Article: CEOs should keep innovators, executors happy

C-Suite

CEOs should keep innovators, executors happy

As a CEO, it is important to not only take care of key talent, but all employees happy and engaged, says Dr. Ajoy Kumar
CEOs should keep innovators, executors happy
 

While 50% of a CEO’s time should be about development of the business, the remaining 50% gets invested in talent

 

Development is the first and foremost agenda for me as the CEO because capability is an integral component of our business. Every employee gets the opportunity for 200 hours of training in a year and our minimum expectation from an employee is to clock at least 50. Being a knowledge-centric organization, I am also deeply involved with all e-learning initiatives within the company and I closely track opportunities to send key talent for upskilling opportunities outside the organization, including evening MBAs or other training programs. I personally involve myself to evaluate and asses such opportunities.

As a training-centric organization, I am in-charge of several training sessions. I take a lot of technical training programs myself as it gives me the opportunity to connect with talent. Besides that, we conduct an “open house” every Friday to informally connect with one another. As a CEO, I drive these “open house” sessions and encourage and motivate free and frank flow of ideas. In these sessions, we mutually select a topic of discussion related to the business. For example, we can pick up a topic on customer retention or leadership and have a hearty discussion on it.

I value both the innovators and the operators in the organization. A major part of our business comprises the operators or actual executors of projects and plans. There are only a small percentage of people in the organization who are responsible for thinking outside the box. Most of the middle management layer in the organization comprises people who are the direct interface with customers. This middle management layer is responsible for bringing in all the revenue. It would be fair to say that the middle management of the company constitutes a majority of the business and my most important priority is to keep this section of the workforce happy and engaged. As the CEO, it is important to keep both innovators and executors of the business happy.

In my personal scorecard, I maintain a list of employees and track their growth and happiness. I meet with the project and data management teams formally and informally. While the informal interactions could be as frequent as every alternate day, I conduct formal interactions once every three months. Through these formal and informal interactions, not only do I track their progress, but also identify ways to support them. Attrition in our company is among the lowest in the industry because we make efforts to keep people happy and engaged.

Over a period of time, I’ve realized that one of the most important elements of creating a deep-rooted culture is the aspect of safety. We are not an organization that believes in firing people and the sense of safety contributes to creating the strong culture in the organization. There are several people in the leadership team who have been in the company for more than 12-15 years and are happy. There is a pervasive sense of camaraderie and purpose in the organization because we treat employees as a part of our family. The organization takes efforts to ensure that since the time an employee joins, they get treated fair, develop well and are happy.

I personally drive everything that makes it easy for the organization to engage and motivate employees. I believe that putting together fair and transparent talent processes is absolutely crucial to an organization and it should reflect in every aspect, including performance, rewards and recognition and development. For me, while 50 per cent of a CEO’s time should be about development of the business, the remaining 50 per cent gets invested in talent.

DR. AJOY KUMAR is the Chief Executive Officer of Max Neeman

Development is the first and foremost agenda for me as the CEO because capability is an integral component of our business. Every employee gets the opportunity for 200 hours of training in a year and our minimum expectation from an employee is to clock at least 50. Being a knowledge-centric organization, I am also deeply involved with all e-learning initiatives within the company and I closely track opportunities to send key talent for upskilling opportunities outside the organization, including evening MBAs or other training programs. I personally involve myself to evaluate and asses such opportunities.

As a training-centric organization, I am in-charge of several training sessions. I take a lot of technical training programs myself as it gives me the opportunity to connect with talent. Besides that, we conduct an “open house” every Friday to informally connect with one another. As a CEO, I drive these “open house” sessions and encourage and motivate free and frank flow of ideas. In these sessions, we mutually select a topic of discussion related to the business. For example, we can pick up a topic on customer retention or leadership and have a hearty discussion on it.

I value both the innovators and the operators in the organization. A major part of our business comprises the operators or actual executors of projects and plans. There are only a small percentage of people in the organization who are responsible for thinking outside the box. Most of the middle management layer in the organization comprises people who are the direct interface with customers. This middle management layer is responsible for bringing in all the revenue. It would be fair to say that the middle management of the company constitutes a majority of the business and my most important priority is to keep this section of the workforce happy and engaged. As the CEO, it is important to keep both innovators and executors of the business happy.

In my personal scorecard, I maintain a list of employees and track their growth and happiness. I meet with the project and data management teams formally and informally. While the informal interactions could be as frequent as every alternate day, I conduct formal interactions once every three months. Through these formal and informal interactions, not only do I track their progress, but also identify ways to support them. Attrition in our company is among the lowest in the industry because we make efforts to keep people happy and engaged.

Over a period of time, I’ve realized that one of the most important elements of creating a deep-rooted culture is the aspect of safety. We are not an organization that believes in firing people and the sense of safety contributes to creating the strong culture in the organization. There are several people in the leadership team who have been in the company for more than 12-15 years and are happy. There is a pervasive sense of camaraderie and purpose in the organization because we treat employees as a part of our family. The organization takes efforts to ensure that since the time an employee joins, they get treated fair, develop well and are happy.

I personally drive everything that makes it easy for the organization to engage and motivate employees. I believe that putting together fair and transparent talent processes is absolutely crucial to an organization and it should reflect in every aspect, including performance, rewards and recognition and development. For me, while 50 per cent of a CEO’s time should be about development of the business, the remaining 50 per cent gets invested in talent.

DR. AJOY KUMAR is the Chief Executive Officer of Max Neeman

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Topics: C-Suite, #TalentAssessment

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