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  • How has the Pandemic affected the Communication Strategies for Businesses? Part 2 Walmart

    The largest health and economic crisis of Covid-19 has forced economies and businesses to take extraordinary measures of survival in order to protect their people and continue with their operations. In order to emerge stronger from the pandemic, effective and efficient communication plays a vital role. It increases the operational resilience of a firm and ensures quick decision-making. A good communication rapport builds effective relationships both with the employees and the customers. With the pandemic in place, there are new challenges and risks at every step of the business. It has had an enormous impact on the means and mode of communication. The biggest gainers of this pandemic have been technology and innovative means of communication and marketing, and the biggest question faced is how does one amalgamate both of them together to build up a resilient business in these desperate times? It is indeed true that different companies have different strategies, but COVID-19 has changed the way corporations look at communications in their organization. There are three pillars of effective communication within an organization: Speed, Transparency, and meeting people where they are. The digital era has already changed the way the third pillar works. It is important to focus on getting the information delivered to people where they are, instead of them having to hunt for it. Internal communication implies the way in which companies interact with their employees and external implies the way it interacts with its target audience. Both internal and external communication constitutes an important part of the third pillar. The Case of Walmart: Walmart is regarded as the world’s largest retailer. Today, it is not just a company but an economic force. With current operations across 28 countries and employing around 2.3 million associates worldwide. (BrightSpot, 2020). The power of storytelling and effective communication is what has made Walmart a more engaging brand. In a covid-19 environment, people are supposedly looking towards corporations to be truthful and transparent. Walmart is a retail store that was expected to be at the center of things, providing the necessary goods. The responsibility had definitely increased for Walmart. Protection and safety of not only the customers who visited the store but also of the employees working there had to be taken care of. The level of corporate communication had to be precise and clear to the audience during these times. The three levels of the audience at Walmart are the executives, the associates, and their core customers. Communication for all three has to be congruent in nature and answering the pandemic needs. There are chances of having a communication gap in remote working, to avoid this from happening, Walmart built an ecosystem where the two levels of audience, the executives and the associates were in daily contact. They made sure that the message reaching their customers was not ambiguous and was assuring to them as well. Out of all the three pillars talked about earlier, Walmart specifically warned its employees, associates, to not get caught up in the speed because it can lead to more mistakes in the transfer of information. It is better not to be the first one but to be the right one when it comes to communication during times like these. A typical Walmart work environment was filled with discussions, direct mails, stand-ups, and daily conversations ranging from a wide variety of topics. Now that all of it had shifted virtually, the employees felt more connected with their executives in a remote work environment. Their current virtual room is filled with a diversity of thought, more people and has now become more transparent. This also ensures a speedy way to effective communication internally. In order to ensure awareness and safety about the virus, Walmart has created interactive videos, podcasts that showcase the work done by them across their stores. This is done to assure their customers that Walmart is a safe buyer zone. Transparency in their communication channels was safeguarded through the company’s fast and speedy network. Be it their corporate website, social media channels, or even their associates who passed it on. Listening to what the people have to say is also an important part of communication. Making sure that we understand the difference between a pause and a halt. The company created a COVID-19 resource hub internally for its employees and associates that focussed on benefits, physical and mental well-being, what the company was doing for them, and their employment policies as well. Making sure that the information was at their fingertips, easily accessible for them as well as for their families. Understanding what their employees and associates are demanding and then adhering to those needs. Walmart’s strategy has been quite clear and focused on the purpose of them utilizing social media channels and the internet. This does not mean carbon-copying things across all the channels. For example; a message on LinkedIn is different from a message on Instagram. The way of communicating a message has to change according to the medium you are using. Executive or enterprise-wide communication means how much engagement does the company gets on one single message or mail put up. It is very difficult to measure it but if ricocheted correctly it can do wonders. For example; a direct message of assurance and trust from the CEO of the company to its employees and associates makes a huge difference. Walmart has extensively used digital communication and realized its importance to connect and bring in organic traffic to its corporate website, social media handles, and its offline stores. Covid has forced companies to think differently and jump into arenas never explored before. The biggest change that will stick around is the ability to be able to react to situations quickly. The strategy that Walmart plans to take forward into the future is, taking care of the people who create stories for them and bring in customers. There was quite some time during the pandemic which made them turn a blind eye towards a work-life balance but it plans on maintaining that in the near future. It believes that the key to a successful business is the happiness of the people working there.

