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Business organizations had to go the extra mile to build trust and transparency and provide reassurance to employees and stakeholders while juggling innumerable challenges that COVID-19 has been tossing at them in the almost last two years.
Amidst the unprecedented scale of disruption at offices, homes, and community, studies say the sense of unity and belonging that emerges during a common crisis intensified among employees, increasing positive feelings and social connectedness.
“Employees are a company’s top asset,” says Dr. Vishvanath Doerga, Chairman, ActionINVEST Caribbean, which hires assiduously.
“We look for intelligent, articulate candidates who display leadership qualities. We assess their level of competence, insight, and the way they treat other people,” says Dr. Doerga, who has completed his PhD in management at Texila American University, and has specialized in entrepreneurship, more specifically, intrapreneurship.
Intrapreneurship, he says, is a more democratic way of managing a company and gives room for an employee to take on an entrepreneurial role.
“When employees work for the company’s progress rather than pursuing individual goals, it results in a much more broad-based development and will benefit them immensely.”
“A crucial quality we look for in our potential employee is the right attitude. Improving people’s attitudes is almost impossible. The right attitude makes training easier, says the head of the Guyana-based organization that provides solutions to organizations and individuals seeking to invest in their growth.
Organizations have hand-held millions of their employees through the raging pandemic, even as frontline healthcare workers fought to save lives and governments scrambled to combat the unprecedented health crisis. Leaders emerged as business organizations sought employee support to share the pandemic-induced losses rather than letting them go.
“We, like many others, were forced to halve salaries but wished to retain our employees,” says Dr. Doerga.
“We sat down and explained to them our position before making these hard decisions.”
It is essential to treat the employees as valuable assets and draw up strategies to retain them by devising coaching and training programs, building beneficial relationships, and generous appreciation, Dr. Doerga says.
Work from home is the most impactful shift organizations have made. However, attendant problems like online fatigue, burnouts, and behavioral issues have sent leaders scurrying to extract technology.
“We were constantly upgrading technology, so didn’t miss a beat when the pandemic struck,” says Dr. Doerga.
“We were switching to technology that was more prevalent and adopted new tech norms that helped us smoothly conduct business during the health crisis.”
Dr. Doerga said that ActionINVEST took technology’s help to design communication strategies that worked remarkably.
“Clarity in communication has always been important, and the need for this quality just became more pronounced during the lockdown. We were constantly connected with our employees and in touch with our client base. With our employees, this extended beyond work, for instance, their health, anxieties, hopes, and family well-being,” he said.
The company held webinars to effectively communicate with its clients, infusing positivity and empathy in the personalized exchange.
ActionINVEST employees and team leaders followed a daily exercise of exchanging their everyday experiences, how they spent their day, how it was last week, or even expressing their plans and hopes for the future.
“It gives a sense of reassurance, and we get a direction listening to them.”
“Such uninhibited discussions bring magic to the administration of a company.”
Setbacks in the form of political uncertainty and COVID-19 were set aside by Guyana’s new oil wealth that businesses bounced back in six to eight months, he said.
Prepare not to panic was the principle that guided us through this crisis.
But we have gone back to where things were, thanks to the improvement in the situation, he says, adding that just 5 percent of our employees are working remotely with some amount of work having been outsourced.
“Most of our employees wished to return and are back in the office on full salary,” said chairman of ActionINVEST, Caribbean’s business support services and solutions to professional and organizational growth. The organization delivers targeted assistance to individuals and organizations in Guyana seeking to invest in their growth.
While many organizations suffered huge losses due to the disruption caused by the pandemic, circumstances worked in favor of ActionINVEST.
“We were using our zoom facilities 50 percent before COVID-19 and now have hit 100 percent,” says Doerga, adding that the company’s in-person training has resumed – something that declined during the pandemic.
Texila American University (TAU) is a pioneering business school offering business administration programs at various levels. You can start with a bachelor’s degree and go all the way to PhD studies.