This report tells us about the daily work and activities in HR Operations and also the employeeengagement activities of Banglalink and how effective it is for employees to remain in Banglalink. I have worked closely both directly or indirectly regarding these activities while I was an intern there. Hence, the overall aim of this report is to entail the activities of HR Operations and employee engagement of Banglalink. The work is constantly changing with the pace of how industry is growing. Relating the theoretical activities with the practical aspect of the job, I can say that Banglalink is very practitioner at its nature as it tries to solve the daily issues regularly. If it gets to maintain its employees in a proper way, then surely it can have a strong employee engagement that can be achieved through proper Organizational Citizenship Behavior which can reduce turnover rate. Thus, the solution to such problems from the surveys can be summed up to state that Banglalink needs to address its employees’ concerns and distribute the workload properly and provide a sufficient amount of benefit for the services that it is provided with.
BACKGROUND OF THE REPORT
To find out the comprehensive study on HR Operations and Employee Engagement in Banglalink and how it affects the employees whether in a positive or negative way.
The specific objective of the report is given below:
- How HR Operations activities are being executed
- How Employee Engagement affects the behavior on employees
- Impact of Employee Engagement on Productivity
Methodology is how we go through the stages of writing a report or conducting a project. The steps include both primary and secondary data collection.
I have collected a sufficient information to write a report.
The secondary sources refer to the data gathered from already published articles regarding employee engagement activities.
One of the constraints in every report is not to gather enough information because of company policy. And a few employees were reluctant to provide feedbacks or fill up surveys. But mostly, the survey was a long process although it was not that hard to prepare it because the employees in a multi-national company is preoccupied with their work every now and then. Hence, I had to wait a few days for some of the top management employees and also the employees of other levels.
Therefore, although a hectic part of the report is to get the information through data collection, I was able to find enough to write some of the valid points to justify the subject of the report. All in all, time is also a crucial factor since other than the employees’ lending some time, squeezing out the time from my own day-to-day activities at the office was also a factor because it had to be arranged in a time where both the subject of the survey and me work on a schedule to get a more accurate feedback and not something that the subjects can answer in a haste.
BACKGROUND OF THE COMPANY
A public limited company which has been registered under the Companies Act 1994 and is the 2nd largest operator in terms of its subscriber base, network coverage, is none other than Banglalink Digital Communications Ltd (former Orascom Telecom Bangladesh Ltd.). With a large customer base of around 31 million subscribers as of 2014, holding a market share of 29% more or less only second to Grameenphone. Banglalink’s network covers more than 99% of the country. Banglalink Digital Communications limited (previously orascom telecom Bangladesh limited) is fully owned by telecom ventures ltd. (previously orascom telecom ventures limited) of Malta, which is a 100% owned subsidiary of global telecom holding (www.gtelecom.com). Following business combination, in April 2011, between vimpelcom ltd. and wind telecom s.p.a, vimpelcom owns 51.92% shares of global telecom holding. Vimpelcom (www.vimpelcom.com) is one of the world’s largest integrated ltd. telecommunications services operators providing voice and data services through a range of traditional and broadband mobile and fixed technologies in Russia, Italy, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Armenia, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Algeria, Pakistan, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. Vimpelcom is headquartered in Amsterdam, The Netherlands and listed as an ad on the Nasdaq global select market under the symbol “vip”. This telco provides positive change with the aim of empowering people by offering affordability and availability to their consumers. In May 2014, Banglalink offered a 5-year USD 300 million international bond which is the first coming from Bangladesh. It is listed at the Singapore exchange. At first, their main logo was “Bringing mobile telephony to the masses” which was the moving slogan for the company. Recently, it has been changed to “start something new” and it depicts the possible unique selling proposition towards the subscribers. Banglalink has changed the life of people from 2005 by making mobile phone a necessity rather than a luxury thus placing a desire to use its products amongst the masses. Throughout the years, Banglalink has been increasing its subscribers base from 1 million in December 2005 to 3 million in October 2006 then by December 2007, it overtook ‘Sheba’ and became the 2nd largest operator of the country with over 7.1 million subscribers. Growth had been high for Banglalink due to its innovation, network quality improvement, and dedicated customer center.
PHILOSOPHY OF BANGLALINK
“Banglalink understands people’s needs best and will create and deliver appropriate communication services to improve people’s life and make it easier”.
- Achieving a leading position in the Bangladesh wireless market.
