Article: HR Leaders unleashing retention success through employee well-being

Employee Relations

HR Leaders unleashing retention success through employee well-being

Discover what HR leaders across industries have to say about the correlation between well-being initiatives and employee retention.
HR Leaders unleashing retention success through employee well-being

The well-being of employees stands out as one of the most effective methods for retaining talent. Nevertheless, achieving this balance proves challenging, particularly in the current evolving landscape. Sustaining talent involves providing a superior work-life balance, fostering a healthy work culture, and implementing holistic well-being initiatives, all of which demand constant attention from HR leaders. 

In this pursuit, People Matters sought perspectives from HR leaders across diverse industries to gain insights into a spectrum of effective talent retention strategies. These strategies aim to address challenges related to employee turnover by placing a central focus on enhancing employee well-being.

Strategies fostering employee well-being in an evolving work landscape 

Shaji Mathew, Group Head, Human Resource Development, Infosys At Infosys, shared, "Employee experience, across all age groups, is a key focus area, and consistent feedback and learning have helped us improve on our offerings. We have a focused approach and use data and analytics to pinpoint the direct interventions we need to make. We are also introducing an AI assistant for every employee to help improve their experience. This will provide personalized information for each employee across the world. We are very supportive of what employees need to do and want to do.

  • A comprehensive approach to Connect, Collaborate, and Communicate, using multiple mediums, enables seamless networking among employees. We are also providing extensive learning opportunities using technology with seamless access, content, engagement, and telemetry. Further, we have accelerated our focus on employee wellbeing as we feel that this is of great importance in today’s work environment.
  • To focus on the health and well-being of employees, at Infosys, for the last two decades, we have a structured wellbeing program called Health Assessment & Lifestyle Enrichment Plan (HALE). This award-winning wellness program caters for Physical wellness, Emotional wellness, Social wellness and Safety aspects. Our objective is to have a proactive approach to health and life enrichment aimed at increased awareness, and overall wellbeing resulting in good health, reduced stress levels with work-life balance, a safe work environment and improved productivity levels.
  • Physical wellness is prioritized through health camps, expert sessions, and segmented programs for women, children, and families. Emotional well-being is supported with self-help tools, a peer counselling network (Samaritan network), and 24x7 professional counselling. Social wellness is fostered through wellness communities, playbooks, and toolkits. Programs addressing psychological and physical safety are also implemented. In a hybrid work environment, digital well-being measures ensure the accessibility of well-being interventions for every employee.
  • Culture serves as a potent differentiator, propelling our collective successes. In pursuit of preserving the essence of the Infosys culture, we introduced the 'Infosys Way of Life' (IWOL), an organization-wide campaign. Employees choose us for our value proposition centered on digital careers, impactful skilling opportunities, and a purpose-aligned culture. They recognize us as a value-driven, sustainable, and inclusive organization.

Our employee-first culture drives us to consistently improve employee experience and sustain superior performance, which ultimately serves as our competitive advantage in an industry where services are relatively easily replicated."

Mental well-being and health are paramount for a healthy lifestyle. It translates to a sound body and healthy mind, said R Venkattesh, Head IT, Human Resources, Operations & CIO at DCB Bank Ltd. Adding, “We recognize this at DCB Bank and have had a robust EAP (Employee Assistance Program) since 2014. This is a confidential counselling service where employees and their family members can call regarding grievances they are facing and try and understand how they can resolve the same. The services can be availed via 

  • Face to Face 
  • Telephone 
  • Online 
  • Mobile or,
  • Live Chat

All interactions are kept confidential. The Bank has no role to play except to make the service available to ensure confidentiality. This has resulted in several employees reporting that they are better able to handle stress, allow their children to avail counselling, flag any potential high-risk cases and also allow supervisors to recommend their team members to avail these services.

We include our leadership and top management in offering an entire suite of health initiatives for conducting self-driven wellness sessions for employee well-being. Recently a yoga session was led by one of our top management team, where healthy habits and asanas for living and adopting a healthy lifestyle were shown. There are some practices that evolved since COVID-19 which have continued, viz, doctor on-call services, wellness seminars and manager training to recognize stress and issues in their team members. “

Sharing her effective strategies, Nimisha Pathak, CHRO at Alvarez & Marsal said, “We have a holistic wellness program which aims at building the Mental, Physical and Financial well-being of all employees. We have a very active full-fledged fitness group where people share their fitness activities and goals on a regular basis. We also run quarterly challenges involving our larger teams along with their family and friends where we all participate in marathons and treks. Our idea is to make fitness an innate part of life. We believe a lot gets solved if we are physically fit. The fitness groups are very influential and motivate others as well to get into some sort of fitness regime as per their choice. We also believe that physical fitness helps in achieving mental well-being.”

She added, “For mental well-being, we have an employee assistance program that offers free counselling to the employees and their family members. We also run mentoring programs so that our employees have people to go to for guidance and mentorship. We have an in-house doctor who is always available for any health-related issues of our employees. We have tied up with a financial wellness platform that provides the right guidance for investing in stable financial funds. For beginners, it comes as a go-to app for making a well-informed choice. We also run a content series focusing on inspiring life stories from our employees on their fitness journey that we publish on a regular basis.”

Sharing six key elements for fostering a healthy work environment,  Jyothi Menon, Country Head of HR and Head of HR Service Delivery India at UBS-BSC said, “We are constantly trying to build an environment that helps every individual bring their best self to work. Mental health and an optimal work-life balance form an important part of enabling such an environment. The firm has been proactive in rolling out programs and employee benefits for the same.

  • Employee Assistance Program is available for all employees as well as their family members to connect with qualified health professionals for issues related to mental health and stress that may be due to personal, professional, or any other extraneous factors. This is a safe and confidential channel for employees and their loved ones to get the professional mental well-being support that they need.

Just like every employee gets medical coverage for physical ailments we also offer coverage for the employee and their family members for Mental Health, Psychiatric and Psychosomatic Treatments as part of insurance benefits.

