Pushing through the challenges posed through every evolving variant of the globally disruptive coronavirus since last year, Airtel Lanka marked a key milestone, when the youth preferred telco was recognised among the Best Workplaces in Asia – Small and Medium List 2021, by Great Place to Work.
This is the first time that Airtel Lanka was bestowed with this recognition, and is a testament to the company’s efforts for being one of the only telecommunication service providers to push innovation and early-adaption for a new and resilient workplace culture.
The entire process however, does not overlook the essentials and facilities that employees require. In fact, it increases focus on specific employee-centric areas to enable the workforce to be productive in the time they spend working, driven to achieve, and contented in nearly every aspect of their personal lives.
“In times like this, being connected is a key driver in ensuring the wellbeing of our employees. Increasing our engagement with them through innovative digital mediums really gave us the opportunity to support them in an emotional, physical and financial sense,” noted Bharti Airtel Lanka CEO Ashish Chandra.
According to Airtel Lanka’s Head of Human Resources Kanishka Ranaweera, for most organisations, much like Airtel, there are four key areas they should increase focus on.
Firstly, an increase focus on improving employee wellbeing, not only are they protected from the threat of the pandemic but also supported in their emotional, physical and financial wellbeing.
Secondly, the adaption to ‘Work from Home’. The WFH culture started as a novel alternative to physically going to work, but after a whole year, it’s evolved into a way of life.
Third, encouraging a comfortable and flexible working lifestyle. Employees can put in their own working hours and work when it is most suitable to them. We don’t monitor employees, rather trust them for a timely delivery.
Last, utilising effective tools and platforms for employee skills development. Organisations have witnessed platforms and digital tools rapidly improve and become more adaptable to employees and this was also the case for us.
“Focusing on these four areas is what gave us an edge over the competition. Implementing this train of change before the first lockdown even came into effect last year, helped the adaption process become more quick and efficient. So, our culture has become more collaborative and empathetic, making our workforce more equipped to handle even a higher demand,” commented Kanishka.
On top of the key focus areas, Airtel’s success is attributed to two main factors- the level of trust placed in employees and how they embraced and adapted to the new normal. “Humans thrive on good relationships and trust, and our approach towards our employees reflects the same,” he added.
Equipped with strategic business continuity plans, Airtel Lanka also emphasises on elevating the sense of security and safety among employees. They are provided with everything, from necessary personal protective equipment, to access to quality healthcare for preferential treatments, insurance covers for COVID-related testing and consultancy through oDoc, free-of-charge.
Also, in the unfortunate event that an employee tests positive for the coronavirus, the telco ensures paid leave and family support during that period.
“We also made it a point to enhance our engagement with our employees. Always being connected through new and innovative digital mediums, engaging through virtual games that are fun and helpful in development, and even hosting traditional events and competitions online, from Bakthi Gee and Carols to Art Competitions for the whole family to be a part of,” Kanishka said.
“Even on the corporate level, after realising the importance of increasing and improving communications, the CEO Connect and HR Connect sessions were birthed.”
For the telco, the return of all the investing and care for its employees is a very satisfied customer base. Airtel Lanka’s engagement scores have improved drastically, with attrition at an all-time low. With satisfied employees taking the organisation to new heights in the new normal, the telco commits to continuously innovating and enabling its workforce, proving indeed to be a great place to work for all.