5 Ways to Navigate Crisis in 2020.

Last week, Pune became the COVID Capital of India, leaving Delhi behind. For everyone here, the priority in 2020 is to survive the crisis physically and financially. This difficult situation got me rethinking about the priorities of companies navigating through this disrupting environment. 

In today’s article, I have shared some key HR  priorities of Companies to maintain their financial health.

 

  1. Rework People Strategies: As we can witness, there is a lot of innovation around us, most of the business strategies are going through a fundamental change, so should the people strategies. The workforce is to be planned in such a way that it is able to address the opportunities and threats presented by the crisis and digital transformation. So that the organization maintains its current health in terms of cost and revenue.
  2. Create Agile HR function: In this time of disruption sweeping various industries, it is very important to create an HR function, adaptable enough to tackle the digital transformation. CEOs need to value the best HR can bring and empower HR Leaders to evolve to match current and future business needs.
  3. Hire Leaders: If we look around, the organizations who have survived/excelled in the crisis. They are not the ones who had well-defined systems and processes. They are the ones who adjusted their course of action rapidly to match the current reality. The most important trait Leaders must have is being adaptable to change. The capacity to be adaptable and develop an adaptable team.  Organizations need to build a pipeline of adaptable leaders who can overcome the unknown challenges.
  1. Adapt, Adapt, Adapt: Some of the most critical decisions have been people and skills. What are the skills required to win the competition? Can the new skills be hired or can we train the existing people with the new skills? What should be automated and what should be outsourced. In the current climate, sometimes we don’t even know the skills which will be required to face future challenges. So developing/hiring an adaptable workforce is the key to face such challenges.
  1. Conserve the Culture: In the current era of advanced tools, technology, and digital media, it is very easy to forget the importance/value of people. Successful companies were not the ones who used latest technology, tools or analytics, but the ones who used them effectively to bring out best in their people and vice versa.

**Source: Annual Global CEO Survey 2020- PwC

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5 Leanings from the Ganeshotsav (Ganesh Festival )

Ganpati Bappa Morya!! Ganesh Utsav (festival) is celebrated in India every year. It is said that during these days Lord Ganesh visits earth to meet his devotees. During this time, the devotees worship Ganesha Idol by offering prayers, Prasad, and following certain rituals. Yesterday we welcomed Lord Ganesha in our family. This year due to covid19  in most of the cases, the celebrations will be restricted to small groups only.

In today’s article, I have shared my key learning derived from the rituals of these celebrations.

The preparation for this festival starts much before the actual festival begins. It starts with cleaning the entire house, shopping for the puja, booking the eco-friendly idol, etc. I realized there are a lot of things we can learn from these celebrations. Following are some of my takeaways from the festival.

  1. Follow the Rules: As mythology says, Lord Shiva made a rule that before anything auspicious people will pray Lord Ganesha (his son) first. Today also in India, every new project whether it’s entering a new house, office, factory, the job begins with a Ganesh Puja(Worship). As the story goes, Lord Shiva set the rule and in rush forgot his own rule and went for war. He started losing the battle which was very unlikely. While thinking about it, he realized that he forgot to worship Ganesh, his son before the war. He soon completed the ritual and as expected won the war against the demons.
    Learning: The rules are meant to be followed by everyone including leaders, Lead by example.
  1. Processes are for people: Most of the families follow a strict process for welcoming and worshiping Lord Ganesha in their houses. The prayers (Aarti) are offered at a fixed time every morning & evening. This process remains the same from generation to generation, except for some minor changes required based on the situation at times.
    Learning: The processes are not designed for people to follow, but they are designed to bring people together, so they can work together in sync towards a common goal of the organization. Thus leading to greater bonding among the team and achieving optimum use of time and other resources.
  1. Team Work: As mentioned earlier the preparation begins much before the actual festival begins. The entire family right from the youngest member of the family to the oldest member of the family is engaged. In activities of their choice, expertise, or activities assigned to them like decoration, Prasad, sending invitations, prayers, etc. Project Managers being our mothers/grandmothers.
    Learning: This is a classic example of driving teamwork, team engagement, and team bonding and aligns it with the mission of the organization.
  1. Humility & Modesty: We set our ego aside and work as a part of a team. No one of superior or inferior. Learning: Always respect fellow team members, never leave humility & modesty. You never know when circumstances will throw a curveball. Stay Humble always.
  2. Journey is as important as the destination: After the festival is over, it is the time to bid farewell to the Lord. This is a very painful moment and we wait for the festival next year to we can repeat the whole journey again.
    Learning: The people we meet and learning we acquire are equally important as reaching the destination. While evaluating the performance/ allocating a project, along with the goals accomplished/missed, it is also important to consider the learning/network employee has achieved on the way.