  • 14 Mental Health Champions (All senior leaders within the India organization) across various locations in India who have undergone specialist training by mental health organizations to offer confidential support to staff by listening, reassuring, responding and guiding them towards various pathways that exist to help them with their mental health. These champions do not offer guidance or treatment but are trained to identify behaviours that need additional support to be able to point the employee in the right direction and escalate in case of extreme distress while maintaining the privacy of the individual.
  • All employees have the opportunity to register for a Headspace account at no personal cost to practice meditation techniques that help them improve their mental health.
  • We emphasize building a culture of respect, inclusivity, and dignity – in and outside of the office. Line managers are supported with tip sheets to manage their teams in a fair and respectful manner and take the right steps towards intervention when required. Overall well-being and work-life balance are also brought up in employee surveys to keep a constant check on the trends and opportunities to correct any discrepancies.

To destigmatize mental health issues and increase awareness of the critical role of mental health in overall well-being, several sessions on mental health, burnout, improving relationships, and having a quality lifestyle are organized throughout the year with experts and medical professionals and are accessible to all employees."

Manmay Madiman, EVP of Human Resources, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company shared, “The Company strives to deliver its core employee value proposition of a long-term career underpinned on the cornerstones of providing a Supportive Environment, Learning & Growth and Fairness & Meritocracy at the workplace.” 

Highlighting the effects of COVID-19 on employee well-being strategies, he said, “The pandemic brought the discourse on mental health to the forefront and normalised talk about stress and mental health in all forums. Accordingly, a formalised framework to address the mental health of employees has been put in place. 

  • Wellness webinars on these topics are delivered through tie-ups with service providers and in-house subject matter experts. Webinars on mental health are regularly organised with an aim to destigmatise mental health through increasing awareness on topics such as mental health awareness, digital & screen detox and, stress management, etc.
  • We continuously work on instituting policies that are customised as per the individual and life-stage needs of the employees. An employee assistance program, in tie-up with a service provider, is in place to facilitate mental health conversations with qualified professionals. 
  • In addition, the employees are nudged to incorporate habits that help take care of their mental well-being as an unconscious part of their lives. Initiatives such as the 'Mental Health Bingo’ card and ‘I De-stress myself by __’ campaigns are launched. The campaigns nudged employees to take small steps that help them take care of their mental well-being by focusing on physical and mindful activities, understanding and processing thoughts and reaching out to loved ones. The Company also actively encourages employees to take restorative breaks, keep work-related calls/meetings to the working hours, take leave, and practice hobbies to enable healthier lives.”

FIA Global’s Vice President of HR & Admin Rajeev Kumar Jha said, “We try to retain the cultural cosmos of an individual especially since more than 50% of our workforce works remotely. It helps us maintain a healthy balance within the organization. Our organizational goals while they are set by the business heads our individual department goals are set with consensus within teams that helps us strike a fine balance in work and in personal growth. I think these are some aspects that have helped in striking a healthy work environment.”

"Uplifting employee Mental Health has increasingly become a key factor. To have a constrictive work environment, one’s mental health is equally important as physical health. Our organization proactively makes sure to update the work and the health status of our employees in the evolving work landscape. To enhance and uplift our employees’ mental well-being we as an HR department have taken significant steps to establish a reassuring and inspiring work environment," Shared Debasmita Paul, Assistant Manager HR at Chowman Hospitality Pvt. Ltd. Adding, "Our specific initiatives include;

  • Conducting events such as Saturday Fun Day. 
  • Festive celebrations in Diwali, Durga Puja, Ganesh Puja and more
  • Annual trip organized by the team. Both Managers and HOD are taken overseas.
  • Entertaining events such as movie evenings, potluck picnics, and Secret Santa and Parties are organized. 
  • Honours and Commendations such as Best Cashier, Best Kitchen, and different acknowledgements are given."

“Health is a state of the body, Wellness is a state of being.” Sharing this, Vivek Tripathi,  Head of Human Resources at AU Small Finance Bank Ltd. highlighted, “Employee welfare is paramount, we regard both - the body and the being with utmost sincerity and seriousness. Being in the service industry, our success is driven by our employees as they are the ones who drive our organization’s performance. Investing in the well-being of our employees not only benefits them but also benefits our organization. To enable that to the best extent possible, we have a holistic framework that considers the mental, physical, and emotional health of employees.

  • This framework focuses on improving the quality of life and aims to increase employee engagement, creativity, and overall performance. It is driven by a recognition that healthier, happier employees are more engaged, creative, and resilient, ultimately contributing to increased productivity and organizational success.
  • As we know employees spend most of their wakeful hours at work, which leaves them little room for taking care of themselves. With this realization, we launched the medical center at our Office branches in Jaipur, where a doctor and nurse are appointed on prescribed days. There are routine health check-ups in offices for employees so that they don’t have to step out and plan a doctor/hospital visit on their holidays.
  • We have a medical app tie-up where employees can reach out for any kind of medical assistance with one click.  Managing weight and becoming healthier is everybody’s New Year resolution and so we have gym ties-ups which cater to health-conscious employees and motivate others to sign up.
  • Being a flag bearer of diversity and inclusion, we have employees PAN India working in distinct states and UTs. The school ties-ups ensure there is hassle-free admission of our employees’ children. There are newly launched ambulance services which come in handy to all employees in times of dire need.
  • We strive to create value for our employees every day and want them to come to work feeling inspired, energized, happy and committed. We have meaningful practices for nurturing and providing opportunities to women who are starting their careers again post-break. We launched menstruation leave to ensure one additional day of rest for all female employees. There is also a sanitary pad vending machine in office washrooms.
  • COVID program - Prevention, Cure, and Security (PCS). It is a strong initiative towards the wellbeing of our employees and their families ensuring wellbeing and safety. This program was launched during the pandemic for COVID-affected employees and is further extended to employees with terminal illnesses. AU SFB has invested approximately 2.7 crores in the P.C.S initiative, covering 518 employees and their families. Additionally, we extend leaves to critically ill employees and bear all their medical expenses with the aim of supporting our people in stressful times.  
  • There are several off-site events to reward employees for their contribution to our exceptional results and to rejuvenate. 
  • Under Rewards & Recognition, we also have spot awards to appreciate the day-to-day achievements of employees who showcase AU Dharma, this keeps the employee morale high resulting in a merit-first and happy workplace. Our leaders also come and communicate at regular intervals with employees via town halls."

