Article: Employee centricity will remain at the core of my leadership style: Meesho’s Ashish Kumar Singh


Employee centricity will remain at the core of my leadership style: Meesho’s Ashish Kumar Singh

Bridging skills gaps and enabling the workforce to be ready for the future is a critical pillar for the HR charter, according to Ashish Kumar Singh of Meesho.
Employee centricity will remain at the core of my leadership style: Meesho’s Ashish Kumar Singh

With the changing structure of the present workforce, the predictions around the future of work are also changing. With AI and automation gaining more attention, relevance of the skills that are being imparted today are being questioned. An article published by Forbes stated, “It’s been predicted that 85% of the jobs that will be available in 2030 don’t yet exist!” 

So, to understand how leaders are looking forward to imparting skills of relevance into the present day workforce, People Matters spoke with  Ashish Kumar Singh, CHRO, Meesho. Here are some excerpts from the conversation.

1. How do you look at the relevance of the skills being imparted to the workforce today, ten years from now?

Human skills are and will always remain highly valued and within that, individual skills largely depend on the learning and development programmes at various stages in a career. Skill is the result of an employee’s individual talent further augmented by effective mentorship, exposure to great opportunities and learning and development programmes. Present day workplace dynamics offers a room for both in-person and virtual impartation of skill and both has its own set of merits. Skills can either be imparted through in-person training, mentorship, collaboration and innovative projects or through virtual learning programmes. 

For example — At Meesho, our focus is to build a Growth Mindset for which we leverage our learning resources in a manner that leads to an overall culture of development.

95% + employees at Meesho have been covered under one or more learning and development programs
Our focus is on development for three different cohorts, which is our top talent, managers, and the remaining individual contributors.

For top talent, we use targeted and exclusive development initiatives such as mentoring, learning journeys, online learning pathways. For managers, we run a flagship learning journey on people management skills, while for individual contributors we focus on asynchronous learning through online pathways and policies that help individuals take up certifications/ courses with a co-pay model with Meesho. While each of these cohorts have access to all of the above-mentioned resources, our philosophy for development is different.

The relevance and importance of skill, learning and development will only continue to grow as every organisation is thriving for innovation and disrupting the ecosystem. The bigger role of technology in impartation of skill is what will make all the difference in a decade from now. 

2. According to a survey conducted by PWC, “Only 23% strongly agreed they use workforce analytics to monitor and predict skills gaps. The same percentage strongly agreed that they analyse business data to determine near-term skills needed in the organisation.” How do you look at this?

Bridging skills gaps and enabling the workforce to be ready for the future is a critical pillar for the HR charter.

In a constantly evolving environment where required skills and competencies for performing certain roles keep changing, it is the need of the hour to have a robust and quick method to identify the skills required for the future. 

We track this on multiple levels at Meesho through use of both quantitative and qualitative data. There is a process called an ‘Individual Development Plan’ (IDP) for every employee in which they call out specific behavioral / functional skills that each of them wants to develop (after discussing with their managers). We analyze this data for our entire employee population and identify key themes that are emerging from the analysis. We subsequently create avenues for employees to develop these skills through online programs, certification courses, and other training methods. We track IDP’s on an individual level along with transparent completion metrics.  

In essence, we use detailed IDP analytics and Performance Management analytics to understand skilling requirements and we use qualitative feedback as well from business leaders to further fine tune our learning offerings. 

3. To what extent do you think process automation is going to affect the future workforce?

In my opinion, more than process automation, the future of work will be defined on the pillars of employee flexibility and empowerment where constant reimagination of process and policies will be a prerequisite. Policies and practices which are forward looking, inclusive and industry leading will set the precedent. While cutting edge technology on the back of artificial intelligence and machine learning will bring new and innovative changes and solutions, the ‘human element’ will still be prevalent at large. Teamwork, collaboration, mentorship are some of the key areas where the role of humans have been and will continue to be significant. The interpersonal skills and connections go a long way in creating the workplace bond and camaraderie which are beyond process automation. However, having said that, I would also like to underline the ease and transition to some of the process driven workflows brought about by humanising technology. 

4. How do you think your own leadership style is going to change with all these factors, ten years from now?

Employee centricity will remain at the core of my leadership style.

Leaders should always be vested in the best interests of employees and driven by the ‘people-first’ mantra. This is one philosophy I have maintained strongly in my career, including Meesho and will continue to act on it in the future as well. Undoubtedly there will be emergence of more advanced and state of the art technological solutions that will enable and expedite workflow at the click of a button, however, there cannot be a replacement of an empathetic, visionary, and motivational leadership. 

Read full story

Topics: Leadership, #Future of Work

Did you find this story helpful?



How do you envision AI transforming your work?

Your opinion matters: Tell us how we're doing this quarter!

Selected Score :