- Delivering superior benefits in every phase of the customer experience before, during and after sales.
- Creating optimum shareholder value
- Straight Forward: We say what we do and we do what we say.
- Reliable: A promise made, is a promise kept.
- Innovative: No gimmicks; useful and usable.
- Passionate: We are passionate to provide the best product and best service.
Banglalink follows the following strategies
- Functional Level Strategy: Banglalink focuses on efficiency, quality, innovation, and customer responsiveness.
- Business Level Strategy: Banglalink applies both the cost leadership and differentiation strategies as their business level strategies.
ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE OF BANGLALINK
Banglalink has top, middle and first level management. It has seven major departments such as Finance & Accounts, Sales, Marketing, IT, Administration, Customer Care and Human Resource. The total numbers of employees are around 1600 after the re-structuring of the organization begun. This was done by offering Voluntary Separation Scheme (VSS) which gives the employees of having an employment with the company for at least two years, an opportunity to leave the organization with a golden handshake. The more number of years the employees were engaged with the organization, the greater the reward they received as per the calculation done by the remuneration team and the equation was same for all employees. This attractive offer made an open impression to lure in a vast number of employees, seeking the terminal, provident funds and other benefits. The good thing for them was that an organization only takes such a decision onceor twice based on its needs and hence, Banglalink succeeded to lay off employees with benefits on both ends because now, the cash outflow would greatly be reduced for them to continue its business procedures more swiftly. The restructuring will be done after replacing the older employees with either its current employees by adding some more benefits or offering job to some new prospective applicants and has targeted to finish its recruitment by next month or two.
OVERVIEW OF HR OPERATIONS
The regular day-to-day activities that we all see in companies to meet the needs of the employees are HR Operational activities. It is how you manage the daily work needs to be done to satisfy HR’s customers – the employees. It contributes a great deal towards organizational success since it restructures how employees would think about the organization and perceive it as good. HR people do their work as administrators and are visibly seen through every other employee. Tasks include scheduling an interview, hiring decisions, employee joining formalities, implementing organizational policies maintaining employee law, managing final settlement when an employee goes, proper compensation, and other benefits etc. It is thus uploaded in a software we would HRIS (Human Resources Information System).
HR Operations look after the post-employment activities apart from the HR Recruitment team which maintains the pre selection period. Some of the tasks performed by HR Operations are given below:
After performing the medical tests of the prospective employees, the recruitment team provides the candidate the date of joining as well the HR Operations team about their first day of work where the onboarding and the induction period starts. Starting from letter of joining, employee particulars form, application for employment identification card, pool phone requisition form, declaration form, code of conduct form, bank account and post-employment reference check are all checked by the HR Operations team.
Induction is the overview of the whole organization given to employees by the organization’s HR Operations team as a pre-requisite from everything afterwards. This is a policy as an MNC for the HR Operations team to provide useful information to the new employees based on the position he/she applied in. A more detailed induction is given every two months by the field experts according to the employees’ department for a more understandable atmosphere and what to expect from the job and both the employee.
Personnel Database Management
Personnel Database Management has been one of the most important responsibility of keeping employee records on file as required per Labor Law Bangladesh 2006. Here, HR Operations need to prepare a file on every employee and update their status based on the changes and is to be put in a file with the respective names on the folder along with the employee ID which is used to easily find them.
HRIS software in Banglalink by name of HITS is installed in the HR Operations team’s computer system to keep a track of its employees’ data including attendance maintenance, leave verification, profile updates (i.e. promotion, increment changes), report assignments for different departments. Hence, it is an important factor of the whole HR system.
Some important duties of HR Operations have employment certificates to provide to employees on request and NOC (No Objection Certificate) and VISA forwarding letter (Visa extension request) for foreign travel requests (official and personal), educational, pilgrimage, higher study and other personal reasons of employees.
HR Policy and Implementation
Conforming to the Labor Law Bangladesh 2006 is an important task to maintain as when there is a new policy about attendance, leave, strike etc. the HR Operations team need to discuss it with the HR & Admin director.
When an employee (permanent or temporary) quits the organization, there are a few formalities to undergo that leaves the HR Operations team with closing the employee file after having the clearances checked by various personnel who go through the record and clear him/her and in the process, it enables him/her to take the release letter. An employee needs to give a one-month notice before resigning.