Shailesh Singh, Senior Director & Chief People Officer at Max Life Insurance shared, “The modern workforce values flexibility more than ever. Today, the importance of mental health and work-life balance has transcended mere awareness; it has become a paramount consideration for both employees and employers.

  • At Max Life, our commitment to our employees' well-being is integral to our organizational ethos, and we are devoted to creating a friendly workplace for our employees.
  • Our engagement programs are designed with professional and mental well-being in mind, creating a friendly and inclusive workplace.
  • On one hand, initiatives like Zumba Sessions, Desk Yoga, Stepathon Challenge, Mindful Games, gym memberships, and more help create a positive environment within the office. On the other hand, avenues like the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) available within the one-of-a-kind Visit Health App offers a multitude of self-care vistas, like mood journals and tracking, guided meditations and mental health podcasts, individual mental wellbeing assessments, expert webinars on various mental health topics, and unlimited 1:1 e-consultations with psychologists, which offer optimal mental health support outside of the work domain.
  • Max Life also encourages employees to avail of varied paid leave avenues, alongside offering co-curricular activities that help enhance work-life balance. These initiatives have been greatly successful in fostering a healthy work environment, where more than 95% of employees have scored positively across employee engagement surveys reflecting a high degree of employee satisfaction.”

“As a people-first organization, prioritizing the mental health and work-life balance of our Teachmates is our topmost concern. While we operate with a work-from-office model, we have flexible commute timings, work-from-home in case of emergencies, and leave options for vacation planning. 

Transparent communication on behalf of the organization to all employees is a key aspect, facilitated by monthly town hall events where leaders share updates. Celebrating small milestones and fostering a culture of rewards & recognitions also contributes to our commitment to employee well-being,” shared Farhan Ahmed Harazika, Head - HR & Admin, Teachmint.

Underlining key factors that lead to employee turnover, Asit Kumar, CHRO at Lendingkart said, “Factors which lead to voluntary resignation are: 

  • Work Quality
  • Self Growth
  • Company Culture
  • Work Pressure 
  • Ways of doing things
  • An incapable or toxic manager
  • Compensation
  • Unhappy with Rating or Appraisal Discussion
  • Health Issues (Self)
  • Health Issues (Family)
  • Not spending enough time with family
  • Change of location due to family
  • Marriage
  • Newborn Baby and no family support
  • Starting own business

If an organization looks at each factor very closely, most of the reasons mentioned above lead to mental, physical, and emotional health issues. Those issues are long-lasting and have a deep impact on any individual if they continue in the same environment for a long. This results in attrition. 

In order to make our retention measure effective and sustaining, a strategic focus on Mental well-being is extremely important. Only Money Promotion or Role change is not going to help in retaining someone for the long term. Factors which lead to mental illness, factors which lead to emotional health or factors which lead to Physical health issues need to be addressed on Priority. 

Areas like work culture, ways of doing things, incapable managers or toxic managers, and work pressure have a direct relation with mental health. Our priority areas to address in this section include on - 

  1. Building a strong and sustainable work culture which allows employees to be fearless
  2. Create an environment which is unbiased, non-discriminatory and inclusive
  3. Create an environment of equal opportunity for all
  4. Work Flexibility to manage work and family
  5. Equal opportunity to all for Learning and development
  6. Create an environment where employees (especially women colleagues) speak freely without getting judged
  7. Train people especially managers to work on their unconscious biases
  8. Introduce a Good and Meaningful Wellness program which is relevant for your people. Do not just introduce for the sake of doing it.”

Nina Nair, SVP and HRD Head, India & Americas shared, “In today's fast-paced work environment, acknowledging the significance of physical and emotional well-being for employee productivity and satisfaction is paramount and we at [24]7.ai, clearly prioritize holistic well-being of our people through unique wellness programs that are tailored to enhance both physical health and emotional resilience. Our commitment to employee well-being is comprehensive, addressing physical, emotional, and mental dimensions to meet the challenges of today's evolving work landscape.”

Strategies effective for improving employee well-being at [24]7.ai, she added, “To prioritize physical well-being, we offer diverse passion clubs, including those for photography, dance, and music, aligning with employees' interests. This ensures that employees engage in activities aligned with their interests, fostering not only physical well-being but also bolstering emotional resilience.

Our approach also actively integrates employees' families into work life, providing emotional support beyond that offered by coworkers and fostering pride and resilience. We actively integrate employees' families into company events and recognition initiatives. We invite families of our employees so that they get to know the kind of work their loved ones are doing at [24]7.ai, which in turn leads to emotional strength for the individual. This inclusive strategy strengthens emotional bonds within the workplace and contributes to the overall well-being of our workforce.

In the realm of mental well-being, our initiatives encompass awareness programs, training sessions, and talk shows to proactively address stress, isolation, and psychological challenges. We provide immediate assistance through hotlines and helplines, ensuring anonymous support from qualified counsellors. This multifaceted strategy shapes a workplace culture that values and supports the holistic well-being of our employees, adeptly navigating the demands of the evolving work environment.”

Revealing how Great Learning proactively addressed the mental health and work-life balance of its employees, Ankita Sharma, Vice President of HR said, “We recognize the paramount importance of our employees' mental health and well-being in cultivating a positive and productive work environment, especially amidst the dynamic challenges presented by the evolving work landscape. In an effort to promote employee mental health, we have established a partnership with YourDost, a reputable mental health and emotional wellness counselling firm. Through this collaboration, our employees, as well as their families, have access to online counselling services and emotional support. We believe that maintaining a healthy work-life balance is integral to sustained productivity and employee satisfaction. We also encourage employees to take breaks and recharge, ensuring that they can effectively balance their professional and personal lives.”

