Policies Facilitation To Employees By HR Department of Airtel Bangladesh
Subject: Human Resource Management | Topics:

Policies Facilitation To Employees By HR Department of Airtel Bangladesh

Airtel Bangladesh Ltd. is a GSM-based cellular operator in Bangladesh. Airtel is the sixth mobile phone carrier to enter the Bangladesh market, and originally launched commercial operations under the brand name “Warid Telecom” on May 10, 2007. Warid Telecom International LLC, an Abu Dhabi based consortium, sold a majority 70% stake in the company to India’s BhartiAirtel Limited for US$300 million. BhartiAirtel Limited took management control of the company and its board, and rebranded the company’s services under its own Airtel brand from December 20, 2010. The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission approved the deal on Jan 4, 2010.

BhartiAirtel made a fresh investment of USD 300 million to rapidly expand the operations of Warid Telecom and have management and board control of the company. This is the largest investment in Bangladesh by an Indian company. Dhabi Group continues as a strategic partner retaining 30% shareholding and has its nominees on the Board of the Company.

The new funding is being utilized for expansion of the network, both for coverage, capacity, and introduction of innovative products and services. As a result of this additional investment, the overall investment in the company will be in the region of USD 1 billion.

Scope of the Report

Human resources are essential and foundational to the growth and development of any organization and hence the ability to satisfy and retain quality and trained employees is vital. It must be therefore very crucial to identify if there is an underlying dissatisfaction amongst the existing employees of the organization.

This report will give a clear idea about “Human Resource Department of ABL”. How effectively they utilize their resources? What types of benefits they offer to their employees to motivate their work? Does the training program that they organize is effective or not? To have answers of all these questions, it is tried to go through the ABL HR policies; with three months working experience in HR and had discussion with officials of different wings.

Objectives of the Study

The report is prepared on the “Compensation Activities of Human Resource Department of Airtel Bangladesh Limited” with the thought of getting in depth of the compensation activities and policies of ABL.

Broad Objective:

The broad objective is to know about the compensation activities of Airtel Bangladesh Limited.

Specific Objective:

To have better orientation on compensation activities specially- compensation policy and practices, employee handbook, KUDOS reward and recognition system, employee appointment letter issuance of Airtel Bangladesh Limited.

Methodology of the Study

The following methodology will be followed for the study based on observation and interpretation. Data sources are scheduled on an informal discussion with officials, company website and observation while working in different desks.

The secondary data sources are annual reports, manuals, and policies of ABL. To identify the implementation and repayment practice, practical experience and observation was done.

Organizational Overview

History of Airtel Bangladesh Limited

Airtel Bangladesh Ltd. is a GSM-based celluer operator in Bangladesh. Airtel is the sixth mobile phone carrier to enter the Bangladesh market, and originally launched commercial operations under the brand name “Warid Telecom” on May 10, 2007. Warid Telecom International LLc, an Abu Dhabi based consortium, sold a majority 70% stake in the company to India‟s BhartiAirtel Limited for US$300 million.

BhartiAirtel Limited took management control of the company and its board, and rebranded the company’s services under its own airtel brand from December 20, 2010. The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission approved the deal on Jan 4, 2010.

Packages offered by Airtel Bangladesh Limited

Airtel Bangladesh has segmented its‟ product line under 5 (five) category and more are on the way to be introduced. At present airtel provides both post-paid and pre-paid connection plans. The post-paid plan is branded and marketed across the country under the name airtel Postpaid; the pre-paid segment is branded and marketed as airtel Prepaid. Furthermore there are International Roaming, Value Added Services and MCommerce.

Some of the airtel prepaid packages are: Adda. Hoi Choi, Manuted pack, Valentines pack, Shobai, Golpo, Kotha, Foorti, Dolbool, Bijoy 016.

The airtel postpaid is categorized under 3 packages which are designed to assist one‟s professional and personal communication needs.

  • Airtel Exclusive
  • Airtel Classic
  • Airtel Advantage

Airtel exclusive brings the highest fnf features and 1 second pulse that will enable to manage different calls efficiently. Airtel classic offers a flexible tariff plan that helps to explore a wide service and keep overall cost to a reasonable limit. Airtel advantage comes with an attractive flat tariff plan, large close calling circle which makes one‟s communication simple. Airtel-Postpaid and Airtel Prepaid user enjoy various Value Added Services (VAS), such as SMS, MMS, GPRS, 64K SIM, Duel SIM product, Corporate packages for product advertising via SMS, and a host of other features. However, International roaming is available only to airtel postpaid users.

