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Guidebook 101: These 7 To-Dos Will Help You Retain Good Talent In A Crisis

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With the onset of 2020, the emergence of Covid-19 as a pandemic also came into our lives. Covid-19 has not only impacted us as a race, but it has also changed the way organization works, the people who inhabit them & make things happen. With all that change and uncertainty comes a need for ‘trust’. Trust in the organization and trust in the people who act as a communication channel between the leadership and employees.

As companies look to revamp their strategies in response to the pandemic, they must work on their metrics for valuing talent and incentivize the best of their talent, the motivated and self-driven employees, irrespective of the push and support, contribute the maximum of your revenues.

Be considerate and employee-friendly, being selfish by acquiring big leadership bonuses with a small pay increase for employees/ Representational image.

Who Are These People?

They are vibrant individuals who, driven by their passion, bring an extraordinary exuberance to the business. They are the ones who trust their instincts, start believing in you and carry an equivalent responsibility as ambassadors of the Brand. They are the ones who put their heart & soul into the organizational goals & make things happen.

Tim McClure, a Professional Speaker and Brand & Leadership Consultant, said, “Passion is contagious and so is not having it.” 

Driving self-motivated people is a challenge that the leaders face, as they are highly inspired and smart people who are driven by their passion and urge to grow. It becomes important to recognize them, prove to them that they are valuable, else this leads to a potential exit wherein the organization fails to value such talent who, in turn, gets disengaged and feels undervalued.

Covid-19 has not only impacted the businesses; the fact that it has an impact on people is increasingly vexatious. It has disrupted the way employees work, it has impacted them psychologically and at such times, it becomes necessary for the leaders to rethink and build the trust.

How To Build The Trust


When the employees feel that the organization cares, they have higher trust levels and when they don’t, they have significant trust issues. Leaders should look at the elements of culture care and invest in their employees by being supportive and flexible.


Communication is the key. Insufficient information withheld by the managers for power purposes or failure to communicate adequately with employees can make them feel neglected and worthless.

Be Honest

If truth is withheld or manipulated by the leaders, the smart employees easily perceive dishonesty and hate any conned attempts. Thus, it is important to be honest. Leadership integrity is paramount in managing the relationship and keeping people focused & energized. Not living the vision, mission & company values inevitably leads to distrust.

Be Visionary, Considerate And Unselfish

Have a vision in place with proper communication of an expected future state. Be considerate and employee-friendly, being selfish by acquiring big leadership bonuses with a small pay increase for employees, benefits and cutting on their bonuses stating pandemic as a reason is like hitting yourself with a hammer; this will only make the staff feel neglected & worthless.

workplace harassment


Money, when given to a deserving, self-driven, passionate employee, can do wonders as motivation. It is a crucial incentive; it is a medium of exchange and how employees can purchase things to satisfy their needs & wants. It also serves as a scorecard by which employees assess the value that the organization places on their services. John Stacey Adams, a behavioural and workplace psychologist, developed equity theory, which says,”‘employees try to maintain equity between the inputs they bring to their job & the output they receive from it”.

This is then compared to the perceived inputs and outputs of others in the organization. The theory states that employees perceive being treated fairly when they get rewarded on expected lines. Fair treatment motivates employees to exhibit fairness in their relationship with co-workers and the organization.

Reinforcement & Expectancy theories also attest to the motivating power of money. According to the reinforcement theory, if the payment is contingent on performance, it will encourage employees to maintain high levels of effort. As per the expectancy theory, the money will motivate to the extent that employees perceive it as satisfying their personal goals and the extent to which they perceive their pay as dependent upon performance criteria.


If properly integrated into an organization’s workflow, this framework and its principles will help a company to retain the best of the talent in such testing times, help them to manage the return on its investment in human capital similar to the returns on financial lines while building a more equitable relationship with its stakeholders.

Internal reflection is necessary as the origin of the lack of passion so often lies in leadership inappropriateness, neglect, or selfishness & needs to be recognized and acted on, especially when we are being tested and challenged by unknown, strange and never handled situations like Covid-19.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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