This is an organisation where a candidate is welcomed by the chairman of the company and at the end of the interview,the chairman also escorts the candidate out as a positive gesture. Milind Apte, SVP HR, CEAT Tyres limited shares his own experience when he appeared for an interview at CEAT. He had been waiting in the lobby for quite a while, and was surprised to find the chairman himself coming out of the room apologising for the undesirable delay. CEAT treats its employees like family, from the time they enter the office for interviews.
Following its motto of involving the family members of the employees with the organisation, CEAT Tyres has implemented many initiatives. The most recent one being the organisation of the children’s day celebration, where a questionnaire was prepared for the kids of the employees and sent to them through e-mail. On the basis of the responses, the Company prepared a CV of the child and had it framed into a show piece worth displaying. The showpiece was couriered to the employees as a surprise gift pack.
“We at CEAT believe that everybody goes out of their way for family. We treat our employees as our family and we try to go out of the way to help them and take care of them.”
Unlike the normal professional CV, this special CV was given a colourful design that would appeal to kids. The qualities of the kids were also described and presented in a funny way.
Apart from the children’s day celebration, the Company also launched the CEAT’s Got Talent initiative, which was earlier limited to only the employees, but later extended to their family members also. This pan India initiative takes place in all cities across the country.
The Company also organises a Factory Day, where the family members of the workers are called to the factory and given a tour of the plant to show them where their employees work and the kind of work they do. This is an ongoing activity wherein the families are called in groups of ten. This acts as a very good means of building a strong relationship with the families of the workers. This also assures the family members that the staff is enjoying good working conditions at a safe workplace.
Apte shared an incident wherein one of their factories hired 20 women associates with engineering diplomas. The families of these associates were not willing to send them for three shifts due to security and safety issues. The Company invited these families to the factories and patiently convinced them. Slowly, their mindset changed and they agreed to send their women for all three shifts.
Apte also revealed other initiatives aimed at benefitting the employees and their family members, who are working in its manufacturing units. The‘Beta-Beti Scheme’, for instance, allows the daughters and sons of the associates to work in their place after they retire, provided they hold engineering diplomas. If not, the Company arranges for them to attend diploma classes in a university and obtain a certificate. CEAT also provides career guidance to its employees’ children with an official from the management team visiting employees’ houses to interact and guide their wards.
The Company supports the spouses of the associates to make a career as nutritionists or beauticians or whatever it is they wish to do.
CEAT also makes sure that its employees get to spend a lot of time with their families. The policies of five-day work week, work-from-home,no limited working hours and no attendance gives flexibility to the employees to manage their work–life balance.
The organisation has also established satellite offices so that people can save on the time and effort required to travel to the main office. “The employees can work three days in the office and two days in the satellite, saving three to four hours — which is otherwise consumed in travelling— which they can spend with their family,” says Apte.
Through these initiatives, CEAT has been able to establish a great relationship with its workforce. It has been able to maintain its attrition rate at seven to eight per cent, inclusive of the field force. Excluding the field force, the number comes down to three to two per cent!
According to Apte, this also builds loyalty in the minds of the workers. He shares that on a visit to one of the factories, he realised that a majority of the workers had been working there for over 20 years!
This also reflects the level of satisfaction that employees experience. As per the satisfaction survey, the happiness score is at 80 to 90 per cent on an average in each of its factories and offices.
Apte adds that 60 to 65 per cent of vacant positions in the Company are filled internally. Its positive and employee-oriented initiatives have allowed the organisation to find great talent from within the families of its employees.
CEAT tries its best to involve the families of its employees at every stage—from inviting them to the annual day function, sending a bouquet of flowers at the time of promotion of the employees, to inviting them to the convocation ceremonies of the employees who complete courses under the L&D function.
CEAT has shown the world how employees can be engaged and kept happy by getting to know them and their families personally. Apte shared that the family members of the employees are also very happy with organisation, which shows in their enthusiastic participation and interest in all the activities and events that the company organises for them.
“We at CEAT believe that everybody goes out of their way for family. We treat our employees as our family and we try to go out of the way to help them and take care of them,” claims Apte proudly.