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Interview

HCL Technologies: The Transformation Journey
– Priyanka Dey

Alka Joshi, Associate General Manager, Corporate HR, HCL Technologies, shares the unique and novel initiatives of HCL, which prides itself on the policy ‘Employee First.’
CL, when first began its transformation journey, had just the right set of talented people who were both technically skilled and creative. What, however, lacked was a sense of unity among the employees. Hence was the need felt to make people engaged, equipped and empowered, and thus was formed the ‘Employee First Council’ in an effort to provide the employees a work environment they would take pride in. In about a year, post the introduction of many novel initiatives and following numerous motivational practices, HCL has decided to go a step further with their extraordinary ‘Women First’ initative.

the ‘Women First’ councils have been designed. The policy thrives on four objectives: 1. Create a unique employee experience 2. Invert the organizational structure 3. Enhance transparency and accountability 4. Learn – Grow – Own The ‘Employee First’ council, when first introduced, created waves across the country. For every other organization, it is the customer who comes first on its list of priorities. The council simply reversed reversed the policy and stated that it is the employee who is the first preference in HCL and also the most important asset.

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Many ideas and initiatives have been taken you to keep the employees involved as also cure them of the stresses that creep in due to hectic work schedules. Tell us more.

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HCL is known for its innovative practices based on the belief that delighted employees translate into delighted customers. How is the same philisophy followed in the organization?

It was in March 2007 that we started with this programme called ‘Mitr’, through a tie-up with online counseling providers PPC Worldwide. Mitr basically constitutes a panel of renowned experts who are there to provide counseling to HCLites and their families for social, financial, and emotional concerns. Then there’s O2 League of Extraordinary, which aims at recognizing the efforts of outstanding employees who have been consistent and extraordinary performers for two consecutive years. The USP lies in the fact that the employee’s family is also applauded considering the fundamental role they play in the employee’s success. There is also the XtraMiles portal that has been an excellent way of propagating a ‘thank you’ culture in the organization. It is through this portal that employees in the organization can send across thanks and ‘miles’ to others at the click of a mouse.

We truly work on the lines of Harvard Business School, which holds that an employee is at his best when he is given an environment that is not only conducive to growth but is also a place where he is valued, his contribution is recognized and he is empowered to lead from the front. HCL strongly believes that it is the employee who creates value for the customers, and hence our employee is put before everything else – be it business or customers. It is on these lines the ‘Employee First’ and, now,
104 January ‘09

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There are these ‘Councils’ thriving in HCL. What are these aimed at and how are they helpful to the employees of HCL, it being an organization that always has the employee in mind for every initiative that it takes?

We have this ‘Employee First Council’, which is the perfect example of democracy at the workplace. There are five councils in action – Grey Cells, Talent, Wellness, Sports, and Community

It is through the Employee First Council that HCL is trying to retain a workforce that is diverse. Employees here are urged to fitness sessions. the Council has organized more than 500 activities and the response gathered has been tremendous too. The council what the company is doing – this event is a platform that is organizes beauty & more about collaboration. I January ‘09 105 liveit. We organize beauty and fitness sessions across the country for our women employees. Ever since its inception a year ago. Born out of the understanding that a woman is no longer just a woman but a superwoman who has to multi-task between home and work. counselling. HCL has recently embarked upon a new initiative called ‘Women First’ council. Besides organizing contests and training classes. Besides. The council strives to provide women employees with a forum to express their creativity. equipped and council is born out of empowered. Rather than being woman has to be a top-down one-way given special communication – telling you privileges. inclusive. There are certain goals that the councils work on and they are of common interest to all the employees who need to maintain a balance between work and life. We have also come up with a 24x7 helpline number to provide women employees expert counseling from a team of specialist counselors on issues specific to them. for the employee. How is it different from the Employee First council and how has been the response so far from the women workers of HCL? Surely. and from the employee. our ‘Women First’ council has been designed to take the Employee First initiative to greater heights. It is also the perfect platform for the helpline for expert employees to meet their seniors. can lend a the idea that today’s tremendous sense of commitment.in . there’s a blog post in the making that would be just women-specific. which has been organized to take the Employee First philosophy to greater heights. You can well imagine the number of ideas that can be generated by 55.000 transformers across the world. it intends to give her special privileges. It also sets directions for the things that will take place in the next two years. know their colleagues better and exchange their thoughts and ideas with each other. What kind of response did the initiative generate? ‘Directions 09’ is a celebration of milestones achieved in the last three years of HCL’s transformation journey.Q ‘Directions 09’ celebrates achievements of the HCL group in its transformation journey. the council also encourages music talent and supports various music bands within HCL. Q Services. and come up with ideas on how to also has a 24 x 7 take HCL forward. concerns and share new action ideas. talented and committed to bringing out quality results. These are councils by the employee. It is a one-of-its-kind of unique platform where the employee is asked for suggestions how to take HCL forward. HCL strongly puts the employee first and firmly The ‘Women First’ believes that people who are engaged.

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