"Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labour in freedom."
— Albert Einstein
With a dynamic workforce taking centre stage, freedom at work has become essential, and organisations have now started introducing novel ways to engage and motivate employees. While freedom leads to empowerment, it can be enjoyed thoroughly only if it is exercised with a sense of responsibility. Workplaces that strike a balance between individual aspirations and organisation goals, while ensuring that employees work within the scheme of organisation values, survive and stay ahead of the competition.
Today, companies are managing a multigenerational staff. Young women— better prepared and more ambitious than ever—are entering the workforce. To meet the changing demands of the new age personnel, organisations are trying hard to imbibe a culture where employees work with the luxury of freedom. From flexible working hours to work from home, extended maternity leave to opportunities to pursue hobbies while at work; organisations are identifying innovative ways to engage and retain talent. While companies offer employees such freedom, goals can be achieved when employees do not infringe upon their colleagues’ liberty. In such a case, organisation policies play an important role to ensure that employees have control over their freedom.
At HDFC Life, we have a code of conduct to ensure that employees adhere to its values. We have a whistle blower policy to keep malpractices (if any) under check. This framework of values and policies is not to police employees but to guarantee that employees are balancing freedom and core values such as people care, customer centricity, integrity, innovation, joy and simplicity.
A research by Great Place to Work Institute has revealed that best workplaces can be distinguished on the basis of three key parameters — Trust, Pride and Camaraderie. What differentiates these organisations from the rest is the fact that they have identified what freedom means to their employees. They sprout opportunities that allow the workforce to choose a career path that best suits their talents. These companies also furnish platforms to voice their opinions and ask questions.
For instance, at HDFC Life, we satiate 60 per cent of our vacant positions internally through competency based assessments and internal job postings to encourage talent within the organisation. We have introduced progressive policies like adoption leave, flexible working hours so that employees strike a good work-life balance. We’ve also created multiple platforms for employees to smoothen the communication with the top management.
Today’s leaders are expected to build engagement within the team. Those who allow their teams to learn and grow at their own pace, foster a healthy environment by providing opportunity to work within their strengths.
Organisations that recognise the importance of freedom at workplace reap the benefits of an engaged workforce. Subsequently, when employees are truly engaged in their work, values and goals of the organisation, it will only lead to success.
Mr. Ghag joined HDFC Life in September 2009 and has been spearheading the Human Resource function since then. Before HDFC Life, he was associated with DHL Express as Head of HR for India and Senior Advisor - Quality and Processes (First Choice Programme) for South Asia. He was one of the important members of the board and has travelled extensively across the globe as a trainer as well as a participant of various management conferences.View Complete Profile
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