Maternity Leave Policy

Maternity leave is a temporary period of absence from employment granted to expectant or new mothers during the months immediately before and after childbirth. These policies are generally aimed at supporting the mother‟s full recovery from childbirth and facilitating a stronger motherbond child. This mechanism has gained greater salience in the past few decades as mothers increasingly enter the workforce.

The maternity leave policy available to women in Bangladesh is 12 weeks which is paid at 100%. However, interestingly enough, there are no specific laws that exist for management level (women) workers. In Bangladesh, only a handful of organizations have recently started to offer their female employees on-site child care.

Unlike other organizations, Airtel Bangladesh limited has its maternity leave period of 4 months. Since most of the organizations have upgraded their leave policy from 4 months to 6 months, employees of Airtel Bangladesh Limited demand this to be increased on the same level. Furthermore government rules clearly encompass a leave period of 6 months which cannot be denied. Thus, the new policy has been updated on ABL and is being approved by the CHRO.

The policy is, however, will come into an effect from June 1, 2013. Maternity leave policy is eligible for all permanent employees of ABL. For the purpose of this policy; the people who are on the employment rolls of the company, on the day this policy comes into effect and employees thereafter, shall be deemed to „employees‟.

Opening Accounts of Internee Mobile Banking

Mobile Banking is a banking process without bank branch which provides financial services to unbanked communities efficiently and at affordable cost. To provide banking and financial services, such as cash-in, cash out, merchant payment, utility payment, salary disbursement,  foreign remittance, government allowance disbursement, ATM money withdrawal through mobile technology devices, i.e. Mobile Phone, is called Mobile Banking.

In Bangladesh this mobile banking facility is only provided by Dutch Bangla Bank Limited (DBBL). To open an account, a customer needs the following things:

  • Any mobile operator connection
  • 1 copy of passport size photo
  • Photocopy of National ID Card/ Passport
  • Filled up KYC from (available to the registered agents)

Airtel Bangladesh Limited pays the monthly stipend of its internees through DBBL Mobile Banking. Once the internee has an account, his/her monthly stipend goes directly to the account.

Later the salary can be taken from any of the DBBL ATM booths.

During my internship period, whenever a new internee joined, my task was to assist them to open the account. First of all, I had to talk to the DBBL agent to fix up a date. After the confirmation of the date, I had to then contact with internees to bring over necessary documents on the fixed date. After they are done with all the procedure with the help of customer care agents of airel and their forms are ready, I used to collect the forms from the agents after they are filled out and handed over to the DBBL agents. The account is ready once a specific code is provided by the agent. The mobile number is the account number itself with a specific code number at the end of the digit. For an example, if the mobile number is 01610005566, the specific code can be 9 and the account number will be 16100055669. Internees will be asked to have a password of their own which has to be a four digit in range. The password will only be known by the account holder and s/he will use the code for further collection of salary. After every steps done, the account numbers are been submitted to the Executive –E banking and finally the process will be done.

KUDOS Reward and Recognition

In a competitive business climate, more business owners are looking at improvements in quality while reducing costs. Meanwhile, a strong economy has resulted in a tight job market. So while small businesses need to get more from their employees, their employees are looking for more out of them. Employee reward and recognition programs are one method of motivating employees to change work habits and key behaviors to benefit a small business.

To retain its employees and creating a good impression, ABL designs and updates its reward and recognition program time to time; which is however named as “Airtel KUDOS Reward & Recognition Program”. The aim of this program is to designing innovating and motivating ways to engage and attract people towards the organization.

The keys to developing a reward program are as follows:

  • Identification of company or group goals that the reward program will support
  • Identification of the desired employee performance or behaviors that will reinforce the visions of ABL.
  • Determination of key measurements of the performance or behavior, based on the individual or group‟s previous achievements
  • Determination of appropriate rewards
  • Communication of program to employees.

In order to reap benefits such as increased productivity, the HR team of airtel designs the reward program in such a way that the company or group‟s goal must be identified and the behaviors or performance will contribute to this. The reward program can be financial and non-financial as well. HR team of airtel Bangladesh focuses on the non-financial rewards than financial because it is long lasting and more awaited remuneration to the employees.

To achieve its vision by 2015 of being the most loved brand and enriching the lives of millions; ABL continuously works to achieve its 3 values- alive, inclusive and respectful. A total reward approach has developed for the achievement of the values- total cash, benefits, recognition, development & career opportunities & work life balance.

