“A lot of time people see agility as responsiveness to something that’s happening. To me, the real agility is when you proactively create value,” says Meenakshi Priyam, Executive Vice President, Human Resources, GSK.
Hence while building resilience is important, as per Meenakshi more important is the aspect of value creation to manage the transcendence.
How does GSK toe the path of value creation and managing transcendence? In an exclusive interaction with People Matters, on the sidelines of the Manning Modern Retail Summit 2018, Meenakshi threw light on the hiring challenges in the healthcare space and how technology is changing it.
How is technology changing the healthcare space that you operate in?
We are in an interface of digital and healthcare together. As compared to earlier times, when we would sell to how we sell or market today or the channels we use today, all of it is evolving. The use of technology reaches out at the point where our sales representatives make a call. And we don’t even call them sales representatives anymore. We are able to see how is he making the call, how we can enable him from a skill and knowledge perspective.
Also, the whole mindset around digital which is all pervasive, the channels of how we are reaching customers and how we are distributing –are both transforming significantly. So for us, the future of work is a lot oriented towards an organization which has to move in this direction. And look at disruptions, which are not going to come from just within the industry but also from outside the industry.
What are some of the challenges that you see in recruiting and hiring as far as the healthcare space is concerned?
We are going to be the youngest nation in 2020. Our issue is not about the number of people who are young but people who are employable.
So this bridge to employability is the most critical challenge for us. The second piece is around diversity.
We truly believe that in healthcare and pharma, we need to transcend the boundaries of industries to bring in more diverse talent to enable us to really create that value.
Also, we are operating in an industry where we operate very differently as compared to our competitors. So when we onboard people, we are concerned about how do we assimilate them into what we stand for, what GSK is all about, especially when you have a far dispersed organization. And how does that person start feeling what it means to imbibe our values, purpose, and ethics? So that is the second piece of our challenge as far as mass hiring is concerned.
In the critical hiring, it is about buy and build of capabilities and diversity.
Thirdly, when you are trying to be a digital organization, internally you can’t be a traditional organization. So you need to transform internally, create a cultural mix that sort of ejects people who do not fit into your culture, and does it quite rapidly, and build massive scale in terms of employability. So we are partnering with various initiatives to sort of build that employable pool.
What kinds of skilling practices have you put in place at GSK to upskill your employees?
Our skilling process starts 15 days before the person gets hired. We start the learning bytes with them from then. Our reps do not go into the field till they are certified to be able to talk about the product and knowledge. This is a constant process, wherein they are exposed to various learning forums.
We have moved into byte size learning as today learning has moved to mobile.
This is done through clips and quick sessions-it is not about classroom training or even an e-learning module which has been done to death. You need to engage very differently.
We have a massive sharing platform in terms of social media where we learn from each other. Peer learning, peer recognition, organizational development all happens through Facebook workplace which is quite integrated with our HRIMS.
Purpose has come to play a big role in engaging and attracting millennials. How does GSK provide a sense of purpose to the people it is hiring?
We are a very purpose-driven organization since the time of our inception. It is the very core to who we are-it is something you will see echoed across all that we do. We are all about making a difference, doing more, feeling better. Everything that we do has to translate to that. We are in the business of saving lives-that’s what we believe in. Because doing more is so critical to us, we have a massive investment in employee wellness.
We translate that business strategy so that people can feel it. Our MD does a run where he invites employees to run with him. We have a partnership for disease prevention where we do vaccination for free for employees. We award employees for getting BMI in control, we have nutritional indices on all the food we serve. There are so many things we do about becoming more, doing more. Not just in your workspace but overall-that I think connects with people.
Image source: BW Businessworld