Neeraj Kochhar, Mumbai: Protecting the health and prioritizing safety of employees were at the forefront of many businesses since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak. As such, a lot of companies started integrating significant process changes that could effectively track and monitor the implementation of necessary health standards. Various such processes were demonstrated by the Stainless Steel giant, Viraj Profiles Limited, who began daily audits in order to gauge the effectiveness of new health and safety measures for their newly instituted protocols. These include:
- New communication methods (e.g. text messages and signboards and using digital medium replacing the traditional mediums like paper and pen).
- Cafeteria tables and seating arrangements have been re-organized with social distancing in mind so that the employees can use these spaces safely.
- Reducing office traffic and congestion by implementing new ways for teams to clock in and out such as contactless attendance, ending post-shift security screenings, and staggering shift starts and break times.
- Office seating systems have been rearranged keeping social distancing in mind
- Arranging for free transport services for the employees while following COVID-19 safety guidelines
- Adjusting training / meeting / conference schedules to minimize the number of employees gathering in one spot.
- Ensuring hiring processes encourage social distancing and moving many activities like interview, screening, on boading etc completely online.
- Moved most of their workforce to work from home including hustling equipment to people who need it and getting them set up with internet.
- Developed and commissioned Covid Isolation ward for its employees
By doing so, Viraj was able to ensure that their team members are informed, educated, and in full compliance with the new guidelines.
As part of their COVID-19 response, the company instituted additional cleaning and sanitization routines focused on high-touch surfaces. They’ve also encouraged remote working among employees and have restricted travel and visitors to their facilities. Given the impact of this pandemic on people’s mental health, Viraj launched daily guided meditation sessions for its employees across all the plants and offices. Through this activity, the company was able to offer mental peace to its diverse base of around 9000 employees working in different plants units.
Talking about the new guidelines for employees, Mr Neeraj Kochhar, Chairman and Managing Director, Viraj Profiles Limited shared, “Viraj Profiles has taken the initiative to provide their employees with all kinds of support during these tough times. The company went a step further by providing its employees with access to the free financial, health and mental resources which they need to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our employees now benefit from a range of services to address health, mental or financial concerns arising out of the pandemic situation.”
- Access to free mental health professionals, through the Employee Helpdesk Program
- Free financial planning support, with access to certified planners
- Free health care consultancy with the in-house medical team
- Well-being modules and functionality designed to get employees to stay physically and mentally healthy at home
- Guided meditation session for employees across all our offices and plant locations
- Encouraging virtual workouts and exercise and staying connected all the time
Mr Neeraj Kochhar further adds, “This pandemic has shown how critical it is to embrace our humanity, be understanding and caring — and that holds true for companies, too. Make sure ‘human’ is prioritized in Human Resources. At Viraj, we’ve been driven by what’s right and we will do whatever we can to support the well-being of customers and employees. In these uncertain times, how you treat your employees will be remembered for years to come. How we respond will have a lasting impact on employee behaviour including, engagement, productivity and loyalty. Health and well-being, financial stability, and job security are top concerns for employees right now and at Viraj we help address those fears in meaningful ways.”
He further adds, “we have also commissioned a COVID isolation ward for our employees where a qualified team of doctors will be monitoring the patient round the clock and all kinds of support and medication shall be provided by the company.”
About the company
Viraj Profiles Ltd is one of the largest manufacturers and exporters of Stainless Steel long products in the world. With a turnover of USD 1.5 Billion, the company is exporting its stainless steel products (Wire Rods, Wires, Welding Wires, Flanges, Fasteners, Bright Bars, and Profiles) to more than 1300 customers based across 90 countries spread over 6 continents. With a melting capacity of 528,000 tons per annum, the company produces more than 50,000 SKUs in various grades like Austenitic, Ferritic, Martensitic, Duplex, and Electrode in various shapes and sizes.