RAI - Great Place to Work® felicitates India’s 10 Best Workplaces in Retail 2020!

For the eighth year in a row, Great Place to Work® Institute and Retailers Association of India (RAI) came together to identify India’s 10 Best Workplaces in Retail. Great Place to Work® Institute assessed participating organizations by administering a survey on a representative sample of employees from every organization and studied their people management practices.

In line with its mission to ‘Make India a Great Place to Work’, Great Place to Work® Institute, India partners with over 1000 companies annually and is considered the ‘Gold Standard’ in assessing and recognizing the best workplaces. The Institute is well-known for its credible and rigorous process of studying workplace cultures in depth and this award is regarded as the most definitive Employer of Choice award in the country.

India’s 10 Best Workplaces in Retail 2020 were recognised at an Awards Ceremony held at Renaissance Hotel, Mumbai on 27th February 2020 as part of the Retail Leadership Summit 2020, in the presence of eminent personalities and CXOs from several retail organizations.

India’s 10 Best Workplaces in Retail 2020 (listed in alphabetical order) are:

· Barbeque-Nation Hospitality Ltd.

· Hardcastle Restaurants Pvt. Ltd.

· Infiniti Retail Ltd.

· Lifestyle International Pvt. Ltd.

· Marks & Spencer Reliance India Pvt. Ltd.

· Max Hypermarkets India Pvt. Ltd.

· METRO Cash & Carry India Pvt. Ltd.

· PUMA Sports India Pvt. Ltd.

· Titan Company Ltd.

· Walmart India Pvt Ltd.

Along with recognising the best workplaces, Great Place to Work® Institute, in association with Retailers Association of India, also released a report on the findings from the Study conducted. The study notes the consistent experience that organizations in this industry have been able to create at the workplace despite the economic slowdown. The report also highlights a significant positive shift in experience of a demographic group that, traditionally, may not have been a part of mainstream employee agenda and experience – part-time employees.

Forming about 10% of the total employees represented by the Great Place To Work® Institute’s 2020 Study of the retail industry, 81% of the part-time demographic group expressed their ‘Intent to Stay’. The group has particularly appreciated the Credibility of Management and has strongly called out the Fairness that they have experienced at the workplace.

Great Place To Work® Institute, India envisions making India a Great Place to Work FOR ALL. This insight is truly encouraging in the light of this vision and gives hope that organizations will continue to prioritize the experience of all employees irrespective of the demographic groups that they may belong to.

A deeper look at the data, however, reveals the dominance of the male voice in the industry (79% of the total employees represented by the study). The study therefore sheds light on the apparent contradiction that the industry must take into consideration if organizations within it were to truly strive towards being great workplaces FOR ALL. With men currently having the opportunity to shape the voice of the industry simply by their representation, one can only wonder about the impact that a readiness of this industry for greater inclusion of other genders could have.

Themes in the comments that both full time and part-time women employees have shared in the survey lean heavily towards industry challenges that prevent women from actively, and in large numbers, participate in the retail industry. These include challenges with work/shift timings, safety and balancing professional and personal life.

The study also notes that many of the differences between the Best Workplaces and the Rest that were noted in a similar study last year seem to have been bridged – another indication that the industry may be taking important steps towards creating inclusive workplaces. Here too the context and experience of women in the Best Workplaces are notable. Women in these organizations have shared that experiences in the areas of Camaraderie, Credibility and Fairness have been instrumental in ensuring that they report almost as positive an experience as the men in the Best Workplaces.

The report summarises that there are some inherent contradictions within the industry that will need to be addressed for the retail industry to truly be a Great Place To Work® FOR ALL.

"India since its independence, has constantly seen historic reform movements. From the Minimum Wages Act of 1948 to the decriminalization of Section 377 in 2018, we have come a long way towards bridging inequalities and fighting discrimination. And yet, India's position in the Human Development and Gender Inequality Index indicates we still have a long way to go. At the Great Place to Work® Institute we believe the time has come for another historic reform - making India a Great Place to Work For All. The Best Workplaces are already rising up to answer this call" said Prasenjit Bhattacharya, CEO at Great Place to Work® India.

"Year after year, The Great Place to Work Report has helped us identify best practices and employee trends in retail. What comes to light this year is that retail companies are focussing as much on employee experience as they are on customer experience. The good news is that this extends to part-time employees as well, who are willing to stay on. This signifies that retail as an industry is doing all the right things to position itself as a ‘Great Place to Work’ in India and attract talent," said Kumar Rajagopalan, Chief Executive Officer, Retailers Association of India.

