Mumbai: Havas Group India companies (creative group, media group and health) have been Great Place To Work Certified in India from November 2022 to November 2023.
Havas Group India, the country’s fastest-growing advertising conglomerate, has undergone a dramatic transformation in the last few years. Despite expanding in the breadth of its specialized offerings through acquisitions and joint-ventures, and in turn, the volume of new employees who now fall under the Havas Group India umbrella, the network has remained consistent in its primary focus – its people.
In an industry so dynamic that one of its hallmarks is the constant flurry of new faces flowing in and out of organisations, Havas Group India has institutionalized concrete measures to ensure talent retention and development across the various stages of one’s professional journey, which has borne a complete cultural transformation for the better.
With a holistic yet customized approach in mind, Havas Bolt aims to mould high-potential talent into the leaders of tomorrow. Simultaneously, the network has a vested interest in pumping fresh perspectives and ideas into the industry by way of their flagship internship program, Havas Spark, the second edition of which was concluded successfully in October this year. Havas Group India hosts the ‘Meaningful Difference Awards’ to appreciate the long service and celebrate the contributions of employees.
At an industry-level, Havas Group India is a founding member of the India chapter of UN Women’s #Unstereotype Alliance which addresses gender-based stereotyping in advertising content. It is also a signatory of the national chapter of UN Women’s Empowerment Principles, and has recently been awarded 1st runner-up in the Transparency & Reporting category of the UN WEPs Awards 2022. Driving the ethos of equality and diversity within the network is the 12-member Women Who Inspire committee. Some other initiatives include ‘Flex Your Lexi’ workshops, the ‘Bounce Back’ program for women returning to work after maternity leave, ‘A Day in Life Of’ video series aimed at capturing the stories of female managers and leaders across the network, among others. These sustained efforts have resulted in improving the gender ratio from 19 per cent to 35 per cent, with strong visibility of female leaders in the C-suite.
The network actively promotes a learning mindset, widening the horizons for its employees by running programs like Havas Talks, where industry experts and pioneers speak to employees and share their success stories and unique insights. In seeking opportunities to make a meaningful difference, Havas Group India has a strong association with the Akshara Foundation of Arts & Learning (AFAL) where the organization sponsors the school fees of underprivileged children studying in the ICSE board and volunteers conduct workshops and career counselling sessions.
Transparency is pivotal in building and sustaining a healthy work environment, and Havas Group India has dedicated channels like HavaSAY engagement surveys and Havas Voice email systems to ensure their employees not only feel heard but also supported. These anonymous and confidential channels provide a safe way to raise genuine concerns, without the fear of reprisals, and helps inform what works well and where the organization can improve. Whether it is prioritising mental and physical wellbeing under the ‘Be Kind to Your Mind’ initiative which sees enthusiastic employee participation in activities like Yoga Day workshops, after-work Game Nights or Paint Your Pride, or conducting a specially curated Havas Ascend induction program monthly for new joinees, Havas Group India champions a people-first outlook. In line with the overarching ‘Better Together’ philosophy characteristic of the global Havas Group, the India operations is a definitive example of a positive workplace culture, as demonstrated by earning the Great Place To Work Certification.
Great Place To Work is the global authority on workplace culture. Since 1992, they have surveyed more than 100 million employees worldwide and used those deep insights to define what makes a great workplace: trust. Their employee survey platform empowers leaders with the feedback, real-time reporting, and insights they need to make strategic people decisions. The Institute serves businesses, non-profits and government agencies in more than 60 countries and has conducted pioneering research on the characteristics of great workplaces for over three decades.
Havas Group India group CEO Rana Barua said, “Advertising networks are in the business of conjuring ideas, and ideas come from people. Hence, people are our biggest asset. Over the past three years, the entire leadership of Havas Group India has worked closely with me and our group CHRO Vandana Tilwani to cultivate a culture of equity, equality, inclusivity and transparency, and we are deeply invested in the growth and well-being of our people. This certification bears testament that we have taken actionable steps to ensure that what we are building is not just a place to work but a great place to work.”
Tilwani said, “This is a momentous occasion for all of us at Havas Group India. Being Great Place To Work Certified holds up a mirror to how our employees truly feel about the culture and environment we have built together interpersonally as well as institutionally. It has been a sustained labour of care and conscious consideration to ensure our people are happy at Havas. We constantly strive to do better, and this Certification serves as a validation of our past efforts and encouragement for the wonderful things we have in store ahead.”
In India, the institute partners with more than 1100 organizations annually across over 22 industries to help them build high-trust, high-performance cultures designed to deliver sustained business results. Hundreds of CEOs and CXOs from India Inc. are part of the great place community that is committed to the vision of making India a great place to work for all.
The institute’s research shows that great workplaces are characterized by great leadership, consistent employee experience, and sustainable financial performance. These organizations can deliver a consistent experience to all their employees irrespective of their role, gender, tenure, or level. Their leaders believe in the vision of creating and sustaining a great place to work for all and role models being for all leaders.