Published 18 August, 2020

Employee Centricity- A Must Have or Good to Have? (4 minutes read)

Just as a child has to be nurtured in order to bring him/her up properly and make him/her successful, similarly an employee has to be taken good care of in order to make him grow in his career and also make the company successful. Earlier, most of the companies, were concerned  only with making profits and focused only on their clients .The employee got ignored most of the times.

But, the business world has gone through a lot of changes, especially in the last decade and the companies realized that there is a need to focus on the employee’s welfare and benefits too, because employees are the valuable assets for an organization and keys towards the success of the company. In this new age of business, organizations can’t succeed for long if they don’t have the willingness to invest in their workforce. Now employees are called “Human Capital” and like any other form of capital, it needs to be invested before it gives sustainable returns.

There are many advantages of being an employee friendly company, which are listed below:

·   Improved productivity. Financial compensation alone isn't enough to make someone more productive.

·   Better employee retention. High employee turnover is costly to a business.

·   Harmonized work environment. Happy people are easier to work with.

·   Better relationship with customers, as it is easier for a satisfied employee to focus on the client’s needs.

·   Increased collective confidence of the workforce.

An employee is extremely valuable to a company and how much he/she is valued is directly proportional to the training, experience and the kind of environment he/she gets there. What makes the job even more exciting are the cool perks provided by the company. It's not just about the shining package that you are offered initially, it's also about the overall development of the employee. One would observe that in organizations which are truly focused on employee satisfaction, the employees are given ample opportunities to develop and build their talents and skills to further contribute to the company. One great example is Google which officially encourages it’s employees to dedicate 20% of their work time on a personal project. GMail is an outcome of this practice at Google. It started out as a pet project of a software engineer there and now half the world has a GMail account. The customers in turn get the best service possible from the employees.  

Google has also set the benchmark when it comes to employee benefits and perks:- Flexible work schedule, outdoor and indoor games, massage parlours, fully equipped gym, and sleep pods

Google employees say that the environment over there is so outstanding they never feel like leaving the office. From a flexible work schedule to recreational games and a fully equipped gym, Google knows how to provide the right environment to grow its employees' potential. Other than that, the company also provides sleep pods (for a quick nap, oh my!) and an annual 'bring your children to work' day, among many other interesting benefits for its employees.

Another example of a company which is innovating and becoming more employee centric is Netflix. It allows unlimited vacation days for its employees. Such a policy makes a bold statement to the company’s workforce that “We trust you”. Every great leader would say that if you want to develop a team to be responsible then stop policing on them, instead empower them and make them realize that they have the right to make their choices and you trust them to make the right choices for themselves and the company.

Another highly relevant area where organizations providing support to employees is the area of mental and physical wellness.

Wellness programs are provided by employers to encourage employees to lead healthier lifestyles.

Weight-loss competitions, educational seminars, and exercise programs are examples of some wellness programs.

Healthy-eating vending machines and cafeterias are sometimes part of employer wellness programs.

Wellness programs pay rich dividends for employees and employers when it reduces expenses for health insurance or health care.

During these COVID times, companies are also conducting several yoga classes and meditation sessions to ensure that employees are fit and happy. In addition to that, weekly sessions are conducted on how to maintain good health and cope up with these trying times. These sessions are mostly conducted by the top doctors from the leading hospitals, who are associated with the large corporates to take care of the employee well being. We can clearly see how much money and effort the companies are now putting in for employee care.

Employers now understand that a content and motivated employee has a higher probability of making significant contributions to the organization. So, an employee-centric approach is what needs to be followed by organizations who really want to scale themselves and not just remain an individual driven small business. One of the things that a lot of founders of early stage companies ignore is having a dedicated HR function early. This is super critical for startups to ensure that the initial set of employees are taken care of. After all, these employees become the flag bearers of you employer brand. No matter how cash strapped you might be, if you are running a startup or a small business and have the vision to grow really big then invest in a people function and in turn invest in your people.

Salary offers work to get the employee in, to keep the employee engaged and challenged you need to have a plan. If you leave it to fate then chances are that you would keep losing good talent.

Big returns require sustainable investment and patience. The asset class of Human Capital is no different !

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