In this exclusive article, Niren Srivastava, Group Executive Director and CHRO of Motilal Oswal Financial Services Ltd. takes us behind the scenes to explore the tools, strategies, and initiatives the firm is adopting to promote employee well-being.
The modern business environment requires that organisations rethink and reshape traditional work paradigms. One organisation pioneering a fresh perspective in this realm is Motilal Oswal Financial Services Ltd. (MOFSL). In an exclusive conversation, Niren Srivastava, Group Executive Director and CHRO of MOFSL, reveals the innovative approach the company has taken towards fostering employee well-being.
As Srivastava explains, around the world, leading organisations are breaking down the binary division between work and life, choosing instead to integrate them into a mutually enriching blend, with a view to making employee well-being a top priority. Indeed, employee well-being is a significant distinguishing factor among companies on the 2023 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For list. At the companies that topped this list, 83% of employees report having a psychologically and emotionally healthy workplace – and, interestingly, despite pandemic disruptions, industries with high mental health levels on the 100 Best list significantly outperformed the average.
Practical approaches to work-life integration
Srivastava’s strategy has led to the implementation of several practical initiatives at MOFSL. The company encourages its employees to take time off and spend time with their loved ones. They have a system in place that identifies employees working beyond their designated hours and steps are taken to alter their schedules if needed. A ‘Daily Mood-o-Meter’ also helps to gauge overall employee sentiment.
All of this intertwines beautifully with the perspectives advocated by Josh Bersin in his book “Irresistible: The Seven Secrets of the World’s Most Enduring, Employee-Focused Organization”. Bersin has found that successful companies adopt a comprehensive approach to employee well-being, that they view it as an integral part of the company’s management infrastructure and strategy, not just an HR programme.
At MOFSL, for example, Srivastava says, “We’re encouraging our people to live their interests and passions. If you’re an avid reader, you can request a book through the MO Library on the HRMS Portal and the book is delivered to your home. If you enjoy public speaking, you can be part of the Toastmasters Club.”
Celebrating life beyond work
The organisation recognises that fostering work-life harmony is a holistic endeavour, not limited to a single initiative. At MOFSL, employees thus have regular Conversation, Feedback, Rewards & Recognition (CFR) sessions with their managers. These sessions, along with initiatives like ‘Dil Se’, foster a deeper, one-on-one connection with HR team members.
Further, when an employee reaches a certain employment duration with the company, they are welcomed into the firm’s Heritage Club. Under this initiative, employees are encouraged to take time off for a company-sponsored family vacation. They can also claim expenses for pursuing a hobby.
Srivastava points out, “We strive to cultivate connections that transcend the professional sphere. Our unique leave policies empower employees to celebrate personal milestones, such as wedding anniversaries, birthdays, and parents’ anniversaries, reinforcing our commitment to their life beyond work.” This clearly reflects the company’s determination to create a sense of belonging among employees.
A people-centric vision
Srivastava’s vision for MOFSL is to move from the traditional concept of work-life balance to a more sustainable work-life blend. The company’s theory of Ownership, Growth, Learning, and People First (O.G.L.P) is designed to foster this shift.
Srivastava says, “The imperative is to cultivate a sense of ownership among employees, empowering them to structure their own day. When presented with appropriate learning and growth opportunities, employees begin to view work not as an obligation, but as an engaging and enjoyable pursuit.”
This people-focused approach is in line with the performance patterns observed among ‘P+P Winners,’ meaning, companies renowned for investing equally in people and performance, as per a 2023 McKinsey report. These businesses have showcased significant resilience during crises like the pandemic, outperforming their more traditionally performance-driven counterparts.
Only 54% of P+P Winners experienced a reduction of more than 0.5 percentage point in return on invested capital from 2019 to 2020, as opposed to 65% of Performance-Driven Companies. Remarkably, 36% of P+P Winners even saw an increase in this metric, compared to 29% of their performance-driven counterparts.
Moreover, during the crisis years from 2019 to 2021, P+P Winners, akin to MOFSL’s vision, demonstrated their superior adaptability and strength. They achieved revenue growth at twice the rate of Performance-Driven Companies (8% versus 4%).
The trends highlight how companies investing years in fostering loyalty, goodwill, and innovative capacity, similar to Srivastava’s vision for MOFSL, possess a rich reservoir of internal resources to tap into during challenging times. This people-oriented strategy could be the blueprint for resilience and success in today’s ever-changing business landscape.
When an employee reaches a certain employment duration with the company, they are welcomed into the firm’s Heritage Club. Under this initiative, employees are encouraged to take time off for a company-sponsored family vacation. They can also claim expenses for pursuing a hobby.
Wellness at the core
Srivastava further shares that MOFSL is determined to be a wellness-driven organisation. As part of this initiative, the company has introduced the Wellness Quotient (WQ), a holistic indicator of employee well-being. “We are also in the process of collaborating with a health and technology player for fitness trackers and one-on-one sessions with health coaches for employees,” says Srivastava. “Ultimately, the goal is to make work and life beyond work collectively meaningful,” he adds.
The vision that Srivastava shares is that of a future where the boundaries of work and life blur, forming a collective ecosystem where wellness and fulfilment are intrinsic. It is an era where meaning is derived not merely from one’s role as an employee, but from the harmonious integration of work and life. This transformation could redefine the BFSI sector, paving the path towards a sustainable and successful future grounded in employee well-being.
About author: Niren Srivastava has over 19 years of HR experience in Financial Services. His expertise lies in various areas including HR Business Partnership, Systems, Frameworks, Workforce Planning, Benchmarking, Benefits, and Policies.