Sarvodaya Development Finance ensures Employee Wellbeing

SARVODAYA DEVELOPMENT FINANCE

Sarvodaya Development Finance (SDF) was established by Sri Lanka’s oldest continuing social movement, the Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement. The purpose was to support underserved rural economies and grass roots entrepreneurism in Sri Lanka, representing communities deemed ‘non-bankable’ by formal financial institutions. SDF fulfils its mission to foster sustainable development by providing not only a range of financial services, but also by conducting educational programmes on marketing and business management along with organising specialised marketing and promotional events, targeting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) from all parts of the country.
SDF partners with over 3,500 Sarvodaya Shramadana Societies (SSS) in villages across Sri Lanka to channel development funds into grass roots projects.

The total workforce of SDF stood at 471 at the end of 2020. Their employees are primarily based in the Western Province, followed by the Central and North Central Provinces, respectively.

experienz was previously launched under the name Dynamedics, and is a product of Mitra Innovation.

THE CHALLENGE

With the many changes to business operations brought about by the Covid-19 Pandemic, SDF wanted a way to stay in touch with, and assess the wellbeing of, their diverse and disparate workforce. They wanted a way of hearing their employees concerns, so they could help mitigate issues as they arose. With many directed by the Sri Lankan Government to work from home, SDF wanted a way to measure the impact of that on their staff and flag up any issues related to stress, anxiety, loneliness and long working hours.

Many of the small and micro businesses supported by SDF were the most vulnerable to the sudden and complete loss of markets and revenues for prolonged periods of time due to Covid containment measures in Sri Lanka and worldwide. Across rural and urban parts of the country, thousands of small businesses lost their revenues overnight and SDF wanted to ensure they were doing everything possible to support their own workforce, who were in turn supporting their customers in extraordinarily difficult times.

The need to facilitate distancing between co-workers, with around 3,500 Sarvodaya Shramadana Societies (SSS) across Sri Lanka, was a really challenging task and to prioritise our employee’s wellbeing was even harder. experienz helped us to automate the process of ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our employees and engaging our widely diverse and dispersed workforce together, through one platform.

Piyal SalwathuraAssistant General Manager Human Resources, Sarvodaya

THE SOLUTION

experienz deployed a digital platform with mobile and web-based accessibility for all employees. The platform and app developed using Creatio low-code technology, which keeps data completely confidential, presents in the form of a survey which asks the employee a series of questions to ascertain their state of mind, levels of stress and anxiety and any issues with workload or logistics. The experienz platform helps companies measure, understand, and systematically improve their employee’s workplace experience leading to improved employee engagement (loyalty and commitment) which can in turn significantly enhance business performance and results. The goal was to help employees overcome significant issues associated with the changes in their working conditions and those of their customers. experienz helped SDF truly understand the needs of their employees and collaborate with them to enhance and improve their daily work experience.

THE RESULT

SDF was able to gather over 300 employee responses through the system within 16 days, close to 70% of employees taking the survey, even though people were working remotely. SDF ensured the employee voice, health and wellbeing were at the forefront of the organisation’s strategy using the experienz tool. SDF is now using the statistics generated by the experienz platform to more effectively direct effort and resources and improve the overall employee experience they offer. With the information gathered they can also quickly identify employees who need support, reaching out to them accordingly.

BUSINESS BENEFITS

Providing a platform to assess employee wellbeing

Providing analytics on the impact on staff of remote working

Identify issues quickly and provide support where it is most needed

Providing a safe space to ask for help during a time of unprecedented stress for staff and customers