People are core to our business. People are the clear differentiator in our business; it is the way we win. I spend one-fourth of my time on talent-related activities and the rest between customers, operations and strategic initiatives. Even in the time I spend with customers and the operating teams, at least one-fourth of that actually goes into discussions around talent, including requirements, challenges, innovation and expertise building. Overall I spend at least 35 to 40% of my time on talent and HR related activities.
This includes a very broad range of activities, from mentoring and coaching key leaders to improve their performance and tap their potential, succession planning, reviewing HR metrics, thinking about the skills we will need two or three years ahead and getting HR to prepare for that requirement, interviewing people, and bringing great talent into the company.
A crucial organizational activity where I focus a lot is on communicating and articulating the vision, mission of the company and interpreting the same for people at different levels, explaining what it means for them and getting them excited, besides communicating how the company is doing and where we are headed.
I think the time I spend on talent aspects is probably adequate and has been consistent over many years. This has differentiated us and our heritage has taught us a very structured approach to talent and forces each one of us to provide optimal time on these activities.
Looking at the year ahead our first HR priority is to have great talent across the world in all areas we operate in. Talent acquisition therefore becomes a very important function for this year globally, especially at the mid and senior levels.
The second priority is talent retention, especially at the broad level in the organization. A number of global economies in the emerging world are hot for talent and there is intense competition for talent. So retaining people has to be looked at proactively.
The third priority is to continue to keep our people excited and hugely motivated to innovate at work. We need each and every person to add value and to drive best practices in their area of work and of course to really build expertise in their domain.
These priorities have not changed immensely for us in the last 3 years, of course during the recession attrition risk was not so high, hence it was less of a focus area. At that time, we had some critical priorities like resource allocation and re-allocation into the right areas as the world was changing.
The leadership goals at Genpact include a number of goals that are people and HR related which focus on building and sustaining leadership to handle future business needs. This includes targets related to succession planning for critical positions, number of people moving up to critical jobs, and number of people groomed to take a higher level position. Additionally, leadership also has goals related to attrition and talent attraction. Another key factor in the leadership scorecard is driving global and gender diversity in the organization.
Therefore, HR is an integral part of decision making and has a prominent seat at the table. I think this is true not only for our organization but should be the way all organizations should run regardless of the industry they operate in.