Article: Showcasing Excellence at the NHRDN Conference


Showcasing Excellence at the NHRDN Conference

National HRD network annual conference showcases Best-in-class HR practices in India today
Showcasing Excellence at the NHRDN Conference

The Auto Quotient Quiz is an initiative that helps M&M to connect with the twin population of current and prospective employees


The 'interactive' category enables leave application; domestic travel; unlocking doimain account and resetting intranet password etc


National HRD Network Annual Conference showcases Best-in-class HR practices in India today

The new age of business has exposed organizations to a series of novel challenges and at the center of it is the critical consideration for organizations to leverage the collective potential of their talent and optimize their contribution as best as possible. This, in turn, has changed the role that HR plays in an organization, where talks of HR transformation and HR becoming a business partner are not new anymore. In fact, in recent years, the HR function has continuously striven to redefine its existing practices or introduced new practices to contribute as closely as possible to the business outcome. Amidst such development comes a timely introduction of the HR Showcase at the recent Annual National Conference by NHRDN, India’s prime body of HR.

The HR Showcase is a first-of-its-kind initiative introduced by NHRDN, which seeks to recognize organizations for its best practices in HR. NHRD invited applications from organizations that believed their HR practices are best-in-class to compete in the HR Showcase that took place on November 17, 2011, in Bangalore. A total of 105 applications were received, of which 56 applicants were shortlisted on having met the predefined criteria for qualifying as a best practice in HR. The HR Showcase measured HR best practices against five parameters - business impact of the HR practice; quality of the conceptual framework; creativity/uniqueness of the HR practice; rigor of implementation of the HR best practice and quality of the application and presentation at the Showcase Event. A total of 42 organizations finally presented at the Showcase Event at Palace Grounds, Bangalore. Thereon, eight were honored the ‘Jury Award’ (Best of the Best Awards), 17 practices were recognized as the most impactful; and three received the ‘Visitor’s Choice Awards’ for the most popular exhibits. Presented here is a snapshot of the HR Practice in the eight organizations that earned them the Jury Award at this year’s HR Showcase.

Auto Passion
Mahindra & Mahindra

A successful business has many drivers, but Mahindra & Mahindra believes that the most significant driver to flourishing business is its passionate employees. For Mahindra Automotive Sector, the key objective was to create ‘Right Fit’ employees who resonate a passion for automobiles by establishing the fact that Mahindra is the preferred employer of choice for the ‘Auto Passionates’. Seeing the success of this initiative they launched a similar initiative for their ‘farm business’ - called ‘farm passion’ which is believed to be a strong enabling practice that will help the Farm business achieve its objectives. Operating in an industry of passion and creativity, M&M seeks to measure the AutoPassion, which measure the ability of an individual to enjoy the automobile in its myriad dimensions and the curiosity to know more, so as to deliver Global Refine Quality.

The Mahindra Auto Quotient (AQ), an auto centric quiz league in association with the business news channel – NDTV aims to showcase the battle within India’s engineering brigade and to prove who’s got the higher Auto Quotient. Mahindra AQ saw a positive response with registrations from over 200 cities in India and participation from over 600 unique engineering colleges when it first launched. Around 7,500 fans registered and participated in AQ which also included fans of AQ on communities in famous social networking sites like Facebook, Orkut and Twitter. Today the number of participants for AQ doubled in the year 2010 to 15,000 from most half the year before. With over 1,00,000 Facebook fans in just five months, AQ is the fastest growing community in Auto-space. The Auto Quotient Quiz has emerged as an initiative that helps M&M to connect with the twin population of current and prospective employees in various technical and business schools across the country.

Know Innovation
Coromandel International

Coromandel’s fundamental philosophy of economic activity is that ‘no man you transact with will lose if you do not lose’. This drive to achieve collective gain for all is enabled through the climate of high performance and continuous improvement that is critical in the company. For this, the HR initiatives strive to build a culture of innovation through a structure that aligns the need for innovation in the company to business goals and HR subsystems. The innovation structure has created idea teams that submit their business proposal to the innovation council, which helps the organization to grow through new products, services and businesses, thus propelling continuous improvement.
The new ideas that emerge as a result of the innovative culture are often transformed into profit-making businesses through the “Internal Venture Fund Scheme”, which has already financed four new businesses under the scheme. These ventures are then tracked for performance, and businesses that have cleared Gate 4 (a qualifying criterion) are expected to generate significant revenues as reflected in the high NPVs, which act as a measure of the ‘practice of innovation’ being effective. Other factors that show existence of an effective culture of innovation include number of people trained in innovation, number of new business ideas, number of employees participating, and senior management’s investment of time in encouraging innovation and idea generation.

