Ashok Leyland, the flagship company of the Hinduja Group and India’s second-largest commercial vehicle manufacturer, has been consistently rolling out various employee centric initiatives to ensure good health, safety and active engagement with their employees. For Ashok Leyland, employee health and safety are at the forefront. The company put an Emergency Response Team (ERT) in place, as early as March 2020 and the ERT has been working round the clock to ensure the physical and emotional well-being of the employees.
Keeping the health and safety of all the employees in mind, a conscious decision to implement Work from home for most executives was taken with the objectives of maintaining social distance in order to contain the spread of the virus and to offer comfort to the families. The IT team of Ashok Leyland has ensured that the company has made a smooth transition to Work from home.
Wherever the offices and plants are open, all necessary safety protocols have been put in place. COVID Wardens have been instituted in each of the locations, these are identified employees in each location who along with their teams ensure that the safety protocols defined are adhered to strictly. All employees can reach out to the COVID Wardens at their location for any assistance they require.
The teams and company Doctors monitor the health of the employees across locations in the organisation and lend all support towards hospitalization and medication to those found to be COVID positive. The in-house Doctors at each of the locations reach out to the employees, educating and updating them constantly on the protocols to follow for them and their families. A Tele-Consulting platform with these Doctors has been set up to enable employees and their families to reach out to them digitally (Tele- Call, Video Call or SMS). Frequent communication of safety protocols and guidelines as advised by the Doctors are being disseminated through various digital platforms to ensure the safety of the employees and their families. Post Covid care guidelines are also being shared to ensure healthy recovery.
The company is not only working on the physical wellbeing but is also equally committed to providing an environment of care for emotional well-being of their employees and their families during this crisis. Emotional well-being is yet another initiative that has been embarked on, there is a Toll-Free helpline to address emotional well-being where employees can connect to address any concerns they have. In addition, various measures to strengthen employee engagement and support activities are being undertaken to keep the emotional well- being going.
Engaging with the employees who are working from home with Leadership talks, intense learning sessions as well as clubs – Photography clubs, book clubs, cooking clubs, yoga and fitness, quiz, orators and art and crafts club to engage families are being driven by the HR team at Ashok Leyland. The idea is to keep the workforce engaged with a plethora of clubs, tapping into the hidden talents of the employees. There is also a learning and development component. Using various tech platforms, well curated learning programmes at all levels across the organisation using gamification and simulations for junior and middle-level employees and video-based learning for senior management have been assigned. Senior industry leaders as well as SME leaders who supply to Leyland, deliver learning bytes to employees through 30 ML – a 30 minute learning programme. There is also leaders talk series where the managing director Vipin Sondhi and other senior leaders talk to groups of employees. That apart Ashok Leyland has signed up with a virtual learning provider, Coursera, for ‘self-paced learning’ for employees. Over 10,000 of the employees and their families have engaged in these platforms.
In order to provide utmost care, the company is taking all the possible efforts to vaccinate the entire force of employees across the organisation at the plants and office premises. Vaccination Camps have been organised for the employees and their families. About 75 percent of the 45+ age group in the company have been vaccinated so far. Across age groups, 25 percent have been vaccinated as we speak, this vaccination drive will continue with huge momentum.
As the pandemic impacts more lives, Ashok Leyland has also rolled out initiatives to care for families of employees impacted. The purpose of this initiative is to ensure that the family gets financial assistance in case of the employee’s death. The employee centric policy covers:
Clearing of the unpaid hospital expenses by the company
Funeral charges will be borne by the organisation
Six month’s salary will continue to be paid
A slew of family care initiatives is also being worked out for long-term support in conjunction with the Hinduja Foundation as well as enhancing Insurance benefits
Mr. NV Balachandar, President, HR, Ashok Leyland said,“The impact of Covid-19 has been unprecedented. To overcome and sail through these tough times, as a responsible and caring employer, we at Ashok Leyland, have provided various benefits to our employees and their families. Our Emergency Response Team (ERT) is monitoring the situation continuously and are providing utmost support and guidance on their physical and emotional wellbeing. We believe families are the backbone for every employee, all our initiatives are aimed at ensuring that our employees and their families continue to be safe and healthy, we will continue to actively engage with them to ensure they get the necessary care and comfort.”