Presently leading total rewards for SalesForce India, Pradeep Singh holds over 15 years of experience across globally established brands in the likes of Capgemini, Accenture, Deloitte, Flipkart and now Salesforce. In his extensive career, Singh has worked on compensation strategies across varying workforce's like Product Management, Engineering, Technology, Consulting & Corporate Function,
In the wake of a post-pandemic workplace that demands employers to adapt and address the challenges of employees, Pradeep Singh, Rewards Lead, Salesforce India, discusses with People Matters the evolving benefits and rewards landscape, the role of flexibility in building work satisfaction and the post-COVID benefits strategy of Salesforce India.
Read on for highlights from the conversation.
What has been your biggest observation about employees throughout the first half of this year?
The pandemic has nudged companies of all sizes to become increasingly reliant on digital services to access information, deliver services, stay connected to their employees, customers and communities, and to carry out their business with as little disruption as possible.
In a socially-distanced world, remote workforces are commonplace. From sales and marketing to accounting and IT, you can find remote workers in nearly every industry, and for employers, remote work may prove challenging in tracking productivity and unifying company culture. At Salesforce in India, we have seen an increase in productivity with a decrease in absenteeism by 5% between April - July, in comparison to the same time frame last year.
Employees regard flexibility as a considerable factor in their work satisfaction. And happy employees make for a diligent, loyal workforce.
Remote workforces open up incredible opportunities for your business. Especially, if you take the time to employ effective management strategies to maximize productivity and collaboration.
There is a constant struggle in making a mindset shift towards performance assessment, when it comes to a culture that requires maintaining an online presence to prove commitment vs offering flexibility in timings and managing employee performance basis results. What is your take on this?
In these times, it's more important than ever to find new ways to engage with employees and approach performance management. Instead of using a playbook, we must be champions for our employees and provide guidance to those who need assistance. At Salesforce, we've launched new well-being surveys, including a daily pulse survey, to gain insight into how our employees are feeling during this unique time. Our executive leadership team reviews the results and determines next steps to address pain points. Ensuring our people remain well and that they are connected, engaged and are supported during this time is our top priority, not only so we can navigate through these times together, but also so they can continue to do their best work.
How do you see the benefits landscape evolving? Do you see a gap in what employees expect post-COVID and what employers can provide post-COVID?
The COVID crisis has only fastened the journey towards personalized benefits for employees.
At Salesforce, we understand that employees at specific stages of life, have different personal and family healthcare needs. Moving forward, organizations should give employees the flexibility in terms of choosing benefits as per their requirements.
Now more than ever, it is also essential for us to consider the mental health and well-being of our customers, employees, and community around us. As a company, we have always looked at employee well-being in a holistic way, and have been measuring, analyzing, and investing in programs that build a healthy culture around the well-being of our employees. Employee well-being is the very foundation of productivity, we empower our employees to make good, healthy choices for themselves and their families, inside and outside of work.
Has Salesforce introduced any new benefits to cater to the changing employee needs of today?
Salesforce has always been known for our robust rewards programs aimed at covering various priorities for employees, financial stability, health of employees and their families, career growth and even giving back. Even before COVID, we were on a journey to provide personalized benefits to our employees.
We recently launched our Flexible Benefits Program which gives employees the opportunity to choose benefits based on their lifestage, family structure, family health needs & lifestyle.
Some of the key programs we run are:
- For parents working from home, Salesforce's Global Back Up Child Care program lets employees reimburse up to the equivalent of INR 5000 a day (in local currency) for a maximum of five days per month for dependent care; we are expanding the allowable expenses to include online and in-person tutoring, educating, and supervision of schoolwork as well.
- Our ongoing fitness benefits of INR 5000 per month will help employees explore new and different ways to nourish, revive, move, and reboot. This is applicable to employees, their spouse/ domestic partner and children.
- Home office allowance: All employees are provided with an allowance of $500 to help set up their home offices according to individual requirements.
- We have also revamped our insurance policy and enhanced benefits options to cover families affected by COVID, which includes - Intensive Care Support at hospitals and Home Quarantine/ Home Isolation treatments. Our base insurance plan always had pandemic cover which helped us in good stead.
- Our employees have access to Thriving Mind , which is aimed at helping employees and their families strengthen their psychological and emotional health. The resources are made available to employees and their immediate families free of cost.
- “⌘+R (Refresh)- Wednesday Wellbeing” series is exclusively curated for our employees, where health and wellbeing experts from across the country discuss a wide range of topics- from Nutrition, Fitness, Social Wellbeing to more engaging activities like Gardening and Photography for beginners.
- The B-Well Together Series, is a regular half-hour broadcast that focuses and discusses topics around mental health and wellness. The idea behind these initiatives is to help our employees and their families with resources to support them through these trying times.
- To further help our employee’s prioritize their well-being, Salesforce is encouraging all employees to, as much as possible, refrain from internal meetings on Friday
What are your top three priorities for the rest of 2020 as you reset for the post COVID-19 world?
In these challenging times, it is crucial that communities, companies and customers come together to support one another through the enormous difficulties we face. We think about the COVID-19 crisis in three distinct phases: 1) The crisis response; 2) Recovery and reopening; and 3) The new normal and a return to growth.
In every phase, we’re focused on three areas: the health and safety of employees, helping our customers navigate this crisis, and supporting our communities around the world.