The Covid-19 pandemic has changed how people work all over the world, and it's perhaps felt most in large companies such as ISHO, which continued to grow during the pandemic. Restricted to the confines of their own homes, ISHO's workers and employees have had to acquaint themselves with a new kind of work environment and experience. Seamlessly aligning the ISHO workforce according to the standards dictated by this "new normal" has been as much of a learning experience as it has been a challenge, says ISHO's M. M. A. Yeasin.
As the Head of HR at one of the very first Bangladeshi companies to make the switch to remote working when the coronavirus hit Bangladesh, Mr. Yeasin had to find innovative workarounds to the attendant difficulties of conducting an entire company from home, at a scale that was and is entirely unprecedented. Collaboration, in particular, has been difficult to ensure, but with the needs of the employees as his priority, Mr. Yeasin was able to facilitate the change.
But when it comes to conducting business during a global pandemic, the challenges associated with remote working are only the tip of the iceberg. Besides ensuring an uninterrupted flow in the execution of daily tasks, HR professionals now need to pay extra attention to employees’ health and well-being, says Mr. Yeasin.
However, with a structured approach, and by allowing for the set-up of effective communication channels and modalities, it has been possible to sustain the workflow, he says.
Employees are also regularly alerted about the need to follow necessary safety guidelines and instructions in order to keep both themselves and their families safe. According to Mr. Yeasin, it's important to create a space for openness and honesty with employees who might feel that keeping up communications virtually might be a bit overwhelming.
And it's not all bleak, says Mr. Yeasin. Initiating remote working has actually been beneficial for ISHO in many ways. The company’s primary target during the lockdown has been to boost online sales, at which they have succeeded.
Furthermore, not only has the company been enjoying lower organizational costs and reduced turnover, they have also reported a boost in employee morale and productivity. This is no doubt thanks to the many benefits of working from home, such as flexible schedules and the lack of a time-consuming commute. According to Mr. Yeasin, as long as one has the right technology and a stable Internet connection, working from home is not only easy but can even be highly rewarding.
But overall, says Mr. Yeasin, transforming the process has really made the entire talent acquisition process much easier and simpler.
At the end of it all, the topmost priority is always maintaining the health and wellness of employees, says Mr. Yeasin. To ensure flawless business operations without endangering the lives of workers, ISHO has undertaken preventive approaches in both their manufacturing plant and delivery operations. All manufacturing and delivery personnel go through routine check-ups and have access to a dedicated medical hotline through which they can communicate directly with doctors for medical consultation and support of any kind.
And ensuring sound mental health is also a priority for ISHO’s dedication to their employees, says Mr. Yeasin – which is evidenced in expert counseling sessions arranged for ISHO’s employees. Not to mention, all employees enjoy a professionally designed performance appraisal process and can avail various leave policies.
The company’s rewards and recognition program also help key performers stand out and reap the benefits of a competitive working culture.
The most important thing, however, according to Mr. Yeasin, is establishing effective and clear communications amongst all members of an organization. Only then, he says, can a company hope to succeed as ISHO has done.