Article: Treating humans as only resources not the best practice, says Vuram’s Suresh Chitralayam

Employee Relations

Treating humans as only resources not the best practice, says Vuram’s Suresh Chitralayam

Moving from the traditional approach, leaders must embrace a sustainable approach equipping their people with resources, technology, knowledge, and peak mental health to improve productivity, happiness, and morale, says Suresh Kumar Chitralayam, Director of People and Operations, Vuram.
Treating humans as only resources not the best practice, says Vuram’s Suresh Chitralayam

The future of work is fast embracing a hybrid approach, so organisations must maintain the imperative to be flexible and equip people to adapt to the changing environment. And as the market continues to evolve, it is essential to provide virtual learning and knowledge transfer to adapt to these changes.

During this transition, organisations must be compassionate and support their people, says Suresh Kumar Chitralayam, Director of People and Operations, Vuram, a global hyper-automation services company that specialises in low-code enterprise automation.

During an interview with People Matters, Chitralayam says peak mental health and emotional stability will reward organisations with the fruits of higher productivity, positive work culture, and the happiness of their people. Nurturing the right work culture that focuses on happiness and emotional well-being will improve performance and productivity, he adds.

Vuram, with its people-centric and empathy-first approach, has emerged among the 5000 fastest-growing private companies in the US by Inc. and is recognized among the top 25 of India’s best workplaces in IT & IT-BPM for 2021.

Here are the excerpts from the interview

Biggest challenges HR leaders must prepare for

HR leaders must realise that treating humans as resources is not a best practice.

Aligning organisational goals to people operations during these challenging times requires flexibility and conscious efforts to improve the workplace, benefits, practices, and technology. Moving from the traditional approach, leaders must embrace a sustainable approach equipping their people with resources, technology, knowledge, and peak mental health to improve productivity, happiness, and morale.

Re-imagining performance management system in post-pandemic world

Building trust is vital to keep the morale high during challenging times and reassure the value of each individual in the organisation.

Giving people the freedom with responsibility to evaluate themselves allows them to identify where they stand when it comes to their contributions and focus on areas of improvement which require guidance or learning.

Self-evaluation of performance is one way to ensure open communication between the people and the organisation while being transparent about the benchmarks. The objective of the performance evaluation must be to access progress, room for improvement, and explore possibilities of improvement. If done the right way, conducting participatory evaluation maximises human potential by rewarding efforts bringing higher job satisfaction and productivity.

How to lead hybrid teams effectively

Hybrid workplaces can leverage technology to ensure data safety and security.

With these functionalities in place, organisations will slowly move towards embracing best practices including no policing, and of trusting individuals. Building a culture where people feel connected and have a sense of belongingness is crucial.

Shaping a work culture and inculcating the values of the organisation among each team member will be crucial. Since opportunities to meet in person at work are minimal, organisations must create virtual or social events bringing people together, creating a bond between people and their organisation.

Betting big on AI and data analytics to improve productivity

Yes, the new normal has forced organisations to re-imagine operations.

When it comes to working and ensuring the smooth functioning of the organisation, AI and data analytics have an important role. By automating mundane and repetitive functions, this approach helps people to focus on tasks that require cognitive thinking and empathy, humanising work, and focusing on well-being.

Role of well-being programmes in creating resilient and purpose-aligned work culture

Adopting a people-centric approach is essential for well-being initiatives to serve their true purpose.

Organisations must allocate infrastructure, learning opportunities, technology, and have a long-term vision to foster happy and nourishing workplaces where people can come together to progress professionally and personally. 

An empathy-first approach is crucial to understand the priorities of the people and shape programmes aligned to those goals. Shaping a supportive work culture helps to foster equity and inclusivity, positioning the organisation to be a great place to work.

Evolving talent management

Talent management will shift focus to people operations ensuring work-life balance and happiness of people in the organisation.

As most of the mundane and repetitive functions get automated, the prime responsibility of people operations (also known as Human Resources) will be to ensure an empathetic and positive work culture is nourished, aligning the organisation and its people to be productive and do their best at work and as individuals.

Gaining a competitive edge in the talent war

Organisations must take efforts to nurture a positive and rewarding work culture that spans beyond the workplace impacting the lives of the people.

Leaders and managers must understand their people and enable them with growth opportunities that support them personally and professionally. As the trend progresses, people will focus on organisations that value work-life balance and value individuals. With the hybrid model of work adopted widely, people will tend to choose organisations that value them as individuals.  

At Vuram, we ensured virtual hiring and onboarding was in place during the pandemic which enabled us to grow our strength by 112% from 468 to over 900+ people towards the beginning of 2022. Also, the above approach proved beneficial as referrals increased by 104%, and returning employees were at 233% in 2021 at Vuram. In short, compassion and empathy backed with technology can give an organisation an edge in the talent war.

How benefits impact employee retention

The key to retention is to sincerely value people and treat them as individuals who strive to attain a work-life balance.

Benefits play a crucial role in the development of people working in an organisation by giving them better work experience, financial, job, and emotional security. At Vuram, what worked the best is giving people the opportunity to share ideas that shape benefits and policies at the workplace. This opportunity gave people the freedom to shape the work culture and identify benefits that align with their priorities. More than incentives to attract people and influence their priorities, benefits must help people to be happy and bring their best selves at work and as individuals.

Top 3 skills that will impact talent landscape and organisational competencies

  • Willingness to learn and adapt to changes
  • Ability to work diligently and be accountable
  • Ability to connect with people
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Topics: Employee Relations, Employee Engagement, Technology

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