Your employees are your greatest asset. As employers, you need to learn, practice, and get good at recognizing your people, their needs and goals. When you genuinely care and show them how much you value them, you inspire them to produce great work. But how to instil care and diversity in the company culture? Let’s find out!
Care and diversity are the most talked about topics when it comes to the relation between the employees and the organisation. It is imperative for companies to induce care and diversity in their culture because the company culture you adopt, determines the success or failure of your business. For instance, the five foundational pillars that make the culture at EduPristine stand strong are Care, Diversity, Growth, Opportunity, and Empowerment.
Cultivating the Culture of Care
Care is an emotion and the single most important character trait needed to drive business success and the employees’ wellbeing. At EduPristine we believe that we need to have the care quotient in whatever we do for our employees, students, vendors, and other members of the institution. Care does not differentiate between gender, background, colour, designation, and other factors. Hence every member of the organisation should be treated equally.
Companies need to understand the importance of maintaining a balance between professional, social and personal life. Having said that, one of the most important factors that impact this balance is time and its management. After a busy 8 – 9 hours shift, it is difficult to find time for family, friends, or taking up activities or hobbies. Therefore, organisations should ensure that they encourage their employees to be active outside their professional life as well and spend time with their family, building moments and experiences. A five days work schedule along with flexible work timings to help employees manage their time more efficiently should be introduced.
EduPristine offers a 5-day work schedule but is operational on all 7 days of the week. We design the work rosters keeping the employee’s work-life balance in mind. We plan it in a way that married employees get an off on days when their spouse has days off, and others get time to pursue things apart from work. We also give special consideration to working women who have children to nurture and care for.
By offering a flexible work schedule, we can leave the time management part to the employees where they can alter workday start and finish times and adjust their work and other duties accordingly. They should also be encouraged to go for vacations, trips, and take a break once in a while from their busy work schedule. A work from home policy for cases where the employee is not able to conduct work from the office premises can help them have more control over their work and personal lives. Child-bearing women need more care and support during the entire 9 months journey. Support from not just their own family but from the employer is equally important. Employers should take every step to make them feel they are there for them. Right from work flexibility, leaves during maternity to joining back after the break, they should stand by them.
Employees from every corner of the country move to cities for work. We as employers need to respect and appreciate the efforts one puts to stay away from the family just to support their and their family’s dreams, needs, and responsibilities. We need to make sure that we do our bit to help them face the daily challenges. At EduPristine, we provide lunch facility by arranging nutritional and good quality food for all our employees so that they can focus
on the other important things in life.
Unifying with Diversity
Diversity is something that is more talked about than practised. This is not surprising when you consider that most D&I initiatives are developed to comply with Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Leadership teams in every organisation should consist of more women leaders. Women account for less than a quarter of management positions globally, hence they should be encouraged to move up the ladder. Our diversity should not be just limited to gender but spread across religion, culture, language, etc.
At EduPristine we have a dedicated platform for women empowerment – EDGE (Empowerment, Diversity, Growth, and Excellence). It focuses on developing women professionally. Opportunities are given to women who want to start working again after a break due to reasons like marriage or motherhood. They are provided with work flexibility pre and post maternity, during medical emergencies or family emergencies.
Growing Hand in Hand
Growth isn’t just about getting a promotion or a salary increment. Growth is a much wider concept. Organisations should not only encourage professional growth but personal growth of employees as well. Our duties should not end at training our employees, we have to focus on overall growth and train our employees and everybody else who wants to learn and grow. At EduPristine, we decided to conduct English coaching for all the staff that works on the corporate premises including the security personnel, housekeeping, and administration staff. We conduct training on other soft skills for all employees in small batches so that they get individual attention from the trainer. Efforts are made to expand the impact of training and learning to the ones we see every day.
Nothing will describe an opportunity better than the journey of one of our employees, Preeti. Preeti joined Edupristine as a housekeeping staff 8 years ago. She was hard-working, sincere, and more importantly an opportunist in a positive way. She actively took part in the soft skills and English training held at the organisation. Her interest and urge to grow helped her transform over a short period. She can now speak English and does a fantastic job as the receptionist after being offered the position.
Organisations have to believe in upskilling and upgrading their employees rather than looking for talent outside. When we identify opportunities within the organisation, we are able to save recruitment costs and close a potential skills gap.
We also need to encourage our employees to take up training and courses to boost their skills and stay up to date with the industry. Hiring should be purely based on one’s skills and talent. This is one of the reasons we offer equal pay for equal work.
When going on maternity leave, women face a set of challenges – the dilemma of not getting a promotion for their hard work over the years, appraisal, and increment for their performance, and the fear of being replaced while they are on break. We have to understand their concerns and assure them that they will be absorbed by the company even if there is no longer a vacancy for their original position. Every employee should be treated equally despite the fact that they were on a break for a considerable time. Women who join after maternity leave should be considered for promotions, appraisals, and receive the increment they deserve. We have to ensure complete support for our
new mothers so that they can focus on their career, earn respect, and grow in their journey.
Empowering the Future
You empower a person when you provide them with the tools to learn, grow, and develop. Empowerment should be the primary motive of any institution, and we should continue to expand it to every vertical within our reach. Empowerment is not just training and developing skills, rather there are certain things that aid empowerment which include security, appreciation, engagement, and motivation. It is empowerment when an employee feels safe and secured at a place where they spend almost half of their day. It is empowerment when an employee is appreciated by the CEO and gets recognition at an organisational level.
Growth isn’t just about getting a promotion or a salary increment. Growth is a much wider concept. Organisations should not only encourage professional growth but personal growth of employees as well.
Our Success Story
Recently we launched our HOPE Initiative directed towards the empowerment of the society. With our first step towards societal well-being, we started a campaign where we give and receive with dignity. We wouldn’t call it a donation or charity but sharing and caring for our fellows. We collected goods, and utility products at the parking lot and let the taker decide what they needed.
The initiative was a huge success. Everybody appreciated the efforts taken by us, and more importantly, the ones for whom the initiative was conducted were happy by our gesture. We intend to continue the good work in the form of more such initiatives.
We work with 57% of women colleagues and want to empower them by creating a safe and comfortable workplace. It gives us immense pleasure to say that we are successful in achieving this and have been certified as ‘Safe Place to Work’ by Rainmaker India which is empanelled by Govt. of India. The Safe Place to Work Survey is the first of its kind in India, and over 5682 women employed across 50 plus organisations participated in the survey.
For us, the safety of all our employees’ matters, and hence we make sure not only our women employees but our male employees also feel safe and secure. We have zero-tolerance for instances of sexual harassment. We also follow the open door policy where every employee of the organisation can directly reach out to the CEO, HR Head, or other members of the committee for any grievance at the workplace.
Edupristine was also certified as a ‘Great Place to Work’ during 2018- 19 by the Great Place to Work® Institute, India. A survey was conducted where all the employees of the organisation actively participated in making us the brand of choice in the education industry. Also, we achieved a 74% positive response during our Employee Engagement survey. To conclude, keeping employees happy should be the number one priority for any organisation. We cannot minimize the importance of a happy and satisfied workforce. Having happy, motivated and long-lasting employees say a lot about one’s brand and company culture. Such employees are more likely to go above and beyond for the company, hence, companies should be more careful in taking care of their employees. We need to continue to care and empower them and once they see how invested we are in them–there’s nothing they won’t strive to accomplish.
It was a pleasure to contribute to the All Things Talent magazine. Thanks IIM jobs for giving me the opportunity.