How an organisation's leaders conduct themselves in their day-to-day dealings makes a big difference
Our work ethics revolve around trust, transparency and respect for each other
Recession or no recession, our people practices have remained exactly the same, whether it is appraisals or compensation revisions. Our employees have not really seen or felt the ill-effects of recession!” One cannot but notice the exuberance in the voice of Devendra Saharia, Co-founder & President, Ajuba Solutions India Pvt. Ltd. With a deep domain expertise of over 1,800 employees trained and certified in US Healthcare, Ajuba Solutions not only made a re-entry this year into the Great Place to Work® Institute’s Study at rank #9 but is also ranked #1 in the Industry Category of ITeS sector. In an exclusive interaction with People Matters, Devendra Saharia and Shankar Narasimhan, Director - HR & Finance, talk about what makes Ajuba a great workplace.
When you started Ajuba Solutions 10 years ago, what was your vision of the workplace you wanted to create?
Devendra Saharia: When I started the company, I had a vision to create a high-class service-oriented business, which shared a common cultural value system orbiting around fairness and transparency. I believe that there are three top considerations to every employee’s list of expectations: a) Am I respected and cared for as an individual employee, b) Am I getting the right compensation and benefits, and c) Am I learning and developing myself. We have endeavored to create a workplace that helps our employees fulfil these expectations. To me, the most important thing is how the organization’s leaders, across hierarchy, walk the talk or live the organizational values in their day-to-day dealings. For example, you may profess to have an open door policy; however, if it is difficult for an average employee to meet with leaders, the policy has no meaning.
Your organization’s philosophy regarding your employees revolves around ‘care’. How did this concept emerge?
Shankar Narasimhan: In the context of employees, for us, care is an all-encompassing concept, whether it is creating an environment of trust and leadership or being accessible to employees or in taking a holistic view of employee health. Care is at the heart of our value systems and people practices. Take employee health for example. When we evolved our corporate wellness program called ‘Svasth’, we conceptualized and designed it as a tool-kit that will help our employees lead healthier lifestyles. Today, Svasth has programs that not only help mange health at work, it also includes general wellness and lifestyle influencing programs such as Yoga@Work, weight management programs, health camps for lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, etc. Our Reach-Out program is another example where our senior leadership pro-actively meets with individual employees selected at random. These are open meetings designed to understand the employee experience, issues, ideas, etc. Employees are provided feedback on closure of any issue or idea that they may have discussed at such meetings.
How do you handle long term talent recruitment and retention issues?
Shankar Narasimhan: While looking at the issue of attrition, it is helpful to look at what makes employees stay with us! A number of our employees find that Healthcare Revenue Cycle Management provides them a fulfilling career opportunity. For example, our entire leadership team of 150+ (who have been with us for an average of 6 years) is home-grown – in addition to our organizational culture, they value the development and domain-learning opportunities. Thus, it helps to recruit employees who seem focused on learning opportunities and in building a career.
Finally, what are the top three ingredients which make Ajuba Solutions a great workplace?
Devendra Saharia: We are an organization that focuses on excellence and delivery. Our meritocratic culture helps us attract and retain the best talent in the industry. People who join us realize that we have a team culture which is prevalent in our company and one man championship is not promoted. Our work ethics revolve around trust, transparency and respect for each other. I believe that a combination of all these factors makes us a great workplace
Shankar Narasimhan: I think the three aspects that the study focuses on succinctly summarize the reason we figure consistently in the Great Place to Work® Institute’s Study: a) Having created an environment of Trust, b) For instilling Pride, c) For creating a work environment that promotes camaraderie. We believe our focus on Care is the building block that has helped us get where we have got!