How FITTR Reached A Milestone Of 50:50 Gender Ratio

This is a significant achievement in light of the historical gender imbalance in the tech and fitness industry. However, it didn’t happen by chance. Instead, it was the result of new recruitment strategies and HR policies targeted at retaining and increasing female employees.


"Achieving a 50:50 diversity is no small feat by a start-up and we want to showcase that Fittr is one such start-up that is focusing on implementing strong diversity policies in the workplace," states  Priyanka Khandelwal, Head Of People, FITTR. From innovative approaches to advanced HR practices, the health & fitness start-up has actively focussed on putting its employees at the forefront and making them the ambassadors of the brand.

1. Acknowledging employees empowers them and can help create a positive company culture, increases the company’s revenue and more. What are some of the employee reward strategies that have worked well for your organisation?

Rewarding employees makes them feel valued and more motivated - this can help boost the overall productivity and success of the organisation. Successful reward management strategies offer the employees opportunities to enhance themselves. Nowadays, the modern generation of workers are more interested in rewards that help with self-enhancement, add to the lifestyle or improve their wellbeing, rather than just financial benefits. An effective reward management strategy promotes a healthy work-life balance that allows employees to feel and perform their best. Keeping this in mind, at Fittr, we initiated programmes to help our employees transform their lifestyles. Till December 2021, we had always provided a nutrition coach to employees and used to organise weekly online workout sessions. However, we did not receive the desired feedback. A moment of empathy with the employees made us realise they require motivation to start their fitness journey.

With appraisals coming up, we decided to introduce a Health KPI, in which employees who meet their fitness targets receive a 3% appraisal added to their yearly performance bonus. This reward strategy has been well-received by all the employees. Because of this incentive, we got active participation from almost 33% of our overall workforce. They took part in the transformation challenge and produced outstanding results. We gathered feedback from their coaches, which helped us grade fairly because not everyone was comfortable sharing videos regularly.

2. Clarity of aim and well-drafted directions are pivotal in the smooth functioning of an organisation. Do you think your HR initiatives have helped your employees feel more connected to the overall mission of the organisation?

A company's mission, vision and values are like its baton, always helping stay focused on the overall goal. We aim to help employees align themselves with the organisation's long-term mission and vision through our HR initiatives. We all are aware of the innumerable lifestyle diseases that plague our lives. For example, by 2030 almost 98 million people would be diabetic in India. At Fittr, we aim to change these unhealthy lifestyle patterns by transforming millions of lives.

I think introducing the transformation challenge for employees helped employees bring closer to our firm's mission. Now that most of them are working towards keeping themselves healthy, they are helping deliver fitness to the world with more diligence and passion.

3. How many employees have been given the 3% appraisal for transforming themselves and achieving the health KPI? Can you share some inspiring employee transformation stories?

Last month 60 out of 184 of employees were rewarded with 3% appraisal for completing the transformation challenge and achieving the Health KPI. Here are one of those few people with inspiring transformation stories -

Name - Harshada Patil

Department - Human Resources

Time taken for transformation - 3 months

Coach - Sanyog Halarnkar

As a working professional living away from my family, I have to balance my career with my entire personal life – cooking, running my home, shopping, and doing everything alone! I never thought I’d be able to find a place for fitness in my hectic schedule.

But as a FITTR employee, I was always in conflict with myself – seeing my colleagues and the community members putting in so much effort to become fit and healthy despite their challenges was motivating. Looking at them, I knew I had to do something about my current lifestyle, which was full of stress, lack of sleep, insufficient protein intake, not having enough whole foods and a generally poor relationship with food. I was ready to start my transformation journey when the Employee Edition of Transformation Challenge 15 began.

I took it one day at a time and stayed consistent even on the days when I didn’t feel like it. Soon, I saw my strength levels increase, and my eating patterns improve. I have gone from eating a meagre 1200 kcal to quickly consuming 2400 kcal every day, and my basic workout plan has progressed so much that I am now performing compound lifts! Even my weight is back up and is touching 50 kg. I’ve come a long way, but I’m still focusing on getting better.

The progress isn’t just on the weighing scale, either. My clothing size has gone from XS to S, my strength levels have improved considerably, and my quality of life and health is better than ever! None of this would have been possible without my mentor Sanyog, who is the perfect balance of strict and understanding, friendly and knowledgeable. Working with FITTR is a gift, and I am proud to be a part of this company and community. Many miles walked, and many more to go!

4. Engaging the employees and turning them into brand ambassadors is more than just good HR. It’s great for marketing, too. What are your thoughts on this?

Employees are the organisation's doers, problem solvers, thinkers, creators, communicators, and innovators. They are the company's soul and the single most critical component in its success. Employees are inspired to put their best foot forward if they are active players in building the organisation - this can help them identify their direct contribution to its success and resonate with its vision.

At Fittr, we actively share the transformation stories of our users. After their transformation, some of these users turn into fitness coaches and share their learnings with others. These people are assets to our organisation as their stories and journey with Fittr are authentic and inspiring. After initiating the transformation programme within the organisation, we have taken a step towards turning our employees into genuine ambassadors of the brand, just like the users. Many employees have started engaging their families in fitness regimes and have developed a true love for the work they do every day.

5. Companies are increasingly focusing on building an ecosystem of collaboration and innovation for everyone regardless of gender, race, nationality or any other factor. How are you helping cultivate a diverse environment within your organisation?

According to a McKinsey report, firms with greater gender diversity outperform competitors in profitability by up to 21%. It also stated that companies with more than 30 per cent women employees were more likely to outperform companies where this percentage ranged from 10 - 30 or less. We are delighted to share that Fittr recently achieved the milestone of reaching a 50:50 gender ratio through innovative HR Practices & health KPI.

Earlier this year, we also launched an exclusive Women’s League to create a safe space for independent women to pave the formative road to their careers. With the help of sessions and forums led by eminent personalities across industries, we further want to help women enhance their professional capabilities. We want to offer a level playing field so that women can get the opportunity to advance their careers and upskill themselves via continued education sponsorship, mentorship programs, career pivot resources, and inter-departmental skill shares.

This is a significant achievement in light of the historical gender imbalance in the tech and fitness industry. Our achievements result from the new recruitment strategies and HR policies targeted at retaining and increasing female employees. It might feel as if women’s presence in the workplace is a given, but globally, despite making up 50% of the population, women generate just 37% of GDP.

Tags assigned to this article:


Around The World