“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.

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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

TRAINING SESSIONS for INDIAN ARMED FORCES – Conducted by United States Organizations ( CIA & FBI)

TRAINING NEEDS IDENTIFIED:

The attack in Mumbai on 26th November highlighted some of the deficiencies or areas of improvement in the competency level among the Indian Police Force. These employees lacked the basic capabilities to deal with with terrorists in close-combat situations.

In fact some of the policeman with arms at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (railway station) ran away instead of facing the terrorists as captured in one the surveillance videos.

It took nearly 3 days for the NSG(National Security Guards) which are considered to be India’s premier counter-terrorist force to was out the terrorists from the Taj, Oberoi & Nariman House.

This clearly portrays the quality of the training given to these soldiers and proved that lacked the anti-terrorism training.

ABOUT THE TRAINER:
Looking at such conditions, the US has decided to train Indian officers for such operations.
The following training agencies has been deputed to train the Indian Armed Forces

  • The CIA(Central Intelligence Agency)
  • FBI(Federal Bureau of Investigation)

TARGET TRAINEES

  • A major group of Indian Police Officers
  • NSG Commandos
  • 24 officers and commandos from the Delhi Police Special Cell
  • Anti-Terrorism Squads (ATS) of various states
  • Paramilitary Forces
  • National Investigation Agency (NIA) – in the rank of inspector to Superintendent of Police
  • Parliament Security
  • Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs)

Note: However, the personnel assigned to an Indian intelligence agency or military unit are prohibited from attending the training, as per the United States policy.

TRAINING MODE:

  • The FBI officials will be delivering the training via lectures, case studies and practical discussions
  • However 85 % of the training will be done through drills and field lessons.

AREAS OF TRAINING

3 Major areas of training have been identified based on the past terrorist activities in India & the performance of the Indian Armed Forces.

  • How to operate in “high-risk terrorist confrontations”
  • Handling suicide bombers
  • Crime scene management and forensics

TRAINING OUTCOME

  • Efficiently manage terrorist confrontations
  • Effectively investigate explosions and terrorist crimes scenes.
  • Usage of handguns and shoulder weapons in close quarters battle with terrorists
  • Application of basic skills necessary to resolve high-risk terrorist confrontations using a variety of options and employing the minimum amount of force necessary to protect human life.
  • Development of effective listening and observation skills that allow them to maximize the information gathered through an interview with a terrorist suspect and minimize contamination of that information

TRAINING MODULE:

  • Close quarters battle techniques and live-fire using both handguns and shoulder weapons
  • Night-time training exercises and high-risk counter terror raids will be part of it.
  • How to interrogate terror suspects in a “non-coercive manner”, effective communication skills, interviewing for result, analyzing the interview and interrogation.
  • Effective listening and observation skills that allow them to maximize the information gathered through an interview with a terrorist suspect and minimize contamination of that information
  • Effectively investigate explosions and terrorist crimes scenes.
  • Handling suicide bombers
  • Briefing on the characteristics of a suicide bomber and development of strategies to counter suicide bombers
  • The workshop will cover a variety of subjects such as terrorist and suicide motivations, characteristics, terrorist planning cycles, target selection, weapon selection and post blast response responsibilities,”
  • Focusing on crime scene management and evidence collection techniques
  • Topics covered include crime scene administration and management, body fluid and blood collection, crime scene photography, DNA evidence collection, hair and fiber collection, latent fingerprints, and human remains recovery.

TRAINING EVALUATION

  • The actual evaluation of the training will take place when the Indian Armed forces have high-risk terrorist confrontations next time in the future

Employee Engagement through Innovative INDUCTION

Induction is a process which is followed in organizations where in the new joinees are introduced to the company, its culture, values, protocols/ regulations & expectations. This is done to welcome new employees to the company and prepare them for their new role. The HR team coordinates the entire induction program.

The first impression is always vital and that is what an induction is all about. Generally the induction is carried out in classroom environment with the help of power point slides & lecture sessions. Now these traditional methods have become monotonous & losing its charm in creating the zeal & enthusiasm for the new joinees. Generally the attention span is 20 minutes to listen to a lecture for an adult, but in reality the induction lecture sessions are carried on much beyond which leads to detachment of the employees from the main objective of orienting the employees.  Although the employees are physically present but mentally disengaged. The employees are expected to be engaged from day 1 which does not happen due to such existing redundant methodologies.

In order to create the magic the engaging these Gen Y, induction policies/procedures/techniques needs to be changed/modified. The current generation breathes technology & emits gadgets. They expect accessing information at their fingertips.

