Every weekend is now a long weekend for employees at Beroe Inc, a company which is a leading provider of market intelligence to procurement professionals around the world. It has introduced four –day work week culture which is against the current industry practice of five or six- day work week. The decision is already set in motion as it was made effective from 01 June, 2017.
The objective of 4-day work week is to ensure a better work-life balance and to improve productivity and spark creativity for employees, but client deliverables still remain top priority for the company. To measure organization productivity after implementation of 4-day work week, the company has launched the Beroe Performance Index. The index measures Beroe’s performance on two key parameters - client deliverables and feedback on a month on month basis. The index is shared with the entire organization to track the progress. The report shows the first month of the 4-day work week ( pilot ran during May) has been outstanding with Beroe exceeding the benchmark on both the parameters - client deliverables and feedback.
"The success of this initiative is purely dependent on how well employees are able to shift from 5 to 4-day work week without compromising on client deliverables and productivity. So far, the results have been fantastic and if we continue with the same rhythm we will make this initiative a success. But, if there is a dip on client deliverables we will have to dial the work week back to 5 days." says Vel Dhinagaravel, CEO, Beroe.
Organizations such as KPMG, Amazon, Google also offer shortened work weeks to employees, but it is on a selective basis. Beroe offers this benefit to all employees equally.
Anand Narayanan, Head of brand and human capital at Beroe shares the genesis behind introducing 4-day work week. He says, “Policy making at Beroe has always been employee centric and collaborative. In 2014, we realized that more than 80% of Beroe's employees were millennials. So, we embarked on a study to see what could be done to make the workplace engaging to them. As against the popular notion, we found that millennials want the engagement to revolve around work, they wanted a sense of mastery in their fields and they wanted to be able to bring their whole self into work.
Accordingly, we started a slew of engagement initiatives that included
- A 100% objective, quantified performance scorecard
- An internal learning platform - Beroe University, L&D initiative recognized and awarded by People Matters
- Policies that supported up to a 1-year maternity break long before government mandates for a 26-week maternity leave came in
- A work from anywhere policy supported by tech investments (for certain levels and above).”
Beroe Inc. has a large number of its employees based in Chennai and Bengaluru.
Employees have warmly embraced the 4-day work week. "The initial reaction from employees and clients has been resoundingly positive. Beroe believes in improving the work life balance of its employees. Culturally, we encourage all our employees to bring in their "whole selves" to work. Millennials increasingly want to pursue more than just a career. They have multiple interests and want to be able to pursue their interests and passions outside of mainstream work. We have musicians, photographers, theatre professionals, bakers, dancers amongst our employees and we want them to pursue their creative calling. We believe that the 4-day work week would lead to improved productivity and engagement at Beroe,"adds Anand Narayanan.
Any change of this scale involves a lot of sensitization for both internal and external stakeholders. Since the initiative has a direct impact on client deliverables, Beroe has made all efforts to onboard clients with their initiative. Most clients applauded the move, and there has been no negative impact on client deliverables so far.