Hilti India: People Development > Outstanding Results

Jayant Kumar ,MD - India

Jayant Kumar

MD - India

Hilti India Pvt. Ltd. is part of the Lichtenstein based Hilti group which makes and designs leading-edge products, technology, software and services which power the professional construction industry. The company provides products and tools for work onsite to training & consultancy, repairs and testing. In short, the company is a one-stop shop for building, worldwide.

Based in over 120 countries, the group started its operations in 1941 and across the 75 years, has grown to a workforce size with close to 30,000 employees. Hilti India started its operations in India in 1997, and over the past 20+ years, has grown into a leading name amongst the professionals in the Indian construction industry. Today, it has over 800 employees across India with over 25 locations, headquartered at Cyber City, Gurgaon. It continues to grow and remains on track to reach its Champion 2023 objectives.

Hilti believes in building a culture of performance and care. It has two tenets followed by its leadership team; developing people and achieving outstanding results with overarching precedence given to people development over achieving outstanding results. “If people are developed, capable and empowered to decide in their areas of responsibility, they will ensure outstanding results. It’s really as simple as that,” explains Sanjay Chaturvedi, the Director - Human Resources, Hilti India.

Guiding Philosophies: Foundation of Processes
Hilti India has an evolved company culture that has strong guiding philosophy and principles. “We believe that while robust and good processes might be in place, they would not be sustained without a guiding culture. We have built this culture through our people approach called ‘MOMENT’,” says Sanjay. MOMENT can be defined as any opportunity across an employee’s lifecycle where engaging experiences are created.
Hilti Group has identified four guiding principles that form the basis of all its processes.

Hilti encourages its employees to have frequent conversations and discussions to understand how they are doing, the challenges faced by them, and how to enable & develop the team to perform better. The second guiding principle, ‘take action now’ focuses on teaching its employees the art of living in the moment and taking immediate & right data-backed decisions to achieve results in the volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous environment. The third guiding philosophy, ‘ownership’ focuses on teaching its employees to own-up their actions, growth and development.

Hilti’s fourth guiding philosophy is ‘strength’ in the context of people development by focusing more on an individual’s strength than their development areas. “Research has proven that more productivity and business impact can be created in an organization by addressing employees’ strengths rather than their weaknesses,” explains Sanjay. Hilti implements these four guiding principles across all its processes within the organization.

People Friendly Policies
A large chunk of Hilti’s workforce in India works on the field in sales, and each employee on the field is provided with a Hilti branded car which aids them in commuting to client locations. Hilti believes in providing workplace flexibility to all its employees. Doing away with employee attendance monitoring system, the company focuses on the amount of work being accomplished rather than being fixated on the number of hours spent at work.

In order to foster a pleasant work environment, Hilti maintains a strong balance between time devoted to work and relaxation. The company organizes care and perform team camp sessions as a pitstop to learn & develop and organizes annually a family day which focuses on giving their employees’ family members a feel of the company’s culture and achievements, and provides ample flexibility of working hours as required.

As an equal opportunity employer, Hilti does a stellar job in terms of taking care of its
women employees. The company not only provides a generous amount of maternity leaves, but also has a Women’s Advisory Council (WAC) in place that focuses on making Hilti a great place to work for women, thus addressing female employees’ need at the workplace, and development, growth & mentorship of women at work. A collective that includes senior women employees, the CHRO and MD meet every quarter to review progress on these topics. Hilti also works hard to reintegrate female employees who come back from maternity leave through ‘Boomerang’ program.

Hiring & Onboarding
“To attract talent, it’s critical that we first believe that everyone has a potential, and we do everything to make our current team members successful, who then become our brand ambassadors. Our purpose is to passionately create enthusiastic customers and build a better future.

We achieve this by simply creating a work environment which is engaging, caring and performance oriented. We invest in the potential of our people and develop them further, utilizing their strengths. This enables us to attract highly talented, diverse and skilled people who challenge the status quo, innovate and makes us a great place to work,” explains Jayant Kumar, Managing Director, Hilti India.

When a new employee joins, they may feel uncomfortable and anxious. At Hilti, they put-in best efforts to make them feel comfortable and part of the family. Welcoming and onboarding for new hires at Hilti is geared towards Culture assimilation into the Hilti world, Accelerating the time to productivity, Awareness of Hilti Business Model, and Awareness of Hilti Business Processes, supported by the team leader, business director and a special buddy.

Hilti’s employee integration programme extends to six months from the date of joining. This helps integrating people well into the organization and has a positive effect on employee engagement and retention.

Prioritizing Employee Engagement
Meaningful work has strong correlative characteristics with multiple employee outcomes, including employee engagement, motivation and drive to perform better, all of which translate to higher productivity and hence organizational success. Hilti offers several avenues to employees to ensure they find inspiration in their daily work and workplace.
Few such initiatives that are provided highlight factors such as – belief in a higher purpose to work towards customers and society, advancement of employees through learning & right opportunities, and ownership to call the shots & innovate.

Further, to gauge the engagement level and keep the cycle moving for improvement, Hilti emphasizes on Global Employees Opinion Survey (GEOS). It’s a centralized system with uniform 45 questions which can be answered in less than half an hour. Conducted in the month of September, it allows us to understand the level of engagement in every team,” explains Sanjay. Based upon the engagement scores, action planning workshops are conducted by the top leadership team. The findings of the GEOS are further validated through certification by external parties such as GPTW (Great Place to Work Institute). Hilti India has been certified as a great place to work for three years in a row.

To attract talent, it’s critical that we first believe that everyone has a potential, and we do everything to make our current team members successful, who then become our brand ambassadors

Interestingly, Hilti has a unique position called the ‘Culture Sherpa’, who is responsible for developing and sustaining culture within the organization and working on strategic initiatives to inlay the culture that can be imbibed by the people. The company conducts culture camps across all teams based on themes that keep evolving periodically. As a result of such initiatives and continuous support to its employees, Hilti India has taken a massive lead in terms of maintaining a healthy employee turnover rate.

“While the industry attrition rate (in the construction industry) ranges anywhere between 17-25 percent, we experience only a 15 percent employee turnover rate,” narrates Sanjay Chaturvedi, HR Director, Hilti India. With a high number of long tenure employees on its roster, quite a few people have been with the organization for over two decades.

Culture & People Development
Even though ‘People are our greatest asset’ is mouthed by many companies, few invest in the company culture needed to nurture those assets, as much as Hilti does. Overall, the Hilti Group spends between $10-15 million each year teaching its ~30,000 employees about the company’s culture.

The world of People Development is changing. People are focusing more on their near-term job moves instead of longer-term development planning. They also want to pursue what they enjoy doing by using their strengths more than ever before. Hilti’s new approach of My Development empowers the employees to take direct control of their development and utilize what they like doing best, how they want to grow, and what future roles at Hilti interest them the most. Given its systematic people development policies, Hilti has achieved a high percentage (18 percent yearly) of promotions and developmental movements every year.

Guiding Principles that Form the Basis of all Hilti’s Processes:
- Frequent Discussions
- Take Action Now
- Ownership
- Strength

Three Pronged Agenda of Hilti India’s Women’s Advisory Council:

- Addressing female employees’ need at the workplace
- Development, growth & mentorship of female talent at work
- Making Hilti a great place to work for women