Company Compliance for Business Ethics

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A certification that your business meets up with all required and accepted practices, legislation, prescribed rules and regulations, specified standards, or terms of a contract is necessary to make your company business compliant. Anyone employed by a company makes sure that you need to be in compliance with all policies and procedures, at all times.

In India, compliance regulations span across three echelons – Central, State, and Local regulations. Financial organizations and foreign funds require central regulation. Compliance regulations often vary between industry segments as also from geographical locations. Most regulations diverge between economic, public interest, and environmental regulation. India suffers from poor compliance with around 65% of companies not following compliance norms.

All businesses need to follow varied compliances to obey the legal laws and regulations with regards to how they manage business, staff, and even customers. The concept of compliance ensures that business houses act responsibly. Compliance management is therefore the process that ensures that a given corporate set up is following the given set of rules.

These norms are actually the compliance standards or compliance benchmark and the process is what actually manages their compliance. Compliance is thus being in accordance with established guidelines or specifications, or being in the process of being so. The definition of compliance includes encompassing all efforts that ensure your organization is abiding by requisite regulations.

HERD Group of Companies is also in the process of following the needed regulatory compliances that we need to adhere to. Presently we are in the process of understanding the regulations, guidelines and specifications relevant to our businesses. Well aware that violations of regulatory compliances could result in legal reprisal we are therefore attempting to conform to the business laws. In this regard we are making sure of taking steps to comply with relevant laws, polices, and regulations.

Due to the increased number of regulations and need for operational transparency, we are going about the process with help from a professional agency. This will help us to adopt tried and tested measures that will harmonize the sets of compliance controls we may be in need of. This approach would ensure that all necessary governance requirements would be met without the unnecessary duplication of effort and activity.

For starters we are following suggestions made by the professional agency and attempting to achieve the corporate compliance aims for our varied business units. By collaborating and coordinating amongst ourselves we will be helped to evaluate and examine measures that would help us automate the compliance measures that need to be put in place. Herein it would be essential to document and manage all the information to be compliant ready.

Customer Experience to Exceed Beyond Satisfaction

Let’s start with a telling quote on customer experience by Bill Gates – “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” When in the business of serving customers day in and day out, one could tend to do things by rote and forget the better niceties of attracting and retaining customers. Loyal customers in particular need to be handled with great care. A sharp manager knows to keep track and measure what needs to change, where and how.

With HERD Group of Companies our focus is constantly on anticipating the needs of our customers. We do this by taking a step back from time to time to revisit our mission and vision in order to repurpose our targets. As we well know the retail businesses need more than safe, tried and tested survival methods. We also need the right set of approaches to attract a clientele that increasingly trusts our motives.

Our aim is to enhance the retail segments and to top the best customer experience in the different units of the Group. We have come to realize that the secret to success is to lay continuous stress on the importance of customer experience.  For this we lay down tenets of best practices for the retail businesses to follow. Based on our own experiences and expertise we have evolved certain ground rules for establishing our retail sales.

First and foremost we ensure our front-end staff is adept at connecting with our customers. We try and inculcate staff to develop an emotional connect with them. Research states that bonding is as much essential as leaving customers completely satisfied. Staff is motivated to reach out to customers with a sense of belonging and attainment. This they do by walking the customer journey via emotional touch points. Understanding customer mindsets and thereby segmenting them through creative communication enables to establish that emotional connect.

An emotionally connected customer will always walk up to you. He would be recommending you around and may even overlook slight price changes. He will always bring in more revenue. Employees have therefore to be trained to learn to achieve such needed emotional connect. Retail business definitely wants to reach out to as many customers as possible. This has to be accomplished by a well-trained and well-prepared sales team.

Employees can play a key role in creating emotional connections with customers in a physical set up of a retail store. They can start by anticipating the needs of the customers and be ready to reach out to them even before being asked. HERD Pharmacy for instance has been practicing a customer centric culture, aided by leadership that helps them focus on giving a boost to increased happy customer experiences. For doing this they are encouraged to keep track of customer related data like preferences, mindset and transaction history.

The key here is to offer personalized and warm customer experiences. As stated by Sir Richard Branson – “The key is to set realistic customer expectations, and then not to just meet them, but to exceed them — preferably in unexpected and helpful ways”. So it all depends on the attitude and helpfulness of front end staff to retain customers. Payment counter should provide quick efficient service with the least amount of queuing–up time.  It is important to maintain a human element that becomes the emotional connect.

