JK Cement stands by commitment; new hires e-join

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated many notable changes in the work environment. While the shift in the hiring paradigm has already resulted in physical face-to-face interviews being replaced by interviews on Skype and Google duo, the concept of virtual joining too is in the market now.

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Amidst the coronavirus lockdown, there are companies, which have either halted their hiring process, or withdrawn or deferred the joining of candidates who were offered jobs. JK Cement has gone the other way and decided to stick to its commitment. The Company has opted for e-joining, and all those who were given joining letters for the month of March, are being asked to join via the electronic route.

Andleeb Jain, chief people officer, JK Cement, shares with HRKatha, “Truly, technology has enabled seamless joining of new employees who were shortlisted to join at various levels”

The new joinees include frontline sales staff as well as mid-level managers in departments, such as marcom and technical services.

Jain reveals that the on-boarding exercise has been seamless, apart from the fact that the new hires cannot be provided with official laptops or mobile phones due to the lockdown. “But we have requested them to use their existing resources, even their personal mail IDs in some cases, till the time we are able to actually move things physically with company-configured IT assets,” Jain explains.

To compensate for the lack of physical presence, Jain personally wrote a welcome letter to each candidate and as soon as they were on-boarded, the management also made sure that they received all the advisories issued to the existing employees, regarding the spread of coronavirus.

“Communication with them has been the key throughout. We had already made clear to the prospective candidates that they had no need to worry and that joining will take place on time. We made optimum use of the cloud-based ERP system, which has been quite handy in the on-boarding process. In fact, all our offer and appointment letters were easily generated and didn’t even require any signatures,” asserts Jain.

Andleeb Jain

Since operations are at a standstill, we feel this is the best time to focus on exploring and learning new things

 

However, considering that communication with the new on-boarded candidates can be a cumbersome task, the officials are expecting some amount of patience and resilience from the new joinees. Amidst this lockdown scenario, and with no physical movement, the management is focussing more on anytime, anywhere learning through various tools.

“Since e-joining is a very recent phenomenon, we are also learning how to refine this process into a smooth run. Many of the HR policies and processes that we have are available online on our cloud-based ERP platform, which is difficult to e-navigate on a personal laptop, unless the new employees are handed over the company-configured laptops, more from the IT security point of view. Hence, we are sharing the PPT format via mails to take them through some of the modules,” Jain explained.

The induction process for the new candidates is on in full swing.  The mandate allows the on-boarded candidates to be guided through the Company’s cloud-based HR system, and then through some specific tools related to their function.  Say, for instance, if some employee joins in sales, she/he is taken through various apps and digital initiatives that the Company uses for the sales people. However, the installation of these apps on personal devises is a challenge, and hence, the management is trying to devise ways in which to do it.

Learning is an ongoing process

JK Cement is utilising this time to help even the existing employees grasp new learnings each day.

“We are able to connect and interact with our employees very easily through mediums, such as Zoom Call, Webex and Skype. This lockdown has also enabled us to offer online learning modules on our HR cloud platform. We are in the process of adding many more online modules in our system, and Zoom video-based training for employees at different sites is also being planned. We will have trainers connecting employees in groups of 10-15 at various individual locations and running two to three-hour long programmes. Since operations are at a standstill, we feel this is the best time to focus on exploring and learning new things,” says Jain enthusiastically.

As an employee-friendly organisation, Jain claims, JK Cement has taken a call to not delay, reduce or defer any salaries to any staff or workers of the Company during this crisis period. “This has not only brought much-needed relief to all the employees, but increased their trust in the Company. We are also focussing on refining certain strategies for the forthcoming financial year, including our budgets,” divulges Jain.