Employees First Organisations-Staff Matters

From comprehensive incentives for star performers, footing their medical bills in case of an emergency to taking care of employees’ children’s education to having an open-door policy and fostering a family-like atmosphere, these jewellers go out of the way to ensure their employees are the happiest says Vijetha Rangabashyam

Post By : IJ News Service On 21 April 2021 12:44 PM

Kashi Jewellers, Kanpur – Empowering Women, Nurturing Inclusivity & Work-life Balance

In the early 80s the jewellery retail industry was a male dominated sector. But Kashi Jewellers was the first to hire women in its retail store. The brand firmly believes in women empowerment. “We have women from all walks of life - all religions and social strata, single women, young girls, single mothers as well as widows working with us. We don’t care where they come from or what their background is, their skill set and commitment towards the business is important to us,” says Shreyansh Kapoor, Vice President. The company concentrates on building their skill set. They have an aptitude exam and 2-3 rounds of interviews before hiring.

Six months maternity leave along with all the benefits are provided. “We are also the first company in the state to provide for private medical insurance – we give them Covid 19 cover as well – we pay the premium for the same. We also provide for education for their children,” adds Kapoor.

The company has 97 per cent retention rate. “We treat everyone like family. We have tied up with a lot of trainers – IGI and GIA and we invest a lot in our people. We have an active incentive scheme as well. We have a staff evaluation process and we discuss their short comings and give them time
time to improve their performance. We evaluate their work and they also evaluate us. We have an open policy in this respect.”

The company takes care of extra expenses of employees during weddings, major personal expenses or in case of Covid19. “We take care of all our employees – it goes beyond money. One of our senior staff members was infected with Covid and the medical expenses ran into lakhs. We didn’t look at it as an expense; our first priority was to save his life.”

HIGHLIGHTS

  • More female workers from all kinds of strata and backgrounds
  • Private medical insurance
  • Six months maternity leave with cover
  • 6-day week ensuring worklife balance
  • 1 week break for Holi where staff is taken on company sponsored trips

Vaibhav Jewellers, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana – Youngest Workforce & Attrition Rate Below 4%

Vaibhav Jewellers and its quick expansion can be attributed to it being an out and out employee centric organization. The company fulfills all statutory norms laid down for employees by the government. Every employee is covered under ESI (Employees’ State Insurance) and if he or she crosses the ESI limit, they are also given medical insurance that covers their family members a well. “We offer them vehicle loans and personal loan without interest. We give monetary gifts for their birthdays and weddings as a token of wellwishing,” adds Suresh Addanki, Business Associate. Vaibhav also has merit-based awards for children of its employees. If they stand first in class, the company gives them not just an award but also support their education.

Vaibhav also provides 360 degree internal training for employee development on all fronts – personality and attitude development as well as
handling customers. “We also send our top performing employees to Symbiosis Institute to further hone their skills,” adds Suresh. Apart from welfare activities for employees, Vaibhav has a robust incentive system to encourage them perform as well as earn more. The incentive system spans
across diamond, gold and silver categories – and there are further incentives for those who direct sell, up-sell as well as cross-sell (if someone responsible for selling gold jewellery sells diamond jewellery, they get an incentive as well).

When one of the employees met with a road accident, the management took care of his medical expenses to the extent of Rs 2 lakhs and the HR department made sure that the employee’s family got PF as 85:15 Male to Female ratio No of Employees 180-190 well as Rs 8000 - 10,000 per month as compensation from ESI department. The growth plan at Vaibhav is also very clear and concise. “Our strategy is simple, KTIs and KRAs are well defined. An employee is evaluated based on a 360 degree performance management system, which is based on communication, discipline, behaviour, the way he functions in a team and more. Which is why we have branch managers who are below 35 years of age. We groom them into future leaders.”

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 60% of the employees are below 35 years of age
  • Medical insurance for staff and their dependants
  • Robust incentive scheme for upselling, cross-selling and direct selling
  • Star performers are sent to Symbiosis Institute for managerial programmes
  • Monetary help when employee or family member is in a health crisis
  • Interest free vehicle and personal loan
  • Clearly defined KTIs and KRA’s
  • Employees evaluated based on 360 degree performance management system

Our strategy is simple; KTIs and KRAs are well defined. An employee is evaluated based on a 360 degree performance management system which is based on communication, discipline, behaviour, the way he functions in a team and more. Which is why we have branch managers who are below 35
years of age. We groom them into future leaders Suresh Addanki, Business Associate

DP Jewellers, Indore – Great Work Atmosphere, Incentives & Remuneration Package.

