Rupini Raman

Four-Step Mantra to Boost Productivity and Wellbeing for Your Field Staff | Rupini Raman | HR Head | Yulu

Rupini Raman

Field workers are the backbone of India’s economy. As a shared EV service, Yulu has an army of field employees managing its vehicle deployments, fleet operations and customer service. But indispensable as this segment is, it is also deeply vulnerable. A study on blue-collar workers by the job portal Indeed shows that only about 18% of workers report being paid higher wages than the ‘bare essential’ amount required for their sustenance. Additionally, crises like Covid-19 subject these workers to severe instability and stress. They also face various skilling and wellbeing challenges due to inadequate support from their employers.

Yulu, which has enshrined equity and inclusion within its corporate values, has taken steps to address these and other challenges for its own field workforce. Since fair wages are the foundation of any employee initiative, Yulu meets all the industry benchmarks for blue-collar workers’ salaries. Alongside this, we also run various initiatives to improve the physical, mental, and professional well-being of our field staff.

In this article, I will cover how Yulu’s tailored field worker initiatives span the gamut of workflow management, employee engagement, career growth and awareness-building. If your organisation relies heavily on field staff, these initiatives might help you design a more holistic wellbeing framework for your colleagues.

1. A Digital Platform for Workflow Management and Administrative Automation
Field workers often get bogged down by routine tasks or paperwork that sap their energy and productivity. To forestall this challenge, Yulu has developed Yuzen, an in-house smartphone application used by its field teams.

Yuzen automates administrative tasks, facilitates end-to-end workflow management, and improves transparency across the organisation. It has replaced manual record-keeping of things like leave and attendance for our 1,600-strong field workforce. More importantly, it is a direct, real-time channel where employees get updates about job assignments, schedules, and any changes in work requirements. They can also use it to report safety issues immediately. At a corporate level, Yuzen is used to deliver training and process-related updates. Thus, the application has led to tremendous time-efficiency and process transparency, besides promoting sustainability (being a 100% paperless system).

Yuzen has also improved Yulu’s ability to attract and retain younger workers, who typically seek jobs where technology enhances the way they work.

2. A 24/7 Helpline for Concern Resolution
Yulu has created a phone and WhatsApp helpline to ensure that employees’ concerns are heard and resolved within a committed timeframe, usually 24 hours. This mechanism, called Suvidha 24/7, is manned by a dedicated team and is open to every field employee of Yulu. Each day, the Suvidha team deals with 40-70 queries over call, message, or voice notes — these range from salary and benefits-related questions to work-related problems/suggestions sent by
our staff.

Yulu’s management takes complaint resolution very seriously. If a problem does not get resolved within the committed timeline, it is escalated to a senior officer. Yulu’s leaders, including the CEO and Head of HR, routinely speak to employees on the Suvidha line to hear and solve the latter’s concerns.

3. Guiding Employees Towards Healthier Living and Smarter Financial Planning
Owing to the hectic nature of their work, many blue-collar employees are unable to spare time for things like nutrition, self-care, or goal-based financial planning. To enhance awareness on these fronts, Yulu runs a workshop-based programme called Yu-Smart, which focuses on the following:

– Nutrition training – We provide simple tips for employees to weed out unhealthy or junk food and make simple switches to incorporate healthy and inexpensive foods, such as bananas, khichdi, seasonal vegetables, and curds, into their diet.

– Awareness about government schemes/platforms – We educate employees about government health and insurance schemes or facilities, such as Ayushman Bharat card, Pradan Mantri Jeevan Bima Yojna, and Jan Aushadhi Kendras (government-run subsidised pharmacies). We also tell them about government apps like One Ration and DigiLocker that they can use to claim their entitlements or simplify everyday chores.

– Personal finance education – This module teaches employees the basics of goal-based financial planning, savings and investment instruments, and the power of compounding interest for wealth-creation.

Through all these modules, Yu-Smart’s goal is to help each field employee create a roadmap for better health and financial discipline.

4. Skills Training to Enable Lateral Movement of Field Staff
Like other companies, Yulu publishes internal job postings to enable our field employees to take on larger internal roles like Trainers, Cluster Executives, and Infrastructure Executives. However, we do not make certain skills – like knowledge of software tools – prerequisites to apply. As long as the person is otherwise apt for the role, Yulu’s team steps in to bridge these gaps by training them in tools like MS Office or accounting software.

Skills training is also embedded into the induction process, where Yulu equips employees with smartphone usage, communication, and customer service skills. The Yu-Smart programme is also being augmented with a module on English speaking, among other topics, to enable employees to aspire to higher roles within as well as outside Yulu.

Keeping Holistic Wellbeing in Focus
Besides these programmes, Yulu recognises its staff at various intervals in the year. One such event is our annual ‘Utsav’ celebration, where we bundle the rewards with fun, entertainment, and games for the entire team. By empowering our field workers with the right knowledge and skills, Yulu is fostering a culture of continuous improvement and wellbeing and driving positive change within its organisation and beyond.

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