Article: Unless leaders transform from within, organisational transformation is likely to fail: Aditya Mittal


Unless leaders transform from within, organisational transformation is likely to fail: Aditya Mittal

Aditya Mittal, CHRO South Asia at Citi looks at the new landscape where employers are becoming the enablers of training for each employee and leader’s development.
Unless leaders transform from within, organisational transformation is likely to fail: Aditya Mittal

The workplace and business aren’t what they used to be. Organisations are building new capabilities to hire and retain the best talent. With new technologies, HR as a function is fast evolving and reskilling and upskilling are becoming the bedrock of future-forward organisations. With more than three decades at Citi, Aditya Mittal, CHRO, South Asia, a strategic, impact-driven leader has been pioneering new initiatives to fill the gaps in skilling, diversity, inclusion and belongingness, recognising what the future holds and constantly building for it. 

In an exclusive interview, the People Matters Are You In The List ‘CHRO Coach’, who will be a part of the rigorous evaluation process to find the emerging HR leaders of 2024, highlights the trends he foresees to leverage tech and data to form a symbiotic relationship between HR and business. “Emerging HR leaders set to lead the modern workforce will need to be deeply skilled in business partnership and develop the ability to leverage tech for the different stages of the employee life-cycle.” Excerpts from the interview:

As we look at the year ahead, how do you plan to move forward in the best possible way for both your organisation and your workforce to drive business?

We are singularly focussed on building organisational capability to hire and retain the best talent in the industry.

As HR and business become more symbiotic, what are new operating models you foresee in the future, which recognises these interconnections?

Technology, including AI, will automate much of the transactional nature of HR work. What will remain is HR advisory for managing the enterprise, deep subject expertise in small, but skilled HR centres of excellence, in various HR disciplines like rewards and employee relations, amongst others.

What are the reskilling and upskilling efforts undertaken to create a future-ready workforce, which is able to leverage AI tools efficiently? 

We have an enterprise-wide tie up with Degreed that allows our employees wide access to learning. We have curated learning pathways where necessary to allow employees to learn in a modular way. This, in addition, to classroom training provides ample opportunities for employees to upskill themselves. 

For mid-management employees, we have partnered with Cornell University which gives employees access to courses including Design Thinking, HR Analytics, Consulting skills, etc.

Broadly speaking, employers are becoming more and more enablers rather than just providers of training. Each employee is responsible for their development and the employer is helping enable that. 

Data is the key for companies who wish to progress towards a truly diverse, equitable, and inclusive firm. How are you at Citi inculcating diversity and inclusion to drive strategic results to bring about meaningful change? 

We are seen as a leading DEI company in the country and have been consistently top of the house in various national awards. Our aspiration is to look like the community we serve, and we are well on our way.

On diversity, we find that while we can hire an equal number of women at an entry point, there is a drop-off around different life stages, particularly maternity. This is why we launched a ‘Mat Flex’ program where we allow mothers returning from maternity to WFH for one year. With six months maternity, that covers the child until 18 months, at which point, they could be enrolled in a childcare centre. This ensures no disruption in the mother’s career and is a first in the country.

We are similarly working with other inclusion pillars including PRIDE, generations, veterans and differently-abled to create a workplace that is built on required capability, thereby helping achieve business results. 

What are the trends emerging HR leaders shouldn’t overlook with the evolution of tech?

HR processes at each stage of employee life-cycle are very amenable to be automated. Generative AI has the potential to take out much of the low value-add work from HR professionals. That is the good news, but at the same time, it means future HR professionals need to be deeply skilled in business partnership as well as the ability to use technology for employee life-cycle stages, amongst others. This is a combination we don’t often find in today's HR workforce. 

What advice do you have for rising HR leaders, who will be applying for the coveted People Matters Are You in The List Awards 2024?

Focus on transforming yourself. Unless leaders transform from within, organisational transformation is likely to fail. 

The evaluation process for People Matters Are You In The List powered by Aon has begun. If you are eager to know who the emerging future-forward HR leaders of 2024 will be, follow the #AreYouInTheList.

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Topics: Business, HR Technology, Leadership, Skilling, Strategic HR, #AreyouintheList?

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