Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Companiesin India are plying staff with benefits such as steam baths and Jacuzzis, andfamily social events in a bid to retain talent, writes Helen RoweTheIndian company Infosys appears to have solved the attraction and retentionproblem. No-one seems to want to leave the technology firm where staff benefitfrom everything from stock options to policies aimed at keeping their familylife running smoothly. Apparently staff – known as Infoscions – do gripe fromtime to time, but mostly about the amount of tax they pay.Namedearlier this year as India’s best employer by HR consultants Hewitt Associates,the company is widely admired and its policies emulated by competitors. Likeother leading South Asian companies, Infosys knows attracting talent – and keepingemployees happy where they are – is vital given the particular challenges firmsin the region face. Themain problem for HR practitioners in South Asia is that the skills of the mostsought-after employees are so easily transferable across borders. Staff withcrucial skills can find employment almost anywhere in the world, particularlyin the US. Indeed, they continue to be in great demand internationally andcommand high salaries.SouthAsian-based firms have to provide this group of employees, most notably ITspecialists, with good reason to stay. Infosys has largely achieved that aimwith an ambitious range of policies that leaves virtually no staff need unmet.In particular, in a region where the extended family unit is still strong,there is heavy emphasis on policies that benefit the family members ofemployees.Accordingto Infosys’ head of HR, Hema Ravichandar, those who do leave do so largely forunavoidable family reasons or to return to higher education. Many of thoselater return to the company.”Thebiggest challenge has been to recruit, empower and retain the best andbrightest talent,” says Ravichandar. “To do this we’ve designed acomprehensive compensation and benefits package. We provide loans to employeesat all levels from the day they join to address their needs – whether it is forhousing, or to buy a car or personal computer.”Also,on joining, every employee is granted stock options, and there’s medicalinsurance cover for employees and their families that does not curtail expensesunder any of the heads that a normal insurance policy would.”Withits “campus”, as it is known, in Bangalore, Infosys has also aimedhigh. Its aim, according to Ravichandar, is holistic, to enrich employees”intellectually, physically, emotionally and materially”.Thesite boasts food courts, gyms, saunas, steam baths, tennis courts, an outdoorJacuzzi and a 5,000 sq ft swimming pool, to name just a few of the facilities.Social events include employees’ families, and children explore their parents’workplace through the firm’s “Petit Infoscion” days.MadhaviMisra, a consultant with Hewitt, says the attractive working environment atInfosys is an example of the way companies operating in south Asia have raisedtheir game over the past 10 years to prevent staff being lured to Europe andthe US.”Whathas happened in South Asia is that the mobility of the top talent has forcedcompanies to increasingly adopt global practices,” says Misra. “Thishas led to top companies such as Infosys setting global standards that havebeen followed by others. It is about addressing employees’ needs and HR keepingits ear to the ground in terms of any changes in those needs and requirementsto keep the policies effective. That is the way it is going to continue.”Misrasays policies that provide benefits to employees’ families are particularlyeffective in South Asia, a region in which even Bollywood stars are heardtalking constantly about “honouring” their parents. In contrast tomany regions, family has never been anything other than central to the lives ofthe vast majority of the population. Otherleading companies have also tried to focus on enriching the family life oftheir staff as an attraction and retention tool. At Procter & Gamble’sIndian operation, the company will meet the cost of any retraining expenses forthe spouses of relocated staff to help them gain new employment. After theextent of late working became a concern several years ago, a taskforce was alsocreated. The result was a host of flexible working options from compressed workweeks to job shares.AtHewlett-Packard, there’s an annual family ball and a day off once a year tomark a special occasion of the individual employee’s choice. On this day, eachmember of staff has the option of taking their family out for a meal paid forby HP.Otherinitiatives include bank ICICI’s Saturday morning kids’ club, as well asscholarships and a monthly “learning” excursion for employee’schildren, while Hindustan Lever helps children gain places at good schools andprovides holiday homes at a nominal cost.Hewitt’sMadhavi Misra says the success of these family-focused policies means they willincreasingly become the norm for skilled staff in the region. Given the surplusof unskilled manpower, however, it is unlikely that smaller employers will feelcompelled to go down the same road for many years, if ever.”Theapproach in relation to the families of staff is almost overwhelming,”adds Misra. “Policies are very much aimed at integrating the family and involvingthem in the company too. There’s a level of involvement that probably wouldn’tbe tolerated by staff in other countries where they might prefer to keep moreof a distance between their home and work lives, but these are countrieswithout the particular cultural background and family focus that applies inSouth Asia.” Keeping employees happyOn 1 Dec 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article
See also: The miner, aged 29, became ill on Jul 4, was hospitalized 3 days later, and died Jul 14, the WHO said. He had cared for a 21-year-old coworker who had fallen ill with similar symptoms on Jun 27 and was hospitalized but later recovered. Nov 10, 2005, CIDRAP News story “Angola declares worst Marburg outbreak over” There is no vaccine or specific treatment for Marburg, a viral hemorrhagic fever similar to Ebola fever. Besides fever and weakness, early symptoms include severe diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, severe chest pain, sore throat, and cough, according to the WHO. The incubation period is 3 to 9 days. Contact with bodily fluids of infected people is the main risk factor for infection. The WHO said there is no indication of a need for restrictions on travel to or trade with Uganda. Aug 3 WHO news releasehttp://www.who.int/csr/don/2007_08_03/en/index.html Aug 3, 2007 (CIDRAP News) A Ugandan miner who died in mid-July had Marburg hemorrhagic fever, and another worker at the same mine has a suspected case, the World Health Organization announced today. The last major reported Marburg outbreak occurred in Angola from October 2004 to July 2005 and involved 252 cases, of which 227 were fatal. It is listed as the largest outbreak on record. The Ugandan Ministry of Health has sent rapid response teams to the mine area to investigate, with support from the WHO and other organizations, the WHO reported. From interviews with mine authorities, health officials have identified one more suspected Marburg case, plus two people who had a similar illness in mid-June but recovered, the WHO said. The mine is in western Uganda. All the miners under investigation for the disease had been at the mine continuously for 8 months, according to the WHO. No cases have been reported in healthcare workers. The disease was first seen in 1967 in German and Yugoslavian laboratory workers who had been exposed to green monkeys imported from Uganda. However, researchers have not been able to identify the virus’s primary animal reservoir between the rare outbreaks. WHO fact sheet on Marburg hemorrhagic feverhttp://www.who.int/csr/disease/marburg/factsheet/en/index.html The deceased man’s case was confirmed by laboratory tests at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Jul 30, the WHO reported.