Convivial Workplaces Are A Key To Maximizing Human Capital: Shrikant Lonikar, CHRO, PRI

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Pernod Ricard is the world’s second largest wine and spirits seller, with an enviable brand portfolio and a history that spans three centuries. Over the years, they’ve built a business around creating an atmosphere of “Conviviality”. Conviviality is one of the core values of Pernod Ricard India. It drives their ways of working and defines their outlook towards their employees. Their formula for creating “Convivial Workplaces” is bringing them rich dividends in the form of the lowest attrition rates in the industry, and a workforce that rates them highly - a whopping 91 percent.

Shrikant Lonikar, Chief Human Resources Officer, Pernod Ricard India, credits this to a carefully curated organisation culture that does away with the hierarchical structure of a traditional organisation in favor of clearly defined roles and goals, a strong support structure, and an open-door policy for when employees need extra help. Employees are encouraged to take initiative and to innovate, while being given the freedom to make mistakes. This encourages ownership, and a more entrepreneurial outlook towards the work at hand.

Another game changer for them has been the separation of promotions and growth from employee performance. Promotions and role changes become available to employees who demonstrate readiness for the role. High performance in current roles results in differentiated incentives - allowing the company to retain high performers in the roles where they are performing best.

This is reflected in the average number of years an employee spends at Pernod Ricard, millennials included. By providing opportunities for growth, change and learning, they’ve successfully managed to retain their best performers without having to create exit barriers. Strong hiring policies also play a role here - role fitment is key, and potential employees are treated with complete transparency on role expectations, growth paths, compensation and culture. Lonikar says “Pernod Ricard is a company that is hard to get into, but even harder to leave, as it grows on you”.

Lonikar also shares details about the wellness program at PRI, that takes a holistic view of the employee - encouraging participation in sports, exploring talents, providing opportunities for learning and upskilling. Work life balance is encouraged, and there are programs for stress management - including a daily yoga class on premises. The organization provides various avenues for employees to marry their personal and professional lives through structured engagement programs, in which the families participate whole-heartedly.