In order to articulate business performance and people performance, we need to first define the very reason for doing business. I believe in the concept of the Golden Circles by Simon Sinek -The organization as a whole needs to understand ‘why’ we are doing business; everybody knows ‘what’ they do 100%. Some know how they do it. But very few people or organizations know ‘why’ they do it. The goal is not just to hire people who need a job, but who believe what you believe in.
In the present context of doing business, differentiation is critical and it is defined through clarity on ‘why’ we are in this business. How is it that some companies, like Apple, year after year, always seem to lead innovation? Why is it that Martin Luther King led the civil rights movement? There is an emotional connect in what they create. Anything you do in the business, it is about having people who follow the company’s mission, values and dream. It is about retaining and developing people who have a common ‘why’ rather than those who have a common ‘what’. Similarly, HR needs to have a very solid understanding of the business, and it is no longer a function only about labor laws and transactional activities. It is a strategic function.
At Pitney Bowes Software, this function today is driving continuous improvements and innovations in the core people management practices. Broadly, there may be 3-4 well established practices, which can be compared to primary colors, but it is the combination and customization that produces numerous exciting hues. These are not just for the kicks practices, but in the day and age of multitude career options, consistently providing meaningful growth opportunities to employees is a must-have for the business success, that is when you can have them fire from all cylinders. Talent management is an all-encompassing approach to ensure that people do whatever it takes to achieve the business imperatives or better still, redefine them for greater success. It starts at sourcing, segmentation (some high potentials versus many ‘others’), developing, and retention.
Whether it is hard or soft, measurable or immeasurable, has been a matter of debate, but it does include a lot of aspects, including but not limited to organization culture, organization structure, rewards, quality of work, work-life balance, organization vision, etc.
Our strength is the quality of talent pool that we have and our business growth is directly linked to the growth and development of this talent. This is why it is essential for us to articulate the mission and vision of the organization, cascading the big picture and developing leaders.
The challenges we face are no different from other companies; we also aim at acquiring, retaining and developing talent. The challenge would be how we can differentiate ourselves from the rest of the ecosystem in attracting and retaining the right talent. It is this differentiation for your internal stakeholders that enables the required external customer delight. We have been quite successful in our endeavors so far and we have comparatively one of the lowest attrition rates in the industry. We also believe in the advantages of a diverse workforce and we constantly are working towards the best diversity and inclusivity practices worldwide.
Having a robust sourcing process and development programs throughout the journey of an employee, aligned with the business context, will ensure continuous engagement of employees. Assimilation of talent in the first few months, to more tailored training modules later, interactions with the leaders - all of these lay the road to an individual’s success. It would also be important to give the select few stretch responsibilities, roles outside their comfort zones, where they step up. Overt attention to a few high potentials should not take away the focus from the many ‘others’ who add strength to the capabilities.
Talent management and motivation is at the core of my role as MD. When it comes to talent management, it is safe to go back to the quote that there are no great acts, but only small ones done with great passion. People do not buy what you do, they buy why you do it, and what you do is simply proof of what you believe.