  • How has the Pandemic affected the Communication Strategies for Businesses? Part 1 Microsoft

    The changes brought about by COVID-19 in today's world have been tremendous and the domain of business communication is no exception to it. The various strategies and traditional methodologies of communication which were prevalent in corporate firms and organizations before the pandemic has now become a thing of the past today. Gauging the importance and the need for digital strategies is synonymous with the corporate strategies of a successful firm. The Digital Revolution, also known as the Third Industrial Revolution, saw the shift from mechanical and analog electronic technologies to a digital era with the proliferation of computers and digital record keeping. Digital platforms had recast the relationships between customers, employees, and employers in a firm by enabling faster communication between different hierarchies and work structures. Thus, the pandemic isn't the first tipping point for technology adoption and digital disruption in companies is not new. But the pandemic has led to digital adoption to a much larger extent and has taken a quantum leap in terms of industrial and organizational growth. The Case of Microsoft: Microsoft, undoubtedly is one of the giants in the information technology sector, operating globally and running multiple businesses in various domains of technology. Adhering to its mission plan, which is based on the practical implications of the constantly changing world of technology, Microsoft realized that they must up their communication game during the pandemic when the world was socially distancing. Effective communication is absolutely necessary for an unobstructed flow of information, both internally (within the organization, employee management communication) and externally (with the customers and stakeholders). Microsoft offers several services for digital transformation, and hence has a competitive advantage in this domain, which is made use of right from within the organization. In this study, we see how Microsoft strategizes its communication both internally and externally. Microsoft Core Services Engineering and Operations (CSEO) has started using Yammer, an enterprise social networking site used for private communication within an organization, in response to the remote working conditions in place owing to the pandemic. Yammer plays a key role in the effective communication of its parent organization Microsoft, by communicating changes, promoting IT Services, receiving feedback to get insights on end-user experience, and also improving the manager-employee relationship. The pandemic also necessitated the organization to come up with innovative programs to encourage communication. One such initiative was the Ask CSEO, through which anyone within the organization can ask questions, get support, connect to expertise and best practices, and provide feedback on any of their operations. This promotes the community learning experience within the organization, which can go a long way for the organization as it minimizes time for problem resolution. External communication is just as important when the world has shifted to the virtual domain. In order to increase engagement with customers and stakeholders, they sprang up to the action, to provide the support needed to make those digital transformations. They strive towards working with customers to reimagine what’s possible and create successful solutions and experiences for all. Microsoft has an established Social Command Center which helps the organization monitor all interactions and disseminates data to different sectors of the company. It also manages all social media interactions in the U.S. – gathering real-time insights and responding directly to customers as needed – and forwards social media messages to other parts of the organization, such as customer care, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence. The Social Command Center can help benefit all sectors of the business. Social media can help track and identify anything from customer concerns to sale issues. Microsoft also integrates the application of social media with employee involvement, customer engagement, and product development and design. Microsoft shares its customer stories on its blog post. Inpex, a leading energy company that caters to the energy needs of Japan and countries all around the world. As part of the company’s communication reforms, INPEX is switching from its old IP phones to Microsoft Teams phones. Microsoft. (2020a, March 22).This helps in creating a work environment that is unconstrained by location and thus promotes innovation in work style and communications. Microsoft reported an increase in business demand for phones that can be used by employees from anywhere, at any time, as if they were in the office. Demonstrated by the need for remote work due to COVID-19, many companies realized they need flexibility in their business infrastructure. Using Microsoft Teams has also helped companies for seamless telecommuting during COVID-19. Microsoft Teams and phones for Teams are rising in popularity as essential platforms for new ways of working in a changing world. Microsoft has also contributed remarkably to the community since the very beginning of the global pandemic, which reinforces its assurance and social responsibility as a corporate entity. It supported government efforts to combat the virus, by collecting data, designing apps, and using technology to reduce the spread of the virus. They developed an app to enable drive-through covid testing centers and also maintain data of the samples collected. Microsoft closely coordinated with the US Department of Health by developing a healthcare bot as a tool for self-assessment. As far as the marketing strategies are concerned, Microsoft has been focusing on humanizing the brand and following a customer-centric approach. (Research-Methodology.2019b, February 3) However, we have observed that the commercials for all target nations are highly standardized. Having a localized brand image can help them connect to the customers at a deeper level. The organization also came to the forefront to support the cause of education, by offering free trials of virtual classrooms and teams to support teachers and students for remote learning. This experience was further enhanced by the broadband infrastructure development which ensures better internet connectivity. Lastly, they also offered financial support to several nonprofit organizations, schools, and community groups to lend a helping hand in these trying times. Microsoft. (2020a, March 22). In the words of Mr. Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, “COVID-19 impacts every aspect of our work and life. We have seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months. There is both immediate surge demand, and systemic, structural changes across all of our solution areas that will define the way we live and work going forward.”

