Article: Diversity and inclusion must be a strong pillar in setting a healthy work culture: M2P Fintech’s Prabhu Rangarajan


Diversity and inclusion must be a strong pillar in setting a healthy work culture: M2P Fintech’s Prabhu Rangarajan

In conversation with People Matters, Prabhu Rangarajan of M2P Fintech dives deep into what it takes to create the right work culture and how his organisation is strategising in this direction.
Diversity and inclusion must be a strong pillar in setting a healthy work culture: M2P Fintech’s Prabhu Rangarajan

Prabhu Rangarajan is the co-founder at M2P Fintech. He comes with over 16 years of experience as an IT Professional and was associated with Cognizant, Version and iGate before his stint at M2P Fintech. Prabhu is passionate about networking, IT and design and leads the Infrastructure, HR, Marketing, and design functions in his current role. In an exclusive conversation with People Matters, he shares his take on the dominant talent trends, what it takes to ensure a healthy work culture, the critical value of wellness and human connections and more. Here are some excerpts.

What are those emerging talent trends that will have an impact on the way we hire and work with talent? What has been the impact on M2P Fintech’s talent management strategies?

People’s eagerness to improve their skills to advance within their organisation or seek better chances is a prominent trend in various industries. With numerous platforms offering courses and certificates in skill sets required in today’s competitive work environment, the modern workforce is compelled to acquire new skill sets to remain competitive. This will substantially drive prospective and current employees to develop and provide firms with an opportunity to identify and nurture people who can be long-term assets.

Regarding recruitment, we have learned that successfully employing social media has helped us identify prospective talent and comprehend their ambitions. Understanding where they would like to see themselves in the near future can assist in defining their growth trajectory and course-correcting with them based on their aspirations. In addition, we also actively offer internship programs and do traditional outreach activities at educational institutions of repute; this is still an effective strategy. But, again, this helps us tremendously as we engage with talent at an early stage through projects to learn their capabilities and goals. 

As a FinTech firm, we recognise the breadth of this term and are collaborating with the Tamil Nadu Higher Education Department to develop a curriculum that would be of significant use to the whole industry.

With increasing flexible working arrangements on the scene, the question of culture continues to be critical. So how can businesses today build a robust and inclusive work culture for a diversified workforce?

A company is said to have a strong work culture when its employees are comfortable with the rules and regulations and follow the established norms. It is also important to ensure diversity and inclusion is a strong pillar in setting a healthy work culture and environment. Diverse teams tend to be more innovative; thus, they produce better work. When a business assembles people from various backgrounds, cultures, and experiences into highly collaborative teams founded on respect and trust, team members can share, challenge, and elevate contributions. As a result, creativity is promoted, acknowledged, and used to solve problems and enhance productivity. Work culture is vital in bringing out the best in employees and retaining them for extended periods.

It is important to highlight that in the current situation, employee wellness is no longer a perk that can be used to attract personnel. The present workforce has had ample opportunity to reevaluate this benefit and now expects companies to provide a more comprehensive wellness strategy that supports their professional and personal development. This may include financial, professional, emotional, physical, and social wellness. Companies offering this holistic wellness strategy would benefit greatly, as it will encourage employees to focus on their everyday duties. In turn, this contributes to the company's growth and facilitates improved recruitment by spreading the company's work culture to aspirants and friends. 

We offer our staff flexible working hours at M2P. This facilitates a healthy work-life balance for them significantly. In addition, we urge our staff to demonstrate empathy and take responsibility for their work. While there is no set 8-hour workday, a project must be given sufficient importance to ensure that it does not impede the team's or company's success. We also provide unlimited automatically approved leaves, wherein employees may request time off through the web without lengthy approval procedures or designation-based bias. Individuals are mature enough to comprehend this and will utilise it appropriately if given the opportunity. 

With technology being a critical enabler in recruiting a diversified workforce, what are some digital innovations that are changing talent management practices at M2P Fintech?

We use LinkedIn analytics and other HR technology tools to recruit at M2P. In addition, we have end-to-end digitalised onboarding processes to aid candidates applying for new positions or new employees to efficiently understand and get oriented with the company and their role.

However, as a business, we strongly value human connections. Even though technology has considerably assisted us in identifying and recruiting candidates, word-of-mouth referrals have shown to be an equally effective, if not more effective, source of recruitment. This instils a sense of accountability in both the referring employee and the referred employee, ensuring that they give the chance their best effort. We feel we have built a culture in which we have democratised talent acquisition by empowering individuals also to recruit.

Given the many discussions and experiments around the four-day work week, what is your take on this? What do you think are the pros and cons of this much-debated policy?

It's fantastic that some organisations can offer their employees a four-day work week. However, this may not hold true for client servicing or B2B enterprises with rapid growth. As a B2B FinTech player, we are associated with several banks and financial institutions with a 6-day work week. The movement or digital flow of money is not limited to four days, and our inability to offer our partners the necessary support would reflect poorly not only on us but also on our partners, who are accountable to their end customers. Aligning ourselves with our partner’s calendars, being available for them, and ensuring business continuity are of utmost priority to us at M2P.

Finally, what would be a word of advice or lessons you learned in leading talent management that you would like to share with our community?

In the past year, M2P has witnessed a hypergrowth phase, and as a result, the need for personnel increased. Over this period, we unearthed a few valuable lessons, including the fact that freebies and gifts for talent acquisition are temporary since there will always be someone offering something better.

Real value will result in positive outcomes: important talent seeking to create value will comprehend and recognise the opportunity before them. The key is appropriately communicating and demonstrating a candidate's long-term worth within the organisation. If candidates thoroughly understand essential elements such as intellectual and financial progress in their future, they will eventually make the best decision.

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Topics: Culture, Diversity, Talent Management, #FutureOfWork

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