How ‘Celebrating Values’ at Alkem is promoting a healthier work culture

At Alkem, leaders are behind the drive to boost employee engagement with a series of engaging activities

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Alkem Laboratories has always given a unique spin to its employee-engagement initiatives, and as this year comes to a wrap, it has embarked on ‘celebrating values.’ The campaign was introduced as part of efforts to inculcate ethics within the pharmaceuticals company, amongst employees and employers alike.

To kickstart the campaign on celebrating values, Sandeep Singh, managing director, Alkem Laboratories, addressed the team through a video message. He said, “Value systems cannot be only on paper, done and forgotten. Companies do well because of the right (work) culture set by the right value system.” He also mentioned how fostering an open relationship with colleagues, like family, is imperative to building a healthy work ecosystem.

Starting from the first week of December, leaders across functions at Alkem have taken up a value each — out of the nine values the Company believes in — to be promoted each week. “Last year we revised our values, and as part of our ethics, we revamped and popularised them (the values),” says Rajorshi Ganguli, president and HR head, Alkem Laboratories. Values form an important basis for any healthy organisation and this two-month campaign will help internalise the values and encourage every employee working at Alkem to practise and promote a good work culture.

 

Nine values

The nine values were launched in 2019 as part of the new code of ethics — safety, quality, honesty, responsibility, compassion, fairness, respect, adaptability and gratitude. Ganguli mentions how the values took proper shape in 2019 and a ‘common language’ of values was thus born for the Company and articulated further. The nine values took center stage along with the new code of ethics under the umbrella, ‘Doing What’s Right.’

“Value systems cannot be only on paper, done and forgotten. Companies do well because of the right (work) culture set by the right value system.”

Sandeep Singh, managing director, Alkem Laboratories

As December 2020 rolled in, the campaign was launched with the nine values being propagated digitally, and with standees and banners spreading awareness within the Company. “Values guide ethics in the Company, and we took this opportunity to refresh the values and give them a more specific focus,” adds Ganguli.

The two-month campaign, aptly called ‘Celebrating Values’, will last through January. The purpose of this drive is to internalise these nine values for the existing employees. The fresh hires, meanwhile, are expected to sign an online undertaking acknowledging the nine values and accepting the code of ethics, when they join Alkem.

“Values get institutionalised only when people see how their leaders are behaving. If I talk about values and don’t practise them myself, it’s a farce.”

Rajorshi Ganguli, president & HR head, Alkem Laboratories

Teasers were dropped initially, when the campaign commenced, followed by full-fledged videos, each two to three-minutes long. Every week, one or two such videos focusing on one value are being released, with a senior employee or two adding their bit on the value taken up for that particular week. These senior employees belong to different areas of the Company, not necessarily HR. “Values get institutionalised only when people see how their leaders are behaving. If I talk about values and don’t practise them myself, it’s a farce,” comments Ganguli and thus, this year the senior employees are actively engaging in this campaign.

Employee response

The campaign is in progress and will continue till the last week of January. The activities are delivered, encouraged as a mix of online and in-person engagement by the respective team leaders. Indigenous games are also being designed, based on these core values, which makes the whole campaign more fun and engaging for employees. Crossing the river is one such game wherein a person is required to choose a value(s) to clear the game. There are crossword puzzles and other online games to make this campaign more fun. Debates, discussions and interactions are encouraged by the respective heads of department every week, to help integrate these values into the organisation, and make them more mainstream through engagement.

Sushil Barkur, associate vice president – L&D, TM and OD, and Garima Agarwal, HR consultant, at Alkem are the brains behind this whole campaign. So far, the employee response has indeed been positive, as an interaction with a few employees working at Alkem revealed.

A common thread for most employees with regard to this campaign was quality over quantity. The employees assert that this campaign reminds them of why they joined Alkem — for its consistent quality in terms of services and for instilling a sense of belongingness in each employee.

Alkem’s HR initiative to promote values in a people-friendly and engaging manner is a reminder of the fact that the employees are the ones who form the heart of a company. A ‘fair and friendly’ approach towards each employee and not the whole employee body — as has been the tradition for organisation-centric companies — is what helps Alkem and many more companies today implement HR policies in a smoother way. An employee who feels valued is receptive, and learns and adapts faster than one who does not feel valued. Employee engagement through learning or in case of Alkem, integrating their core values through a campaign, nurtures a thriving employee base that feels valued by the Company.

The campaign will conclude with a video compilation of genuine responses from the employees — their reflections and opinions on the whole campaign about ‘celebrating values.’