“As an organization built around CARING values, Nagarro creates a workplace that empowers everyone to speak up when they need help and lends an empathetic ear to anyone in distress. Our non-hierarchical, transparent, and CARING work culture reinforces a holistic work environment where we trust our colleagues. We back it up with our employee-friendly working rules, like working from anywhere and flexible work hours, to facilitate a healthy work-life balance,” said Shruti Tandon, Managing Director - People Enablement, Nagarro.

Adding successful practices of Nagarro in nurturing talent she stated, “There are various ways through which we accomplished this:

  • Comprehensive wellness programs designed to address issues like fatigue or sickness are extremely beneficial. These programs include workshops, mindfulness training, and resilience training to equip employees with essential skills.
  • Confidential reporting assures employees of complete privacy and HR support.
  • A culture of accessibility and inclusivity at the workplace educates employees on the various policies and tools available for support, including training and resources.
  • Equipping managers and leaders with the right knowledge and skills helps identify signs of distress, engage empathetically, and refer employees to appropriate channels. Training programs help leaders develop their and their team's emotional resilience and intelligence.
  • Sessions by mental health experts provide valuable insights and tailored support in line with the company's values and culture.
  • Engagement activities help build rapport among employees and uncover issues that may not be apparent otherwise. These activities also strengthen the sense of belonging and boost morale.
  • Health and You is an employee well-being program covering unique, personalized physical and emotional health benefits. The program extends to not only its employees but also their families. 

It is imperative to have seamless, hassle-free access to healthcare and services, and our initiatives do just that. It gives Nagarrians access to healthcare service providers through discounted offerings, monitoring health through health check-up plans, and much more. Nagarro has collaborated with a third-party vendor for a participative, technology-driven well-being platform to deliver one-on-one expert-led coaching programmes on nutrition, fitness, lifestyle management, and emotional well-being to maintain this.”

Rajesh Rai, VP of People Team and Head of HR, GlobalLogic India shared, “GlobalLogic ranks top 40 by The Great Places To Work Institute, in the area of Wellness. ‘Wellness’ here refers to holistic wellness, that encompasses all aspects of well-being, including cultural wellness.

  • Apart from Employee Assistance Programs for our employees, where they can reach out for counselling and help confidentially, there is a lot of focus on dialogues with employees on all matters of well-being, be it physical, mental, social, financial, or overall well-being. Our managers and leaders have access to tools through Thrive Global, allowing them to build micro-steps for their own wellness. 
  • Culturally, GlobalLogic stands for being ‘Smart, Bold and Human’ and this ‘People First’ philosophy extends not only to the employees but also their families. Recently, we launched a tech solution in a strategic partnership with ‘Yodda’ that helps employees take care of their parents remotely, through a simple, yet impactful tech solution, especially in emergency situations.
  • In addition, the culture provides for ways in which our employees can increase their own well-being quotient by contributing to the community and the environment by donating their skills to underprivileged children and at the same time planting trees to further carbon neutrality. Innovation runs in our DNA and our employees love to learn more, skill more, and create impact – a trait that positively adds to their own wellness through the satisfaction of work. 
  • Care is a fundamental baseline of our culture, extending not only to matters where our employees may need help on their personal side, but also to their careers, and all their ‘moments that matter’ whether it’s promotions, lateral moves, or various other opportunities. Participating in marathons, running sports leagues, hackathons, solving next-gen tech challenges and much more all add to wellness at GlobalLogic.

Therefore, wellness at GlobalLogic goes far beyond the conventional ways in which wellness is typically considered. This might be the reason why our engagement scores run above the usual industry standards."

“Pulse, Federals' in-house employee engagement application, is aimed to enrich the workplace experience, strengthen team relationships, and serve as a hub for internal communications. It has succeeded in creating a positive and engaging work environment, fostering stronger team relationships and upholding organizational values. It was designed to positively engage employees, providing timely updates, and fostering connectivity, whether working from the office or remotely.

Fostering mental health by providing preventive support through the SMILES initiatives. The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) – SMILES is available on all weekdays, all year round, for our employees, to speak to a counsellor or expert confidentially on concerns around family, relationships, stress or financial woes. The EAP also has been serving as an important resource by providing the apt resource to ensure overall emotional well-being for our employees.

We believe that we can make a positive contribution to the good health of our people. Amid rising demands in the day-to-day work of our employees, we have placed particular focus on their mental health by providing active support – both to those affected and to those closest to them. Additionally, we facilitate a "Place of Posting as Preferred by Employees" wherever possible. This personalized approach contributes to a greater sense of work-life balance and job satisfaction, shared Ajith Kumar K K – Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer at Federal Bank.

Radhika Arora, Group Chief People Officer, unfolded the strategies of Jakson Group saying, “Mental well-being and achieving a balance between work and personal life have become crucial elements for contemporary professionals. Organizations are actively undertaking deliberate initiatives to guarantee a wholesome work environment for their employees.

  • At the heart of Jakson Group's Core Values lies Care, a fundamental principle dedicated to demonstrating respect and empathy to all, aligning with the organization's objectives. To cultivate a supportive work environment, we have introduced specific initiatives. These include Flexible Work Arrangements, Mental Health awareness campaigns, Business HRs playing the role of counsellors, and regular Wellness Programs focusing on physical health, stress management, nutrition, and fitness to enhance overall well-being.
  • Further initiatives encompass Recognition and Rewards Programs, Professional Development Opportunities, and the establishment of transparent communication channels through regular town hall meetings, feedback sessions, and employee surveys to nurture a culture of transparency. Actively promoting diversity and inclusion through targeted initiatives, training programs, and policies helps establish an inclusive workplace for employees from diverse backgrounds.

These endeavours contribute to a comprehensive approach to employee well-being and satisfaction, ultimately fostering a positive and productive work environment.”

