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UPES becomes first varsity in India to receive ‘GPTW’ certification

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By OUR STAFF REPORTER
Dehradun, 13 Jun: ‘GPTW – Great Place to Work’ is a much sought after global certification, which is awarded by ‘Great Place to Work Institute’, San Francisco, USA. This institute is an authority on high-trust, high-performance workplace cultures. The Institute was founded with the mission of building a better society by assisting organisations to transform their work places for all stakeholders. It recognises outstanding workplace cultures through its meticulously designed certification programmes.
Great Place to Work Institute was founded in 1991 and is the outcome of a 10 year research conducted by two business journalists who were asked in 1981 by the then editor of ‘New York Times’ to write a book called “100 Best Companies to Work for in America”. Their extensive research, spread over various organisations and geographies threw up some interesting insights, which eventually evolved into framing the matrices for evaluating an organisation’s work place culture. Some of the primary attributes of these included trust, pride and camaraderie. In 1997, FORTUNE (in the United States) partnered with their research wing to produce the world’s first 100 Best Companies to Work for workplace rankings, the outcomes of which were widely acknowledged and accepted. This exercise established this Institute in a niche of its own. Thereafter, they gradually opened doors in more than 50 countries around the world. The Great Place to Work Institute started operations in India in 2003, the same year UPES was founded. UPES management had set itself an agenda to gradually incorporate some of the global best practices in the organisation and someday achieve this coveted certification. UPES has been finally able to secure this certification in its 16th year of operations.
Sharad Mehra, Chairman of Hydrocarbon Education Research Society, the promoting body of UPES, shared that the University had over the years adopted the philosophy of “People First” while also making concerted efforts to incorporate some carefully selected global best practices in the organisation, which now also form the 5 Core values of UPES and include  ‘Respect’, ‘Trust’, ‘Inclusivity’, ‘Innovation’ & ‘Passion’. VC Dr Deependra Jha, while sharing the Indian scenario, disclosed that 3000 organisations had applied for “GPTW-2019” out of which only 350 qualified for this certification and UPES was the first and only University in India to have been awarded this certification.
Monika Jain, Director HR of UPES and the chief custodian driving all key initiatives in the organisation including the GPTW, disclosed that every year, more than 10,000 organisations from over 58 countries apply to Great Place to Work Institute for this certification but less than 10% are able to qualify. As part of this assessment, the organisations are studied through two lenses – the first lens measures the quality of employee experience through their globally validated survey instrument known as Trust Index. The survey helps in seeking anonymous feedback from employees and carries 2/3rd weightage in the evaluation process. The second lens is called Culture Audit, which is a proprietary tool of the Institute that evaluates the quality of people practices of an organisation, covering the entire employee life cycle. This carries 1/3rd of the remaining weightage. The Institute undertakes a robust validation process on the data gathered through the assessment process and also validates that the organisation is a ‘Great Place to Work for All’ thereby ensuring that all employees, irrespective of their age, tenure, role, gender in the organisation are having a consistent experience or not. The cumulative score of Trust Index and Culture Audit determines an organisation’s inclusion in the list for annual certification. No individual or jury has a say in who makes it to the list – only employee feedback and quality of people practice determines the merits of certification.
Jain also elaborated on the various initiatives which have been undertaken by them to empower and equip the UPES fraternity at all levels.
Arun Dhand, Senior Director in UPES, added that true to the core value of innovation, UPES has created and shaped two innovative best practices in the organisation and is probably the pioneering educational Institute in the country to have put these in practice. Explaining these, he shared that one has always heard of Industry Internship for Students but never does anyone get to hear about Industry Internship for teaching faculty. “Abhigyat” is a program wherein 100 plus teaching faculty members get allocated to the Industry of their domain for two months every summer to learn the contemporary requirements of the Industry. This not only enriches their class room delivery but also provides them the opportunity to connect even more strongly with the Industry resulting in collaborative research, student internships and placements. The second innovative product is the “PGCAP”- Post Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice, this is an eleven month rigorous programme for augmentation of self-development in the teaching domain which provides an opportunity to the faculty to enhance and sharpen their class room teaching skills.