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Covid impacts job satisfaction, but not attrition

Praveen Menon, Chief People Officer at IndiaFirst Life Insurance Company updates about changing employee expectations & job satisfaction scenario at his organization;

Ravi Lalwani: Has job satisfaction among employees increased or decreased during covid times?

Praveen Menon: Work From Home (WFH) has resulted in stretched working hours combined with other issues like household chores, distractions and digital stress. These have impacted the mental wellbeing of many. Social de-stressing had not been possible till now. Our experience suggests that job satisfaction levels during the covid era had relatively gone down as compared to that of pre-covid time.

Is the trend the same for younger, middle age and older employees? Is it the same for men and women?

Data crunching to exactly know the demographic trend towards job satisfaction levels remains to be done. However, covid has certainly triggered a thought amongst the working population on a sense of purpose in what they do and a sense of belonging as to who they are affiliated to. This also has got accentuated with other variables of life, such as physical health, emotional wellbeing, loss of dear ones, life expectancy, and much more. So, it will be safe to assume that the job satisfaction trend would be on a lower scale for most.

In which areas have employee expectations changed the most during covid?

Based on the external environment and employee feedback, some of the areas that organizations have consciously started rebooting and redefining their philosophies are as follows:
– Work-Life Balance
– Organizational Stability
– Learning & Development opportunities provided by the organization
– Holistic career growth opportunities
– Organization values and CARE approach
– A bigger sense of purpose & belonging

Give examples of how your organization is increasing job satisfaction among employees?

Following are some initiatives undertaken by us to increase job satisfaction and engagement levels amongst our employees.

EVP: We have created an Employee Value Proposition (EVP), which is on the principles of gives & gets. Gives are the expectation from the employee and gets would be what an employee can expect in return from the organization. Gives & gets have been clearly articulated to provide clarity to all employees.

Career Kundali: We have scientifically curated career paths for employees based on their aspirations and competencies. Skillsets, role changes, career pitstops, role changes, and timelines have been defined clearly.

CARE: In line with our #EmployeeFirst philosophy we try and moot CARE as our motto towards our employees. Some of the initiatives undertaken include (i) Work from anywhere guidelines rolled out (ii) Additional covid leaves policy introduced (iii) Special covid allowance equivalent to one-month gross salary given to front line employees (iv) Employment opportunity to spouses of deceased employee + Children education reimbursement policy rolled out (v) Additional medical coverage for family members under group Mediclaim policy introduced (vi) Employee Assistance Program like mental counselling and doctor on call (vii) Infrastructure like laptops and telephone lines for employees to seamlessly operate (viii) Increments, bonuses, and promotions rolled out as usual (ix) Continued with recognition platform virtually.

Did the attrition rate at your organization change during the covid times? What are the top reasons identified from exit interviews?

During the covid period, attrition had not increased. However, we saw a marginal spike in attrition in FY22. This trend could be in line with the ‘Great Resignation’ syndrome happening across the world. Some roles that have opened up big time are Digital, Analytics, Tech, and HR where currently the opportunities are galore with handsome rewards. Some of the reasons cited by exiting employees are better opportunities, better remuneration, getting into start-ups, trying to start something on their own, and also taking a break to pursue other interests.

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