Total Rewards for Global Capability Centers (GCCs) in India

Flexibility can be extended to Benefit programs like leave management (option to choose their own Public holidays Vs pre-defined list of holidays), Rewards and Recognition – let the employee decide their rewards.

There has been a steady growth in GCCs in India over the past decade. The growth coupled with changing the technology landscape has posed significant challenges for GCCs. The tools and processes which are currently beings used may become obsolete in the near future thus making the current skill sets redundant and creating a need for new skills. With a limited talent pool and comparators from different segments – Product Companies, Start-ups, and 3rd Parties, the need to attract and retain the best talent is paramount. Simultaneously there are continuous cost pressures on the GCCs thereby forcing you to re-think your Reward Strategy and create offerings to help succeed in this war for talent. With a plethora of offers available, the below questions may help in revamping your approach towards Total Rewards.

How relevant is your staff?

To address the challenge of talent availability, it is important to ensure that your current employees are relevant to the current needs of the industry. There is an urgent need to channelize your energy toward “Upskilling and Reskilling” your current workforce to be able to meet the challenges of tomorrow. More than creating training programs to help employees develop the required skill-sets, there is a strong need for changing the culture of the organization. Hiring for the company needs to take precedence over hiring for individual processes. Managers and Business leaders would need to let go of their employees to other processes else they will end up losing them to the competition. Without this change in culture, you will end up training the employees for external markets rather than retaining them for your company.

How practical is the offering for your organization? 

To understand the TR practices in the market benchmarking exercise plays an important role. It is more important to understand which of these practices are relevant in the context of your organization. Only because one firm is providing a benefit or some program worked well for your previous organization does not mean that you will have similar success in the current organization.

“A lot of times key programs fall through the crack as they may be irrelevant for the employee base. For instance, if the majority employee strength is 25 to 30 years old, then launching benefits like Top Up Medical Insurance policy or a retirement benefits plan may not have high utilization.”

To stay relevant, it is crucial to understand the requirement of the employees. There are annual surveys to gauge the feedback from the employees however the need of the hour is to have frequent dialogue through Focused Group Discussions, 1-0-1 discussion, Suggestion Box or Open House. These programs not only help us understand the pulse of the floor but also make corrections on-the-go where ever possible. Employees can see visible changes to their requests which further helps in driving a culture of open conversations and dialogue.

What is the driver behind your strategy?

Gone are the days where a designated team would sit to take key Total Reward decisions. Companies these days are not only launching programs that are employee-driven but also creating forums where initiatives are driven by the employees. Since there is representation from all employee groups in these forums, there are more ideas and deliberation around what activities an organization can undertake in a given budget. Like-minded employees come together and form clubs (Book Club, Meditation club, etc) thereby creating a social network within the organization. The ideas generated by these Forums are closer to the needs of the employee and thus have wider acceptance leading to higher participation, an increase in employee morale and a healthy environment that fosters productivity and creativity.

Are you doing enough with your rewards?

Employees spend almost 40% of their time every day in office. They are spending more time with you than with their families. Is giving just a trophy, certificate or voucher enough? How are you creating a personal touch in the rewards that you give? There are ways in which you can make an employee feel valued. Celebrate their important days like birthdays, promotions, service anniversaries not only with other employees but also look beyond and see if we can include their families in these celebrations. Imagine the value a reward would create if you provide personal time (birthday leaves), send a thank you note to the family members on employee’s key achievements in office or give a memento with a testimonial from office colleagues and friends. All this not only brings a personal touch to the employee’s life but also adds a memory of the reward which has much larger recall than any memento or monetary award. It also goes to say that we as employers care.

How flexible are your rewards?

With multiple generations working in the same office, “one size fits all” is no longer an effective approach. Each employee is different and should be treated differently. A simple start would be to let employees choose their salary structure. Based on Income Tax rules and individual preferences, one can not only select their allowances but also opt for retirement benefits in the form of the Voluntary Provident Fund and National Pension Scheme (NPS). Flexibility can be extended to Benefit programs like leave management (option to choose their own Public holidays Vs pre-defined list of holidays), Rewards and Recognition – let the employee decide their rewards.

In addition to the above, there are flexible work options like – Flexi timings, Flexi working hours or working from home. GCCs do face a challenge to offer these benefits, especially for client-facing roles as timings need to match with the stakeholders and connectivity issues while logging in from home can be a deterrent. The second challenge which the GCCs are facing is the impact on the productivity of the employees due to hours spent on traffic. With the advent of co-working spaces, this Flexi offering is becoming a big boon and is going to keep you thinking of moving to a virtual office environment.

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