FMCG major Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages (HCCB) has launched a nation-wide CoVID Care Plan to serve the community at a time when the country combats a crisis of enormous proportions. The company recently procured several Oxygen Concentrators from Germany to help the country deal with the immediate crisis of inadequate supply of oxygen in hospitals. Most of these concentrators have already been deployed in several government hospitals through the district administration in states. Additionally, HCCB also arranged 25 Oxygen Concentrators for its employees and their family members spanning across factories and offices.
HCCB is also funding NGOs in Eastern India for them to be able to procure new oxygen cylinders, where available. The NGOs in turn are helping small civil hospitals with steady supplies of oxygen. As a medium-term measure, HCCB plans to install around 10 Oxygen Plants, mostly in government hospitals, and in some cases at hospitals in cities with very high-test positivity rates. HCCB will also be donating ventilators, ICU beds, ICU equipment, BiPAP machines and several other medical emergency amenities to help hospitals reeling under the workload of CoVID patients.
The company has also started distributing dry ration kits to the poor and underprivileged. It is also sponsoring free beverages at vaccination centers and to frontline workers who are serving the community in dry heat or humid conditions – nurses, health workers, police, ambulance staff, ASHA workers etc. Additionally, upon request Georgia tea and coffee machines are being installed inside CoVID care wards at certain hospitals, mainly for the health staff.
The company has offered to respective governments, the option to convert some of its unused factory or health centers into Covid Care Centres or vaccination centers as appropriate. The company will make available its infrastructure like drinking water, electricity, chilling equipment etc services to support the government’s efforts.
The company has arranged 25 imported Oxygen Concentrators for employees as an emergency measure and placed them at locations across the country to make for easy access. It has reduced the number of shifts both in the factory and in the shipping operations to minimize people contact. The company has also appointed a consultant to exclusively focus on people and enterprise safety. Where possible and depending on the availability of vaccines, the company is facilitating vaccination drives. Vaccines for employees including contracted workers, their spouse or partner and 2 children up to the age of 25, will be fully reimbursed by the company. The company will soon launch a drive to get the employees in its extended chain of distribution to vaccination camps and health centers.
HCCB has already extended its ‘Work from Anywhere’ policy for the eligible employees till December 2021. Building on the company’s basic tenet of providing care and flexibility, HCCB extended the deadline for the employees to purchase and install requisite infrastructure facilities to make their work-home space ergonomics suitable. This includes installation of UPS for power back-up, monthly wi-fi expenses and purchase of tables, headphones, lamps, webcam, external microphone, even a coffee mug or flower arrangement. For its employees who are required to work in the field, the company has initiated a practice of arranging ‘daily video calls’ to continuously remind and reinforce safety messaging and protocols. In addition, the respective team managers make ‘random video calls’ to cross-check whether their colleagues in the field are following the COVID-19 appropriate protocols or not.
For those employees currently in ‘home quarantine’ and even for those at hospitals with ageing parents or young children back home, HCCB has launched customized home care services through its partner MediBuddy. HCCB has tied up with multiple service providers to facilitate home isolation services on a payment basis for its associates. The purpose of this arrangement is to help the HCCB associates deal with the stress of managing Covid patients at home and support with home isolation, care, and treatment. Working as a single window platform, HCCB’s chatbot on mobiles offer facilities for tele-consultation, medicine delivery, scans and health tests, all helplines, self-care, and home-care services and much more. HCCB has also reintroduced its chatbot to communicate with its employees on a real time basis. The chatbot allows the employees to update their Daily Health Status and seek medical help and counselling as necessary. HCCB has further bolstered the telemedicine facility and wellness counseling for the employees and family members through various organizations through 1To1 HELP.
The company also launched a series of Wellness Hour programme with a view to engaging, educating and entertaining its associates on key aspects of health, nutrition and motivation. Titled as R.I.S.E. (Refresh. Inspire. Smile. Energise), the one-hour weekly programme is aimed at enabling the associates deal with the stress and stay positive for elevated levels of performance. The sessions would revolve primarily around our overall wellbeing i.e. Emotional, Physical, Mental, Financial and Professional wellness. HCCB has also introduced an employee assistance program that works in tandem with its existing Wellness Hour initiative. The program places special emphasis on mental health and provides employees with an option to reach out to professional counsellors to help them cope with stress and anxiety. Besides, HCCB has further augmented its existing health insurance policy with provisions to include parents and in-laws with ‘top-up’ cover facility for the immediate dependents. The company through the health insurance scheme covers the hospitalization cost and the initial cash flows, except the personal costs. As a back up to the existing health insurance policy, HCCB has also introduced a ‘Covid Loan’ fund to meet exigencies of critical medicines and hospital admissions.
The company has created a dedicated section titled ‘Covid-19’ on its intranet that among things contains policies, guidelines, advisories, latest updates, health tips, wellness initiatives, key contact list, and helpline numbers pertaining to the pandemic. The purpose of the section is to provide all Covid related information on a single platform for the associates to access should the need arise. Besides, the sales teams spread across the country has created dedicated groups with clear mandate to provide all necessary support including sensitizing associates about Covid safety guidelines, hospitalization, oxygen cylinders or home quarantine facilities to its team members in different zones and locations. The contact list with the names, mail ids and mobile numbers of Covid Support Team members are circulated and shared with all concerned.
HCCB is also in the process of creating a Covid Relief Fund to channelize the voluntary contributions of the company employees for the family members of the deceased colleagues. The idea is to help the family meet the financial requirements towards health care and education of the children. A Task Force has been created to ascertain the requirement of each such family. Building on the basic tenet of staying in touch with its associates, HCCB has launched several communication initiatives to inform, enquire and elicit inputs and feedback on their well-being and Covid related initiatives of the company. The CEO himself interacts with employees across the organization every month in the townhall meeting to inspire them to stay safe and do business safely. This is supported by regular calls to employees by their colleagues and e-mailers with an update on the key policies and initiatives pertaining to Covid safety.