Living through the various lockdown periods in pandemic times, has led to a stange and new way of life across the world. Working from home has become the norm for most of our employees. This had to be juggled with household chores and diverse routines.
What could we do to ease the hard work? How could we motivate our staff to relax and have some entertaiment and enjoyment which could include their families as well?
In dashed HR to the rescue! When employees opened their office mails, there, amidst all the workload, out popped a colourful banner or a bright illustration, which caught your attention. Drop your work, tackle a quiz, dress up, decorate, showcase your talent, your craft, your hobby. Live, laugh… all will be well!
For many of you, this was a welcome start to the work day, a ray of sunshine that cheered you up and, for a while, you were back at the office, interacting with your teams, vying for prizes, sharing photos on the Facebook page, and above all, connecting with your colleagues. It provided a colourful release from the stark new regime, and gave you the incentive to handle it all with renewed energy. It gave you a sense of belonging.
Here Sapna Dhorda, General Manager, gives us a brief idea of the activities through these months.
“In the present business situation during the COVID‐19 pandemic, employee engagement became the highest priority of the Thomas Cook Group to help employees navigate the “new normal”. Connecting and Reimagining was the way forward. Communicating with the employees through various online mediums became more important, considering all of us were working from home. Virtual engagement initiatives were initiated, which helped to assure employees that they were not working in a vacuum alone, but were still a part of the greater team.
We initiated various monthly employee engagement events using the online platforms catering to different segments of employees, whihc included individual activities, group events, customised interventions for specific teams, etc. We also explored opportunities to use social media platforms like the Facebook page of the Thomas Cook Group for the employees to upload pictures, as well as videos, based on different monthly themes. Monthly events such as aRecipe Contest, Back to School, Bollywood Dhamaka, Exploring India, Fitness Challenge etc. saw an overwhelming response from our staff across Thomas Cook & SOTC. The employees got a platform to showcase their creativity in arts and crafts, singing, dancing, cookery, fitness, etc. It was engaging not only for the employees, but their families as well, who participated in the events such as Back to School & Funtakshari. Employees along with their families enthusiastically participated in singing rhymes with actions. Bollywood Dhamaka had our employees showcase their singing talent which was a sight to behold.
Considering the importance of Fitness during the lockdown phase, we introduced a “Fitness Challenge” which was spearheaded by Abraham Alapatt- President & Group Head-Marketing, Service Quality, ValueAdded Services & Innovation. Abe gave us insights on his fitness mantra, followed by Jayadev Rajagopal, Manvendra Singh, which led to many more employees also giving their stories on the fitness mantras followed by them during lockdown, which was inspiring for others!
We had our Diwali celebrations online where employees posted various photos of Diwali decorations and could attend the Diwali Pooja online. We ended the year with the #Express your Gratitude, where employees could share or express their gratitude towards each other with various postcards that were posted on the internal system.
We continue to have monthly engagement activities through different platforms and our endeavour is to promote more employee connects with each other through these activities, besides work, to help them overcome any isolation they may feel…. and to show them that although there may be ‘distancing’ …. we can still be ‘social’ together!”
Fun ‘d’ mentals has indeed put the ‘fun’ back into the workplace.
General Manager HR
Marathon futurex, Mumbai