When businesses around the world nearly came to a standstill with the lockdown, there was an immediate need for companies to work remotely. Rather than sitting back and waiting out the market downturn, proactive businesses instituted new policies and procedures to adapt to the environment. One of those companies is Advaiya. In this interview, the company's COO, Ruchika Godha, discussed the program that she developed for her company.
What Happened to Advaiya When COVID-19 Emerged?
The lockdowns due to COVID-19 impacted our customers and target markets differently in different sectors and geographies. Demand for our services shrank and we had to rework focus areas, delivery models and sales methods. We refocused our business to help customers revamp their core operations. At the same time, we adopted work practices and training sessions to productively work remotely.
Advaiya has corporate headquarters in the U.S. and offices in India. We have globally distributed teams and had to deal with different lockdown situations within both countries. We have strong expertise in modern workplace technologies, so we were equipped to quickly adopt technology solutions that make distributed teams and remote workers very effective.
What Type of Training Did You Provide?
We held “Work Continuity” workshops using Microsoft Teams so our staff could hear about safety steps to protect themselves, coworkers and families.
We conducted workshops about managing remote teams and mock drills for IT infrastructure readiness. We implemented a crisis communication app for gathering and communicating updates.
As we continue working remotely, we hold regular training on subjects like coding best practices for developers, selling remotely, etc.
What Internal Changes Did You Make?
The importance of work and task management cannot be overstated. Some of our business teams like HR actively used MS Planner to manage daily tasks. Project teams relied on our customized implementations of Azure DevOps Services and Project Online.
We also encouraged learning and provided financial support for employees to pursue professional certifications.
We identified initiatives to build technical components and solution assets to upgrade internal applications, and built connectors or interfaces with newer technologies like Microsoft Power Platform, the new Project or extensions for Teams.
What Can Companies Do to Help Remote Workers Stay Connected?
Tell company stories. We shared stories such as talking about the nights spent cracking complicated code; huddling together for continuous days to meet a customers' deadline; or discussing how the team waded through chaos to deliver a world-class project. These stories help people feel connected. So celebrate success and take the time to recognize people and show them that they're appreciated.
Being online is not being present. It's vital that managers, mentors, and HR are available to solve a problem and help team members individually navigate through these extraordinary times that we're all coping with differently.
It's critical that we help them communicate, stay present, and show that we care. And in the end, employees will feel engaged, productive and part of a bigger purpose, while enjoying the benefits that come from working remote.
About Ruchika Godha
Ruchika is Advaiya's Chief Operating Officer, responsible for managing the company's business operations, executing business strategy and ensuring operational excellence company-wide. She leads employee and team effectiveness working across the company to establish and execute strategy.
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