‘Compassionate Leadership’ is the need of the hour: Dr. Saurabh Gadgil

Anxiety, fatigue, insecurity, and loneliness have started impacting employees’ mental health globally says Dr. Saurabh Gadgil, Chairman and Managing Director PNG Jewellers

Post By : IJ News Service On 05 August 2021 10:24 AM

COVID-19 has emerged as one of the greatest disruptors of our lifetime, challenging our social economic and political dimensions, and changing life as we knew entirely. Across the globe millions of employees saw their incomes getting slashed, while many others saw their livelihoods itself vanish.The instability around and the powerlessness to change things started affecting our individual and social psyche. For Organizations, the focus can no more be only on top and bottom line, but also on other subsystems of which its’ people turn out to be the most critical. Organizations needs to do much more than, ’just getting thorough.’

Anxiety, fatigue, insecurity, and loneliness have started impacting employees’ mental health globally. To address this a ‘Compassionate Leadership’ is the need of the hour. The primary role of leadership has changed from being ‘Boardroom Managers’ to ‘Cultivator of contagious positive energy creators.’This vibrancy can be created in multiple ways, first and foremost is to treat each one as a Mature Adult, who is equally aware and sensitive of thecurrent realities. This can be then followed by various actions like, a realistic and positive, top-down communication on how business challenges are addressed,being empathetic towards employees, using data and technology to segment the concerns for addressing them more effectively etc. Trust in employees’ integrity,reduced but focussed to the point e – communication and e-meetings would not only improve the work-life balance and productivity but also send a message that every individual’s time is important and personal spaces are respected.At PNGJewellers, under our ReachOut program, we called every employee who himself or any family member was down with COVID19 to check if they needed any help from us, counsel them to ensure they cope up with the situation. We ensured that during the end of every meeting we discuss the current situation of our employees.Creating a feeling of togetherness, fun meetings, Tea-talks sessions, can help in creating a feeling of companionship even if its virtual. Organizations will have to focus on creating ‘Happy Moments’ that will touch each employee’s life in these trying times.

At PNGJewellers, under our ReachOut program, we called every employee who himself or any family member was down with COVID19 to check if they needed any help from us, counsel them to ensure they cope up with the situation. We ensured that during the end of every meeting we discuss the current situation of our employees.Creating a feeling of togetherness, fun meetings, Tea-talks sessions, can help in creating a feeling of companionship even if its virtual. Organizations will have to focus on creating ‘Happy Moments’ that will touch each employee’s life in these trying times.

The next would be identifying and building future talent, up-skilling current employees and creating a toolkit of transferrable skills within the organization. If we accept lockdowns or at least restrictions as the new normal, the future retailer will use data mining, artificial intelligence, and augmented reality to provide his customer with an enhanced experience of his shopping with no need to move out of the comfort and safety of his home. This means building those capabilities within the system now. Similarly, Businesses may not be working with just one Business model or strategy but with multiple models and strategies to quickly adapt to fast changing economic scenarios. This calls for a highly adaptable work force with a set of transferrable skills. Agility and dealing with ambiguity will be one of the most sort after competency. To develop this companies are now required to strip down bureaucracy, empower people, create flat organizations, and resilience.Our energies were focused on talent development.LMS(Learning management system) platform was used to its full potential where various programs on Values, product and processes, soft skills, first time managers etc were imparted. Onboarding digitally, was made keeping in mind that this will be first time for most of our employees. This precious time, was meaningfully utilized to strengthen the succession  planning.

As the organizations are changing, the employees’ expectations from the organisations would also go through a major rehaul. Candidates will choose organizations not just based on salary or brand butalso looking at the culture, values and social responsibility quotient. Organizations who match up to these expectations will attract and retain the best talent and carve a sustainable growth path.

Responding to this crisis is a defining leadership moment. This time will only be fruitful if it steers us to trying new things, new ideas and create an alternate future.

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