Advertisement

Read 4300 times

Celebrate the return of mother employee
Lipi Agrawal | HRKatha | New Delhi | Monday, 13 November 2017

RSS Feed
Pin It
Rate this item
(191 votes)

A century-old real estate company Cushman & Wakefield (C&W) follows very simple practices to welcome returning mothers.

When a mother joins back work from a 6-months long maternity leave, she goes through an emotional turmoil. She is on a guilt trip of leaving her baby. Besides, she knows, on the job front, she needs to catch up fast on the six months she has lost in between – in today’s fast-paced environment, changes are rapid. That’s an added pressure on her.

What little an organisation and her colleagues can do in such situations is to make this come-back a happy moment for her. Remember, she hasn’t come back from a fun-filled holiday trip.

It’s an unwritten truth that many organisations see women employees as a cost burden. Then there are also organisations, which make the mother employee feel that they were missed for their absence, and now they are welcome back at work.

Women not only bring in more emotional intelligence than men, but are also able to manage their emotions better. In addition, they are more focussed and perseverant.

A century-old real estate company Cushman & Wakefield (C&W) follows very simple practices to welcome returning mothers.

The comeback is celebrated by the entire staff and her workstation is turned into a celebration desk. It is decorated with pictures of the family, to facilitate easy transition to work and she is greeted with goodies. The effort is to make this day a memorable one for her.

C&W allows working mothers to travel with their infant (up to two years), along with a childcare assistant, for which the entire cost is borne by the Company itself!

“The idea is to allow the returning mother to feel connected to the family and the new born, even at the workplace. It helps some women draw inspiration and focus more on work. We call it ‘second home’,” says Deepali Bhardwaj, executive director-HR, Cushman & Wakefield.

The company also has an incredible travel for work policy in place. It allows working mothers to travel with their infant (up to two years), along with a childcare assistant, for which the entire cost is borne by the Company itself!

Bhardwaj says, “Gender diversity at C&W, is not about number of women in the team, it is to provide women a working environment that’s conducive and supportive so that they are better able to manage both their personal and professional lives, and at the same time allows a smooth career progression and growth opportunities.”

Deepali Bhardwaj

It organises a diversity week every year, wherein it has women mentoring and leadership programmes that offers sustained coaching for potential leaders, helping deserving women climb up the leadership ladder. This is evident from the fact that many women employees who started as a fresher with the company have now taken up leadership roles.

In addition, C&W allows flexi-hours to returning mothers. It has provided an extension of maternity leave, beyond the six months, in special cases, whenever required.

The Company not just believes that diversity and inclusion have been the key catalysts for its growth and survival over the years, it even acts on it.

For instance, the referral policy at Cushman & Wakefield is such that it offers 20 per cent extra bonus to those who refer women candidates or the differently abled. The Company is now looking to recruit an all women batch in the coming year.

The comeback is celebrated by the entire staff and her workstation is turned into a celebration desk. It is decorated with pictures of the family, to facilitate easy transition to work and she is greeted with goodies. The effort is to make this day a memorable one for her.

C&W has seen positive results in these efforts. Its women brokers handle the best of the deals for the Company.

Bhardwaj quips that women not only bring in more emotional intelligence than men, but are also able to manage their emotions better. In addition, they are more focussed and perseverant.

This is why, even in a primarily male-dominant sector, C&W has made efforts to sustain a significant gender-diversity ratio. When many companies see huge attrition at the mid-level with women usually quitting after their maternity break, most of C&W women employees continue even after the break.

Not just on gender-diversity, the real estate company has special impetus on specially-abled talent and also covers ethnicities, generations, religions and more.

Bhardwaj shares that the company has provisions for special medical exigencies for not just the women employees but the entire staff.

“All this is about living the vision, making it reflect in our practices and ensuring our people work in a stress-free environment, which is key to being a truly diverse and inclusive workplace,” Bhardwaj adds.

Unlike other one-time counselling sessions, Cushman & Wakefield also has a facility of a 24/7 online mental and emotional counselling service for its employees. This service, which ensures 100 per cent confidentiality for its users, is available for the employees’ families as well, all free of cost!

Bhardwaj is of the opinion that having a diverse workforce allows them an edge, as people from different backgrounds, genders or ethnicities bring in a diversity of thought that forms the soul of a successful business. As the organisation completes 20 years in India, it’s looking to further strengthen its workforce in terms of diversity.

Cushman & Wakefield's referral policy offers 20 per cent extra bonus to those who refer women candidates or the differently abled.

“Diversity and inclusion are not just a drive but a part of our culture. The organisation’s vision is clear and all our leaders, and our people see it as a joint mandate to encourage and support diversity in all its forms in the workplace,” Bhardwaj concludes.

© 2016 HR Katha
Last modified on Monday, 13 November 2017

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated. HTML code is not allowed.