Article: Focus on employee experience is even more paramount now: Tanuj Kapilasharmi, Standard Chartered

Employee Engagement

Focus on employee experience is even more paramount now: Tanuj Kapilasharmi, Standard Chartered

Organizations need to fathom how can technology interactions in the digital workplace make the experience of work more human. Read this interview with Tanuj Kapilasharmi, Group Head HR, Standard Chartered Bank, to know how.
Focus on employee experience is even more paramount now: Tanuj Kapilasharmi, Standard Chartered

Tanuj Kapilasharmi, Group Head HR, Standard Chartered Bank, has been working with Standard Chartered since March 2017. She joined as Group Head, Talent, Learning, and Culture and later took on additional responsibility as Global Head HR, Corporate, Commercial, and Institutional Banking in May 2018. In November 2018 she joined the Management Team as Group Head, HR. Prior to joining the bank, she was working with HSBC as Head of Human Resources for EMEA, Global IT & Operations, and International Management. 

Kapilasharmi has worked across multiple HR disciplines in many of our footprint markets (Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai, India, and London). Currently, she is driving business transformation with a robust people agenda for Standard Chartered. 

At People Matters TechHR India 2020, Tanuj will speak on ‘Banking on Digital to Design Uniquely Human Employee Experiences- how organizations need to fathom how can technology interactions in the digital workplace make the experience of work more human. As a precursor to the event, Tanuj spoke to us about the biggest learnings of 2020 so far and how employers need to re-look at their employee experience agenda.

 Here are a few excerpts from the interview-

What are some of the learnings from 2020 so far?

Firstly, it is best to follow an agile approach when implementing digital HR solutions and work on a minimum viable product (then build on this). An iterative approach works much better and colleagues see incremental changes to the digital applications on a regular basis

Secondly, we have proven that we can deliver large scale technology implementations with all of the delivery teams working virtually and from home. We have delivered an AI-backed learning platform globally and a new case management tool in the first half of the year and this was a first for the bank with every one of our colleagues involved in the implementations working from home

How do you think employers need to re-look at their employee experience agenda?

The impact of COVID-19 on any organization means a focus on employee experience is even more paramount. Employee experience now also needs to focus on how we deliver great experiences to colleagues who are working virtually/from home.

We need to embed the future ways of working into any technology products and services we are building and the experiences we are designing.

Important to focus on the end-to-end employee journey so not just what HR owns/influences from a policy/process perspective but across the employee lifecycle. Employees don’t care if a process/activity is owned by Property/IT/HR they care about the overall experience so creating an EX Strategy that is functional agnostic is key and we have been focusing on doing that this year at Standard Chartered, setting up our EX Council co-chaired by myself and our CIO.

Also, there is a need to design experiences with the employee at the center, and also grounded in the culture we are trying to create – so that means solutions that inclusive, that demonstrate innovation – all the things we try to achieve.

What role can technology in accelerating curating an employee experience that is uniquely human?

1. Recognizing the individual

• Small things, like recognizing a colleague’s “preferred name” in all company systems often start with HR as the custodian of people data

• Drive personalization – e.g. recommendations driven by AI in learning and case management systems

 2. Investing in making virtual working tech that is engaging, frictionless, and optimized for wellbeing.

• Need collaboration tools that “just work”, reducing frustration and distraction when tech doesn’t work.

• Having a clear strategy and having “just enough” tools for different scenarios, reducing the need for colleagues to constantly learn new tools if this is not strictly necessary.

• Where new tools are needed, supporting with digital adoption tools and making sure people know where to go for help (employee service center/HR portal) and tools that can support (e.g. WalkMe)

•Clear audio and video essential to reduce fatigue in meetings. Research suggests that audio clarity is more important than video clarity. Basing buying decisions on these human aspects.

 3. Employee Listening and EX measurement

• Using digital platforms to support continuous employee listening and measurement key moments that matter and as colleagues go through a range of experiences working at your organization. Measuring how colleagues feel at different touchpoints during the employee journey will give great insights to support interventions that you might need to run to make experiences better for colleagues

What techniques should be adopted to ensure digital transformations are inclusive for a diverse workforce?

Some of the ways to ensure digital transformations are inclusive for a diverse workforce are-

• Focus on inclusive design at the start of the project

• Have a diverse project team, including deployment and testing and be prepared to make changes to scope/approach based on feedback

• Looking at technologies that look to eliminate bias as part of automated processing – e.g. in candidate sourcing, creation of shortlists that don’t use data points that are linked to biases and hiding data points (e.g. pictures, names, school names, etc.) from hiring managers

• Most importantly, supplementing seamless technology with humans, leveraging the skills that make us uniquely human! Recently as part of our global learning week, largely done online, we had colleagues who provided sign language translation to make the events inclusive to colleagues with hearing impairments.

Could you share some ways in which SCB is approaching its digital employee experience?

We have a dedicated HR Digital Service and Employee Experience center of excellence. Also, there is a large focus on implementing a human-centered design approach in our technology and transformation teams and promoted as part of development opportunities & future skills. We are also using data insights gathered from technology platforms we have recently implemented to hear colleagues’ feedback and continue to drive enhancements to the digital employee experience.

Lastly, we are looking beyond HR- we now have a pan Bank employee experience council chaired jointly by the CHRO and CIO.

While HR doesn’t own all aspects of employee experience, it can play an important role in curating the experience for employees by engaging with relevant parts of the organization.


Meet Tanuj and many more trailblazing leaders from the world of HR and Work Tech at People Matters TechHR India from 10th -14th August. 

Click here to register. 

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Topics: Employee Engagement, #TechHRIn

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