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5 team rituals during economic downturn.

Covid19, most of the business are facing a high level uncertainty as leaders having very less visibility about the future. This causes employee anxiety related to their job security. It becomes important for both to empathize with each other and work together, in order to come out of this crisis successfully.

“A team is not a group of people that work together, it is a group of people that trust each other. “- Simon Sinek.

This article is about top 5 team rituals, if followed consistently, can help companies fight and come out of this crisis.

  1. Challenge the status quo: In the situation of crisis, both teams and managers must, work hard to get rid of inertia of older ways of working. Leaving aside ego, perfectionism and old ways of working, think from customer’s perspective. What value we can offer as a team to the customer.
  1. Daily Communication: Communication has become even more vital in current scenario. Communicate with the team on regular basis to understand the new challenges they are facing. Explain the challenges the business is facing and make sure everyone is on the same page. It is very important for ever.
  1. Test & Measure: Try different new customer offerings that emerge out of the brainstorming sessions. Monitor the results and keep improvising.
  1. Do not micro manage: While the employees are working from home, do not micro manage. Manage the project and not the people. If the project is progressing and results are visible, why micro manage.
  1. Mutual Appreciation/Empathy: Don’t forget to thank your team or manager for their support. A genuine appreciation/thank you goes a long way to create a sense of responsibility and motivation.

To survive and thrive, persistence and consistency is the key. Persistence will get you there and Consistency will keep you there. Hope your found today’s article useful.

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5 Essentials to achieve workforce diversity

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Diversity & inclusion, has many dimensions. It can be diversity & inclusion of different thought processes, inclusion of more women in the workforce or D&I of employees  from diverse cultures, race, geography, country etc. etc. There are many organizations talking about it. However when it comes to implementation, very few who are genuinely doing it. Reason because it’s not easy to develop a D&I culture.  

In today’s article, I’ve listed out 5 steps to follow, in order to  to hire and retain diversity workforce.

“Diversity is mix, Inclusion is making the mix work” – Andres Tapia

  1. Create Organizational Awareness about D&I: Hiring new employees from diverse background without creating acceptance among existing employees can lead to discrimination. Hence it is very important to create awareness about the advantages of D&I among the existing employees. To let this idea sink in across all levels, conduct D&I awareness training by hiring a Diversity & Inclusion Manager/engaging an External Consultant.

 

  1. Revisit the existing HR policy: Sometimes unknowingly an HR policy may have some elements which create bias. Review the existing HR Policy thoroughly to make sure there is no bias in interviewing process, on-boarding process and so on.

 

  1. Include it in your Employer Branding: Let the prospect candidates know that you are an equal opportunity employer that believes in diverse & inclusive culture by including it in employer branding message on all platforms.

 

  1. Create job descriptions that invite applicants from diverse background: A company wishes to hire employees from diverse background. However, the Job Descriptions are designed around technical skills and some generic soft skills. This fails to attract applicants from diverse backgrounds. Modify the JD and eliminate words/points which are unknowingly introducing a bias and preventing applicants from diverse backgrounds.

 

  1. Continuous Improvement: Developing a diverse & inclusive culture is not a quick fix. Like all other good skills in life, its an ongoing process of learning from past mistakes and improving.

 

To survive and thrive in this crisis situation, diversity & collaboration is the key. Companies need diverse clients, diverse products/services, an agile society  and diverse & inclusive workforce. Hope your found today’s article useful.
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5 Benefits of Diversity in the Workforce

Diversity is very important in the workforce. Diversity not only in the academic background but diversity related to gender, cultural and geographical background, etc, can have a very positive impact on the organization.

In the current Covid19 situation, with increasing work from home, the location of an employee has become less significant. It is the right time to introduce diversity in the workforce, we can interview candidates from different locations virtually and they can work from their respective locations. Thus introducing cultural, geographical, and gender diversity in the workforce.

Diversity and inclusion start with introducing more women in the workforce, hiring candidates from different cultures & geographies, retired defense veterans, etc in the workforce. Why introduce diversity?  In today’s article, I’ve summarized some key benefits of introducing diversity in your workforce.

