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BARC India’s new HR policies aim at making the office a happy place

New measures include work-from-home option, maternity and paternity leave policy, short-term flexibility, whistleblower policy, prevention of sexual harassment and rewards

Raushni Bhagia | Mumbai| November 28, 2016


After trying to resolve the vexed issue of audience measurement in the industry, the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) of India recently introduced new HR policies to make its employees comfortable. A couple of new policies and engagement programmes have been welcomed by members of the BARC family.

Partho Dasgupta Partho Dasgupta

Partho Dasgupta, CEO, BARC India, said, “BARC India has always believed in empowering its employees and enabling a work environment that is transparent and promotes open communication. In order to bring the same rigour in our employees, like our TV viewership data, we decided to tweak our HR policies. We understand that the decision-making ‘currency’ for people processes is that of building relationships through employee empowerment and in order to build this culture, we have come up with the BARC Employee Engagement Programme (#BEEP).”

The friendly HR policies

The audience measurement body has been operating for over a year now, and within this short span, it has put in place an HR policy that ensures BARC attracts the best talent. These include work-from-home policy, maternity and paternity leave policy, short-term flexibility, whistleblower policy, prevention of sexual harassment and rewards and recognition, among others. Each of these policies aims at not just further increasing the happiness quotient of BARC India employees, but also provide an environment that facilitates growth.

The work-from-home policy is applicable to all permanent full-time employees and consultants. It allows an employee to work from home for five days in a quarter. The time-off policy, be it work from home or short-term flexibility leave, is designed to create more flexibility. “We assume that our employees are adults and that they give 110 per cent effort towards work. It is for this that we don’t feel the need to track their attendance on a one to two-hour tracking system,” commented Dasgupta.

The short-term flexibility leave can be availed by an employee who has completed two years at BARC India, and is keen on pursuing further studies or has any personal or family medical issues. The policy allows the employee to take minimum three months and maximum six months leave for any of the mentioned situations.

BARC India believes in women empowerment and is in sync with the Government of India’s policy of providing a work environment that is women friendly. In keeping with this, BARC India has introduced paid maternity leave for 26 weeks. The new HR policy provides for a month paid paternity leave for male employees.

The company has also introduced a rewards and recognition policy. While at BARC India, the emphasis is on team achievements, it takes great pride in individual achievements. This policy is designed to maximise fun, learning and collaboration.

Forward looking

While talking about the need for these HR policy changes and inclusions, Dasgupta said, “In these pre-operative and operative years, our focus was on getting the new TV viewership measurement system in place for the industry. Also when we started off, we were a small bunch of people working on getting the system up and running. We did have policies, since our inception, like mediclaim to fully cover not just our employees but also their family members from any medical emergency. As we grow, it is important that we provide all the facilities to our employees that are needed to create a happy work environment.”

Dasguta further said, “Also, as we expand, we want to empower our employees to make them feel part of the establishment. Not just this, we want to attract the millennials in our organisation and so these policies help. These new policies are just a way to show that we care. We have some of the best talent in India and abroad working for BARC now. We have to make them comfortable so that they deliver and are happy in BARC.”

Someone has rightly said, “Happiness Inspires Productivity” and a happy employee is what keeps the business going. Being the sole trading currency for the broadcast industry, there is a lot riding on BARC India. This puts a lot of responsibility on the company and also makes it important that those associated with them are a happy bunch and these policies are said to be a step towards that.

The aim of these policies is that BARC India wants to empower its employees and make them feel responsible for the tasks they take. The policies are the first step towards this goal.

BARC India has an enviably low attrition rate of 0.7 per cent against 5-6 per cent in the broadcast industry. The company boasts of a 200-strong employee strength with BARC India and MDL put together.

Gender equality

Promoting gender equality and giving equal base for the women employees to pursue their career goals and ambitions, BARC India has ensured parity too. Dasgupta explained, “We are an equal opportunity employer and so our policies are such that empower all our employees and provide a work environment that is conducive, irrespective of the gender. Having said that, the 26-week maternity leave and additional leaves for screening and other tests for ‘Moms-to-be’ is one such way to show that we care for our women employees. Also, policies that facilitate working from home can be utilised by working mothers in times of need. For ‘moms-to-be’, we have also introduced flexible or reduced work hours with a proper leave schedule.”


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