“India needs DE&I conversations specific to our region,” Divya Garg

DE&I strategy needs to be a part of the business strategy mentions Divya Garg, head-HR, India & South Asia, Uber

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A big change in 2022

Flexible working is the new currency, with employees ascribing high value to it and employers acknowledging it as critical for hiring, retaining and enhancing productivity. Companies are developing and encouraging flexible work schedules, enabling everyone to embrace a flexible, hybrid workplace.

We firmly believe in the value of cross-collaboration irrespective of the work locations. We have also offered the choice of preferred workplace to all employees allowing them to work remotely, offering them independence and flexibility to decide their work schedules and preferences. This also helps employees to take frequent breaks to reset, revive and revitalise.

Voice for change among employees getting stronger

‘Employee experience’ is at the heart of everything we do in people practice at Uber. Sometimes there is a gap between cultural expectations and the actual lived experience of people. Listening to them directly helps us identify these gaps more clearly and encourages a positive culture within the organisation.

We look at enabling an ecosystem where employees feel empowered to voice their opinions.

One of Uber’s values is ‘Stand for Safety’ and it continues to be our North Star that encourages us to continuously reimagine our offerings to our employees.

“Mobility is one of the levers which comes into play to help achieve retention”

Will internal mobility help in retention

The explosion of the gig economy, talent marketplaces, and similar ecosystems has changed the way organisations view the process of talent acquisition today. Employees are always on the lookout for something new to work on, fresh challenges and different problems to solve. In this scenario, changing roles and even offering new kinds of roles becomes vital.

Organisations having the ability to create these opportunities for employees across locations/countries will have an edge over others. Eventually, the roles will have to be structured so that there can be a seamless transition allowing business continuity, as individuals move from one role to another.

At Uber, the Parachute Programme for employees in the policy, communication and marketing functions allows employees to take up interesting international assignments.

Broader strategy to boost DE&I in 2022

Essentially, there are three broad themes when it comes to broadening the diversity, equity and inclusion(DEI) dialogue in India: DE&I strategy needs to be embedded in the organisation’s strategy.

For an organisation to truly meet the needs of its diverse customers, the inside of the organisation needs to reflect the dynamics outside in the marketplace. Hence, firstly, the DE&I strategy needs to be a part of the business strategy. DE&I dialogue needs to be embedded structurally in everything we do. From a place where DE&I leaders and people leaders were owning and driving the DE&I agenda, it needs to become an integral part of all talent policies and practices. From the employer value proposition to engagement, performance and beyond, the DE&I lens must be incorporated. India needs DE&I conversations specific to our region.

Historically, DE&I conversations in our country have taken a leaf out of what has been done in the Western markets. It is now time to acknowledge the unique manner in which DE&I conversations manifest in our country.

Racism is not only ‘Black Lives Matter’ and ‘Stop Asian Hate’. In India, race conversations must evolve to encompass privilege and discrimination based on religion, caste, linguistic diversity and more. It’s where we need to play a proactive role in broadening the scope of the DE&I conversation.

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