Employee engagement is one of the significant factors that influences the productivity of the employees. Having good employee engagement not only ensures the organization’s growth and success but also gives employees a sense of belonging and a sense of purpose. The key driver behind this engagement is the human resources (HR) department of organizations. HR professionals have to find ways to improve employee engagement in the workplace. Also, they have to keep in mind that the methods need to be personalized according to the unique needs of each individual employee. This is a tedious task for these HR professionals – to find such programs or activities that are suitable for all.
This is where Pooja Bajaj Chadha, the Founder and CEO of ExtraMile, steps in to help HR and business heads of corporates to create a sustainable and engaging work culture for their workforces. Since the inception of ExtraMile, Pooja has helped over 75+ clients by providing solutions that focus on keeping employees engaged and happy at the workplace. It takes a compassionate, open-minded individual to succeed in this role and she encompasses the heart and soul necessary for success.
The Notion behind ExtraMile
Pooja believes that every experience, both negative and positive, has given her the opportunity to see the world differently and helped her be a better manager. For her, the journey to establish ExtraMile was not a walk in the park. This entrepreneurial journey started on a tropical island in a moment of epiphany. Once quitting her corporate job she never looked back and paved her way in the HR industry. Recalling her memories, Pooja says, “It was the disengagement at work that led me to take this step and when I found a similar disconnect amongst my peers, I made it my mission to bring a change in the way employers engage with employees.” This was the moment where the notion to establish ExtraMile came to her. Since then, the passionate leader with her team has been working to achieve its mission which is to build engaging experiences that foster a happy and healthy work culture.
Focusing On Building an Engaging Work Culture
With a wide range of unique ideas and concepts for employee engagement, ExtraMile is helping organizations improve talent retention, performance, and profitability. The company’s tagline “Building happy workplaces” pushes all employees to create a productive and happy environment where people from different backgrounds, cultures and age groups come together to work towards a single objective. The competent leader, with her team, has compiled over 250 customizable programs that are conducted on-site and on mobile. Because of their innovative and offbeat programs and engagement events, they are often dubbed as the “Mary Poppins” of Engagement. Pooja proudly asserts, “Being a one-stop-shop for HR professionals to build an engaging work culture from pre-hire to retire is what sets us apart.” Being a prominent leader in the HR industry, Pooja knows that her responsibility has increased to innovate, be future-ready and agile to match the pace with ever-evolving HR landscape.
Passionate for Employees’ Happiness
Team building’s most significant benefit is that it creates more workplace relationships and guarantees the engagement of workers, which is necessary for business success and growth. Therefore, the environment at ExtraMile fosters a culture to learn every day. Pooja ensures that all employees are motivated, inspired, learning and growing every day. She focuses on their wellness and growth because keeping employees happy means they will also keep customers content. The passionate leader always tries to organize 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. Pooja further shares, “A typical month at work 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!”
Facing Challenges Head-on
The role of HR leaders increases as they have to guide their organizations through the storms of continuous change. They also need to stay top of their game, constantly adding value and building the long-term capabilities of their workforces. Pooja has perceived that while the demand for building employee experiences has grown, the budgets have seen a fall. To tackle this, ExtraMile offers economical engagements in a DIY format and digitally. Furthermore, the CEO, with her team, is planning to focus on growing their tech vertical in 2020.
HR Industry Scenario
Over the years, new approaches/methods are adopted by organizations to create a healthy work culture. Pooja has observed that some of these changes are the shift from closed conference room training to outbound experiential programs, one-time Diwali parties to monthly wellness and learning engagements, ad-hoc events to annual strategic engagement calendars. The biggest change, however, was the the adoption of a digital engagement strategy to communicate with workers across the country collectively and systematically as opposed to a fragmented approach. To cope up with this, ExtraMile offers customized solutions and packages tailored to the organizations’ objectives.
Roadmap for the Year 2020
Pooja has devised a strategic plan for ExtraMile’s growth and success. She believes that the year 2020 is going to be the year of innovation and growth of ExtraMile’s digital business to reach a target of 100+ clients in the new financial year. Moreover, there is an upsurge in the demand for engagements on mobile due to its ubiquitous nature and affordability. And, the dynamic leader is going to turn this demand into an opportunity to deliver world-class solutions.