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Mahindra & Mahindra’s secret to being a great employer: Inclusion at the deepest level
Lipi Agrawal | HRKatha | New Delhi | Monday, 15 May 2017

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People in the company always know how crucial they are to the success of the organisation and how they fit into the scheme of things.

In an organisation with over two lakh employees, enabling communication to the core holds the key to success. Easier said than done, communication from the topmost to the lowest level ensures transparency and trust. It lays the foundation for inclusion in its true sense and at Mahindra & Mahindra, people always know how crucial they are to the success of the organisation and how they fit into the scheme of things.

Rajeshwar Tripathi, chief people officer, Mahindra & Mahindra, tells HRKatha that, “People should be able to see meaning in what they are doing, and we have a carefully-defined process to ensure the same for each employee across levels.” The company invests immensely into communicating with employees across ranks to make them aware of the way their role is aligned with the organisational objectives.

The whole process of goal setting, performance delivery and assessment is so elaborate and clear that it also further strengthens the company’s belief in transparency and inclusion. Beginning with setting business targets, followed by environmental scan, the plan for each financial year is shared across the establishment, such that it reaches the last person in the organisation.

“There is a strong cascading communication process called ‘Reach out’, which ensures that even those at the lowest level in the organisation know exactly how they will contribute to its growth and success,” shares Tripathi. There’s a lot of planning and meticulous implementation that goes behind achieving the same.
“There is zero differentiation between the blue-collar and white-collar workforce in terms of policies.”

At the very beginning of every financial year, a month before the ‘Reach out’ programme, the company organises ‘MBR Day’ (Management by Results Day), where the previous year’s performance is revisited and the MD addresses the senior management, setting the goals and targets for the year.

Once the goal sheets are prepared, the senior leaders then begin cascading the information down to various levels, departments and teams, through live and pre-recorded videos shared across the organisation. Within 30 days, every employee gets to know about the organisational goals and their role in facilitating the achievement of the same. With that, each individual gets a goal sheet that’s derived from the larger goal plan. That way, starting at the organisational level, there are departmental goals, team goals and then individual goals to fulfil so that each employee sees the larger picture and not just an individual growth path.

“Deliberately and thoughtfully, we have nurtured a culture where people respect each other for their differences. People respect diversity of thoughts and ideas so much so that we have seen various teams more than willing to have people from different regions and backgrounds with them.”

It is clear how Mahindra & Mahindra appreciates the dynamics of interdependence, collaboration and teamwork. In this context, Tripathi says, “We are very careful that people respect each other; whether it is respect for different thought processes, bringing in diversity of thoughts, or for bringing in people from different regions, these values are embedded in our people.”

Even the hiring at Mahindra & Mahindra is in line with this belief. Tripathi shares that the company visits every corner of the country to hire freshers from various institutes, not limiting to particular states or institutes. “Deliberately and thoughtfully, we have nurtured a culture where people respect each other for their differences. People respect diversity of thoughts and ideas so much so that we have seen various teams more than willing to have people from different regions and backgrounds with them,” he reveals.

Under its philosophy of inclusion, the company is also cognizant of how it treats its people. Irrespective of the levels or hierarchies, and despite the differences in perks or salaries at various levels, people at Mahindra & Mahindra are treated equally —each individual is free to share her/his thoughts. The senior leadership is extremely encouraging and easily approachable for anyone to share their views or suggestions.

“Engagement comes from within. It cannot be achieved by trying to make people happy with a new seating arrangement or a swanky office, as these measures are short-lived and soon become a hygiene, and people then start looking for new motivators.”

Furthermore, bridging the gap between the white-collared and blue-collared employees, the people processes at the organisation ensure that both cadres receive the same kind of rights and benefits when it comes to policies, such as grievance redressal, whistle-blowing, leave, sexual harassment, human rights and more.  “There is zero differentiation between the blue-collar and white-collar workforce in terms of policies,” says Tripathi.

Another beautiful concept that makes Mahindra & Mahindra a great workplace is its belief in intrinsic engagement. Tripathi says, “Engagement comes from within. It cannot be achieved by trying to make people happy with a new seating arrangement or a swanky office, as these measures are short-lived and soon become a hygiene, and people then start looking for new motivators.”

Hence, the company focusses more on the intrinsic motivators or the key drivers for engagement—work content being the most effective one. The feeling of being engaged comes from within when people are happy with the kind of work they do. Therefore, it is important for organisations to ensure that each individual has a relevant role or work content—that excites them, provides them enough challenges and choice of careers through internal job postings.

Last but not the least, Tripathi shares that the organisation strongly believes in continuous improvement and that is what brings its people together. The constant endeavour to improve on everything, the humility to accept mistakes and the courage for course correction, whenever required, is what keeps it moving in the right direction for growth and success.

© 2016 HR Katha
Last modified on Tuesday, 16 May 2017

4 comments

  • Comment Link Jayesh Chawan Sunday, 28 May 2017 posted by Jayesh Chawan

    Sir, you have mentioned very relevant points like intrinsic engagement, continuous improvement, top down communication approach, transparency in performance management, cultural diversity and all employees knowing how their efforts are leading to team, department and org level goals. Thanks for sharing, very insightful Sir.

  • Comment Link Sutar Rushikesh Rajendra Saturday, 27 May 2017 posted by Sutar Rushikesh Rajendra

    Its really true

  • Comment Link Verrendra Prasad Vuyyuru Thursday, 25 May 2017 posted by Verrendra Prasad Vuyyuru

    I like the sentence 'People should know the meaning of what they are doing'.

  • Comment Link Kalyanaraman Tuesday, 16 May 2017 posted by Kalyanaraman

    Its really true and more practical experience.

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