Few new techniques that can be adopted:

  • Register the new joinees to the organization’s internal social portal where they can include their creative profiles.
  • Have a blog setup for new employees before they arrive
  • Include training on blogs, wikis, and sharing tools as part of the induction program
  • Invite new employees to post welcome messages on intranet, wiki, forum or blog
  • Invite the new graduates to the company Facebook group before they join so they can begin engaging with people for e.g. in case of Campus Hiring
  • Deliver induction/on boarding training via Facebook using the Udutu Teach Facebook application
  • The core values of the company can drilled into the employee via Flash Mob in a Fun way
  • Mobile phones/kiosks can be used to deliver quizzes on organization’s mission, vision &  goals
  • Introduce rewards systems when ever some gives/sms’es the right answers.
  • Offloading as much information as possible to the intranet/internet since rather than overload staff with information they won’t remember the next day.
  • Live Chat Shows with the top performers where newcomers can shoot questions about career paths or seek suggestions
  • Conduct outbound sessions to introduce the policies to the new joinees where in they will not feel the boredom of the classroom lectures.
  • Invite motivational speakers/ professional corporate trainers to boost & encourage the new joinees
  • Organize musical programs/ bands to add the zing the entire programme.
  • Make souvenirs/ memento’s and share with the entire batch which will be a moment to cherish throughout the life since this will be mark where the entire batch started their career in the organization.

Employee Engagement through the New Concept of Teams in Corporate

The Gallup International has designed a survey questionnaire “Q12” which measures the level of employee engagement. It has been found by the researchers that there are 12 key expectations when fulfilled; it leads to strong level of engagement.
One of expectation among the 12 is “Do you have a best friend at work?. Organizations have taken this on a serious note and come out in encouraging employees having their best friends at work.

The results of the latest engagement index are as follows:

Engaged employees – 28 %
Not-engaged employees – 54%
Actively Disengaged – 17%

Now, in order to increase the percentage of the engaged employees in organizations, the evolution of new team management concept called “SELF FORMED TEAM – SFT” and “SELF MANAGED TEAM- SMT” has developed.

SELF MANAGED TEAM – Here Teams work without supervision. This is also called also called supervision-less system. It sounds surprising but it’s a fact. RPG Group (Ceat/ Spencers) has come out with this concept. This concept was started by P&G, followed by DuPont and a few other organizations. Here they are trained and empowered to plan, review the gaps, brainstorms among them to identify the reason for gaps, take work place decisions & execute their day to day operations. This enables them to come out with the best possible ways to execute tasks. The accountability & responsibility of accomplishment of the tasks complete rests on the team members.
This practice was initiated at the CEAT Plant at Halol(Gujrat). It resulted in higher productivity & harmony among the employees.

SELF FORMED TEAM – Here a group of employees voluntarily comes ahead and forms a team for performing an activity/task. Here the employees have the freedom to form groups based on common interests. Facilitating such group formation increases social bonding and higher level of employee engagement.

Corporate Initiatives to form Self Formed Teams

  • MARICO

Community development teams are there to generate awareness on safety, working mothers groups, and a self-formed cricket team. In fact a group of employees came together to modify a junkyard in the office premises and convert it into a sports arena

  • SEIMENS

Several groups has been facilitated here where in employee come together to discuss/ brainstorm about various issues health & safety, employee facilities like transportation, canteen  & come out with better innovative solutions.
In fact a team has started Yoga Class where the objective is not only about the health but also a platform for cross functional employees meet aiming better collaboration at work.

  • Edelweiss Financial Services

Groups such as adventure club, running club and photography club has been initiated by the HR team where like-minded people can come together and engage in their hobbies and interests. The social networking site of the organization called PING also enables people with similar interests to come together, share and learn.

There are five councils: Community Service, Grey Cells – deals with quizzing and other intellectual interests), Sports, Personal Talent and Wellness.

HCL also has Interest Clubs, which are primarily online platforms for the employees with common interest to connect. There are eight such clubs: Clic – The Photography Club, The Foodies Club, The Pet Club, The Toastmasters Club, Library On Demand, HCL Record breakers, The Polyglots corner and Bikers’ Club. These clubs use the company’s internal social networking platform ‘MEME’ to bring together like-minded people who wish to share tips, pictures, and knowledge.

self managed team

  • Standard Chartered Bank

This bank has a recreation club which organizes indoor game tournaments during the monsoon as well as hockey, cricket and football tournaments.

  • Nielsen

Nielsen has various clubs include Hit F5 (employee fun club), wellness club, dance club, and a soon-to-be-launched cooking club

  • DELL

Dell has a number of interest groups that are formed and run by the employee: the runners group, photography club, quizzing club, toastmasters club, cricket club and cycling club.

  • PHILIPS

At Philips, the largest self-formed group is called JOSH: it drives small fun-at-work initiatives like quizzes. Employees have also formed interest groups like photographers club, trekking group, etc.

BENEFITS OF SELF FORMED TEAMS

  • These groups gets employees to come out from the shell and have fun, create positive work environment which reflects a better engaged workforce.
  • It helps an organization to motivate employees without any huge investment
  • This enables employees to connect and establish strong social bonds with colleagues and develop team spirit.
  • The employees use such opportunity to express themselves, learn & exchange knowledge freely. The outcome is more connected, content & productive.
  • These initiatives keep the employee morale high & make them passionate about their work.
  • This encourages employees to break the monotony of work too.
  • Finally this results in higher level of employee engagement

5 ways for a MANAGER to Motivate the Employees

The biggest road block towards engaging the employees is their immediate supervisor. It is said that an employee does not leave his/her organisation, in fact the employee leaves the boss/supervisor. It is largely up to the supervisor, who can keep their team enthusiastic, empowered, inspired & confident about their job.

