Companies come in all kinds. There are some who keep a hawkish eye over its employees, banning even the use of mobile phones in office, and there are others who mandate on somberly silence and colonial formalities in the office.
But at the other end of the spectrum there are establishments, which allow employees to work from home and believe in a schedule which is more result-oriented than maintaining a military discipline.
These companies with a human face reach out to its employees in the time of crisis, supporting them and even taking care of the medical expenses of the ailing members in their family.
Gone are the days when employees only looked for high paying jobs in a ruthless office set up.
Even high-paid employees agree that money does not matter after a certain point, it is job satisfaction and a cordial office atmosphere that ultimately makes a difference.
At a time when work-related stress is taking a toll on the life of employees, it is refreshing to see some companies go out of the way to make their staff love the work they do and also ensure they have a great work-life balance.
Employees in these 10 companies love the companies they work for a host of positive factors.
A friendly working environment, special healthcare facilities, flexible work hours, work from home options, women-friendly policies and support among the team members keep employees highly motivated in these 10 companies.
This year, Google, the all-time favourite best employer has been toppled by a lesser known company called RMSI.
In a survey conducted by Great Place to Work Institute and The Economic Times, seven hundred companies across 20 sectors were surveyed. The responses 1.8 lakh employees showed that MNCs were better than Indian companies in terms of best workplaces.
IT companies accounted for a fourth of the top 100 best workplaces, making it a preferred choice among job seekers.
What makes these 10 companies the best to work for in India? Finds out…
Photograph, courtesy: RMSI
‘People are respected and performance is nurtured’
RMSI, a global IT services company providing geospatial and software services to clients across the globe has surpassed Google, which has been topping the best employer charts for the past 5 years. In 2009, RMSI was ranked the best company to work for in India.
“A flexible work environment, high level of empowerment and accountability where each employee owns his area of domain/function, employees’ involvement in company’s business decisions, leadership development through mentoring and coaching, skills/competency development initiatives, corporate social responsibility program, multi-cultural exposure through onsite work opportunities are the big takeaways at RMSI,” points out Gagan Jyot, vice president, Human Resources.
Hailing RMSI’s great work culture, Gagan Jyot, vice president, Human Resources, RMSI, says, “People are respected and valued, performance is nurtured, creativity and excellence are encouraged, leadership and teamwork are rewarded. The management team is simple, honest and highly approachable, which makes it easy for people to work together as one team and focus on the business and clients.”
The work is intellectually stimulating as we help solve global problems and contribute to the world, she adds.
“Various reward and recognition programs ensure that innovation, creativity, leadership and team work is rewarded along with individual contributions. Fast track growth paths are created for high performers. Parenting, relationship counseling, child psychology workshops help build a bond with families of employees,” explains Gagan.
Healthcare and other benefits
With a strong focus on employee’s health and overall well-being, lifestyle assessment checks, dental/medical/eye check ups, life-skill workshops, stress management through yoga, meditation, pranic healing, check-up camps, physiotherapy are undertaken.
Initiatives for women
“Besides a well defined ‘Anti sexual harassment’ policy which ensures safety and equal rights for women, other initiatives like self defense workshops, Tai chi, distribution of pepper sprays, sessions with women police officers and NGOs to create awareness about women safety and rights are organised, says Gagan.
The company also has focused health initiatives for women for breast and cervix cancer, thyroid tests, gynecological problems.
Women also have access to extended maternity leave, part time/flexible working hours, work from home options and option to take a short-term break in careers.
The music band, photography club, painting, acting, movie making, guitar classes, zumba lessons, sports tournaments helps employees hone their skills and develop an overall personality.
‘Fitness and fun are woven into Google’s history’
When it comes to facilities, working environment and benefits, work-life balance, very few companies can compete with Google.
The company makes sure the employees get the right environment to grow to their true potential.
With a creative and colourful ambience, offices are designed to promote fun-filled innovation as the company believes it is crucial for employees to think creatively and give their best.
“The employees have access to the best and brightest IT specialists to help get their jobs done. The TechStop is Google in-house tech support shop, it provides Google employees guidance with all hardware and software needs and problems at any time,” says a Google spokesperson.
