Threats as Opportunities in HR

In March of 2020, our world, as all of you know, halted. Unemployment soared, hiring froze and the fear of job loss occurred for many. Nearly every company made a plan of action in case something worse happened.

In our organization, EC Group’s HR department was especially prepared. Our mindset was ‘how can we use this threat as an opportunity?’. From there, a 3 step EC Group Retainment Process was created to make sure that our employees knew that they were being cared for every step of the way.

What does this process look like? 

  1. Comfort 
  2. Safety
  3. Being Cared For 

Comfort: Once we saw that COVID might be a long-term world problem, employees were given a stipend to purchase office furniture and supplies, wifi, or anything else they needed to be successful in their jobs remotely. Our team in Chennai is still working from home to this day, and will continue to do so until we do not see COVID as a large threat to our staff and their families. Our goal is to keep our employees’ jobs and location consistent and a place of joy, rather than a place of stress and large changes.

Safety: When it came to safety, we also made sure that we were unmatched in this effort. COVID has come in waves all around the world. When wave #2 hit Chennai, India saw hardships that were unprecedented. The HR team, once again stepped up to the plate and decided to purchase an oxygen concentrator for our office. It was available to anyone who worked at EC Group and their families, in case of emergency. 

The HR team also decided to start providing COVID insurance, which would help support the costs of COVID care. Along with the insurance, our employees were given the opportunity to get their deductible covered for them and their family members if they were ever in need of going to seek emergency care. Our goal is to make sure that no employee or family member is left feeling overwhelmed by the cost or accessibility of healthcare for them and their family.

Being Cared For: When March 2020 hit, Chennai had severe lockdowns. People could not drive around; they could not go out on their bikes; they could go to the store only for a few hours on one day a week.

Our HR team’s creativity was unmatched during this time. They were sending care packages to our employees and their families as well as a handwritten letter. After this, a person from our HR team would contact every employee once a week and see how they and their family were, if they needed help with anything and just to be a supportive person in this time of crisis. We still are doing this.

Once we were a few months into COVID and lockdowns were a little less intense, we continued doing these packages. But instead of sending them through the delivery system, our Vice President of HR, Daniel, drove to everyone’s house and delivered these packages with a warm smile. Daniel told me that “this was the most heartwarming thing he has ever done.”

Overall, I have witnessed our HR team step up and provide countless blessings to our employees and their families. They truly shined a light in a dark time and made a large difference to the people who continue to show up and provide value to our customers! We are thankful for such an incredible HR team.

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