contained.

And to all employees remember what Dr APJ Kalam had to say about Loyalty:

This is the true test of character of an organization, its leaders and its HR policies. The time has come for all of us to honour the Caring organizations who genuinely believe in the welfare of their people and expose other hypocrites for whom People are only a lip sympathy……….

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