This is the maintenance of compliance and non-compliance policies under Labor Law and also done by HR Operations team. The three stages of compliance are listed below:
a) Explanation: If there are any sort of actions such as unauthorized absence, habitual late in and out, leave without approval etc. done by any employee, the HR Operations team are required to send the show cause why such thing happened.
b) Investigation: If the employee can convince the team of his/her innocence, then HR Operations team can find out whether the party is guilty or not.
c) Action: After proper investigation, the management passes the judgement on the convicted employee and send him/her a letter of warning if he/she’s found innocent but take disciplinary action as per the labor law and company policy.
HR Operations team also guides the transfers among the departments of any prospective employee. Banglalink views this as a sign of professional growth under which employees can fill the shoes of different positions and probably shine in the new field. Transfers can be made by either management or accepting an employee’s request. However, transfers which are made by the organization need to satisfy the business need and transfers allowances are covered by the company but the one through employee’s request do not have expenses covered by the company’s funds.
HR Operations conduct whether a candidate is to be confirmed or not. Firstly, the line manager is informed about an appraise of an employee due to his/her performance. If performance is overwhelming, then a temporary employee can be a permanent one. Otherwise, the probationary period is extended for room of improvement for such an employee so that in the future a permanent position can be confirmed.
It starts with the research that states, “Employees’ willingness and ability to help their company succeed, largely by providing discretionary effort on a sustainable basis is called Employee Engagement.” (Markos & Sridevi, 2010). It thus means the emotional and rational factor of a job and overall work experience. The involvement of work and the enthusiasm towards it are which made Gallup organization define what employee engagement is. “A positive attitude held by the employee towards the organization and its value. An engaged employee is aware of business context, and work with colleagues to improve performance within the job for the benefit of the organization. The organization must work to develop and nurture engagement, which requires a two-way relationship between employee and employee.” (Robertson-Smith & Markwick, 2009).
Therefore, it’s a two-way relationship between the employer and the employee which makes them realize that work must be done from both sides.
IMPORTANCE OF EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT
It contributes to positive attitudes for employees towards their work and the whole organization that helps them to give the best of efforts during hard times. This is important because of:
- Engagement with the business
- Feelings towards the company’s management bodies and line managers and colleagues
- Sustainable culture
- Belief in the company offering
- Organizational effectiveness
EFFECT OF EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT IN EMPLOYEES
Before telling the effect of Employee Engagement, let us see how good such activities is needed. After doing a small quick survey and a few face-to-face sittings with the employees, I have seen that the suggestions exist strongly with attaining a much stronger job satisfaction by strengthening job communications. Because amongst all the other variables, these two stood out to be the strongest to make an employees’ life easier.
Now, during my internship period, I have learned that more than half of them believe in employee engagement activities as a part of the solution towards the dissatisfaction of their jobs. A job life can get hectic at times specially during deadlines wherever a project is knocking for its deadline.
THE NEED OF EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT ACTIVITIES
The importance of such activities is important because after the data collection period, I found that:
- Almost more than half of the employees agree that it is very important to improve such activities
- Sport competitions among various departments bring the cheers inside the organization
- Recognition as a valuable asset since it shows that company wants to make sure the employees stay happy.
EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT TECHNIQUES
Banglalink likes to execute certain techniques towards employee engagement activities because it is of utmost importance to them. It makes its HR undertook numerous number of initiatives throughout the years so that employees have an active life of fun besides the tiresome job.
- Family Day: This was held at the beginning of the year in 2013.
- Day Out: Every year, a department selects a place to travel to for several days. This can be a tourist place or abroad.
- International Women Day: This was a gift signed by CEO and given to all the women employees to give them as a token for their dedicated efforts towards the success of the company.
- Children Art Competition: Children of Banglalink employees have a platform to show their skills in art by getting involved with the competition. The winning party have the chance of seeing their name and picture of holding the prize along with his/her parent’s name on the cover page of birthday cards.
- Cultural Programs: Bengali traditional programs such as Pahela Baishakh, Eid Celebrations etc. are participated by the employees in the cultural programs with performances. The event is supervised by the HR Operations team across all the eight regional offices of Banglalink.
- Sports Competition: Every year, there is a chance of playing Chess, Carom, Badminton etc. This year, Banglalink organized a cricket tournament and it is still going on.
- Birthday Cards: Banglalink maintains a strict diary of tracking employees’ birthdays and give them birthday cards on that day which has the sign of CEO and HE & Admin Director.
- Photo Exhibition: There was a photography contest named Banglalink Photo Fest which showcased some breathtaking moments taken by the employees.
EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT LINK WITH OCB AND TURNOVER RATE
“Personal engagement is the simultaneous employment and expression of a person’s “preferred self” in task behaviors that promote connections to work and to others, personal presence (physical, cognitive, and emotional), and active, full role performances.” Kahn (1990). Employee engagement act as a direct predictor of an organization’s financial performance. However, nowadays, employee engagement is towards a declining trend as organizations and workers both tend to be more materialistic (Bates 2004 and Richman 2006). Organizational Citizenship Behavior has different dimensions but out of those, the seven below are most important:
- Altruism: Helping others voluntarily.
- Organizational loyalty: The engagement of employees with the organization even in its bad times.
- Civic: Concerned with the well-being of the company.
- Sportsmanship: Cheerful even when losing.
- Compliance: Conforming to organizational policies.
- Virtue: Being morally right.
- Initiatives: Initiatives taken at individual level.
- Focus on self-development: Improving oneself to grow.
However, the emphasis is given at initiative at individual level which strongly correlates with it and this means going an extra mile. Employee engagement, Organizational Citizenship Behavior and Turnover rate have a correlation with each other. The turnover rate is highly likely to decrease if employees have Organizational Citizenship Behavior which comes from strong employee engagement. Therefore, employees are less likely to leave the place they love to work at.
THINGS I LEARNED FROM INTERNSHIP
- INTERPERSONAL SKILLS:
I had the opportunity for meeting many personalities where I had to engage in activities that made me learn how to communicate with both top and mid-level management.
- COMMUNICATION SKILLS:
The day-to-day activities of HR Operations are to meet the employees needs and maintain what is going on with employees’ status and hand the certificates necessary for meeting their requests. And this is where I had to do the contacting and executing the certificates preparation and delivering to the appointed employees.
The workload was not limited to one sort of works as I would get called to do other things like maintaining the personnel file management with full authority along with preparation of employment certificates and the delivery of No Objection Certificate to the employees who requested it.
- WORKING UNDER PRESSURE:
A few days in my whole period has stretched my work level to maximum and give my social life a break because of the company restructuring which also collided with my internship period. Therefore, it was a good time to see all the processes of how it goes and how a company processes a load of exit formalities through a special form offered to employees to get the benefits in exiting.
Throughout the years, Banglalink has tried to improve some factors in the job to make its employees happy through activities that requires their presence and enthusiasm. However, there are some that still needs attention if they want to prosper in the future. To flourish in a department, the workload must be distributed accordingly and overload should not happen. Because overload leads to employee frustration due to long hours beyond office hour. As a result, turnover rate might bounce up. Currently, it’s climbed to around 13% but it can be decreased if Banglalink recognize appropriate actions to tackle this problem. Moreover, the drivers of employee engagement activities are also important as it depends who we target. The senior level management might be enthusiast of something which the entry level might not hope for. Therefore, managers need to identify the factors and from the survey, I have found that opinions should be recognized and need to be taken more seriously. Furthermore, it is very important for the prospective employees to grow and get a suitable promotion or a significant increase in increment if that satisfies the organization wholly. To solve this, line managers need to tie closely with their subordinates and see what can help them grow and move up the ladder in their careers. This is an era where a mutual workplace is more important and hence, Banglalink need to reimburse its employees more effectively so that the employment remain just financially to the level of work done by them. Prior to that, Banglalink also needs to focus on increasing entry-level positions in some various departments, especially in HR Operations because the workload needs to get reduced and distributed well. Therefore, through this, there is a hope to lessen the turnover rate and create a positive Organizational Citizenship Behavior and therefore, a more effective employee engagement.
Banglalink, right after they started back in 2005, has been constantly trying to improve their position in the market than what it is the years before. Employee engagement is a very important factor of HRM. To survive and maintain its reputation in the market, Banglalink needs to tackle its minor lacking and create opportunities that no other organization offers or in a way that at least the employees remain satisfied or feel okay with the job. Hence, I got a good opportunity how all the day-to-day activities are performed and how they are implemented. By analyzing the surveys and personal discussion with the employees, I have found that Banglalink is well engaged in maintaining a good relation with its employees. And it can get better if it focuses on the minor issues that concerns its employees. Therefore, with its reputation of well maintenance of its employees, there is a very good chance for Banglalink to increase its market share to maintain their position through high productivity from its employees as employees are considered to be the backbone of every organization.