One of the most difficult tasks as an HR head, is to create a strong bond between employees. In a country such as India, where people come from various backgrounds and cultures, the task becomes trickier. At the same time, as an organisation wishing to work together towards a common goal, how does one create a sense of togetherness and harmony? Answering this and revealing some interesting HR practices that contribute to shaping a culture of togetherness, Rahul Sinha, president-HR, Pidilite, shares his views on how he manages to keep his employees engaged and work as a closely-bonded team.
The efforts have to begin right from the hiring stage. Therefore, Pidilite has changed the way it recruits people. It only hires those who are focussed on work, are a strong culture fit and possess a desire to make a career in the Company.
Additionally, Pidilite is committed to building credible relationships through communication. The Company ensures that it communicates its expectations correctly and builds a two-way communication platform. “We care for and listen to what our employees tell us and we encourage employee-to-employee communication as much as employer-to-employee communication,” Sinha adds. People at Pidilite use Facebook’s ‘workplace’ to communicate, create groups in every department, discuss work and also socialise.
As another unique employee-engagement initiative, Pidilite’s ‘Happy and Healthy Pidilite’ movement employees have access to zumba, yoga and meditation sessions within the workplace itself. All these activities also create a sense of togetherness in people. “All these key initiatives help people in building a strong bond , not only with other employees but also with themselves, internally,” says Sinha.
I believe that India in itself means Diversity. For an Indian company, understanding diversity and respecting it comes naturally
In order to ensure a high-performance culture, Pidilite has focused on the following four steps that form the acronym RACE:
Relationship: Building good relationships, both with customers and amongst employees is a must. This is part of the Pidilite culture.
Abilities: People will perform when they have the right abilities. The Company has training programmes focusing on ensuring that the desired abilities are inculcated in the employees.
Commitment: Employees who are highly motivated are committed to achieving their goals and put in extra effort to obtain success. The Company ensures this commitment in everyone by following the simple principle of “lead from the front’.
Engagement: Through various engagement programmes, such as the ‘Happy and Healthy Pidilite’ movement, the Company attempts to engage its employees in completing their targets and building harmony.
“RACE is our mantra for high performance,” says Sinha.
Talking about what diversity means to the Company and how it is creating a balance between having diversity yet respecting individual differences, Sinha says, “I believe that India in itself means Diversity. For an Indian company, understanding diversity and respecting it comes naturally.”
Sinha shares that he has worked with different people from different cultures, such as Gujaratis and Marathis, and from different religious backgrounds. “We grew up in a diversified culture, and celebrated various festivals with full fervour. Despite coming from different cultures, we work towards a common goal. Now that we have started expanding globally, we are learning a new multinational dimension, which is about a high benchmark and tolerance, and is diversity of a new kind. We have employees from different countries, and because of our own diverse background, it is easy for an Indian company to go multinational. For us diversity is much more than gender diversity,” Sinha opines.
That said, gender diversity is still an area of improvement for the Company. It is taking steps towards making a change, as part of which, in the summer recruitment programme, 45 per cent of employees hired were women.