Best companies to work for 2014: How GCPL made it to the top 10

Priyanka Sangani, Economic Times, 30 June 2014

A new managing director coupled with an uncertain economic environment can make for trying times in a company. However, given that Vivek Gambhir was already a known face in the Godrej Consumer offices, there were no transition blues.

"We took our engagement programme to the next level with senior management interacting a lot more with the employees, both in person and through social media platforms, like Yammer and live webcasts," he says.

"Our 10x10 vision and ambition creates excitement among the employees, coupled with the Godrej values and legacy," says Rahul Gama, Executive Vice President, HR. "There has been a relentless focus on employee engagement at all levels as well as on world-class leadership development. It has been a gradual journey over the last three-four years and is now all coming together," he says.

The company's human resources policy is referred to as 'Tough Love'. Quite simply, if you don't do well, there's no place for you in the company, but if you do, then there's no end to what you could achieve.

Somasree Bose, Associate Vice President, Marketing, has spent 11 years with Godrej. "There are stretch roles but the tough love philosophy is really followed. If you do well, there are accolades and empowerment," she says.

The engagement starts at the campus stage through 'Godrej Loud', an initiative that gets students to share their dreams and then helps them in making it happen. The aim is to identify some of the most passionate and creative individuals out there, which is the kind of next-gen employees the company wants.

Of the 12 summer trainees in the first year of the programme, six will be coming on board as management trainees this year. Another initiative is the Godrej Fellows Program, which brings together 10-12 employees under the age of 30 who feel strongly about issues in society and business. They are given a platform to express their ideas as well as the resources to prototype their ideas.

"We've always been entrepreneurial and to increase the level of agility, have increased the number of cross-functional teams to boost collaboration across the company," says Gambhir.

All of these have helped boost the level of innovation in the company.

On the softer side, initiatives like celebrating various festivals at work, Friday Funda and Monday Mania balance the fun part of the equation. Monday Mania is aimed at pulling people out of their Monday morning blues and could range from quizzes to distributing bubble makers in office to Rubik's cube solving contests.

Over the last few years, the company has worked hard at making its policies more employee-friendly, from longer maternity - and even paternity - breaks to providing a crèche on campus to flexi-time policies.

For people like Bose, these are a huge help, enabling a smoother work-life balance. "There have been times when I just couldn't come to work and had to hold meetings from home, but this place allows you to do so," she says.