Shreya Choudhury | Manager - Human Resources | Cognizant Technology Solutions
An HR professional with expertise in Talent Transformation and Workforce Management, Shreya Choudhury has been working with Cognizant Technology Solutions for 3.5 years, after completing her MBA in Human Resource Management. In her recent engagements she has been involved in several initiatives, dealing with current challenges such as attrition, market aligned rates and compensation, promotions linked to business growth and improving campus relationships.
“I am passionate about learning about organisation behaviors and motivations people have in the corporate world,” shares Shreya.
Curious case of Human Behaviour: What motivates people?
Shreya has been intrigued by the field of psychology, organisational behavior and people management since her graduation. While people are the most important and dynamic assets in any organisation, it is critical to understand what motivates them and how that can be linked to the hiring, performance, rewards & retention strategy.
“We learn about concepts of workforce planning, talent management, employer branding, diversity and inclusions in our classroom teachings; whereas a real business environment provides the perspective of internal forces such as policies, processes, systems, leadership approach as well as external influences such as the market scenario and best practices,” adds Shreya. In her tenure at Cognizant she has had the opportunity to manage the end-to-end employee lifecycle for a global headcount of 3,00,000 employees across geographies and business units.
Bringing HR in the forefront as a key decision function
In her current role Shreya is responsible and accountable for steering critical people processes such as performance management, job movements (rotations & promotions) and employee experience for all associates globally. Her key contributions include identifying key challenges and proactively mitigating risks with any new or ongoing initiative, developing the talent strategy with the buy-in from key stakeholders like the Executive Committee, managing multiple teams with varying KRAs and processes to achieve the combined goal of people development.
Shreyas has been utilising her skills in HR Analytics and HR Information Systems to leverage the capabilities of data and automation in the HR function, bringing HR in the forefront as a key decision function in the overall strategy of the organisation.
Key priority: Creating inclusive & effective performance & rewards system
“Measuring performance as a holistic reflection of the financial, customer, operation and growth of the employee has been a major challenge across industries for years. While we talk about bringing a 360 degree view of performance through a Balanced Scorecard, it can prove to be a major instrument in moving towards a more inclusive and utilitarian work environment,” says Shreya.
Through bridging the gap in pay parity and bringing cultural forces that minimize hierarchy, promoting soft skills that encourage collaborations for better design thinking and problem solving, Shreya believes companies can work towards a performance and rewards system that truly recognizes and encourages employees to work on an all-round development of themselves and the organisation.
The one thing I will change in HR
The approach to hiring with the sole focus as time-to-fill. “While hiring requirements can be in large volumes, making it necessary to fulfill faster, it is critical to adjudge whether the employees’ cultural beliefs and aspirations are aligned to the organization goals and values,” says Shreya.
It is also necessary to evaluate the long term implications such as fitting the right pay structure that is aligned to the market and also to other employees in the organization. Quality of hire is just as important as the time-to-fill and must be prioritised during hiring to eliminate the cost of a mismatched hire.
The one thing I will retain in HR
Companies across industries are focusing on their perceptions right from hiring to internal/ external processes, diversity, reward system as well as maintaining relationships with ex-employees. In the current environment, creating a strong brand as an employer that aligns to the expectations of not only their customers but also their employees, is critical to create a competitive edge. Employer branding is one focus area that every organisation must retain and develop more through innovative solutions.
Leader who can lead through the crisis
For leaders it is critical to have an appetite for change and equip the organisation with the right change management strategy that ensures the business and its people on the ground have awareness and acceptance for the decisions coming their way. “Organisations are moving from downsizing to mass hiring within quarters and to ensure the teams managing the large volume of processes are on track, it is necessary to invest in learning and development especially in the field of data and analytics, systems and automations as well as communications,” shares Shreya.
Next, with rapid changes in the business and people strategy, innovation is no longer a choice but a necessity. Organisations are moving to faster decision making and higher maturity levels when it comes to processes and systems. In this scenario, Shreya thinks, the leadership needs to scale up their ability to make decisions, make short term changes with higher preparedness for long term implications.
It is now time to think about the future of the workplace and optimise the cost associated with the infrastructure keeping in mind the priorities of all stakeholders. In people aspects, stress and burnout have been commonly observed by many companies and it must be one of the top priorities for the leadership to address given the uncertainty of the pandemic. Shreya suggests, leadership needs to refine their capabilities in order to align better with the industry best practices while continuing to create value for stakeholders.
The leadership journey with People Matters Are You In The List Awards
“People Matters Are You In The List Awards, is one of the most prestigious recognitions for young HR professionals. With thousands of participants across industries and a rigorous process including written tests, case presentations and face off with C-Suite members from esteemed organizations, this platform has the credibility to identify and promote emerging talent leadership,” says Shreya.
As a participant, and now awardee in this contest, she believes the exposure to work on problems solving and decision making have evolved and expanded her understanding about the business environment. “The gamified digital process was an encouraging platform to develop digital and communication skills as well as contribute to value creation for the organisation,” added Shreya. The platform presented an opportunity to Shreya to network with leaders and peers from other organisations and learn about the initiatives they have worked towards which she says truly adds to the knowledge and experience in my leadership journey.
Vision for HR's future growth
In Shreya’s view, HR is not a shared service or a cost center anymore, it is a critical lever that drives one of the most influential assets or the organisations : its people. While HR systems and processes have seen advancements through sand automation, cultural interventions must go hand in hand to ensure there is effective communication from leaders, managers and among employees as well to create an ecosystem that encourages innovation and growth. There is also a need to develop a knowledge management system to address challenges related to people management. This can be done through close coupling between HR and the business where all stakeholders can understand and identify the concerns and work towards a collaborative solution.