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Trust, consistency key to building great workplaces: Study

LiveMint logoLiveMint 04-08-2017 Soumya Gupta

Mumbai: Mid-sized Indian workplaces are setting an example for their larger peers in keeping employees happy and creating an environment that allows them to perform well.

These workplaces were identified in an annual study by the Great Place to Work Institute, a global management consulting and research firm. A total of 34,501 people from 219 mid-sized organizations—those employing 100 to 500 people—participated in the exercise.

“Why is it that companies which are so successful over time, we don’t remember the names of their global CEOs? Because culture becomes the CEO in these companies,” Prasenjit Bhattacharya, chief executive of Great Place to Work Institute, India, said at an event in Mumbai where the best mid-sized workplaces in India were named.

“The most important thing that CEOs do in these companies is that they keep their promises and walk the talk. Consistency is the key, and leaders at great workplaces use every opportunity and interaction to build trust,” he added.

“Trust is the magic word,” Srabani Dubey, vice-president of the institute, said, highlighting some findings of the 2017 study. “We find that when people are financially invested, they want a return. But when they’re emotionally invested, they want to contribute. When they contribute, business happens (grows) not two times, not three times, but five times the market performance.”

Dubey said the reward for great workplaces that follow exemplary human resource practices is that they can retain loyal employees.

“What is there at the end of the road? The great workplaces have an amazing bunch of loyalists,” she said. “No headhunter can poach their employees away. Their attrition rate is way lower at 12% compared to 19% in other companies.”

Topping the rankings were Cactus Communications, a global provider of scientific and medical communication services, Equitas Development Initiatives Trust, a public charitable entity, and United Colors of Benetton India, the local arm of the Benetton Group.

Other companies in the top 10 were Piramal Finance, Sony Pictures Networks Distribution India, SAS Research and Development, Gozoop Online, OSSCube Solutions, Adani Enterprises-Mining and Centum Learning.

Fifty-eight per cent of the firms studied were established not more than 15 years ago, while 69% of the employees in these firms were younger than 35 years. Fifty-two per cent of the organizations were multinationals and the rest Indian. Fifty-six per cent of the firms belonged to three industries—information technology, manufacturing and production, and, financial services and insurance.

The methodology employed to arrive at the winners was two-pronged. Two-thirds of the total weightage was assigned to employees’ feedback, measured using the Great Place to Work Trust Index Model, which contains several variables such as trust, credibility, respect, fairness, which define a great workplace from the employees’ perspective, according to the institute’s research. Anonymous surveys were administered to a representative sample to gather the data.

The remaining one-third weightage was assigned to the effective implementation of people practices and was measured using the Great Place to Work Culture Audit Framework. The framework assessed an organization’s people practices, studying their impact on employee perceptions, and also outlined a set of actions for leaders and managers to improve results. The information was obtained through responses to a culture audit questionnaire.

Mint was the media partner for the study.

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