With employees now working in different cities and regions, how do leading organisations connect with staff to create a cohesive work culture? It's a question that employers face in the era of remote and hybrid working – a question SUD Life has answered with innovative HR technology.
SUD Life was founded in 2009 as a joint venture between Bank of India, Union Bank of India, and Japanese insurer Dai-ichi Life Holdings. This unique blend of corporate cultures is "An important factor to consider in implementing a new HR system," said Dinesh Bojwani, Head of HR at SUD Life.
By introducing a new HR Management System, SUD Life provided employees with "a seamless way to connect and engage in their daily activities," Dinesh said, adding that real-time digital management was one of the many reasons why SUD Life turned to leading HR tech provider Darwinbox.
Given the impetus to grow and innovate, SUD Life embarked on a journey of digital transformation. "Technology," Dinesh said, "it is crucial that we adopt it sooner rather than later."
There was a need to embed new tools into management systems and to improve efficiency. "Technology builds itself into every facet of work, especially for those who inculcate its usage in their daily routine. Today, those familiar with technology are gaining the maximum benefit out of it, excelling at a very high pace," Dinesh said.
Technology to realise the company vision
In selecting a new HRMS platform, SUD Life considered several factors. For one, it was crucial that the HRMS would not only help them solve employee management challenges but also enable them to realise the company's vision in the coming years.
"The vision of the organisation is about creating new possibilities for customers. For the HR function, this means being able to adopt a platform that provides the latest HR technology, which can be modular and flexible to configure, and is scalable. It should also provide real-time custom data insights according to our business requirements."
The need for a stellar employee experience
While deploying a new HRMS in partnership with Darwinbox, HR at SUD Life paid particular attention to how it improved the employee experience. "Employees should be able to seamlessly connect with the company, without focusing much on the technicality of the platform. From the first message they get from us to their onboarding and eventually their work, it should all be a seamless process."
While these considerations aren’t unique to SUD Life, the size of their operations meant that it would be particularly challenging to get right. "We have a workforce strength of over 4,500, and we will be ramping up our hiring numbers in the coming years. To do this well requires a strong employee experience.”
“Two to three months after implementing the platform, the download rate of the app was at 100% and the usage rate was at a similar level,” Dinesh said, pointing to the successful adoption of the HRMS. “We have been able to shift many of the employees' touchpoints, such as marking attendance and applying for leave, to the app. This helps them use it extensively.”
Designing with a clear HR perspective
Working with Darwinbox helped SUD Life design sharper people processes, while leveraging the comprehensive and easy-to-use mobile app that integrates all the employee processes into one interface from both an employee and manager point-of-view.
Dinesh also touched on the "much-needed HR perspective" that Darwinbox brought in when it came to designing HRMS processes. "There were times during the designing phase when Darwinbox came in and recommended ways to tweak our process to drive greater HR impact. They brought in important knowledge of how certain processes are executed in the market. This means, today, we are operating in line with the best practises of what the market is doing."
Enhancing work culture with efficient tools
The geographical distribution of the company meant that – without the presence of an HRMS that could unify people processes – the company’s work culture would suffer. But with instant access through the Darwinbox app, employees across India, whether in office or working remotely, could stay connected.
Among many other processes, Darwinbox made hiring easy. "Once the candidates were on board, the platform helped us provide them with a 'wow' factor, with many reporting a smooth onboarding experience. This was an important development for us," Dinesh said, adding that the platform is in this way really helping their employer branding.
"Darwinbox enabled us to go fully digital with digital signatures and secure way to upload documents."
"The app enabled us to considerably cut down time spent on manual processes. Beyond the legal obligations where documents are required, we have been able to remove additional work. This is of great help to us in the Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities where we operate," Dinesh said.
"Darwinbox greatly improves the ease of communication between different stakeholders. From audit to governance, our core teams can easily interact with each other."
Across the employee lifecycle at SUD Life, Darwinbox is making processes more user-friendly and friction-free for the company’s 4,500-strong workforce. Both the employee and the HR team are shielded from the complexity of the system, and the mobile app puts access to the system right in the hands of every end-user. Remote or not, every employee is always connected to HR at SUD Life.