  • The Fault in Our Divorces

    Divorce has been debated Ad nauseam. To its virtue, unconformably so. In fitting the shape of the vessel, divorce has garnered an assortment of furore. It has been antagonized, romanticized, politicized, and penalized across cultures and legislations. Sample the Hollywood classic Kramer vs. Kramer which punishes both its leads who have mistaken parenting for a zero-sum game. Intellectuals and social scientists have been hard done by in their attempt to pick patterns beyond platitudes. While considerable success has been achieved in simplifying separation ethics for policy planners, taming lions of morality is no mean feat. Fault or No-Fault, divorces are intrinsically stinging. Mutual or Contested (barring extreme cases of abuse and ill-treatment), separation is a crushing defeat of one’s value judgment. It is therefore without question that a nation’s central legislation overwhelmingly presses for divorce to be the last resort. Yet, in hindsight, this discussion seems incomplete. A sensitive mind would ponder the extent to which improved divorce laws stonewall against bad marriages. Not to any palpable extent and more importantly, not least in comparison to solid marital investment in terms of emotion, attention, time, and money. Ron Howard’s eternal classic, A Beautiful Mind, beautifully examined a staggering marital bond between Jon Nash and his wife Alicia where divorce stood defeated by marital commitment. Their will to separate (and eventually get back) was never clause-led. Besides, rolling off the back of universal unanimity is the fact that divorce decisions, fraud, and abetment notwithstanding, are seldom governed by law. The case is clear. It’s not singularly a debate concerning the nastiness of separation procedures, as may be implied by various researchers. Divorces, by any measure of prudence, can never follow a universal separation code. More so since they are functions of socio-cultural belief, wealth sentiments, and the prevailing idea of social acceptance in a given country. Behold the United Kingdom for instance which makes a great case for legislative experimentation pertaining to separation. The UK was one of the first countries to put an end to marriages, mutually decided to be “irretrievably broken”. Prior to the Labour government’s Divorce Reform Act of 1969, a couple had to sit through tens of confrontational meetings, disputing over custody and finances. The meetings were founded in unrequited resent; crying foul over adultery, insanity, and desertion to euthanize a marriage was the only way to end it. No law in any country had yet provided for incompatibility. Come 1969, things changed. The terms of separation were made mellow by dropping these actions as compulsory determinants of a capsized relationship. It was a welcome change, one that came across as a truly well-intentioned move to do away with accusatory bitterness, until it wasn’t. Of England and Wales, nearly 44% of marriages throughout the 80s fell to divorces, estimates Office of National Statistics (UK). In an attempt to suit the familial requirements of the young, eagerly clinging to new economic morals, Harold Wilson had unwittingly opened doors to a ‘Divorce Revolution’. Even after that, the sun ceased to set on British Empire’s marital woes, arching from history to contemporary politics. Shook by a decade that threatened to hurt the moral fabric of British society, Conservatives dissolved any further additions to the no-fault debate by dismissing The Law Commission’s findings in 1990. 20 years forth, after heavy campaigning, the same party assented the Divorce Dissolution and Separation Bill by a thumping 231-16 in the lower house. The argument finds its power when similar legislation in India is contrasted in line with the UK’s consequence. The Marriage Laws Bill, amended in 2013, sought to exterminate fault-based marriages in India. The legislation was designed very proficiently; after either spouse contests, a 3-year separation window is allotted to debate arrangements at the end of which, a clear verdict settles. All knots tied under the provisions of the Hindu Marriage Act (1955) and Special Marriage act (1954) would have been contestable for separation citing damage to both sides. The bill also held an overwhelming premise in acknowledging the wife’s contribution towards building a family by granting her equal share of jointly created assets. Sadly, yet not surprisingly, it lost power in the lower house of the parliament and was eventually canned in 2016. The then Law Minister, Sadananda Gowda, had come under pressure from socio-familial organizations like Save Indian Family and Centre for Reforms that reckoned this bill to be an “Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile”. A missile that has piqued the airs of Men’s Rights groups. Their concerns, although overblown, arise from some glaring lacunas in a clause. For instance, a split might result in the wife acquiring husband’s immovable ancestral property as compensation while the converse is unaccounted for. Countries following a no-fault system have similar-looking legislations in this regard wherein both spouses are in a position to owe compensation and ancestral gains are untouched on either side. The billion-dollar question would be: Does a low marriage termination rate (around 1%) imply better familial strength? Separated entities in India do not file for divorce to avoid the hassle. Does this not spell further trouble for those pursuing newer relationships? All in all, a perfectly healthy no-fault law was lost on parliamentarians’ notions of justice delivery. Lawmakers failed to read in between the lines of prevailing norms of gender roles by covering for and conforming to them. They failed to see how this bill would have raised stakes for marriage and commitment instead of making divorce easier. India’s jurisprudence is put into question and significant doubts are raised regarding the legislature’s understanding of the same. Nevertheless, this tragedy provides much clarity. Economies growing at different rates have different societal and familial requirements. The argument is driven home by the consideration that it is in the best interest of citizens that divorce legislations go unassumed, unenforced, and sensibly influenced by international advancements. Until the time, most countries reach a relative economic uniform (which is as far as the eye can see), all social institutions are in dire need of commitment and real-time involvement. Efficient and accessible family justice systems are a pre-requisite for any developing nation. Canada wins this a mile ahead of its contemporaries. With its new Bill C-78, it provides decentralized dispute resolution services and has made phenomenal breakthroughs in making separation less expensive. It has done away with a one-size-fits-all form of governance by including ethnolinguistic considerations in deciding custody. So why don’t more countries take the same route as that of Canada? It’s obviously not a simple end game. The national agenda is set with polls in mind. Foreign lobby and special interest groups often overstep bullyingly. Centrally constituted legislative commissions cannot be assumed to be bereft of bias. As for federal administration, political differences between the center and states are factored in as a constant. Amidst all of this, a robust family law not only safeguards the haves and the have-nots equally but also delivers appropriate socio-economic impetus for healthier families. Having said that, stronger marriages should always be more of an individual priority and less of a legal one.

