The growing corporate world has a proportionally ballooning HR problem: an unengaged and disconnected workforce. Among others, outdated office policies that continue to linger on in the modern workplace leave employees questioning the relevance of such. Those who are brave enough to challenge company policies, however, sometimes face backlash.
If you have ever found yourself in such situations, know that you are definitely not alone. ADP Research Institute’s survey published in 2018 shows that, while Indian employees rank better than others globally, many of them are still not fully engaged at work. Over 70% of employees are simply “Coming to work instead of contributing all they could to their organizations.”
Various people with different backgrounds join an organization bringing with them diverse work cultures and experiences that influence the policies of a company. This may at times also shape a company’s set of standards on people management.
Consider as well that a fraction of a company’s employees come from traditional companies whose approach to management is a type of “black and white” compliance with minimum regulation from the government. These kinds of organizations tend to end up as policy-driven companies that prefer convenient compliance with existing regulations.
A company’s approach to people management influences a person’s choice of employment and length of tenure. The more employee-centered a company is, the better. That is why the search for a company that is willing to be flexible with its practices in view of employee wellbeing is one of the factors that employees take into consideration.
And this is where organizations with a people-first approach excel at. At TaskUs, in particular, we acknowledge that there is a “gray area” where leaders could inject a human touch or element in managing their workforce. This is how practices that prioritize the wellness of employees trump established policies.
In India, the majority of companies have stuck to their traditional policies for the sake of compliance. Fortunately, at TaskUs, our people have come to realize that things can be changed and the status quo could be challenged. We empower our team to live by our core values and not be afraid to be “ridiculously good” in introducing newer practices that go beyond established policies. The results? Very promising.
Programs Implemented at TaskUs India
We’ve introduced this non-conformist “gray area” in people management in at least two areas: employee benefits and a work-from-home setup.
Benefits such as government-mandated health benefits clubbed with company health insurance contribute to an employee’s overall wellbeing. The usual practice though is to limit an employee’s health insurance depending on his or her position in the company.
But with an inclination to disrupt the industry, we at TaskUs provide employees the opportunity to avail of quality healthcare services from private hospitals regardless of their job level. Early this year, we also announced that we will be covering the costs of COVID-19 vaccination for all employees and their dependents globally. We recognize that people’s health should always be a priority.
Our employees take comfort in the fact that their company has their back in distressing times of need or illness. Having one less thing to worry about definitely fosters productivity and engagement at work.
The leave policy in India is also another aspect that we’ve changed—given that the usual practice is that accumulated leave balances are only encashed upon termination of employment. But employee feedback encouraged us to take a different approach: monetize accumulated leaves of employees at the end of every year.
The idea that leaves are not a right but merely a privilege has to be challenged. Giving employees control over their leaves—when to go on a break or when to monetize it—facilitates accountability at the workplace. We have observed reduced rates of absenteeism and better quality of work as a result of this practice. It also encouraged our employees to use their leaves wisely as they balance their mental and financial wellbeing.
The other “gray area” that we pride ourselves in is our work-from-home setup. We were among the first in the industry to announce such at the height of the pandemic—when countries began closing their borders and implemented lockdown measures.
But moving critical equipment while maintaining security and privacy standards is no easy feat. Nevertheless, it was imperative to put people first in our operations, and computers were transported to our Teammates’ homes while an IT infrastructure was quickly installed to ensure business continuity.
In any crisis situation, the health and wellbeing of people have to be considered a priority. And with the business running, Teammates are assured of keeping their jobs. The trust that we have given our employees in this virtual environment has surely been requited with client satisfaction ratings up.
Feedback from employees
From having a people-first mentality to going over and beyond the given standard, we want our employees to feel that we are different in a positive way and that they made the right choice to join TaskUs.
Our employees appreciate a company that thinks of their overall wellbeing and genuinely cares for them. Of course, company leaders also temper themselves in implementing newer practices as employees are not always open to frequent changes. People still need a sense of consistency and being settled at work.
With India having reasonable manpower costs and a pool of skilled, English-speaking professionals, it’s no surprise that a lot of companies favor the Indian market to invest in. This is also the reason why the country has seen a boom in the outsourcing industry over the past years. But with all the different companies coming in, a people-first mentality, not only in words but in actions, will always set one apart.
Employees will naturally gravitate towards an organization that takes care of its people. A good set of core values—and that are truly put into practice—encourages employees to perform their tasks exceptionally well.
To challenge the status quo and be different from the rest is not a walk in the park, but it surely is rewarding. Our satisfaction ratings and retention rates, which are significantly higher than other companies in the industry, only prove that we are doing the right thing. We go beyond what others expect from an outsourcing company, and we do what it takes to get there.