New Delhi | Bengaluru:
So when Madhura Nadkarni joined as a graphics designer, she was given hand-crafted stationery; Sanya a big `Minion’ stuffed toy and Philann Paul got clothes from Forever 21. This is then followed by a cupcake to welcome them.
This isn’t the only startup that’s handling its pre-induction and induction innovatively . A slew of newage companies are trying their hand at appeasing their employees, sometimes even before they join. And with job-shopping becoming a trend, some companies are even doing away with `classroom-based’ spiels about company policies and ethics and are making their workplace a more inviting place to work at.
“Times have changed. Employees do not respond well to traditional methods of induction any more. Some are even using technology heavily in the induction process so that they can monitor them online,“ said Sonal Arora, assistant vice president, TeamLease Services.
At FreshMenu (a Bangalore-based company that delivers food), engagement with employees begins not on their first day but as soon as an employee is hired. The startup runs a `Food For Thought’ programme as part of its pre-on boarding engagement under which a handpicked lot of new hires can directly get into dialogues and small projects with senior executives.
The company also runs regular food-tasting sessions to get feedback on new recipes. Not for them the long sermons on company culture on the first day for new employees. Anita Menon, vice-president, HR said new joinees get to jump right into the process and observe it all right from meeting chefs and watching the food being prepared and packed, to accompanying the delivery people on motorbikes and interacting with the customers.
At Urban Ladder, too, each new joinee spends at least two days attending to customer calls and spends two days out on customer deliveries. “We are customer obsessed and feel it needs to be ingrained into all our new hires,“ said Geetika Mehta, director -HR for the furniture company .
Gozoop’s founder felt they must have ‘something contagious’ in their work culture. “Happiness to us was that universal language and so we built our culture around it,“ said Ahmed Naqvi.
While there’s an abundance of talent, part of the reason companies also want to keep employees engaged is because of high attrition rates. And that’s exactly what Housing.com is working towards eliminating. This year, the company will have an offline simulator during its next on-boarding. Last year, new employees were engaged in group activities like short-film making.
Some companies say employees don’t stop their search despite them closing the position. To counter that, Simplilearn has introduced a 30-day `Free Look Period’ from the date of joining. This time allows employees to understand their role, team dynamics, work culture and possible impact all this will have on their career. The period is an opportunity to ensure that the new hire and the company are a perfect fit with one another.
That’s equally true for FreeCharge, a recharge app company . It runs a Post Offer Candidate Engagement Process, four to eight weeks before an employee joins the company . At this time, the candidate is assigned a buddy who stays engaged with them, to interact, integrate and get access to workplace culture, norms and role expectations. There’s also an informal meet-and-greet session with the hiring managers, and laptops are sent to the employees before they join.
For startups for whom customer experience is a major area of focus, it’s not just the young employees who are the target of these innovative practices. At online grocery store ZopNow’s office, all senior hires make a visit to a store and review their operations. “This is done to ensure expectations are clearly aligned and that every new hire is excited about revolutionising online grocery shopping,“ said Mukesh Singh, founder and CEO.