Access to best facilitiesFun at work
“We have numerous special facilities which helps our employees maintain a work-life balance. Every week on Friday, Google hosts TGIF (Thank God It’s Friday) after 4 p.m. where everyone mingles and works together. This gives an open platform to employees to collaborate more. Furthermore, Google encourages its employees to pursue their passion, be it in music or drama or some other form of art,” says the spokesperson.
The company is strongly looking at removing bureaucratic delays and any policies that hinder speedy decisions.
“Each year, the company organises a ‘bureaucracy buster’ day where employees can suggest changes to minimise policies and reduce excessive guidelines,” the spokesperson adds.
Women’s empowerment is another focus area. Google offers academic scholarships to future leaders in technology and supporting employee resource groups like Women@Google.
Food at Google offices is another attraction. Three meals and unlimited snacks from the cafeteria are totally free of cost. Meals are made as healthy as possible along with an elaborate menu.
Involving families, Google hosts its annual ‘bring your children to work’ day. On this day, the company organises engagement activities for children.
Additionally, new employees at Google can even bring their parents to work on a designated day.
‘Taking care of our associates is at the heart of Marriott’s core values’
Marriott calls it employees ‘associates’. On their birthdays or anniversaries, the hotel employees are allowed a meal for six in any hotel or a stay to experience their own hospitality at its best.
“Taking care of our associates is at the heart of Marriott’s core values, which reflects the company’s work-life commitment. Marriott’s history of taking care of its employees dated back to its early days, when its founder, JW Marriott, counselled the company’s employees individually on their personal problems at his first hotel. He valued their presence, kept them posted about the latest happenings in Marriott and gave them excellent training. JW Marriott always ensured that employees who joined the company felt themselves a part of the Marriott family. He made managers responsible for the satisfaction of their subordinates,” says a Marriott spokesperson.
Apart from providing a competitive pay package, Marriott strives to give its employees a good work life.
The company values good leadership offers better growth opportunities, a friendly work environment and training facilities.
Open communication, trust among working teams, and a relentless focus on winning the right way are other key aspects.
What keeps employees happy
The hotels’ discount policies, talent development program, international exposure, open door policy, cross department exposure, performance incentives and rewarding high performers boosts the morale of employees.
Access to a gym, recreation, discount on food and beverages, room stay, assignments locally and internationally, international placements and health insurance are other benefits.
American Express India
Employees: 9,036 employees
‘Creating an inspiring workplace is a top priority’
Promoting talent, growth and positive relationship with employees makes American Express one of the best companies to work for in India.
“American Express takes great pride in fostering a work environment that encourages different backgrounds, talents and perspectives to thrive. Creating an inspiring workplace is a top priority for every leader at American Express,” says an Amex spokesperson.
Promoting talent and growth
The ‘People Leader Learning Path’ has been greatly valued by leaders across levels and career stages.
This program provides prescriptive approach to development as per their career stage (i.e. new people leaders and tenured people leaders; first level People Leaders and Second level People leaders) and recommends learning in a sequential modular order for foundational & core essentials.
Regular people leader sessions on ‘Employee Relations fundamentals’ to help them maintain a positive ER (Employee Relations).
Rewards & Recognitions
The reward programs are extremely popular with employees and help to create a winning culture at American Express.
‘Reward Blue’ is a recognition program that enables leaders and employees to recognise each other – across business units, band levels everyday, and reward great work and effort.
Fun at work
Several fun-filled activities are organised to drive and inculcate a culture of gratitude and appreciation for each other in the organisation, the most recent being the Blue Bucket Challenge akin to the recently famed viral ice bucket challenge.
Amex designed a unique gender diversity initiative in 2014 called ‘Reach Out’.
This program in collaboration with 4 other leading companies – PepsiCo, PwC and Tata Sons – to set a partnership which enables us to leverage each other’s Diversity & Inclusion (D&I).
The program provided a development platform for senior women leaders to ‘Share, Network and Learn’ from leaders and peers across these organizations, to enable greater career success.
Amex introduced a ‘Smart Savings’ program that enhances overall financial wellness of employees.
With access to online portal and onsite helpdesk, employees are educated and updated on their earnings and long term savings.
The convenience of having this information made employees save time and effort. It is a single stop solution to their short to long term financial needs.
SAP Labs India
SAP shows it cares for its employees
SAP Labs has a slew of initiatives to keep employees happy from flexible work options, healthcare policies and initiatives to help employees during a crisis as well.