DP Jewellers is known for giving the best remuneration in the industry. All policies are in accordance with the government norms. The company provides free education for employees’ children as well as loan policy. “We have an emergency fund up to Rs50,000 and maximum amount goes up to a higher limit depending upon the role\ of employee. Our succession planning is strong. We keep on creating successors – where new people are trained to become successors of erstwhile senior employees. This secures a good career plan for staff,” says Amit Bandi, CEO.

The attrition rate at DP Jewellers is below 5 per cent. Perks for performers is all-encompassing - there are incentives for hard selling, selling fast moving, slow moving, really slow moving and upselling, and the company has incentives in almost every category. “We provide a lot of encouragement programmes. We have monthly recognition programmes for our star performers of the week or month. We have competition between branches,” continues Amit.

Internal assessment is a continuous programme. There is also a monthly newsletter that goes out every month to all the employees, carrying all the achievements and recognitions of every employee.

The company has gone out of the way to help its employee buy his dream house. During Covid time the company has helped employees monetarily. “Depending upon the loyalty of the person – we allot loans for every situation. The best performer (across all categories) gets a reward of over Rs 1 lakh.”

Training is an ongoing process at DP Jewellers – in-house and external training. The training program is comprehensive, from skill training to product training, to customer relationship training and more. During lockdown, the store conducted 27 day training programme for its employees.

To ensure every employee performs to the best of his or her ability, individual SWOT analysis is done.

The company also has a weekly off system and a employee-friendly leave policy. “We encourage people to go on holidays – sometimes we send them on holiday package – we sponsor the trip.”

  • Emergency fund for the employees
  • Attrition rate below 5%
  • Motivational programmes & cultural activities
  • Continuous Upskilling
  • Individual attention to every employee with SWOT analysis
  • One on one counselling
  • Company-sponsored holidays

We give personal, individual attention. We do a monthly review of each person – and we identify strengths and weaknesses of every person. We understand the social circumstances of the person and we realise that an employee is facing a lot of hurdles. So we provide counselling and talk to our staff. We work on our atmosphere – and creating an encouraging workplace, which is very rare in our industry Amit Bandi, CEO

 PNG Jewellers, Maharashtra – People Over Profits Company

PNG Jewellers believes in inculcating equality and respect for all employees at all levels. “We are able to accept differences and have positive solutions for problems. We encourage right to express opinion and learn from mistakes,” says Dr.Saurabh Gadgil, CMD. The company provides employee insurance, loans for emergencies, medical leaves, medical insurance., etc. It also ensures that salaries are paid on the first of every month -- incentives, fixed salaries and variable salaries are all paid out as per schedule. The company also helps employees plan their taxes. Every year, the company organises a get-together for the staff including their family members.

“We ensure that employees get good work life balance. We conduct counselling sessions for employees. I have realised money is a motivator but job satisfaction supersedes money. Having a dedicated set of employees is the most important asset you can have. We choose people over profits,” adds Gadgil. All festivals and occasions are celebrated at the store. Team building exercises and games are also an ongoing process. Employees are offered a chance to meet luminaries from different walks of life and get inspired.

The company offers incentives for star performer and best weekly performer and monthly star performers are given recognition as well. Every branch has best employee award apart from a best employee award in the whole company. Rewards and recognitions are an integral part of the company, and at the same time, performance is also expected – they go hand in hand.

Under PNG Shiksha, online course modules are developed for training. People have to take the course and pass courses every month. The company also has an intensive induction process for new joinees. Throughout the year, there are mock-drills with customers and role plays are also created to ensure that staff can face any kind of customer at ease. Awareness regarding sexual harassment and equality are also an integral part of the training module.

A senior employee was suffering from cancer – we stood by her and she overcame the crisis and we helped and supported her; she has also recovered and joined back. “We believe that as a company we should stand by its staff who have been with us during our highs and lows. We also help them with counseling. Our staff is our family.”