Care at the individual level
Titan Industries

Titan has always aimed at being a world-class, innovative, progressive organization and build India’s most desirable brands. Titan has lived up to its vision by consistently living the value of respect for Titanians and endeavoring to fulfill their needs and aspirations through their career. The theme of ‘care at the individual level’ which emphasizes the importance of employees at workplace has been instrumental in achieving the same. They believe that happy employees will emerge as high contributors, have higher levels of engagement and will be proud to be part of the company, and therefore they go the extra mile to ensure that employees are well taken care of. In line with this theme, the company has strengthened its mechanisms of deeply listening to the employee’s voices and grievances.

There is a huge impetus on open houses which allow active engagement with the senior management. Every division devises unique means to address employee issues, such as the ‘face-to-face’ or ‘coffee with HR’ program, which is being conducted by the jewelry team. While the philosophy of ‘care at the individual level’, is facilitated by HR, every manager is empowered to reward, recognize or thank his/her employee work group, thus creating a culture of appreciation at Titan.

The Wellness Quotient

Infosys’s commitment to remain among the industry’s leading employers got them identified by Fortune magazine as being among the top companies that “inspire, nurture and empower a new generation of global leaders.” Keeping up with this agenda, the ‘Health Assessment & Lifestyle Enrichment’ (HALE) initiative is a best-in-class innovation at Infosys that strives to increase the company’s competitive edge through healthy and productive employees. HALE has touched over 50000 Infoscions and their families through its various interventions. The activities under HALE strengthen the Infosys focus on emotional value add thus leading to greater employee productivity, which in the long term sharpens the company’s competitive edge in the market place. The initiative stems from observations from the Infosys Employee Relations team,which anchors activities that involve constant employee engagement and understanding of people issues. This team found strong evidence of an early onset of physical, mental and psycho-somatic illness in a young workforce due to a sedentary lifestyle coupled with high work pressure and stress that is common to any service industry in today’s corporate world. A twin focus on the Infosys commitment to provide employees an emotional value proposition as well as on the company’s adherence to its core values, led to the innovation called HALE.

The objective of HALE is to bring health into mainstream business thinking to optimize employee health, quality of life and their work environment through innovations like HALE tool, HALE leisure, Chat sessions, hotline counseling, videos, work-life balance initiatives, along with health and safety initiatives. The initiative enjoys significant commitment from the top management in terms of communication, regular review and encouragement. Since its inception, HALE has done pioneering work in the area of employee health (physical & mental), employee safety, encouraging leisure and creating a healthy work environment. The best-in-class initiative has been credited with several accomplishments, and recognized at various internal and external forums such as the Optimus Awards 2006 and the Infosys Awards for Excellence.

Virtually Engaged
KEC International

KEC International, a billion dollar, diversified global infrastructure EPC major, having business interests in 6 verticals namely Transmission, Power Systems, Railways, Cables, Telecom and water across the globe in 45 countries, had an interesting challenge of engaging its workforce comprising of multiple nationalities executing 200 plus projects in extreme terrains & climatic conditions. Since physical interaction and reach had its own limitations, it paved the way for the inception of innovative engagement initiatives in the virtual space.

KEC created an e-enabled two-way interactive channel called HR Online. It became instrumental in hosting multiple theme based engagement initiatives like KIFA (KEC Internal Football Association)- based on football, KPL (KEC Premiere League) – based on cricket, K2W (Konnect 2 Win) – based on important events in the history of the Company linked to important years in history of India, KollyWood- based on movies etc.

The various strategic business units were being made into different teams with the respective SBU heads as their captains. The teams were given different names and distinguished logos relevant to their SBUs. The whole idea was to bring in the right competitive spirit and derive business benefits like sourcing of candidates, reinforcing culture pillars, driving personal development etc. in a fun manner.

