Article: Reshaping total rewards for evolving talent needs: CHRO Megha Goel

Benefits & Rewards

Reshaping total rewards for evolving talent needs: CHRO Megha Goel

Megha Goel, CHRO at Godrej Properties shares how meeting the evolving needs of talent with effective rewards and recognition programmes also ensures better engagement, productivity, and retention.
Reshaping total rewards for evolving talent needs: CHRO Megha Goel

Megha Goel currently serves as the Chief Human Resources Officer at Godrej Properties Ltd. She joined Godrej Industries and associate companies in 2014 as the Lead for Rewards and Performance, and has held key roles encompassing performance and compensation, strategic talent management, organisational effectiveness, DEI, human capital management, and employer branding.

In an exclusive interaction with People Matters, Megha discussed various aspects of rewards and recognition that ensure collective well-being, talent attraction and retention, inclusivity and harmony in the workplace, as well as meeting the evolving needs and expectations of the workforce.

Here are the edited excerpts from the interview:

Rewarding employees with a positive, inclusive, and harmonious workplace.. 

Fundamentally, a workplace goes forward with a strong vision, strategic impetus, the capabilities to deliver on the same, a healthy culture and a total rewards framework that aligns across this value chain. Our Total Rewards framework cuts across offering fair and equitable compensation, careers, learning, flexibility, and well-being.

Our variable payout scheme, for example, has the business index cascaded right down to the project level, which is the first P&L entity. If a project performs well, the individuals working for it are accordingly rewarded for their discretionary performance and value addition to the organisation. This ensures there is limited diffusion of responsibility and accountability and helps us build self-sustaining project P&L entities.

Our Talent programmes, like Talent War Room (to identify talent for early leadership positions) and TAC (at mid and senior positions) ensure that we are an authentic internal talent driven organisation. At Godrej Properties, we believe in grooming and investing in our talent and as a result, we have been able to take bets on our talent early on in their careers. Most of our top-talent is home-grown and we take immense pride in the way we went about taking bets on them; four out of five Zonal CEOs in the organisation are home-grown and 11 out of 13 members of our Management Committee are internally groomed. The same is the case with our Zonal Leadership group – 70% of talent is home grown.

We supplement our talent strategies with our home-grown learning academy “Alchemy” with a robust framework of business and leadership tracks. 

We also believe that a culture of productivity cannot exist without the workspace being an inclusive and harmonious place for all talent. We are the industry leaders on diverse representation groups – women, LGBTQ, PWD representation stands at 35%. We have announced the launch of CREW – Collective of Real Estate Women; a National Collective of Women Professionals, aimed at empowering women in real estate, construction, and allied sectors. This nation-wide initiative will be rolled out through the implementation of a series of inclusive company policies based on internal research with 500+ women (current employees and alumni of Godrej Properties).

Godrej Properties’ total rewards offerings to attract and retain top talent in the real estate industry.. 

In today's competitive talent landscape, attracting and retaining top talent extends beyond competitive compensation. At Godrej Properties, we differentiate our total rewards offerings by taking a holistic approach that encompasses various aspects of employee well-being and professional growth. Building talent from within” and thus learning is central to our business strategy which follows a multi-dimensional approach to build synergies between GPL quantum growth ambition. We believe that the growth of an organisation lies in the growth of its employees. We encourage the holistic development of our employees through performance reviews. We are committed to providing our employees tools and feedback to achieve personal and organisational success while adding value in the long term.92% of the Management Committee is internally groomed talent. 6 of 7 Management Committee positions opened in the last 2 years were filled internally. 70% of the Zonal Executive Committee is internally groomed talent. 40% of Project Leadership teams are internally groomed talent and we intend to push this number up.

Diversity and inclusion remain a core element of our company culture, and we are constantly evolving our initiatives to create a more inclusive environment. Our commitment to diversity extends beyond LGBTQ+ inclusion. We have initiatives in place to promote diversity in terms of age, ethnicity, gender, ability (inclusive of PwD), profession, and more. Our goal is to create a culture where all employees can contribute, collaborate, and thrive, regardless of their background. We prioritise career development opportunities, learning, and development through programmes like Collective of Real Estate Women (CREW) and Catalyst, which focus on empowering women and nurturing high-potential talent, respectively. CREW empowers women professionals in the sector, providing them with networking opportunities, mentorship, and skill-building programmes. GPL has been at the forefront of diversity and inclusion with 31% representation of women, LGBTQ, and PWD employees in a sector with 12% diverse representation primarily driven by women. By promoting diversity and inclusion, we not only attract top talent but also foster an inclusive workplace where all employees feel valued and supported.

