HR Expert’s Blueprint to Building A Diverse, Engaged & Successful Workforce
HR Expert’s Blueprint to Building A Diverse, Engaged & Successful Workforce


HR Expert’s Blueprint to Building A Diverse, Engaged & Successful Workforce

Diversity in today’s business world is serious business. Although promoting diversity makes ethical and moral sense, however, it is important to note that it also strengthens organizations in more ways that one. Data suggests that companies with diverse teams are more likely to outperform their peers and have better financial outcomes. Organizations committed to diversity also attract and retain talent more easily. The business case for diversity has never been stronger.

Organizations across the world have woken up to the benefits of a diverse workforce and are implementing DEI initiatives. Take for instance, K Raheja Corp, a real-estate organization; the company has recently implemented a plethora of DEI initiatives including The Pride Side Policy, #IncludeHer, Women's Employee Resource Group (ERG) 'PowHER'.

The Women Entrepreneurs Review team spoke to Urvi Aradhya, the CHRO at K Raheja Corp and the architect of the aforementioned initiatives. Urvi is an HR leader with over two decades of industry experience across prestigious organizations and varied HR functions. She joined K Raheja Corp as Group CHRO in 2007 and plays a pivotal role in the organization. Her leadership has been instrumental in shaping the company's approach towards human resources, emphasizing inclusivity and empowerment.

Urvi shares with us her expert advice on how to build and implement impactful diversity initiatives. She also shares her thoughts on the importance of employee wellbeing in today’s modern world and how to build a talent pipeline.

Research suggests that companies committed to DEI outperform competitors, find talent more easily, and inspire better performance. What is your take on this? In your opinion, how can DEI positively impact a company’s performance?

Diversity and inclusion are imperative for the modern enterprise, as people with different backgrounds and cultures provide organizations with a balance of opinions, voices, and diversity of thought. In today's progressive business landscape, almost every enterprise is taking conscious steps to inculcate Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) as an essential facet of the company’s DNA.

At K Raheja Corp Homes, we understand that our workforce is incredibly important to our success, and we are committed to their growth and development. We believe that having a diverse team is key to our ongoing success, and therefore we have adopted versatile DEI policies to achieve this goal. Given that our workforce features a diverse age group, effective management, and workplace regulations suitable for everyone are integral aspects of our approach.

One way to build an inclusive work environment is by promoting open dialogues and scheduling dedicated time for employees to discuss their grievances with HR. These can be further enhanced through strategic mechanisms such as listening to employee feedback, ensuring equality in terms of employee benefits, utilizing technological tools, and committing to a healthy work culture. By understanding the well-being of their employees, organizations can provide better guidance and support to them.

You have implemented a plethora of diversity initiatives such as ‘#IncludeHer’ and ‘PowHER’ at K Raheja Corp Homes. Drawing from your experience, tell us about the key pointers HR leaders must keep in mind while devising such initiatives for their respective organizations.

Creating a diverse workplace requires ongoing effort and commitment from both management and employees. Key pointers for HR leaders when devising diversity initiatives include:

  • Develop Feedback Mechanisms: Establish systems to gather accurate insights on employee feelings and reactions to policies.
  • Strengthen Employee Resource Groups (ERGs): Focus on professional development, well-being resources, and networking opportunities, particularly for women employees. Ensure these groups align with the company's mission, values, and social objectives.
  • Supportive Initiatives: Implement programs like #IncludeHer to help women advance their careers without compromising their personal lives. Initiatives such as MySaheli, which pairs new mothers with work buddies, and SHEROES, which enhances women's leadership skills, are crucial.
  • Inclusive Recruitment: Emphasize inclusive hiring strategies to build a diverse workforce and foster strong peer-to-peer and top-down relationships.
  • Leadership Development: Encourage the view that leadership is based on knowledge and skills, not gender. This helps employees realize their potential and aim for higher goals.

By focusing on these areas, organizations can create a more inclusive, positive, and productive workplace.

DEI has become a much-talked-about topic in the business world lately. In your opinion, how can people leaders ensure that DEI initiatives go beyond ‘token hires’ and bring about real change?

To ensure DEI initiatives bring real change, people leaders should amplify diverse voices, celebrate differences, and provide equal opportunities for all employees. This means valuing every employee regardless of background, leading to innovative thinking and improved performance.

At K Raheja Corp Homes, we go beyond token hires by fostering an inclusive culture. We sensitize our workforce to embrace differences and support LGBTQ+ colleagues, creating a professional and inclusive environment for all. This approach ensures that everyone feels valued and heard, driving both individual and organisational success.

Employees today desire a lot more than a stable job and decent pay. Employee well-being has become a critical aspect of retaining talent. From the perspective of an HR leader, what is your take on employee well-being in today’s competitive business landscape?

Employee well-being is crucial in today's competitive landscape, extending beyond physical health to include emotional and mental health. Modern workplaces must offer confidential resources like counselling and therapy services and foster an inclusive environment. This is especially important in hybrid work settings, where supporting mental health is key.

To address these needs, businesses should develop comprehensive work-life integration policies, such as role sharing, mandatory time off, community volunteering, compressed workweeks, and parental leave. Effective implementation and continuous improvement of these policies ensure employees feel valued, heard, and supported in all aspects of their well-being, leading to higher retention and overall success.

What strategies can HR leaders leverage to build a talent pipeline to ensure talent retention in today’s tumultuous business landscape?

HR leaders can build a strong talent pipeline and ensure retention by focusing on comprehensive DEI policies, flexible work environments, and continuous employee support. At K Raheja Corp Homes, we emphasize diversity to retain seasoned professionals and foster a dynamic workforce. By offering reskilling and upskilling opportunities, we help employees adapt to technological advancements and changing job roles. Our support programs, like ‘Aanchal’ for maternity, and POSH, ensure employees feel valued and secure at different life stages.

Developing future leaders is another critical strategy. Our ‘Shikhar’ program identifies high-potential employees and provides them with targeted training and mentorship. Additionally, our re-launch policy supports individuals returning from sabbaticals, offering function-specific training to update their skills. These initiatives not only attract diverse talent but also ensure long-term retention by fostering a culture of growth, support, and inclusivity.

What advice would you like to share with HR professionals in terms of building a strong company culture that ensures employee and business growth simultaneously?

HR professionals can build a strong company culture by transforming with the times to improve efficiency and attract future generations. They should exemplify support for colleagues in both professional and personal endeavours, demonstrating a commitment to employee well-being.

To ensure policies are effective, HR should compare them to industry best practices while customizing them to fit the unique culture and needs of their organization. This can be achieved through employee surveys, open forums, and feedback campaigns, providing multiple avenues for employees to share their perspectives. Acting on this feedback to close gaps is crucial for creating a sense of belonging and support. Additionally, it's important for the staff to understand, embrace, and benefit from the company culture being promoted, ensuring both employee satisfaction and business growth.

Source: Women Entrepreneurs Review