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It is Time For HR Automation Says CHRO Amway
Companies need incumbents who can fit in to the organization’s culture and value system.
In an exclusive interview with BW People Shantanu Das, CHRO, AMWAY India talks about the best HR practices at AMWAY, his talent acquisition strategy and the corporate culture at his organisation.
Edited Excerpts from his interview:
Talk about the latest trends in the HR industry? How are the recruiters enhancing the quality of recruitment?
With technology taking a quantum leap, it is rapidly changing and impacting the HR industry. The top four trends in HR landscape enhancing the quality of Talent Acquisition (TA):
• The higher impetus towards Employee Experience - With the growing influence of millennials and the increasing transparency catalyzed by the digital era, employees are expecting a more engaging and enjoyable work experience. The focus is on developing the “Employee Experience”, an ecosystem that integrates three core dimensions: engagement, culture and performance management so the organization is positioned well to attract the best of talent! At Amway, we have a dedicated cross-functional team ‘Sampark’ that focuses at adding the fun element to work. In addition to Sampark, we have a highly engaging wellness program called Optimal U that helps employees prioritize and give importance to health in addition to their work & personal responsibilities.
• Digitization- of the workplace is gaining momentum and the level of automation in HR is rapidly increasing. Artificial Intelligence and machine learning tools are bringing in disruptive recruitment practices, effectively lowering costs and obtaining candidates with the better fit. Digitization is the new mantra at Amway that has been extended to the HR function with the digitization of rewards & recognition program, recruitment process and e-learning applications with the virtual university that enables knowledge enhancement and sharing.
• “Gig Economy” redefining the workplace – Demand for short-term contracts, freelance work or temporary jobs focused on skill is on the rise. On-demand hiring promises lower costs and addresses the preferred choice of many Gen Ys who would like to opt for a “portfolio career” where they may possibly have a business of their own, or freelance alongside a more regular corporate role. Hence recruitment practices are building speed and agility to quickly identify specific work/projects that need attention and swiftly sourcing employees with the required skills so that the teams can quickly deliver and achieve required results.
• Social media is the buzzword - With more and more millennials joining the workforce and increasing usage of social media, leveraging social media platforms to tap into potential recruits is catching up. It’s advantages typically include a wider reach, direct contact with prospective candidates and lower costs. Social profiling also gives an idea about the leanings and preferences of an individual and background references.
I have always heard most of the HR’s complaining about millennials joining and a difficulty to cope with them. They have minor but very basic issues like not even getting an email body correct. So what kind of talents do Indian Companies need right now?
Companies need incumbents who can fit in to the organization’s culture and value system. Hence, having the learning agility, right communication and interpersonal skills, integrity, high sense of teamwork, ownership, people who can take up challenges and have an innovative bent of mind are sought after by Indian Companies. These are skills in addition to the requisite core technical knowledge and job-specific expertise.
Let’s us give our readers a quick hack – Your cheat code- What are two quick tips to ace an interview?
One of the best ways to ace a job interview is to do prior due diligence and study the current events of the prospective company. This would enable the candidate to ask pertinent questions, show the interviewer that they are passionate about the role, excited about the mission of the organization and have a desire to make an impact on the organization.
The second tip is having the right energy and positive body language which makes you confident while putting forth your point and elaborating your skills /expertise/experience with concrete examples.
What are your best HR Policies that you use to keep your employees motivated?
Amway India has several progressive employee engagement initiatives and has also been certified as a Great Place to Work this year. Initiatives to support employees during different life stage and flexi-working option like work from home, telecommuting, parental support programs stand out. Connecting & listening to the team has been a key to our success and forums to connect directly with CEO has also been introduced.
To being the greater focus on employee wellness, programs like yoga, zumba, cross-fit, ergonomics, dental care etc are conducted. CONNEXT is an initiative that binds everyone across the country and gives a “One Amway” experience where every quarter all employees across the affiliate connect for a Town Hall. As part of Talent development initiatives, in addition to an elaborate Learning Charter and Top talent programs, Shadow Board is another unique, real-time talent development initiative through which High Potential employees, bench to critical roles and participate in the Top level meeting. Learning Academy, a structured peer to peer knowledge sharing program gives employees an opportunity to groom themselves for future leaders. 3rd Perspective is another initiative where eminent external speakers share their outlook and experiences on topics related to personal effectiveness to enhance employee’s ability to impact business. We at Amway have a unique way of connecting & celebrating the essence of life along with work. We have "Sampark", a forum for organizing employee engagement activities for not just associates but also their families.
What are your plans for Talent Acquisition strategy for 2018?
Amway’s People Vison is to be the Employer of choice through agile, sustainably engaged high performing diverse workforce that is passionate about work and is empowered to deliver outstanding business results. Right Talent @ Right Time @ Right Cost is our Talent has always remained our Acquisition Mantra and will continue to remain so in 2018. We have plans on digitalizing Recruitment Management process and systems, strengthening Employer Branding Proposition & hiring, increasing visibility on Portals/Social Media as well as accelerating focus on diversity and inclusion.
