Shivani Nehru | HR Representative, People and Communities | Cisco
"Passionate hands-on individual with a knack for creative solutioning and strong people connect,” is what Shivani describes herself. Shivani’s HR journey started with SCMHRD, post which she joined Cisco as a part of the HR Leadership program. During her 4.5 years with Cisco she had exposure to learn, innovate and execute in various roles spread across Talent Acquisition, Business Partnering, India Country Consultant and managing the POSH office.
“I being a Kashmiri Pandit raised in Saudi Arabia, and who went on to make a career in India, has given me exposure to multitude of cultures and instilled in me the ability to constantly adapt whilst making me understand the importance of inclusivity,” shares Shivani.
Shivani enjoys creating structure and value in everything that she does while creating meaningful relationships. A firm believer in the law of manifestation, Shivani believes nothing that you put your mind to is impossible to achieve.
Bringing people together towards a common goal
Shivani’s interest in HR started with her stint at a non profit organization - Make a Difference (MAD). As a fellow, she closely witnessed the ambiguity and complexity of dealing with human behaviour and emotions while helping in setting up the team during the initial years and later, its expansion. “These 3 years at MAD taught me that people are the foundation for the success of any institution and how we, as HR professionals, have the potential to impact many lives while bringing people together towards a common goal,” shares Shivani.
A strong bias for action
Shivani’s key differentiation lies in her strong bias for taking action. She believes that no challenge is insurmountable with a positive attitude and open mind and this makes me thrive in chaos. In my experience, collaboration by bringing multiple stakeholders together and leveraging their strengths drives the best possible outcomes. “My high self awareness coupled with the ability to empathise in a situation helps me build strong networks and mutually beneficial long lasting relationships,” shares Shivani.
Creating fungible and agile workforce for the future: Key priority
She feels that as we near the end of a decade of profound change because of factors that include talent ranging across multiple generations, increasing diversity of gender, thought, culture at the workplace, a flourishing gig economy and most importantly the latest location agnostic office space set-up (shore, off shore or no shore!) across most industries, we find HR functions in the midst of a shift towards influencing strategy, building culture and using technology to recognise trends and talent gaps in an organization.
Historically as an employee, you have a job in this hierarchy and over time you progress through execution, growth, and relationships. You may work on cross-functional teams, but often these are stretch roles and it’s only your success in your main role that drives your promotion.
Keeping in mind the above, one of the biggest talent priorities for her would be creating talent that can move across teams, roles, departments and even organisations seamlessly. Redefining career architecture and helping create fungible and agile workforce for the future.
The one thing I will change in HR
The technological shift coupled with a growing need to redefine the way we work while operating in blended workspaces, has dramatically changed the organisations and the employees’ expectations. To continue to attract, nurture and retain top talent HR will have to make a shift in terms of delivering experiences, from one size fits all standard approach to creating personalised experience at scale. She would like to increase the use of data and technology to pave the way for the organisations into the age of personalization.
The one thing she will retain in HR
In the increasingly digital future of work, for her, empathy and focus on the people-centred approach that HR brings within the organization will continue to remain key. In the workplace of the future the culture of the organisation will be key to the kind of talent an organization is able to attract. HR needs to continue to be champions of culture for their organizations.
Vision for HR's future growth
The pandemic has created a new normal for work. The technological shift coupled with a growing need to redefine the way we work while operating in blended workspaces has thrown some curveballs at organizations. Her vision for HR growth is where HR will play an integral role to redefine employment models, policies and create a workplace where individuals can work in a trust based, dynamic, agile, boundary-less way while ensuring minimal disruptions thereby enabling businesses achieve their goals, short and long term.