Article: 'Developing future ready leaders, upskilled employees game changer for organisations'

Skilling

'Developing future ready leaders, upskilled employees game changer for organisations'

Organisations gearing up for unpredictable times ahead must concentrate on its people -future ready and diverse leaders and upskilled employees to realise their full potential, says Piyush Mehta, CHRO, Genpact.
'Developing future ready leaders, upskilled employees game changer for organisations'

With the nature of work rapidly changing, due to the automation and artificial intelligence (AI) revolution, jobs in industries, ranging from information technology to manufacturing, are being transformed - in more ways than one.

Today’s workforce expects employers to build meaningful experiences that are highly personalised, responsive to their needs, and constantly improved.

To stay relevant in the rapidly-advancing digital world and build future-proof careers, organisations and employees have to become agile in the way they look at the skills of the future to make sure they align with their future needs and aspirations.

In an interaction with People Matters, Piyush Mehta, chief human resources officer (CHRO) at Genpact, talks about the need for improved employee experience, reskilling and learning, among other key issues.

What should HR leaders keep in mind while empowering digitally ready organisations as we embrace the future of work?

People are—and will continue to be—organisations’ biggest asset. I truly believe businesses that devote similar effort, investment, and focus to the internal initiatives as they do to the external, to improve employee experience, will be the real heroes of tomorrow. Doing so can not only help employers increase retention, but can also enhance efficiency, and strengthen the bottom line. Here are some key trends that I feel HR leaders can benefit from, while preparing for the future of work –

Reskilling at a broad base: Developing a company strategy that focuses on teaching individuals through L&D to reskilling groups of people who work together to increase their collective intelligence can further help businesses adapt to an ever-changing environment.

Tapping into talent analytics: Continuous talent analytics is becoming essential for organisational growth. Leveraging the data can help HR leaders not only see attrition risks ahead of time, but also help them hold prompt retention and succession planning discussions.

Hiring multilingual talent: When domain, digital, and data come together, companies, industries, and individuals transform. Which is why, having multilingual employees – those with deep knowledge of their industry or function, awareness of how to harness the potential of digital technologies at scale and understand how to interpret and leverage data – has become important today.

Leadership skills 2.0: To evolve in an unpredictable future, organisations will need to focus on developing leadership that is future ready and diverse. Taking bets on likely high performers and evaluating them on potential versus experience, and prioritising key behavioral skills such as learning agility, curiosity and risk-taking abilities, will be a game changer and will ensure a strong future ready pipeline to shape the organisation’s future.

As GenZ and millennials make up the future workforce, what are some of the organisational strategies to attract and retain these employees?

The future workforce – the younger generation is growing up in a world that is more diverse and inclusive. So naturally, diversity, equity, and inclusion within a company and its leadership are a top priority for them. It is not a "nice to have" for this generation, but a “must have”, that is core to their personal identities.

At Genpact, we recognise the strong connection between diversity, inclusion, and innovation and firmly believe in the notion that divergent backgrounds and diverse perspectives lead to breakthroughs. We have a broad range of programmes and initiatives to allow our diverse set of employees a fair playing field where they can be their authentic self every day.

We’ve also observed that the global pandemic has greatly influenced today’s youth to focus on aligning their core values to those of the companies they work for - a shared purpose that extends beyond profit and keeps the company and its employees moving towards a collective goal.

At Genpact, we recently articulated our purpose, the relentless pursuit of a world that works better for people. It serves as our north star and reflects our culture across the business and to our clients, partners, and communities.

How can learning management systems for employees upskilling keep pace with changing market trends and emerging technologies post-pandemic? 

As the pace of change accelerates and employees expect their businesses to invest in their professional development, there has been a strong push for businesses to focus on adopting effective learning management practices. One of the specific strains that firms are seeing is on critical skills in areas like cloud, analytics, and supply chain, all of which have been accelerated due to the pandemic. With this, reskilling and upskilling has become important.

