Article: EX needs to be driven not by one individual but the organisation says Ravi Kumar, Senior President & CPO, Page Industries Ltd.

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EX needs to be driven not by one individual but the organisation says Ravi Kumar, Senior President & CPO, Page Industries Ltd.

In this episode of HR Evolution Perspectives 2023: Experts Take, we interact with Ravi Kumar from Page Industries Ltd to decipher the role of HR in driving raising employee experience and ensuring digital transformations are a success.
EX needs to be driven not by one individual but the organisation says Ravi Kumar, Senior President & CPO, Page Industries Ltd.

In the HR Evolution Perspectives 2023: Empower and Evolve study, People Matters and Darwinbox examine key HR and business trends in Asia. This comprehensive report draws insights from over 1,200 HR practitioners, 350 CXOs, and almost 1,500 employees.

As part to better cotextualise the research findings, we talk with HR leaders and understand how overarching people trends influence their HR and business strategies.

For this episode of Experts Take, we talk to Ravi Kumar, Senior President & Chief People Officer at Page Industries Ltd. A seasoned HR leader with decades of experience in developing HR strategies that accelerate business growth, Ravi helps us unpack the critical drivers of EX and how large-scale transformations can be made more impactful.

Key highlights from our conversation:

  • Mapping skills and putting in measures to build future-ready skills crucial to addressing gaps
  • HR professionals need to have the right mindset to ensure digital transformation success
  • Companies have to closely monitor and deliver on talent expectations.
  • HR is key to empowering employees to ensure adaptability and agility

Role of purpose in strengthening experience

One of the key aspects of employee experience for Ravi is that it stems from the purpose of the organisation. So the very first step to developing a strong EX is to have a clearly defined organisational purpose.

'Purpose is paramount.' notes Ravi. 'If you look at the research report, a similar sentiment comes out. Employees are also looking at purpose-driven work.'

Organisations that have a high growth momentum but also a clear purpose on how they serve their customers better are bound to create better experiences for their employees. To further strengthen this link between purpose and experience, communication is crucial.  Ravi shares transparent and effective communication is key to translating organisational purpose to employee behaviours. ‘Every employee and every level wants to see how they are supporting the company's purpose,’ he adds. ‘If companies can put it together, enhancing EX becomes far more easier.'

Secondly, clear goals and alignment with employee expectations help improve EX. Setting the 'what'  of employee goals and linking it to the 'why' is necessary. Companies that can align with individual targets and with their business vision and goals strengthen their EX. It is here then that components like communication, KPIs, and anchoring performance management better, all become key components to driving EX.

Addressing capability gaps critical

With the expectation to grow, also comes the responsibility to be productive. With the repost identifying capability gaps as a major HR concern in India, how should companies strengthen their approach to solving it?

For Ravi, the first step is to map capabilities and skills to a repository that links to job roles and descriptions. 'Companies today have roles and descriptions. But if they are clear about how these are going to evolve they can map it to the skill set required for the role,' he adds.

Technology according to Ravi is another key aspect that empowers companies to map skills and create the repository better.

To build for the future, he cautions that external changes in the ecosystem are important to keep a note of. 'Often it's not so much about what the organisation is thinking,' says Ravi, 'but it's what's happening outside the organisation.'

While organisations like Page Industries are currently growing, what really impacts the skills and capability requirements is the shifts in the external environment. These shifts are what according to Ravi should be reflected in the skilling priorities of companies.

Quoting the advent of Gen AI and its impact across industries as an example, he notes how today 'Gen AI is a clear example of how what's happening on the outside is going to impact every company on the inside.'

Accroding to Ravi, the best way to prepare is to map what we might need in the future and decide on capabilities and skills accordingly. Having a clear path for the next 3-5 years helps address these capability gaps.

HR transformation to support business growth

With digital transformations today forming the bedrock of growth, agility and adapting at pace, it is important to pay closer attention to how a company can ensure its success.

One key way to look at digital transformations within companies is to take them as human capital transformation since equipping and empowering employees remains central to its success. This puts HR as a vital stakeholder in the success of transformation journeys.

For HR leaders to lead this conversation, however, Ravi notes that they need to prove their credibility to the business first. This means transforming the HR function and building the right framework for its success.  

‘Do it yourself first. Show the impact. Then build a case for its proper execution within the company,’ he advises.

By transforming their function with the right mindset and delivering the right impact, HR leaders can forge a path to transformation success that can be replicated in other areas of the business. HR leaders can further support other functions by sharing knowledge, specialists, lessons, and behaviours required to ensure the transformation is a success.

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Topics: C-Suite, Strategic HR, #Empower And Evolve

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