Article: ASG's Prabhakar Azad shares 15 effective strategies aligning culture with business goals

Strategic HR

ASG's Prabhakar Azad shares 15 effective strategies aligning culture with business goals

The Chief People and Process Officer at Ashwin Sheth Group, shares strategies for a productive work culture, enhancing employee experience, upskilling talent for emerging tech, and well-being initiatives.
ASG's Prabhakar Azad shares 15 effective strategies aligning culture with business goals

Employers are increasingly prioritizing enriching the employee experience, leveraging initiatives such as wellness plans, learning and development programs, fostering a productive work culture, and upskilling talent to adapt to new technologies. However, a crucial question remains: What is the most effective approach to ensuring the organization's overall success while aligning with employee interests?

In an exclusive interview with People Matters, Prabhakar Azad, the Chief People and Process Officer (CPPO) at Ashwin Sheth Group, shared key strategies for cultivating a productive work culture, with a focus on employee engagement, talent upskilling and reskilling for emerging technologies, and well-being initiatives aimed at talent retention.

Here are the edited excerpts:

Q. Please share some of the innovative policies and programs that you've implemented at Ashwin Sheth Group to enhance employee morale. How have these initiatives contributed to employee retention and driving overall productivity within the organization?

At Ashwin Sheth Group, we have implemented the following policies and programs for our employees: 

  • Employee referral policy: This policy helps the current employee valued, and appreciated and encourages them to win rewards and recognition. 
  • Employee Gym Policy: To maintain a healthy human force ASG pays 50% of employees on their overall expenses GYM to them fit and maintain a work-life balance. 
  • Employee Gadget policy: To improve employees' efficiency & make them more tech-savvy employee can choose electronic gadget & submit proposal once the committee approve the amount of the gadget cost. 
  • Fuel reimbursement policy: Bike & Car if any employee using own vehicle to do company duty. This gives freedom to use own vehicle as per employee convivence along with that, we have a corporate travel policy too 
  • Employee Insurance Coverage:   We cover all 3 types of policies for employees that match international employment standards- Group Medical Policy, Personal Accidental Policy, and Group Term Life Insurance (5x the amount of CTC will be paid to employees' nominee ) This reduces insecurity among employee and also support the family.

Q. In your experience, why nurturing the organizational culture is crucial? Could you elaborate on effective strategies for fostering a company's culture to ensure it aligns with broader business objectives?

In my experience, nurturing the organizational culture plays a significant role in shaping a company's identity, performance, and long-term success in the employment market. A strong and aligned organizational culture helps create a positive work environment, fosters employee engagement, and supports the achievement of broader business objectives. By nurturing organizational culture and aligning it with broader business objectives, we can create a world-class brand, a workplace that motivates employees, enhances performance, and ultimately contributes to long-term success.

  1. Define and Communicate Core Values - Collaborate with leadership to clearly define the company's core values that represent its desired culture. Communicate these values throughout the organization to ensure they are well-understood by all employees.
  2. Hiring and Onboarding - Integrate cultural fit into the hiring process. Assess candidates not only for skills but also for their alignment with the company's values and culture. Develop an onboarding program that immerses new hires in the company's culture and values.
  3. Training and Development - Create training programs that reinforce the desired culture. This may include courses on company values, ethics, and behaviour expectations. Offer leadership development programs that emphasize culture and values for managers and executives.
  4. Performance Management - Align performance goals and evaluations with the company's culture and values. Recognize and reward employees who consistently demonstrate behaviours that reflect the desired culture.
  5. Leadership Development - Train leaders to embody and promote the company's culture. Develop leadership competencies that reflect the organization's values.
  6. Employee Engagement & Wellness Programmes - Implement engagement initiatives that promote a positive culture, such as team-building activities, wellness programs, and recognition programs. Gather regular feedback from employees to identify areas for improvement in culture-related matters.
  7. Communication - Maintain open and transparent communication channels that keep employees informed about the company's mission, vision, and values. Use internal communication methods to reinforce cultural messages and share success stories related to culture.
  8. Diversity and Inclusion - Develop and implement diversity and inclusion initiatives that align with the company's values. Encourage a diverse workforce and foster an inclusive environment.
  9. Feedback and Improvement - Conduct regular cultural assessments and surveys to gauge the alignment of the current culture with business objectives. Act on feedback to make necessary cultural adjustments and improvements.
  10. Recognition and Rewards - Develop a reward system that acknowledges and celebrates employees who exemplify the desired culture. Align the rewards program with cultural values and business goals.
  11. Change Management - Support employees through times of change by ensuring that cultural values remain consistent and serve as guiding principles. Communicate how culture relates to and helps navigate changes.
  12. Data Analytics - Use data and analytics to measure the impact of culture on business outcomes. Monitor key culture-related metrics, such as employee turnover, engagement, and customer satisfaction.
  13. Alignment with Business Objectives - Regularly review the company's business objectives and ensure that the culture supports these goals. Adjust the culture as necessary to remain in sync with changing business priorities.
  14. Role Modelling - Encourage leaders and HR personnel to be role models for the desired culture. Demonstrate cultural behaviours in day-to-day interactions.
  15. Legal Compliance - Ensure that HR policies and practices align with legal requirements and are consistent with the desired culture. Monitor compliance with labour laws and regulations.

