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Delighting Employees –The Flipkart way

Source | LinkedIn : By Satheesh K V

Flipkart has intensively worked towards making its benefits program more meaningful to its employees. A look at the company’s arsenal of employee benefits

For any organization, creating a flexible and inclusive workplace that reflects its culture and values is crucial. And for an e-commerce company like Flipkart, where all decisions are customer-focused, the employees, who are the face of the company to consumers, become all the more important. If we need to delight our customers externally, we need to delight our employees. This thought led Flipkart to embark on a year-long exercise to better understand employee needs and re-look at the benefits and wellness programs. Research findings highlight that employees with greater autonomy and flexibility, from the employer, made them more productive and enabled them to unleash their full potential.

While organizations offer benefits programs to enhance their employer brand or do it as a mandatory exercise, at Flipkart the emphasis has always been on whether such benefits are meaningful for our employees in the true sense of usability. To arrive at a feasible outcome, a framework called “Benefits Design Principles” was created internally with a core theme of employee being at the center of all design and equality in offering all benefits across the organization. The aim of using the framework was to enable the design of all benefits programs to be on consistent lines and ensure they are attuned to Flipkart’s culture. The framework comprised the following drivers:

  1. Employees are at the center of all policies and decisions
  2. Equality – No differentiation by levels
  3. Trust people to do the right thing
  4. Care – When in need, be there
  5. Inclusivity – Understand all needs and be flexible
  6. Focus on usability and adoption of the benefits

As a part of the exercise to understand employee needs, Flipkart conducted pulse surveys to understand how employees felt about and looked at benefits. We also spoke to many focused group of employees, who had availed certain benefits programs, to better understand what they viewed as support from the employer, from their point of view. It was a fascinating exercise and we got to know things that we would not have known otherwise, for example, we had not foreseen that the location of the car parking would be one of the top preferences for pregnant women. Such feedback was used by Flipkart to enhance their benefits design. The following is a list of the unique measuresthat were built into their benefits programs:

  • Insurance: In keeping with the flexibility principle of the framework and based on employee feedback, the company decided to eliminate the upper limit on the top-up option for the employee insurance policies. Beyond the base cover, which is taken care of by the company, the employee can top-up the policy for an unlimited amount. Apart from that, the company also increased the maternity cover and removed ailment capping.
  • Work-life balance: The measure of work-life balance is the time spent away from work, which helps the employee easily transition between their personal and professional space.An example of the above is introduction of 5 day marriage leave to provide flexibility to manage work life balance, as a large demography of our employees are Gen Y. Apart from this, to support employees in any event of personal loss, Flipkart instituted an unlimited bereavement leave policy.Beyond annual leave and casual leave, every employee gets a “special day” leave that they can use on a day of their choice -whether it is their own birthday, their spouses’ or child’s birthday. We have also taken employees diverse backgrounds into consideration and provide them with 2 optional holidays of their choice basis regional festivals over and above the mandatory 10 national holidays

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