Madhulika Singh, CHRO at Magic Bus India Foundation highlighted the effective strategies saying, “We recognize the paramount importance of fostering a workplace environment that prioritizes the well-being of our employees, acknowledging the challenges presented by the ever-evolving work landscape. Embracing a People First Approach, especially in the post-COVID era, we have implemented initiatives to support the mental health and work-life balance of our team.

  • Open Door Policy: Breaking down communication barriers is integral to our culture. Our Open Door Policy ensures that everyone, from any level within the organization, can approach anyone else. This promotes transparency and open communication.
  • Non-Hierarchical Culture: Magic Bus embraces a non-hierarchical culture that promotes empowerment and ownership. This approach nurtures an environment where every team member feels valued, heard, and empowered to contribute their best.
  • Flexibility and Focus on Delivery: Recognizing the diverse roles of our staff, whether in the field or in the office, we have instituted flexible working hours that accommodate individual schedules, with a primary focus on delivery and commitment.
  • Wellness Programs: Our ongoing wellness programs address critical topics such as ergonomics, stress management, healthy lifestyles, and nutrition. These initiatives are designed to ensure our employees are equipped with the tools and knowledge to maintain their overall well-being.

Our commitment to the mental health and work-life balance of our employees is not just a priority but a fundamental aspect of the Magic Bus culture, ensuring our team remains inspired, engaged, and equipped to make a lasting impact in the communities we serve."

Roopank Chaudhary, Partner of Talent Solutions at Aon-India shared, “Organisations are increasingly acknowledging and taking note of the importance of mental health and its impact on the workplace. It plays a pivotal role in how companies track engagement and makes it an essential aspect rather than a desirable one.

Various initiatives and programs are being introduced by companies, such as additional leaves, leaves for rejuvenation, unlimited leaves, frequent sabbaticals, flexi working (allowing employees to work from home 1-2 days a week), work from anywhere, etc. Additionally, organizations are providing mental health counselling, counsellors on call, and creating workspaces that encourage recreation and wellness facilities.”

Viju Gangadharan, Head of HR at iMocha shared the challenges in making employees' well-being effective saying, “2023 has been a challenging year for the business across the world and it has directly impacted HR fraternity; broadly under following areas:

  • Managing cost: Through Lay-offs, managing overheads, effective utilization of available resources
  • Enforcing performance culture: Identifying High Potentials and top Performance and engaging them. Supporting Low Performers to enhance their performance through feedback. Mandating working from the office to enhance collaboration and engagement
  • Retaining talent: Engaging talent by creating a vibrating work environment, well-being, reward, learning & benefits

Working from home has its positives but also has negative impacts on quite a few instances w.r.t. engagement with colleagues, dip in performance due to misuse of WFH facility, and lack of social interaction impacted mental health. We have anticipated these challenges and took the following initiatives and launched programs:

  • Organized 2 nights & 3 days of outbound activity in Goa for all employees. It was the first time more than 90% of the organization came under 1 roof after more than 2 years. Organized team building activities, reward & recognition gala night followed by dinner.
  • Launched a renewed health insurance program which covered individuals, and their families including parents without any co-payment. Also included free 24x7 consulting services on health, health awareness sessions and access to insurance services on any drive. Ensured prompt response and closure to insurance claims and other support.
  • Organized yoga sessions and outdoor/indoor sports activities to engage and instil awareness of health through physical games and activities.
  • Shifted to a new office with a vibrant work environment, exclusive space for collaboration & a fun area having table tennis, foosball table, carom & chess. This ensures more footfall in the office. Exclusive cafeteria, which serves assorted fruits and healthy bites."

Shailesh said, “In a post-pandemic era where most organizations have adopted remote or hybrid working models allowing employees to work from home, employee wellbeing has become a challenging task. At Max Life, we offer a unique program—the Visit Health App—to our employees that helps them prioritize their physical and mental well-being. The Visit Health App is a one-of-its-kind holistic healthcare platform that offers options to have their medical identification E-Card, one-click access to wellness and health management (activity, food and sleep tracking, health risk assessments, health data monitor, etc.), Employee Assistance Program (mood journal & tracking, mental health podcasts, individual mental wellbeing assessment, e-consultations, etc.), online medical consultations via telemedicine, and in-clinic consultations, alongside online medicine ordering, lab tests/diagnostic services, and gym facility at a subsidised rate across the country, all at one place. This vista has ensured that Max Life employees and their loved ones are well taken care of and that the highest levels of health and emotional support are provided to them.”

“We prioritize the holistic well-being of our Teachmates by incorporating small gestures that bring joy, such as stocking the pantry with healthy snacks and providing our employees with lunches every day. We also offer our teachers access to a mental health consultant for unlimited sessions. Our people-first approach ensures a healthy environment for open expression. Programs like Manager Enablement significantly impact how our leaders connect with team members, fostering motivation and productivity,” said Farhan

Strategies ensuring holistic employee well-being

Madhulika shared, “At Magic Bus, we recognize that in the dynamic and fast-paced landscape of today's work environment, the physical and emotional well-being of our employees is vital for sustained productivity and satisfaction. Our commitment to the holistic well-being of our workforce is deeply ingrained in our culture and organization's ecosystem. Here are some practices and initiatives that reflect our People First approach:

  • Flexible Working Hours: Acknowledging the diverse needs of our team, we have implemented flexible working hours to provide a conducive work environment that accommodates individual schedules.
  • Remote Work Arrangements: In response to the evolving work landscape, we offer work-from-home arrangements when necessary, ensuring that our employees can maintain a healthy work-life balance.
  • Support for Mothers and Women: We provide flexibility to expecting mothers and women returning to work post-childbirth or any medical situation, recognizing and supporting their needs.
  • Health and Wellness Programs: Regular health and wellness programs, sessions, and Doctor Talks are conducted fortnightly/monthly in our offices and centers. These initiatives address health and fitness concerns and focus on building a healthy lifestyle.
  • Rewards and Recognition: We place significant emphasis on recognizing and rewarding our team on an ongoing basis. From our Foundation Day celebrations that salute our ground heroes to our CEO Circle, an annual recognition function, we actively acknowledge and appreciate exceptional contributors, fostering a culture of meritocracy."

