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GICs give extra sops to employees

Many MNC tech centres in India – what are called global inhouse centres (GICs) – are extending newer forms of support to its employees working from home during Covid-19, not only to ensure their health and safety, but also to retain good talent, a study by consulting firm Zinnov said.

Many GICs are requesting their insurers to extend existing medical coverage to include Covid-19 testing, irrespective of the result. In case the insurer denies, certain organisations are covering the costs for the employee or even extending medical cover to employees who are admitted in hospitals.

Many are reimbursing internet and mobile bills, given that employees are now working from home. They are reimbursing the cost incurred to install essential IT infrastructure. They are tying up with psychologists to help employees overcome the emotional stress resulting from social distancing and often living alone. Salary advance is being paid out to part-time employees.

“Extensibility and the flexibility of benefits being provided by GCoEs (global centres of excellence), especially in response to force majeure crises like Covid-19, is fast becoming par for the course. GCoEs are not only extending insurance coverage for the physical well-being of their employees but are also taking care of the employees’ emotional well-being,” said Mohammed Faraz Khan, principal and delivery head of GCoE accelerator platform at Zinnov.

The study involved 66 such tech centres with more than 140 offices across the country. The majority were from Bengaluru, the hub of GICs. More than 50% were internet and software firms, and 11% were BFSI (banking, financial services and insurance) firms.

Mental health has become an important aspect of employee wellness, the study finds, with 90% of participating GCoEs offering mental wellness programmes. These programmes include a combination of counseling, meditation, seminars/group activities, yoga, etc. Also, with many couples working from home and often having to deal with children, companies are also granting different work timings and shorter working days.

“Most employee benefits that once served as a competitive advantage for attracting talent are now a common practice in several industries,” the report says.

Rewarding innovation and innovators has also become increasingly crucial to engage and motivate top talent in GCoEs, with 88% having Innovation Reward Programmes and 60% having Patent Reward Programmes.

Source : TOI