 

  • Open to opinions 
  • Plenty of rewards and recognitions 
  • 65% of staff constitutes women 
  • All occasions and festivals are celebrated to foster a family-like atmosphere 
  • Robust online and offline training modules 
  • Flexible work schedule to ensure work-life balance

 

We ensure that employees get good work life balance. We conduct counselling sessions for employees. I have realised money is a motivator but job satisfaction supersedes money. Having a dedicated set of employees is the most important asset you can have. We choose people over profits Dr.Saurabh Gadgil, CMD

AVR Swarnamahal, Salem – Well defined Targets & Performance Incentives

AVR Swarnamahal believes in having a mutual understanding – everybody is playing a role – each one of them has to play the role with sincerity, passion, focus and hardworking attitude. “We have all facilities for our employees like PF and medical insurance, apart from that we give loans for emergencies. We have a trust – which is education oriented. We help all our employees’ children to be educated in a good school and college, we believe education empowers them,” adds Soumya Sanjjay, Director.

The jewellery brand believes in setting goals and well-defined targets. “We foster teams working together rather than individual. When teams achieve goals, the satisfaction is more. Within our branches we have competitions, where we set targets every month. And whoever wins, they get a rolling shield. The targets are different for gold, diamond as well saving schemes, this way more targets can be achieved. This is how we build teams.

AVR also recognises individual performers. If they do very well, they are taken on a trek to hill stations. “When we take our performers on this trek, there are so many unforeseen challenges. This is to remind employees that if you are physically and mentally balanced, you can achieve anything in life. Performers from different branches go on this trek and they tend to bond with one another and become good friends. It is not an easy trek.” When the employees finish their trek, a wonderful meal awaits them.

AVR also conducts training programmes and talk sessions. Experts talk about life and values. They educate them on the ethics of business.

When an employee has gone through a personal loss, the entire AVR family, from management to sales personnel will be present to support the employee. This has always been AVR’s strength. “It is okay if you don’t have people around when you are celebrating something, but when you are in a challenge, you should have more people around to support you. We truly believe in this.”

 

  • Education for staff’s children at good schools
  • Intra-branch competition for best performing branch
  • Company sponsored treks and meals at hill stations for individual performers
  • One-on-one communication with the Director
  • Team building exercises

I deal with each and every staff’s challenges personally – there is no one else they talk to. I understand their problems by putting myself in their shoes. Then, I motivate them. For instance, we have many who were aspiring for higher designations – I offer it to them, but I also set targets accordingly. We believe in having that one to one dialogue in our company Soumya Sanjjay, Director

AB Jewels, Ahmedabad – Fostering an Open-Door Policy for Generations

During Covid-induced lockdown AB Jewels gave out salaries a week before the actual lockdown and their usual payday so that they could use the money to stock up on essentials, because the management knew the lockdown was to be announced. They also gave full salaries and did not withhold any amount despite the lockdown. “If anyone from our staff got infected, we sent them a set of supplies: a thermometer, steam machine, oximeter, sanitizers, etc. We also provided them help with doctors from our end,” says Vanajam Soni, Director.

Every Thursday, the store has a learning hour where they regularly conduct training sessions in the morning. Every week, an activity-based training in life skills for the staff is also conducted. It is a round-table discussion where employees share their experiences related to the showroom. One of the directors participates in the meeting, where discussions are had openly. The company has created an open-door atmosphere for its employees. “During lockdown, we conducted a lot of training for our staff, we used to organize games where about 50 persons participated at a time. We did a lot of remote training for our staff as well, PGI for instance conducted a lot of training for us,” adds Soni.

AB Jewels doesn’t believe in setting targets and putting its employees under pressure given the current scenario. But it gives recognition to employees for milestones like outstanding punctuality. “A staff member was recognized for the fact that he was punctual throughout the whole year without a single holiday, so the company gave recognition to that staff member with a small token of appreciation,” says Soni.

