Embracing traditional Indian values, equitable distribution of wealth and education forms the building blocks of a sustainable people strategy
People Matters speaks to Dr. U.S. Awasthi, Chief Executive Officer, IFFCO
What are the elements of a sustainable people development strategy?
Sustainable people development strategy once formed the base of the Indian society hence the traditional Indian values are a very important element of this strategy. Unfortunately, even the last 20 years as we entered the development phase and the economy grew at a breathtaking pace we have somehow forgotten these values and this is one reason for the void in the present societal system.
A sustainable people development strategy should be based on the concept of inclusive growth. We cannot think of sustainability when about 40% of the population lives below poverty line while a small percentage amasses majority of wealth. Embracing ethnic and traditional Indian values, equitable distribution of wealth and education forms the essential building blocks of the sustainable people development strategy.
What initiatives has HR at IFFCO taken at for employee development?
We have time-tested HR policies which have created an atmosphere where both the young and the old share their ideas and values and use the unique blend for the betterment of IFFCO. We have a tension-free and caring working atmosphere. Our people development strategy does not end with the employee alone but also include employees’ spouses and children in the development strategy. We organize training programs for spouses and children, as well as inter-unit quiz contest, sports, debates, cultural meets for children and spouses. We even grant scholarships to meritorious children of employees for academics, sports, music, dance etc.
What is IFFCO’s approach towards employee performance measurement?
We do not have any complicated system in place as we are a purpose-driven organization. Majority of our workforce is engaged in production and marketing activities, so the best way of measuring the employees performance is to measure the production and sales performance and I am proud to say that all our plants operate at full capacity with minimal accidents and year-on- year we break all our sales and production records and that, for me, is the best performance measurement system. The organization has seen sustained growth during last two decades and continues its journey to growth and excellence.
What HR strategies have you adopted for talent attraction, development & retention?
IFFCO’s attrition rate is less than one percent and even those who have left IFFCO, often express their desire to join back. We believe people should be retained for their work in the organization and should be recognized for their good work. IFFCO’s objective is to create an environment with less work pressure and strain, which is one of the reasons for attracting and retaining talent. Since we are a purpose-driven and farmer centric organization, largely people with similar inclinations and desires are attracted to work with us.
How does IFFCO’s leadership ensure ethical approach in hiring?
IFFCO is an institution based on ethics and cooperative principles, and with about 40,000 member cooperative societies, 6,500 employees, 1,000 representative general body members and 30 directors, transparency and ethical functioning is what has kept such a mammoth organization cohesive for such a long time and enabled us to build strength in numbers. We hire from campuses or through an entrance test. We make sure that there are no outside influences in hiring and the whole process is transparent.