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Joyous employees, happy company

Firms create new employer-employee dynamics that go beyond work

A pithy message on a poster displayed prominently in the foyer of a mid-sized IT services firm caught my attention. It said ‘You won’t need kidneys in heaven. But someone could use them here, on Earth.’ Intrigued, I continued reading. ‘If organ donation is not your cup of good, we have nine others for you to choose from’ and below, the options listed out were — joy of giving, child rights campaign, clean up the city, monetary contribution, distribution of energy-saving devices, blood donation, tree plantation and old toys/books/clothes drive. This is Mindtree’s distinct style of celebrating its 15th year.

All in a day’s work

Deepa Krishna, who has been working with Mindtree in the Learning and Development space for 10 years, told BusinessLine,“I hardly get time to pursue my passion for teaching life skills, confidence and communication skills to underprivileged children. I not only got to give back to the community by spending time teaching children but I could also spend two-and-a-half hours cleaning a part of the city with The Ugly Indians (a growing group of anonymous volunteers whose mission is to clean up public spaces). I was able to do all this during office hours.”

Mindtree’s 15th anniversary celebrations drew participation from 3,277 Mindtree Minds who registered for one of the 10 activities, while many others turned up at the event venue and participated instantly in blood and organ donation drives. A total of 5,000 employees participated. “The idea is to inculcate the feeling of Individual Social Responsibility among Mindtree Minds… A global survey revealed that people were happiest when they did good to others. We helped Mindtree Minds do good to others and feel good and happy in return,” said Ravi Shankar, Chief People Officer, Mindtree.

Organisations have begun to realise that a happy employee is a productive employee. The shift from looking at one’s staff as just employees to recognising them as individuals in their own right, is gaining popularity for ensuring mutual respect and loyalty and creating new employer-employee dynamics.

The HSW initiative

Vodafone India engages with 12,500 of its employees straight from the heart by making sure that every employee qualifies for a ‘Safety Passport’. A Vodafone Health, Safety & Wellbeing (HSW) initiative, the Safety Passport is an attempt to help employees inculcate safety practices into their daily lives at all times. “It is a license that certifies that the employee has cleared screening processes and adhered to all safety standards and practices set out by the company. We have already issued more than 115,000 Safety Passports which include not just our employees but our partners, contractors, distributors, service providers and other associates, including sub-contractors,” said Ashok Ramachandran, Director HR, Vodafone India.

“The people-centric work culture at Vodafone and their involvement in an employee’s life beyond work is what makes this a great company to work for,” said Dinesh Shenoy, a Vodafone employee for nine years.

Concurs Jyothsna M, who has worked in five different roles during her eight years at Vodafone across its offices. “While it is mandatory for Oil & Gas companies and Refineries to follow strict HSW guidelines, very rarely will you find services companies such as ours, adhering to such strict guidelines. I feel cared for by the company, not just as an employee but as an individual too,” she said.

Organisations are attempting to go beyond engaging employees in their professional capacity, helping them integrate their professional selves with their personal interests, marking an important shift in the factors that contribute to a successful company.