Sony Pictures Networks Distribution India Pvt. Ltd (SPND) ranked 47th in the India’s Best Companies To Work For 2016 list compiled by the Great Place To Work Institute. It ranked first amongst media companies then and is ranked fifth amongst mid-size firms this year.

Policies such as having all 135 employees write out birthday and anniversary cards for every colleague regardless of their position in the company attempt to create a family atmosphere in line with the parent company Sony Pictures Networks India Pvt. Ltd’s (SPN’s) people philosophy. Rajesh Kaul, president of the distribution and sports business, and executive head of SPND, shares how his company adds to SPN’s people-focused policies. Edited excepts:

Why do you think people are important for an organization and how do you ensure a people-centric policy ecosystem?

In a world as fast moving as ours, it is very difficult to find and retain good talent. Our HR initiatives are not as conscious as they seem; we just want to see happy faces at the office so we can retain our employees and ensure they give their best to the organization.

We send bouquets to their homes on certain occasions; so, for a small price, we have won the loyalty of their families as well. We want to provide not just a job, but also a career. We have a relationship with our people, not a mere contract. I have realized over the years that it is not about the big things that touch people but the small gestures that win them over.

What is the genesis of your people philosophy?

Our parent company, SPN, has a charter of six values that every employee has written around their workspace.

This charter is our Bible, so much so that a 25% weightage is given to it while making the annual appraisal. Smaller, personalized initiatives such as the birthday cards are our own.

What is at the core of your people philosophy?

The company’s core focus has always been the development and honing of talent. Our recruitment process is quite rigorous, so we ensure that we do our best with the remarkable talent that we hire.

The purpose of our appraisal is not to find faults but to provide interventions that aid the employee’s career road map. We have a training needs identification programme in which the manager decides his training goals for those under him. If those goals are not achieved, the manager is accountable for the employee’s performance, not the employee herself.

What are the ways in which you ensure employee retention?

SPND allows them to switch departments in order to provide career diversity and also encourages them to work at the parent company SPN, in case they would like a change.

Having said that, I strongly believe that our people genuinely feel committed and they trust us. We attempt to create the feeling of being family.