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  • Life at SSE | Arthniti

    Life at SSE Srishti Singh, Vikramsinh Patil May 14, 2020 7 min Of Tolkien, Stiggy Uncle and Gender Policy: An Interview with Dr. Niharika Singh 78 0 2 likes. Post not marked as liked 2 Srishti Singh, Vikramsinh Patil Apr 29, 2020 4 min A Candid Chat with Professor Shraddha Ratra 17 0 1 like. Post not marked as liked 1 arthniti Apr 23, 2020 5 min Rationalizing the Irrational with Professor Ashlesha Swaminathan 6 0 1 like. Post not marked as liked 1 Pia Barve Feb 9, 2020 3 min Parth MN @SSE: Arthniti's Very First Event! 12 0 3 likes. Post not marked as liked 3 Divya Gupta Nov 28, 2020 1 min E-cell: The Entrepreneurship Cell of SSE E-Cell has been dormant for a few years due to the lack of revitalizing activities. Check out the goals of the new club head regarding this! 19 1 like. Post not marked as liked 1 Aparna Menon Oct 29, 2020 1 min Synergy @SSE Synergy is a club consisting of group of dancers and members of the crew specializing in different dance styles including contemporary,... 12 1 like. Post not marked as liked 1 Sanskaar Shetty Oct 28, 2020 2 min Small Talk @SSE Small talk regarded as the Organizing club of Symbiosis School of Economics is much more than that. Its essence lies in nurturing the... 21 1 like. Post not marked as liked 1

  • Economic Concepts Made Easier | Arthniti

    Economic Concepts Made Easier Zarieus Namirian, Pia Barve Jan 18, 2021 4 min When monopolies paid off no more: The case of South Korea’s brush with good governance 72 0 5 likes. Post not marked as liked 5 When monopolies paid off no more: The case of South Korea’s brush with good governance

  • National | Arthniti

    National Swastik Routray Mar 11, 2021 5 min The Fault in Our Divorces 20 0 2 likes. Post not marked as liked 2 Swastik Routray Jan 23, 2021 5 min (Un)ending Hunger 8 0 1 like. Post not marked as liked 1 Swastik Routray Mar 11, 2021 5 min The Fault in Our Divorces Divorce has been debated Ad nauseam. To its virtue, unconformably so. In fitting the shape of the vessel, divorce has garnered an... 20 2 likes. Post not marked as liked 2 Swastik Routray Jan 23, 2021 5 min (Un)ending Hunger The world, as of, 2020 has seen 17 major famines and innumerable smaller ones. The most recent one occurred as a fallout of the... 8 1 like. Post not marked as liked 1 Pushkar Risbud Dec 17, 2020 4 min India’s “Look East” policy and relations with the South East In recent times, India and South East Asia have witnessed an unprecedented rise in foreign trade... Pushkar Risbud an FY student of MSC.... 83 2 likes. Post not marked as liked 2

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