As the moonlighting debate rages in corporate hallways and conversations about employee loyalty take center stage, I often wonder why companies seek loyalty, what do they do in return, and who should be part of this circle. Often companies focus on their full-time staff, but they often forget that there is a wider circle of value chain actors such as dealers, distributors, retailers, workers, etc., which are just as essential to their existence and proper functioning. Their conscious inclusion in the priority scheme can not only strengthen the business value chain, but also support diversity and inclusion (D&I) goals.
Companies can’t retain employees by offering ping-pong tables, free snacks, or handing out gift certificates during the holiday season. These are strong internal processes that make employees feel valued. It could be ways to hone, upgrade, and build a growth plan in line with their aspirations. When you make workplaces a melting pot of ideas, encourage performance, protect them from burnout, and show genuine care and empathy so they don’t seek greener pastures elsewhere. .
Additionally, for more robust business outcomes, if organizations expand their reach and include value chain participants, overall business performance will accelerate at an unprecedented rate.
Raison? The pure pleasure of inclusion and the recognition of their contribution greatly strengthen motivation and the feeling of belonging.
Great power is released with a sense of belonging. It makes contributors high-value providers, serving citizens and selfless donors.
I can’t think of a better example than the uncommon courage the Taj Hotel team showed on the fatal night of 11/26, which has become a Harvard Business Review case study. Acting like human armor, they gallantly evacuated guests even though they knew the escape routes to script their own escape.
As the Harvard Business Review evocatively writes in an article titled, The Ordinary Heroes of the Taj“His guests were overwhelmed by the employees’ dedication to duty, their desire to protect guests without regard to personal safety, and their quick thinking. Restaurant and banquet staff rushed people to safe places such as kitchens and basements. Telephone operators remained at their posts, warning guests to lock doors and not exit. Kitchen staff formed human shields to protect guests during evacuation attempts. As many as 11 Taj Mumbai employees – a third of the hotel’s victims – gave their lives helping between 1,200 and 1,500 guests escape.
When people rise above contracts, they earn recognition that transcends habits like discounts or lucrative offers. Especially for value chain participants such as dealers, distributors, retailers, laborers, etc., social security benefits are what they deserve as a starting point.
Salaried professionals sleep soundly knowing that they are being taken care of. Provident Funds, Mediclaim, Gratuity and Golden Age Plans are part of their compensation structures in India’s organized sectors. Even the lowest stratum of our society is provided for by schemes such as Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMJJBY), Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMSBY) and Atal Pension Yojana (APY). But these benefits rarely trickle down to participants in the value chain. They are far from being protected against unforeseen risks and geopolitical and financial uncertainties, especially after retirement.
They are the nerve center of businesses. Managing the flow of goods from the source of delivery to the end user, they are like warships at sea, as it is rightly said, whose collective strength is more powerful than that of a single member. .
And thanks to these actors in the supply chain, companies benefit from greater productivity and a better marketing proposition. But since they are basically treated as external resources, they operate as isolated machines lacking even basic social security.
The least they expect is a far-reaching social protection system that allows them to live in dignity. It is here that companies could create a welcoming culture by allocating a corpus dedicated to social security to their neglected partners. Many companies have a genuine intention to improve their world, but don’t have a system and don’t know how to start.
A welfare platform like HUMBEE organizes this workforce, verifies their identity via aadhar and channels social security benefits to them. But more manpower is needed to organize social security in this highly disorganized segment, which remains vulnerable due to the cyclical nature of professions, illiteracy and ignorance. Additionally, since these workforces are associated with different brands, they are not seen as integral parts of a single organization.
A change of mentality is the need of the hour. Business leaders can demonstrate that diversity and inclusion practices need not be confined to the boundaries of their organizations. This new manual, which extends benefits to workers in the value chain, can make companies transparent about their responsibilities. They must pivot to create inclusive cultures where everyone belongs
The opinions expressed above are those of the author.
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