Recently, Ekta Capoor, Chief-in-Editor of Amazing Workplaces, spoke to Srinivas Reddy P, Director HR of MetLife Global Operations Support Centre. The purpose of the interview was to understand how MetLife supports its employees to thrive in and out of the workplace.
Srinivas believes that employees are as a matter of fact the true assets of a workplace, they are the ones delivering their best to the organization and the employers should do their level best to make them feel secure and happy. Srinivas shared how employees at MetLife are taken care of and the ways they work on building the employees skill set day-by-day.
According to him, the employees play a very important role in deciding the culture of the workplace. They represent the company and it is the employer who works on his employees to train them to become their best version of themselves. Srinivas shared various employee development practices at MetLife.
Sharing Ideas for innovative decisions
MetLife believes in Idea sharing, by sharing ideas and working together, everyone involved benefits and receives a bit back. Without making it known what individuals are doing and thinking, it’s impossible for others to contribute to that knowledge. Listening automatically turns into a conversation and then to a discussion, which in the end results in something productive. Sitting together and sharing ideas also establishes a bond between the employees, it helps them to get to know each other. MetLife believes in creating a comfortable and pleasant working place.
Employee Acquisition and Appreciation at MetLife
MetLife has planned out a differentiated benefit structure for its employees through the years they complete in the company. Every year, once an employee completes an anniversary, they receive different benefits from the company. Some illustrations are listed as follows:
- After completion of 2 years – Increase in sum assured under Term Life.
- After completion of 3 years – Eligible for gratuity benefits
- After completion of 4 years – Parental Insurance
- After completion of 5 years – Incremental Privilege leaves & Token of Appreciation
In addition, at the start of any townhall / leadership meet, employees who have completed more than 5 years in last 3 months are recognised by Sr. Leadership team at MetLife.
The reasons behind providing benefits year after year, is to promote workplace happiness and drive personal recognition for tenured employees. This has helped MetLife in retention of it’s core talent and enhance its brand image as an “Employer of Choice”.
Srinivas further adds that MetLife has always tried to drive different acquisition strategies to brand both its corporate image and employee benefit offerings to attract talent. MetLife believes that employee happiness has a multiplying effect.
Why You Should Celebrate Employee Appreciation Day
Employees are one of a company’s greatest assets. Recognition and appreciation are known as one of the key motivational factors in the workplace. Hence a day set aside to appreciate those who matter the most at the workplace is the need of the day!
Employee recognition is strongly correlated with productivity. According to a recent study, 69% of employees say they’d work harder if they felt as though their contributions were valued. Even so, it was found that only 26% of workers feel strongly valued at their jobs.
Investing in talents is the best
MetLife also understands the importance of learning; the company has differentiated work and learning into 10% Classroom, 20% Online and 70% Work. This encourages continuous learning and promotes better success in comparison to standard class room trainings. It is believed that it important to make mistakes in order to learn. One of the reasons MetLife encourages mistakes is also because it gives courage to the employees. The last step in learning is to fix them in the end and gain confidence in oneself.
In order to keep the employees up to date, employees are given learning materials and are given a set of work to refresh and keep up with their learning and development. In addition, supervisors take special emphasis on learning needs of their direct reports and ensure that they continuously upskill / groom them for more critical assignments.
Once a year, Senior Leadership at MetLife gets together to discuss strategies and plan for future, these forums helps them in understanding different business opportunities and challenges so that they can decisions in the best interest of organization and its employees. Also, MetLife partners with different educational institutes like ISB, London Business School etc. where there faculties spend time with Leaders and help them to weigh on their decisions i.e. are they in right direction for the organization and how to make it even better.
For employees to reach their potential, they are given different tasks apart from their work. The reason behind giving them different projects is for them to recognize their hidden calibre and to make them reach their full potential.
Srinivas exclaims “We believe as an organization that investing in talents is one of the best things we do at MetLife.”
Transparency of Information
MetLife believes in complete information to their employees. Srinivas states that all the policies are known by the employees, there is complete transparency and all the company policies and information are available online. In addition, critical business updates are shared by individual leadership team at different forums with employees.
MetLife believes in increasing gender diversity. The company has internal targets where 40% of total staff should be female. To enable the same, specific hiring drives are done to increase representation of female staff in total workforce.
The company also started with employing speech and hearing impaired people. They started this journey from 2018 and are hoping to advance it sooner.
Empowering Working Mothers at Workplace
To support our ever increasing women workforce, MetLife started with different new and ingenious idea to support working mothers of the company. Some of the illustrations are as follows:
- Providing dedicated cabs for expecting mothers during pregnancy.
- Different sessions on nutrition / child care / financial freedom.
- Flexible shift / work from home for female employees with children.
- One time child allowance post-delivery of children (both for male and female employees)
- Creche facility
MetLife promotes policies which are friendly to working mothers, this make a positive impact on the lives of their female employees and their families. These happier employees lead to more productive outcomes in office. Further this enables, MetLife to choose from a wider pool of qualified candidates and drive better retention.
CSR and Employee at MetLife
At MetLife, CSR programs seek to create sustainable well-being. The guiding principle is “Impact through Empowerment”, where outcomes and measureable impacts are delivered through a long term sustained effort. To enable its people to come together as an organization for the betterment of those who need help and support, MetLife has adopted orphanages, old age homes and single women shelters. Our employees reach out through initiatives like
- Focus on education and skill development that facilitates employment generation.
- Health and wellness specifically for young children (infant to toddler health programs).
- Support old age homes to ensure senior citizens live with care & dignity.
Employees voluntarily participates in different CSR activities and we support our employees for any specific event / initiatives that they want to take.
Impact of AI at a people centric organization
Srinivas states “AI will have a huge impact on a people centric organization but in a positive way. AI will provide the organizations with new jobs also replace old jobs with new and better ones. With talents and demands shaped up AI can make a great impact on organizations. New jobs will be created that no one knows about today.
New practices and approaches will be practiced in the market. He states that UI and UX being at the top demanded skill in the market will be enhanced further with help of AI. People along with the developing world should also enhance themselves along with it.”
According to Srinivas, an organization to become an amazing workplace should clearly approach their employees in a positive and appreciated manner. His belief in flexibility and development in approach, thought and work is one of the key principles to look forward to. Employee satisfaction and appreciation is one of the most important things in an organization, when employees feel the company has best interests for them, they give more in return and this makes any organization an amazing workplace.