In the rapidly-changing professional realm, offering educational programmes to employees is crucial. Companies that understand the significance of ongoing learning and invest in the educational growth of their workforce not only cultivate skilled and knowledgeable employees but also gain a competitive edge by doing so. Recognising this importance, Manappuram Finance has introduced the Employee Higher Education Policy initiative to empower its workforce.
Renjith PR, chief learning officer and vice president HR and Training, Manappuram Finance, shares that the driving vision and thought process that led to the inception of the Employee Higher Education Policy initiative was to encourage employees to pursue higher education and to help them develop their skills and knowledge.
The company believes that higher education is essential for employee development and organisational success. Renjith explains “The policy is designed to be mutually beneficial for both employees and the company, as it helps employees advance their careers and contributes to the company’s growth and development.”
Flexibility: The policy covers both part-time and self-paced programmes, giving employees more flexibility in pursuing their education and aligning their learning schedule with their work and personal commitments.
Empowerment and cost coverage: Employees are encouraged to pursue their interests and professional development through self-nomination programmes. The company reimburses the cost of these programmes, demonstrating its commitment to employee growth and career advancement.
Freedom of choice: Employees who choose to self-nominate for a programme without reimbursement are not required to sign a bond. This aligns with the company’s value of providing employees with the autonomy to make decisions about their own career paths.
Transparency and fair governance: The policy is overseen by a dedicated Higher Education Nomination Committee, ensuring its fair and transparent administration.
Relevance and alignment: Courses suggested by department heads undergo a review and approval process by the CLO, guaranteeing that they align with the employee’s job profile and contribute to their professional development.
He further adds that there are several distinctive features that set Manappuram Finance’s Employee Higher Education Policy apart from traditional educational programmes or initiatives with similar objectives.
“The policy is designed to be mutually beneficial for both employees and the company, as it helps employees advance their careers and contributes to the company’s growth and development”
Renjith PR, chief learning officer and vice president HR and Training, Manappuram Finance
First, the policy is open to all confirmed employees, except those on probation. This means that even entry-level employees have the opportunity to pursue higher education (HE) and advance their careers.
Second, the policy is very generous in terms of financial assistance. The company will pay for all or part of the tuition cost, depending on the employee’s grade level and the type of programme they are pursuing.
Third, the policy is flexible in terms of the types of programmes that are eligible for funding. Employees can pursue a variety of programmes, including part-time, self-paced and full-time courses.
Fourth, the policy is designed to encourage employees to stay with the company after they complete their education. Employees who receive funding from the company are required to sign a bond agreement that stipulates that they must stay with the company for a certain period of time after they graduate.
The company offers a variety of resources and support systems to its enrolled students to ensure their success, both academically and personally. These resources and support systems include a tuition-reimbursement programme covering up to 100 per cent of approved higher-education costs.
Renjith says, “The company provides personalised academic advice, career counselling and mentorship, connecting students with experienced professionals. Financial-aid options, study skills workshops and access to technology such as laptops showcase the company’s commitment to comprehensive employee development.”
Clearly, Manappuram Finance prioritises the professional and educational growth of its employees through its robust support initiatives.
In addition to these resources and support systems, Manappuram Finance also offers a variety of employee benefits that can help employees achieve their higher-education goals.
It offers educational leave to employees who need to take time off from work to complete their exams. It also offers flexible work arrangements — such as provision for leave during exams and the opportunity to work from branches close to the exam centre—to employees who are enrolled in higher education programmes. Additionally, the company partners with a variety of colleges and universities to offer tuition discounts to its employees.
The company believes that by investing in its employees’ education, it is investing in its own future.
Manappuram Finance Limited had enrolled 3,440 of its employees in various higher education programmes. Out of these, 2,536 are still pursuing their studies. Another 1,000 employees from group companies are also enjoying the benefits of the programme. We have around 1,637 MBAs, 454 BBAs, 11 MCAs, 48 BCAs, 148 plus-two and 35 SSLC course completions, and 2,072 executive education completions through this programme.
The unique feature of the programme is that the company has tied up with prestigious foreign universities such as Harvard and Wharton in the US. Manappuram is also associated with prestigious institutions such as the various IIMs and IITs spread across the country. Symbiosis, BITS Pilani, IIBF and various other professional organisations also offer their basket of courses to Manappuram employees pursuing career growth.
The attractive part of the programme is that it ensures ongoing higher education opportunities for all employees, starting from top to bottom. On successful completion of these courses, they become eligible for salary increments, promotions, transfers and so on.
Upskilling regularly is a must for career growth in Manappuram, and the completion of the prescribed number of HE courses makes the employees eligible for promotion to higher posts and career growth.