Article: All it takes to build the right culture today is trust: Oxane Partners’ Vishal Soni


All it takes to build the right culture today is trust: Oxane Partners’ Vishal Soni

People need to feel safe to share, receive genuine constructive feedback, and be inspired by a common goal, says Vishal Soni, Co-founder, and Managing Director, Oxane Partners.
All it takes to build the right culture today is trust: Oxane Partners’ Vishal Soni

Vishal Soni, Co-founder, and Managing Director, Oxane Partners has over 16 years of experience across structured credit and real estate and has worked in multiple geographies (London, Singapore and Mumbai) for Deutsche Bank. Vishal’s experience covers working for credit structuring covering CLOs and other ABS transactions, commercial real estate financing and acquisition of non-performing loan portfolios. In his last role, Vishal was a key member of the Portfolios Trading team acquiring non-performing loan portfolios backed by commercial/residential mortgages and consumer loans across Europe. 

In conversation with People Matters, he shares his key insights on building the right culture in the workplace and the critical role of leadership in this endeavour. Here are some excerpts. 

When we talk about the future of work, what are some emerging business trends that will redefine how we recruit and retain talent? What will be the role played by the new-age workforce and the gig economy? 

Hiring and talent management are one of the most important aspects of businesses today. Post the pandemic, employee wellness is the prime focus for organisations. There is a need to have a healthy interpersonal relationship between members of the same team and cross-team engagement to make a business successful. Organisations realise that employees are just not resources; the focus is to provide performance-oriented culture and bring workplace efficiencies with diversity and inclusion in the team. There is a huge need for the managers in the team to spend time with the team members to create an environment that provides both learning and growth for employees in the organisation. Organisations are also adapting to technology's changing role and are more inclined towards digital transformation.

At Oxane Partners, we believe in healthy work culture, and considering the growing demand for financial services, we have kickstarted our operations in Hyderabad to attract the broader talent. At Oxane, we focus on driving performance-oriented culture and bringing in effective workplace policies and efficiencies to make work a better place for all our people.

With technology being a critical enabler in HR transformation, what are some digital innovations that you are excited about? 

HR tech solutions include digital platforms, tools, and cloud-based technologies that securely store data, automate day-to-day processes, and provide analytical tools to make more strategic decisions. Critical HR functions today are largely managed by digital HR platforms, including employee communication, compensation, benefits, and recruitment. You save time and money by automating these operations and dramatically reduce human error by limiting liability and helping avoid costly manual errors. In addition, offering top-notch experience and services to clients (past, present, and potential) through artificial intelligence and machine learning is a game changer for HR transformation.

Blockchain integration in HR also could be a game changer since it offers robust security opportunities like encryption of assets where employees and companies can securely share information, allowing recruiters to verify employment records and background verifications, including academic and professional credentials.

As organisations embrace hybrid working models and operate with a diversified workforce, how can leaders strengthen a collaborative environment and the right work culture today? 

The global response to COVID-19 has led to the most rapid workplace transformation. Witnessing the shift in the last two years, organisations across the board have adopted hybrid working models. As a result, creating a collaborative culture in the workplace is more crucial than ever. Highly collaborative organisations with strong organisational cultures already understand this. Only when businesses value collaboration's importance can they maximise employee knowledge-sharing, creativity, and efficiency.

At Oxane, we have collaboration as one of the core values that we practice in everything we do. Our growth journey in the last two years has been tremendous, thanks to our collaborative work culture, where we cultivate openness and promote transparency at every level. With the understanding that fostering a collaborative environment goes a long way to building an openly creative culture where all ideas are acknowledged, we have established a reward system at Oxane, rewarding the employees for collaboration and participation in teamwork. This encourages them to ideate openly while engaging with one another, which leads to a high level of knowledge sharing and innovative idea generation.

All it takes to build the right culture today is ‘trust’. Collaboration hinges on employees’ willingness to come together and achieve goals, which can only happen in an environment of trust and camaraderie. People need to feel safe to share, receive genuine constructive feedback, and be inspired by a common goal. Best workplaces have many different practices and tools that try to promote collaboration, but they have in common that they believe in the power of coming together to achieve great things as a team.

What is your take on data-driven decision-making at the workplace? What best practices would you recommend as organisations globally rely extensively on people analytics for workforce planning?  

With the rapid pace of business and innovation, the need to make rapid, well-informed decisions has never been more important. Moreover, the young workforce, particularly millennials, are data hungry as they expect real-time information to rely on and to meet their individual goals. This is where analytics and data-driven decision-making come into play. Today, organisations across the board rely on analytics to identify cause-and-effect relationships that inform and enhance ongoing operations, planning, and strategy execution.

The power of analytics has grown manifold and showcased improvement in operations, refining strategy, and boosting organisation revenue. People analytics play a vital role in workplace decision–making– resource planning, performance management, rewards management, benefits, and offerings. In addition, people analytics are a key driver in employee retention and talent management. 

Encouraging data-based decision-making in organisations is one of the best ways to recommend workforce planning. In the age of big data and analytics, organisations now have access to precise, real-time information on which to base business and people decisions. 

If you could share one word of advice to our community on preparing themselves for the future of work, what would it be?

In today’s uncertain times, where we see workforce downsizing making headlines now and then, we should adopt a sustainable approach toward the future of work.

One word of advice would be implementing a ‘people-first approach,’ which includes fostering open-mindedness and encouraging employees to share ideas openly. It is equally essential for managers to listen to employees carefully and seek constant feedback. It creates an environment where employees feel respected and valued, which ultimately enhances their performance and could help build a culture driven by empathy and passion. 

Organisations must value one constant thing across everything – the employee experience. A trusted leader encourages open communication and transparency, allowing employees to see what is happening within their organisation. A firm that considers its people the most critical asset will be positioned to witness a leap of acceleration into the future of work that will blend the best of human talent and technological advancement, even in the most dynamic business environment.

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Topics: #Culture, Employee Relations, #Future of Work, #HRTech, #HybridWorkplace

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