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VOL XI / ISSUE 10 / october 2020

COVER STORY Story Title will come here

Organizations globally are forced globally to rethink Organizations their approach learning and are forced to to rethink a sustainable future theirreimagine approach to learning and of workplace training amid

reimagine a sustainable future the coronavirus pandemic.

of workplace training amid the coronavirus pandemic.

I MA AG G R LKAPCLEA LCEEA RLNEIAN RG N I N G RREEI M I NI INNI GN G W OWRO KP BIG INTERVIEW Robert Gama, Senior Vice President, and Chief Human Resources Officer, AMD

SPECIAL INTERVIEW Kalpana Kochhar, Director, Human Resources Department, International Monetary Fund


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The future of work is already here – are you ready?

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OVID-19 is a catastrophe for humans which has claimed a million lives already and is no doubt a scourge for businesses and workers that has shoved the world to think on its feet. Unlike most previous health or economic crises, the COVID-19 pandemic is particularly brutal which is stomping the economy and exacerbating entrenched inequalities. Even after the virus subsides, businesses and economies will end up dealing with the aftermath of this crisis for years. While top-notch businesses are working hard to innovate to come out winners on the other side, the overall impact

| october 2020

of the pandemic will have significant implications for businesses at large struggling to sail through the unforeseeable period in time, and for the lives and livelihoods of millions of workers globally. The crisis has induced dramatic change in the workplace dynamics too, bringing forth emerging trends on how and where work is done. The so-called traditional and nontech savvy businesses were forced to embrace a new way of work altogether which has much to do with exploiting new-age tech innovations. In the pre-pandemic times, business leaders, economists, and tech evangelists have warned about a new spate of automation and digital tech that will alter the course of work, workplace, and workforce and exterminate jobs. The time has come, albeit in an unprecedented way. Large tech companies appear to be on good footing as they seized the moment early on to reorient their businesses to the shifting priorities; the majority are still struggling to get employee well-being, financial stability, and cost optimization right. So, what’s next? Well, flattening the business curve and staying relevant in this time of uncertainty warrant one thing that all businesses must prioritize — skilling. In the pre-COVID-19 era, ongoing changes in work dynamics were already shaping the relationship between learning and work, making them more integrated and seamless than ever before. Most

organizations recognized the need to reskill employees long before the pandemic, including companies such as Amazon that had announced big initiatives to retrain their workforce; the pandemic has brought back the focus on reskilling and upskilling of resources as part of the larger business transformation. However, doubling down on training employees and closing the skill gap alone isn’t the answer to building a workforce for the future in today’s environment. The number (and variety of skills) required to serve a profitable market is growing faster than the workforce can learn them. In fact, according to Deloitte’s 2020 Human Capital Trends report, 53 percent of respondents said that between half and all of their workforce will need to change their skills and capabilities in the next three years. To cope with this situation, organizations need to encompass their approach to include enduring human capabilities such as curiosity, creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, imagination, empathy, resilience, etc. in the larger talent equation. The current situation also calls for a mental shift to be able to shape up new behaviors. For example, a Gartner study identifies “collaboration” as the top skill in the pandemic era. Now, much as one may try to develop this as a “skill”, eventually this would require individuals to shift mindsets – potentially change a behavior that has lasted a lifetime. The question


Director, Human Resources Department, International Monetary Fund, who talks on how the pandemic is likely to increase poverty and inequality and expose the precariousness of work. Kalpana also speaks about using this crisis as an opportunity to build fairer societies and economies by investing in people. Don’t forget to join our People Matters L&D Conference 2020 scheduled for 21st -22nd October 2020. The conference will bring our community together to help us find collective answers to one big question: How do we rev up growth through capability, change interventions, and culture in a time of uncertainty, chaos, and disruption? This issue also features the emerging HR & work tech startups which were a part of our TechHR Singapore Startup Program 2020 that gave an opportunity to 18 emerging HR and work tech startups to seek inputs from leading venture capitalists, investors, HR experts, and business leaders to make a dent in the world of HR and work tech. As always, we would be happy to hear your views, comments, and suggestions regarding our stories.

