At the session titled ‘Keynote: Managing performance vs Managing careers: What drives growth?’, Gaurav Chaubey struck the note with an interesting interaction with the audience. He conducted an experiment to show that in today’s world it is important to have an open mindset to accept people the way they are.
During the experiment, he shared an image of a modified wheelbarrow which was not recognised by most people. However, revealing that the image was that of a wheelbarrow he added that when this experiment was conducted over children, they readily recognised it. Through this, he proved that adults have a tendency to judge too quickly with a stereotypical point of view. This, according to Gaurav, is a major cause affecting the self-confidence of people who don’t fit into the societal frame of “what he is supposed to be”. However, children with a mindful innocence look at things in a much simpler manner.
“We judge people on the basis of the conventional definition of what they are supposed to do or be, and this kills their confidence,” noted Gaurav.
This experiment explains how the early judgement of a complicated brain can affect people in a highly negative manner. Gaurav explained that it is imperative for people to change their mindset and start looking at things in a way at par with time and innovation. Otherwise, “you are left with a talent deficit,” he said.
It is important to accept people the way they are whether at executing the function that he is expected to or their personal choices. Most the employees are working cross-functionally in the modern world of work. Thus, they naturally get more opportunities to explore and find the right way to lead towards a streamlined career.
“Modern-day careers are no longer linear. If I'm working across three different cross-functional teams, I will end up having likes, dislikes and more amount of awareness about where I can drive my career,” said Gaurav.
Gaurav noted that “Today with no innovation and speed you will get disrupted.” However, as the speed of innovation increases, companies seek talent with skills at par with the latest technologies. At this point, the employers start hunting for new hires. However, Gaurav is of the view that much can be done in less time with more investment in learning and upskilling.
To ensure an efficient learning process for the employees, a regular feedback process is highly crucial. On the contrary, studies have shown that in many cases employees don’t feel heard which affects their feedback aggressively. For the right kind of feedback, nothing less than regular monitoring is imperative. According to Gaurav, “70% of the feedback that you collect in retrospective structured form says, "is a good worker can do better but how that no one really knows.”
“This is the essential issue of why legacy performance management really doesn't work in today's day and age,” noted Gaurav.
He noted that though companies have the latest technologies some of the management processes still date back to the pre-digital age. On the other hand, the workforce being multi-generational has a diverse and heterogeneous pile of thoughts and ideas which become difficult to access for the employers, which in many cases causes a talent shortage.
In concluding the session he added that it is important to have career conversations with employees and democratise information for employees to assess their future with their employers. In today’s world of work, the cultural black box is nothing but a hurdle on employees’ way to personalisation that most of the people in the workforce seek.