An emotionally connected customer who is well engaged with human efforts is more prone to return and bring more business to the organization. To conclude in the words of Henry Ford – “It is not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money … It is the customer who pays the wages.” We therefore consider customers not simply as passive participants but actually as the intrinsic hub in the running of the business.

Importance of On-The-Job Training

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Dr Amol Deshmukh Giving Certificate of Appreciation to Mr Ramesh Sangare – Expert Trainer

July 13 saw HERD HR team organize a training workshop on Dynamic Supervisory Leadership Development for the benefit of HERD Pharmacy Group. The trainer from Human Resources Development Corporation, Mr Ramesh Sangare demonstrated how coaching employees in their given roles made a difference in motivation and propensity for work. Nearly 30 participants from the pharmacy unit along with key staff of the head office including Managing Directors, Dr Amol Deshmukh and Dr Suchika Gupta attended the training programme.

As we all know trainers play an essential part in the success of any team. They help develop and motivate team members. They have the knowledge and knack of bringing out the best in staff members and offer compelling information, examples and techniques to drive home points leading to success for creating a winning team. Undertaking this type of coaching while on-the-job becomes very purposeful as employees learn to attain higher levels of performance that ultimately brings success to the company.

It is for this reason that training employees for superior performance becomes quite important. Such trainings offer numerous benefits. While improving quality and productivity, they also boost enthusiasm and morale. Additionally they help strengthen relationships between employees and promote effective communication between all concerned. On the one hand it adds to the employees sense of job satisfaction and enhances team spirit too. Such continuous periodic trainings helps build trust and employee loyalty.

HERD HR Department therefore considers internal training programs for employees to be a very important area of work. They well know coaching helps employees improve performance and grow professionally. Besides helping develop closer and more effective working relationships among employees, such regular training get-togethers add to a sense of purpose for all concerned. Mr Sangare proceeded with day’s training according to the planned scheduled beginning with basics of motivation and team work.

HERD pharmacy unit started two years back is fast emerging as a visible brand pharmacy chain in Nagpur. Staff working in the pharmacy unit as Managers and supervisors receives ongoing training even as they continue to grow into their respective roles. Over time they have identified new areas in which they need to hone their skills. As the unit is continuously evolving the workforce too has been increasing and HR Department effectively manages outcomes. Yet the need for external coaching was included to make sure employees get trained to enhance skills through an expert facilitator.

The one-day training proved practical, engaging, and quite relevant for supervisors as well as experienced managers to act as a quick refresher course. Participants were enjoying a variety of techniques and gaining perspectives with regard to leadership abilities. Also they were getting new ideas about how coordinated efforts could make a difference in output. The inclusion of a popular feature film cut short to drill in the salient features of team building and winning was an inspiring feature of the training programme.

The training took in effective motivation strategies for staff and by the time they followed the nuggets of simple formulas that clarified how a combination of factors could assist them in reaching their goals, participants were able to understand the elements of adult learning. Since HR head Ms Nisha Mishra had already assessed training needs as per the unit identified for training, the earmarked objectives were addressed accordingly in the training. The experienced trainer was able to help train the young adults effectively. HR now plans to develop more such training sessions to enhance learning for the benefit of staff. HERD Group of Companies is committed to foster and encourage a culture of continued learning.

Establishing Trust in Business

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Trusting someone means that you think they are reliable. A dependable work-relationship begets trust and becomes mutually great for both parties to feel safe in every sense of the word. Trust is something that two people in a relationship can build together when they decide to trust each other. Oftentimes we experience a workplace that gradually becomes more trusting with time. Nurturing trust makes for the biggest difference in work-place journeys.

Trust is really the ultimate quality a pharma-business brand could build and sustain. More so in the pharmacy line where it can literally make the difference between life and death! A chemist’s shop doesn’t merely offer medications, good customer service, or excellent delivery mechanisms. These are learned attributes that certainly make you reliable. The key factor here is ‘trust’ that needs to be build up. Trust is that rare sentiment that binds your customers to you.

