Let's Talk Talent, the Modern HR India Seasonal in association with Oracle is in the fifth season. The last four seasons of this web-event explored the critical aspects of talent in the modern workplace understood the capabilities needed to drive transformative change and decoded employee experience.
People Matters organized another webinar with Oracle on the topic Jump Start and Scale Fast. Senior HR leaders from different sectors shared their views on the topic and shared their anecdotes from their experience.
Starting the discussion, Sriram R, Director, Human Capital, Arcesium India, pointed out that when they started Arcesium, skills and technology were at the core of issues and now the company has shifted from learning strategy to a learner-centric story.
The company has many long-term visions and goal, but there are some small and immediate steps that need to be tackled immediately so that the employees can evolve in their skills. Sharing an example he said, “On capability building space in order to shift the focus of learning from being centered on the managers in the firm to owned by individuals, we asked our employees to open up.” He pointed out that the company gave a clear message that if someone needs something then that person has to ask for it. Employees don’t have to wait for the managers, hierarchy etc. If the employee thinks that he/she needs anything and it is going to help in the work, then they should ask for it.
Sriram added, "Our model was that we would be able to provide training, whether to an online or offline course, on-demand basis. It was like you ask for it, you learn through training and you should be able to implement it. And we have seen that more than fifty percent of the firm has started using it actively.”
Sriram feels that when somebody owns their learning, then the amount of output that they give is a lot more than when you are pushed to do something.
Technology leads to change
The experts feel that many organizations don’t realize that the technology is not only an enabler, but the company needs to set their goals in achieving tasks through technological use.
Yazda Dalal, Senior Director, HCM Transformation, Applications, APAC, Oracle, said that the company should be clear of the kind of transformation they want and in order to do that they need to discover their realities.
Citing an example of the Japanese photographic firm Fuji Xerox, Dalal highlighted that Fuji Xerox recognized that there was a perception that the employees were a bit inclined towards too much of command control work culture or at the edge of the robotic system.
There is no doubt that a control-work-command-culture will negatively impact the organization, but Fuji created a new spirit and listed their fresh goals. Fuji aimed to strive for new growth and change as an organization in order to assert that the company seeks people who can ‘think and act on their own’.
Dalal said, “It doesn’t sound that innovative in India or United States but for employees in East Asia this is an important innovation.”
The Japanese company was betting for the long run and the company got people who are proactive, self-confident and who took up the responsibility in order to get better results in the future. The group decided to display economic, social and human qualities on whatever they do.
Engagement and employees’ retention
All leading companies are adapting the technology to get positive output for their brand, but sometimes it also leads to cut down the workforce. Ideally, technology should help employees to enhance their output and not to eat up their pie.
Any technology has to be driven by the employee engagement. If the employee is not engaged in the technology, it becomes difficult to take the benefit of the technology as a whole,” --Reema Garg, CHRO, SMC Global Securities
The HR experts agreed that technology has to be used very strategically and a company cannot hire people and fire them. “Things have to be taken care very strategically so that the brand value is sustainable”, she said.
Experts emphasized that the retention of employees in the organization is important and the organization needs to maintain the equilibrium between the new and old employees. Pointing out the importance of new hires, she said, “The new blood which is coming to the company should be given the new flavors and new things so that it can increase the retention of the employees.”
Retaining employees and keeping them engaged is a challenge but many organizations also feel that hiring a top management employee is also a tough nut to crack.
Rajendra Mehta, Chief People Officer of DHFL admits that hiring at the top is difficult, but the most difficult part is to make the existing employees comfortable with the new leaders.
He shared an example of his own company and shared how DHFL didn’t want to continue with their old thinking hat.In order to break that myth, the organization planned to hire employees from different sectors to add value to DHFL and not from the same domain.
The company decided to go ahead with the culture shift because when senior leader joins the team they bring different experience from across sectors. “We went to companies such as Citi Bank, HDFC and Bank of America to pull out the best talent and once they came on board they brought the cultural change.”
Pointing out the other side of getting senior leaders from a different sector, he shared that there were some troubles, some insecurities among the employees but it’s the duty of existing employees to believe in the leader and made the leader think the same.
If the organization succeeds, the people will succeed and if the organization fails, the people also fail.