Viju said, “Since many of us were working from home, we have launched a program to encourage individuals to work from the office in the new work environment. To ensure satisfaction, we organized an HR Open house to raise issues related to individuals or teams for quick & prompt action. Monthly meeting with founders; Mocha with Founders to update everyone, on where we stand, how we are doing and the direction of the company. 1-o-1 employees connect with Business HR and quarterly connect with Line managers to share & give feedback.”

Manmay shared the key strategies that ICICI Prudential Life Insurance uses to ensure the holistic well-being of its workforce saying, “The company has established a comprehensive well-being framework, centered on physical, mental, and financial health. This approach involves awareness-building, customized policies, and habit-forming initiatives to create a safe and supportive workplace.

  • For awareness, wellness webinars on key occasions and financial well-being topics are conducted. These cover life-stage financial needs, including personal budgeting and maintaining a healthy credit score. Additionally, employees have access to complimentary webinars by healthcare experts through the Company's customer app.
  • Tailored policies address individual and life-stage needs. An employee assistance program with mental health support and medical teleconsultation is available. Eligible employees are encouraged to undergo an annual health check-up. Ongoing initiatives, such as World Heart Day and World Diabetes Day, complement these policies.
  • It promotes healthy living in employees' daily lives, launching campaigns like #CommitToQuit on World No Tobacco Day and the 'StayFit' step challenge on the employee self-service app. Furthermore, a personal resilience and leadership journey for top leaders integrates diagnostics, workshops, and external perspectives for a holistic learning experience."

“ At Jakson Group, we prioritize holistic well-being through a mix of policies, programs, and cultural initiatives. From Physical Fitness Challenges and Mindfulness Programs to Mental Health Workshops and Training sessions, we focus on awareness of mental health, stress management, nutrition, and healthier habits. Recent successful initiatives include Sports Week, Cricket League, a 3-month fitness challenge to reduce cumulative employee weight, and Yoga Day. Continuous refinement of these initiatives through regular feedback and assessments ensures their effectiveness in addressing the holistic well-being of our employees over time,” shared Radhika.

Debasmita added, "For employees to be productive and satisfied, their physical and mental health is vital and our organization keeps its employees' overall well-being a priority. We give ESI and PF Benefits along with sick leave and group insurance in order to keep the employee's health and life secured and productive."

Sharing effective practices at GlobalLogic Rajesh said, “Our culture is devoted to the all-encompassing well-being of our people. Going beyond mere physical and emotional aspects, it embraces a holistic approach covering social, physical, emotional, mental, and financial dimensions and more. Anchored in the principles of SMART, BOLD, and HUMAN, our culture acknowledges that genuine well-being for our employees arises from addressing multiple dimensions rather than singularly focusing on either emotional or physical wellness. 

  • SMART cultivates compassionate problem solvers and innovative thinkers, leveraging cutting-edge tools for impactful solutions. Initiatives like Hackathons, fostering Change-Makers, and patent filings exemplify our encouragement of innovation.
  • BOLD sparks imagination, empowering our people to create exceptional solutions for clients. An open culture, facilitated by platforms like GlobalLogic Citizens Club and leadership forums, encourages feedback and bold expressions of ideas.
  • HUMAN embodies a people-first culture, fostering strong bonds through performance recognition, family involvement, and extensive connections. Our commitment extends to supporting employees during global events, contributing to their well-being and that of their families.

“The holistic well-being of our workforce is important to us, especially in today's fast-paced work environment,” said Ankita. Further highlighting, “At our core, we believe in a balanced approach to learning—on-the-job problem-solving and traditional methodologies. Performance insights guide personalized upskilling plans aligned with organizational goals. From behavioural interventions to technical programs, we foster personal and professional growth. With up to a 90% discount on Great Learning courses, full-time employees enjoy attractive upskilling incentives based on tenure. We further support diverse interests, offering a 10k incentive for employees to pursue courses, including hobbies like baking workshops. Our work environment prioritizes complete well-being, enabling employees to thrive both personally and professionally.”

Vivek stated, “AU operates on 7 Dharmas that act as governing agents for all our business transactions. Being a bank, it is our duty to provide excellent customer service and experience. By virtue, we extend the same support and treatment to all our employees. “

He added, “Each employee is unique, and we recognize that. Focusing on people's varied emotional needs and providing support allows our company to grow and glow like a bright star. Our idea is to create a space for our employees to express themselves freely and openly in an amicable manner. Ensuring a positive emotional state with mental well-being is the prime focus of all our initiatives. 

  • We have a spectrum of benefits through which we ensure that every employee can take time off to attend special events in their life. We launched Pre-approved leave on birthday and wedding anniversaries and sent personalized mails to wish them. Paternity leaves are extended to 7 days over and above the privilege leave balance, as we promote gender equality and recognize the importance for the male members of the family to support their spouse during childbirth and cherish the moments of happiness with their family.
  • We have initiatives for inclusion that break traditional stereotypes that exclude men from inclusion and collaboration efforts. We also have a provision for sabbatical leaves to support employees to take time off to attend physical and mental well-being programs or to pursue any course/ certification for skill development/ for any other urgency that requires them to take time off. Sabbatical leaves are also extended to new mothers to take care of the newborn. There are Rewards and recognition programs, job rotations and several training programs catering to a wide and varied audience. 
  • Growth opportunities are paramount to career development. Keeping that in mind we provide our employees with opportunities where they can challenge themselves, achieve their goals & fulfil their aspirations. We provide an education assistance program to all our eligible employees and support them in fulfilling their dreams. We gauge the needs and skill gaps of employees through a training needs identification survey by which training plans are developed. The training programs are an amalgamation of self-paced, expert-led classrooms, coaching, and mentorship, via HCM. Career aspiration discussions are platforms to understand the career aims and aspirations of employees to provide them with opportunities for growth and learning.
  • A well-defined road map called “Career Progression Ladder” facilitates advancement at every stage and rewards employees for their hard work & dedication in building the bank’s book size. AU SFB is cognizant of the succession planning of its key personnel to identify the second person in line, identified talent is given exposure through job rotation which covers job enlargement and job enrichment.
  • The AU SFB Forever Pass extends to the special members of the organization as a token of appreciation from our end, saying that our gates are always open for them. We cultivate a predictable work environment with clear communication through an engagement calendar, keeping everyone informed about upcoming events and occasions. Our commitment to an unbiased ecosystem is evident through accessible grievance reporting platforms. Celebrating our people is at our core – from inviting families to workplace events and acknowledging work anniversaries to sending gift vouchers for new arrivals and sharing the joy of newborns through pictures across all platforms. 