Furthermore, our rewards package includes competitive salaries and performance-based bonuses, complemented by robust career development opportunities. By investing in the development of women professionals, we not only attract top talent but also retain them by offering an environment where they can thrive and advance their careers. This approach not only sets us apart in the competitive talent landscape but also contributes to the long-term success of our organisation. We also offer flexible work arrangements and comprehensive health and wellness benefits to support our employees' overall wellbeing and work-life balance, making us an employer of choice in the real estate industry.

Ensuring rewards and benefits remain relevant and impactful for evolving needs and expectations of employees.. 

We have spoken about some of them already, we would like to highlight a few more beyond the hard functional aspects of the rewards bouquet like compensation, benefits, careers. We understand that the needs and expectations of our workforce are constantly evolving, influenced by factors such as gender, demographic shifts, technological advancements, and changing societal norms. To stay ahead of these trends, we regularly gather feedback from employees through surveys, focus groups, and one-on-one conversations. This feedback helps us tailor our rewards and benefits offerings to better meet the needs of our diverse workforce. One such aspect is holistic well-being. 

We launched “Harmony” for the organisation last year, where we plan to launch a series of initiatives to impact work-life balance for our employees positively. The results in the first year were very warm and impactful. 70%+ employees noted that their work-life balance has gone up due to Harmony and they are able to spend this time more meaningfully with their families.

We recently conducted an internal study called "Project Woolf" which further highlighted the importance of addressing the needs and creating a culture of inclusivity and support for Women

Balancing cost-effectiveness of rewards with employee satisfaction.. 

I think it is important to establish the right metric to assess the investment in people and the business value it creates. Linear growth curves must be avoided as we move from a fast growth stage to a mature stage. A few metrics that we track closely are our topline vs manpower overheads, profitability vs variable payouts. It is important that we stabilise these metrics. For us, these metrics have been stable and keep getting better, which means we are able to generate better productivity YoY. This ensures business value creation continues to happen at a better cost. The other critical end here is to check if metrics of engagement, retention are going up, specifically for key cohorts like top talent. We are pleased that our top talent attrition has also stabilised over the past year and is sub 10%. 

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Impact of rewards and recognition programmes on employee engagement and productivity.. 

We employ a variety of methods to assess the success and impact of our initiatives, including qualitative feedback from employees, quantitative data analysis, and performance metrics tracking. For example, we regularly conduct employee satisfaction surveys to gauge sentiment and identify areas for improvement. Additionally, we track key performance indicators such as retention rates, productivity levels, and employee turnover to assess the overall effectiveness of our rewards programmes. 

In addition to these quantitative measures, we also place a strong emphasis on qualitative feedback and anecdotal evidence to understand the impact of our programmes. This includes stories of individual success and growth, as well as testimonials from employees about the value they derive from our rewards and recognition initiatives. By taking a comprehensive and multidimensional approach to measurement and evaluation, we gain valuable insights into the effectiveness of our programmes and can make data-driven decisions to enhance their impact over time.

Key HR strategies and top priorities for 2024 and beyond

While all aspects of our employee well-being remain our priority. There are two key strategic initiatives: diversity and inclusion through - Collective of Real Estate Women (CREW), and the continued evolution of our learning and development initiatives through GPL Alchemy platform will drive our human resource development initiative as part of our Quantum Growth strategy. 

With CREW, we aim to foster a more diverse and inclusive workplace by empowering women in real estate, and allied sectors. Our top priority for CREW in 2024 and beyond is to expand its reach and impact, ensuring that women have equal opportunities for leadership and advancement within our organisation.

GPL Alchemy also plays a crucial role in our learning and development strategy. We are continuously experimenting and calibrating our learning modules to meet the evolving needs of our workforce. We are strategising ways to expand the range of learning opportunities available through #GPLAlchemy, including partnerships with external experts and institutions to provide cutting-edge training in areas such as sustainability, technology, and leadership development.

Additionally, we are exploring innovative approaches to personalised learning, such as adaptive learning technologies and microlearning modules, to make learning more accessible and engaging for all employees.

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Topics: Benefits & Rewards, Other employee benefits, Talent Management, Strategic HR, #HRCommunity

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