“Take care of your employees, and they’ll take care of your business.” These famous words by Richard Branson ring even more true during these tumultuous times, when the idea of the ‘human workplace’ offers a refreshing balance to the technology-driven nature of work today.
It has been observed often that the journey is as important, if not more important, than the destination. The focus at RPG, similarly, is not just about meeting goals but also about how they’re achieved. The ‘how’ includes various people and employee initiatives that convey the Group values and foster a positive organisational culture, the RPG way.
While it is imperative to have policies that address purpose, integrity, learning and development, etc., what truly sets an organisation apart in today’s competitive market for talent is how it helps elevate people by fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion, and one that is religion, gender and race agnostic. Enabled employees want to be able to tap into the right resources and tools to get the job done. They also want to feel confident that resources are being directed to the right places. On a higher level, employees wish to see that their company maintains a strong position in the market.
However, the ambition to drive company profits to newer heights shouldn’t come in the way of work-life balance (WLB). Managing this delicate seesaw, with work on one end and personal life on the other, continues to be a challenge for most companies.
The RPG Group takes pride in strengthening WLB to the extent of making this a way of life. The launch of the RPG Remote Working Policy in September 2020 marked a new chapter that actively advocates the importance of balancing work and life through people-friendly policies. Coming at a time when all the other organisations were only talking about it, the new policy has provided RPGians across group companies the assurance of a healthy WLB, long after the winds have changed post-Covid.
For example, Raychem RPG Ltd. (RRL), amidst its restructuring protocols, introduced WFH guidelines to provide sufficient breaks as employees grappled with the changing dynamics at work. Another group company, Seniority, went a step further and introduced a Broadband Policy for WFH. This policy provides reimbursement of home broadband expenses for employees, and ensures an uptick in effectiveness and increased productivity through a stable connection.
Every employee has a ‘work’ self and a ‘home’ self. Establishing clear boundaries and gradually bringing lesser work home, even while working from home, is a work in progress. And for those working from office, finding time to enjoy hobbies and interests or pay particular attention to self-care isn’t always possible.
Flexible hours at work are key to meeting the demands of both personal and professional aspects of one’s life. In some of the ways enumerated above, RPG employees are adapting to the ‘new normal’ workplace with improved work ethics, and this will hopefully be the gold standard, going forward. Not only will this help drive better financial results and healthier profit margins, it could also translate into a happier work culture.
While success at work is understood to bring job satisfaction, employee health too has a direct impact on individual success and happiness at work. Recognising the importance of health and wellbeing contributes extensively to an employee’s engagement within the organisation, and this has been proven scientifically.
Promoting physical and mental health yields a lot more than just ‘soft’ and feel-good results. Over time, better employee health is known to have a significant effect on business performance too. The RPG Group lays particular emphasis on the mental and physical wellbeing of its employees and has embarked on a programme benefiting employee health. The group has tied up with Practo, wherein all employees can avail of its services such as 24x7 Family Doctor on phone call, chat and video call, all at no charge, along with paid consultation appointments with specialists, and online ordering of medicines.
In 2020, the year that witnessed a lockdown in its very first quarter, all RPG group companies came together to ensure that employees were shielded from the virulent outbreak. When Seniority launched the SafeSeniors app for the nation, its own employees took just as much advantage of the tool that enabled them to keep close tab on the health of their elderly family members. Seniority also maintained health records of employees and their families to ensure that no stone was left unturned to keep them all in fine fettle.
At KEC International, a customised Covid-care kit consisting of sanitisers, nutrition and immunity building products and protective gear, was developed in response to the pandemic. The RPG group infra company, besides distributing the kits to own employees, also conducted end-to-end Covid safety and awareness training drills at its factories.
Maintaining a healthy weight, good cardiovascular health, and strong bones and muscles are pertinent at any age. Group company CEAT demonstrated high standards of physical fitness during the lockdown by hiring a Chief Fitness Officer (CFO), which helped counter the ill-effects of a typically sedentary and inactive lifestyle that people tend to live otherwise, while Raychem RPG held virtual yoga sessions.
While the benefits of physical health and fitness are known, focusing on these isn’t enough. Mental health is equally important, and means more than just the absence of mental disorders.
Acknowledging this is a big step, and bodes well for an organisation to raise the collective consciousness around the subject. With this in mind, RPG’s tie-up with Juno Clinic has benefitted employees across the Group and helped address mental health issues proactively. With access to best-in-class therapists, RPGians have been encouraged to reach out to them in case of depression, anxiety, or even their early signs.
Raychem’s Let’s Talk: Employee Counselling Program has seen more than 100 employees enroll voluntarily for counselling sessions conducted by an external professional panel. This shows that the stigma surrounding mental health can been greatly reduced by fostering a conducive environment. Employees at Seniority credit the webinar on the Minding our Minds initiative for stitching up the loose patchworks between the finer nuances of mental health, on how it boosts immunity, and so on.
The group’s tagline, hello happiness has become a way of life in professional as well as personal endeavours for all RPG employees. What’s more, the Happiness property, integrated through various employee benefit initiatives, has made a significant difference in taking employee pride to the next level.
Companies across the group, through engaging activities and programmes, have managed to strengthen the bonds within their work ‘family’.
A healthy workforce has been proven to demonstrate corporate responsibility. Happier and healthier employees are known to regularly outperform those who are in organisations that do not promote health and wellbeing. Perhaps, the most powerful way that RPG is supporting its employees is by breaking free from the one-size-fits-all model of benefits.
Every RPGian has his/her unique needs, and there is room for a diversified rulebook that supports issues from all walks of life. The smartest employers take care of their people first, encourage them to live fully outside of work, and find innovative solutions to their issues from time to time. These shouldn’t be labelled as perks; rather, they should be the norm, and that is the way RPG is constantly reinventing itself as truly a great place to work.