SIRO Clinpharm, a clinical research organisation, is driving its growth through employee-engagement surveys. The focus is to create a work-friendly environment for the employees and also ensure their mental and physical wellbeing. SIRO has managed to leverage the findings of these surveys to come up with engagement activities, which can bind the team together in this virtual world post-COVID-19.
Prachi Ghogle, head – HR, SIRO Clinpharm, elaborates that the surveys are done on a regular basis and are anonymous in nature. This helps the employees feel free while sharing their ideas. “Based on the feedback received, we are driving the next actionable plans in line with their expectations. For instance, we had a suggestion box where people could drop their ideas during pre-COVID times. Now, this has gone virtual with a suggestion corner being created on a platform, and people are still using that forum to give ideas,” reveals Ghogle.
One of the results of the initial survey was that the employees were missing the personal connect while working remotely. So, the organisation started celebrating the birthdays of the employees by getting a guitarist, and the team got together virtually to keep the communication flowing. Infact, Ghogle reveals, the ‘SIRO Vision’ series is the outcome of these surveys. “It was aimed at increasing the connectivity with the leadership team. The SIRO Vision series sees the leadership team communicating with the employees and talking about the goals of the Company. Then, there are the monthly fun activities, which were continued to allow people to bond with other team members, especially amidst these troubling times,” she adds.
One other key finding from the survey was that employees were deeply interested in cross-functional utilisation. “People were looking at contributing in areas other than their daily routine work. With that insight, we created a platform where people could provide their ideas or suggestions on SIRO’s growth pillars. We also created cross-functional teams wherein people from different department could come together and contribute to SIRO’s growth pillars,” Ghogle explains.
“Before the pandemic, we had a suggestion box where people could drop their ideas. Now, we have replaced this with a virtual suggestion corner created on a platform, and people continue to use it to give ideas.”
SIRO also worked on the Employee Net Promoters Score (ENPS), which usually gives a benchmark of “how many employee would be promoting one as a brand. This served as an index. Now every activity is attempted with the purpose of bettering that score. There is obviously a difference between detractors and promoters and it gives us a score of the same. Therefore, anything above zero is considered a good net promoter,” Ghogle reveals.
Internal talent grooming
SIRO’s ‘Let’s Grow Together’ is yet another growth pillar wherein internal talent is groomed to take up higher roles in the future. Ghogle believes in looking inwards to utilise the talent already available rather than looking outside. For the senior leadership, SIRO has recently launched the Objective and Key Results (OKR), which will cascade to the other employees later. It has more to do with driving accountability and ownership across the organisation, where there will be complete cross-functional alignment. Each employee should be aware of the goals of the Company and how she/he is contributing towards these. It won’ be a silos-driven approach but a growth-driven one.
SIRO believes in taking care of its employee, and therefore, it neither went for salary cuts nor retrenchment during this year, despite the COVID-19 onslaught. In fact, the Company disbursed the salaries of April and May to help the employees with any immediate expenses. A one-time safety allowance was also given to the employees, along with COVID insurance cover. As per Ghogle, the pharma industry usually goes with an eight to nine per cent salary hike, but SIRO announced double-digit hikes for its employees.
Resilience and adaptability
Commenting on what the future looks like, Ghogle says, “Many companies have business continuity plans (BCPs) but it is probably for the first time that these got tested this year. They were always on paper. Having said that, the biggest learning is that we need to be more adaptable and flexible. We need to be resilient to adapt to any situation. Technology is the biggest saviour here.” She also believes that people management will get more and more proactive.