Every year, the Great Place to Work® Annual Conference 2018 facilitates learnings from various successful organisations. Each year, stalwarts from various industries share their experiences, wisdom, and innovative best practices they implement at the workplace to foster a positive work culture.
This year, the conference was conducted at Gurugram. Shibani Adani and Kajal Multani, from the Engrave Awards & More team, attended the conference and the presentations by the leaders. Thus gaining some valuable insights into various organisations and a perspective on how they have managed to build a high trust, high-performance culture for all their employees.
Excerpts From The Presentations Made By The Industry Stalwarts
We are sharing the valuable tidbits from the incredibly enlightening presentations made by these accomplished personalities.
Vineet Nayar, former Chief Executive Officer of HCL Technologies (2007–13), Founder Chairman & CEO of Sampark Foundation and author of critically acclaimed management book ‘Employees First, Customers Second’.
Michael Burchell, Author and Expert, Mckinsey & Company.
Anshuman Kumar, Director - Global Corporate Communications, Asia-Pacific & Global Development Centres, Intuit.
Ankur Warikoo, Co-Founder and CEO, Nearbuy.com.
Vineet Nayar: Business Transformation Through ‘People First’ Philosophy
We live in a digital age. The young workforce no longer seeks management - it seeks inspiration. It is essential to understand what employees want to do, instead of making them do what we want. And for this, there needs to be a transformation in HR management. When we talk about transformation, it is more about creating value rather than counting value. It is disruptive change.
High performers do something impossible, and then, the others follow them.
The current problem is that the workplace is dull, boring - it needs innovation. If we wish to do something magical, we need to think outside the logic and reason of most humans - and concentrate not on what’s possible, but what’s outside the possibilities. In order to live the life of a butterfly, it is important to stop being an ant.
To identify how HCL could do better, we asked ourselves three questions:
What is the business? How can we create more value?
How can the value be differentiated?
If the employees create the differentiation or are the differentiating factor, what should be done to motivate them?
Having identified that it is indeed the employees who make a difference, we adopted the ‘People First’ policy to inspire them to do better. The first step was to get rid of the age-old habit of big companies to make employees feel blessed to be a part of the organisation and remind them about the company’s history. We focused on innovating the future. We had to be honest, with the employees and ourselves, and accept the flaws. We took inputs from everybody and encouraged everybody to transform. To set an example, we asked the employees to conduct an appraisal of the HCL CEO.
It is very important for the HR to be inspired. It is only then that they contribute to making the workplace livelier and ensuring that the employees are enjoying what they do and being more productive. In the end, it is the HR that comes out as the hero of the story.
The idea of putting employees first needs to be supported by investing more resources in improving the employee experience.
Michael Burchell: The Shift - Moving From Systems & Processes Towards Employee Experience
HR lies at the crux of ‘The Shift’. HR can impact a business in three fundamental ways - establishing the company culture, transforming itself and helping employees increase speed and productivity. It can achieve this using digital technology.
Essentially, HR needs to be a part of the natural G3 (CEO, CFO, CHRO) to bring all the necessary elements together and drive the company’s value agenda towards employee experience.
Another aspect of ensuring that you attract the right kind of talent is by creating a unique employer brand and hiring right.
Anshuman Kumar & Ankur Warikoo: How Do You Create A Unique Employer Brand And The Importance Of Hiring Right
The employment world is no longer about conventional brick and mortar offices or people sticking to one job and company throughout their careers. Technology drives the modern ‘corporate’ world, with social shareability being at the crux of everything, and people demanding the freedom to take advantage of multiple opportunities.
A unique employer brand results where business needs and employee aspirations meet. What the company wants must translate into an opportunity for the employee to fulfil his/her own individual ambitions.
One important way of facilitating this is by focusing on the work culture, or in simpler words, the way things are done in the workplace.
Intuit took up the challenge of building its own unique corporate identity by taking certain steps to create authentic experiences for employees. For eg., We encouraged employees to write a note a gratitude to a fellow peer and stick it on a tree painted on one of the walls. Hardly any time, and the tree was flourishing!
Then there was the culture campaign, where we asked employees to share posts about Intuit’s culture. This was essentially for employees to feel closer to the brand and to strengthen their belief in it. It made it possible for them to convey their association with Intuit with more conviction.
Another successful campaign was the ‘Great Place To Work Ambassadors Program’, where the emphasis is on employee-led transformation, with employees owning the brand and culture story, and advocating it.
Overall, there are three major steps to create a strong employer brand:
Asking employees to help co-create the company culture.
Making employees your ‘ambassadors’ and inspiring them to advocate the brand and culture story
Hiring employees as change agents and relinquishing control.
Creating a strong employer brand makes employees proud to be associated with it. It lowers attrition, attracts top talent, inspires volunteer effort, and increases employee engagement.
Hiring right is very important because only the right kind of people can help you build the right kind of brand. We received 100 job applications through Quora. We sent all of them a list, with 20 questions like, “What’s the worst thing about you?” “Do you value speed or perfection?” etc. For the 27 people who replied, we conducted a test, with questions like ‘Are you an entrepreneur at work?” Around 12 people cleared the test, who were then interviewed for the job.
One way to measure what employees feel about the management or if they are planning to leave the organisation is by conducting informal surveys.
We used Amber AI, to send an anonymous survey that questioned employees about the things that made them go ‘what the f***?!’ The management reviewed the survey results and communicated personally with employees who responded.
The ‘bar raiser’ strategy that Amazon uses is a great way to weed out employees who don’t fit into the company culture. Bar raisers are skilled evaluators, who already hold jobs in the company, but also contribute to the company’s hiring process. They interview job candidates for a variety of roles and have the power to veto any candidate even if their expertise is in an area that has nothing to do with the prospective employee’s.
It is evident from that building a high-performance culture is all about putting ‘employees first’. It is essential to ‘shift’ the focus from systems and processes to creating great employee experiences. And to ensure that all your efforts result in improved productivity, it is necessary to ‘hire right’.
If you are looking for unique ways to recognize your employees’ efforts, get in touch with Engrave Awards And More today!