Training & Development

Training and Development, is undeniably an inseparable and pivotal part of Human Resource Management which is recurred in different forms time to time by conscious organizations who believe their employees, whether newbie or experienced, to be assets with value. It encompasses employees acquiring knowledge and learning new skills not only to benefit themselves in terms of their career progression, but also help build the organization‟s position in the face of tremendous competition.

With the urge to maintain cost leadership, Airtel Bangladesh devises training accordingly, although it does provide good facilities to the trainees with the motive to make them multiskilled.

In terms of determining training needs, there exist functional academies which determine these needs. For example, let‟s consider the finance academy. Here the employees need to obtain a total of 14 skills and the whole team is assessed to check whether the relevant skills are present or not which are 7-8 apparently including the skills specific to finance related activities. The reporting manager conducts the skill gap analysis by rating the skills of employees under a scale of 1-5 and the ones lagging behind in say, a particular skill or more (below 3) are given training for that or those.

Airtel, although spends only 2% of their payroll cost on training and development, yet the training provided within this limited allocation is worth mentioning. For conducting some of the training sessions, single floors of two hotels altogether, namely Lakeshore and Lake Bridge are used. After joining, employees are given overview about the whole organization for a week, followed by giving them personal laptops for official use and guidelines on using them. Then field work takes place for a month (territory officers for example) where they learn from the seniors through observation. 6-7 months later, training sessions like group discussion, seminar (generally Pakistani or Indian trainees share valuable insight on specific topics), live game show (based on real life scenario, dealing with customer by a salesman for example), in- basket are provided. The already mentioned training methods including simulation training comprise 70% of the overall training process or programs, 20% is based on case studies and the rest, 10% is based upon presentation. And if we try to comprise all these under one banner, 70% is dedicated towards on the job training, 20% on leadership competency and 10% on functional level.

A well reputed training centre, BRAC CDM is used for leadership training and team building for individuals (called young leaders) who have high prospects in taking command of the company in the long run, also includes the already experienced ones who possess the abilities to handle the organization. Project workers get specialized training on „six sigma‟ (aimed at improving quality of service and products in line with the service, bearing in mind that Airtel is the part of service industry and also ensuring the best standards in terms of overall employee, management satisfaction, policy deployment, new hire process quality and cycle time etc.) where they thrive to achieve the „certified black belt‟, a sign of the ability to demonstrate team leadership, understand team dynamics and assign team member roles and responsibilities which is aided by HRM through:

  • Building a competency model that will help identify candidates with the right mix of technical, team, and leadership skills and abilities.
  • Creating job descriptions that help candidates fully understand the position and expectations prior to signing on.
  • Developing a retention strategy that will help ensure Black Belts complete their rotation and the organization recoups its investment in training and development.

All these training sessions may seem to give an impression that the evaluation process must be quite vigorous as well whereas on the contrary, it is not. We all know about Kirkpatrick‟s four levels of training evaluation. Surprisingly, out of the four stages, (reaction, learning, behavior and results); only the reaction of the employees is measured through questionnaires and asking them as well about their thoughts regarding the training program. The rest three stages are not taken into consideration as Airtel feels them to be time consuming and thus, gives only a glimpse at the job performance which is more likely to take shape few months later. The reason being, perhaps, that the training programs are designed in such a manner that the employees at the receiving end will automatically benefit from them and a reflection of that will be seen in their actual jobs in the long run. However, it is recommended that Airtel Bangladesh pays special attention to this particular area if they are to stay much ahead in terms of competition.

 

Integrating training with performance management systems and compensation

Surprisingly, Airtel integrates their training with performance management only and not with compensation. As per their claim, the leadership competency is the area which is scrutinized thoroughly under performance management after vigorous training is provided. So it bears a clear proof that building leadership skills is the prime focus of Airtel. This is undoubtedly praiseworthy. However, not integrating other aspects like on the job training and functional level training with performance management systems may cause problems in the long run as not every individual is bound to be a leader and whatever position they are holding and whatever tasks they are incorporated with, should be noticed with care and should follow a stream of continuous feedback so that they are always motivated. And, compensation should be integrated to get the best results. Otherwise, as it‟s said in theory, a training program that is not linked to the organization‟s performance and compensation has far less chance of success than others (in this case, GP, Robi, Banglalink).

Airtel Handbook

An employee handbook, sometimes also known as an employee manual or staff handbook, is a book given to employees by an employer. Usually, the employee handbook contains information about company policies and procedures. It may also form part of an employee‟s terms and conditions of employment because if the organization employ five or more people, it is a requirement of the Health and Safety at Work etc and to have a written statement of the employee‟s health and safety policy.