Initiatives for women
Maternity Leave Policy: Women employees are entitled to twenty weeks of paid maternity leave with an additional sixteen weeks of extended maternity leave with loss of pay or a part time work option.
Women are offered with cab transportation during and post pregnancy.
Run Mummier: It is a maternity return program that focuses on ensuring the return of a female employee after her maternity leave as smooth as possible.
‘Part work from home’ after the birth of a child implies that male employees, apart from paternity leave, have the flexibility to work for four hours at office and the rest from home.
SAPlings in-house creche: This creche caters to 250 children in the age group of nine months to six years. Under this program children are provided with day care, Montessori education, summer camps as well as other activities.
Business Women Network: This is a forum which strives to foster a diverse workplace at SAP by inspiring women employees through the creation of role models and sharing of inspirational stories of successful women in leadership positions.
Work From Home Policy
Employees can work from home for four days in a month or one day a week.
Temporary Part Time Work
This benefit allows employees to work part–time for a maximum period of four months. One can work on 50, 60 or 80 percent of regular work load based on the agreement with the manager.
Care for Life
One of the most impactful initiatives has been an Employee Benevolent Fund called ‘Care for Life Fund’ which is a purely voluntary, employee funded and employee managed initiative, used to provide financial support to employees and their families in times of unexpected and unforeseen emergencies. The Care for Life Fund operates through a Trust and runs on a steady monthly contribution by members.
SAP has 33 interest groups, each catering to specific activities like drama, music, art, dance etc to help employees pursue an interest of their choice.
Godrej Consumer Products
From building leaders, spotting talent at campuses, flexible work options and encouraging more women to join the workforce, Godrej Consumer Products builds an environment that nurtures talent at every stage.
Taking pride in offering an outstanding workplace, Rahul Gama, head – Human Resources, Godrej Consumer Products, says “One of the principal areas of focus has been attracting, retaining and developing women talent, so that we have a robust pipeline of potential leadership for the next three to five years. While 53 per cent of our team members globally are women, we still have a lot of work to do on this front in India.”
Diversity & Inclusion programme
There are resource groups for working women (Godrej alliance for women) and parents (Godrej alliance for parents) with cross-company leadership networks.
Both these networks are supported with periodic trainings, external speakers and workshops to address the particular issues that each group may encounter.
The company conducts workshops and trainings on professional development. “As we put this programme in place, we are also starting to create goals for ourselves in terms of female representation in our workforce and at different managerial levels. We are confident that in a few years, we are going to see a different profile of Godrejites. For example, as part of our employee referral policy,
Godrejites can claim 1.5 times the regular referral amount if they refer a woman,” points out Rahul Gama.
The company’s maternity policy offers full pay for six months. We are endeavouring to create an open and inclusive environment for our women talent, who return to work post an extended break.
Flexi work and part time work options are also available to help make this balance along with other facilities at our offices. A robust talent management process to groom high potential women talent.
100 Leaders Programme
Elaborating on theis unique program, Gama, “As our business grew in size and reach, a key challenge we faced was to build and strengthen a robust talent pipeline to serve our global needs. We recognised that it was equally important to identify and nurture top talent across all levels in Argentina and Africa as in India. We also needed one framework to evaluate our tram members and have visibility to track careers and progress of our talent pool to drive leadership development globally.”
This program will ensure build leadership & functional capabilities and and develop a pool of engaged leaders with global skills and mindsets.
Over a period of time, this will fuel the company’s succession management programme in line with our ambitious growth plans. It has identified over 100 members with the potential to lead various functions of the organisation.
Godrej LOUD (Live Out Ur Dream) is a new approach to spotting and attracting talent at business school campuses in India.
“In 2012, we decided to put a different spin on recruitment for 2 reasons – first, because we found that these competitions had become a staple, with little to differentiate them and they focused on second year students, while our hiring practice had moved towards converting summer interns into full time hires. We needed to reach out to students prior to even recruitment for summer internships,” explains Rahul Gama.
Godrej LOUD encouraged first year students to come forward and live out their unfulfilled personal dreams. The company believes such people will bring the same enthusiasm and drive to the workplace and make for more rounded team members.
Sponsorship and mentoring, Pre Placement Summer Offer, a new concept on campus – a chance to sign on for Gurukul, a whole 2 months before recruitment season on campus has also started.
