Business Today

Employees as Customers

Adobes philosophy of mobility, flexibility and easy collaborationis helping it attract high-quality talent.
By Sonal Khetarpal   Delhi     Print Edition: March 12, 2017
Employees as Customers
Abdul Jaleel (in front), Vice President, Employee Experience, Adobe India, with employees in Bangalore (Photo: Nilotpal Baruah)

When Adobe India employees asked it to include online courses in their training programmes, it took the company very little time to meet the demand. It now offers hundreds of courses as part of its education assistance policy; as a result, the usage of its education support programme has increased 18 times. It is this agility and flexibility that the company imbibed as part of its makeover one-and-a-half years ago, when it started offering products using cloud technology instead of CDs, that has stood it in good stead with employees. "We wanted our employees to enjoy the benefits that the customers would get from cloud, namely mobility, flexibility and easy collaborations," says Abdul Jaleel, Vice President, Employee Experience. "This change had to be translated into the way we work, how we collaborate and where we work," he says.

The company redesigned its three campuses, two in Delhi-NCR and one in Bangalore, for its 5,000 employees with 'workplace as home' philosophy. The rationale was to offer employees the freedom to be mobile and choose where and how they want to work. They can now decide whether they want to work from workstation, lounge, café, focus room or the garden.

The refashioning exercise was complemented by a change in people policies too. Now, the underlying theme is to treat employees as new customers. The practice of tracking work hours has been withdrawn. So has been the annual exercise of pinning people on the bell curve for appraisal. This has been replaced by a real-time feedback system to allow two-way conversation between the employee and the manager throughout the year so that each person gets a voice. As more and more companies recognise the importance of wellness and health, Adobe India, apart from having gym and fitness classes, also reimburses employees for fitness equipment they buy for their family. Also, to ensure better work-life integration and diversity at workplace, maternity leave has been extended to 26 weeks. Plus, it organises wellness programmes for mothers and makes extra effort for their integration when they return to work after a break. As a result, close to 22 per cent employees are now women.

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