He concludes, “AU SFB has a culture and climate built on the trust and commitment of all its stakeholders. Our policies and processes are in sync with the people and are based on employee feedback. We have won many awards and accolades sans even participating in them but just based on surveys. Hence, we feel that we have built a workplace where employees are happy and healthy.”

Ashley DSilva, Head of Health Solutions, Aon India said, “We have seen companies that prioritise the holistic wellbeing of their workforce are actively adopting various physical health and mental wellbeing programmes for their employees. The common health and mental well-being initiatives we are seeing across the board are annual health screening, condition management programs, health risk assessment, ergonomics programs, onsite health clinics, women's well-being & maternity care programs, and digital wellness platform and fitness sessions.

There is an increasing trend in implementing mental well-being programs for employees that include employee assistance programs, mental well-being sessions, psychologists' visits & virtual consultations, and a specialised focus on women's emotional well-being programs."

"At Federal Bank, we place a paramount emphasis on the holistic well-being of our workforce, recognizing that the physical and emotional health of our employees is integral to their productivity, satisfaction, and overall success. Our commitment to fostering a thriving workplace is manifested through a multifaceted approach, encompassing innovative programs and initiatives designed to address both the physical and emotional dimensions of well-being. One of our standout initiatives in FY24 was the "21-Day Yoga Challenge," a program that exemplifies our dedication to promoting physical health and mental resilience among our employees. Recognizing the myriad benefits of yoga – from enhanced flexibility to stress reduction – we introduced this challenge as a structured and engaging way for our employees to incorporate wellness into their daily routines. The program provides participants with accessible, guided yoga sessions over 21 days, encouraging the development of a sustainable and mindful yoga practice. The positive impact of this initiative extends beyond the physical realm, contributing to stress management and mental well-being,” said Ajith

He added, “Complementing our yoga challenge, we've introduced 'Wellness Webinars' covering diverse health topics. These sessions, featuring specialists and thought leaders, offer employees expert insights on nutrition, exercise, stress management, and mindfulness. Beyond practical tips, these webinars foster a sense of community, creating a supportive environment for collective well-being. Our commitment to holistic employee well-being extends beyond office boundaries.

Through our "Employee Volunteering" program - Sunshine, we encourage our team members to actively engage with their communities, reinforcing the interconnectedness between personal well-being and social responsibility. Volunteering not only allows our employees to contribute meaningfully to causes they are passionate about but also serves as a powerful tool for emotional well-being. The act of giving back instils a sense of purpose and fulfilment, contributing positively to mental resilience. The "21-Day Yoga Challenge," "Wellness Webinars," and "Employee Volunteering" are integral components of our broader strategy to create a workplace that prioritizes the holistic well-being of our employees. This strategy aligns with our understanding that a healthy, engaged workforce is a more productive and satisfied one. In essence, our approach to holistic well-being is not just about offering programs; it's about cultivating a culture that values and prioritizes the health, happiness, and fulfilment of every team member. 

Through these initiatives, we aim not only to enhance the daily lives of our employees but also to contribute to a work environment where individuals thrive both personally and professionally. As we continue to evolve in the fast-paced landscape of today's work environment, our commitment to holistic well-being remains steadfast, driving positive outcomes for our employees and the organization as a whole. ”

“We prioritize physical health by offering fitness and wellness challenges, and ergonomic workspace setups. To address emotional resilience, we provide access to mindfulness programs, and workshops focusing on work-life balance. Our unique wellness initiatives include flexible work schedules, mental health days, and a supportive work culture that encourages open communication,” said Rajeev on ensuring the holistic well-being of its workforce. 

Jyothi added, “To ensure a holistic approach to well being we have looked at all the key touchpoints that influence well-being – policies, programs, and culture. 

We have a comprehensive benefits package that covers physical well-being through medical coverage, health check-ups, hospital tie-ups, etc. covering the employee and their family members. 

In office, we have utilized the rooftops of our offices in Mumbai and Pune to convert them to turfs for employees to play sports like cricket, football, etc. in addition to recreation areas for table tennis, and Foosball. We also sponsor participation in local marathons and organize step challenges to keep our employees moving.

Our culture is at the heart of building a workplace that helps individuals thrive professionally and personally and we promote values of inclusivity, open communication, and respect to keep a positive energy within our teams.”

Venkattesh shared, “The Bank focuses on the holistic well-being of our employees through a series of wellness programs that promote the physical and mental health of our employees.” 

He added, “Some of the initiatives run by the Bank include:

  • Doctor-on-call service ensures that DCB Bank employees can have access to qualified and certified doctors 24x7 – by simply downloading a Mobile App which facilitates an instant call – where well-qualified and certified doctors are available for consultation across various fields such as ENT, Ortho, Lifestyle diseases, Physiotherapy, Ayurveda, and Dental issues.
  • We have a unique competition called the DCB Walkathon Challenge for all employees of PAN India. Last year alone, within a span of 12 days, 70 million steps were clocked, equivalent to 1.5 times the distance (58,459 km) of walking around the world.
  • We have health initiatives like Health Carnival which is organised across all regional offices for onsite activities like Health Check-ups wherein weight, height, sugar levels, ECG blood pressure etc. Apart from onsite activities, there are online webinar sessions organized as well, covering topics such as Awareness of Diabetes, Conjunctivitis, How to keep one’s Heart healthy, and talk on Nutrition and Gastric related issues for all employees.
  • Our Employee Social Group initiative named “YOUnity “ helps provide our employees with a forum to engage them through communities designed around employee interests. These groups are aimed at the physical, mental and emotional stimulation of our workforce.”

