Real -Time Engagement Practices for Gen Y or Millennials in Tech Companies

Gen Y or Millennials are the generation born between 1982 and sometime in the early 2000’s. This age group comprises more than 65 percent of the total workforce in any technology based organizations in India and hence the focus in engaging them is a prime focus for today’s HR’s.

Companies these days are engaging with Gen Y employees by implementing REAL TIME TRACKING of their sentiments rather than depending only on the annual employee satisfaction surveys.  This helps to sort the issues within a short time period before it gets spread and change the atmosphere into negative and result in attrition.

For e.g. the HR team at Zensar Technologies noticed the employee comments on their group portal “Zenverse” about the issues related to the outsourced cab services hence decided to work on improving the cab service thus reducing the employee agony towards the organization’s cab facility.

Persistent Systems is working on an app where employees will have a provision of mood indicator where employees would change their status to reflect how they are feeling after availing any benefit or services of the organisation.

Brillio, a tech consulting firm has a system of “What’s up Board” which is used to provide feedback on various parameters, like leadership, HR, communication etc.

HCL Technologies has Happiness Index, an analytics based platform where employees respond to a set of statements which assist in identifying the mood of the organisation culture. These short surveys are often sent to anyone in the organisation who has undergone a change of some sort. This may apply to a new supervisor, after the performance appraisal or someone who has been given a new role or can be a feedback at the end of a project etc.

This real time tracking of the employee sentiments reduces the disengagement level right at the beginning before it fosters and becomes a wound for the employees resulting into attrition.

( Adapted from Economic Times – 19th December 2016)
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Women Employees of PricewaterhouseCoopers will get a 3 year’s leave for Childcare

PwC(PricewaterhouseCoopers)India , a multinational auditing firm which ranks second largest professional services firm in the world  has evolved with an innovative HR practice called FULL CIRCLE applicable for women employees which will allow them to take a leave of up-to 3 years for childcare purpose.  This kind of leave will be granted only once during their employment with PwC.

During this leave period the employees are eligible for health and welfare benefits, will have an access to all events launched by the organization along with regular PwC related updates. Not only this, a mentor will be also assigned throughout the leave period whose role would be to assist the employees in transition period while returning back to their work. The employees can be in touch with their colleagues, peers, organization freely during the leave period.

The maternity leave of PwC has been revised to 26 weeks( 182 calendar days) from 12 weeks. About one third of the total workforce of PwC consists of women which can definitely help them in managing a healthy work life balance.

Accenture Extends Adoption and Surrogacy Leave to 22 weeks

Now employees of Accenture are allowed to take a leave of 22 weeks for adopting a child or in case of Surrogacy. Earlier the organization had 8 weeks of paid leave for adoption.  Not only this, one month of additional paid maternity leave to cover for illness, if any, and additional three months of unpaid leave based on the requirement  or demand in the family

This policy has been made in alignment to the maternity policy of the organization which highlights the importance of any new child who arrives in a family through any way is given the same priority.

Apart from the paid Leave, the employees also can avail the wide range of facilities such as assistance programs, pre- and post-maternity counselling sessions, discounted childcare services and interactive parenting workshops

Recently Accenture has been found in a survey by AVTAR Group & Working Mother Media as the number one organization for women to work in India

With regards to adoption leave, few companies have initiated the practice such as Proctor & Gamble which has a policy of Paid Leave of 6 Months for adopting a child. Standard Chartered, Citibank and Barclays too have a adoption policy globally. This is applicable to hetero as well to  homo sexual couples, couples in a live-in relationship, single parents too who want to adopt child.

Adapted from Times Of India dated 20 December 2016

“Patanjali” as an Employer

Recently Times of India dated 22nd December 2016, stated that Patanjali Employees have already started receiving their performance increments for the year. It also mentioned that the appraisal system at Patanjali is Quick and results are conveyed to the employees quickly.

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Patanjali, is managed by Sri Acharya Balkrishnaji as the managing director under the registered name as Patanjali Ayurved Limited based at Delhi. Three vice-presidents report to Sri Balkrishnaji. CP Nagpal heads foods and juices, Ex- Emami employee, Ravindra Kumar Chaudhary leads the cosmetics business and Ex HUL employee, Rakesh Sharma is chief of sales and marketing. This organisation is formed under the vision of Baba Ramdev, the renowned Yoga Guru. Currently Patanjali employs more than 6000 labourers in its processing activities, more than 400 sales staff and 300 technically qualified employees.