This is what the leaders of some of the winning organizations have to say:

“One of the top benefits of creating a Great Workplace is it ensures employee satisfaction which leads to higher productivity and helps the organization achieve its business goals. Having a great workplace also helps create a healthy workplace and happy employees” Rahul Agrawal, President & CFO, Barbeque-Nation Hospitality Ltd.

“We are very proud to say that we are an equal opportunity employer. We have built a work culture that is extremely inclusive and driven by meritocracy. The fact that we mostly recruit first-time jobbers and give everyone a level playing field with equal opportunities to tap into, so they can learn and grow within the organization as fast as they aspire to.” - Seema Arora Nambiar, Senior Vice President – Marketing & People Resources, Hardcastle Restaurants Pvt Ltd.

“The leadership team at Croma strongly believes in giving equal opportunities to all the employees, irrespective of the gender or age. All internal job postings or promotions are kept open for qualifying and deserving individuals. Many engagement activities are done to connect more with the company who in turn become our brand ‘Croma’ advocates. The focus is also leveraged to the brand staff and 3rd party staff who are affiliated with us; in training and orientating them on the ‘Croma way of life’.”” - Robin Sharma, Head – Learning & Development, Infiniti Retail Limited

“Investing in people is investing in the business. Creating a great workplace has a ripple effect on business. Especially in an industry like retail, where most of our employees are customer-facing, an environment of trust, respect, fairness, transparency and empowerment, translates to great customer service. It also creates a feeling of ownership and employees are willing to go above and beyond what is expected to deliver great business results.” - Vasanth Kumar, Managing Director, Lifestyle International Private Limited

“We have a standardized recruitment and onboarding process for all colleagues across the organization. Our policies, operating procedures and processes are transparent enabling a consistent workplace experience for everyone. Most importantly, a common thread that runs through our cultural fabric is a strong commitment to our core behaviours i.e. ‘The M&S Way (‘Talk straight, All in for the customer, Own it and get it done and Make every penny count’). These behaviours are at the heart of everything we do, every day.” - Mukta Nakra, Head of HR, Marks & Spencer Reliance India Pvt Ltd.

“A truly strong culture offers mutual support, promotes trust, rewards employees' efforts, and ensures that employees know their work is meaningful. “We strongly believe in the fact that Happy Employees = Happy Customers which in turn helps the customers to visit us again with a Smile. Service with a Smile is Cliché what we believe is Service with a purpose to give intrinsic value to customers with our four pillars of Choice, Value , freshness and Service which in turn provides a good customer experience.” - Vipin Bhandari, CEO & MD, Max Hypermarket India Pvt Limited

“At METRO, we have curated a diverse and inclusive culture wherein we have employees from every walk of life. We offer the right environment and believe in building a strong culture of performance, meritocracy, accountability & transparency. Additionally, talent mobility is a big focus area for us to help provide multi-dimensional exposure to employees and create the next talent pipeline. METRO has inculcated an inclusive & diverse environment and has employed over 100 differently-abled people across 11 stores, enabling them to be a part of the mainstream.” - Udaiy Khanna, Director – Human Resources, METRO Cash & Carry India Private Limited

“Our workplace experience is built on 3 key pillars – Engage, Learn and Retain – for all the 3 pillars, the opportunities that the employees are provided cut across the regular bars of role, age, gender etc. Eg, we have a program called Catalyst where employees work on cross functional projects in teams which are based on what thought leadership you bring to the table and not what your role or seniority is in the organization. Similarly, there are many other platforms in place that promote an inclusive and diverse culture where everyone has the freedom to express, learn and grow.” - Manisha Agarwal, Head - Human Resources, PUMA Sports India Private Limited

“Our Associate Value Proposition (AVP), 'This Is That Place' has 5 pillars - Mission, Innovation, Opportunity, Well-being and Inclusion. We believe that every associate experiences this AVP throughout his/her journey with us, irrespective of role, age, gender, tenure and physical abilities. Such inclusiveness fosters an environment which allows diversity to thrive and helps us achieve our people strategy of building a digitally enabled high-performance culture.” - Avishkar Mehrotra, Chief People Officer, Walmart India

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