Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has a dedicated third-party team to take care of and support its employees, who contract the COVID-19 infection. Called the Hitchki Response Protocol, it takes complete control of the situation. Irrespective of whether the employee is working from office or home, from the moment the suspicion of infection arises, the team takes charge of the situation.
“Humans are social beings, who are used to interacting and communicating at a social level, that doesn’t exist anymore. On one hand, while few employees are excited at the opportunity to work remotely — because it offers flexibility, and has increased their productivity — there are a bunch of employees who are deeply affected by the virtual working setup.”
“From getting the employees tested for the virus from the comfort of their homes to arranging beds in hospitals and providing PPE kits, the team does everything. We are deeply committed to the wellbeing of our employees,” shares Sailesh Menezes, director-HR, HPE.
Not just the physical wellness, HPE is also committed towards the mental wellness of employees during these tough times.
“Humans are social beings, who are used to interacting and communicating at a social level, that doesn’t exist anymore. On one hand, while few employees are excited at the opportunity to work remotely — because it offers flexibility, and has increased their productivity — there are a bunch of employees who are deeply affected by the virtual working setup,” Menezes says.
“Wellness in an office environment is very different from that in a virtual setup. Today, you are not just managing your work life but also your home life. So, there are employees managing the domestic and professional front at the same time, which is a lot more challenging,” points out Menezes.
He believes the stress is more on the women staff. One needs to understand that children, who used to go to schools or creches, are now at home all day. With no domestic help, managing domestic chores, taking care of the elderly and the children along with handling official work, builds up a lot of stress.
“We realised that there is an extraordinary amount of stress, more on our women employees than men, just like the socio-cultural norms in India, wherein most of the household chores tend to fall on women. Therefore, we directed a lot of webinars, especially our employee-assessment programmes, towards women during these times.”
To connect with employees at large, HPE has initiated a weekly programme, called the ‘Virtual Happy Hour’, that brings teams together for casual discussions and sharing of thoughts. Also, a global connect is established with the CEOs interacting frequently with the employees.
According to Menezes, “Nothing has changed much in the past few months except for the fact that physical engagement has given way to virtual engagement.”
Menezes rightly explains that productivity can be looked at from different aspects — the infrastructure to be productive at home, the flexibility to be able to provide support to the organisation and the customer, keeping in mind their work schedules, and the physical and emotional state of the employees to be as productive as they are in office.
The Company has allowed every manager to define productivity in their own way. So, each manager works with his/her team on certain productivity norms and goals, taking into consideration their life at home.
“Productivity is also about enabling employees to work productively from home. So, we have provided employees with requisite infrastructure, such as high-speed dongles and power backups,” shares Menezes.
Learning and development
For Menezes, the lockdown has driven a high demand for online learning. Accordingly, the third important pillar for HPE is the entire learning process, which was virtualised.
The focus was primarily on virtual-learning platforms, which are cloud-based and available on mobiles phones, where employees can easily access and learn on the go.
“We are driving the whole learning mission to take HPE as a learning organisation through the virtualised-learning platform,” he adds.
On the hiring front, the Company is focussed on need-based hiring. “We will continue to emphasise on internal roles, because we believe in giving opportunities internally,” claims Menezes.