LET’S CREATE AN ENGAGING WORKPLACE ENVIRONMENT WITH EXTRAMILE!
Today, workplaces promoting a monotonous work culture that stands nowhere in terms of productivity in comparison to those companies which encourage an engaging and fun-filled working environment. Organizations which treat their employees with empathy and care are reportedly hitting the crescendo. Pooja Bajaj Chadha is the founder of ExtraMile, who through her splendid organization is propagating the notion of ‘Engaging Work Culture’ incorporates to aid employees in enjoying their work life.
Pooja Bajaj Chadha is a true inspiration to millions of young women entrepreneurs, who despite a myriad of roadblocks in the route has emerged as a phenomenal Woman Entrepreneur. Thereby, Business Connect has decided to write about the magnate’s journey in the upcoming edition-‘Women Entrepreneur of the Year-2019.’
Pooja was well-settled and satisfied with her job when a life-changing question popped up in the neurons of her brain, and it was “am I really happy here?” It was a moment of epiphany when she found out that deep inside her heart she wanted to put her foot into the entrepreneurial world.
In 2011, employee engagement programs were not formulated creatively or after doing an in-depth Research. Overall, no heed was paid towards the well-being of the employees-the most indispensable assets of the organization. A few treasure hunts and Diwali treats were conducted to make the employees happy, which of course was not as effective on its own and applicable for the long-run prosperity of the employees. This was mostly because the emphasis was on external customers or clients only. Today, almost a decade later, corporates and HR teams are beginning to realize the very essence of engaged employees at the workplace.
Pooja, whilst working in the corporate world, felt the fissure in the employee engagement, thereby, she decided to quit her job and embarked on the journey of entrepreneurship. With a vision of converting every corporate into an engaging environment for the employees, ExtraMile was born.
REASONS TO GO FOR EXTRAMILE
As the name suggests, ExtraMile always tries to go the extra mile for their clients and build an incredible relationship with each one. They intently listen to, consciously observe, understand their problems, statements and evaluate their opportunities – and then step in to customize solutions that suit their needs. Additionally, they try to offer solutions which are up to date and trending with the times. Clients fondly call ExtraMile the Mary Poppins of Engagement – one with always something exciting and innovative in-store that can change the way employees are engaged. “The journey’s been nothing short of a rollercoaster, one that I’ve truly enjoyed!”~Pooja Bajaj Chadha
COMPREHENDING THE COMPANY’S WORK
The methodologies used in the offerings range from learning with fun, quirky and creative themed communication and innovative game formats, which are suitable for both – online and offline – to engage a corporate’s employees.
Think of play, laughter, bonding, and fun amongst employees – That’s the vision of any ExtraMile engagement program. Each activity designed is a result of a lot of brainstorming, trial, error and detailing. The four attributes enlisted below make them different from others :
Teambuilding: Doing away with the old-fashioned domino challenges and blindfolded treasure hunts, this offering is all about customized experiences, game-based learning and experiential scenarios to challenge the senses. Right from the new-age method of learning loaded with fun, skill-development games, and offbeat solutions, they have this in kitty along with more offline activities for corporates. This is their flagship offering.
Digital Engagement: It’s the time for digital and time to connect your workforce across the country under one roof. ExtraMile offers unusual and innovative digital activities that can go viral at work. They help corporates to create a digital engagement network with solutions like innovative quiz formats, online games, tambola, virtual treasure hunt, KBC, card-a-thons, mood-o-meter, and selfie games. This is their latest and fast-growing offering, with the increased use of technology in HR today.
Office Engagement: There’s no dearth of initiatives at ExtraMile – they create a monthly engagement calendar for corporates – including the popular days such as ‘Women’s Day’ as well as the creative, offbeat ones of ‘Fun At Work Day’ or ‘Star Wars Day’. They plan the year-long journey of awesomeness for corporates and engage the employees on the office floor every month. With this offering, they aim to be the HR team’s right arm and partner-in-engagement in building a world of happy, energetic Mondays & mid-week celebrations.
Creative Communication: Be it an activity to create a buzz or elaborate on policies and code of conduct, introduce a new app or even build an EVP campaign for employer branding, ExtraMile’s offerings, as the name suggests, add a spark of creativity to the communication. They have solutions and themes to help corporate HRs to make an impact on their employees with their mailers, danglers, posters, tent cards, standees, brochures, wobblers, etc. This offering also caters to a regional audience.
The CEO says, “Through all our offerings, one aspect or strategy is implemented to position us as a one-stop-shop for all corporates. Whether it’s a conference, an offsite, an anniversary celebration or an awards night, we make sure the HR team is supported with creative communication to build a buzz leading up to the event date, a fun digital activity to pique the employee interest and fun, themed, learning-oriented offline activities (in and out of office).”
ExtraMile serves a 150+ strong clientele across various industries, with its presence in 25 locations and servicing corporates. The main objective of the organization is to create happy and engaged workplaces. They carved a long way since the Company’s inception with top brands as their partners-in-engagement including Aditya Birla Group Thomas Cook, Google (India), MakeMyTrip, Kotak Mahindra Bank, BookMyShow, Axis Bank, Crompton, Motilal Oswal, McDonalds, Glenmark, Zee TV , Tata Group and a lot more feathers in their cap.
EMPLOYEES COME FIRST!
Being an employee engagement firm, they encourage corporates to help their teams to grow and flourish in their personal and professional lives. They manage it effectively by adopting the same at their own workplace. To preach looks better if they practice it on the real grounds, and they implement this mantra in reality. The maestro, Pooja says, “If there is one thing I look at while hiring new employees at ExtraMile, it’s the ones with the passion and an attitude of ownership.
I believe, in every company, the employees must work alongside the leadership teams and not under them. This sense of accountability allows them to grow as professionals.”
An approach like this is what they use at their firm to ensure engaged employees as well. ExtraMile encourages a self-learning environment so that their team can take charge of their own development, the habit of taking feedback that helps the team to grow; it fosters a learning environment. Working closely with their Chief Outdoor Officer, they plan offbeat, fun, quirky activities for the team to identify gaps, overcome challenges, seek opportunities and collaborate to celebrate wins and appreciate each other’s work. Their month is filled with Monday morning huddle meets mid-week engagements, Thursday rewards, Friday peer-to-peer appreciations, occasional pizza parties and of course, chai and coffee breaks.
INCREDIBLE ACHIEVEMENTS AND MILESTONES
The company started from scratch, now it has expanded its wings, and created a prodigious place in the entrepreneurial world. Achievements of this journey include bagging an industry giant such as Vodafone in their first year, building trust among 150+ other clients that followed in the years to come, building a team that grows with the company and retaining an engaged workforce that is happy and excited about coming to work each day.
Apart from this, the company is accredited by many awards:
- GIWL Woman Entrepreneur of the Year for HR consulting (2019) – awarded by UBS Forums 2. Panelist on ET Now’s television show, Leaders of Tomorrow – segment covered Hiring Trends FY20, other panelists were from Gozoop, Monster India and Shortlist
- Pioneered initiatives like Colympics – an intercorporate sports challenge, Balance For Better FAIR – a women’s day celebration across 11 cities and Universal Wellness for Corporates – a world health day package of events
- ExtraMile has been certified as one of the ‘Top 10 Most Promising Employee Benefits & Training Management Service Providers 2019’ by Silicon India