Schaeffler revamps HR practices in line with shifting employee preferences

The Company is now focussing on taking care of the health and psychological wellbeing of its employees.

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The changing dynamics in the workforce is compelling companies to change the way they function and mould their policies according to the preferences of the next generation. Particularly in the HR function, organisations need to revamp their HR policies, to suit the coming generation. This is easier said than done, especially with multiple generations working in the workforce at the same time. We are living in times where four generations are working together under the same roof. Many organisations are going through this problem in the industry and Schaeffler, an automotive and industrial supplier company, is no different. With the new generation becoming part of the workforce, now the Company feels an urgent need to revamp its HR policies.

According to Santanu Ghoshal, VP-HR, Schaeffler India, due to the shift in the age of the workforce in manufacturing and corporate units as well, the preferences, motivation and engagement tools have also changed. “There is not much of a difference in the numbers of our blue-collar and white-collar employees. The average age in both the sections has come to around 30-35 because of which the preferences of our workforce have changed. Now money is not the only thing that drives them,” says Ghoshal.

Accordingly, the Company has started a new programme at Schaeffler India, which is related to the health and wellbeing of employees. Earlier, it used to have Zumba and Yoga classes in different sections and units, which was pretty much unorganised.

Santanu Ghoshal

“We see employees stuck to their chairs most of the time. This short exercise break will help them stay fresh and fit”

 

Apart from the lifestyle, now the new programme will also focus on the psychological wellbeing of the employees. The Company has appointed an external specialist to counsel employees on various issues if required. If employees are suffering some mental issues as a result of work, family or any other factor, they can seek counselling sessions with the doctor.

The Company has seen a psychometric trait in the younger employees — their stress level remains high due to the immense competition to climb up the corporate ladder. Therefore, the organisation has also arranged for mentoring and coaching sessions for its young workforce. “Though our managers keep motivating their team members internally, just to ensure an external perspective, we have arranged for these coaching and mentoring sessions,” mentions Ghoshal.

Schaeffler has also decided to make use of its inbuilt sound and audio systems in the corporate and manufacturing units. A short body shaking, laughter and exercise session for the employees is being planned. For five minutes daily, the employees will exercise to music, to loosen up their bodies and refresh their minds.

“There is not much of a difference in the numbers of our blue-collar and white-collar employees”

“We see employees stuck to their chairs most of the time. This short exercise break will help them stay fresh and fit. This will not just serve as an employee wellbeing programme but also as an employee-engagement programme,” shares Ghoshal.

Like the IT sector, the automotive sector also faces the the problem of building new skills in its employees and engineers. The organisations keep introducing new lines of products. To train their employees, the companies send a batch of two to three employees abroad for studies. “ When these employees return after training, the retention rate in them is around 95 per cent, which is pretty outstanding in our sector,” shares Ghoshal.

Schaeffler also has leadership programmes, such as the Young Leaders programme, where the board selects 25 best performers, generally from the managerial level, from various fields and assesses them. They go through a one- year long programme comprising four modules.

The Company also has an Advanced Leadership Programme, where 12 people are selected the same way as for the Young Leaders programme, and 5-10 of them are sent for global leadership training every year.

Another initiative, known as the Leadership Mix programme offers a knowledge programmes, but has now switched to business programmes. Twenty-five leaders from different operations get the opportunity to attend guest lectures by some powerful leaders and speakers. As described by Ghoshal, the speakers, such as Harsha Bhogle come for a day or half a day and speak on different leadership topics, such as team building.

With the shift in the age group of the workforce, Schaeffler India is now revamping its HR practices, which can suit or fulfil the needs of the new-generation workforce.

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