Executives have joined from reputed international FMCG players like Hindustan Unilever and Procter & Gamble, apart from domestic companies Himalaya, Dabur and Emami. Many employees are attracted by the looking at the future prospects for career growth, and uplifting the business and the culture of the company. The MD of the organisation says that “Ours is not a corporate culture-it is a spiritual culture and it is purpose-driven”.

During the selection stage interviews, two parameters are ensured from the applicants. They should not have smoking habits and second they should of Satvik nature. The compensation is in alignment of the other competitors. “Baba Ramdev comments that the organisation is not looking for top business school graduated like IIM’s who demands crores in pay. Youths from non-metros are generally recruited, trained and deployed as territory in-charges. English speaking is not a mandatory condition for Pantanjali. Patanjali prefers people without experience but with enthusiasm and commitment.

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Some of the Employee Reviews about the organisation from Glassdoor & Indeed:

Pros:

  • Good working atmosphere of the company
  • Free Conveyance and  Uniform
  • The dress code is white, probably the only FMCG company where an executive can wear a kurta pyjama to work.
  • Seniors are encouraged to treat their colleagues with respect—rude behavior at workplace is not entertained

Cons:

  • Team is not good for co-ordination
  • Salary not paid on time
  • Long working hours
  • Lack of facilities provided to the employees as compared to other FMCG organisations.
  • The entire organization support racism.
  • No career advancement
  • Worst salary package, no perks nor bonus neither incentives.
  • They want professionalism when it comes to doubling the target, but when it comes to salary increment the organisation want employees to provide “seva”/ selfless service
  • No system of taking feedback or suggestions from employees
  • Do not provide salary slip
  • Lack of appraisal system followed by Increments or promotion

In such case, Patanjali might have a tough time is attracting and retaining top talents. Recruiting senior level employees would be a tougher job. The systems and processes are still at elementary level which needs to be improved. The brand as an employer will not grow with the astute managerial style and oratory skills of Baba Ramdev.

WORKPLACE DISCRIMINATION – Pregnancy Continues to be a Curse for Women in Corporate India

A handful of companies in India are doing their bit in retaining and motivating women workforce during the most important phase in the life of a woman. It may be the Vahini program, Employee Assistance Programme, Parents at work Programme of Accenture or Stock Parking, Daycare Support Program at Flipkart, Mums at Work Program at KPMG or Extended maternity Leaves at Adobe.

At the same time, there are many reputed organisations in India where women employees have to face discrimination either when they announce about their pregnancy or when they come back post maternity.

Suheli (name changed), an employee of Oracle was on her fifth month of pregnancy, who also had a facility  to work from home as part a part of the company policy was denied of such benefit by her lady boss aged 45 years. Not only this, she was pressurised in such a way at workplace which almost hinted her to put her papers down.

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Anjali Bhushan says her company wanted her to resume work immediately after having her baby: BBC News.

Promotions get denied to women who go on maternity leave since promotions are performance based and not tenure based and in such case a women’s maternity leave often gets recorded as no performance

Organizations become completely insensitive to the needs of the employee. The supervisors aim at the overall team’s performance sacrificing an individual’s sentiment and hard work put before the maternity period.

Monali( name changed) an employee from one of the leading groups of TATA worked for more than decade in the organisation. She has put her complete tenure in improving the process and streamlined many deliverables. In fact she was rated in “A” category in her last appraisal. When she went for maternity leave of 3 months, a substitute employee was called in. Eventually the company policy changed the maternity policy to 6 months due to which her leaves also extended. One day she gets a call from her boss stating that her KRA’s (major responsibilities) have been handed over to that substitute employee and she has to manage with some minor work in the department which is negligible. More over those responsibilities that were planned to be given to her post maternity were sky-breaking in nature. Such responsibilities couldn’t be achieved earlier by any of the team members. This clearly reflects that she is no more required in the team. The employee is currently is traumatic state of mind.

Such level of insensitivity often comes in the form of indirect pressure and changes in the attitude of the employer both before and after the maternity leave. Most companies do not provide a crèche facility or flexible working hours forcing women to choose between career and family.

Tuhina(name changed), an employee from a leading group of Hospitals based out of Bangalore, was said “Why don’t you go on a break and resume after your delivery? You look dull.” Can we imagine a reputed hospital based out of Bangalore behaves in such a manner?

