Open-door policy at CriticalRiver sustains employee morale and talent retention: Arundhati Ashoka

Open-door policy at CriticalRiver sustains employee morale and talent retention: Arundhati Ashoka

We believe in having an open-door policy in the workplace and encourage our people managers to be open to employees’ questions, complaints, and suggestions. This encourages open communication, feedback, and discussion about any concerns employees may have, says Arundhati Ashoka, Global HR Head at CriticalRiver


  1. As corporates are switching to work from home to hybrid, how does CriticalRiver engage with employees affected by burnout and are a victim of hustle culture?


When the pandemic was upon us, CriticalRiver made a smooth transition to remote work, hybrid work, and work-from-home. In the past year, after making sure that all employees were safe, our offices around the world have welcomed back employees and have continued to support hybrid work and remote work cultures for some profiles. CriticalRiver focuses on building a strong culture of working together, which is a key part of making a successful hybrid workplace. We are constantly trying to find ways to make communication accessible from wherever we are, whether on phones, tablets, or laptops, no matter where we work or what we are doing. We make sure that everyone has the right tools. Apart from that, we have shared commitments and mutual expectations among all the departments and individual employees, our managers ensure that they listen actively to their employees and show appreciation and organize occasional meetups in and outside the office. We are a global company that understands and respects the time of our peers who work in different time zones to avoid hustle culture. We also believe that employee engagement is key to avoiding burnout. CriticalRiver organizes employee wellness programs, sports events, office celebrations, and global monthly engagement activities, both virtual and face-to-face, to stave off any exhaustion caused by work.


  1. Today’s corporates are opting for an open-door policy, what advantages do having this policy in place favour employees as well as the company, and how does CriticalRiver maintain the policy as the team size grows?


CriticalRiver realizes that listening to employees is just as important as listening to customers to propel growth. We believe in having an open-door policy in the workplace and encourage our people managers to be open to employees’ questions, complaints, and suggestions. The objective is to encourage open communication, feedback, and discussion about any concerns employees may have. We believe the open-door policy can help maintain employee morale and reduce employee turnover. In turn, employees may feel more inclined to communicate with senior leadership. Our CEO, Anji Maram, participates in a monthly chat with employees to interact directly in an open, transparent forum. We believe the open-door policy creates an open line of communication with the team and boosts their morale. It has been one of the key policies at CriticalRiver to retain talent by ensuring they do not feel undervalued. We also believe that an open-door policy goes hand in hand with our core values and brings us together as a company, making us feel comfortable giving and asking for feedback.


  1. Companies today are implementing diverse policies that benefit employees, what policies of your company do employees find useful?


CriticalRiver has a host of policies that benefit our employees. We understand the necessity of motivating them through transparent, progressive, and hybrid work cultures and flexible work schedules, peer-to-peer recognition, upskilling and training programs and with the importance of employee wellness. Our policies also include sick and paid leaves along with all the important holidays, leave encashment, rewards and recognition, end of the year recognition, multicultural celebrations embracing different traditions, training, and development programs.


  1. What are the different ways the organization keeps its employees motivated?


Our leadership constantly motivates the employees and creates an environment where everyone feels engaged and inspired. We follow and practice ways to keep our employees motivated, more connected with their organization by ensuring that they have a work-life balance, flexible working schedules, positive and transparent work environment, global engagement activities, quarterly and yearly employee recognition program, organize social responsibility programs for causes that are important to our employees and can have an effect on their communities, schools, and other groups of interest. Providing a competitive compensation package is also how we keep our employees motivated.


  1. What does CriticalRiver initiate to ensure that employees are upskilled?


CriticalRiver offers world-class training and career development programs for service and support professionals to develop the invaluable skills required to learn, grow, and take charge of their careers through the educational platform ‘CR Academy’. We also nominate our employees for leadership programs and encourage them to participate in seminars. We believe the purpose of employee development and empowerment is to create an atmosphere at work that empowers people and fosters an environment for employee growth so that employees can productively engage in work in a happy manner and make contributions willingly. Through our leadership team, we have programs in place for them to share their knowledge and help the new staff enhance their skills. Enabling motivations is a two-way street, so less experienced teammates look to mentors as a work role model, which, in turn, makes the mentors feel more valued and, ultimately, more engaged. CriticalRiver’s other initiatives include Employee Certification Policy which is company sponsored along with company-sponsored training, seminars, and webinars.


  1. What are the unique initiatives of the organization that empower the idea of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion?


CriticalRiver’s vision, mission, values, ethics, goals, and objectives combine to make it an all-inclusive company that provides a stimulating and congenial work environment for employees. We strongly believe that having a diverse and inclusive policy when acquiring talent helps the company be more innovative and creative and achieve better results. Through an internal diversity campaign that includes employees from all offices around the world, CriticalRiver engages in storytelling and the sharing of employee experiences. This creates a bond among employees, drives innovation and cooperation, and increases employee engagement. CriticalRiver also engages in Diversity Hiring, All-woman team (APAC Sales) and Women function heads (Sales, Marketing, and HR). CriticalRiver has been recognized as a ‘Great Place to Work’ for three years in a row by Comparably, the leading corporate brand reputation platform. Our people-focused strategies and outlook have also helped us deliver cutting-edge, hi-tech solutions that accelerate growth for our clients.

Arundhati Ashoka is CriticalRiver’s global human resource officer, responsible for overseeing the company’s global people operations as well as recruiting, fostering, and retaining the talent needed to achieve its business goals. She establishes the high-performance workplace culture required for continued international expansion. Arundhati is a seasoned HR professional with an outstanding background in people and customer relations. Prior to joining CriticalRiver, she held responsible positions in various MNCs. She has been a champion of diversity and inclusion efforts throughout her career. The alumnus of Bangalore University currently resides and works out of Austin, Texas (US).


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