Visionet Establishes a Dedicated helpline for Employees to Call Anytime

Alok Bansal, MD Visionet Systems adds that compassionate leadership and work-life balance can help employees cope with the pandemic better


The unrelenting pandemic is a global health crisis with severe ramifications at every level. It has affected every socio-economic demographic, created acute anxiety and impacted the mental health of individuals in unique and unpredictable ways. According to a study ('All in the Mind: The state of mental health in Corporate India’) by human capital solutions and services provider Gi Group, many factors are responsible for increasing stress levels including long and erratic work hours, anxiety over career growth and the role of leadership. The study draws the inevitable conclusion that mental health has a serious or significant impact on organisational performance or growth.

Alok Bansal, MD and Country Head Visionet Systems says, 

“The report states a fact that is more than obvious in the current scenario. The mental health of employees is an invaluable resource and must be invested in by companies. We have close to 4500 employees across three centres in India and unless they are all moving in the same direction, are feeling safe, appreciated and financially protected, we cannot expect the company to do well. This is exactly why we are taking all possible steps to secure the mental health of our employees.”

Due to the pandemic, people have felt socially isolated and alone and at times it gets lonely where they need someone to talk to. Visionet Systems has set up a dedicated helpline for its employees. The helpline is for them to talk and share anything that is concerning and affecting them negatively. The company provides free mental health professionals, via phone or text, through their Employee Assistance Program. They have also empanelled a network of ambulances and doctors for their employees. For mental health care, they have designed spiritual awareness sessions for their employees through yoga and have hired professionals for these sessions.

Bansal says the mental health of an employee is connected to many factors including career-related anxiety, the increasingly diminishing line between personal and professional time and concerns about the health and well-being of the family unit. He adds, “It is important for leaders to encourage their employees to have a work-life balance because, in the long run, a happier, healthier employee can achieve a lot more than just clocking long hours. Small changes can have a big impact on the wellness quotient of a person. For instance, we encourage employees to turn off their email notifications before and after working hours because maintaining a normal sleep schedule helps maintain a feeling of normalcy. The ‘human element in human resources must never be sacrificed in the name of productivity.” He points out that anxious employees often push themselves to work longer hours and this coupled with less extracurricular post-work options can lead to burnout. It is important for managers to take into consideration that employees working from home may also be raising children, possibly taking care of older family members and taking on domestic duties.

The remote work model during the pandemic, Bansal says, can have many benefits but also a possible downside too with employees feeling increasingly isolated from human connection, especially if they live alone. He adds, “Feeling connected to something or someone more substantial than a daily checklist is healthy. This is why we encourage 'virtual coffee breaks' during work hours to foster collaboration and a feeling of connection. Maintaining relationships with co-workers and managers is important not only for better work performance but for emotional and mental wellness.”

Wellness, he says also has financial, physical and mental aspects and Visionet has expanded its pre-existing financial, medical and mental health benefits to help employees through the pandemic. These include free telemedicine consults, medical safety nets like free vaccination and health benefits, leave with pay to high-risk employees, access to free mental health professionals and healthy work culture. Bansal concludes, 

“Our work culture is people-centric and our ethics and values are defined by synergy, empathy, concern and respect. Too much work and not enough culture can leave people feeling undervalued and can undermine the value of a brand too. At Visionet, we know that when we support the mental health of our employees, encourage them to take breaks for exercise and social interactions, and take care of their financial anxiety, we end up supporting our own brand equity.”

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