COVID-19 struck and we did not lay off our staff or executives. We did this openly, with our hearts in it, and fully mindful of the economic impact to our family & group.
Our reasoning … where will these people go, how will they live, eat, buy medicines – especially our Associates – as there’s no social network or institutionalized setup to support them. It was (and is) our responsibility to look after them and their family.
We didn’t do this expecting anything in return – because that’s not what “helping” is about.
Trust & a helping hand is given implicitly – one should not do charity expecting anything in return.
Little did we know, there always are the bad eggs … the back stabbers … those few people who would take advantage of this good will ☹ … and “stab the hand that feeds him”!
After several months of this closed period, we decided to call back team members in batches from their homes & villages so as to continue – if nothing else – training programs so that people remain more productive.
What excuses did we get when we started …
Some pretend to be ill and don’t submitting any medical proof so as to skip training;
For some, they or their “dependant” were ill – for the last 2 months! – and so could not attend the job;
Some responded that they are out of the respective city or in another province and due to Covid they can’t get transport … (hmmm, last I remember, Inter-province and Inter-city transport started before last Eid);
This last one is classic – “schedule our duty for a continuous 2-3 weeks and then let us go back to our village”! So, not only do we pay them their salary but, it now seems, they will even schedule their own work hours while on our payroll. I’d like a job like that 😊!
My point is, why do we give our trust to others, our hearts to others, our energy and resources for others, only for these “others” to stab us in the back?
It’s sad actually …
it does shake the trust we put in humanity and in our team members
About 50 people have over 26 years of service with our family just at Beach Luxury Hotel (not counting our other hotels) – NINE of whom have been with us for over 40 years!
Why would someone choose to work for 50% of his or her LIFE with one family !?
Our family’s CORE philosophy stems from my grandfather’s, late Dinshaw B Avari, life & upbringing. Born in 1902, studied in the Petit Orphanage in Bombay, gave tuitions to support his & his siblings educations, my grandfather was truly a self-made man.
He always taught my parents & us – “Your father was born with a Silver spoon in his mouth; and you’ll are born with a ‘golden’ spoon! Never forget your roots – never forget what it took to give you your current lifestyle & education”.
That has always been front & center of our upbringing and in our children’s upbringing- respect, tolerance, loyalty, trust, compassion (to name a few) are the cornerstone of our relationships with people. We have learnt that the very Foundations of our Group are our people.
Who will provide our people with a social & personal safety net if not us? Definitely not our governments! Laws provide for regulatory salaries, end of service benefits and the like – but if we don’t look after our own people in more ways, where’s the humanity our grandfather gave & taught us?
… And to answer my initial question above, it’s because I believe our people have the same level of trust in us that we will look after them when the time comes.
In a recent set of Tweets (https://twitter.com/aamirkazi60/status/1139408694653800448), our GM Aamir Kazi, @aamirkazi60, raises some very interesting & pertinent questions on the use of Social Media by employees of companies (for brevity I am only reproducing an extract of some of the questions he poses) –
In a recent row of […] the question is- does any organization has the right to spy on any employee’s private life?
Check on our thinking?
Do their employees represent organisations on their social media? What should be the criteria or standard operating procedure while on job?
Does any organisation has any contract letter saying “your social media accounts & personal emails will be checked for foul language and inappropriate content and if found guilty, disciplinary action will be taken against you”- you may lose your job?
My layman’s [non-legal] perspective on this is as follows-
Employers cannot spy on anyone (let’s leave that to our governments 😇)!
Saying that, nothing stops an employer having a clear policy BARRING anyone from using social media, the web and emails for personal use during office hours, unless that’s part of their job responsibility – and appropriate, legal action against the employee if found guilty. Why should an employee use paid, company-time for their personal jolly, regardless of using their own devices or company devices?
Equally, no employee represents an organization on social media, unless specifically authorized to do so…and this is where the viewer of the posts may not know whether it is an official post or not.
If we have to check on employees’ thinking, I think there are official psychometric tests which are normal and can be administered to employees, as long as these are fair and across the entire department or company- without singling out any one employee.
Employees have a responsibility towards their organizations too to ensure their social media actions don’t inadvertently reflect back on their company.
The starting course of action – which I believe to be morally & legally correct – would be for companies to technologically restrict social media & web access on company-provided devices.
How do your companies handle these phenomena?
What is a fair & reasonable policy for companies to tackle this media channel in a growing technology world?
(p.s.- By the way, Aamir’s tweets were personal in nature 😉😏)