The interview revolves around vital topics such as evolution of HR function in years, reinventing its approach, diversity at workplace etc. It also highlights key employee benefit initiatives such as wellness taken by TVS Motor Company serving strength of over 5,000 employees and several other key insights, read on…
You’ve been a part of HR community for long, how do you think HR function has evolved in all these years? And According to you, how important is it for HR to reinvent its approaches?
In current times, organizations operate in a complex business environment which throws up numerous challenges at various levels. There is a need for the human resource function to play a critical role in helping organizations navigate through the dynamism for smooth operations and transitions. In order to play this role, HR will have to increase its real and perceived value. Over the years HR has moved beyond personnel management, routine activities such as the administration of payroll and benefits to a more pivotal role such as developing people strategy and supporting the organization’s business goals. HR has to hold itself accountable for driving the business.
The HR should be able to benchmark itself and keep track of new technologies. Also think of itself as a consulting function which will proactively push innovation and change into the organization. The HR industry, particularly in India, has taken longer to adjust to the use of HR technology. Several large companies have set up small but committed teams within the HR function that focus on data analytics.
What are some of the exemplary initiatives taken by your company?
There are some definite changes we have adopted in TVS Motor over the past few years. Some of them include use of learning, gamification and experiential case studies during the employee selection process, use of data analysis to work on future risk and attrition trend, conducting comprehensive exit interviews, use of auto ergonomics (welfare) to take into account the health index and working style of an individual on the shop floor and focus on capability at our dealer and supplier end along with the front staff.
Major initiatives were taken in the wellness segment. We conducted periodical and annual health checkups for all employees, weight management, lifestyle coaching, wellness consultation and workshops. Also, we introduced health cards for all employees and their families. Pre-employment medical checkups were also conducted. Fully-functional OHC (Occupational Health Centre) and special clinics for diabetes mellitus, hypertension and hyperlipidemia were opened. Outpatient consultation and treatment and ophthalmological examination for truck drivers were also planned. Walkathons, meditation and yoga classes were organized regularly. Along with this, crèche for children was opened inside the premises. At TVS Motor Company, we strive to ensure good health for all our employees and run various wellness programs to accomplish that.
Employee wellness programs have become a staple in many corporations as a way to attract top talent, encourage productiveness and limit attrition. An average employee spends most of their waking hours at workplace making it crucial for organizations to invest in wellness initiatives. Various studies globally and in the APAC region support the fact that healthy and engaged employees perform better and stay loyal. This trickles down to other aspects of their lives as well and encourages holistic growth.
What are your views on the need for greater diversity in the workplace?
We believe an organization’s success depends on its ability to embrace diversity. When people from diverse background work together, they naturally create an environment that encourages innovation. Diversity encourages seeding and exchange of multiple ideas. We have established regional diversity and are working on expanding gender representation in our workforce to 25%. We are also targeting higher women ratio for campus recruitments to maintain a healthy gender ratio. We have facilities like Crèche’ for the benefit of employees which is attached to a medical centre.
How crucial is employee engagement for any company?
Employee engagement always plays an important role in the success and growth of an organization. Employee engagement is a two way process; the organization works towards keeping employees engaged by providing them with the right environment, challenges, learnings and incentives. In return, employees contribute through an increase in productivity and improved performance, which results in better than average organizational growth.
What has really worked for you as a leader to create engagement and motivation in the company?
A motivated workforce means a highly productive workforce which will help you achieve your business goals. Thus, we have taken some proactive steps to motivate our employees to maintain good health by appointing health champions from our existing working staff.
According to a study by Bersin Group, 41% of the companies that encourage colleagues to support one another experienced a significant increase in customer satisfaction. Our health champions hold regular sessions, develop on-going links and relationships with the community, inspire and encourage employees to uphold good health so that they can reach their full potential.