VOL XI / ISSUE 10 / october 2020

THE COVER STORY (BEHIND THE SCENE)

From the Editor’s Desk

organizations need to therefore ask is not just about the top skills in the new normal, but also about building muscles around embedding and rewarding new behaviors with a workforce that may not meet as often. It’s time to identify what's critical for business success — types of new skills and talent requirements for now and in the future. Relying on what has worked in the past may not help. You should take the outside-in approach and then align it internally. Business leaders and HR need to work together on this. It’s also important to start at the top — leaders need to be rolemodeling learning. The cover story attempts to decipher the new workplace learning paradigms that COVID-19 has pushed into the spotlight – from learning to staying relevant. The story attempts to dig deep into the new learning strategies and what it means for L&D leaders. It also talks about the role of leaders to build resilience for the enduring learning and development sector and form an improved learning culture in their organizations. For the Big Interview in this issue, we have Robert Gama, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, AMD, who talks about the impact of COVID-19 on the IT industry and how large tech companies stay adaptive and continue to deliver the products that customers expect. We also have a special interview with Kalpana Kochhar,

Happy Reading! Esther Martinez Hernandez Editor-in-Chief

COVER STORY Story Title will come here

Organizations globally are forced globally to rethink Organizations their approach learning and are forced to to rethink a sustainable future theirreimagine approach to learning and of workplace training amid

reimagine a sustainable future the coronavirus pandemic.

of workplace training amid the coronavirus pandemic.

follow

M > @Ester_Matters F > estermartinez > ester.martinez@peoplematters.in

I MA AG G R LKAPCLEA LCEEA RLNEIAN RG N I N G RREEI M I NI INNI GN G W OWRO KP BIG INTERVIEW Robert Gama, Senior Vice President, and Chief Human Resources Officer, AMD

SPECIAL INTERVIEW Kalpana Kochhar, Director, Human Resources Department, International Monetary Fund

october 2020 |

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contents

october 2020 volu m e xi issue 1 0

46

Soft skills are now more important than ever before

Amanda Gervay, Senior Vice President, Human Resources,

Asia Pacific, Mastercard

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L&D teams need rethink their strategy amid this crisis

Toby Fowlston, Chief Executive Officer, Robert Walters, APAC

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Leaders should bridge skills gaps by cultivating people’s core capabilities Michael Griffiths, Principal and Learning & Leadership Practice Leader, Deloitte Consulting LLP

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Create an agile learning ecosystem that has the resilience to adapt

Raman Sidhu, Global Head of Learning, Shell Eastern Petroleum cover story

C O N TE N TS

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64

COVID-19 has accelerated the need for tech competence

Dr. Josh Heniro, Senior Director, IMA Southeast Asia, and

Australasia

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The corporate learning shift: Moving from experiences to impact

By Richard Smith, Ph.D., Professor at Singapore Management

University and retired partner from the consulting firm Accenture

The pandemic has brought back the focus on workplace learning and organizations are forced to reimagine a sustainable future of workplace learning

By Mastufa Ahmed

Editor-in-Chief

Features Writers

Senior Editor

Assistant Managers, Content

Esther Martinez Hernandez Yasmin Taj

Associate Editor, Print & Online

Mastufa Ahmed

Marta Martinez

Drishti Pant | Neelanjana Mazumdar Design & Production

Shinto Kallattu

Manager, Content

Digital Head

Jerry Moses

Prakash Shahi

Associate Editor

General Manager, Sales

Abid Hasan

Senior Features Writer

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Anushree Sharma Bhavna Sarin

Senior Associates, Content

Manager, design, photography, and production

Shweta Modgil

Mint Kang

Rubi Taj rubi.taj@peoplematters.in +91 (124) 4148102

| october 2020

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Code learning as an everyday element

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Reimagining workplace learning or getting real?

