Article: At GoDaddy, employees own their career development: Sarfraz Nakai

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At GoDaddy, employees own their career development: Sarfraz Nakai

"We provide a platform that has vast resources that our talent team curates which are in service of all our job families ranging from giving visibility to a career path, skills required for the next-level journey, and related resources," said Sarfraz Nakai, Senior Director - People Operations (People Partner for Technical & Corporate Function), GoDaddy.
At GoDaddy, employees own their career development: Sarfraz Nakai

The big shifts in the world of work and the ongoing fierce talent war are nudging fast-growing organisations to prioritise building an attractive EVP and employer brand.

In the latest research by Keka and People Matters, 31.5% of the respondents highlighted Talent Acquisition and Retention as one of the top challenges. But how do organisations design an impactful talent acquistion and retention strategy for the era of employees?

Sarfraz Nakai, Senior Director - People Operations (People Partner for Technical & Corporate Function), GoDaddy shares with People Matters, how GoDaddy is addressing the challenge by focusing on career development and building a culture on the pillars of flexibility and inclusion. 

As Senior Director of People Operations, Sarfraz and his team drive and lead the Strategic People agenda for Technical and Corporate functions globally. Prior to this role, he was the Chief of Staff to the Chief People Officer along with leading the Return to Office initiative for GoDaddy globally.

Here are the excerpts from the interview: 

In the era of employees, what is your secret sauce to winning the top talent?

We put a big focus on our company culture and having a compelling and authentic story behind our company promise of a career journey and experience grounded in our mission to empower entrepreneurs everywhere, making opportunities more inclusive for all. It positions and promotes us as a great place to work.

In today’s setting, companies need to differentiate themselves by providing a safe and inclusive environment where diversity and experimentation are celebrated and there are opportunities to learn and grow. We at GoDaddy walk the talk in terms of our progressive culture, giving our employees the flexibility to do their best work and a collaborative environment that allows us to deliver for our customers which helps us attract the best talent.

In a recent McKinsey report, lack of career advancement and growth was highlighted as one of the top reasons behind high attrition. How are you investing in enabling meaningful careers at GoDaddy?

In my opinion, a meaningful career is a broad dimension. It’s a different meaning for everyone. However, to summarise and comment, we at GoDaddy help our employees achieve the satisfaction of building products that can leave a legacy. The experience of developing a product where your inputs shape the final version is what creates the meaning. 

Our customer obsession drives our culture for ideas to thrive and provides our employees with the opportunity to master their skills.

We truly believe that our employees own their 'career journey and development' and each individual’s needs, and aspirations are different.

In true service of that spirit - all our career programs are aligned that enable employees to make a choice of what suits them best and how they consume it. We provide a platform that has vast resources that our talent team curates which are in service of all our job families ranging from giving visibility to a career path, skills required for the next-level journey, and related resources that range from bite-size to elaborate programs that can be consumed basis individual 'choice' from wherever.

We also realise that a significant amount of adult learning takes place 'vicariously – learning by observing each other' and to truly unlock that we have employee-initiated and led podcasts, in-person training, and virtual modules that we see are consumed by our employees with much enthusiasm.

Our culture is so human-centric that our colleagues feel valued here. Additionally, our internal job opportunities along with guidance I am sure that a retention score of more than 85% is a good corroboration of the explanation on countering the industry-wide attrition. 

How can startups, SMEs, and unicorns create differentiating employer brands?

The prime focus for start-ups, SMEs, and unicorns to create a differentiated employer brand should be on creating a culture that can be experienced. In today’s hyper-connected world and social media dependency, reviews travel fast and wide.

A culture that is a reality in the workplace will create the brand and subsequently attract the right talent to bolster the branding.

Leveraging social media for branding, I feel, is a must in today’s world. 

As an HR leader of a fast-growing organization, what are your top priorities for the next 6 months?

With the current geopolitical outlook, I believe attracting and retaining the top talent is our focus for the upcoming 6 months. We should be nimble and agile as an organisation to maintain the growth path along with the development and engagement of our talent. The aim would be to maintain flexibility with a fun quotient along with productivity.

What would be your biggest advice to the HR leaders of fast-growing organisations?

A good system with non-productive people or an unstructured system with good people will always deliver unsatisfactory results.

The creation of high performing workforce which is driven by purpose should be an absolute objective that often looks like a piece of cake but is mired with challenges of workforce expectation, work-life balance, and engagement issues.

To summarise, create the right culture and people practices where ideas thrive, and life happens!

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Topics: Learning & Development, #SMEcorner, #Leaders Talk

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