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WELL-BEING AT THE WORK PLACE

 

 

In March 2020, when the pandemic was at its worst in most countries, everyone on the TCS HR team picked up the phone and personally spoke to all the 450,000+ associates to enquire about their well-being.

 “You are the first person who has called me … to simply ask me how I am and if I have access to basic necessities,” said an employee to the HR person that had called him during this initiative. It was a simple call but created for him a reassuring moment at a time of great uncertainty. TCS is all about its people and protecting their interest is an important part of our growth story in the last fifty years.

In fact, TCS leaders and managers avoid using the term "employee" because it restricts the relationship to being "employed" for a specific job, removing the camaraderie and goodwill that naturally grows in an environment that we nurture by design. We prefer the word "associate," as it points to someone who collaborates and works for a common goal. This shift in perspective, by itself, places the associate’s needs, choices, and well-being at par with that of the organization.

Holistic well-being programs within TCS promote a healthier lifestyle, offer work-life balance, and take into account emotional health. It is a known fact that when people are in a state of well-being at work, they are motivated to realize their potential, be productive and creative, build positive workplace relationships, take on responsibility, manage their time better, and make overall meaningful contributions.

At TCS, talent management and employee well-being go hand-in-hand. Focusing on wellness in the workplace improves employee health and happiness and makes for a more vibrant, energetic, engaged, and creatively attuned employee. Well-being at TCS focuses not only on employees being productive within the organization but contributing to communities and society at large.

Fit at Work, Fit at Home, Fit4Life

The IT Industry has caught a lot of flak for its sedentary nature. So, long before it could become a problem statement affecting its associates, TCS decided to do something about it, over ten years ago. 

TCSers win marathons the world over and it is testimony to how much fitness is valued on an individual and collective level. Fit4Life – a special initiative focusing on employee outreach programs for fitness and physical well-being aims to engage TCS employees using the pursuit of fitness as a common activity and goal.  Some of these programs include community marathons, group bicycling targets, yoga certifications, and so on. The need for access to physical fitness routines became even more important given remote working, plus the closure of gyms and exercise groups during the months of lockdown in 2020. Since Fit4Life was available as a tool and online app to record activities, including yoga, zumba or any form of exercise. TCSers could continue to use it, despite the physical and social distancing.  This, combined with the #OneTCS platform, has helped our fellow associates share notes on how they stay fit despite the pandemic and the lockdown.

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OneTCS: Employee Engagement Beyond Boundaries

Communication and collaboration tools that have become household names, after the pandemic, no doubt have helped organizations connect. But we wanted to go further to ensure that the “withdrawal symptoms” of not having personal interaction at the workplace didn’t affect the emotional balance of our associates. After all, getting together on work-related team calls, albeit on video, is no match to the energy that a water cooler conversation provides.

TCS saw in a commonly used collaboration tool, an opportunity to engage associates across geographies, and #OneTCS was born. OneTCS was represented by way of a weekly digital bulletin updating TCSers not just about the pandemic, but also of how all of them, as a singular entity, were working together through the challenge.

Whether it was the story of an employee volunteering to produce masks for her community, or a group of employees in India feeding migrant laborers as they travelled back to the hinterland from the metros, or another TCS group that designed “fun days” as a way of showing gratitude to their frontline healthcare workers, stories of the OneTCS spirit were shared with regularity. Furthermore, an exclusive OneTCS infotainment channel was launched featuring fireside chats with global celebrities from sports and entertainment, and discussions with well-being experts on how TCS employees could cope with and draw from each other’s strengths during the extraordinary days of the lockdown. 

TCS Maitree was started in 2002 with an aim to deploy corporate sustainability through volunteering for employees and their family members. “Radio Maitree”, a live radio program was launched in 2020, following the pandemic. The platform was designed to reach out to TCS employees and their families as they tuned in to listen to their favorite songs, share personal stories and stay involved despite the isolation on account of the lockdown. 

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TCS Cares: Sometimes it is okay not to feel okay 

Whether it be work-related concerns, personal problems, or worries about what the future holds following the pandemic, everyone has been through a fair share of overwhelming moments in recent times. But ploughing through hurdles is how one develops resilience. Resilience has a huge impact on self-confidence and self-belief and vice-versa. Both feed off each other.

Although, it is challenging to support employees’ mental health while the workforce functions remotely, – there are plenty of tools that TCS has designed for employees to take advantage of and to empower themselves and gain control of their mental health. A specially designed interactive session, TCS Cares, helps employees cope with mental health issues such as anxiety, as well as behaviors such as time management and so on. Timely and relevant interventions and offerings have been designed keeping in mind the specific needs of the continually evolving pandemic environment where stress and anxiety levels are particularly known to peak.

The TCS Cares umbrella brings under its roof one-on-one professional counseling sessions, self-help resources, peer group counselling, and employee wellness webinars that include expert Q&A sessions. The program has served as one of the most engaging employee-driven tools in the months following lockdown since March 2020 and the uncertainty it brought with it. 

That we came out of the pandemic victoriously is not a matter of chance; a lot of effort and thought went into how we were going to emerge purpose-driven, and resilient than ever before, building on the belief that this was something we were going to tide over collectively. And we did.

 
 

 

THE IT INDUSTRY HAS CAUGHT A LOT OF FLAK FOR ITS SEDENTARY NATURE. SO, LONG BEFORE IT COULD BECOME A PROBLEM STATEMENT AFFECTING ITS ASSOCIATES, TCS DECIDED TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT, OVER TEN YEARS AGO.  FIT4LIFE – A SPECIAL INITIATIVE FOCUSING ON EMPLOYEE OUTREACH PROGRAMS FOR FITNESS AND PHYSICAL WELL-BEING AIMS TO ENGAGE TCS EMPLOYEES USING THE PURSUIT OF FITNESS AS A COMMON ACTIVITY AND GOAL