If a staff is feeling uncomfortable or unwell, the management ensures calling a car for them and that they don’t go without assistance. If an employee’s family member is unwell – the management allows them to stay at home and look after their family. “We don’t judge employees by targets but we judge them by conversion rate. To get the client through the door is our job, rest is theirs. Our staff is already very motivated and they do manage to give us a good conversion rate. But if there is an issue, we discuss management policies and problems openly, together we come up with solutions and together we ensure that we have a good conversion rate ,” adds Soni.

Since the last 2-3 years during summer, AB Jewels closes its showroom on Sundays even though the markets are open and their revenue takes a huge hit. “We understand that the staff may want to go on a small vacation. That way we care about the worklife balance of our staff.”

  • Full contingency plan for employees during pandemic 
  • Efficient and ongoing training plan
  •  Regular games and welfare activities to motivate employees
  • Empathetic policies when employee or his/her family member is in crisis
  •  Showroom shut on all Sundays during summer to ensure work-life balance

We don’t judge employees by targets but we judge them by conversion rate. Our staff is already very motivated and they do manage to give us a good conversion rate. But if there is an issue, we discuss management policies and problems openly, together we come up with solutions Vanajam Soni, Director

 

Bhima Jewellery, Kerala – Family-like Work Culture

Bhima Jewellery has always considered its staff as one of its biggest assets. For employees, all the basic needs have been fulfilled like transportation and food and the company also provides lodging facility for all the employees who are in need of the same. “We provide medical insurance to all staff members, we provide free food and transportation. All government norms are followed,” says MS Suhas, MD.

The company considers its employees as family and ensures all statutory needs of the employees are taken care of namely EPF, ESIC, and insurance, which includes both medical as well as personal accidents and as a part of management initiative a welfare board has been initiated at branch level to make sure that all the basic and urgent needs of the employees have been taken care of. “Yearly 15 programmes and family get-togethers are organised – to keep staff motivated,” adds Suhas

Star performers are given memento and recognition apart from incentives. “Training is an ongoing activity –we have tied up Forevermark, IGI and Platinum Guild to provide training for all the employees. We also have an external trainer who comes to train the employees.”

Employee wellbeing and their happiness are of utmost importance to the Bhima family. “Recently, a company driver died in an accident and his wife was expecting. The management went to his house and offered compensation for his family and has also promised taking care of his children’s education.”

Bhima is relatively a young company and it has employees who have been working for 30-40 years. “The targets are achieved in unison. We are one big family; we go to each other’s house when there are functions.”

  • Free food, transportation and housing facility for those in need
  • Plenty of programs and activities to keep the staff motivated 
  • Medical insurance, EPF and ESIC 
  • Every branch has welfare board to tend to basic and urgent needs of employees 
  • Employees working for more than 30 years with the company

Training is an ongoing activity –we have tied up Forevermark, IGI and Platinum Guild to provide training for all the employees. We also have an external trainer who comes to train the employees Suhas MS, Managing Director

Harsahaimal Shiamlal Jewellers, UP – A Women Run Company

Since the company has more number of women employees, HSJ has a very flexible working system for them. They come in early and leave earlier than men. “We have time slots where they decide on their will when they want to come. Women staff take Uber cab home, if they get delayed with a client and we reimburse the cab fare. We also track them for their safety,” says Ankur Anand, Director.

If any woman is in distress, the HR sees to it if they can be helped monetarily. Managers decide if women staff need counselling or any other support. Stringent guidelines are also put in place with regard to harassment. Women are also given maternity leave as per the government norms.

The attrition rate amidst women at HSJ is very low. “We also have an incentive policy. If an employee takes really less leave – we give them an extra pay. We try to conduct activities twice a year – we take them to a retreat and conduct an entertainment event for them. We conduct in-store activities once a month. We are constantly working on improving our incentives model. For star performers we give them gift vouchers and letters of appreciation – we have 7-8 categories like well dressed employee and exceptional team players,” continues Ankur.

Training is a continuous process at HSJ – the brand has tied up with agencies who help them develop their communication skills. “We had an employee who was suffering from cancer and we paid quite a bit of her medical bill. One of our staff members cut her hand to the point of leading to amputation, and we bore those medical expenses as well. We have supported a lot of our staff to tide over health-related issues, as we believe their health and wellbeing comes first.”