“We made every step of LOUD as innovative and distinctly Godrej as we could – the launch, application process, social media. LOUD has been a runaway success on campuses. This year, we are visiting 12 top B-schools across the country. We have been receiving a lot of great applications and our proposition is stronger than ever.
Given its high connect, we also hosted LOUD for Godrej employees across our India and international businesses and got a wonderful response,” adds Rahul Gama.
Godrej Fellows Programme
It is a unique programme that aims to create future Godrej leaders. Each year, the programme brings together a group of 12 exceptional young Godrejites under the age of 35, from across companies and functions, who have unconventional ideas to change Godrej.
One of the primary objectives of this one-year programme is to teach and mentor young leaders about how change happens within large corporations, and to empower them to effectively create and manage this change themselves.
Intuit Technology Services
Intuit India is ranked 4th in the IT industry category and 3rd in best companies in supporting women to remain at work category. The company has seen a 29 percent increase in its gender diversity ratio in the last year.
With a diverse workforce, the company promotes an environment where differences are valued and respected.
Innovation at Intuit
Intuit offers every employee an opportunity to grow, discover, and expand their personal and professional horizons. Employees are also encouraged to spend 10 percent of their time – called unstructured time to chase dreams.
This can include spending time working on a new product, participating in innovation forums designed to share ideas across the company, or providing the mobility to move to a new job down the hall or on the other side of the globe.
Diversity at Intuit
The diverse background of Intuit’s employees provide the valuable perspectives necessary to fuel innovation and global business. Tech Women@Intuit – a group of women who volunteer their time and talent toward making Intuit an awesome place for technical women.
Accor Hotels India
Creating a caring and inspiring workplace
AccorHotels is known for creating a caring, inspiring and respectful environment.
Its policies are based on professionalism, recognition, diversity and respect.
“It is an honour to make it to the top 10 companies and is a reflection of the hard work and commitment of our 5,500 talented and inspirational employees across the country. We are passionate about creating a culture where people have the freedom to exemplify their best work practices in an environment they enjoy,” said Jean-Michel Cassé, senior vice-president, operations, AccorHotels India, said in a statement.
AccorHotels plans to add over 1,500 new employees by the end of 2015.
‘Communications are transparent and accessible’
Employees rank the company high on credibility, respect, fairness, pride and camaraderie.
Office environment is friendly and communications are transparent and accessible.
As practices equitable and impartial, employees take pride in their work, team and company.
Forbes Marshall has over seven decades of experience building steam engineering and control instrumentation solutions.
‘A culture of openness, transparency, camaraderie, trust’
The company ensures that every employee – from as staffer at the corporate office or a customer representative at our store – have similar experience and value proposition in working with Lifestyle.
“We strongly believe in a culture of openness, transparency, camaraderie, trust and mutual respect and these qualities then naturally trickle down into our policies and processes. We believe that every employee – may it be an employee sitting in our Corporate office or a Customer Service Representative at our store – should have a similar experience and similar value proposition in working with Lifestyle. The programs that we have instituted at every step of an employee’s journey, right from the time they join the organization, are intended to delight the employee, engage them and ensure that they can perform at their best,” says Venkataramana B, president, Group HR, Landmark Group India.
Get Connected is an initiative that ensures new comers feel welcome, are adjusted to their new environment and can voice any concerns that they might be facing.
The company also offers an effective rewards and recognition program that encourages top performers.
“We believe in having open conversations and have Connect over Coffee (skip level meetings), open houses and HR connects to provide employees channels to speak up. We believe in developing our people and have embarked on the journey of talent segmentation to identify high potentials, recognize them and provide them with a development plan to grow their career with the organization. We believe that to build a culture, we have to constantly reinforce, reiterate and collaboratively bring to life our values. To this end, we run various campaigns like the ‘I Love LS campaign’ and innovative methods like ‘Play in a Day – Theatre Methodology’ to celebrate our way of working,” adds Venkataramana.
Employee friendly initiatives
Flexible working hours policy, a group term life insurance for every employee who has completed a year over and above the regular insurance policy and provides employees with sum insured of three times their CTC.
To encourage transparency, the company has a whistle blower policy. Employees have the option to to diversify their careers and move within the Landmark Group, not just in India, but also in the Middle East.