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Respond together: How Traction on Demand’s Jaipur team came together during the Covid-19 pandemic

September 07, 2021
Woman receiving a COVID-19 vaccine

In recent months, India has faced great difficulty in the wake of COVID-19, with daily reported cases reaching 400,000, at their peak, across the country. The pandemic has severely impacted major cities, including Jaipur, which pushed the city’s medical infrastructure to the verge of collapse.

The situation became so dire in Jaipur that it was almost impossible to get access to COVID-19 ventilator beds and O2 (including Oxygen cylinders and concentrators). Frontline medical workers worked non-stop, with multiple shifts, waiting days for RT-PCR tests, and long queues at the mortuaries/cremation grounds. This was a moment India faced a one-of-a-kind medical emergency that everyone was affected, anxious, and frustrated by.

As a resilient community, locals fought the COVID-19 pandemic together and tried to keep spirits high where possible. Among these people who so diligently cared for others and supported others in need, was the Traction on Demand Jaipur Team. The following is just a portion of the huge efforts the team went through to support each other during this extremely challenging time.

Timely emergency response to keep the team safe

During those trying times, the leadership team in Jaipur identified a few key changes that needed to be made quickly to keep the whole team in Jaipur safe.

People filling bags with take home meals

Along with ensuring the team had the emotional support needed, the leaders launched several initiatives to ensure people could keep some form of normality in their lives and ultimately, stay safe:

  • A community meal initiative delivered over 300 healthy meals to those who were locked down and could not get out to get food.
  • Added five additional sick days for anyone affected by the virus.
  • Ensured all Tractionites (what we call employees of Traction on Demand) understood they could use the current insurance coverage for family members as dependants.
  • Increased the monetary amount available to the team in their personal health spending account and added COVID-19 tests—such as CBC, CRP, D-DIMER, HRCT Scan, RT-PCR, or an antibody test. Additionally, medical equipment was added to the list of allowed purchases.
  • Encouraged any member of the team who could, to use their available volunteer hours to provide services like home-cooked meals, medicine, and groceries to impacted families in their areas (supplied through online services).
  • Set up a dedicated information channel to ensure all team members had a place to ask questions or raise their hand for help. This channel was also used to share wellness videos, offer help with critical resources, and to connect team members with doctors for tele-consultation when needed.
  • Immediate purchase of four Oxygen Concentrators and preventative medicines and multivitamin supplements for employee use.

Following this, the lack of available vaccines for the Jaipur team and their families were becoming a real source of fear and worry. So the leadership team at Traction on Demand decided a Traction Vaccine Drive was needed.

In partnership with Manipal Hospital, Traction on Demand’s leadership team organized for a doctor and nurse to go to the company offices to administer vaccines to Tractionites and their families. Resulting in a total of 77 people being vaccinated.

Thank you so much Traction on Demand for starting the Community Care Meals initiative. It helped our fellow Tractionite’s families a lot! It gave us the peace of mind that our families would have healthy meals during such a stringent lockdown. All requested meals were delivered on time. Thank you!Shaifali Mathur, Junior Consultant, Traction on Demand

Initiatives to keep morale up and ToD culture present

While our Jaipur team is used to working from home (with a flexible work option and many working remotely since the onset of the pandemic last March), India's cases surged toward the second wave and the leadership team took initiative to launch new programs to keep morale and engagement high while continuing to work from home. This included:

  • Launching the wellness open hour—a bi-weekly office hour to engage in discussions around wellness-related topics
  • Wellness symposium—a three-day ‘Be Well’ Event—with various sessions and activities to incorporate more wellness into our life.
  • Fun Fridays received a refresh for the virtual world which included trivia, Taboo, Scribble, and scavenger hunts.
  • Introduction of the ‘Knockout Series’—for three weeks, teams of Tractionites competed in activities like a Lyrical Scavenger Hunt, a Macarena Challenge, a Team Band Performance, Roast Yourself—and Dus Ka Dum.
  • Monthly celebrations of the Knockout Series winners.
  • The launch of the very first ‘Traction’s got talent’.

In addition, increased communication and organized regular fire-side chats with the team, plus individual weekly chats to ensure that everyone had all available information to make choices needed to support themselves and their family.

Everyone at Traction on Demand would like to extend a huge thank you to the whole team on the ground in Jaipur. You all pulled together to help each other through a truly challenging situation and the initiatives that were successfully implemented would not have been possible without every single person helping out where they could.

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