 HSJ has always believed in team building – the people who are strong are not the ones who always deserve all the praise, they are supposed to motivate under achievers. “So we encourage a lot of team building and whether or not an employee is able to uplift her underachieving coworker.”

  • Women run company
  •  Flexible work hours for women
  • Importance given to women safety
  • Comprehensive incentive schemes
  • Humanitarian approach when it comes to helping out employees

We try to conduct activities twice a year – we take them to a retreat and conduct an entertainment event for them. We conduct in-store activities once a month. We are constantly working on improving our incentives model. For star performers we give them gift vouchers and letters of appreciation Ankur Anand, Director

 

Govind Dande & Sons, Nashik – Absolute Autonomy & Smooth Delegation

Govind Dande & Sons, a familiar jewellery brand in Nashik has always believed in treating its employees like family. The company provides yearly groceries for the family and also takes responsibility for their children’s education. “We have a cooperative society – employees run it and they get loan of up to Rs 2 lakhs. They also get their shares and dividends regularly,” says Devyani Dande, Partner. Employees birthdays are celebrated where he is given a half-day holiday and senior member of the staff personally goes and delivers a cake to the family.

The store also has quarterly activities for its employees to keep them encouraged and motivated, including cultural activities, entertainment programmes etc. Incentives are given to star performers when they achieve targets, and if they achieve beyond hundred per cent, more incentives are given. “Depending on every employee’s performance and their goal sheet, we provide them training. It is an ongoing process,” adds Devyani

The brand has always believed in delegating work. “We give them complete autonomy in what they do – our team is quite flexible and open to new ideas. Our core team members have been working with us for 17 years. Our employees set their own goals and achieve them. I also take a one to one session with our staff – where we discuss everything except work.”

  • Employee run cooperative scheme for financial assistance
  • Yearly groceries for employees & children’s education
  • Employee birthday celebrations in addition to quarterly entertainment & cultural programmes
  • One to one session with the Partner where everything is discussed other than work
  • Complete autonomy of working

We give them complete autonomy in what they do – our team is quite flexible and open to new ideas. Our core team members have been working with us for 17 years. Our employees set their own goals and achieve them. I also take a one to one session with our staff – where we discuss everything except work Devyani Dande, Partner

Aisshpra Gems and Jewels – Providing a Safe & Happy Environment to Work in

Aishpraa Gems and Jewels has always had open door policies which incline towards employee satisfaction. The management belives that any organization gets its identity through its employees. “We schedule one-onone meetings with all the employees to understand their concerns and we also take their feedback seriously. Also, our management is very transparent when it comes to human resources, we don’t discriminate between any of the staff, and they are judged purely on the basis of their performance. Also, nowadays we focus more on employee safety on a priority,” says Vaibhav Saraf, Director, Aisshpra Gems and Jewels.

Every employee in an organization needs motivation. “We always try to keep all our employees motivated. We have organized counselling sessions for our employees frequently in order to know their concerns and frame of mind while working. Also, we always try to acknowledge their work by some or the other way so that even they feel that their work is been noticed and valued in front of management and this helps them to perform much better for the future.”

Every individual feel good when his work gets noticed and is rewarded for the same. “I believe rewards have a special place in the minds of employees and for that reward every employee works very hard which ultimately contributes in the betterment of an organization. So we at Aisshpra, offer plus cards to the best performing employee.”

Aisshpra has always believed in the idea of providing a comfort zone where they can work on their communication skills without hesitating. “Some employees get conscious by the fear of getting judged by their communication skills. So, we have organized weekly grooming and counselling sessions where employees can communicate with counsellor without any hesitation and they incorporate the feedback given to them and this is how we regularly try to groom our employees.”

The management sees to it that it provides clear direction to its employees to help clarify expectations. “This will help to increase their productivity, as they will have clear focus and clear goals. Encourage, motivate and reward. Constructive feedback is important.”

 

  • No discrimination policy
  • Staff safety is of utmost priority
  • Regular counselling sessions
  • Plus curds to employees who perform well
  • Improving employees communication skill

Our management is very transparent when it comes to human resources, we don’t discriminate between any of the staff, and they are judged purely on the basis of their performance Vaibhav Saraf, Director, Aissphra Gems & Jewels

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