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We got almost +100 people back in India (from onshore locations) before the government restrictions came into force.

In a conversation with Monday Ready, Sunil Goyal, Dy. CEO at Sopra Steria India and CEO at Sopra Banking Software India talks about how the organization had a “seamless” transition towards remote working due to the current COVID-19 situation.

By Tanvi Bhargava

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, many changes have taken place in the world, one of them being a shift towards remote working. Companies have taken the required steps to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their employees. Information Technology and Services Company- Sopra Steria with over 40,000 employees worldwide smartly made moves to come up with a “COVID-19 Crisis Management Committee” to take the required measures.

With the aim to not take a hit on employee productivity, Sunil Goyal- Dy. CEO at Sopra Steria India and CEO at Sopra Banking Software India, in a conversation with Monday Ready, shares his thoughts about the impact these testing times are going to have in the near future.

 

 

Monday Ready (MR): How has your organization embraced the current situation of COVID-19?

Sunil Goyal (SG): If I had to sum up the transition in one word, it would be ‘seamless’. Right from the onset, we had set-up a Core Committee ‘COVID-19 Crisis Management Committee’ to continually monitor the volatile COVID-19 situation and proactively prepare for the challenges it brings along.

Right from the onset, we had set-up a Core Committee ‘COVID-19 Crisis Management Committee’

The first and foremost priority was to ensure the safety of our people. Travel guidance was provided to all our team members at onsite locations and we closely tracked each incoming travel. We got almost +100 people back in India (from onshore locations) before the government restrictions came into force.

To date, the Committee convenes on a regular basis to assess and ensure the well-being of our employees and business continuity during such critical times.

With a view to ensure Business Continuity, we prepared and implemented an agile and focused delivery framework to facilitate remote working, wherever possible. Prior to COVID-19, we did not have a documented Work From Home (WFH) policy and as a transparent & trust-based organization, the people used to WFH on an urgent need basis.

However, today most of our employees are enabled to work remotely.

We had even set up a Doctor’s helpline and query assistance mailbox to address all concerns of our people related to COVID-19.

Monday Ready (MR): How is the organization evaluating the employee’s productivity and engagement during remote working?

Sunil Goyal (SG): As an organization we have strong culture and values. Every member of our Sopra Steria Family trusts each other, has a sense of collective responsibility, customer focus, and respect for others.

The leaders across functions continue to ensure regular connect/one-on-one meetings with their teams on various available tools such as MS Teams to discuss daily updates, deliverables, and areas of concern. The project management tools to track deliverables, timelines, and all customer KPIs continue to support us with an enhanced usage of the same.

I am proud to say that we have not missed any critical SLAs over this period. For a few of our clients, we had to manage larger incident volumes, which we managed well.

Our Talent Management teams are closely working with the employees to ensure that they are engaged and motivated enough during these trying times. Many contests and employee-connect activities are being organized on a regular basis to promote the feeling of ‘unity’ and ‘oneness’.

Many contests and employee-connect activities are being organized on a regular basis to promote the feeling of ‘unity’ and ‘oneness’

Also, we have launched a #Mission21-40 learning campaign for our employees to focus on learning new skills or honing their existing skills so that they are well equipped when we come out of this crisis.

Monday Ready (MR): What are the top 3-5 KPIs being used in your organization to evaluate employee performance?

Sunil Goyal (SG): We believe in a challenging and rewarding job experience accompanied by coaching, mentoring, and training; leading employees into diverse career paths developing both versatility and specialization.

In line with this our top KPIs for evaluating performance continue to be Functional Excellence, Quality of deliverables, People Development, and Innovation.

We have recently launched a new Career Management System. This launch is an onset of a new and holistic way of looking at the performance reviews, exchanging feedforward, and developing our careers in alignment with the organizational goals.

Monday Ready (MR): What are your views on the need for a Continual/Periodic Employee Review system as compared to the generally followed Annual or Bi-Annual Employee Review process?

Sunil Goyal (SG): We at Sopra Steria believe that in order to ensure the success of an organization, the career aspirations of its people need to be anticipated and managed correctly. For this we conducted exhaustive internal workshops and external secondary researches and finally launched a Career Management System, as mentioned above, which is completely continuous and agile in nature, doing away with the erstwhile periodic reviews.

To ensure the success of an organization, the career aspirations of its people need to be anticipated and managed correctly

The new system focusses on agile and dynamic objective setting, Quarterly Check-Ins, continuous and constructive exchange of feedback and development plans led by employees themselves with complete support from their managers and mentors. This is in line with our belief of open, transparent, ongoing, holistic, and aligned career management for our people and a strong growth mind-set at our leadership level.

Monday Ready (MR): Can any opportunities in disguise be seen at this current time of Global Slowdown?

Sunil Goyal (SG): As Winston Churchill once said, “A good crisis should never be wasted.”

The crisis leads to innovation and gets the best out of us. As some of you would have noticed, the usage across Online Pharmacy and Tele-medicine Consulting has suddenly upsurged.

A good crisis should never be wasted

Similarly, Online education is going to be around $7 trillion opportunity. The competitors to travel and hospitality sectors would have collaborated tools for example – ZOHO, ZOOM.

In my view, Digital media and Disabling fake news will emerge as a big opportunity.

With collective will, knowledge, and wisdom, we have countered many such slowdowns in the past and if we stay positive, agile, and resilient, we will continue to seek new opportunities during these times.

Monday Ready (MR): What is your advice to the managers & team leaders across organizations in the current scenario?

Sunil Goyal (SG): The current scenario is for managers and leaders to step up, show resilience, practice authentic leadership, trust in their people evermore, think beyond all barriers for enhanced business and customer orientation, continue to think People First, invest in keeping our task force motivated, employable and future-ready.

In summary, the managers and other team leaders should never stop learning and keep inspiring people with their work, being mindful of course. They need to be empathetic towards their teams as well as motivate them to improve themselves with each task they face.

The managers and other team leaders should never stop learning and keep inspiring people with their work, being mindful of course

 

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