Article: Organisations need to find a great mix of instant and delayed gratifications to retain talent: The Good Glamm Group’s Kartik Rao

Talent Management

Organisations need to find a great mix of instant and delayed gratifications to retain talent: The Good Glamm Group’s Kartik Rao

Kartik Rao of The Good Glamm Group tells us some strategic ways to lead talent and organisational development while building a solid work culture.
Organisations need to find a great mix of instant and delayed gratifications to retain talent: The Good Glamm Group’s Kartik Rao

Kartik Rao is the Group Chief People Officer at The Good Glamm Group. He brings over 11 years of extensive experience in culture design & transformation, talent management, spearheading mergers & acquisitions, and high-velocity talent acquisition while working with large-scale MNCs and fast-growing consumer tech & D2C start-ups. In this current role, he has led over 10 Mergers and Acquisitions for The Good Glamm Group while driving increasing hiring numbers with an equal focus on culture, talent engagement and retention. Kartik’s role cuts across Business and HR to create purposeful teams that deliver stellar business results on a solid foundation of systems, processes, people and Innovation. 

In an exclusive conversation with People Matters ahead of People Matters Total Rewards and Wellbeing Conference 2022 where he will be a guest speaker, Rao shares his take on critical business and talent trends, leading cross-functional teams, empowering a solid work culture, investing in organisational development, and more. Here are some excerpts

What are some top industry trends shaping your business and talent priorities? 

War for Talent is Over, Talent has Won: There are only two kinds of organisations that exist: those who know it and those who don’t. Intelligent organisations know that the lopsided demand-supply of good talent requires them to offer not just best-in-class compensation but also greater flexibility, high trust culture, and comprehensive benefits beyond an individual (including family, post-retirement financial planning), high learning culture, high-quality projects. 

Not just talent acquisition and retention, but talent monetisation: As most businesses focus on customer acquisition, customer retention and most importantly, customer monetisation, HR was primarily focused on talent acquisition and talent retention. Still, now more than ever, HR and Organisations overall are focussing on talent monetisation. So how do organisations ensure more ROI per person? Effective performance coaching/management, plus new ways of working (with hybrid) and engagement. 

Marrying instant gratification with delayed gratifications: These are times when you can get food delivery in less than 30 mins, grocery in less than 10 mins, cabs in less than 3 mins, and a potential relationship with a right swipe and job offers every weekend. Unfortunately, organisations still focused on selling long-term careers are fighting global inertia. Organisations need to find a great mix of instant gratification and delayed gratifications to retain talent across ages and archetypes. It’s not an ‘OR’ game anymore; it’s an ‘AND’ game. 

What is the hiring outlook for the latter half of the year and 2023?

While for most startups, the last 12-18 months were about high-velocity hiring, the next six months and the latter half of 2023 will be focused on hiring quality (especially on replacement and new roles). I don’t expect the same kind of hiring spree across industries as we saw last year, barring startups with Series A and B who are looking to scale with recent rounds. 

With your recent acquisitions, how are you enabling cross-team collaboration and driving a shared culture? 

We are most mindful about finding organic synergies in acquired brands while acknowledging and celebrating the uniqueness of each brand’s culture. Imagine The Good Glamm Group as a country with brands operating as states. There are some critical guiding principles that the complete leadership team aligned and synergised on during our annual leadership summit in 2021, which remains the foundation of how we align at a group level and share a common vision while retaining and continuing the uniqueness and individuality of every brand.

Our integration framework focuses on 3 key aspects to ensure collaboration:

  • Clarity: Giving people clarity post-acquisition on their role, ways of working or any other change. 
  • Capability: Offering people with necessary resources (people, system or process) to ensure they can deliver in their role 
  • Comfort: Offering comfort through deep listening, inclusive decision making and pacing out the execution to ensure minimal collective anxiousness 

The Business Partner team has launched initiatives like BYOB (bring your own beverage), where cross-functional teams working can catch up over an evening for fun and get to know each other. Having people be part of cross-functional projects and the office re-opening has fast-tracked our efforts to drive high collaboration and build deep connections. 

Having one office with cross-functional teams has got the coffee conversations, water cooler side laughs and post office parties back in full action. We recently had a big celebration of Good Glamm Group completing 1 year where people from all brands and companies came together and spent a complete evening partying and jamming with each other. These initiatives to people are like water to fish. They yearn for such opportunities where they can collaborate informally. Our biggest, most recent initiative and first-ever B2C collaboration–making MyGlamm as the official beauty partner of Bigg Boss–has garnered group-wide engagement. 

What are some big investments you are making in talent and organisational development?

OJT & Career Progression Framework: Identifying larger portfolios for individuals as a part of integration within the group. Many folks who came from acquired brands have taken group-level roles, leading much larger portfolios and managing much bigger teams and businesses. Some key leaders overlook Good Glamm’s expansion into international markets. 

Hi-Po, Pe Program/Personalized learning opportunities: Talent development will be one of our most important focus areas in the coming 18 months. Identifying top talent and offering accelerated career plans, focussing on personalised learning and development (online and offline with MDPs back in full swing post lockdown). 

Investing in AI and Technology: Leveraging technology platforms like Amber (an NLP-enabled AI) that can drive connect at scale through a complete personalised journey of an individual, that helps Business Partners focus on critical talent at flight risk and focus on the quality of problem-solving. Be proactive with initiatives like ‘Stay Interviews’ with top talent rather than Exit interviews (that land up becoming a post-mortem exercise at best). Leveraging tools like ONA (Organization Network Analysis) helps us focus on key influencers in work driving high network density and those who can be critical catalysts for change. 

Investing in a leadership pipeline with super effective people managers: There is too much emphasis on charismatic leadership but not enough conversation on being a super effective manager who drives the mission and vision into action with large teams. One big focus for us will be to invest in creating a solid line of managers - first-time managers (FTMs) and people managers groomed internally or hired laterally for a higher density of top performers. 

As a business leader of a fast-growing company, what is the advice you will give to emerging entrepreneurs? 

I have always believed that the only variable to coding is people. In a long enough timeline, talent will be the key differentiating factor for great versus good companies. Invest in HR folks who love and understand business, who can co-create companies that win in the market, and want to work with people at the centre of strategy. In short, don’t fall into the trap of hiring fast or hiring for today. Hire for today and tomorrow and have the patience to do front-load investment. Be gatekeepers and not just gate openers.

So, what are you waiting for? Join us for India's largest rewards and wellbeing conference, People Matters Total Rewards and Wellbeing Conference 2022 only at Ambience Leela, Gurugram on November 9. 

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Topics: Talent Management, Culture

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