Striking Balance between Turnover and Retention with Well-being Initiatives

Why is turnover a significant concern? Answering this Shruti explained, “For us, it is not just about benefits and salaries (they, of course, do play a role). In today's professional landscape, employees actively seek purpose and meaning in their roles, investigating the significance of their contributions within an organization.

People want to matter. They want to know that their views matter and that they can contribute regardless of rank or seniority. That is something we understand and foster. Our culture and unique organizational design, characterized by agility, non-hierarchy, and an entrepreneurial spirit, is also our strategy. It attracts and retains individuals who are self-driven and deeply committed to the pursuit of excellence. We want colleagues, not employees. Whether you are a freshman or a senior, your voice matters.

At Nagarro, we understand technology moves fast, which means your career will not always be predictable. Learning, in that case, is critical, and we want to ensure that Nagarrians are future-proof, so we have created many sessions, and even a learning platform to help Nagarrians always stay on the cutting edge of knowledge while also creating a real community of friendly collaboration and exchange.” 

She further highlighted effective strategies saying, “At Nagarro, our commitment extends beyond the typical workplace dynamics. We believe in “making difference and distance irrelevant between intelligent people” and are dedicated to fostering a diverse and inclusive atmosphere, one that goes beyond stereotypes and labels. To actualize this commitment, we actively strategize to form diverse teams on a global scale and empower each team to establish their unique diversity goals. Our overarching aspiration is for Nagarro to transcend the conventional boundaries of a workplace, seamlessly integrating into the lives of its people.

  • We are unwaveringly focused on cultivating a distinctive culture where camaraderie, excellence, and happiness coexist harmoniously. To achieve this, we implement a variety of initiatives aimed at upskilling and retaining our valued employees. Our goal is not merely professional growth but the creation of an environment where everyone feels a deep sense of connection and fulfilment.
  • Glass Window Programme begins with the senior management team and the yearly nomination of promising female leaders within the company to participate for one year in all discussions, meetings, conclaves, and task forces, and have transparent access to all information shared within the senior management group. This concept has been extended to other leadership forums and has strongly contributed to the grooming of strong leaders.
  • No Lead Left Behind is Nagarro’s weekly series every Thursday, where we discuss how to gain an edge in our interactions with customers/prospects in sales situations. In this series, we also discuss topics related to value creation for our clients.
  • No Tech Left Behind is our home for passion and information around tech, from trends, accelerators, and architectures to personal productivity tools, discussions, disruptive tech, reviews, and fun with tech!
  • No QA Left Behind is our weekly series where we talk on a variety of QA topics covering the latest tools, technologies, case studies, etc. It is an interactive session from experts from the entire organization on different QA sessions. 
  • Show and Tell is a meet-up in which we get to know about three Nagarro stories every week, ranging from project stories to department initiatives to technical solutions and more.

Nagarro fosters a culture that supports remote work and flexible hours, enabling colleagues to ensure ample time to spend with their families and grow outside their professional lives. Many Nagarrians have chosen to permanently relocate to their hometowns, affording them the opportunity to live and relish moments with their families. To enhance connectivity among our team members, we have implemented a robust digital platform that facilitates communication and collaboration. Colleagues also have a choice to work from hives across India and other locations. They facilitate regular gatherings to prevent isolation among those working remotely. These initiatives underscore our commitment to maintaining a cohesive and connected work environment.

All these things combined are what makes Nagarro, in our opinion, a unique place to work. It is what helps us retain the brightest minds. You can always compare a benefit or salary to another, but culture and organizational design make you unique.”

"Our organization always looks forward to uplifting and enhancing the credibility an employee possesses. We also ensure and take steps to avoid any employee retention. It is very important to find the right person for the role and equally crucial to avoid any circumstances that prevent employee retention hence we follow significant steps that further magnify their credibility. The following are the steps taken to enhance talent retention.

  • Upscaling
  • Timely promotion
  • Reference and Earn
  • Initiative Promoting Program 

There is a defined correlation between well-being initiatives and employee retention both promote and uplift the employees to stay consistence and increase the outcome significantly," shared Debasmita

“Many companies opt for short-term retention tactics like retention bonuses, mid-year/off-cycle increments, and an increase in budgeted increments. However, our research indicates that, over a three-year period, these companies have seen an increase in attrition. On the other hand, organisations that saw a decline in attrition over a similar period focused on strategies like recognition programs, learning programs and long-term incentives. This group of companies that saw a decline in attrition emphasised improving/enabling work-life balance and introducing flexible work models which in turn positively influenced employee wellbeing, “ shared Roopank 

“In addressing the pressing concern of employee turnover, our organization has implemented a comprehensive set of innovative strategies focused on talent retention. At the core of our approach is the recognition that an engaged and satisfied employee is more likely to contribute meaningfully to the organization's success and longevity,” said Ajith. Adding, “One pivotal aspect of our talent retention strategy revolves around fostering an "Engaged Employee" model. We prioritize creating a workplace environment where employees feel connected, valued, and motivated. This involves not only recognizing individual contributions but also providing avenues for employees to actively participate in decision-making processes.

  • Engaged employees are more likely to develop a sense of loyalty, reducing the likelihood of seeking opportunities elsewhere. Moreover, we understand that professional growth is a key driver for talent retention. Our commitment to providing "Growth Opportunities in the Career Ladder" is manifested through s
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Topics: Employee Relations, Talent Management, #Wellbeing, #HRCommunity

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