Sriram Rajan, Head, Novartis Learning Institute – India

By Clinton Wingrove, Director of

www.WantToBeGreatManager.com and www.ClintonHR.com

Manager, Sales

Saloni Gulati saloni.gulati@peoplematters.in +91 (124) 4148102 Manager, SUBSCRIPTION

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This issue of People matters contains 128 pages including cover


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the big Interview

To thrive amid this crisis, companies must build on the trust of their employees Robert Gama, Senior Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer, AMD By Mastufa Ahmed

The pandemic offers an opportunity to build fairer societies and economies by investing in people

Kalpana Kochhar, Director, Human Resources Department, IMF By Mastufa Ahmed

106 L & D a n d S k illi n g

22 T h e r oa d less t r avelle d

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special interview

Partner people first

By Visty Banaji, Founder and CEO of Banner Global Consulting (BGC)

HR leaders need to lead with a HEART

Pavitra Singh, CHRO, PepsiCo India By Drishti Pant

28 Pe r fo r m a n c e A n al y sis

Do leaders know the ‘Art and Science’ of performance analysis?

90 HR & Wo r k Te c h S t a r t u p s

The emerging HR & work tech startups

Freelancers and the future of work

By Nikita Singh, An Organizational Psychologist from the London School of Economics, a Talent & Leadership Consultant, Leadership Coach and Certified Wellness Coach

C O N TE N TS

By Dr. M. Muneer, As managing director of CustomerLab and co-founder of the non-profit Medici Institute, he helps enterprises and governments align strategy with people and processes

110 fu t u r e of w o r k

By Drishti Pant

115 E m p lo y ee e n gage m e n t

41 Heal t h & Well - b ei n g

How the pandemic will change the way we care for our employees

By Chris Teo, CEO of Mednefits, an employee medical benefits platform

97 L ea r n i n g & Develo p m e n t

Speak leadership's language to gain their buy-in

Nellie Wartoft, CEO of Tigerhall By Mint Kang

78 I NT E R V I E W

Building for change

Suman Reddy, MD, Pegasystems India By Yasmin Taj

83 F u t u r e of Wo r k

Building a workforce that has the skills to build skills

Lewis Garrad, Partner and Employee Experience Practice Leader, International Region, Mercer By Bhavna Sarin

101 lea d e r s h i p

Creating leadership signature: Importance of supporting a transition

By Sunil Ganesh, Founder of Pragyan Advisory

There has never been an opportunity like this to reset HR functions

Jason Averbook, CEO & Co-Founder of Leapgen By Abid Hasan

Why engagement is the key to growth during times of uncertainty

By Steve Sonnenberg, CEO of Awardco, an employee recognition platform

118 I NT E R V I E W

‘Capability building is a continuous process’

Priyanka Gidwani, CHRO, Mahindra Holidays and Resorts India By Shweta Modgil

regulars

04 From the Editor’s Desk 08 Letters of the month

87 E m p lo y ee E n gage m e n t

10 Quick Reads 15 Rapid Fire 122 Knowledge + Networking 124 Blogosphere

Featured In this issue Amanda Gervay Drew Fernandez Jason Averbook Dr. Josh Heniro Kalpana Kochhar Lewis Garrad Michael Griffiths Nellie Wartoft

Pavitra Singh Priyanka Gidwani Raman Sidhu Robert Gama Sriram Rajan Suman Reddy Toby Fowlston

CONTRIBUTORS to this issue Chris Teo Clinton Wingrove Dr. M. Muneer Nikita Singh Nikhil arora

Richard Smith Steve Sonnenberg Sunil Ganesh Visty Banaji

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Letters of the month

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Unemployment and hiring sentiments: The first six months

Unemployment has been among the most recurring words in the post-COVID-19 world, with the impact extending beyond personal livelihoods to global economies. Despite prevalent across industries, the concentration or scale of COVID-triggered unemployment has been witnessed by the travel and tourism sector, hospitality industry, retail sector, among a few others. Organizations are yet to regain a firm financial footing, with more furloughs and redundancies expected in the next quarter. Yet, occasional reports on a positive hiring sentiment bring about the hope in alternatives for those who were at the receiving end of COVID triggered layoffs. While there are conversations about digitization opening up a world of possibilities, through the removal of geographical boundaries, skills remain a key determinant in the suitability for available roles. For some, such roles might still be outside their area of access, and for the blue-collar workforce, accessibility and skills are both likely to remain a constraint in being able to leverage remote opportunities. Governments and organizations must come together to identify the way forward for employment opportunities across individual segments of the workforce. - Ajaipal Bahadur

