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5 reasons employers should keep safety provision for its employees

By Manoj Chandra

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Progressive employers seeking a talented and well-adjusted employee base have also become well versed in addressing the latters' needs, both explicit and implicit.

From offering long-established benefits such as medical insurance, house rent allowance and travel reimbursements, they also provide benefits that support minority communities, like working mothers and the LGBT community. Sensitization to the needs of these communities is factored in to the policies and benefits of progressive companies.

There are a wide range of situation that employees face on a daily basis, and if a Personal Safety and Assistance Service is able to rescue even one employee, as it inevitably would, then putting together this type of safety and security service would create goodwill not just among all existing employees, but also prospective ones and the ecosystem in which the company co-exists.

In a world, where employers are becoming more aware of safety and security threats that employees may face, the following points explain why companies should get on board such provisions:

1. Alarming increase in number of threatening incidents faced by city dwellers that put their safety and security at risk

City dwellers are vulnerable to violence, as our metros unfortunately have become a festering ground for crime with the growing presence of criminals and anti-social elements. For instance, Delhi, the country's capital holds the unfortunate distinction of being one of the most unsafe cities to live in India. According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), Delhi has been adjudged the most violent place in India. Not only Delhi, but cities like Bangalore, which is known as the start-up hub of the country, features as a high crime region.

2. Long and irregular working hours is a reality in the 21st century workplace

A growing number of industries, such as BPO, hospitality, and retail to name a few, require employees to work at irregular hours. To add to it, a lot of these employees belong to the millennial generation and have come alone to cities for jobs from smaller towns leaving behind families and so to speak their "safety nets".

Combining factors of irregular working hours with no real family base in the city makes this population, many of whom are employees of well-recognized companies, a susceptible target for criminals. Though the fact remains that this set of population is more vulnerable targets for criminals, original residents aren't devoid of this threat either.

3. Employers need to take responsibility of employees' safety and security outside offices premises as well

Millennials to Generation X to Baby Boomers, all make a workplace, and all have their unique lifestyles and exigencies. In the three years of its existence, One Touch Response has been providing Personal Safety & Immediate Assistance to a young workforce, including women, working in night shifts.

Employers need to look after their employees outside the office premises as well as they do on the premises. Forward looking companies also recognize the reality of the growing number of such safety and security incidents amongst their people and the need for a service provider such as One Touch Response.

While considering such a personal safety service provider, it would behoove companies to evaluate how completely such a provider would meet the requirements of each of these constituencies.

Start with the basics—ease of reach through an app or a helpline, an embedded GPS that would help determine the victim's location, a command and control center that is able to guide callers until live help in the form of a trained responders team reaches, a partnership with government authorities, police, hospitals that are able to help in such situations, is a good place to start for employers and HR departments evaluating this much needed service in our cities.

4. Whereas in most developed nations, government provides these kinds of services for all citizens, in India there is still not a democratization of these services

In India, adding fuel to the fire is population explosion, disparity between haves and have-nots, inadequate medical and police resources, and shoddy infrastructure heighten this problem. The city pages of any city daily are filled with incidents of road rage, molestation, theft, rape, murder, and many inconceivable atrocities.

The government has failed its citizens in providing this service and while it may be true that about half the crimes are solved by police authorities in cities like Delhi and the criminals are brought to book, the damage is already done. Whereas, in some cases, the same could have been avoided with adequate access to professional services. Thankfully, there are private enterprises that have risen to the occasion and are attempting to fill the gaps.

5. Providing this service is simple and affordable in today's age of connectedness—it needs a strong technology backed by a trustworthy and capable service

The adoption of smartphones by growing number of population has made it possible to choose and download many apps that act as an alerting mechanism to family members when ones security and safety are under threat. These are great communication mechanisms, but in times of panic, the best of us may lose judgment of what may be the right thing to do. Hence, we need the assistance of a trained professional, who is well versed in handling a broad range of threatening situations – from fire-fighting to providing CPR, to dispersing mobs to being well versed in combat situations, etc. Loved ones though alerted may be ill equipped to handle these situations. Companies such as One Touch Response in the NCR region have set high benchmarks of service while being able to scale it and, therefore, make it accessible and affordable to many.

Manoj Chandra

CEO, One Touch Response

Manoj Chandra is a seasoned marketing executive and growth strategist, who comes with a vast experience in the verticals of digital, mobile, e-commerce and retail.

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