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Corporate Vision 2020 - Mission Employee Experience

One needs to consider the various components of “good” employee experience to appreciate the novel initiatives that companies can mount/are mounting to attract & retain this key asset - talent.

It is almost a tautology that a happy employee is a productive employee. Enriching the employee experience has rapidly emerged as the critical imperative in ensuring corporate success. Companies that can innovate in creating the most attractive workplace culture stand the best chance of outperforming their competitors. So, the new-age corporate czars and HR gurus are now having to think out of the box to put employee centricity at par with a customer focus. With best in class remuneration, increments, training programs & medical benefits becoming par for the course, their jobs have been rendered even more challenging.

One needs to consider the various components of “good” employee experience to appreciate the novel initiatives that companies can mount/are mounting to attract & retain this key asset - talent.

Enumerated below is a “wish list” of motivational tactics that modern-day corporates can deploy:

• In today’s stressful scenario, where most employees are struggling to maintain their work-life balance, alternatives like flexi-time, working from home & paternity leaves can prove invaluable.

• An organization that can provide emotional gratification will always be at an advantage.

Institutionalizing the culture of providing positive reinforcement through constant monetary awards and appreciations and letting peers recognize each other on small milestones goes a long way in making employees feel they matter to the company.

• A move from the traditional “on the job” training to upskilling programs – be they functional, technical or soft skill-oriented, makes the employee feel “he/she” has gained something that could be helpful for his/her the future. Some companies go a step ahead and even sponsor their employees for getting certified in certain skillsets.

• Perks play a huge role in aiding employee satisfaction. Special offers across multiple avenues of spending make employees feel privileged to be a part of their org and also add to workplace pride, not to mention countless savings which happen on a daily basis.

• A line item in the pay-slip reading “medical allowance” is now passé. Transitioning to higher-order healthcare benefits like a corporate medical insurance cover, convalescence support, regular preventive health check-ups and access to a counsellor for issues of mental health would go a long way in creating a worry-free, productive employee. Flexible insurance plans using which employees can protect themselves and their family are very important.

• Every established practice is not necessarily outdated; evergreen enticements like company paid holidays, attractive retirement plans and performance bonuses make the employee feel valued- even today. Instead of lapsing unused leaves, organizations have created remunerations for pending leaves to go back to the employee in the form of monetary awards, some have even created options for employees to gift their leaves to others!

• For financial troubles or crisis, easy access to loans is very valuable. Companies can get better group interest rates for their employees. Education on good investment options for better tax savings goes a long way in increasing the take-home for employees. Organizations should try to get seminars/webinars done for such loans and investment options to educate employees and help them improve their quality of life.

• Offering corporate access to Special Interest/Hobby Clubs can help teach employees important life skills. This can include public speaking clubs, weight-loss support groups, craft circles, book clubs, art groups, and even safety awareness clubs. This way the company is perceived as adding value at zero cost. Another unconventional engagement method can be to allow employees to buy or sell products within the organization. For example, if an employee wants to buy a second hand car, it would be in their best interest to buy it from a colleague rather than find someone random on the internet. This gives an additional stickiness factor for an employee to deter them from leaving the community which the organization has created, further creating an affinity and a lower chance for them to leave the job.

Having dispensed with the relatively big ticket, high impact initiatives, let us now turn to smaller “gestures” that can help boost work efficiency, increase employee happiness and decrease stress levels:

✓ Designing a clean, pleasant, comfortable & efficient workplace

✓ Regular recognition on small milestones by managers

✓ Peer-to-peer appreciation channels through which employees are encouraged to help and interact with each other

✓ Organizing fitness, yoga & meditation classes for health and freedom from work stress

✓ Having healthy snacks and drinks in the Cafeteria that is subsidized

✓ Putting in relaxation/sleep zones (just a few bean bags will suffice), a play-station and a small gym

✓ Planning regular team bonding events such as off-sites and team outings

We have examined the problems & opportunities confronting the companies’ top brass & HR head honchos in managing the “experience quotient” of employees, keeping them happy, motivated AND productively employed. The possibilities regarding what can be done are endless; limited only by imagination and budgets! While the thrust & the vision has to stem from the top, we need to factor in that it is a cultural transformation we are envisaging. Hence all-round commitment, cutting across levels and sustained long term effort is a must.

Author of the above treatise is Smiti Bhatt Deorah who is the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer at Advantage Club. After completing her Masters in Computer Science from the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA), she has worked with Microsoft in the US. She specializes in B2B relationship building and account management.



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