Shharad Dhakkate is the Chief Human Resources Officer for SBI General Insurance. He has over 24 years of experience across varied industries and has worked with SBI Life Insurance, Tata Communications, Idea Cellular and Housing & Urban Development Corp Ltd. amongst other organizations. In an exclusive interaction with People Matters, Dhakkate shares his take on corporate culture in a post-pandemic world, the role of EVP in employee engagement and more.
Here are some excerpts from the interaction.
In the current talent landscape, what do you feel attracts job-seeking professionals to organisations?
Corporate culture plays an important role in both attracting and retaining talent. Ensuring the career progression of the workforce is another key aspect of converting employees into brand champions. Further, building a culture of rewards and recognition makes employees feel valued and motivated.
Companies have integrated mental well-being initiatives as a part of their employee engagement programmes. Companies are now also conducting sessions by experts to guide them on techniques to improve their overall work-life balance. In the current landscape beyond equal pay and job security, it is also about value-add and engagement from their employers.
How can organisations ensure that the talent they have hired stays on? What is the role played by EVP when it comes to engaging the workforce?
EVP lays the foundation of the employer brand. It is also an integral part of organizational strategy for attracting talent and positioning themselves as an employer of choice. The role of the EVP is to ensure the employees recognize the core values of the organization. Also, aspects such as compensation, stability, and work-life balance directly impact the employees’ output and stickiness to a brand. Building competencies through vertical and horizontal movements also ensures employee longevity in the organization.
Rewards and recognition or incentives boost employee morale and compensate them for their performance or efforts. Apart from personal and organizational growth, infrastructure too plays an important role in keeping the employees engaged. It is also important to foster a culture that maximizes productivity.
From your years of experience in the field, what do you believe are the key components of a strong EVP?
The key component of a strong EVP is to position your organization as an Employer of Choice through Capacity and Capability Building, Retention Management and Employee Advocacy. Some strategies to help achieve this are by enhancing the brand presence in top campuses, active social media engagement, and promoting employees as brand champions.
Given that work culture is a fundamental strategy for binding the workforce together, how can organisations sustain this in a hybrid context?
The pandemic has significantly changed the working pattern and the hybrid style of working has proven to be beneficial for both employees and employers. However, the shift to on-site work will lead to better results because it will lead to meaningful interactions and deeper learning. Several organizations have opted for the hybrid work pattern to offer a balance between both work models. Lastly, we believe that it is imperative to engage with employees through various touchpoints and effectively leverage both mobile and web platforms.
And finally, what is one word of advice you would like to share with fellow leaders in the HR community to achieve greater talent retention?
Employee satisfaction and engagement are critical for an organization. To ensure a smooth people strategy, it is necessary to evaluate and monitor productivity. Ensuring productivity through regular interventions helps foster a performance-oriented environment. In today’s competitive world, professionals seek evaluation regularly and having a constructive feedback mechanism helps employees grow professionally and personally.