Article: Engagement initiatives must be focused on creating an inclusive and dynamic workplace, says Sanjay Singh, CHRO CMS Info System

Employee Relations

Engagement initiatives must be focused on creating an inclusive and dynamic workplace, says Sanjay Singh, CHRO CMS Info System

How to navigate the diverse demographics within the workforce? Sanjay Singh emphasises on the role of culture, communication, and community welfare in creating a thriving organisational culture.
Engagement initiatives must be focused on creating an inclusive and dynamic workplace, says Sanjay Singh, CHRO CMS Info System

In an exclusive interview with People Matters, Sanjay Singh, CHRO, CMS Info Systems, delves deep into his company’s unique approach to engagement, encompassing AI-based monitoring, skill development, and a comprehensive Rewards and Recognition program.

How do you tailor engagement initiatives to meet the diverse needs and preferences of your workforce?

As a leading business services company providing logistics and technology solutions to financial institutions, organised retail, and e-commerce companies, we have a diverse team of 25,000+ employees and associates who work across 97% of Indian districts.

We strategically align our people with our evolving business landscape while tailoring engagement initiatives to meet their diverse needs. Our human capital strategy goes beyond conventional metrics, emphasising meaningful employment, learning & development programs, and avenues for personal and professional growth to earn respectable livelihoods. CMS is about many stories of resilience, courage, and what I consider, an extraordinary degree of pride, passion, and performance in what we do, every day.

We focus on robust skill development for continual growth while implementing on-ground engagement initiatives across teams. Currently, 76% of our workforce are from Tier II and III cities, thus our focus on local employment benefits communities and alleviates relocation pressures. For semi-skilled talent, our on-the-job training ladder and new skill development programs facilitate upward mobility. We are also designing a career progression framework that reflects our commitment to nurturing internal talent.

Our organisational ethos prioritises employee well-being, evident in a robust health and safety policy and broad coverage insurance programs. These initiatives underscore our commitment to provide holistic well-being and growth of our valued workforce.

How are you measuring the effectiveness of the engagement initiatives? 

We have moved beyond the classical “once a year” engagement survey and have launched an AI-based chatbot that connects with people on an ongoing basis. This gives us real-time and continuous monitoring of engagement, which allows us to address the engagement needs of people at an individual level. We believe that this continuous, data-based, individual-level engagement is a relevant approach to address the effectiveness of our people engagement initiatives.

Our substantial investments in learning and development initiatives position us for future readiness and contribute to the economic empowerment of an intermediate-skilled workforce, especially in smaller towns and villages.

We also hire professionals from diverse backgrounds of ex-armed and ex-civil forces and have provided job opportunities to youth under the National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS). Over the years, we have successfully built an organisation that is an attractive talent destination for professionals across industries. 

Recognising diverse and wide-network workforce, our engagement initiatives are meticulously tailored to meet multi-generational expectations. These initiatives aim to create an inclusive and dynamic workplace, reflecting workforce diversity and addressing unique engagement preferences, fostering a thriving and cohesive organizational culture.

How are you creating a culture that upholds the values of the company for all different demographics in the workforce?

In navigating the diverse challenges within our workforce, ranging from local infrastructure constraints to the standardisation of HR processes, we employ innovative strategies. Our ‘ACE’ value system pillars lay out the behavioural qualities we inculcate in our people -  Accountability, Customer-centricity, and Excellence thereby fostering an environment where  we strive to do better every day and serve our customers better continually.

Our culture is pivoted on openness, and passion to deliver on our customer’s needs. Our culture encourages doing the right thing for the customer and having good communication to address issues, as both are crucial for conflict resolution. While the approach of communication is tailored for different demographics, the essence of the approach remains the same; deeply entrenched in our culture.

With our deep-rooted business network serving as a foundation for addressing developmental challenges across India, our employees take pride in initiatives that uplift underserved communities, and it is evident in our comprehensive CSR approach focusing on Livelihood, Education, Healthcare, and care for the Elderly.

The establishment of the CMS Foundation, earlier this year, further exemplifies our dedication to sustainable development, ranging from repurposing fleet vehicles into ambulances to supporting the medical needs of the elderly and homeless, to enabling differently-abled kids with the necessary tools and infrastructure for a bright future. These initiatives contribute not only to community welfare but also cultivate a healthier and more productive workforce, embodying the values ingrained in our organizational culture.

How do you ensure the involvement of employees in the process of developing and implementing engagement initiatives?

Ensuring the active involvement of our diverse workforce in developing and implementing engagement initiatives is not just a procedural checkbox—it is integral to our ethos. For instance, when we ventured into a new business - ALGO AIoT Remote Monitoring Solution, we didn’t just adapt; we transformed our existing ATM service-focused engineers into experts for IoT devices. Skill transition was challenging, but we prioritized upskilling, seamlessly aligning our personnel with the demands of this new venture.

We foster involvement through strategic measures like leadership development programs, recognizing mid-level leaders as crucial means to embed our culture. Regular town halls provide an open platform for communication, ensuring on-ground voice is heard, and real-life cases illustrate how our values manifest. Our ‘Learning at Fingertips’ initiative ensures continuous learning for teams on the technological forefront. In essence, our commitment to involvement goes beyond rhetoric, embodying a genuine integration of our workforce’s insights and experiences.

What role do recognition and rewards play in your engagement initiatives, and how are they designed to motivate employees?

In our engagement initiatives, recognition and rewards are integral components, exemplified by our comprehensive Rewards and Recognition program. Our employees are recognised via monthly, quarterly, half-yearly, and annual performance awards. Our ‘Lion Heart’ is a spot award for bravery and integrity on the field, and our Value driven Awards (ACE - Accountability, Customer Centricity, Excellence) is a long service award, that not only recognise and reward outstanding employee performance but also celebrate excellence in alignment with our core values and have the deepest linkage to key engagement levers - differentiated remuneration and promotion, as a policy.

To ensure accelerated role elevation, our high performers are also groomed via professional development programs, that enable them to lead larger roles for the organization in the future. At senior levels, we have an Open Policy – which means that our leaders are empowered to choose between taking an executive leadership program, or say, taking time off to meditate in the mountains. Ultimately, they decide what work’s best for their development.

However, it is ‘Udaan’, a program close to our hearts, that merits special attention. Udaan is a national program designed for all CMS employees, focusing on rewarding employees’ children who secure over 75% in their Grade X or Grade XII examinations. Launched a few years ago, this initiative has already benefited over 600 children of our employees, and we aspire to further increase this impact.

Together, these recognition and rewards programs are meticulously designed to motivate our employees, fostering a culture of excellence and continuous achievement.

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Topics: Employee Relations, Employee Engagement, Culture, #HRCommunity

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