Uflex, India’s largest flexible packaging company, takes pride in the fact that as much as 82% of its workforce comprises of permanent employees. “From time to time, depending upon business requirements, we keep absorbing temps into the perm category,” says Chandan Chattaraj, president, HR (India & Global), Uflex Ltd. In an interaction with FE’s Vikram Chaudhary, he shares how the company has been engaging employees over the years. Excerpts:
Uflex has various business divisions. Does each division has a different HR department?
There is a central function at the corporate level which is responsible for the strategic HR, leadership sourcing and development, and formulation and deployment of all HR-related policies and processes. Each business has its own HR team, led by the HR head who reports functionally to the corporate head HR and administratively to the respective business head.
What about your facilities in Mexico, Dubai, Egypt, Poland and the US, do all these have separate HR departments?
In each of our global manufacturing facilities, we have an HR function, led by the HR head who functionally reports to the corporate head HR and administratively to the respective location business head. As we formulate our people’s practices at the corporate level, the implementation of these people interventions across global entities is customised by respective global HR teams, while upholding local cultural ethos. Since the HR team at the functional level is local, therefore it best understands the nuances and successfully maintains uniformity while ensuring effectiveness of HR practices.
So, how different are work cultures at your Indian and foreign offices?
We are a transnational company with over 9,000 employees. The work culture is described by our values—trust and respect, customer value creation, innovation, global perspective, speed in all directions, and socio-environmental sustainability. These are our guiding principles and embedded in our DNA.
What is the attrition rate at the Uflex group as a whole?
The engaged population at Uflex occupies a far larger portion in the pie as compared to the disengaged. Therefore, our low attrition rate of 6% is not really an area of concern. In fact, as far as our senior leadership team is concerned, attrition is almost nil. Our senior leaders have tenures above 20 years.
So, how do we engage our employees? We ensure that we touch every aspect of employee lifecycle. Right from proper hiring, smooth integration, developing and retaining, our goal is to create a learning culture.
How do you train your leaders?
Development of the leadership pipeline is our top-most priority and our focus at this level is to support them in the transition from leaders to visionaries. We have various programmes for this segment, such as Visioning Workshop, LEAP (Leadership Effectiveness & Achievement Program), Next Gen Managers, Outbound-Experiential Learning, etc.
We have continuously focused on developing leaders for tomorrow. This has well-synchronised with our growth story from humble domestic beginnings to a global player.
What is your take on the whole “perm versus temp” jobs debate?
As much as 82% of our workforce comprises of permanent employees; there is a minuscule portion that falls in the temporary category. From time to time, depending upon the business requirement, we absorb these temps into the perm category. While considering temps for perm, we review their performance, take feedback from reporting managers and interview them on a case-by-case basis.