In Conversation with Sunaina Mattoo Khanna, Chief People Officer, Bajaj Capital on Total Rewards in Hybrid Work Model
Sunaina Mattoo Khanna is Chief People Officer at Bajaj Capital. In her role, she is responsible for managing all the aspects of HR for Bajaj Capital. Under her leadership, the company has been recognized as Smart Place to work in India by Acer, Great Place to work in India by Great Place to Work Inc., Best Place to Work in India by Business Today, etc.
Among other awards that she won on an individual basis, some are ‘Young HR Professional of the Year’ by World HRD Congress for the Year 2011-2012, Woman Super Achiever Award and Young HR Achiever Award.
Mrs Khanna has done her MBA (HR) from Pune University, India. She undertook various other reputed programmes which included a Management Development Programme on Talent Acquisition from ISB, Hyderabad, a certification programme on “Balanced Scorecard” from Fore School of Management, Delhi and programmes on Financial Planning organised by FPA in Denver, USA.
Q. What’s your plan to call employees back to the office?
Our management has taken a careful and a planned decision to allow employees to join the workplace in offices. We are already back to office and have started participating more actively towards the growth of the company.
To be on the safer side and also to keep the office areas less dense, currently, it has been decided to call employees to the office on roaster basis.
This ensures that only half of the workforce strength is available during office hours on any given day. Daily sanitization activities of all the work areas within the office premises is conducted for the safety of the employees.
Usage of masks, sanitizer and maintaining social distancing has become the norm across all the departments.
Q. Most of the companies are working on a Return to Office plan. In your opinion, what is the role of employee benefits in motivating staff to return to work?
Extending the right support at the right time is an essential part of an employee motivation programme. In the year gone by, there were lots of apprehensions in the mind of employees.
This year in January, we decided to reward all our contributing employees. This kept them not only motivated towards their work but also dispelled any fears about their job.
The management decision played out well and even after the second wave arrived, we saw enhanced participation of the employees.
Now, as things are returning to a more stable environment, the focus is on employee safety with growth – both for the company and the employees.
Q. What are the Total Rewards that work great for Hybrid Work Model and help to boost employee efficiency and engagement?
Keeping employees engaged and making them involved in any work-related activity keeps them motivated towards their job. In employee engagement, the winning moment is the key.
There needs to be constant recognition as and when the employees excel in their area of work. We keep running various contests for the employees across different departments to make them achieve newer heights and win the contest.
Along with the recognition, they stand to get e-vouchers of leading marketplaces such as Amazon, Flipkart etc. Such a form of recognition and reward has been successfully running for the company so far and helps in increasing employee efficiency and engagement.
No matter whether employees are working from home or office, our Total Rewards model works great for Hybrid Work Model.
Q. Employee Retention has come out as a big challenge in the Hybrid Work Model, what can companies do to deal with it?
Building confidence amongst employees and constant communication is the key to retaining talent. It is important that there is a constant flow of communication between the employee and the management.
They should not be felt ignored or neglected and, therefore, keeping all the channels open for them to address their concerns is important. Towards this, we conducted a confidential survey with the employees, through ‘Chat Bot Leena’ to know the pulse of our employees.
We understood that doing the same job for a longer period of time doesn’t bring motivation, challenges, recognition but telling them that their work is adding value to the organization is important.
Other than promotions, appraisals, incentives and contests keep them more involved and motivated towards work. We invest a lot in employee engagement as well to keep our people and their families connected with the brand.
Q. How do you see the Compensation trends in this year and near future?
Things have started to improve and market sentiments are showing growing signs for further growth in the future. Although the real picture may vary across sectors, our area of work is showing improved confidence and signs of prosperity.
Going by the trend, corporates are not only taking measures to retain good quality talent but also giving them options to grow themselves within the company. We will continue to cherry-pick to retain our best employees and provide skill improvement opportunities to others to grow their talent.
Q. Any concluding comments?
During these times, our management took some extraordinary steps in helping employees maintain their work-life balance. Employees were initially seen struggling to maintain the balance between personal and professional life thus affecting their physical and mental wellbeing.
At Bajaj Capital, we launched two communication series – Live and Work Well and Let’s Dare to Self Care, where we shared daily tips on how team members can adopt small habits that would help them bring that balance while making self-care a priority.
We conducted several sessions for our Team Members with our Managing Director and Ikigai Coach Mr Rajiv Bajaj and helped them in finding the purpose in Life.
Of the several such sessions, there was a De-Stress Webinar With Mental Wellbeing Expert, Happiness Habits with Nithya Shanti, Boosting Immunity through Yoga with Ira Trivedi and three exclusive sessions with Dr Uppoor – Inner Health With Ayurveda for Post Covid Outer Life, Health, Well-being in Pandemic times and Managing Menopause – The Ayurveda Way.
Thank you, Sunaina!