These initiatives played an important role in enhancing employees’ engagement level which reflected in the company’s overall engagement score which touched 81%. The participants of these Virtual Engagement Initiatives also positively impacted the business drivers of growth like-self motivation, productivity, quality, customer service and creativity verifiable from the fact that they were recognized by their colleagues through’ Tokens of Appreciation’ sent to them through yet another online program called- ‘ U R the Brand’.

KEC RPG’s novel and innovative initiatives is nurturing an environment to help HR live its vision of ‘Creating an exciting workplace which inspires superior people performance.’

ITC Hotels

ITC Hotels is committed to the total well-being of its associates and believes that emotional well-being is as critical as physical well-being. To this end, they launched the Employee Assistance Program called WelcomCare, which was designed to provide help and support to employees when one feels the need.

WelcomCare is a confidential counseling service, which equips employees (referred to as associates) to meet life’s challenges better and more effectively in a safe and secure environment. Counseling is provided by professionally qualified and experienced counselors who assist associates in coping with life’s difficulties, develop coping skills, make important decisions or just help to explore new avenues for change and growth. Counseling takes place face-to-face, telephonically and through online media, depending on the need and convenience of the case involved. Over the last 3 years, 560 employees have availed this facility.

m - initiative
Bharti Airtel

In the late 90s, Bharti Airtel entered an age of digitizing its processes, and called it ‘e-age’. Now the company has entered next phase of digitization where everyone wants accessibility 24X7. This stage is largely based on a concept of anytime, anywhere, anything and ‘m’ refers to mobile technology OR users’ ability to use any applications on the move!

They have identified some of the highly used applications that can be used through the use of mobile platforms. These applications are enabled using USSD (unstructured supplementary service data) protocol and used by GSM cellular telephones to communicate with service provider’s computer. USSD can be used for WAP browsing, prepaid callback service, mobile-money services, location-based content services, menu-based information services, and as part of configuring the phone on the network.

It uses a ‘menu based information services’ feature, which enables a few applications broadly in three categories, interactive, push-based and pull-based. The ‘interactive’ category enables leave application – to apply, approve and cancel; domestic travel – apply, approve and cancel; unlocking domain account and resetting intranet password; sms- survey; e-connect – feedback application; meeting room booking confirmation; and mobile-based learning.

In the ‘push-based’ model, a lot of notifications are pushed from different applications like leave applications (leave balance), change of supervisors, expense management, birthday and anniversary wishes, PMS notifications, recruitment process alerts, attendance confirmation process, salary upload, etc. Whereas, in the ‘pull-based’ model, employees can send queries to get information on leave status, directory services (to locate a colleague), list of holidays, etc.

While, most of the applications are towards employee services, which allow employees to access at ease or on the move, leveraging this technology for learning is expected to attain great impact on the organization.

Partnering for Performance
Wipro Infotech

At Wipro Infotech, given that a large number of its workforce is on third party contractual terms, business impact of HR has been noteworthy in the practice of ‘Partner Employee Engagement’. Although not on the core payroll of the organization, and subject to basic level of IT support to its clients, the intervention aims to connect and engage the workforce to create a pool of talented manpower, with higher engagement leading to higher contribution to business and higher retention.

The ‘Partner Employee Engagement’ model has enabled engagement in 9500+ partner employees through successful engagement activities such as ‘weekly inductions’ that include sessions on the Wipro story, Wipro values, security policies, etc. The model included a ‘structured retention management system’ with weekly review as well as career and performance management frameworks to ensure partner employees are provided career growth within the organization. Partner employees are rewarded in various forums with Spot awards and quarterly awards and there are synergy portals for end-to-end partner management, which enables a central database and process for this talent pool. To know the pulse of this employee base, the Site-O-Meter was launched to know employee perception that can help bring out areas of improvement with reference to the workplace, customer, Wipro and partner/parent company, along with ‘partners audit’ to ensure there is focus on basic hygiene with respect to engaging partner employees like salary processing, ESIC coverage, bonus, and other statutory norms.

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Topics: C-Suite

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