By Deepali Bhardwaj, Head, Human Resources, India
“Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress: Working hard for something we love is called passion.” – Simon Sinek
Every organization debates on the concession and consideration they can provide to their employees. Coming to the magical combination would lead to optimizing their human resources. Time and again organizations have discussed how much is too much, most concluding to remain conservative about granting their employees leaves, unless required, often preventing most from making progressive policy decisions.
Modern day Human Resourcing and work Psychiatry promotes “Work-Life Balance”
But do we understand what it means? Are organizations able to adapt this in the true sense of the word? The recent debate in India with respect to the new “Maternity benefits act,” which certainly is a good move by the government, has taken most organizations back to their drawing boards to reassess their leave policy to create a win- win situation.
As a progressive and people-centric organization, we at Cushman & Wakefield in India have recently made some big moves towards enabling a work-life balance with the aim of providing our employees a great career and a good life. A good work-life balance enhances efforts by employees by 21% (Corporate Executive Board – Survey), which represents 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies.
Some of the key initiatives taken are providing flexible work-hours (beat the traffic hours) or the various options aimed at providing flexibility in planning their lives, without adverse impact on the career. We have moved beyond the hygiene of providing Privilege and Sick leave options and have introduced various leave options that include:
- Critical Illness Leave – An employee can request for critical illness leave in case of critical illness of self, spouse, or dependent children. Depending on situations and criticality, the organization is willing to support its employees for a period ranging from 30 days to 180 days or even beyond, as appropriate.
- Paternity Leave – A male employee is entitled to 5 days leave with pay anytime within the first month before / or post the delivery of a child or adoption of a child.
- Adoption Leave – Employees opting for adoption are entitled to up to 12 weeks of leave with pay.
- Bereavement Leave – Paid leave in case of any bereavement (death in the family) for 3 days.
- Marriage Leave – An employee is entitled to 5 days leave with pay
- Sabbatical Leave – Employees can apply for up to 180 days of Sabbatical Leave (Leave of Absence), for personal reasons such as for health or Higher Studies
Cushman &Wakefield encourages the culture of diversity and ensures inclusivity of people across the boards and a wide spectrum of benefits in forms of leave or time offs stands testimony to that. By making our leave at a policy level across the board, we could break the conventional corporate thought process, and established flexibility is key to productivity, and considering such privileges as increased cost is merely a narrow view. On the contrary, such benefits help not only in bringing attrition down, but also decrease in cost of replacement and training.
Deepali Bhardwaj is Head of Human Resources for Cushman & Wakefield in India. She and her team work with the firm’s leadership team in India to support business growth and momentum as Cushman & Wakefield accelerates its market leadership in commercial real estate services in India. She is further responsible for developing and solidifying Cushman & Wakefield’s employer proposition and best practices to support the vision organization’s India teams.