Meet Swati Panigrahi, Are You In The List 2020 winner
Swati Panigrahi | Manager - Learning and Development | Titan Company Limited
“An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered; an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered.” Swati shared how she often heard this quote from her father and made it her life mantra.
Swati who describes herself as an HR professional is eager to learn and determined to create an impact. She believes in taking people along, and is optimistic in her approach. “Taking up every challenge, facing it head-on and reflecting on the learning experience has helped me grow as an individual.” Swati shared. She likes working with a diverse set of people as it brings different perspectives in decision making.
“I take pride in bringing in a high degree of ownership and driving impactful deliverables, while enabling collaboration across teams,” said Swati.
Brining the human perspective to business
Human capital remains the most valuable resource for any business, especially with the rise of disruptive new business models and increased focus on tech led innovation. So HR has a tremendous opportunity to enable long term business strategy and is a core driver of long term organizational success.
Using the power of communication and perceptiveness
“Starting my professional career with HR consulting very early on, I realized the power of communication and perceptiveness which are indispensable people skills for driving innovation and impact,” said Swati.
Since then she has nurtured and tested these skills over the years in her work environment to realise the tremendous benefits that could be achieved by communications based on empathy and active listening. Her ability to step into the shoes of stakeholders and adapt to different perspectives and learning needs has helped her and the team to create customized solutions and drive customer buy-in.
Key talent priorities
The recent increase in quality and capability of learning platforms is a testimony of the scope of talent development. With the increasing focus on digitization and automation, there is a constant evolution of the skills and competencies required for success. Swati feels that this poses a critical problem of preparing the workforce for the future so as to optimize the intellectual and technological assets of organizations. The challenges can be addressed in two ways:
i) Building a growth mindset in the workforce - Employees need to be owners of their career growth- this includes both vertical as well as horizontal growth. Organizations should enable this further by focusing on encouraging talent mobility to derive the best results from cross-pollination of skills. This will enable employees to expand their horizon of possibility and lead to greater engagement.
ii) Working on holistic experiences for learning - Creating an ecosystem that supports structured learning while promoting experiential learning. This will require continuous partnership with business to maintain a balance of emerging and existing skills.
“Organizations which are unable to provide such opportunities will increasingly see lower workforce engagement and risk higher attrition,” said Swati.
Let’s read how Swati plans to take her passion to create value forward and what vision she has for the HR’s growth in the future.
The one thing I will change in HR
There is a need for all kinds of HR teams (be it L&D or C&B) to start thinking and configuring themselves as business partners rather than just COEs. Further to this, HR teams will have to start asking the right questions to help the business teams visualize the potential blind spots in their day to day and long term strategy. In addition to this, for any planned initiative/change project it is imperative that we as HR teams it with the business teams, and hold each other accountable for our roles in the change/initiative being driven.
The one thing I will retain in HR
As HR teams, we should continue our focus on delivering exceptional experiences for the workforce i.e. continue to drive employee obsession at an organizational level. After all, engaged employees deliver great end customer experience and are the secret sauce to drive organizational growth. Hence, we need to continuously evolve and learn from each other as a fraternity.
Vision for HR's future growth
While HR teams continue their role to be solution providers for the workforce issues, it is imperative that we take up a more proactive role in anticipating needs of the business and the workforce, in effect becoming change agents. As change agents we should be able to use data to drive key people decisions, hold the business accountable and prepare the workforce for the future.
HR will evolve as the strategic partner to business for competitive advantage and growth of the firm. HR initiatives will not be a good-to-have activity but instead become must-haves by creating impact on the key business drivers. The impact of the people decisions will be directly linked to the business outcomes.