In an exclusive interaction with SCIKEY, Mr Vikrant Goyal, HR Director, Games24x7, one of India’s leading online gaming companies, discusses the changing paradigms of Work-From-Home during the pandemic, practices to ensure the well-being of the employees, and new HR tools being deployed within the organisation.
What are the key HR policies that have shifted or will shift the most in response to COVID-19?
As we enter the new normal, organisations are striving to foster the culture of adaptability to build empowered, productive, and accountable teams.
In our organisation, promoting our peoples’ health and well-being is essential to our business success. We focus on four essential elements of well-being: Emotional Social, Health Physical, Financial, and Purpose Community. COVID-19 has led us to explore multiple avenues to adapt our existing strategies to match the requirements of the new normal. I believe this is just the beginning of numerous changes expected in the future, and we prioritised three changes that we think needed immediate attention:
- Strengthened our Work-From-Home Policy:Games24x7 has always had unlimited Work-From-Home policy. The pandemic has helped us recognise how it can be implemented effectively and harnessed for the flexibility of the employees.
- COVID-19 Insurance:In addition to our Mediclaim policy that covers the cost of all kinds of hospitalisations including COVID-19, we have announced an exclusive COVID-19 lump sum benefit insurance which kicks in if insured is tested positive for COVID-19. This lump sum amount would help cover costs of home quarantine/isolation (without bills) that typically is not covered in Mediclaim policy. We have provided our employees with insurance that can be extended to cover not just the direct relatives but also their in-laws.
- Well-being workshops:As part of our continued efforts to improve overall employee well-being and productivity of employees, we are offering free access to psychological counselling to employees and up to three dependent family members. We are conducting multiple wellness sessions that educate them about taking care of mental health.
What new or refreshed insights do you think COVID-19 has brought to the forefront around organisational views of hiring a modern workforce?
Games24x7’s mission is to become a full-stack 21st-century scientific gaming company built out of India.
As part of our mission, we have embarked on the journey of hiring a diverse workforce. Earlier, we focussed on hiring people within the same city. But now, organisations are looking to hire people from within the country or even abroad. Now, we are identifying the core roles that are payroll-based and while also creating contract roles in some cases. Besides these, I have observed that earlier people were hesitant to conduct video interviews, which is changing now. In the last three months, we have onboarded and hired more than 100 people through video interviews. So, digital hiring and digital onboarding is a new recruitment reality.
How do you think COVID-19 has changed or is changing, the discussion around productivity – its definition, measurement, and how can it be improved?
As mentioned earlier, we were offering unlimited Work-From-Home even before the pandemic. But, COVID-19 helped us further fine-tune the offering to enhance efficiency. One of the wonderful realisations that have happened is that people have increasingly begun taking more ownership of their job and for their teams. The encouraging news is that we, as an organisation, haven’t seen a decrease in productivity, and people are finding a balance between Work-From-Home and their personal lives. Looking ahead, people will take about a year to figure and develop the rhythm of working from home more efficiently and harmoniously.
How do you think HR needs to re-look at deploying AI-enabled HR technology in the post-COVID world?
We are switching from our previous Human Resource Management System (HRMS) to an entirely new HRMS tool, which will help us build an effective tech-enabled recognition and collaboration workplace similar to the concept of ‘Workplace at Facebook.’
Additionally, we will also be making use of chatbots to check the efficacy levels within the organisation. We are also incorporating the new AI-enabled Applicant Tracking System within the organisation. For training and interventions, we have figured out a way to use tech to conduct these sessions. Previously, we used ‘Asana’ only as a collaboration tool in our technology projects. However, now, the entire organisation, including HR, is extensively using ‘Asana’ to strongly aligned from remote work locations. Hence, the judicious use of technology is allowing us to keep building our business and our people.
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