Over the last decade, Indian Global Capability Centers (GCC) have transformed themselves from being mere “cost centers” to hubs of strategic importance. GCCs today boast many success stories of having positively impacted the parent firms’ top-line and bottom-line through faster time-to-market, technological improvements, product and/or process optimization and by expanding to newer geographies. Talent remains core to the whole GCC proposition and as Fortune 500 companies looking to set up their GCCs continue to see India as the preferred destination it is important to understand what sets GCCs apart in a viciously competitive talent market.
One of the ways GCCs have managed to gain an upper hand is through their unique work environments. They not only take the character of the parent company and give them a contemporary twist but also adopt the company’s values and culture to create a unique employee experience and engagement.
A company’s brand is its soul. The brand helps a company differentiate itself from competitors and makes the company more relevant to its audience. Despite being located in a different country from their parent offices, GCCs remain true to their brand. Right from their office environment to their company banners, the brand values of the parent company are reflected in every aspect of a GCC.
As a result, GCCs mirror the work environment of their headquarters and the way their offices are designed. “If you have a California company that believes in a very open environment and that office has no cubes, no walls, no cabins, the GCCs will also reflect their corporate values in terms of interior design. If a corporate headquarters has tons of meeting rooms because it is a different kind of a work culture, the GCC will reflect that, as well,” says Jay Bhow, SVP and MD of ANSR.
GCC workspaces tend to be more modern than their local competitors. They are more progressive – the furnishings, amenities, and interiors are of slightly more international quality and grade. Work spaces tend to be more open and airy. They are structured to be spacious and more accommodative for meetings and collaboration to ensure high levels of engagement.
One of the major principles of GCCs is reinvention while remaining true to their legacy and traditions. That also stands true for spaces where they work. Shifts in workplace practices are commonplace and welcome. While other companies are just shifting away from a closed office and hoteling culture, many GCCs do not have fixed desks at all. Data, records and work have all moved online due to which the need for storage drawers have gone down and printer usage has declined. GCC spaces are much more technologically advanced than other companies. They are enabled with modernized technology and equipment which are relevant and relatable to the millennial population. This generation is comfortable working in an open culture that promotes flexibility, mobility and openness in an egalitarian setting.
Spaces in offices that are fun and give employees a chance to decompress are extremely attractive to potential recruits. These recreational spaces are a perk much advertised by GCCs to attract a younger workforce. For employees to unwind and recharge, workspaces have facilities like yoga rooms and recreation zones. This not only enhances the productivity, but it also lets employees unwind on a hectic day at work.
GCCs place equal importance on the physical wellness of their employees. With their busy schedules, long commutes and sedentary lifestyles, the younger population face serious health risks. To combat this, HR policies of GCCs not only offer regular medical check-ups for their employees, they also offer subsidies on gym and other wellness memberships. One of the unique HR policies that GCCs have in India is the provision for marital leaves. A paid leave for employees to celebrate their wedding is a thoughtful incentive. By being accommodative of such important milestones in an employee’s personal life, GCCs make their employees feel cared for and ensure better retention.
As important as it is to keep the brand and culture of GCCs similar to their parent companies, it is equally important to make sure that the Indian employees and business do not feel alienated in the process. To avoid this, GCCs take great care to adopt and integrate some local nuances and styles while designing the workspaces.
Keeping in mind that Indians love food, GCCs are promoting team bonding by bringing in food. This also promotes productivity as commute time to get food gets cut down. By being together in close quarters, quality conversations take place and this promotes team bonding.
As Indians live in large families and it is not uncommon for young couples to be supporting their aged parents. GCCs are cognizant of this fact and their HR policies accommodate employee health benefits that cover parents and in-laws as well. “It can be a differentiator and so are the benefits that GCCs can offer that can be attracting talent and retaining good employees as well, too. Like ‘Hey, I work for a GCC that really cares about my well-being and my wellness. They care about my children and my parents,” says Jay.
Creating and maintaining a healthy workplace environment is crucial for a company. It not only improves productivity and reduces costs related to absenteeism, workers’ compensation, and medical claims, even the quality of talent a company attracts is only as good its environment. With ANSR as their partner, GCCs can set themselves apart from other companies by creating superior work environments.
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