Innovation stems from the freedom that an employee gets at the workplace
Often, it is said that an open and transparent environment aids in the development of innovative ideas. Innovation stems from the freedom that an employee gets at the workplace. Organizations that have participative culture encourage employees to use their expertise and knowledge to suggest methods for improvements in their work areas. In this category, we assess how employees are encouraged to contribute or participate in an organization. The featured organizations in the category are: Kanan Devan Hills Plantations Company Pvt. Ltd., Inter-Globe Enterprises, Radio City 91.1 FM, SAP Labs India and Federal Express Corporation.
Participative culture is the hallmark of the winning companies. At InterGlobe, the employee practices are aligned with values. Employees participate in open forums, group discussions and one-on-one discussions creating a culture of collaboration. This year, InterGlobe’s technology business revamped its Travel Certification Program (TCP), re-launched it as “Travel School”, which was aimed at building the organizational capability of sustaining a pool of ready resources to be absorbed into business, making us scalable as well as financially viable on-demand. As part of Leadership Hiring at InterGlobe, Hogan Assessment has become essential before finalizing a candidate to assess cultural alignment. The framework below will be helpful to understand the Hogan scales and integration with values. The leadership development program at IndiGo is called IndiGold. In partnership with Harvard Business Publishing, 43 senior managers went through a systematic 9 months holistic leadership development program, which includes Pre-Work, People Leadership, Executive Leadership and Innovation Leadership.
At FedEx, team members are involved in key forums through the employee engagement programs. The Survey Feedback Action (SFA), which is still being implemented for nearly 40 years, serves a crucial role in tapping into areas that are important to the workforce. It provides an opportunity for employees to voice their opinions with the goal to provide employees an opportunity to give feedback on how they managed and how to improve their job and working environment.
On the other hand, Kannan Devan Hills Plantation Company has a bottom-to-top management approach as 69 per cent of the shares of the company are owned by the employees. The best worker and the best staff get nominated into Director Board every year gives the company a truly participative nature. The first of its kind in the tea industry, the structure aims at involving a large number of employees to discuss and suggest improvements for the betterment of the organization in a healthy, innovative and a democratic participatory work environment. The majority of the employees have little or no education. The company strives to inspire them to achieve leadership roles of importance through the participatory management structure.
Talks with Station HR buddies, zonal visits by the CPO, an online platform to address and resolve employee queries are some of the measures that Radio City undertook. Many learning & development programs such as Giftworks Training, induction program, reverse mentoring, cross functional team achievers, Live chat with CEO, Zonal Olympics, Fun Thursdays are some of the other programs that have created a huge impact within the company.
At SAP Labs, the top leadership regularly reaches out to the employees through face-to-face interactions in order to generate ideas and gather suggestions. We have also created many online and off-line platforms such as SAP Blue, Idea Management Tool and GoGemba, which helps in understanding the employee pulse and improving employee participation. The SAP Blueproject connects the project sponsors who want people to contribute to their project and project contributors who are looking for interesting projects to work on. The Idea Management Tool, like the name suggests, is a platform where ideas for improvement are shared. They even created ‘AppHaus’, a radical rethinking of the typical office space. The essence of the new centre is to provide an open flexible environment for working – so no cabins, corner offices or ceiling.