Article: HR leaders must handle the needs of a multigenerational workforce: Welspun’s Vikram Bector

HR Technology

HR leaders must handle the needs of a multigenerational workforce: Welspun’s Vikram Bector

Explore the future of HR leadership with Vikram Bector of Welspun Group as he shares insights on the key challenges and opportunities for HR leaders operating across diverse regions and cultures, essential strategies for creating a future-fit model of business and more.
HR leaders must handle the needs of a multigenerational workforce: Welspun’s Vikram Bector

Talent agility has become a crucial determinant of organisational success in today's fast-paced and ever-evolving corporate landscape.  Today, recruiters are looking to hire people who possess the inherent ability to adapt and thrive as the world of work transforms around them.

The rise of remote work and geographically distributed teams has further accentuated the importance of talent agility. When teams are spread out across various time zones and locations, employees must show independence, teamwork, and creativity to overcome communication challenges and achieve goals effectively. The onus, though, remains with the leaders, who must lead from the front in these circumstances. 

In such a scenario, future-focused HR leaders must learn new tricks of the trade and stay in tandem with emerging trends and tech. Vikram Bector, Director and Group CHRO, Welspun, seconds this, sharing how “HR leaders need to master the art of managing dichotomies and learn to handle the needs of a multigenerational workforce”.  

Bector is a well-known name in the HR industry, with experience in leading talent strategies across diverse sectors and industries. As the flag-bearer of talent strategies at Welspun, he is responsible for fostering an ownership-focused mindset and driving change in technology, capability development, agile partnerships, and talent agility.

In this exclusive interview, Bector, who is also one of the coaches at the People Matters 'Are You In The List' awards powered by Aon, speaks about fostering a culture of talent agility, capitalising on technological advancements and driving innovation. 

You have led talent strategy in numerous sectors, such as pharma, automobile, finance, business consulting, and now, manufacturing. What is your take on the role of HR leadership in the context of the evolving nature of talent agility? 

We have to hire, train, and promote agility in addition to high performance. In most organisations that I have worked with, including Welspun, high-potential employees and future leaders are tested for agility – in a classroom setting and during learning projects. The aim is to foster an agile mindset. Change is the only constant and even though most high performers and high-potential employees intellectually understand the importance of agility, practising it takes time, effort and putting oneself outside the comfort zone.

In this evolving work landscape, what challenges do you foresee that HR leaders need to be wary of and should prepare for?

A: HR leaders need to master the art of managing dichotomies. They must learn to handle the needs of a multigenerational workforce and create practices and policies that appeal to all. For example, there is currently a conflict between work-from-home versus work-from-office. How an HR leader manages the expectations of all stakeholders while ensuring high productivity is a key skill to be acquired.

Pragmatic use of the right rewards and recognition tools is another key skill that must be mastered. We need all employees to be engaged and incentivised. The days of managing a company by focusing only on high-potential employees are over. You need a well-rounded approach to building a talent pipeline through agile practices and incentivising and energising the entire workforce for high productivity. 

Considering rapid technological advancement, what strategies do HR leaders need to devise to change mindsets to manage this transformation?

It is critical to leverage the power of line managers and leaders and encourage line managers to embrace technology and insights from analytics. This can play a crucial role in empowering and managing their teams. HR needs to facilitate the development of line managers and help them prepare themselves and their teams for change.

How can coaching play an important role in creating an agile environment for future HR leaders?

We need to learn from the world of sports, where, in addition to skilled coaches and managers, we have mental strength coaches, frequent team-building exercises, and nutritional experts. We, too, need coaches in all these areas. Further, we must benchmark winning teams across sports and learn high-performance culture from them. Unfortunately, we have not fully embraced these learnings in the corporate world yet. 

As a coach, what key qualities are you looking for in upcoming HR professionals when envisioning future HR leaders?

Listen, listen, listen. Listening without judgement is one of the biggest qualities an HR leader can possess, followed by perspective building and keeping the coach's agenda at the centre. These would be my BIG 3.

The evaluation process for People Matters Are You In The List powered by Aon has begun. If you are eager to know who the emerging future-forward HR leaders of 2024 will be, follow the #AreYouInTheList.

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Topics: HR Technology, Skilling, Leadership, #AreyouintheList?, #Talentagility, #HRTech

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