JK Lakshmi Cement Ltd is a part of the 125-year-old industrial house JK Organization, which has a presence in tyres, cement, paper, power transmissions and sealing solutions, dairy products and higher education. Tapomoy Deb, vice-president, human resources, said the company believes sustainable success only comes through talent farming, and its leadership spends 35-40% of its time on talent development. Edited excerpts:

What makes JK Lakshmi Cement Ltd a great place to work?

With a people-centric culture, the company emphasizes its people as the core differentiator of corporate excellence and success. Caring for people, intellectual honesty and pursuit of business excellence through effective engagement of talent has been its cornerstone.

The company’s work environment is characterized by a high degree of empowerment, leadership and talent identification through assessment and development centres conducted with world leaders in assessment techniques like Aon Hewitt.

What are the initiatives taken by the company to ensure the well-being of its employees?

The company has taken numerous initiatives for the well-being of the employees and keeps reviewing those initiatives from time to time for modification, addition and cessation of the programmes based on various pertinent factors including employee feedback.

At the individual level, the company provides a safe and conducive work climate where people feel happy to come for work and leave the workplace on time for maintaining a work-life balance. The company has 0% fatal accidents for several past years, and women safety and dignity has been accorded highest priority...

Employee creativity is encouraged and given opportunity to drive excellence through various initiatives including Coffee With VC, MD, etc. Employees demonstrating excellence are publicly recognized on a periodic basis and fast-tracking of career opportunities exists.

How does the firm ensure employees stay focused on their work?

The company has peaceful and harmonious employee relations, and has had zero man-days loss on industrial relations for more than 20 years. Management and leadership have been very conscious about the well-being of employees and their families.

The company also takes care of the employees through initiatives like open-door policy, feel-the-pulse programme, sham ki mulakaat and open-house communication meeting, workmen satisfaction survey, maha bhoj, festivity celebration, skill development and career progression, engagement programmes, and safety health and welfare programmes. Overall, the feeling of being cared with a human touch in an inclusive manner has helped to keep employees both productive and satisfied.

How many people does the company employ at present? What is the recruitment strategy for the next fiscal year?

Average number of employees is 1,348 as on 1 January 2018. The recruitment strategy is part of the HR strategy as aligned to the strategic business plan of the company. The strategic business plan is drawn for a period of five years to articulate our business growth strategy.

The recruitment strategy is based on business strategy and aligned accordingly. Vice-president (HR) presents the framework which is mutually discussed, debated and approved by the recruitment committee comprising whole-time directors and business leaders from across all functions.

How does the company ensure that each of its employees keep growing professionally?

The company practices “GYOT"—Grow Your Own Timber—philosophy as a part of its talent strategy. It includes identifying, nurturing, grooming and motivating talented employees as the cornerstone of employee growth strategy. Assessment centre forms the premise for the same as per the existing policy governing the criteria, etc.

How important it is for a corporate entity to keep its employees satisfied for its own growth operationally and financially?

JK Lakshmi Cement believes and has demonstrated that energized employees create opportunities for success when they go beyond individual accountabilities, financial results and short-term wins to respond to competitive, organizational and social dynamics.

The talent development practices, as embedded in its culture, are designed to nurture a sense of ownership in the employees and adopt the GYOT philosophy. Employee participation in talent management programmes target specific skills, competencies and foresight to grow and sustain its talent and leadership pool.

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