Article: Mingle' to engage employees: Gokul Santhanam

Employee Engagement

Mingle' to engage employees: Gokul Santhanam

Gokul Santhanam, Senior Vice President & Head - Global Compensation & Benefits, MphasiS

A popular belief is that cash works, which is not entirely true. We strongly believe that non-cash components also make a huge difference. One thing that works really well is that we are open to the idea of employees working from home and to that effect, we have a short-term work from home and a long-term work from home. Short-term would mean for example an employee’s child is not well, so he/she can apply for a short-term work from home. Long-term applies to cases where an employee needs to either look after his/her children who are having important exams, or needs to take care of an ailing family member or has hurt a leg, etc. This gives a lot of flexibility to employees. The minimum limit for long-term work from home is 6 months. These employees are given a laptop and their place at the office is given to someone else.

We also have a sabbatical policy for employees who have completed 10 years in the organization, wherein they can go on a 1 year sabbatical and do whatever they want, other than work with competition. Women employees, who have completed 5 years, can avail this benefit along with their maternity/adoption. Rewards and recognition helps motivate employees and under this we have non-cash elements like value cards and appreciation cards that we use. Value appreciation cards go to employees who do well and need to be recognized. We even have a day care tie-up close to office which enables employees with young children to work without being worried about their children. Another benefit that we give is a paid vacation as a reward to some employees. It is an appreciation in kind and not in cash.

Our employee engagement group focuses on fun at work activities so we have music band competitions and several other fun activities. We also have a community initiative team that does a lot of CSR activities like teaching in schools, plantation, etc. When people with common interests come together, they form quality circles and stick together and that aids in employees wanting to come to work. We have our own social networking platform called Mingle. It is a social platform to discuss various things. Along with this we have tie-ups with counselors who again help us for any counseling related requirement. Employees can write to the counselor or even call. We have realized that encouraging employees to participate in corporate sports events also helps in engaging them. That makes the workplace fun and the boredom also goes away and providing employees with fun in between and allowing them to work from home gives them a lot more flexibility.
 

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Topics: Employee Engagement, Culture

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