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Coronavirus: From meditation to family contests, how Capgemini has been managing employees

14 Apr 2020

In times of coronavirus crisis, Capgemini has launched programmes like ‘Re-vive in Five’ where they reach out to the entire team with topics other than work every day, like well-being, productivity improvement, and health to help spread positivity and team bonding.

Capgemini is a 17 billion Euros consulting, IT, and digital transformation company. Like many companies, Capgemini too has initiated several measures for the welfare of employees and clients during the current coronavirus crisis. Ashwin Yardi, CEO-India, Capgemini, spoke to YourStory on the new normal that everyone has to get used to.

Ashwin Yardi
Ashwin Yardi, CEO of Capgemini India

Here are the excerpts of the interview:

YourStory (YS): How are you going about your promotions during the current lockdown period?

Ashwin Yardi: Capgemini’s top priority is to maintain the health, safety, and security of its employees, business partners, and clients. We have rapidly taken proactive steps to enable work-from-home for our team members jointly in consultation with our clients. Today, almost 95 percent of our employees are already working from home. We have received a lot of appreciation from clients across the globe acknowledging the business continuity maintained by the India team in such challenging times.

At Capgemini, we are going ahead with increments and promotions for all junior professionals effective from April 1, 2020. This will ensure coverage for more than 70 percent of our colleagues in this cycle. For senior consultants/managers and above, salary increments will be effective July 1, 2020, with increment letters being released in June. This will be done as per our plan and in line with our commitment to ensure market competitiveness across all grades.

Our variable pay assessment for the year 2019 has been concluded and the pay-out is made to all eligible employees along with the March 2020 payroll. We have ensured that our strong results of 2019 are reflected in the variable pay-outs, without any impact of the ongoing situation.

YS: Are you going ahead with new hiring and onboarding?

AY: We will continue to hire as per our plans and client requirements. The hiring will be split between freshers and laterals and will focus on skills in ‘New Age Technologies’ such as Digital, Cloud, and Data Analytics. We have honoured the offers made. We are onboarding employees who have joined during the lockdown period across different grades and using digital means of onboarding which also includes completing their joining formalities online. At Capgemini, the onboarding process is fully-digital now, as we believe in going paperless and be a responsible corporate. This involves a mix of human involvement enabled by technology enablement including automation solutions.

The virtual onboarding involves completion of joining formalities and a walkthrough of our policies. We have launched a buddy programme, where the new recruit is assigned an employee of the same business unit as a “buddy” who can help the joinee for the first few months with general queries that are not related to work deliverables.

In a new initiative, our Group IT team is sending desktops or laptops to the employee’s home along with stepwise instructions to configure and connect remotely to the Capgemini network in a secure manner via VPN. It enables faster deployment to work, adheres to social distancing norms set by the government and enables work from home with required security guidelines.

YS: What wellness initiatives are you taking for your employees?

AY: Considering that this is a relatively new way of delivering services to clients, we have initiated a massive strategic communication through mailers, webinars and sessions by key IT professionals on delivering to clients while maintaining security protocols. To provide emotional support to our employees, we have launched a series of wellness initiatives. We have arranged counselling service for our employees through our empanelled counselling service provider. We are regularly conducting webinars in association with our external partner on pertinent topics like dealing with anxiety and stress. We have also started a Guided Meditation series in association with our wellness partner which includes light pre-exercise, meditation and post-exercise. We have been regularly sharing best practices of maintaining health and hygiene during these challenging times.

Capgemini has launched a structured employee engagement programme in order to keep the morale and spirits of our employees high while working from home. We have launched programmes like ‘Re-vive in Five’ where we reach out to the entire team with a topic other than work every day – wellbeing, productivity improvement, health to help spread positivity and team bonding. We also have a similar employee engagement through the ‘21 Day Habit Challenge’.

We have launched ‘Capgemini Bigg Boss challenge’ where employees along with their family or friends can participate in an exciting series of tasks or contests. The tasks and contests range from creativity challenge, showcasing the unique talent of family or friend, online quiz contest, fitness challenge and a theme dressing challenge. These activities are a great way to help employees stay connected virtually with the organisation and bring in the fun element while doing so.

YS: What is the contribution of Capgemini India in fighting coronavirus?

AY: We, at Capgemini, also work for our communities and society that nurture us, under the umbrella of Architects of Positive Futures (AOPF). Capgemini has already committed Rs 40 lakh, with an additional Rs 50 lakh coming in through employee contributions. The funds have been deployed to help procure protective masks for police and health department personnel at the frontlines. We are, through our CSR partners, reaching out to affected communities of daily wage earners and migrant populations by providing them with dry and cooked ration. Also, in order to alleviate stress and anxiety triggered by these uncertain times, we have started a toll-free helpline for our fellow Indian citizens. Additionally, Capgemini is in touch with government and NGO partners on response measures.

(Edited by Javed Gaihlot)

(Edited by Suman Singh)

This story was originally published in YourStory.

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