There are 5 things which a manager can do to engage the team & foster an environment of happiness.

1. Start with the basic manners
Basic courtesy of greeting or saying “hello” every one that you come across at work, acknowledging every time when a job is done by saying “thank you” makes a work place a happier one to associated with. Specially when employees at a senior levels responds positively to a junior level, it makes a lot of positive impact on the other employees. A simple appreciation or a pat on the back does wonders. It is said that emotions are contagious. When a manager comes with a frown face & remains all the time whenever they interact, the subordinates also tend the respond back in the same manner resulting to a negative work environment.

2.The magic of recognition
It is essential to communicate to the employees when they do something outstanding or go beyond their key result areas. Recognizing an employee’s hard work increases the morale & boosts the performance. Catching people for doing something good is any time better than finding faults. It makes them feel appreciated, thankful to the job & stimulates the employee to continue. The employees who are recognized & appreciated tends to repeat the better performance and then achievement of such high performance becomes a practice of the organization

3.Promote the fun culture at job
Fun is a small three letter word but creates wonder for the employees. At the end of the day if employees do not enjoy what they do, then that gets reflected in the quality of the work resulting into reduction in productivity. A manager can held small fun activities for the team within the premise during non-peak hours. Even take the employees for team lunch or dinner. This reflects that the degree of care that manager has for the employees in terms of performance & attitude of team work. In fact McDonalds follow the culture of triple “F” which is fun, flexibility & future”. They ensure that managers are NOT ENTERTAINING the employees but ENGAGING them in the various ways. It is about understanding the emotions of the employees & acting accordingly keeping the business objective in mind.

4.Communicate
Communication is first step towards building a relationship with the team. A manager’s communication has to be clear & loud enough to reach the team members. The way that is been communicated reflects the attitude & seriousness in the task/subject. Consistency in the communication is of utmost important. A leader cant take back or back stab his/her own words that has been already communicated to the employees specially when something good/beneficial for the employees has been announced. Third communication has to be often with the employees. Employees should have the comfort level to come up the manager & share the issues that he/she is facing. They should not feel as stranger while speaking to their manager due to the communication gap.

5.Invest in your people.
One of the prime tasks of being a manager is employee development. A manager’s role should be of encouraging the team to upgrade their skills along with their performance, motivating them to attend seminars, training programs etc. Provoking the employees to pursue their hobby along with the work activities ensures a work life balance. When a manager takes a responsibility on a serious note to develop the employees and pull them up to the corporate ladder, the team also takes the leader on a serious note that ensures to the give the best performance for the manager.

Power & Politics ;)

“Every day, a small Ant arrived at work early and started work immediately, she produced a lot and she was happy. The boss, a lion, was surprised to see that the ant was working without supervision. He thought if the ant can produce so much without supervision, wouldn’t she produce more if she had a supervisor!

So the lion recruited a cockroach who had extensive experience as a supervisor and who was famous for writing excellent reports. The cockroach’s first decision was to set up a clocking in attendance system. He also needed a secretary to help him write and type his reports. He recruited a spider who managed the archives and monitored all phone calls.

The Lion was delighted with the cockroach’s report and asked him to produce graphs to describe production rates and analyze, trends so that he could use them for presentations at board meetings, so the cockroach had to buy a new computer and a laser printer and recruit a fly to manage the It department. the Ant , who had been once so productive and relaxed, hated these new plethora of paperwork’s and meetings which used up most of her time.

The lion came to the conclusion that it was high time to nominate a person in charge of the department where the ant worked. The position was given to the Cicada whose first decision was to buy a carpet and an ergonomic chair for his office.The new person in charge the cicada, also needed a computer and a personal assistant, who he had brought form his previous department. to help him prepare a work and budget control strategic optimization plan..

The department where the ant works is now a sad place, where nobody laughs anymore and everybody has become upset, it was at that time the cicada convinced the boss, The Lion to start a climatic study of the environment. Having reviewed the charges of running the ants department the lion found out that the production was much less than before so he recruited the Owl a prestigious and renowned consultant to carry out an audit and suggest solutions. The owl spent 3 months in the department and came out with an enormous report, in several volumes, That concluded that ” The Department is overstaffed..”

Guess who the lion fired first ?

The Ant of course “Because she showed lack of motivation and had a negative attitude.”

Some tips for HR

1. Roles & responsibility clarity is required from day one. The managers should be developed as leaders
2. Managers need to be trained & empowerment should be given to play the role effectively
3. Whenever any manager is in a confusion with regards to his/her responsibilities, HR should step in & do the needful
4. Corporate Values need to ingrained among the employees which will reflect in the initiatives that the employees take
5. Encourage a system of communication where in the employees have a comfort level in sharing & giving feedback
6. Employee should be allowed to contribute to their own objectives
7. A lean management culture should be promoted across the organisation
8. Reporting structure should be kept to a minimum level
9. Recognize and reward performance as a partnership between manager and employee
10. Appreciate not only the “lions” and but also the “ants” since performance & productivity relies on both.