Mahindra and Mahindra Automotive and Farm Equipment Sectors, the flagship of the Mahindra Group, ranked 23rd in India’s Best Companies To Work For 2017 list compiled by the Great Place To Work Institute. In 2013 and 2015, it ranked third in the manufacturing and production industry list. Policies to ensure safety and improve productivity on the shop floor have helped build the company’s image as an employer of repute. Rajeshwar Tripathi, head of human resources at the firm, shares how the Mahindra Group’s Rise philosophy is incorporated in its people policies. Edited excerpts:

Why is it important for you to be a good workplace?

It helps us attract the right people from various industries, possessing different skill sets and having diverse backgrounds.

Secondly, to engage with our own people; this is very important because that’s when they give us their best. People must enjoy their workplace; it spurs innovation and productivity because people are a key differentiator. For example, if there were two companies with the same product and structure, people will make a difference at the individual and collective levels.

What is your recruitment process?

Various psychometric tools are used to indicate an individual’s alignment with Mahindra’s Rise philosophy, which is to drive change. Recently, more focus has been laid on an applicant’s learning agility because we live in an ever-changing world. How capable they are of changing themselves and driving change matters to us.

How would you ensure retention and motivation on the shop floor?

Retention should arise from an individual’s intrinsic desire to stay at the organization, which should arise directly from the work they do. Much effort has gone into the ambience, working conditions and policies of our plants. Work hours have been made flexible while some Saturdays are off as well. Wellness has been given a special focus with preventive health exams being conducted, in addition to nutritionists and clinical psychologists being present at our occupational health centres.

Our policies are becoming increasingly segmented and personalized since the needs of all groups, say age-wise, are not the same.

What have been some challenges in retaining talent?

Reskilling our people to suit evolving business models and strategies, especially in the past three years, has been a challenge. To avoid human obsolescence among the company, intensive workshops are conducted, thus making us an agile organization.

What is the role of the top management in forming people policies?

Policies emanate from the top management because they are a manifestation of organizational philosophy and culture. The top three drivers of our people policies are the values our organization wants to pursue, the purpose for our existence—the customer, and finally, our business strategy.

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