The definition of employee experience has changed since the onset of the pandemic and the emergence of a completely remote working environment. As experience grabbed the limelight, the tables turned and the ownership of the functions shifted to the hands of the employees. In a session at the People Matters EX India Conference, 2022, Ramkumar Narayanan, VP Technology & Managing Director, R&D at VMware India and Nirmal NR, CEO India at Zoomcar discussed the new definition of employee experience and how leaders can help implement the same at work.
In the session titled C-Suite Panel: Take the leap from EX to 10X - Become a valuable organisation, Ramkumar noted that people enjoy working in an organisation where “ the leaders don't tend to get hung up on hierarchy”. In the present day scenario, people need to have access to all the levels across the organisation. However, that doesn’t necessarily negatively impact the employee-manager discussions about work. Such discussions continue to co-exist.
Citing this, Ramkumar said, “We got our employee experience policies by the employees for the employees rather than the HR.”
Commenting on this, Nirmal said that switching between jobs for better or the same pay package is easier for the employees these days but that is not what the employees seek. They also seek the purpose of existence within an organisation. He added that acceptance of the perspectives is one such way through which leaders can make the employees feel valued and help them find their purpose. Everyone in the organisation may have individual perspectives. Unexpectedly the right idea or the perspective may come from a fresher.
According to Ramkumar, once a person is hired recently or has been in a company for 15 years doesn’t matter once he is already associated. Thus, “We call it capability and engagement.”
Quoting Nirmal, “I really want to feel fulfilled and happy about where I am. I want to feel the impact on myself along with that on the company and the people I work with.” Nirmal stressed that this is a powerful thought of the employees.
Yet another factor listed by the speakers as one of the key factors to focus on, in a hybrid work setup is inclusivity. Commenting on this, Nirmal said, “When we conduct the meetings with some employees in the office versus some people remotely, we try to encourage including everyone in the conversation.” according to him, this makes everyone in the team feel heard. He also stressed that ideally, hybrid meetings should be of short duration.
He further added that the purpose of the team leaders should be to connect people in order to initiate perspectives exchange which contributes to increased productivity and teamwork. Summing up he said that the leaders need to help the employees not only identify the purpose but also understand the same.
Further concluding the discussion, Ramkumar said, “Make people part of the solution and don’t think you have all the answers.”