Reshaping ‘Employee Experience’ For Non-Desk Workforce

Even as many are leveraging perks of ‘work from anywhere, some employees are working on field, in factory units, or serving on the frontline to be able to meet demands; HR leaders deliberate on why employee experience is the new battleground in this next normal


While some percentage of the total workforce is leveraging perks of the ‘work from anywhere’ regime, some employees are working on field, in factory units, or serving on the frontline to be able to meet consumer and public demands, even in this high-risk scenario.

A recent report suggests that one in five (20%) of employees feel underappreciated for their contributions, which is hindering their engagement at work, and two in five (40%) employees say their manager is just ‘okay’ at recognising their work, which signals that companies must recognise that ‘employee experience’ is the new battleground for creating constructive work-culture.

About 80 per cent of the global workforce is non-desk employees, and when it comes to workforce development, these essential workers are often left out of the loop. It is time for companies to adjust their lens and focus on how they can make the non-desk workforce more valued and involved as they are imperative to business growth.

“People are our priority,” says Ajit Menon, Group HR Head, Dalmia Bharat Group. HR leaders require to ‘see the invisible’ and ‘do the unthinkable’ in order to cope with the challenges posed by this significant crisis across the globe. Today’s workforce is facing turbulent times but here’s what HR leaders are doing and can continue to do.

Appreciation Can Do Wonders

Considering the contemporary issue of retention, 46 per cent of HR leaders say retention is their greatest concern. HR leaders certainly focus on employee experience and on understanding their employees’ needs. The same report states that employees whose managers consistently acknowledge them for good work are five times more likely to stay at the company. This indicates that appreciation, rewards and true recognition will work in order to boost employees’ morale.

Wellbeing As Top Priority

Companies need to keep employees' well-being at the top, and this remains the same either for desk or non-desk staff. Employees who are associated with the companies like e-commerce, financial services, supply chains, and manufacturing units of FMCGs, etc. require attention to their wellbeing and safety as they are working in different conditions as compared to desk employees. Dalmia Bharat Group’s Menon explains, “Covid marshals have been appointed at all their operational locations who ensure that all SOPs (standard operating protocols) and Covid-19 safety guidelines are being strictly followed. Moreover, they have introduced regular medical check-ups for all our employees with a special focus on employees above 50 years of age. At Dalmia, health insurance coverage has been extended to include their Covid-related medical expenses.”

Technologically Adept

Leading companies are set to increase their investments in technology to enable the entire workforce in this ‘phygital’ work model. Virtual Instructor-led Training (VILT) in plants has become an integral form of learning, and it will continue to play a crucial role in the future. At Dalmia Bharat Group, SAVIOR CLMS & CWMS has been introduced at all plant locations for accounting of manpower resources has provided a best-in-class experience to employees on a real-time basis. Going forward technology and artificial intelligence (AI) are key, and HR leaders have already started aligning their processes and functions.

Compassionate Communication

“Our relentless focus remains on first, actively listen, and respond. Secondly, being transparent while maintaining an open dialogue with employees,” points out Krishna Raghavan, Chief People Officer, Flipkart. The current disruption made all companies and HR professionals a little more humane and reinforced the crucial need for empathy and openness.

Underlining its ‘people first’ ethos during this unprecedented time, Amit Prakash, CHRO, Marico reiterates the company’s commitment to stand by its employees in these uncertain times and urges other business or HR Leaders to be a pillar for their employees.

Being core people leaders, HRs require to ace it all and extend their support to understand employees who are working in vulnerable environments for organisational growth.



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