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Happy Employees make Happy Customers

Shambhavi Solanki, Associate Director & Head – Corporate HR at Policybazaar.

Happy Employees make Happy Customers

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

Shambhavi Solanki: The global workforce experienced numerous changes during the covid-19 pandemic. Many organizations went above and beyond to support employees during these trying times. We took swift action to get our employees acquainted with the new normal and instituted a WFH model.

This enabled us to increase job satisfaction, build trust and provide a safety net in the form of job security. Against the backdrop of increasing layoffs in most industries and geographies, this also helped us repose employee confidence in the company. In addition, we focused on employee well-being and mental health. We set up a covid-19 helpdesk, procuring oxygen concentrators for employees, enabling an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) framework, etc.

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

We are an equal-opportunity employer that promotes equity and diversity. Our focus is on ‘inclusion without exception’. We foster an inclusive and unbiased work culture where we ensure that each of our employees feels seen and heard, and their efforts are respected and valued. We also ensure to create of a psychologically safe space to work, which encourages employees to bring their genuine selves to work. As such, all of our benefits and programs are accessible to the entire workforce. The trend across age and gender cohorts is therefore similar.

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

During the pandemic, employees were keen for the organization to put more emphasis on work-life balance and flexible work arrangements. They focussed on having a positive work environment and defined KRAs. There was more reliance on technology and collaboration tools for task and team management. Our employees focused more on clear performance goals and consistency in communication. Lastly, the employees had become more vocal about their expectations; they often spoke out about workplace issues or negotiated for better compensation and benefits.

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

At Policybazaar, we believe that Happy Employees make Happy Customers. By establishing a people-first culture, we value and protect our employees’ overall well-being. We ensure that all our teams are empowered with sufficient resources – be it tools, technologies, or manpower. We have seen an upward trend in these parameters in our employee satisfaction index.

Some of the initiatives we have taken to increase employee engagement are – organizing rewards like the Jeeto Apna Ghar (JAG) contest, where high-performing employees stand a chance to win their home. JAG has been a key motivator for employees to perform outstandingly and has helped slash the attrition rate in the organization by 50%.

Another such initiative at Policybazaar is SEED (Skill Enhancement & Employee Development program), that helps PBians to ride a fast-tracked growth path and bag managerial roles. There are several other professional development activities and weekly Fun-doo-Fridays. Furthermore, annually we organize a ‘Talent Hunt’ across teams to recognize and celebrate employees’ strengths outside their KRAs.

At Policybazaar, we embrace a more proactive approach towards health check-ups, and fitness goals via tournaments, marathons, covid-19 inoculations, etc. We provide best-in-class facilities factoring in the needs of new or expecting parents. For them, we have a fully-paid day-care facility that comes in flexible models like full day care, play school, after school, nursery, and kindergarten with max duration being from 10 am-7 pm and a lactation room for new mothers. All our managers encourage breaks, and vacations and focus on productivity rather than the number of work hours. Last but not the least, we advocate the policy of ‘Live to work rather than work to Live’.

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

Through the pandemic and beyond, we have successfully kept a check on our attrition rates. Our attrition rate has been between 8-11% between FY2020-21 to FY2022-23. We always design initiatives like the Jeeto Apna Ghar contest that have raised the bar of employee engagement. We believe in investing in every employee so that they can live up to their potential.

Therefore, to retain our top talent, we have come up with effective retention strategies such as helping them reduce workload, indulging in extra-curricular activities, supporting employees with tailored guidance from external coaches, and giving extra time off to our top performers when targets are met.

There can be many reasons why employees leave an organization. With exit interviews in place, we have identified two of the top reasons for quitting are – relocation to another country and/or pursuing further studies in the field of IT.

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