Taj Connect has helped employees from different locations and at all levels to connect on one-on-one basis
Like any progressive organization, the HR management at the Taj Group of Hotels actively seeks to inspire a culture of transparency and connectivity. Taj Group ensured that all associates have easy access to relevant information, especially HR related information in real time, and also enhance communications between the associate and the senior leadership team at the corporate and the hotel level through one-on-one interactions. This not only reduced cycle time, but also provided clarity on policies and in addressing any queries.
Business drivers for connecting employees
Currently, more than 20,000 employees are present in 100 properties across 65 locations. Being a large hotel chain spread across the globe and headquartered in Mumbai, the challenge to ensure updated real-time information for the staff. The company needed a platform where employees could connect with the MD and the senior leadership team from wherever they were located.
Another challenge that plagued most associates, especially those on the shop floor, was the unavailability of email ids or easy access to computers. Furthermore, IT literacy amongst the associates was not optimal. Thus, the main goal for the Group was to create a platform, which was mobile-friendly and accessible to all employees at work and outside, which enabled connectivity and access to information related to hotel policies, announcements, and other HR processes. In order to enable seamless interaction between employees across Taj’s independent units, the company launched ‘Taj Connect’ early this year.
RoI of HR technology
Taj Connect is like a social networking site where employees can connect and interact with their colleagues. It has helped employees from different locations and at all levels to connect on a one-on-one basis. There are both formal and informal communities within the portal where associates can collaborate with each other on work issues or common interests. For example, chefs from across hotels share their recipe ideas on Chefs Community. Similarly, there is a photography club for employees who want to share their passion of photography. Other features include wishing colleagues on their birthdays and work anniversaries and viewing the cafeteria menu for the day.
However, it is not just a social network. Many HR processes were also integrated into the system. To enable this, it was necessary to create modules/features, which satisfied specific needs of the organization such as communication of policies and real-time updates, collaboration, interactions, guest engagement stories etc. For example, associates could apply for leave through it.
The portal is also connected with the company’s learning management system where the employees can view the scheduled training programs. The portal also includes features such as message boards where announcements are posted, employees can skim through company policies, post concerns and have their issues addressed directly from the leadership. Taj’s HR department is currently looking at statistics to identify the sections that attract more users. For instance, about 100 employees use the portal every day to apply for leave. Employees use the portal to proactively send feedback and suggestions, which is a good sign as it signals engagement of the employee with the portal.
Apart from feedback on the portal, Taj also measures RoI in the following ways:
• Taj Hotels holds benchmark surveys every year where employees share their experiences and feedback. ROI is measured in terms of the feedback received from the employees.
• Monitoring employee engagement through the portal to see to what extent Taj can leverage the system in their favor.
As told by Ajoy Jauhar, Head – HR Automation & Sanjay Bose, Vice President – HR Operations, The Indian Hotels Company Limited