Lockdown Lessons: “Quick learning, action & decision are the key differentiators”
India is emerging out of an over two-month long lockdown – a period that has changed our lives, behaviours and the way we conduct business forever. The lessons that we have learnt during the lockdown period and our experiences during the year so far, will help us navigate a world that we had never imagined. It has been a trying time for many of us, with everyone working from home and having to adapt to a new way of working and living. Adgully’s latest endeavour – Lockdown Lessons – is an attempt to present the key learnings that India’s business honchos have learnt and imbibed, and which can help the industry navigate the new normal better.
Subir Palit, Country Head, Greenply Industries, tells Adgully how he and his company have remained positive and productive during the tough lockdown times and also learned to achieve much more from limited resources.
What are the key lockdown lessons as a professional during the lockdown period?
One of the major learnings of lockdown has been striking a work-life balance amidst the chaos and optimal utilisation of resources available to us. My learning focus has been planning smooth continuity of business, remotely managing the wellbeing of our employees and customers, given that lockdown in India would stay for couple of months. In these challenging times, the need will be to apply non-linear thought processes and models to address the present business problems. Investing in continuity and new tools will be the key.
Please tell us some of the key takeaways in terms of life lessons from the lockdown period.
The key takeaways in terms of life lessons has been is appreciating and valuing the things that we have. In a crisis, accessing simple commodity such as soap can become difficult. The testing times of lockdown showcased hidden multi-tasking potential in me, my fellow colleagues, family members and made me realise how much we could achieve from limited resources. The major takeaway was reinforcing the belief that adaptation will be the key; if one is rigid and not responsive to change or not quick to change in life or business, he will end up being in the losing side. Quick learning, quick action, quick decision making will be the key differentiators.
How did you manage and achieve work-life balance while working from home?
Striking a work-life balance while working from home was initially difficult, but with planning and looking things from a bird’s eye view helped to even out the challenges that came up every day. While learning to balance both lives, I was able to structure many things and even found the time to pursue the leisure activities that I always to do and overall achieved a quality life. The lockdown enabled me to introspect on a lot of things and we came out with many frugal ways of doing the same thing which earlier required active involvement of human resources. While WFH initiated multiple engagement activities to keep our colleagues with their families and business associates engaged and involved – trainings, fun activities, games, workshops, etc. Keeping in mind the overall well-being of our associates and their families, we had sought support from some of the best physicians to provide guidance and sharing info regarding what to do and not to do during these times through webinars.
It has been more than two months since the lockdown was enforced. How are you gearing up for back to office mode?
During the lockdown, our operations were closed, but we were digitally managing all our office work and stayed connected with our dealers, distributors, office employees and workers in our factory, taking note of their well-being and continuing regular work. We allowed work-from-home facility to all our employees, conducted regular team meetings to stay in touch of the challenges and pain areas, conducted educational webinars to upskill the workforce and employee engagement initiatives were increased to keep up the spirit of the employees. Thus, when we recently resumed office, the employees seamlessly blended to the work structure.