Another employee from TCS has to literally struggle to take a half day leave from her boss for her kid’s vaccination. It seems she has taken so many days of leaves during maternity.

Majority of the educational institutions in Bangalore do not provide maternity leave. But it’s difficult to prove it on papers since the employees are told to resign voluntarily which closes the chapter. There have been cases when a seventh maternity woman has been told to take five to six hours of classes in a day where each class consists of one hour.

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Swagatika Das lost her job at a university after she became pregnant , BBC News

Maternity Benefit Act allows a paid leave and job protection of three months for working women but the reality is different. India’s labour courts received more than 900 complaints of denial of maternity benefits by employers between 2008 and 2012. Most of the women when discriminated during or post maternity does not approach the legal system; rather they just stop continuing to work for the organisation.

Even BBC News Reported recently that “The problem is that working women go back to work after becoming mothers, they are given less responsibility and unimportant projects since they can’t stay for long hours. Companies start considering them the weakest link in the team.”

According to a 2013 World Bank study, only 27% of the female population aged over 15 is working in India. This is the lowest rate of women’s participation in any workforce among the Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries, with the highest in China at 64%.

It’s rightly said, that NOT EVERY ONE LOVES A PREGNANT WOMAN

Innovative Compensation Practice – Procter & Gamble

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Organisations are moving towards designing innovative total rewards policy for attracting and retaining of their workforce. Policies are getting customized, altered keeping the employee acceptance and preference in mind. The FMCG major Procter & Gamble (P&G) India has also taken a step towards engaging their employees through introducing innovative compensation practices.

The following are the changes made this year to attain the compensation objectives of the organization.

  • The Top Performers of the organization were entitled for the Annual CEO-Nominated stock award program. Now it has been replaced by guaranteed cash rewards. The individual performances will be the criteria to achieve this reward and also irrespective of the current the stock price level.
  • Moreover the annual bonus will be based on the business goal achieved by an individual team or department and not dependent on the global business team’s performance.
  • The best performers of P&G will be entitled to receive their performance incentive anytime between 6 and 11 months. Earlier the practice of paying out the performance incentives were only on an annual basis.
  • Not only this, P&G will also consider mid-career increments too to attract the best talent from the market

Work Life Balance Initiatives at Hindustan Unilever – A road to Engagement

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There are several policies of HUL which helps employees to maintain the professional and their personal life go hand in hand which engages them to the organisation

Career Break Policy: Any manager of HUL is allowed to avail this policy which will help them to manage their work life balance. This kind of break can be taken for a period up-to 5 years in total for any reason for the employee’s concern such as for higher study, adoption, sabbatical, maternity, paternity or pursuing any personal dreams.

Work place Facilities: The head office at Mumbai is furnished with day care facilities, bank, shopping center, café, gymnasium, florist etc. Even provision for drop facility with escort/ guards for lady employees working late in the evening exist.

MAPS (Maternity and Paternity Support):  Maternity leave of 6 Months and Paternity leave of 2 weeks are allowed at HUL. The same roles are responsibilities are given back once the employees are back from their maternity leaves. The an integrated online portal called MAPS (Maternity and Paternity Support) enables the line manage and the employees during this transition period via various tools, resources and guidance.

Agile Working: The technology enabled environment at HUL helps employees to avail policies like Work from home, flexi-hours and part time / reduced hours (including a job share policy).

Lamplighter Employee Programme:  This program helps employees to tackle health risks and renders support to eliminate such risks. It also aspires to advance the nutrition level, fitness and mental condition of employees. The employee are assigned colour codes (green, amber and red) based on their health quotient as a part of the programme. The Medical and Occupational Health Team motivates employees through various health promotion and protection programmes to bring about lifestyle changes thereby reducing health risks and helping employees transit from Red to Amber and from Amber to Green.

Career by Choice programme:  It is unique program which gives a direction for women to come back to work after a long break. It helps to women employees to gradually transit to the work life. It starts with a structured induction program designed to familiarize with the company followed by an assigned project guide who co-owns the project. The guide would be working closely with new employee to provide direction and support throughout the project across various functions like Sales & Marketing, Human Resources, Supply Chain and Research and Development. This program is eligible for any women with minimum of two years experience in areas of Marketing, Human Resources, Supply Chain or Research and Development who are looking for an opportunity to work flexibly. A similar kind of program is run by TATA group called the Tata Second Career Internship Programme (SCIP), calling upon women to take on a second career.