Tarun Katyal, CHRO, Niva Bupa Health Insurance has over 25 years of experience across telecommunications, textile and FMCG and is a well-recognized name in the Corporate HR industry. He has played a key role in shaping employee structure in various organizations. In an exclusive interaction with People Matters, he shares key insights and strategies for enabling a strong EVP for greater talent attraction and retention.
In the current talent landscape, what do you feel attracts job-seeking professionals to organizations?
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed our outlook on life and work. With the evolving hybrid work culture, there is a need to upgrade the current job profiles and look for new working models to provide flexibility. If we look at the current talent landscape, job seekers are more inclined toward organizations which are offering upskilling initiatives, thus enabling employees to manage different roles.
Industry reports have highlighted that there is a significant shift in employee expectations and given the regular and uncertain waves of Covid, employees are looking for greater flexibility and support from employers.
Another factor which attracts jobseekers is the work culture, employee-centric initiatives/ benefits and core values that the organization stands for. Young workers (the Millennials and Gen Z) particularly want to work for an organization that allows them to grow in a diverse and inclusive atmosphere. Companies should therefore focus on employee advocacy to spread the word around. Additionally, the Millennials and Gen Z want to work for organizations that contribute to a larger cause.
What are the key components of a strong EVP?
For any organization, it is essential to ensure that the Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is unique, relevant, inspiring, and fully integrated into all aspects of the business. It helps to attract the best talent and also retain top performers. It is also important to revisit and update the EVP proposition from time to time in keeping with the changing organizational context and expectations. For us at Niva Bupa, the brand transition which happened last year following a change in the shareholding pattern of the company gave us the opportunity to realign our EVP to changing talent needs.
Basis our experience we recommend that HR leaders should adopt some strategies to level up their EVP in line with the changing talent needs which should include key components like :
- Affiliation / Reputation: It is important for HR leaders to regularly align the employees with the goals and vision of the organization. Today’s talent doesn’t want to be associated with companies having a negative reputation or weak brand image.
- Culture / People: In today’s era, employees/candidates are more interested to know about the work culture of the potential employers before joining. Organizational social dynamics, well-being initiatives, and positive relationships between team members and co-workers are some of the key attributes that should be highlighted to attract new talent.
- Financial Rewards and Employee Benefits: Apart from the remuneration, employees look forward to other benefits such as incentives, rewards, health insurance support and special benefits provided by the potential employers
- Internal Employee Feedback: Collect existing data, such as records of employee feedback including current and previous ones, existing marketing collaterals, current HR policies, etc. This can be a starting point of the EVP development cycle and help identify potential areas in need of attention. An accurate, powerful, and credible EVP can be developed to understand the perception of the brand amongst existing and prospective employees.
Given that work culture is a fundamental strategy for binding the workforce together, how can organizations sustain this in a hybrid context?
Building an inclusive work culture is paramount to an organization’s success and growth, and this has become even more highlighted during the pandemic. When the work environment is encouraging and effective, organizations see payoffs in terms of a better rate of employee retention and overall growth. As an impact of Covid-19, there was an anticipated decline in employee productivity, however, most of the sectors including ours have either maintained or improved employee morale.
Brands across the globe are redesigning their strategies to adapt to this new normal. A complete shift to on-site work may not be the best solution as today's employees are looking for flexibility, which implies that the hybrid model is here to stay. There is a strong need to build a sense of empathy and trust within organizations, to enable a sense of belongingness. The long-term agenda should include developing a growth mindset in leaders. HR leaders are therefore looking at introducing multiple versions of remote working models to bring in greater flexibility and efficiency across roles.
How can organizations better align their values to their employees' values and needs?
There are different ways and means to reinforce the purpose and meaning of work. It is important to promote organizational culture amongst the employees to enhance the feeling of inclusiveness, increase productivity, and motivate employees to reach their goals. A leader’s role is to evolve as per the changing needs. Understanding each employee's capabilities and potential is key to upskilling the teams to drive the best results.
What are your plans for re-imagining your business and people strategy in the coming months?
Our aim is to reach high levels of new business growth, improve profitability, and build stronger trusting relationships with our customers and employees. We ensure open and continuous communication with our employees through CEO connect sessions, quarterly town halls, monthly business updates, and internal campaigns on relevant themes.
With remote working as the new normal, we are exploring flexible working models in order to build a culture of innovation and belongingness. Few of the practices which we are currently exploring:
- Identification of roles that can permanently operate from home and visit offices only on a need basis
- The hiring of part-time employees (ADO model: Advisors work on fixed salary and incentives in Flexi timings) and even Gig workers who can come on board for specific initiatives and projects
- Introduction of Virtual Development Officers (for ex: Housewives or females who can work in the Telesales department, operate for 2-4 hours for 4 days a week)