By actively incorporating these HR strategies, the HR department can play a pivotal role in fostering a culture that aligns with broader business objectives. This, in turn, helps to create a cohesive and motivated workforce that drives the company's success and sustainability.

Q. In this dynamic landscape where Artificial Intelligence is leading the evolution of HR, what are some emerging trends in HR that you find particularly interesting or impactful in the real estate sector?

The HR industry is changing, especially in talent acquisition. Particularly in the real estate industry, AI-powered analytics may speed up the process of finding the appropriate personnel with the right capabilities. Employee engagement and experience are changing thanks to Generative AI-driven assistance, which also makes interactions with HR more effective and interesting. These developments have the power to transform the HR process and talent management and here are some more that will be impactful in the real estate sector: 

AI-powered lead generation: Based on variables like demographics, hobbies, and internet activity, artificial intelligence (AI) may be used to find and target potential leads.

AI-powered property valuation: AI can produce precise and current property appraisals based on a range of variables, including market trends, conditions, and location.

AI-powered virtual assistants: AI-powered virtual assistants can be used to answer customer questions, schedule appointments, and provide other support services. 

Employee recommendations: In the real estate industry, AI is assisting us in locating and focusing on possible employee referrals. In addition to saving us money on recruitment expenses, doing this makes sure that we only hire top-notch employees.

Performance management: AI substantially influences performance management chores, allowing HR practitioners to concentrate more on strategic objectives and less on routine administrative duties.

 Q. Are there any new technologies or strategies that you believe will play a significant role in the future of HR within the real estate sector, and how is Ashwin Sheth Group preparing for these changes?

HR environment for the real estate industry will require technology like virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) by streamlining processes such as onboarding, training new hires, employee evaluations, and performance reviews. These innovations have the potential to transform how we approach development, training, and onboarding. We are looking to adopt a variety of technologies and tactics in the real estate market in preparation for big changes:

Applicant tracking systems (ATS): Automating the recruiting of staff members and real estate agents using applicant tracking systems (ATS) ensures a simplified and effective hiring procedure.

Goal management platforms: Goal management platforms make it easier to define and monitor goals for staff members and real estate brokers, ensuring that everyone is working toward the same goals.

Automated assessment systems: They assist in assessing the workforce's abilities and expertise, ensuring that companies have a capable staff.

Data analysis and forecasting tools: These tools are extremely useful for assessing real estate market data and anticipating future trends, which is critical for strategic planning.

Real-time communication and collaboration tools: Real-time communication and collaboration technologies promote productivity by improving communication and cooperation between real estate agents and staff members. 

Q. The evolving job market demands upskilled talent, which is particularly relevant in the real estate sector. What are some strategies and technologies that HRs can leverage for learning and development to prepare a future-ready workforce in the context of real estate?

The changing work environment in the real estate industry stresses the demand for personnel with advanced skills. HR professionals may use learning management systems (LMS) to make industry-specific courses and learning resources easily accessible to workers. Employees may be involved in the learning process by using gamification tactics, and we've discovered that the real estate industry benefits most from this strategy.

Knowledge Exchange Workshops are an effective technique to encourage employees to contribute their sector-specific skills and to advance continuous learning in our business. Also, encouraging a collaborative culture and giving staff members the chance to contribute creative ideas that address the particular requirements of the real estate industry will greatly improve skill development and preparation for the future job market.

Q. How do you promote the sharing of knowledge and expertise among employees at ASG, fostering a culture of continuous learning? Could you share some specific examples or approaches you've found effective?

At ASG, we recognize the paramount importance of promoting knowledge sharing and nurturing a culture of perpetual learning to propel our organization's growth. In line with this commitment, we have instated a dedicated Learning and development role within our organization, solidifying our unwavering dedication to upskilling our employees. Our approach to learning is grounded in the belief that every role demands specific competencies, and as such, our learning interventions are meticulously tailored to cater to these unique requirements.

Our array of effective methodologies and frameworks are conveyed through diverse channels, including workshops, experiential learning, one-on-one coaching, and mentoring. We believe in a multifaceted approach that addresses various learning styles and preferences, ensuring that our employees receive the support they need to excel in their roles.

Furthermore, we have established a robust feedback loop that empowers our employees to share their thoughts and experiences regarding our learning initiatives. This input is invaluable to us, as it serves as the compass guiding our continuous improvement efforts in the realm of learning and development. We view this feedback as an essential resource in our journey to create a dynamic, responsive, and ever-evolving learning environment within ASG.

This comprehensive approach underscores our commitment to the growth and development of our team, ensuring that they are equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in the ever-evolving landscape of our industry.

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Topics: Strategic HR, Employee Relations, #HRTech, #HRCommunity

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