Of GOLD programs & practices
The Global Leadership Development Team was assigned with only one responsibility – Develop Leaders for the Future. The GOLD was an offshoot of this
Genpact began in 1997 as a business unit within General Electric. In January 2005, Genpact became an independent company to bring process expertise and unique DNA in Lean Six Sigma to clients outside the GE family. In August 2007, Genpact became a publicly-traded company (NYSE: G). This business process management company has 60,000+ employees and clocked $2 billion in revenue in 2012 and renders services like business process consulting, technology services, analytics and research, financial risk management, enterprise application services and IT services.
After becoming independent, Genpact realized that while they had strong leaders to manage their current business, they needed to grow leadership skills to sustain their growth targets. This could potentially become a disadvantage and stretch the bandwidth of the existing leaders.
While hiring talent and domain expertise from the market was always quick-fix option, it was also rather expensive. The availability of talent and stiff competition for this limited talent made the situation worse. It is at this juncture, the L&D team came up with the concept of a Global Leadership Development (GLD) Team with the only focus on developing Leaders for the future. The curriculum and goals of the GLD team were closely aligned to the growth and hiring forecasts of the company. GOLD (Global Operations Leadership Development) was GLD’s first program offering. The objective of GOLD was to groom high potential managers and senior managers into strong operating leaders.
The success of the GOLD program can be attributed to getting early buy-in from the business leaders, great planning and execution. Detailed interviews were conducted with senior leadership to understand the competencies required in a leader. Surveys were conducted and focus groups were organized with middle management to understand their challenges and developmental needs. And, finally an extensive market search was done to get industry best practices. Training partners were identified to build and facilitate the training along with Genpact training leaders.
The GOLD program has not only led to employee development, but it also allowed Genpact to have a ready pool of leaders, who had the capability to crack bigger deals, make forays into other regions, and explore opportunities. For the participants, the GOLD program increased career growth opportunities manifold.
The first batch of GOLD (Global Operations Leadership Development) program graduated in 2008 and since then seven batches have been successfully launched. The participants have maintained an excellent track record and on-program “double promotions” (i.e. a participant was promoted two levels while being part of the program – Manager to Assistant Vice President) – stands at 9 per cent. A program that started as a training program has now become is hugely aspirational for middle management. It has created strong operational leaders with great exposure, reduced attrition to less than 2 per cent and given high visibility to Genpact’s young employees.
GOLD has also become the company’s face of Corporate Social Responsibility, one of the values Genpact strongly believes in – giving back to the community. GOLD has helped increase the number of women in leadership positions from 23 per cent in 2006 to 44 per cent in 2013. It also increased global representation from regions across the world and increased leadership positions – from 17 per cent (2006) to 46 per cent (2013).
Genpact’s GOLD program is a great illustration of the importance of getting early buy-in from the relevant stakeholders and modifying the program to incorporate feedback and best practices. The jury though, is still out on whether GOLD can be applied as is to other organizations.