In times when people are expecting their work place to provide much more than salary and job stability, the role of Human Resources (HR) is constantly evolving. The task of engaging existing employees, designing campaigns so as to draw the attention of worthy candidates, providing access to facilities and benefits which have an edge over other companies are the basis of a promising Human Resources Function. The policies in practice should be formulated so that they promote a culture where employees cherish purpose at work and can link their own growth with the organisation’s growth and progress.
Of recent we have seen how thought leadership in human resources can totally alter employee experience. Zomato’s 26 week parental leave policy is by far the most progressive in any industry and is right along the lines of how actual change begins from home. They want to bring in equal opportunities for people and that means no gender based segregation. In practice, of course there will be logistical hurdles and mindsets to change, but the ball has started rolling. People will actually be happy to work for Zomato. Not a lot of organizations can say that.
An employee friendly organisation is one which is cognisant of what makes employees unique and no better a month than the pride month to say this out aloud. “We are recruiting people from the community because of your work,” she said. “If we’re going to build products for everybody on the planet, we’ve got to represent everybody on the planet and we’ve got to include everybody on the planet. You make such an important difference for our people.” This was Kathleen Hogan, executive vice president of Human Resources, spoke on behalf of Microsoft’s executive leadership team. Microsoft formed its employee resource group for LGBT+ workers, in 1993. They were that ahead of their time. (1)
Apple, Google, Facebook, Uber are the other inclusive organizations that people vie for. Did you know that LGBTQ friendly policies in your company is not only the right thing to do but also good for the business? According to a report by US Chamber of Commerce Foundation called Business Success and Growth Through LGBT-Inclusive Culture, companies that are LGBTQ friendly attract better candidates and reduced employee turnover. The report also revealed that the public-listed companies that support the community has experienced a stock price rise by more than 6.5%.
The most attractive employers are also those that provide a rather informal work culture, fair wages, and job security (for some segments). For example, Flipkart, worked intensively to develop benefits program and ensured that these benefits were meaningful for their workers. Unique features of their employee benefit program includes flexible leave and work-hour policy, legal support and financial assistance for adoption services, tenured and full time employees can take up to six months of sabbatical, maternity benefits and lots more. It is the unique work-life balance maintained by the company for its people that kept them content at work and outside of it! (2)
Look at Oyo- from budget hotels for professionals to tying up with Airbnb to getting into the affordable hostel format- the employees enjoy the stimulating challenges that helps them grow personally as well as professionally. They participate in different projects and get full support from senior management to learn and perform in new roles. (2)
Inclusivity, openness to experience and a somewhat radical approach to running their companies- an approach that keeps the workforce happy- is what the HR function needs to facilitate today. An employee friendly culture is one where employees aren’t treated as any other resource, but as equal stakeholders in the business objectives.