By | Editor
We have heard enough of the VUCA World but is it something that we can ignore or put it under the carpet. And all of us agree that “Change is the only thing Constant”. The Covid Pandemic is a great testimony to this never ending uncertainties.
Just when we thought that the Round 1 was getting over and we had an antidote for it in the form of vaccines, the lethal second round came like a tsunami and when we thought that we had got over the second round came the third wave. And just when we were recovering from the Covid Pandemic, the war in Ukraine started and the world went into a frenzied uncertainty of how the war would pan out. Towards the end of the year came another shock, round 4 of Covid Pandemic from China and sowed doubts in the minds of other countries.
These bouts of uncertainties (Covid & the war) has resulted in a Global recession and there are mass layoffs due to economic uncertainties.
However the bright side of these uncertainties is that Business and People found a way out of ensuring business continuity and also realized that work can be executed from home or just about any where. Work from Home became the new normal and towards the later stages Hybrid working has become the new mode of working.
We have all heard of the GE Way, the IBM Way, the Tata Way. The way things are done around here. They became the role model for looking upto shape Organisation Culture.
Culture also includes the organization’s vision, values, norms, systems, symbols, language, assumptions, beliefs, and habits, beliefs, assumptions, and ways of interacting that contribute to the unique social and psychological environment of an organization.
- How do we build, nurture and sustain an Organisation Culture that is unique to an organisation in a Hybrid world, where its mostly digital interactions and remote supervision?
- How do we engage, connect and inspire our employees to follow our unique Organisation Culture?
Well to address this very important issue, we assembled a very illustrious group of Industry Professionals & Leaders to share their thoughts & experiences.
Dr Manish Kothari, Founder & Managing Director ISBR Business School
- Sid Sishoo, Senior Vice President, GENPACT
- Paneesh Rao, Advisor – Sustainability L&T Mindtree
- Dr Ravi Sunderrajan, Founder & Managing Director Zacco India R&D Pvt Ltd.
Excerpts from the program
In a hybrid and remote working environment how do you ensure that employees are productive?
Ravi : Productivity was attained through process control. If you control the input, then the output can be achieved.
Sid : He said that while we started to experiment with Work from Home to meet the Covid Pandemic challenge to maintain business continuity, overtime, the tables have been turned and not its becoming an experiment of Work from Office. Employee are reluctant to come back to physical workspace and organisations are experimenting safe return to office
Sid’s advise was, dont come office to take calls or zoom meeting and also emphasised that human beings are a social animal and hence socializing in office and water cooler discussions are very important to connect with peers in the organisation.
• Commuting to office in Bangalore is a nightmare
• IR has moved from office to home as a result of wfh
• Upakilling : all responsibilities have shifted to the employee in the new normal
• Link promotions and rewards to learning
• What is the new normal – wfh/wf anywhere, remote working, hybrid
• What do we do with the office spaces and all the service providers –
• Profitability of companies improved in the last 3 yrs
• 25% avg attrition, 75% of employees are new
• What is culture in a hybrid world
• There is a blur between office/home, be mindful of the environment in the home
• Values cannot be contracted in a document
• 40% of US workforce work as gigs
• Moonligting – we are treating the symptoms and not the root cause. Employees are seeking new challenges because their work is not providing it. They are also seeking New friends, and in some cases its become a economic necessity
• Maybe the employees are not getting kick at work hence moonlighting
• Way forward – cant avoid it/ban it. Allow for a open disclosure policy
• Whynot moonlighting within the organisation?
• Moon lighting may result in conflict of interest
- Cant altogether permit it or ban it. Start with a no and draw up concessions
• Permit employees on bench
• This is a supply /demand issue. For some economic demand
• Advises employees and organisation to be ethical and disclose
• When Directors can be on Boards of different companies but employees cant work for different companies- how fair is it?
Great Resignation vs Great Layoffs
Paneesh : Leaders to be blamed. Why did they reach this stage. Couldn’t they have foreseen it. When the pandemic was taming out, they went of a hiring spree and at the slightest doubt of a global recession, lay off employees. Bad visionaries imprisoned by short term thinking
Sid : There is a new bias in performance appraisal – proximity bias. those who are in close proximity with the boss tends to get rated better vs working remotely. A case of out of sight, out of mind The bell curve is different : office vs home
Paneesh : Have seen that HR challenges have remained the same for the last 30yrs. Even heard that the KRA’s are but a cut and paste for the last 3 yrs
- Many leaders hid in their homes and expected employees to come to work in office to maintain business continuity. Leaders need to walk the talk especially in crisis times.
- In the digital work, leaders are under surveillance from the social media
- Pandemic tested our BCP plans
- Simple thing like organisations had to quickly move from desktop to laptop
Is 4 day work week feasible in India
- Work should not be judged based on the number of hours but be should be based on output and not input based
- The Pandemic is not done yet
- India is also preparing to moving to GIG economy.
- New Gen – Gen Z are capable to adapt to the challenges at the work place and will rise to the ocassion
- Paneesh : The Future belongs to those organisations who take care of people
All of them were equivocal
The New Normal requires a new brand of leadership
It was a very interesting session very well moderated by Dr Manish Kothari with some candid & diverse views from the panelists. The program was very well received by the NHRD Members and they certainly carried home some food for thought……..