Redefining Responsibilities During COVID-19

As quoted by Michael Jordan, “Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.”


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The ongoing Covid-19 crisis has rapidly and dramatically impacted the world around us. As doctors, scientists, and global leaders join hands to rescue nations from the vast destruction of the deadly virus, organizations and their leadership bear an additional responsibility. They must come forward and lend a helping hand in adopting unprecedented steps of prevention and safety, committed to protecting ourselves as well as those around us.

A new responsibility towards the personnel

Times are tough for nations, and tougher for its residents. While our government is taking additional steps to bring about a difference in the lives of its citizens- implementing stringent social distancing measures, executing various degrees of lockdown in states, relaxing economic activities wherever required; employers need to be considerate as well towards their employees’ safety and wellbeing during these trying times.

There is yet another threat being unleashed by the pandemic. Experts say there will be a huge impact on mental health. In this scenario, organizations need to ensure that even while juggling between office work and domestic chores, employees have their own share of mental peace. We have realized that with the current work-from-home scenario, employees have not been able to differentiate work time and the family time leading to long working hours from one place. At GSK Consumer Healthcare, employee welfare forms the core of all its activities. We have launched an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that gives access to a free, confidential telephone helpline, and website for practical advice, information, or support. We have also launched a Mindfulness series led by one of the experts, which focusses on how to adopt this practice as a way of living! We have encouraged our employees to take leaves during this phase. We encourage people to continue with their vacation/ leave plans as they do in a normal way of working from the office.

Additionally, we also believe that the right way to boost the employees’ morale is to engage with them regularly. Our internal teams have been ideating on various innovative measures undertaken for the employees to keep them motivated such as creativity contests, Muso-Magic challenge (a team engagement where employees came together virtually to create an Anthem for the organization), Learning marathon, Desktop Yoga, which is a platform for live yoga sessions for all employees and Fitness challenge.

We have been reviewing our employees’ career plans - promotions and new roles as per career paths are ongoing.

Walking the extra mile of responsibility towards the future

COVID-19 has almost crippled the present generation. Layoffs, salary cuts, delay of performance pays, and appraisals have quite stirred the youth of today. Global advisories predict the pandemic impact to remain for a couple of years, leading to bright minds of the country questioning their future placements and building of resumes. At GSK, we have stayed true to our commitment to these students and have hence onboarded summer interns from top management institutes of the country. We have assigned key projects to them to work on, with close guidance from our leaders. Exclusive learning content has also been provided to them while they complete their stint with us which has helped them gain in-depth exposure to their projects as well as other related verticals. Through technological expertise, we have been able to induct the deserving candidates as part of our summer internship program, thus helping us fulfill our promise towards the future generations.

A small gesture of responsibility towards society

Today, we come across organizations pledging their individual support to the government in the battle against Covid-19. Doing business by doing good has always been the core philosophy of GSK Consumer Healthcare. In India, our CSR program “Mission Health” is endeavoring to make a big difference in the communities that are in dire need of aid. We have undertaken two projects within Mission Health to lend support to these workers during these trying times. In collaboration with our NGO partners, we have provided support to the daily wage workers by distributing dry ration and hygiene kits. Additionally, we have also provided Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits to support the waste worker community and frontline health workers. Our CSR teams have been working endlessly to bring a smile to the faces of the underprivileged.

The Covid-19 battle is a long one, and as we tirelessly fight the numerous ripple effects of the virus, it is our duty to remain committed to the cause and help out each other. The need of the hour is to inculcate in each of us a shared sense of responsibility. It is important that we all remain prepared to ensure success as well as everyone’s safety.

As quoted by Michael Jordan, “Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.”

We are confident of the learnings that Covid-19 has imparted on us. As an agile organisation, we have taken various steps to rethink, reimage and replan so that once we’re out of the storm, we continue acting more swiftly, decisively, with courage and determination. We are determined to resolve and confront any other obstacle that may come our way in the near future.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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