Furthermore, the war for talent has reached unprecedented levels, so it is no longer only about hiring talent, but also about retaining talent and developing talent for the long term. Again, this is where learning comes into play to not only ensure businesses have the skills they need in a changing world, but also to help employees reach their full potential.

Therefore, we have invested in fostering a culture of continuous learning to enable people who invest in themselves to get access to new opportunities and larger responsibilities.

During the last quarter, our employees completed more than 2.5 million training hours, leveraging our online on-demand learning platform, Genome. We’ve also been able to successfully redeploy around 6000 reskilled individuals using our internal redeployment platform, Talent Match, to support our clients' shifting needs. Using our proprietary and unique data and analytics certification programme – DataBridge, we have trained more than 58,000 employees globally.

The pandemic has accelerated digital transformation, yet many organisations have not reaped the rewards in terms of employee experience. How can HR leaders use this change to improve human-centric approach to work?

I believe the new world of work has placed emphasis on two significant developments: the co-relation between the employee experience and business results, and establishment of a mutual relationship of trust between employees and their company. Behaviours that emerge in this scenario will include humility and inclusiveness, speed to outcome, and ability to deal with ambiguity.

Also, at the core of employee experience is a deep focus on transformation to adapt to the new ways of working, which is largely dependent on evolving culture, processes, and creating a frictionless technology environment necessary to empower efficient and successful employees.

It is true that today’s workforce expects meaningful employee experiences that are highly personalised, responsive to their needs, and constantly improved.

However, merely adopting the best and most updated technology does not necessarily equate to providing the best experience to your workforce. A deliberate and strategic vision aligned with the changing needs of the employees is the more important deciding factor now, according to me, and can help HR leaders improve human-centric approach to work.

What has been Genpact’s strategy for identifying, developing, and linking future-ready talent to value, focusing on employee well-being in a remote working world, and rallying teams around a shared purpose?

The global pandemic and consequent remote working have greatly influenced businesses and people to focus on their wellbeing, beyond just standard health and safety concerns. And according to our Tech for Progress 360: Engage employees, strengthen company culture study, 30% of the surveyed executives believe advanced analytics technology has the most potential for managing employee well-being.

One of the key technology interventions that has turned out to be a wonderful tool for us, especially in this remote work model, is our AI-powered chatbot, Amber, which enables us to keep a pulse on employee sentiment and morale in real-time.

Unlike other employee engagement surveys, Amber serves as a continuous listening post and can reach out to all employees at multiple milestones in their journey with Genpact and understand their experience.

The chat with the employees is designed to be quick and easy, it is hyper-personalised, empathetic, and intuitive. On basis of its analysis, it shares actionable intelligence and live people analytics which enables HR leaders to proactively address and resolve any employee concerns.

In addition to this, we also offer our people 24x7 access to helplines with trained psychologists, free access to the meditation and wellness app Headspace, access to critical medical services, day-care, and many more helpful resources and tools to help maintain their overall wellbeing.

Another key aspect that gained importance with remote working was the need for companies to define their purposes – beyond profits – and roles in society and the world. It has also been proven that purpose-led companies have 40% higher retention rates than competitors that aren’t purpose-oriented.

At Genpact, we are rallying teams around a shared purpose of a relentless pursuit of a world that works better for people – which guides us and communicates our values across the business and to our employees, clients, partners, and communities.

To identify, develop and link future-ready talent, we have designed a Leadership Direct programme (LDP) to “rewire” our leadership talent pool by infusing 100 high potential “future ready” leaders into the top 1000 of the company.

We have hired graduates from top business schools (B-schools) off-campus in key roles as part of the leadership direct programme.

Apart from this, we’ve also designed Learn Lead Illuminate (LLI) programme to accelerate leadership transformation and help our service delivery leaders become future-ready to take on Global Operating Leader roles. Collaborating with best-in-class experts, this immersive programme focuses on the core tenets of leadership, helping to propel individual growth, elevate the leadership capabilities of our service delivery leaders, and diversify the top talent in our global roles.

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Topics: Skilling, Learning & Development, Leadership Development, #FutureOfWork

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