At the peak of the pandemic last year, a three-year-old son of an HCL Tech employee developed fever and throat pain - both symptoms of Covid-19. Panicked parents made frantic calls for help to the Noida-headquartered IT company at 2 a.m. in the morning. The HR department quickly facilitated a consultation with a pediatrician in the early hours of the morning.
In another instance, the company coordinated with an employee, who needed help to travel to his hometown in Bihar, from Noida, due to the untimely death of his mother. It also provided advances to Indian employees stuck in other countries for their travel tickets.
The company was quick to react to the onset of the pandemic. Early in the outbreak, 1.5-lakh employees were enabled to work remotely and safely at a very short notice. Readily-available IT capacity and resilience to support 'at-scale' work from home (WFH) was deployed. The scope of employee-first policies such as flexi timing, increased claim limit for broadband and pandemic leaves was widened to aid remote working.
Health-benefit programmes were also scaled up. Services were provided to employees and their families through HCL Healthcare on-premises clinics, online consultations and at-home services.
And all these, without giving pink slips.
"In India nobody was laid off, including people who were not deployed on any project. We went a step ahead and made sure that there was no impact on salaries," says Chief Human Resources Officer Apparao V.V. "In fact we paid FY20 variable bonus to all our employees in the first quarter of 2020/21." The company has given increments to people across the board.
"We strongly feel that any workplace is 'cool' because of its workforce - vibrant, outgoing, creative, and responsible," says Apparao.
A happy employee is also a productive one, and the company aims to create a passionate, engaged, and empowered workforce with consistent focus on employee wellbeing and experiences, adds Apparao.