At the beginning of March, Genpact recognised coronavirus as a risk to its India business. But for nearly three weeks after that, the company seems to have paid little heed to the health and wellbeing of its workforce in the country. Even as other firms began adopting remote work policies in early March, India’s second-largest business process outsourcing (BPO) firm forced its employees to come to work, several people have alleged on Twitter.
Firms like Genpact deal with large-scale and complex assignments and processes governed strictly by compliance and regulations. “Enabling such processes for work-from-home not only needs time and client approvals, but also significant investments,” Sanchit Vir Gogia, founder of advisory firm Greyhound Research, told Quartz.
At the same time, “in the current state of affairs, clients and other stakeholders will understand delays and other slips in delivery and business objectives must take a back seat,” Gogia added. “Important to remember, when it’s all over, current and future employees, vendors, and clients will measure these companies on the compassion they offered during such trying times.”
Here’s a detailed quote from Sanchit Vir Gogia on this topic:
Such extraordinary times require extraordinary measures and all companies have a moral obligation to treat their employees well and not add any undue pressure. In such uncertain times, empathy isn’t a matter of choice and honchos must treat everyone else the same way they would like to be treated.
Having said that, with little or no experience in managing such situations, confusions are natural, but then, one must err on the side of caution. In the current state of affairs, clients and other stakeholders will understand delays and other slips in delivery and business objectives must take a back seat.
Important to remember when it’s all over, current and future employees, vendors and clients will measure these companies on the compassion they offered during such trying times.
Having said that, it’s wrong to expect companies to be “fully ready” to tackle pandemics of such complexity and scale. Hence, we ought to get real about expectations from the companies as well.
The fact is, IT services companies deal with large scale, complex assignments, and processes that are governed strictly by compliance and regulations. Enabling such processes for WFH not only needs time and client approvals, but also significant investments.
Employees also have an obligation to cooperate with their companies while they can make suitable arrangements.
Bottom line being, we are all in this together and need to empathize collectively and work hand-in-hand to tide over such difficult times.
Sanchit Vir Gogia: Sanchit is the Chief Analyst, Founder & CEO of Greyhound Research, a Global, Award-Winning, Technology & Innovation Research & Advisory firm. To read more about him, click here.
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