Article: Shaping tomorrow's workplace: Yeshasvini Ramaswamy's blueprint for sustainable employee well-being


Shaping tomorrow's workplace: Yeshasvini Ramaswamy's blueprint for sustainable employee well-being

Dive into this interview with Yeshasvini Ramaswamy as she unveils innovative strategies for employee well-being, combatting burnout, and fostering a positive workplace culture.
Shaping tomorrow's workplace: Yeshasvini Ramaswamy's blueprint for sustainable employee well-being

Yeshasvini Ramaswamy, Serial Entrepreneur and CEO,  Great Place To Work® is recognised as one of India’s leading serial entrepreneurs. She combines deep expertise in organisational behaviour, artificial intelligence, and investment management to bring analytical rigour to business transformation projects. She represented India in the Fortune Most Powerful Women program and received the Times Power Women Award for Excellence in Entrepreneurship. She is also a Fellow of the Institute of Directors. She is actively involved in community work through fundraising and participating on global advisory boards of high-impact NGOs in areas of rural entrepreneurship, education, and health.

In this exclusive interview with People Matters, Yeshasvini Ramaswamy shares insights into the company's holistic approach to employee well-being and strategies to combat burnout. The discussion covers inclusive initiatives, gender-specific challenges in the tech industry, leadership's role, and the impact measurement of well-being investments.

Given that employee well-being will remain a critical priority for HR leaders in 2024, how does Great Place To Work® India approach investing in employee wellness, and can you share any success stories or outcomes resulting from these strategies?

At Great Place To Work India, we prioritise our employees' well-being through various initiatives. We offer wellness leaves and unlimited sick leaves to ensure our employees have the necessary time to take care of themselves. Additionally, we provide annual medical health check-ups for all employees, extending this benefit to their immediate family members. To support mental health, we have partnered with an employee counsellor and a therapy provider for confidential counselling sessions. Moreover, we have established an employee welfare fund to offer financial support during medical needs. These strategies have resulted in a healthier, more engaged workforce and have significantly contributed to our positive workplace culture.

We also ensure inclusivity in our well-being initiatives by extending them not only to employees but also to their immediate family members. By recognising the diverse backgrounds and experiences of our workforce, we tailor our initiatives to cater to their unique needs, ensuring that everyone feels valued and supported.

With around 20% being the global level of burnout according to Mckinsey Health Institute’s latest study, what are the mechanisms in place to proactively identify signs of burnout among employees, and how are these integrated into regular workflow assessments? 

To proactively address burnout, we discourage employees from working after 7 pm, offer flexible work hours, and promote a hybrid work culture where employees have the option to work from the office or remotely. Additionally, leadership actively promotes sustainable work practices by encouraging work-life balance, providing regular feedback, and fostering a supportive work environment.

At Great Place To Work India, we also prioritise gender equality, with 63% of our workforce comprising women. We provide forums for employees to voice their concerns anonymously, ensuring that gender-specific challenges are addressed. By fostering an inclusive environment and promoting work-life balance, we enhance employee well-being, driving innovation and productivity within the tech industry.

As the CEO, how do you personally ensure your involvement in and advocacy for employee well-being, and how does this commitment trickle down through the organisation? 

As CEO, I advocate for employee well-being by promoting therapy, removing the stigma associated with mental health, and actively engaging with employees through CEO connects and Ask Me Anything (AMA) meetings. By tracking and sharing the impact of well-being initiatives in quarterly meetings and incorporating well-being into the Balanced Scorecard (BSC), we ensure that employee well-being remains a top priority at all levels of the organisation.

Great Place To Work India prioritises investing in the mental health of all employees to develop stronger emotional resilience. We measure the success of our well-being initiatives by assessing the emotional immunity of our employees and regularly monitoring their experiences to ensure sustained benefits. By championing long-term well-being investments, we ensure sustainable growth and development for our employees.

Looking forward, what areas of employee well-being does the company plan to focus on, and are there any innovative approaches or strategies in development? 

At Great Place To Work, we are steadfast in our commitment to fostering the physical and mental well-being of our employees, recognising them as the cornerstone of our organisation's success. Through comprehensive initiatives, we prioritize holistic wellness, acknowledging that a healthy workforce is the bedrock of productivity and innovation. 

One notable facet of our approach is the provision of personalised counselling sessions in partnership with an employee counsellor and a therapy provider which extends to every permanent employee and their immediate family members. These sessions are meticulously tailored to foster a profound sense of belonging, nurturing an environment where individuals feel supported and valued.

Moreover, our dedication to employee well-being extends beyond individual support systems. We regularly host Toastmasters sessions and webinars, strategically designed to cultivate awareness around overall well-being, equipping our employees with the tools and knowledge necessary for personal growth and fulfillment.

Furthermore, our commitment to holistic growth is ingrained in our organizational framework, with well-being seamlessly integrated into our Balanced Scorecard and quarterly targets. By aligning our objectives with employee well-being, we ensure a symbiotic relationship where organisational success is intertwined with the flourishing of our workforce.

I aptly quote here, "When you are resting because you are worn out, you need to remember that you are not wasting the day doing nothing. You are doing exactly what you need to do. Also remember... It's okay to ask for help. It's okay to start again, it's okay to say no, it's okay to rest, it's okay to let go; more importantly, it's okay to not be okay." This sentiment underscores our unwavering support for our employees' well-being, fostering a culture where vulnerability is embraced, and support is readily available.

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Topics: Leadership, Corporate Wellness Programs

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