For A Healthier Lifestyle
In March 2020, when the pandemic was at its peak in most countries, every single person on the Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) HR team was busy making calls to each one of our then-450,000 employees 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 overwhelmed employee to the HR executive 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 people and protecting our associates’ interest has been an important part of our growth story over the past 50 years.
In fact, TCS leaders and managers avoid using the term employee because it restricts the relationship to being employed for a specific job, thereby removing from the picture the camaraderie and goodwill that grows naturally in an environment that we nurture by design. We prefer the word associate, as it points to someone who collaborates and works toward 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 well-known 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 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 more vibrant, energetic, engaged, and creatively attuned employees. Well-being at TCS focuses not only on employees being productive within the organization, but also on their contribution to communities and society at large.
Fit at work, fit at home, Fit4Life
The IT industry has caught a lot of flak for the sedentary nature of its work. So, 10 years ago, long before this could become a problem affecting our associates, we decided to do something about it.
That’s how Fit4Life, a special initiative focusing on employee outreach programs for fitness and physical well-being, came to life. It aims to lead TCS associates to better health using the pursuit of fitness as a common goal. Some of the programs under this initiative include community marathons, group bicycling targets, and yoga certifications.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the accompanying lockdowns and remote work imperative made access to physical fitness routines even more important. Since Fit4Life was available as a tool and online app to log progress in activities such as yoga, Zumba, or any other form of exercise, TCSers could continue to use it during lockdowns. This, combined with the #OneTCS platform, has helped our fellow associates share notes on how they have stayed fit during the pandemic.
OneTCS: Employee engagement beyond boundaries
Communication and collaboration tools that have become household names during the pandemic have no doubt helped organizations stay connected.
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 health of our associates. After all, getting together on work-related team calls, albeit on video, is no match to the energy that a watercooler conversation provides.
TCS saw in an opportunity to engage associates across geographies in a commonly used collaboration tool, and that’s how #OneTCS was born. It kept associates connected through a weekly digital bulletin, not just updating TCSers about the pandemic, but also reminding them about how everyone was working together through the challenge.
Whether it was the story of an employee volunteering to produce masks for her community, or a group of Indian associates feeding migrant laborers as they travelled back home from metro cities, or another group that designed fun activities as a way of showing gratitude to 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 the worlds of sports and entertainment and discussions with well-being experts on how associates could cope with and draw from each other’s strengths during the pandemic.
Another outreach channel was TCS Maitree, started in 2002 with an aim to deploy corporate sustainability through volunteering by associates and their family members. Radio Maitree, a live radio program, was launched during the pandemic lockdowns in 2020. The platform was designed to reach out to TCS associates 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 lockdowns.