An HR strategist, transformation leader and HR tech evangelist, Sandeep Mudaliar heads corporate Human Resources at Analytix Business Solutions (India) Pvt. Ltd. He works closely with the CEO, the President and Country Head, and other business heads to design and lead employee engagement initiatives, talent development, and retention strategies. Sandeep works to implement performance measure frameworks and to provide advisory support to various heads of departments. With over 20 years of experience across multiple facets of Human Capital Management, Sandeep provides leadership support to HR process transformation projects, digitization of HR, HR analytics driven decision making, and employee skill development.
In a rapidly evolving world, updating one’s skills and being future-ready has become a must. This is true for everyone, especially for businesses that use technology in a lot of processes. Such companies and their human resources need to reinvent themselves regularly. Systematic Investment Plan in organization’s talent development will benefit in VUCA world.
ITeS and Knowledge Processing Outsourcing companies deal with vital client data, and having the latest technology, technical expertise, and best-in-class tools are critical but not sufficient. Up-skilling themselves and their human resources are quintessential to ensure continued growth and success. The ITES/BPO sector in India needs to adopt the best work ethics and work on holistic talent development and invest a lot in making the talent future-ready.
While most companies have structured up-skilling programs for the existing talent, some are also capitalising on building Early Talent Pool opportunities. At organizational level we believe the best way to develop the right talent is to engage young graduates and postgraduates from different educational backgrounds and professional fields and groom them for global work environments.
Fresh graduates and postgraduates are put into a structured industry-oriented up-skilling program. They are trained by internal managers and subject matter experts on basic functional knowledge, technical skills, industry best tools and technologies, on the job training, and professional soft skills. They can be easily absorbed within the organisation or are qualified to contribute within the industry upon completion of the training. Analytix Academy is one such institution for young aspirants in their final year to look upon.
The concept of a structured training lab has also gained traction in many companies. It ensures the young talent is equipped with practical knowledge about different functions of the organisation and has developed the skills to work on real-life case studies or projects. The trainings are devised to meet current and future business needs and can ensure the participants are industry-ready.
In today’s age, being able to play different roles is seen as a big plus. This is why organizations are pushing human resources to gain cross-functional knowledge. The fresh talent works with experienced professionals in different functions and setups, allowing them an opportunity to gain a 360-degree perspective and understanding of the work processes which could range from customer service to streamlining supply chains or others. Exposure matters a great deal, and being involved in cross functions is certainly one way of getting exposure and experience, which would ultimately allow them to fit into any role later on.
A crucial means to ensure the workforce keeps pace with the changing requirements are industry-academy exchanges. People from the industry, who have gained practical knowledge and insights of their domains, address young graduates or those freshly in jobs. The learning is good for the graduates, while organisations get a chance to scout and identify young talent early. An extension of this collaboration is the evaluation of the graduates by the industry experts, and skill certifications jointly with academic institutions. The idea is to develop talent for tomorrow, rather than just hiring for yesterday.
As a part of Continued Education Policy, many organisations encourage human resources to pursue higher degrees such as PhD or doctorates even while working full-time by providing them with the requisite support from managers in terms of flexibility to balance their work responsibilities with studies. This ensures a boost to the educational qualification of employees and helps them in advancing their careers. This can be taken a step further by encouraging senior executives to be project guides for such aspirants. This is a win-win situation for both as the organizations benefit from new ideas and research, while the candidates gain valuable insights.
And then there are innovation labs, where seniors executives are involved with the young talent for disruptive business ideas or new product development. The youngsters get a chance to show their entrepreneurial spirit with innovation and creativity, and the company benefits if the idea is scalable.
For businesses looking to scale up operations, it is vital to groom future leaders. Companies may have the financial resources, the vision, and other capabilities to grow. Still, these wouldn’t amount to much without the people who can lead and steer the business going ahead. Skill development among not just the senior-level managers, but even at the middle-level, needs to be given high priority. Effective managerial skills workshops and other developmental programs can help in the transition phase by ensuring businesses do not suffer due to a lack of leadership.
As part of the internal talent management and development roadmap, it is also advisable for businesses to identify their High Potential Managers who have the ability, engagement, and aspiration to rise to and succeed in more senior, critical positions. Grooming them for leadership roles in the near future through structured programs on Leadership development, Business Acumen, and Core Values can be a part of this Hi-Po Managers development program. These programs can be customised depending on the individual requirement of businesses.
While skills that can help employees grow professionally are very much needed, the importance of mental and physical wellbeing, especially after a strenuous and challenging time like the Covid-19 pandemic, cannot be stressed enough. Meditation, yoga, mindfulness workshops, art classes, health awareness programs are just some of the activities that can help employees reduce stress, clear their minds, and help them develop a better life-work balance.
Jack Welch famously said, “Talent Management deserves as much focus as financial capital management in corporations”.
Acquiring and developing the best talent is one of the most critical priorities for businesses. It is crucial to create an environment where every employee can bring their whole self to work and not just make a living but also have a life. This can happen when employees feel they are valued, and their development and betterment is the best way of showing this.