The employee handbook is an excellent place to bring together employment and job-related information which employees need to know, such as holiday arrangements, company rules and disciplinary and grievance procedures. It can also provide useful source of information to new staff as part of the induction process. A written employee handbook gives clear advice to employees and creates a culture where issues are dealt with fairly and consistently.

Airtel Employee Handbook has been prepared as a guided to the employment politics, procedures, practices and benefits meant for the employees of Airtel Bangladesh Limited. It is believe that, it is not possible to anticipate every situation which may arise in the work place, or  to provide information that answers every possible question. However, maximum effort has been made to provide optimum information for comprehensive understanding of the associates. The management of airtel has the right to modify, supplement, rescind or revise any provisions of

The Employee Handbook from time to time as it is deemed necessary or appropriate as per management‟s prerogative and discretion. Such changes made, if any, will be advised and disseminated to the associates accordingly.

Airtel is constantly striving to improve its politics and procedures and the services it provides to its associates. In case, employees want to give any suggestion, they need to provide the same to the Head of Human Resources Department. Such changes shall be evaluated and, if demand fit and proper, shall be incorporated into the handbook at appropriate time with the approval of the management.

Organizational Hierarchy

Company philosophy of Airtel is constituted of Open Door Policy, Equal Employment Opportunity, Affirmative Action, and Breaking of Glass Ceiling Effect that are reflected in its overall organizational culture. Such elements are briefly highlighted below:

Open Door Policy

All the associates have the right and are encouraged to speak freely by ensuring mutual respect with their supervisors and line managers about their job-related concerns. However, there is a laid down procedure to be followed to access any senior team member and CEO, if an associate has any issue or problem.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Airtel is an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE) and provides equal employment opportunity to the existing male and female associates against any vacant position. In case, there is no suitable resource found within the company, HR department advertises such position externally. EOE is the management commitment reflected in the internal and external hiring process.

Affirmative Action

Affirmative action leads to pursue and implement „merit‟ having no discrimination due to gender, race, colour, religion, sex or national origin. Recruitment & Selection policy of Airtel is free from such encumbrances and provides equal opportunity to all internal and external candidates for filling any position in the company.

Breaking of Glass Ceiling Effect

Glass ceiling is a perceived barrier in the growth and advancement of the female associates. The associates in Airtel are evaluated and appraised based upon their performance and merit in their perspective roles. Vertical and horizontal growth of all employees (male and female) is the result of their performance and its effective measurement. Every associate as the equal right to perform grow and continue as an important part of Airtel Family in achieving the set organizational goals.

Merit is the Sole Criterion

Merit is the sole criterion in the hiring and career advancement of the associates. Transparency is practiced during the course of hiring is judged and finalized through panel interviews whereas for vertical growth of the associates, bi-annual performance appraisal is used as a tool to measure their performance against the given objectives to reach a final decision.

Critical Observations and Recommendations

While working very closely to the Human Resource team of Airtel, I came up with certain observations and recommendations towards the organization:

  • Working hour of Airtel Bangladesh is from 10:00am- 07:00pm; where most of the telecom industris in the country ends at 05:00pm. Even though the target is to reduce man power, it slows down productivity in a certain way. Thus, work presure of the employees should be reduced by reducing the working hour from 07:00pm-05:00pm. If needed more employees should be recruited on a temporary basis.
  • Employees of Airtel Bangladesh are getting paid high than other telecom industries such as orascom, ericsson and etc. but the outcome is relatively poor in the market. Thus, it should be measured or a balance among the income and the outcome should be maintained.
  • Airtel depends a lot on Bdjobs.com for getting CVs for Territory Manager, Key Account Manager, Manager Compliance; most of the time good CVs are not found there so then HR takes people from reference which is time consuming, as a result HR cannot meet the demand of different departments in supplying employees as they require.
  • More training can be introduced to improve skills of the employees.

Conclusion

Recent analysis and literature demonstrate in the topic of “Policies Facilitation to Employees By Human Resource Department of Airtel Bangladesh Limited” show that the policies adopted are for the well-being of the employed to make them engaged towards the organization and the environment.

The study examined the overall policies that Human Resource takes and updates time to time. The research would suggest that in an agency such as the study site, where the workers are significantly engages, production outcomes would be high on the basis of the policies that the company facilitates.

Even though Airtel Bangladesh held 4th position on the basis of customer subscription, they are trying to become the market leader since the value itself targeted to be the most loved brand by 2015, employees are the one who needed to be engaged towards their work and without which this value cannot be achievable. Considering this in their mind, Human Resource team of Airtel Bangladesh trying their best to recruit the best employee from the market and implies durable policies that might help its‟ employees achieving the goal.

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