HERD Pharmacy believes that it is trust that acts as the direct chord, tying you to your customers. Even a start-up business can generate the quality of trust. Trust is one of the most powerful allies in the business world, as elsewhere. It works both inside and outside the organization just as forcefully to create bonds that may last a life time. It should be kept in mind though that in business practices trust is a virtue that is mostly an intangible component. One that is often hard to quantify, keep track of or assess. Even so, you will absolutely know it when you see it and experience it.

It is often a challenge to understand this subtle quality that goes beyond reliability and dependability. But this is just what it takes to create an awesome place to work and to cater to the external world. Rest assured customers too can sense this quality and it is your conviction that can be seen through – through all the gloss and polish of well-trained employees and working systems.

So what is it that one needs to imbibe to create this culture of confidence building and trust building? Essentially the people in an organization need to improve areas around mutual-respect, being open and transparent, and creating a positive environment. This energy flow has to extend from top to bottom – from MD and CEO to gardener and guard-man. You need a management that listens and employees that offer their complete participation. When employees realize their voice matters and they are being heard with leadership playing a parental role – is when mutual trust begins.

Mutual trust goes a long way in making significant business progress when we show respect to each other and create positive vibes and affirmative energies. Extend this same positive energy to customers and clients and you will create constructive ambiance for your customers. Watch how trust as the single most critical attribute will make huge improvements in people-skills and people’s level of satisfaction. Good vibes will flow from managers, supervisors, front-line staff, back-end staff to roll on for intuitive bonding with customers.

More positive outcomes will benefit the organization. Employees will feel a sense of pride in working for the company. Trust opens minds and hearts to work willfully with willingness to work beyond what is expected or required. Trust builds up an enormous powerhouse in the commitment of employees that makes them go beyond the call of duty. There is no doubt that at present this is just what we are primed at doing and so it can be safely said we are moving in the right direction.

The way forward is to instill work values that will create a trust-based work environment. What is it that one needs to do to establish trust at the workplace and facilitate it to filter out beyond our counters? This would mean sticking to well-set routines. Multi-tasking is all very well but being reliable would be of prime importance. Trust is just another way of saying you can rely on someone. Each one has to mean what they say. Speak the truth. Share what they really feel. That may be the starting point in building a trust-filled environment.

Preparedness Training for Youth Employability – Celebrating World Population Day

Preparedness Training for Youth Employability – Celebrating World Population Day

HERD Foundation, Nagpur

YuvaConnect Training Dr Amol Deshmukh Handing over Training Certificates

World Population Day is observed on July 11, around the world to create awareness about population growth and related issues. UNO has declared 2014 World Population Day theme as: Investing in Young People. It is a call for investments in support of the largest-ever generation of youth. As the world population edges on we stand at the threshold of 1.8 billion young people who are shaping social and economic realities, challenging norms and values, and building the foundation of the world’s future.

Youth has profound implications for development and all opportunities are to be given to them that have implications on sustainability, access to health services and youth empowerment. HERD Foundation has since inception continued to invest in youth. Our YuvaConnect initiative has been consistently involved with youth from rural areas who have been accorded membership to help them participate in various initiatives like Employable…

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Pre-schooling for Toddlers

 

Pre-school education is actually pretty important for infants today. With increasing nuclear and one child families, pre-schools become a familial hub that aid kids to learn all about the world around them. Early on they begin to understand and learn how to live a healthy and purposeful life. Research suggests that pre-primary education is vital for development of young children before they begin formal schooling. This early juncture helps in cognitive development of children that in turn has strong bearing on attendance and participation in school in later years.

Pre-primary education helps children become more independent and confident as well as promotes their all-round development. Children who have been to pre-primary schools tend to learn more quickly and understand curriculum and learning-aids better. They also learn to interact and attain social skills with other children. The main purpose of pre-primary education is to prepare children physically, emotionally, socially and mentally for formal schooling.

This stage is considered necessary for all children of 3-6 years of age. But now children start pre-school from as early as 1.6 to 2 years. The reason for this is the increasing numbers of working parents, lack of family support, and wanting the best start in life for the children. All this makes pre-primary school education significant.

Various types of pre-primary schools run in India and more children are now attending them indicating an increase in demand for such education even at this early stage. The pre-primary stage then becomes the foundation embedding children’s knowledge, skills and behavior. On completion of this stage they happily move on to primary schools after attaining 6 years of age.