Amway’s talent acquisition strategy is an integral part of our Employer Branding proposition and some of our best practices like “Build Your Own Timber” (BYOT), the Management Trainee program wherein Amway hires from premier Business to build strategic leadership bench for our future leaders and the Amway Employee Referral ‘I-Recruit’ program stand out. Amway has a microsite in IIM jobs to post openings and attract the best talent. This site has been receiving accolades for being a most active recruiter.
Do tell us about the Corporate Culture of Amway as an Insider and how does it different from other corporate?
Amway as a company can be truly defined by its vision and philosophy of ‘Helping people live better lives’ which is reflected in the company’s culture. A culture that values people, nurtures talent, inspires employees to go beyond boundaries result in creating a stimulating work environment for growth. People are at the very heart of Amway in India. The organization truly values the relationship it has with its People – be it employees, Amway business owners or service partners.
A sense of ownership, empowerment, and opportunities for growth makes employees feel invested and Amway consciously works towards developing a culture that encourages employees to deliver their best. This goes beyond a friendly environment with an open culture of communication that is an intrinsic part of is transparency, inclusiveness, and collaboration. Amway’s corporate culture is built on 3 F’s i.e. “Focused, Fast, and Fun and this differentiates it from other corporates.” “Focused” refers to the need for prioritization and a clearer direction at work on creating Total Experience for our Amway Business Owners (ABOs). “Fast” means acting fast. In this era of rapid development, our company promotes quick decisions and prompt action. “Fun” is about providing a fun working environment for our employees in creating a sense of belonging which enables them to speak their minds freely, make use of their unique skills and expertise and have a sense of achievement, especially when one’s efforts contribute to the teams’ success or help ABOs achieve their goals.
What is the number of employees you want to hire by 2020 and what are the mediums you use to hire them?
The workplace is shifting very fast with a lot of demographic, economic, organisational restructurings and technological advancements which will impact the job landscape and Amway’s workforce planning by 2020. There will be a growing need for specialized talent in all fields. In addition to utilising search partners, portals, a career website, employee referrals there will also be an expansion in social media and social recruiting as the future mediums to spot and hire talent.
What kind of employee engagement activity Amway does?
Our employee engagement Strategy aptly named AmwayNEXT Energize our Culture has built the Employee Engagement Model on Total Experience. It’s a Timeline Model of Engagement Interventions with enhanced results being seen in each area, leading to overall productivity enrichment and performance. Employee Opinion Survey results, Industry Benchmark and retention quotient are some quantitative parameters linked to Employee Engagement Strategy. Our unique proposition makes us stand out for having 90% Top Talent pool retention, lowest annualized attrition in the industry and favourability quotient at 88% in Employee Opinion Survey (conducted by Towers Watson). We encourage our employees to adopt new/different ideas to improve business efficiency, productivity and customer experience through our Innovation Portal. We have a strong value-based Performance management process wherein we recognize significant contributions made by our associates in an objective and transparent manner basis demonstrated competency levels. Our Reward and recognition Program called SPARK helps in weaving a culture of belongingness and creating a sense of accomplishment by recognizing & celebrating each other's endeavor and success.
Amway India believes in keeping its workforce abreast with the dynamic business environment and offers a plethora of opportunities to help them grow and enhance their performance through ‘learning platforms’ like Digital Learning, Virtual University, Micro Learning, Gamification, Top Talent development, Mentorship Program, Learning academy, shadow board etc. Not only does Diversity and Inclusion create business value through efforts in talent acquisition, development, engagement and employer value proposition but also in the work environment by equipping employees with networks, development support & tools that enable them to be more inclusive.
Amway has been conferred with a slew of prestigious awards for its cutting-edge and innovative employee-centric initiatives. The awards range from “Best HR practices”, Managing health @work and Best CSR Practice presented by Asia Pacific HRM Congress. The company has also won Employer Branding Awards 2017 in three categories including ‘Award for Excellence in Training’, ‘Award for Talent Management’ and ‘Best Employer Brand Award’ hosted by the World HRD Congress in collaboration with Employer Branding Institute. It is also certified as a Great Place to Work.
Tell something unique rule about your organization which is only started by Amway?
The fulcrum and founding philosophy of Amway business is “to sell and teach others to sell”. This unique and unparalleled opportunity that Amway offers to own and operate their business selling more than 140 high-quality consumer products makes it the Number 1 Direct Selling FMCG Company. The training and engagement of several millions of our extended sales force i.e. Amway Business Owner (ABOs) and to drive entrepreneurship through the ABOs creates the very base for the foundation of Amway business. We tie our success to the millions of sales force and employees who are committed to our Vision of helping people lead better lives and operates on six enduring values - Partnership, Integrity, Personal Worth, Achievement, Personal Responsibility and Free Enterprise.