NAVIGATING THE SECOND WAVE
The outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic last year brought the world to its knees. As the exponential rise in cases resulted in a massive strain on global healthcare, entire industries ground to a halt.
One year later, we stand amidst a more devastating second wave in India. However, with the benefit of hindsight and experience, companies are better equipped to navigate the pandemic, extending support and empathy to employees during these difficult times.
Here at Zetwerk, we’ve set aside the month of May to take a breather. We’re taking it easy on targets and encouraging employees to take this time to connect with loved ones. The last year has been exceedingly challenging for everyone, and we are making it our responsibility to ensure that employee health, family, and work flexibility are all at the forefront.
Zetwerk offices are currently 100 percent work from home while factories are operational, upholding covid-safety protocol. All new employee onboarding is now virtual. Monthly Town Hall meetings are now carried out weekly, to create a sense of community and share company news regularly.
We’ve come up with ways to do more with less and optimize for safety while still maintaining productivity.
The idea is to put employee well-being first. With this in mind, Zetwerk has taken a few initiatives to help employees stay safe and healthy during this unprecedented time.
Zetwerk has proactively partnered with local governments to carry out testing and vaccination drives across our owned and operated factories.
We uphold standard covid-protocol and carry out sanitization of factory premises multiple times daily. We have medical devices on standby for easy and immediate access in case of any emergency. Zetwerkers practise social distancing and work in allotted social bubbles, where we provide them with food and lodging facilities within the factory premises.
We have vaccinated over 200 workers at our Trichy factory in association with the State Industries Promotion Corporation of Tamil Nadu (SIPCOT). We have also vaccinated 30% of Zetwerk’s employees and their immediate family members in Bengaluru. We aim to cover the majority of our employees through this drive at the earliest
Ensuring Business Continuity
Zetwerk has created ZISO - an innovative in-house project management system designed to set up, track and monitor the status of manufacturing projects through each stage in real-time. This tool is especially beneficial as it increases transparency in the manufacturing process while reducing the need for factory visits at a time when mobility is a constraint and distancing is a norm.
We have rationalized our need to support the more significant healthcare cause. As a socially responsible organization, we understand that the needs of many come before the needs of a few. We have substituted the need for oxygen usage for our manufacturing requirements, specifically in the cutting of steel, with plasma-based cutting, which uses electricity instead of oxygen. We are now actively trying to deploy those machines across our manufacturing facilities to reduce our dependence on oxygen use.
Zetwerk has created an in-house task force to help connect employees with real-time leads to hospital beds, medicines, oxygen, etc., in their hour of need. Employees from various verticals across the organization have stepped up to volunteer their time and efforts to help connect fellow Zetwerkers and their loved ones to resources across India. Whether the requirement is in a big city or a rural area, the team tirelessly uses its network to provide support.
We have introduced the Zetwerk Employee Care Fund for employee welfare, which covers the total cost of vaccination for employees and their immediate family members. We provide medical insurance to Zetwerkers and their immediate family, which covers spouses, parents, and children. In the devastating event of demise, we cover family future care, crediting the employee’s salary to the nominee for two years, in addition to insurance and standard protocol. Zetwerk is also reaching out to extend monetary aid to employees in all covid-related scenarios.
Through the Zetwerk Cares initiative, we have partnered with external consultants to help make it easier for employees and their family members to consult doctors virtually and manage stress and mental health.
While we ensure the safety of our employees and partners, Zetwerk also believes that it is our responsibility to use our resources to provide external aid to the community in all the ways we can to help in the fight against covid-19.
Zetwerk has assisted hospitals in Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra in getting Oxygen Concentrators installed on their premises, and plans to cover more states and hospitals under this initiative shortly.
eing an employer in 2021 means learning to evolve and evaluate constantly. The last year has taught us how unpredictable the world truly is. It has highlighted the need to always be prepared and ready to adapt to the times. It has shown us to optimize for business while also expressing empathy and keeping employee well-being at the centre of what we do.
It is important to remember these lessons and take them to grow and navigate business in a post-pandemic world.
The views expressed in this post are those of Amrit Acharya, CEO,