A preschool is also known as playgroup, nursery, pre-primary school, kindergarten and Montessori. These are all semi-educational establishments that offer early childhood education to train infants. Several factors ensure the quality of preschool education. First and foremost it is imperative they have well-qualified and trained teachers who have requisite aptitude for their chosen work. Next, these must have the necessary facilities and amenities for pre-schoolers. Finally they must provide safe, healthy and suitable environment for the young ones.

These are very important years of learning for the young ones. The brain grows most rapidly in the early years. During these early years they are capable of absorbing more information that they retain for the rest of their lives.  High-quality teachers and a good preschool can have a lasting effect on children. Here are areas of development that preschool education cover:

  • Personal, social, and emotional development
  • Communication (including sign language), talking and listening
  • World-around-them knowledge and understanding
  • Creative and aesthetic development
  • Physical development
  • Physical health
  • Play
  • Teamwork
  • Self-help skills
  • Social skills
  • Literacy – Mathematics and Language awareness

Pre-schooling is no more a luxury. It is now considered the very foundation of a child’s formal education. Therefore, you need to find a preschool that introduces your toddler to academic learning and at the same time ensures that he enjoys the time spent there. Play schools have cropped in every part of India. And you are overwhelmed with options, making it difficult for you to choose. The curriculum, facilities, and personal attention paid to the kids, all play a key role in determining the best from the rest.

 

Monthly Management Review Meetings

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Monthly review meetings, held on the first Saturday of every month, have been a mandatory feature with HERD Foundation and HERD Group of Companies. These monthly review meetings allow everyone involved in varied businesses, in their diverse capacities, to join together while taking a step back from routine everyday responsibilities, to assist management in reviewing performances, achievements and setbacks.

These regular assessments help all in remaining focused on the intentions and targets of their units. Management evaluates and ensures that key personnel are focused in the direction of their business and also assesses their continuing suitability, adequacy and effectiveness. Such review meetings help in rethinking about changes that may have occurred in the context of company’s businesses. Review meetings are an opportunity to take cognizance of risky areas of businesses and how best to go forward.

HERD Group of Companies follows the management review process to the tee in order to be on top of situations. The idea is to see the actual results relating to the performance of the business and its systems. Staff members are expected to fill in requisite data about their business performance prior to stepping in for the meeting, with quality objectives and key performance outputs clearly defined therein.

Our management review meetings teach us what we need to do if something is amiss. Senior management looks at problems encountered and suggest ways to improve or eliminate issues that affect productivity. So from month to month, management review provides the team with opportunities to look on business growth from different angles and to evaluate each period so as to improve approaches while planning for the follow-up period.

Headed by Dr Amol Deshmukh and Dr Suchika Gupta, Managing Directors, these management review meetings are facilitated by Chief of Operations, Finance and HR Head who ensure performances are in alignment with the organization’s strategy. As business leaders of the group they demonstrate that they are committed to stringent management systems for effective outcomes and compliance with company policies.

For in the final count the review is as much about individual performance as it is about the company’s financial performance and result. Naturally employee performance directly affects business outcomes and review meetings are aimed at firmly keeping a grip on effective systems to reign in financial accountability. Herein we have to contend with issues – elimination of any waste, optimize operational efficiency, reduce complaints and improve customer satisfaction levels.

Subsequent improvements in these areas will decidedly impact positively on the financial performance. Staff is prepped up to plan and prepare well for these monthly review meetings. With the agenda in place all unit heads present actual results of their key areas of performance on a pre-decided format. With the availability of actual data along with facts and figures in place, management review meetings end up collecting and collating its core processes of performance.

Once the core process performance is evaluated we understand how our products/services/processes have been delivered. Were these implemented as per plan or did we lapse and fail in some areas. What were the costs of such failures and it is here that the top management audits its findings. Thus every month we come to know precisely what have been our levels of achievements vis-à-vis our objectives and strategies. Most importantly, did we fulfill them all? If not, then what are to be the next steps?

The purpose of our monthly review meetings is to undertake a factual approach by presentation, discussions, questioning and decision-making to arrive at facts that help in planning the subsequent strategies. Management expects such meetings to help key staff in gaining confidence to understand their organization and to take ownership of their units. Monthly review meetings have over a period of time evolved and contributed in doing this. Armed with actual data, staff presentations are not subjective, sketchy accounts but hard data that helps in confidently planning the road ahead. For HERD Group of Companies the purpose of Management Review Meetings is now a well-entrenched practice.