Paving a digital and mindful future during the pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic taught us that business continuity while ensuring employee wellbeing must be the top priority for any organization. 

At edotco Bangladesh, the crisis served as an opportunity for the company to meet business, industry and employee needs by expediting our digital transformation journey.

We were convinced that the immediate incorporation of a digital strategy into our operations while simultaneously engaging our employees as a part of this transition would be what keeps us unified and allows the business to thrive. 

The first thing the organization did was to ensure that employees were equipped and resources were available for them to remain fully functional, by activating a cloud-based system hosting all data and work-related requirements securely, enabling employees to work and collaborate from any location. 

Following that, over 50 dashboards were deployed to ensure accurate data availability, based on streamlined sources to swiftly move the organization towards a data-driven decision-making culture. 

This has not only significantly reduced manual work and paper consumption but has also proven to boost productivity as employees are working faster and more efficiently with data at their fingertips.

We also looked into ensuring zero-foot traffic in the office which meant transforming traditional ways of working and adopting process automation. 

Some of the tasks that were immediately digitized included creating an e-approval process across the board. 

This new process was able to accommodate online approvals from site owners right up to new contract signings, significantly saving time and resources. 

The time saving allowed our employees to focus on other priority items rather than chasing down paperwork, and in the long run, collectively reduced the hours spent working giving them more time with their loved ones at home. 

The savings in resources allowed the organization to channel the extra hands available to other priority tasks thus completing action items and delivering results quickly. 

Being able to hit multiple objectives ensuring the business continues while maintaining customer satisfaction, providing online reporting and data tracking, as well as saving time and resources through a focused digitization initiative as well as maintaining the health and safety of our employees was a big win for the management and organization as a whole. 

The cherry on the cake is that this has allowed us to go paperless thus further adding to our commitment to being sustainability champions. 

Throughout this whole process, we were conscious to not lose the human touch to things as well. 

We realized that ensuring our employees’ welfare extended beyond removing presence in the office and also included making sure their mental and physical health was taken care of. 

The organization ensured every employee was provided with health and safety kits in their homes for them and their families, while we commissioned an in-house doctor to be available throughout the day if they need any immediate medical treatment. 

By doing this, we hoped to remove the stress of worrying about potentially contracting the virus or any other ailments as they continued to support the business remotely.

We also wanted to ensure that the employees did not feel like their career tracks were put on hold due to the pandemic, and took the opportunity to initiate self-driven leadership training and self-activated mentoring programs. 

Since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, a total of 18,500 hours of virtual self-improvement training and learnings have been recorded throughout all levels of the organization. 

Cognizant of the fact that the nation was in a serious lockdown giving most of our employees extra time on their hands, we crafted programs that focused on improving their life skills and capabilities through various online learning and development platforms. 

These programs encompassed both professional and personal growth opportunities, allowing employees to also explore newfound interests. 

We also ensured that consultations with professionals on various topics such as mental health, stress management, diet and nutrition, parenting and so on were regularly available to assist whenever necessary. 

While we continued to build our business and ensure our employees’ welfare were looked into, we did not forget that the community is always at the heart of all we do. 

Our social commitments did not only continue but in fact, grew and expanded as employees gave generously to those in need. 

As the country was plagued by the pandemic and natural disasters, edotco Bangladesh’s employees each voluntarily pledged a day’s salary to help the needy. 

While the Covid-19 pandemic has been a struggle worldwide, it forced us to accelerate our digitalization journey. 

Receiving the highest Employee Engagement Index survey score in 2020 in the history of the organization, was a testament to the quick decisions made during one of the most challenging times in the past decade.  

The biggest learning for us was how quickly a workforce can adapt, as we continue to be inspired by the agility of our employees who hold the shared ambition of ensuring operational excellence, customer satisfaction and community enrichment.

The author is the country managing director of edotco Bangladesh

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