Jamshedpur, June 9: There is no denying the fact that the workplace has immediate and long-lasting effects on the overall well-being and productivity of working professionals. And this is what all successful, forward-looking companies keep at the core of their employee policies to ensure the longevity of a motivated and engaged work force.
Tata Steel has had this engrained in their values ever since it came into being over a century ago. Stemming from their visionary founder JN Tata and the equally pioneering leadership that followed, the belief that businesses should promote the well-being of all employees has been indoctrinated into the employee-friendly measures that the company has taken over the years.
The belief in their employees being their greatest asset is corroborated in the several ‘firsts’ in employee welfare measures that Tata Steel introduced. These include the ‘8-hour Work Day’ in 1912, the ‘Leave with Pay’ scheme in 1936 and the ‘Workers’ Provident Fund Scheme’ in 1920 – all of which were subsequently adopted by the International Labour Organisation and enacted by law in India.
Today, the company continues to focus on improving amenities and facilities across its plants and offices as well as introducing workplace interventions that have a positive impact on employee well-being.
No compromise on health
Tata Steel’s continuing focus on employee health has resulted in an improvement in the organisation’s Health Index by over 2% in 2016-17 over the previous year. The company organises biannual holistic health check-ups as well as extensive investigations once a year for all its employees. Tata Steel conducts regular checks to ensure that its first aid centres at its plants are well equipped and manned by experienced doctors and paramedics who can handle emergencies.
Realising that there are several whose work may not permit them to approach doctors frequently, Tata Steel is taking the doctors directly to its employees. With the “Doctor at Doorstep” initiatives, a team of doctors, technicians and nurses visit Tata Steel employees on the shop floor itself to counsel them on lifestyle management and treatment.
A thought for food
Leading organisations around the world today realise the importance of providing a well-balanced diet to ensure that their employees are healthy and happy. To this end, Tata Steel has taken focused steps to improve its canteen services while also factoring in its changing and diverse workforce.
Apart from providing air conditioning at all employee canteens, the company has taken steps to ensure consistency in quality of food at all canteens. Tata Steel also provides specialised training to canteen staff to improve service levels and has committees in place that are responsible for continuous improvement. These efforts have been recognised by its employees as evidenced in an improvement in Tata Steel’s Canteen Satisfaction Index.
Safety is king
Tata Steel has set standards and monitors office seating arrangements as well as mobile equipment such as cranes to ensure that their ergonomics are above par. The company takes steps to alleviate pain points at plant zones with difficult work conditions. Air pollution control systems have been installed at Tata Steel’s plants to reduce dust levels. More and more equipment at Tata Steel’s plants can now be operated remotely, thereby reducing man–machine interface and making the jobs safer and less strenuous.
The company has also adopted technology in its thrust for safety with the launch of the ‘Mobi-safe’ mobile application. The app allows employees to report any unsafe condition/ act in the workplace, besides facilities for online detection and recording facilities of hazardous gases as well as visual displays of the shop floor for better understanding of work processes.
Tata Steel has set up crèches called ‘Muskan’ to support young parents whose work keeps them away from their children. The ‘Muskaan’ crèches have state-of the-art facilities and a ratio of 1:3 caregivers to every child. Other initiatives instituted by Tata Steel to engage its workforce include celebrations of professional and personal milestones, reward and recognition events and team get-togethers.
Set for the future
Looking ahead, Tata Steel seeks to continue providing world-class amenities and facilities to all its employees. It has made a start by developing standards for all amenities like office buildings, parking spaces, restrooms, and breakout zones for all employees. The standards seek to encourage freedom of thought and creativity where employees can explore all possibilities of providing out-of-the-box solutions.