Hyderabad: Creating unique, authentic and personalized employee experiences should be the new normal in employee engagement in today’s multigenerational, millennial-focused and digitally-driven organization, Dr. Prince Augustin, Group Human Capital & Leadership Development at Mahindra & Mahindra, said at the National HR Conclave organized by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) today.
Millennials want startup bosses
Millennials, who constitute close to 75% of the workforce, have a “quarter-life crisis.” “They want startup bosses, but get Generation X bosses,” Augustine said.
He advised HR to focus on three areas to engage them to foster engagement and innovation: Physical Experience (choices related to workplace environment); Human Experience (choices related to interaction with others) and Digital Experience (choices related to employees digital interface preferences).
Emrana Sheik, Enterprise HR Head – India & South Asia, Johnson & Johnson, said creating one-time “Aha” experiences will not do; it has to be sustained. Just as marketing strategies evolve keeping customer at the core, so too should HR evolve engagement with employees, keeping employee at the centre, she said.
Purpose needs ‘repurposing’
Prasenjit Bhattacharya, CEO of Great Place to Work Institute, India, said connecting employees with the organization’s purpose was a big challenge, requiring continuous “repurposing.”
Prince Augustine recalled how Mahindra & Mahindra reinvented Mahindra’s purpose when more than half of employees were no longer India nationals. The new purpose was to “use resources to drive positive changes in the lives of communities.” It was launched across the world at the same time and the “journey is still on.”
Augustine also spoke of using surveys to enhance engagement. Surveys map satisfaction levels, whereas engagement is about emotional connect leading to discretionary performance. Survey findings should be used to build conversations and interventions that drive engagement.
Dearth of L&D professionals hurting HR
Speakers at a session on “The Changing Landscape of Learning & Development” emphasized the need to make learning more personalized to build an agile organization. Shakun Khanna, Head of HCM Applications, Asia Pacific at Oracle Corporation, said 94% of business leaders consider L&D mission critical and are ready to invest more. However, 25% of L&D professionals are not sure if the content they deliver is appropriate.
Vikram Bector, President & Chief Human Resources Officer, Piramal Enterprises Ltd., lamented the dearth of L&D professionals. He asked why HR professionals are shy about specializing. “If doctors can specialize, why not HR people?” he asked.
Organizations rooted in industrial era
Sujaya Banerjee, CEO of Capstone People Consulting Pvt. Ltd. said organizations are still rooted in the industrial era and are not adapted to the needs of today’s knowledge workers.
“It is a big catch-up game and we need the humility to acknowledge that all the answers do not reside at the top of the organization,” she said.
Mr. Paramswaran Venkataraman, Vice President, Studio 5B at Dr. Reddy’s Labs, said L&D needs to cater to the specific needs of employees. The needs of a new recruit will be different from one who has put in three years. Mr. Rajiv Jayaraman, CEO of Knolskape Solutions Pvt. Ltd. said L&D professionals are over-dependent on PowerPoint presentations. “Has anyone become a leader by watching PPTs?” he asked.
Employee wellbeing: what is the ROI?
Mr. Suresh Dutt Tripathi, Vice President, HR, Tata Steel, moderated a panel discussion on “Employee Wellbeing and Business Productivity.” The panelists – Ms. Sohini Dutt, Director, HR at Nivea Pvt. Ltd; Mr. Rahul Pinjarkar, Director, HR and Chief Ethics Counsel at Trent Hypermarket and Ms. Emrana Sheikh of Johnson & Johnson, described how investment on employee wellness translate to enhanced engagement and contributed to performance.
Leaping into the future with technology
The concluding session dwelt on the need for “New Generational Capabilities of HR Professionals” focusing use of data, analysis and results to show the connections between HR and business KPIs, opening doors to new processes and people strategies that impact the bottom line of organizations.
More than 250 delegates participated on the second day of the Conclave which brought to life strategies and to help HR adapt to the VUCA world. Vivid examples and anecdotes from various speakers made the sessions informative and insightful.