What does ‘people sustainability’ mean? It is a term that encompasses varied definitions but for James Thomas, Vice President at SAP SuccessFactors India, it boils down to three things: culture, competencies and employee experience. To sustain your talent for the long term, it becomes imperative to tap into their demands for a positive work culture, work-life balance, career development opportunities, and a sense of purpose. Organisations which strategically balance employee high performance with well-being, recognise the value of ESG and envision building businesses that support future generations will undoubtedly be a winning force.
To explore further what ‘people sustainability’ entails and how it functions as an unconventional approach to creating a desirable employer brand and attracting the best talent, James moderates an exciting panel discussion at People Matters Tech HR India 2023 with leading voices namely Sulbha Kaushal Rai, Chief People Officer at RenewBuy.com; Madhup Agrawal, CHRO at IndiaMART InterMESH Limited and Praveen Purohit, Deputy Group CHRO at Vedanta.
Here are some key takeaways from the session.
Embracing the power of a formidable fist
Sulbha raises an interesting metaphor that highlights the differences inherent in the workforce. She compares them to the different fingers on one hand that come together to become a powerful fist. Indeed, when we talk about aligning our people to the business and elevating their performance and productivity, it is important to remain cognizant of the diversity in their drivers as well as endurance levels. This is key to building a nurturing culture where we recognise people’s potential and enable them to thrive.
Acknowledging the dynamic and disruptive role of HR
With culture being a game-changer in any organisation, one cannot forget that the HR function must transform its outlook. Technology has disrupted this role and it calls for HR professionals to lead more strategic initiatives while building new-age competencies to remain agile and future-ready. Their KPIs and balance scorecards are equally changing especially as customers’ demands are evolving and organisations are growing at a fast pace.
Winning with skills: The new currency
Hopes are high for India to become a trillion economy soon but in order to mine this massive potential and champion explosive growth, skilling is critical. Given that skill-set demands keep changing and there is a burning need to become digitally savvy, HR must develop their people with critical competencies to enable organisations to move towards wealth creation opportunities. Skills and role fungibility are imperative and leaders must invest in their people’s growth and give them opportunities to put their knowledge into practice. Additionally, this upskilling must start early on and organisations must also actively address the industry-academia gap.
Building a scalable and sustainable future
Along with enabling people to succeed in their roles and crossover to new jobs, employee experience is integral to people sustainability. Moments for teams to bond together, ideate and innovate are fundamental. Championing flexibility is an equally important element. And so is smartly leveraging solutions to create a culture of hyper-personalisation, where your people feel seen and heard. It is conducive to organisational growth and building an environment where people choose to stay for the long term.
Championing people sustainability is vital to building fast-growing and sustainable organisations in this disruptive world of work. Your talent is key to your continued and long-term success and so it becomes essential for businesses today to not only strengthen a powerful employer brand with this approach but also ensure you address your employees’ evolving expectations.