Article: Harnessing the synergy of talent, culture, and tech: Tanya Pallavi's blueprint for organisational success at Pixxel

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Harnessing the synergy of talent, culture, and tech: Tanya Pallavi's blueprint for organisational success at Pixxel

In conversation with People Matters, Tanya Pallavi of Pixxel sheds light on how organisations can achieve organisational growth, build a solid talent pipeline, drive employee satisfaction, foster DEI and more.
Harnessing the synergy of talent, culture, and tech: Tanya Pallavi's blueprint for organisational success at Pixxel

As the world hurtles into a new era of sustainability and tech-driven progress, how can organisations leverage the trifecta of talent, culture, and technology to redefine organisational success?

Tanya Pallavi, Head of People Practices at Pixxel comes with answers. With over 12 years of experience in the people domain across product, IT services, consulting, and gaming firms, she also has a background in personnel management and experience at Polaris Software Labs, McKinsey & Co., DXC, and MPL (Mobile Premiere League). Tanya's mastery in talent acquisition, professional development, and post-merger strategies at large-scale IT plays an instrumental role in driving  Pixxel's growth. 

In this exclusive interview with People Matters, Tanya shares some insightful takeaways on how forward-thinking HR leaders can leverage talent, culture and technology to not only drive business growth but also shape the very fabric of fast-growing organisations. Here are some excerpts from the conversation.

In the context of emerging businesses, how do you see the interplay between talent, culture, and technology contributing to organisational growth and competitiveness?

As HR evolves from being an operational or disciplining function to becoming a strategic business partner, it’s now focused on unlocking human potential to accelerate business growth. Therefore talent, culture, and technology aren’t only the key pillars but are intertwined in getting us there. 

For organisational growth and gaining a competitive advantage, it is extremely important to get the right talent fit, provide the best people experience, and engage and harness potential while maintaining a healthy bottom line. 

While it may sound fairly straightforward, it's a delicate balancing act that requires the People Function to gain a 360-degree view of the business, changing needs, macro challenges, and individual motivators. A one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work any longer. To be able to do all of this, technology becomes a huge enabler of manual effort and forms the base for building analytical capabilities. Having said that, simply implementing people technology isn’t considered cutting edge anymore but basic hygiene for every organisation. The question to ask now is how to enable the talent agenda via technology and solve problems at scale. 

How do you align your talent acquisition strategies with your organisation's culture and future goals, and how does technology aid in attracting and identifying the right candidates?

At Pixxel, we focus a lot on clear articulation of the company strategy and our mid-term to long-term goals. Everyone at Pixxel knows where we are headed and how we intend to get there.

 The leadership team puts in deep thinking to set clear goals for their teams, which enables us to run a robust talent planning exercise and plan in advance, especially given the specific niche of talent that we’re looking for as a space tech organisation. 

While our internal practices help with capability mapping and demand prediction, what truly drives our hiring decision is our strong penchant for finding people with shared values. On multiple occasions, we have been very comfortable turning down a candidate despite their technical prowess if we felt there could be a potential culture mismatch or if they weren't passionate about our purpose at Pixxel.

Given how young we are as a company, our talent acquisition so far has been very heavy on the human touch. Technology has helped create a top-of-the-funnel candidate pool and get the word out there. But beyond that, every candidate interaction is handled by the recruiting team. We take time to talk to applicants and understand them more beyond their resumes and we have stayed away from automated responses on rejection or selection, for example. 

There is a high involvement of the leadership team in the hiring process, to ensure that we build an impeccable team. There is no off-the-shelf culture assessment either, but we do see major scope for enhancing backend operations using technology in the future. 

How have you used technology to measure and analyse cultural dynamics within your organisation, and how have these insights influenced your strategies for enhancing employee engagement and satisfaction?

We use technology quite actively at Pixxel when it comes to measuring cultural dynamics and leveraging those insights for bettering employee engagement and satisfaction. 

We baseline sentiment using our current tool which has a module on eNPS and Employee Wellness. While the eNPS survey is conducted once every six months, Employee Wellness provides a quarterly check-in. These surveys are valuable when it comes to baselining employee sentiment at scale and help with quantifiable metrics to check for the effectiveness of initiatives being driven within the organisation. 

The results however are only an indication of the satisfaction level within the organisation and don’t give the full picture. So we follow this by conducting in-depth conversations with the teams to unearth behaviours and underlying mindsets and the shifts needed to improve further. Based on the findings, there are team-level and organisation-level initiatives to drive a higher level of engagement and satisfaction. We ask, we hear, we act, and reiterate. 

How do you leverage technology and implement inclusive practices to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion in your organisation, and what positive outcomes have you observed? How has this translated into tangible benefits for your organisation?

If diversity, equity, and inclusion aren't inherently a part of the shared belief system of a community or an organisation, no amount of technology and processes can truly bring sustainable change. 

At Pixxel, we have been fortunate to be a considerably young company where we don't have to spend time reversing or course-correcting damage but mindfully designing from the get-go as we scale. Diversity for us boils down to the diversity of thought; metrics like generational, gender, age, and cultural diversity are only the means to an end. 

Our effort has been to operate in a trust-based environment where every employee feels comfortable voicing their opinion and being heard. Maintaining this tenet of our culture has been intentional from the early stages of the company through culture documentation, policies, hiring practices, and rewarding and recognising behaviours in line with our values. There cannot be one approach that we develop to solve for DE&I but stress test all our practices against it. 

Fast-growing organisations often require a balance between personalised experiences and standardised processes. How do you use technology to achieve this equilibrium in HR practices? How do you ensure that technology enhances, rather than diminishes, the human aspect of HR?

We use technology for knowledge management, documentation, and process automation but have maintained a high focus on personalised employee experience. For example, we have created a playbook for performance management but ensure that every manager and employee is handheld through the process and given enough assistance and guidance whenever needed. While tech solves high-volume repetitive tasks and standardisation of operations it cannot replace human interaction. It's like seeking therapy from an AI, doable? - Yes, sufficient? - no. 

Looking ahead, how do you foresee the dynamic relationship between talent, culture, and technology evolving, and how are you preparing your organisation for these changes?

Given that Pixxel has seen considerable growth in headcount in the last few months, our focus will be to reassess our technology requirements while keeping in mind our global presence and the scale. 

Also, with the advent of AI, there are multiple use cases of technologies in people practice and some hyper-specialised tools that solve for people experience, organisational network analysis, and specific use cases in hiring and learning and development. However, we want to be careful of solving real-time needs and not over-engineering and implementing technology that isn't adding any value to us at Pixxel at this point.

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Topics: Talent Acquisition, Culture, HR Technology, #HRTech, #SMEcorner, #Leaders Talk

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