Disha 2016, Day 4: Sophos – Employee Engagement: Priorities and Practices – Mr. Akchansh – Vice-President – Corporate HR and Shared Services, LAVA International

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The fourth day of Disha 2016 saw Mr. Akchansh of LAVA International interact with the students of TAPMI in a session on Employee Engagement. To give an example of employee engagement, he spoke about how the Indian army delivers in adverse conditions and lays down their lives in spite of there being no rule book prescribing them to do so. He also gave an example of the employees and staff of the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel who acted as human shields during the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai.

According to him, Employee Engagement is the extent to which employees feel passionate about their work, are committed to the organization and put discretionary effort into their work. It is more of an emotional connect. He spoke of the three most important values at LAVA – integrity, adaptability and passion for excellence. Moving further, the reason why employee engagement is important because it leads to improved service, productivity and quality, which improves customer satisfaction, leads to increased sales and profits and ultimately to increased shareholder wealth.

He showed the Gallup Q-12 question set on employee engagement that link powerfully to key business outcomes. The most important of these questions is whether the employee knows what is expected of them at work. He stressed on the importance of rewarding a person within a short span of time for the action that he has carried out, rather than doing so, may be, six months down the line. He also said that a manager has done a good job if he is able to match the organization’s needs with the employee’s needs. Managers must have informal communication with employees. It also important to ensure employees see the larger objective of the organization while carrying out their work.

To end with, he spoke of some of the practices at LAVA such as their Internal Job Rotation (IJP) policy, which ensures employees are able to rotate from one job to a more relevant job. LAVA also provides Peer to Peer recognition platforms and has an Education Assistance policy that funds people in order to enable them to learn inside the organization.

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