The way we work must rank among the most important aspects of human life that have changed irrevocably after the Covid-19 pandemic. While companies and their employees initially grappled with the work-from-home challenge, and then came to terms with it without compromising on productivity, with the pandemic now receding somewhat, companies and the workforce are beginning to realise that the future of work will most likely be hybrid, a judicious mix of working from office and working from anywhere, whenever required. This must necessarily be a mix which should work for both sides—organisations must be sure they are getting the most productive output from their people, and employees should know their organisations can give them the flexibility of working from anywhere when they need it. But a preferred employer brand is much more than one which merely gives its people flexibility on the workplace front. A good organisation is one where its people want to come to work every Monday morning, one which clearly defines its purpose, core values and mission to its people, and creates an inclusive, enabling environment for them to achieve the best for themselves and for the organisation.
This is not mere theory. As this year’s Business Today-Taggd The Best Companies to Work For in India rankings demonstrate, companies across the spectrum are working on these aspects all the time, and those that are able to strike the balance between the demands of the organisation and the needs of the employee emerge as winning employer brands. Understanding how employees feel about the workplace is critical in these testing times, since happy, involved employees make successful companies. In this year’s rankings, flexibility at work appears as a common attribute among several winners, indicating the importance of this metric in a post-Covid-19 scenario. But equally important are attributes like the clarity of company goals, and growth and learning opportunities—these are areas where most of the companies which are at the top end of this year’s rankings are according great emphasis. Take this year’s No. 1 company Amazon India, for example. While it has a flexible work mode with leaders empowered to decide on that for their teams, it also has a daily work satisfaction survey for employees which provide it actionable pointers. Google India, which ranks No. 2, uses multiple data points to understand how Googlers feel while also giving its employees global day-offs to take a break and recharge themselves. Tata Consultancy Services, which finishes third, has a programme—Elevate—to develop its next generation of leaders, 36 per cent of its workforce is women, and respect for individuals is a core value. As you read the stories of this year’s winners, it will become clear that the best organisations are those which put their people at the core of their strategy.
Elsewhere in this issue, Krishna Gopalan and Bismah Malik bring you the story of the BharatPe mess, where one of the most exciting new fintech unicorns is imploding under the weight of alleged financial misdemeanours and a blinding need to grow faster than usual. The story of how Ashneer Grover finally had to leave BharatPe is as much a lesson for him as it is for super-aggressive start-up founders who fall victim to their own ambition.
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