Now trending at work: No need to mark yourself present

Now trending at work: No need to mark yourself present

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MUMBAI: Trust–as a basis of organization-employee relation–has become a crucial element in people retention. On the one hand, organizations are putting in place processes for managing ethics at work; on the other they are placing trust at the core of their relation with employees by allowing them to manage their own work schedules. Showing such behaviour are some progressive companies which have moved from a regular attendance-marking system–where employees punch in and punch out to clock a certain number of hours at work–to a default mechanism wherein all employees are marked ‘present’ for all days.

In such a system, it’s only when employees take a day off that they are required to notify their team or seniors. Organizations believe this would create a culture that attracts and retains the millennials. Lenovo India has stopped monitoring the number of hours employees clock at work. By doing so, the company says it is empowering employees to take charge of their work-life balance. Rohit Sandal, director (HR), Lenovo India, said, “In the last 12 months, we are trying to make the company more millennialfriendly . One of the ways in which we are doing this is through flex-at-work. Employees can decide for themselves what timings they wish to maintain.Although for security reasons there is a punch-in at work, we don’t track how many hours an employee is clocking. We want to operate on the basis of trust.”

So Lenovo has enabled leave-management tools which are used to update the system in case an employee falls sick.If there’s a planned leave, the company encourages people to upload it earlier on the tool so that the manager and the team are aware of the leave.”Moreover, we have unlimited casual leaves,” said Sandal. Recently , RPG Enterpri ses launched a digital attendance system that marks one ‘present’ by default. It is based on the premise that people are honest.The digital attendance system is linked to payroll and employees have been asked to inform their supervisors while taking a day off.
But is there no worry that such systems could be easily misused? S Venkatesh, president (group HR), RPG Enterprises, said, “We talk a lot about aspects like trust during employee engagement exercises and we believe the new attendance system demonstra tes this behaviour. As for those who may abuse the system, we would rather zero in on them rather than take the privilege away from the others. Trust is at the core of this policy.” The Piramal Group believes in treating employees like entrepreneurs. By design, “entrepreneurs” are empowered enough to plan their own work schedules and they certainly don’t need to be monitored. “We offer flex@work for everybody, thus giving people a fair degree of flexibility to choose their own work hours as long as their outcomes are delivered,” said Nandini Piramal, executive director, Piramal Enterprises.

“With our businesses becoming increasingly global, many of our employees in India often have conference calls that go on till late evening. It is then understandable to expect that they will come in a little later in the morning the next day. We also offer employees the option of working from home two days a month,” she said.


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