While today’s workforce in any organization is spread all over the world and logging in from their homes, there needs to be a method to quickly adopt to the digital-first mindset to keep employees involved, engaged and aligned. Hasham Muhammed, Senior HR Business Partner APAC at Adobe shared the organizational methods and best practices at Adobe in a session at People Matters TechHR 2021. While he handles field organization, consulting services and digital strategy, he spoke specifically on challenges faced today in the current environment donning his HR hat.
What is critical to note is that COVID has accelerated digital transformation across organizations by 97%. While the goal always remains business continuity in any situation, digital adoption has vaulted from 5 years into an 8 week period. For Adobe the organization, while it is a global company it is also the first in the APAC region to experience pandemic, the remote work challenges, and the shifting priorities thereof. This has also been a great experience for the organization to rethink global and local workforce and for the local teams to readjust to the environment and ensure the health and safety of its employees.
Hasham mentioned that Adobe’s vision in this new normal has been to change the world through digital experiences, responding to constantly changing business priorities and a tighter alignment of its people strategy to business goals. What this means going one step further would be to align organizational design to the changing environment, better planning of the headcount and resource utilization and effective communication and cascading of information to the relevant stakeholders at the right time.
Banking on organizational design
Organizational design has always been a cornerstone to Adobe’s existence- an organization that goes through regular changes, constantly learning and evolving. What is critical here though is not to design the change around people but around systems, procedures, and the external changes taking place. Categorization of the workforce means that leaders come together, brainstorm, and help identify non-core activities, remove, or replace them with more essential ones and therefore the people involved. This would also determine roles that can be outsourced vis-à-vis that are insourced. Then there are KPIs associated with the roles and the performance thereof.
Hasham mentioned that Adobe has abolished performance appraisals since 2012 and has moved into the check-ins mode. This is an informal route to create 1-1 connects between the appraiser and the appraisee, provide mutual feedback and lead with empathy and authenticity.
Focusing on Employee Development and Well Being
Employee Development and Well Being is a critical factor in ensuring the workforce is aligned to business priorities. Any employee of Adobe is allowed a learning sponsorship amount up to 10,000 USD for his or her own personal and professional growth. Adobe has also moved its annual career fest to a virtual platform thanks to several virtual collaboration tools. Every 3rd Friday of the month is a global rest Friday across the organization to relax, reflect and recharge.
Also essential for employees is to know of existing career roles available through its intranet. The entire onboarding and exit process has been made virtual, paperless using its tools, Adobe Sign, and the team has been rolling out digital offers especially in a world where milli-seconds count.
A critical success measure of this program is that two days of the recruiter is saved adhering to the GDPR guidelines.
This is how the organization is not only mastering but implementing digital-first thinking in tough times.