In the past few days, the $11billion e-commerce giant, Flipkart is not only trending on all the social media sites, but is also getting a lot of positive attention for the numerous employee friendly initiatives it has come up with. After the announcement of the new Maternity Policy, which entitles a mother for a 6-month paid leave, an extended 1 year leave (career break without pay), reimbursement and other benefits, the company announced its new Adoption policy on Monday. Under this policy, employees are eligible for paid adoption leave and Rs 50,000 adoption allowance to use towards legal, agency and regulatory costs or any other costs that may arise during the adoption process. Also the adoption leave for mothers are the same amount of time as maternity leave policy, which is (6 months paid leave + 4 months of flexible working hours).
Commenting on the recent policy announcements, Chief People Officer, Mekin Maheshwari, Flipkart highlighted, "At Flipkart, we want to create a world class work environment. We want to support women employees, achieve work-life balance as they continue to focus on their careers. With the introduction of these policies, Flipkart aims to create a safe, secure and an inclusive work atmosphere."
According to a recent media report, some of the other big companies like Accenture gives 22 weeks of paid maternity leave, and eight weeks of fully paid adoption leave for primary caregivers of an adopted child. Google offers new mothers up to 20 weeks of paid maternity leave and seven weeks as adoption leave. It also reimburses up to Rs.10, 000 in expenses related to adoption. Vodafone has 16 weeks of paid maternity leave and one working week of paternity leave, but no adoption policy.
Expert Take on Flipkart’s new Policies:
Harish Bijoor, CEO, Harish Bijoor Consults said, “An excellent move by Flipkart for sure. The signals are right and positions Flipkart as an employee-friendly company that does believe that it runs because of its employees, and not despite them, as some companies imagine.”
Ramanujam Sridhar, Founder and CEO, Brand-comm commented, “Bangalore is like the e-commerce and start-up capital of India and currently there is a lot of activity taking place in the e-commerce space. Flipkart has the most prominent and the successful story to share, successful not in the sense of their Profit &Loss sheet, but in terms of creating and introducing concepts. People working at Flipkart are those who are tried and tested in a very competitive environment and they know how to meet the everyday customer demand. So these policy announcements are to protect and ensure that the backbone of the company, employees are well taken care of.”
Nitin Mantri, President, PRCAI (Public Relations Consultants Association of India) and CEO, Avian Media feels that today companies are looking at different ways for retention and in any organisation; working mothers form the core employees. “So such kind of employee friendly initiatives, not only increases the loyalty of employees but is also beneficial for the company, in terms of the cost involved. (It is going to cost a company more if you are going to hire new people as against if you decide to retain your old employee.) E-commerce is a space which goes through high attrition rate and the employable talent is also very limited. So steps taken by Flipkart are in the right direction,” he said.
On the other hand, Bansi Raja, Happiness Officer, Gozoop (recently recognised as one of the top 100 best companies to work with by The Great Places to Work Study in association with The Economic Times.) said, “While Flipkart’s new policy will not lead to any drastic difference helping to retain employees, it is a commendable initiative for those who've been long pondering on the thought of adopting a child. The 6 month paid leave for adoptive parents’ shows great support & greater job security. Employee friendly policies must be deeply meaningful to make a difference. Building a great workplace is about creating an environment where your people can thrive to be their best and find satisfaction in doing so. If our focus lies in that, policies like these may not be necessary."
Non-monetary Employee benefits
Some of the new e-commerce players like ShopClues and Sports 365.in give non-monetary benefits to their employees, to keep them happy and also increase their loyalty towards the company.
Radhika Aggarwal, Co-founder and Chief Business Officer, ShopClues said, “We have a holistic employee wellness policy. We have a corporate tie up with premium gyms and fitness studios to encourage our employees to lead a fit life. We arrange for regular health camps, nutrition talks, dental check-ups & self-defense workshop for female employees. Over the last one year, we have managed to attract top talent from different industries thanks to its employee-friendly work environment. Human Resource Policies such as flexi-timing, liberal leave policies, ample reward and recognition opportunities have played an important role in the high retention rates.”
Aashutosh Chaudhari - Co-Founder and Vice President, Sports365.in elaborated, “Talking about the Flipkart’s new policies, there are very few companies in today’s world who make such kind of policies and benefits for their employees and the Adoption Policy is one of the noble benefits for the society as well. Due to hectic and stressful corporate life there are many cases where the couples can’t experience the feel of parenthood but of course at any moment of time they can adopt a kid and make someone’s life. This kind of allowance will boost the morale of the parents who will have a second thought for such kind of decision. Building such kind of confidence among employees takes lot of time and investment but the strategies taken by Flipkart are really commendable.”
“We being a sports company, every month we conduct one sports activity wherein all employees either male or female have to participate. Also, all the employees have to keep a track of their health and these points play a very important role in an individual performance appraisal discussion. The reason is we believe that a healthy brain lives in a healthy body”, he cited.