The Counsellor: Changing work culture
I am a senior consultant in a leading consulting firm in India. The high attrition faced by the company in the last few years has resulted in new talent joining the company. Often people have been hired at a very short notice and being a constant in the organization for 8 years plus now, I am saddened by the depleting talent quality that is increasingly becoming a part of the workforce. The new talent pool has changed the work culture of the organization and the newer employees do not have the same values that we once stood for. This has also led to increased work pressure for seasoned people like me. This scenario has been bothering me for some time, but I do not know how to address it at my level. Do you think I can bring this to the management’s notice? Is that the right thing to do?
What you have stated is not unusual. High attrition rates leading to continuous induction of new talent, always leads to new issues and challenges. It is a normal feature in today’s world. We cannot allow ourselves to get saddened with the changes that we witness. This is the time for senior employees like you to rise to the occasion and figure out and articulate with your management team, the culture that you need to build in the company. The culture has to be anchored to few core values that are crucial for the company. The processes, tools, methods and the performance measures have to continuously evolve as per the changing circumstances, new expectations of the workforce, new expectations of the customers, etc. Do not become slaves of the past practices and ways of working; get anchored only to the core values. The practices have to be continuously challenged, questioned and changed as necessary.
Instead of getting saddened, as a senior employee, you should become a buddy to the new people, help them become aligned to the company’s values and work with them to evolve new methods of work suited for the changing environment. Work closely with your management in identifying what can be changed and what should not. Volunteer to be part of the induction and assimilation of the new talent. Propose building of the talent pipeline to combat the high attrition.
I am not sure if the quality of new talent is depleting in your organization, may be it is different from the past, and it should be different. Younger new people from diverse backgrounds bring in fresh thinking. Learn to listen to them, these new people will, I am sure, bring in the breath of fresh air in the company. Learn to segregate values from practices, many a times we become slaves of our past methods, rituals and the practices leading to the downfall. A strong culture flourishes with a clear set of values and norms that actively guide the way for a company.
Vivek is a Senior HR professional with over 35 years of experience, ranging several leadership positions, in India and abroad. He leads his consulting practice since 2003 and presently works as a Strategic HR Advisor to Reliance Industries, and is also an independent Director on the Board of Motilal Oswal Financial Services Ltd. Prior to this, he was based at Singapore for several years where he was Director HR - Operations at Hewlett Packard for the Asia Pacific Region.
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