According to a Mckinsey report businesses run by culturally diverse leadership are more likely to introduce more new products than a homogeneous leadership.

  1. Availability of larger talent pool: A large talent pool of qualified candidates becomes available, once the organization plans to hire a workforce with diversity. This can reduce the duration of hiring and improve the quality of hire.
  2. Enhance your employer brand and retention: Having an inclusive workforce is a great tool to attract and retain diverse talent. It demonstrates strong company values and thus enhancing the employer brand.
  3. Foster a culture of Innovation: Workforce coming from diverse backgrounds also brings along with them diverse perspectives. Research says diverse teams are more innovative. According to a Mckinsey report businesses run by culturally diverse leadership are more likely to introduce more new products than a homogeneous leadership.
  4. Increase the client base:  Having a diverse workforce increases the capability of the organization to understand the needs of clients from different cultures, geographies, markets, etc. Having an inclusive workforce creates an overall good impression of the brand. Thus leading to an increase in business opportunities.
  5. Increase in overall profitability: It is observed that companies having a diverse workforce tend to be more profitable compared to companies without one. However, if you are a beginner for diversity & inclusion, start introducing it in gradual small steps in order to make it sustainable long term.

 

To survive and thrive in this crisis situation, companies need diverse clients, diverse products, functional society, and a diverse & inclusive workforce. Hope your found today’s article useful.
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Top 5 Pillars to Build a Strong Employer Brand

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Employer Branding, whenever we hear this, we think of a cleverly crafted message to attract talent, fancy videos showing happy employees and happy workplace, career/social media pages on which is in line with the employer brand message, etc.

Employer branding means to be an employer of choice first, to create a great employee experience and later communicating it in a compelling manner via different mediums. Companies who get this right are extremely successful in drawing the best talent towards them and thus creating exponential growth.

There is nothing wrong with the marketing your employer brand, but this activity should be done after /in parallel with building a solid foundation for employee experience. Great branding with a poor foundation is a recipe for failure.

“Strong Foundation = Strong Brand “

In this article, I will highlight the 5 pillars of building a foundation for a strong and long-lasting employee experience/employer brand.

  • Solid HR Systems & Processes: Employee experience starts with a candidate who decides to apply for a job with your company. A systematic process designed keeping in mind employee experience, without losing the sight of the company’s vision is very important. Strong HR systems and processes right from hiring, onboarding, performance management system, etc is the first pillar for a strong employer brand.

 

  • Meaningful Employee Engagement: This involves meaningful involvement with peers and seniors to foster a culture of innovation. Top employers like Toyota, Google, etc have a system of discussing and documenting innovative ideas right from senior management, middle level to Front liners. They have a system to document, implement, and appreciate the innovative ideas of front liners. Of course, not all companies have a budget to support innovation on that scale, however meaningful employee engagement activities, where they get a sense that they are contributing to the larger vision of the company, increases employee satisfaction index to a great extent. Meaningful employee engagement which leads to growth and learning of both employee and employer is the second pillar.

 

  • Transparency in Communication: A Company is an ecosystem, with a variety of employees coming from different backgrounds. Every employee has something unique to offer to the company based on their education, background, experience, culture, etc. Open door policy where an employee can voice their ideas and concerns without the fear of being judged is the third important pillar.

 

  • Creating awareness about the vision of the organization: Clarity of company vision to the entire team up to the frontline staff. When the employees are aware of how they are contributing to the greater vision of the organization, there is a sense of belonging to the organization and greater satisfaction. Thus leading to achieve the company’s vision and mission.

 

  • Team bonding & Appreciation: This is little more than team building activities like learning together, playing together, etc. and employee awards. It is about developing a culture that encourages appreciation/ empathy/teamwork instead of blame/gossips/denial. This is a two-way thing; management cannot develop a culture of gratification without support from the team. Do not underestimate the power of a sincere Thank you from a colleague, boss, or family member. It instantaneously elevates your satisfaction and happiness. So a company where people are frugal in blaming/gossiping/denial and generous on appreciation/empathy is undoubtedly the best place to work.

 

I hope you find today’s article useful.  If you’d like more tips on building your Employer Brand, then please feel free to subscribe to our blog – https://forms.gle/VHLNYzVoys4HbNfR9 or visit our blog www.acesai.in/blog.

We’ve helped organizations right from startups to Multi-National Companies, build their employer brand. Contact us with your queries on contact@acesai.in, our HR experts will be happy to help.


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