Operating in a technology space and that too internet, the consumer behavior patterns and consumption patterns are changing at a rapid pace. Internet is no longer restricted to www; there is mobile, social media and many other mediums available. Fast changing scenario coupled with the global economic volatile situation poses huge challenge and at the same time, an opportunity for our organization in particular. We need to be on our toes and evolve products to meet new requirements as well as look at new mediums. So as an organization we are looking at the mobile space very actively by looking at new technology solutions.
Amidst this churn, the value proposition to the market needs to be established and defined in line with the changing patterns. This brings in a lot of onus on the employees as well wherein they have to not only learn but also unlearn quickly. So the kind of mantra that we are following in our organization is ‘be open to change’ because if as an organization we can change, learn and unlearn with the need for speed, the chances of our organization’s success will be much higher.
To be successful on the business front in a dynamic environment, it is important that we help our employees learn, unlearn, and adapt to the changes. So people management and focus on learning and development, training interventions, which in a way helps on the retention side, are the key. We look at grooming our employees who have the requisite domain knowledge and experience to take up larger responsibilities. In fact, a lot will depend on how we are able to translate strategy into execution and if we are successful in this part then from a business standpoint we will have a lot to gain.
Communication is my top HR priority as CEO. For when we look at the present business dynamics, the entire employee management or engagement starts with communication. We must be in a position to explain to our employees what is changing, why is it changing and how will it affect their roles and responsibilities or even their parameters of success in the future. It is only when communication is transparent that other interventions can be effective. Thus communication is the topmost priority. We have created forums, skip level meetings which gives employees the opportunity to share their concerns and new ideas with one level above their supervisor.
The second priority is training, learning, development which in itself evolves from the strategy of key talent identification. The question is - how do we motivate the employees, how do we identify those 20 percent employees who are key talent, how do we retain them? This year for our key talent we have identified some top 8-10 projects which have a kind of meaning and life for our business over the next 3-5 years. The key talent will be engaged and will work in teams, cutting across functions so that they learn to work in diverse team situations which we believe will help our ultimate goal of employee retention as well.
Overall, I spend 25-30 percent of my time focusing on people strategy which I don’t see coming down in the near future because people will continue to be our differentiators. Over the years, my time allocation has not changed because what I have aimed to achieve is to create more people managers in the company and create that multiplier and connect across the organization.
Time spent by a CEO definitely has an impact on business results. For instance retention matrix and time spent on sourcing, attracting and deploying a new recruiting process can be improved. We measure this impact; as a matter of fact our retention metrics has improved by percentage point over the last one year and the productivity of our employees, who are 0-3 months in the company, has moved up by 15 percent. There is a strong belief that anything and everything that we do should be quantifiable and measurable.