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Retaining talent at Wipro: Karen’s Story

Category: testimonial, What Our People Say, Staff Testimonial, celebrating women, happiness, business women, Wipro, diverse talent, talent network, talent development, career for women, Happy

Testimonial

Karen Crowley, the Global Customer Engagement Manager at National Grid, Wipro

In the past, it was common for the average worker to secure a suitable job and work their way up the hierarchy within a company, staying with one organisation for many years. Today, this isn’t so much the situation as an ever increasing number of  workers create what are known as  ‘portfolio careers,’ where they hop from company to company, or role to role, often staying in each for a short period of time.  

As indicated by  Oxford Economics, as published by an article in HR Review, replacing members of staff incurs significant costs for employers at an average of £30,614 per employee. In the current economic climate, it is more important than ever for businesses to reduce expenditure. One way of doing this is to ensure that recruited workers stay put.

Unhappiness at work can significantly affect psychological well-being and generally personal satisfaction and can prompt high staff weakening rates. So how can companies create a happy working environment and retain their staff?

To discover this we spoke with Karen Crowley, the Global Customer Engagement Manager at National Grid, Wipro, about what has kept her happy and loyal to this leading global information technology, consulting and business process services company for nearly seven years.

At the point when we interviewed the Sales Director for Wipro Continental Europe(CE), Swati Ficher, we discovered that the culture at the company hugely contributes to the happiness and staying power of its workers.

In this follow up article, we will dive further into this company’s approaches and policies to discover more about their Diverse and Inclusive initiatives and gain an understanding of why Wipro workers have a good staff retention rate comparied to their compeitors.

In her role, Karen supports both UK and US geographies, working closely with Application Support Teams to assure quality of services and customer experience. She is also the D&I lead at the company.

In 2015 McKinsey published a paper titled “Why Diversity matters” where they stated that:

“Companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35 percent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.”

Wipro is headquartered in Bangalore, Karnataka, India, but hire globally and, in doing so, naturally attract a diverse workforce. The company is proud to state that Inclusion at Wipro is defined as the very culture the company cultivates.

We asked Karen to describe the culture within her team:

“Within my immediate setting, it’s like home from home. It’s a family environment. Most of my colleagues are from Indian heritage so it’s allowed me to learn a new culture. Family values are important to them and me so we share that and there’s a real spirit to pull together and get the job done. It doesn’t matter where you are positioned in the organisational structure, we work and sit together.”

Karen enjoys a rich family life alongside a successful career with two daughters aged eight and 12. Maintaining a senior position whilst raising a family can be tough for both men and women, but with a flexible working, arrangement is entirely possible, as Karen proves.

“My 12-year-old is a world champion dancer so when I’m not consulting I’m a dance mum, so before the pandemic, I spent my evenings, weekends and holidays travelling for my daughter to compete. Thanks to technology I can do my job anywhere and as long as I have a laptop and headphones I can be effective,” Karen explained.

During COVID-19, organisations across the globe were forced into a remote working experiment but, ahead of the curve, Wipro was already offering staff flexibility at work.

Having control over working patterns, hours and locations serves to motivate staff far more than enforcing a strict regime with no flexibility and this is a fact that companies are finally beginning to appreciate.

Another contributor to workplace happiness is the ability to take ones ‘whole self’ to work, which Karen feels the culture at Wipro fosters. By promoting inclusivity through staff networks, companies can help support their staff on a more personal level.

“Networks support workers and raise awareness. They give people a voice and help put arrangements in place to help people, which is important. The disability network is a good one because people will think it’s just about the physical side but when you consider autism and mental health there are so many invisible disabilities, and they will often suffer in silence. You don’t know what’s going on for other people so it’s about being kind, not judging and looking out for each other.

“It’s about promoting the conversation and making sure you have the right plan in place for those people so you can support their needs,” said Karen.

As well as networks, such as Wipro’s LGBT+ community, “Life – Stage” based “Women of Wipro” (WoW) Framework and the Disability network, the company encourages out of work activities to accommodate staff in developing personal relationships with each other.

“It’s about promoting the conversation and making sure you have the right plan in place for those people so you can support their needs,” said Karen.

As well as networks, such as Wipro’s LGBT+ community, “Life – Stage” based “Women of Wipro” (WoW) Framework and the Disability network, the company encourages out of work activities to accommodate staff in developing personal relationships with each other.

“We have activities like the company ‘Spirit of Wipro’ run, cricket and football competitions. It’s not just about work and you have a wider sense of Wipro as a community,” Karen explained.

Karen particularly enjoys the social side of working at Wipro and takes her daughters to cultural events with her teammates where, as a family, they embed themselves in diverse cultures:

“It’s something they enjoy doing. At the Diwali celebrations, we share gifts and appreciate different names and foods. It’s been a good education journey. As my daughter is a dancer, one of my male colleagues is a belly dancer and she loves that. He’s been really big on LGBT+ and it’s been something promoted by Wipro which has been great to see.”

But what are the benefits of diversity in the workplace?

“I think it would be a boring place if we were all the same and it’s lovely for different personalities, beliefs, values and different strengths to come into the workforce.”

To feel valued and respected at work undoubtedly contributes to feeling happy and fulfilled in the workplace, which in turn can help retain staff and reduce staff attrition figures. With our final question to Karen, we wanted to know if, for her, this feeling is achieved at Wipro:

“I’ve got a great level of respect for those I work with and they equally respect me and that’s what makes it a really happy place to work.”

Thank you Karen, for talking to us today and contributing to our Happy Workforce month. If you are interested in a career at Wipro head over to their profile to view their current job openings.

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email info@vercida.com for more information.

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