When the Covid pandemic began to tighten its grip on the country, businesses of all types and sizes started to post negative growth. But besides profitability, the health and wellness of employees were also at stake given their possible exposure to the virus.
While many companies shifted to the remote working model, there still were workers for whom remote working wasn’t a choice. In any case, keeping their workforce safe amid the unprecedented pandemic became a top priority for all businesses.
Systems Limited, a global leader of next-generation IT services and BPO solutions, was one of the companies that went the extra mile to ensure employee safety. The company’s proactive response to Covid-19 was noteworthy in terms of the safety of its people.
Talking to ProPakistani, Asif Peer, CEO, Managing Director of Systems Limited, shed light on the company’s approach to Covid preparedness, response, and plans for returning to the normal.
“In line with the government’s directives to reduce office occupancy to minimize transmission amongst employees we sustain healthy business operations to maintain the health and safety of every Systems team member,” Asif shares.
According to Asif, the company’s policies are aligned with World Health Organization (WHO) and comply with the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) as a foundation to plan, assess risk and implement preventive and protective measures for safe and healthy working conditions.
Over a long period of four decades, Systems Limited has doubled its growth in order to keep the positive momentum going. Mr. Asif believes that in certain unexpected circumstances such as the ongoing pandemic, only innovation, and a proactive approach can beat the odds.
Curious about his innovative approach to tackling Covid-19 in the workplace, we asked Mr. Asif a few more questions. Here is how the talk went.
Tell us about your vaccination drive for the employees.
We take pride in associating ourselves as an organization with a majority of the workforce that falls under the 20-30 years of age bracket. Therefore, we started our employee vaccination drive with this particular age bracket to inoculate them within their office setting in a safe environment.
We go to great lengths to ensure their health and safety, and have accommodated this particular age group while pushing others to register with the government for their vaccination.
Are you facing any employee retention issues in the wake of the pandemic?
I won’t lie to you; we are facing this issue because of the pandemic and the increasing demand for IT & ITeS for freelancers and companies alike. The pandemic has globally affected the IT industry in a positive way and hence, resulted in an increase in demand for outsourcing IT & IteS.
We responded to the growing need by recruiting more workforce and paid salaries prior to special occasions such as Eid to keep our employees at ease.
The government has been supportive of the IT export industry by allowing call centers and business processing operations (BPOs) to remain functional. To meet the ongoing demand, we optimized our capacity by following protective protocols, paying extra-hardship allowance, providing meals to facilitate employees, and more.
The pandemic has taught us to be agile and adaptive; we are also considering this as an opportunity to improve our employee experience. The employee-centric activities post-pandemic are comparatively different from what they used to be, but we have been working hard to build a stronger bond with our teams.
What are your back-to-office plans for the near future?
We adhere to government policies to ensure employee safety and we are always ready to evolve and better ourselves. We ensure online/offline work and below 40% attendance, push all employees to benefit from the vaccination drive, provide flexible opportunities, and going forward, will be adopting a hybrid work model.
With flexible working hours, full-time to part-time jobs will be available for females so that they can effectively maintain a proper work-life balance. These initiatives will open up more opportunities for us to attract and retain talent.
Can you tell us about maintaining your bond with employees amid the pandemic and the rise of WFH?
We follow strict protocols by maintaining a hybrid work model for most of our interactions. Employee engagement is central to the Systems values and being more empathetic towards employee needs as times are tough and every individual is trying to navigate the unprecedented state of affairs.
We believe in compassion to create a stronger bond based on trust to be our way forward. Employees sail the ship, while customers lead us to the journey.