How DDB Mudra Group put people at the heart of its operations as pandemic rages on
The Group has not only backed several employee-friendly initiatives but also churned out brand campaigns that inspire positive changes in these trying times
Amidst the raging COVID-19 pandemic, DDB Mudra Group has focused its efforts towards the well-being of its people and the community at large. The agency is not only working regularly to introduce employee-friendly initiatives but also trying to ensure that the campaigns that they churn out are capable of bringing about positive changes in the society.
Speaking about the same with exchange4media.com, DDB Mudra Group CEO & MD Aditya Kanthy said: “The first and most important thing is to ensure that everyone is clear about what we are prioritizing at this moment. The well-being of our people, their families and the community is the only focus. Our responsibility to help make things better for those suffering is all that matters at this time. As an organisation, we’re doing the best we can to tide through this time.”
Speaking about the campaigns that the agency has put out in the past few months, Kanthy pointed out, “Through our creative work and at work, we have the opportunity to create a moment of happiness or togetherness. Motivation and morale are linked to showing up for each other to offer hope and relief in whichever way possible. The kindness that we show each other makes all the difference.”
He shared that campaigns like #EatEqual for McDonald’s and their work for Meesho were the closest to his heart for influencing a positive message. “We believe that EatQual initiative on McDonald’s makes a positive difference to the world. Take also, for instance, our journey with Meesho. It is a terrific company that’s fuelling the entrepreneurial energy of women across the country. It is deeply empowering on the subject of identity and gender.”
Kanthy believes that all this great work has been possible because of the hard work that all the employees have put in while dealing with the external adversities.
He noted, “Our teams are going to extraordinary lengths to help each other through this crisis. I couldn’t be prouder of them. It is tough on everyone mentally and physically and on-ground support resources for those who have contracted COVID-19 can alleviate a great deal of anxiety.
"We’ve also had some amazing stories of the Mudra family coming together in moving ways. Ex-employees chipping in for our people in gestures of compassion that makes me so proud of our culture.”
And that prompted the group to continuously churn out employee-friendly initiatives to help them deal better with the crisis, including a 4-day work week for the month of May, flexible and reduced working hours, mental health counselling, comprehensive medical insurance, flexible leave policies, and a better balance of work and life.
The times for meetings have been fixed to a certain time window and lunch hours have been blocked in each employee’s calendar so no meetings or calls can be scheduled during the hour.
DDB Mudra Group EVP & Head – HR Rita Verma highlighted: “There is a need to acknowledge that workplace stress is an issue that is plaguing the advertising industry. Advertising is a place where creative ideas flourish, and any organization that depends on the creativity and freedom of thought of their people, can’t be productive if employees are anxious or stressed.
"We also started on our journey on bettering our people’s mental health before the pandemic in early 2019 by bringing onboard India’s leading Employee Assistance Provider. Policies such as compulsory leaves and tools like Asana and Weekend Trackers aim to maximize productivity and safeguard time were introduced last year.”
The Group has also decided to cover the vaccination costs for their employees and their immediate family members.
Verma elaborated: “610 employees of the DDB Mudra Group and their family members/dependents can avail of this benefit. Also, all employees eligible for vaccination will be allowed to take leave on the day of vaccination.
"However, in my experience of speaking to hundreds of employees, flexibility in how we take time off is something many of our people desired. So, we integrated all our leaves into a single bundle. This made the holiday offering as wide as possible, giving everyone a chance to customize their leaves.”
Additionally, DDB Mudra Group also found a mention in the India Workplace Equality Index (IWEI) list of top employers 2020 for its commitment to promote awareness, acceptance and advocacy for the LGBTQIA+ community and its allies.
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