It’s time to future proof your workforce for the digital era

Learning has been among the top priorities for several leaders, however many struggle with how to adopt a flexible, affordable, and engaging learning module for a distributed workforce. I quite liked the idea of breaking down learning into bite-sized segments with longer breaks. Interestingly, while a majority of learning courses today provide a classroom sort of ambience virtually, yet the interaction is often limited to a chat box functionality, still remaining a one-way traffic when it comes to imparting knowledge on a skill. Modifying learning tools is critical in the current context, given a lot around the way of working, and adapting is already new for the workforce. In such circumstances, there is a need to design and implement more collaborative and interactive learning tools and modules. - Malvika Assija

september 2020 issue

Employers, associations and government should collaborate to scope out redeployment of displaced workers I couldn’t agree more. Such relevant and much needed insights that organizations can use to come out stronger on the other side. A key aspect that stood out for me was the segment on ‘’job destruction will be offset by a set of emerging professions’’. This calls for individual establishments to come together and pave the way forward for the workforce by identifying the most in-demand skills and ensuring economies have the infrastructure to equip the workforce with the required skill sets and training to prepare for the emerging job roles. The scale of impact of the current crisis calls for collaboration between the forces driving the economy to ensure all efforts are directed towards the survival and betterment of the people at large. Employers, associations, and governments must step out of the silos and work together constructively to build a stronger foundation for the economy to recover. - Sakshi Gupta

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| october 2020


Interact with People Matters

COVID-19, the final wake up call for all

- Rajat Sethi

The learning frame and interdisciplinary thinking

“Learning is a loop that connects the past and the future in the present continuum.” Absolutely loved this reflection on what the learning, rather the thinking loop encapsulates. Before climbing on the bandwagon of digital literacy and upskilling with blinders on, it is essential to pause and reflect on where the organization is headed and what competencies are required to keep the organization moving forward. The approach of digressing from linear growth towards interdisciplinary thinking might just be what talent today needs, to stay both relevant and indispensable in their own capacity. - Lincy joshi

Rethinking work design for a sustainable reset to the world of work

Workforce optimization is among the most critical components in the journey of resetting workplaces and organization structures for the future of work. All conversations around skilling and fluid workforce structures call for leaders to relook at jobs and map contributions of individual jobs, while also identifying what tasks can be automated and how performance can be elevated by again mapping what skills do emerging or even enhanced roles demand.

Vrinda Pisharody @vrindapisharody #COVID19 will run the show..Risk averse consumers are as guilty as govt for the hyperinflation that could follow.. Heavy duty session with #NassimTaleb @nntaleb Thanks @Ester_Matters @PeopleMatters2 Great moderating as alwaysNow to get cracking on developing #Antifragility :) Indranil Chakraborty @StoryWorksIN As leaders we do need to find ways to ensure we are looking for reality and not reassurance. This experience that @Ester_Matters, Founder, CEO & Editor in Chief of @PeopleMatters2 drives this point home very well. Kunjal Kamdar @kunjal23 Explore #TechHRSG Grand finale, day 5 of TechHR Singapore 2020. Big thanks to the entire team at @PeopleMatters2 & @Ester_Matters for creating this amazing platform.

- Swati sarkar

Robyn E Wilson PhD @RobynEWilson Brilliant session at @PeopleMatters2’s #TechHRSG by @voltagectrl Douglas Ferguson! #magicalmeetings #inclusive #purpose

Being honest helps ease the message about low or no pay rises

Yasmin Sethi @yasmin4change Great insights from @GuyKawasaki on “Rebuilding Business: People Strategies in a Pandemic”. It’s Day 1 of the @PeopleMatters2 #TechHR 2020 conference in Singapore. #PeopleAndCulture #Communication #innovation

Thoughts from the leader go on to confirm the anxiety and fear around a prolonged financial setback which companies need to accept and act upon by changing existing policies and benefits. I appreciate the response on alternate ways to look at benefits where Paul talks about allowing employees to decide where they would like to spend their allocated benefits budget. There have been talks of personalized employee experience, and what better way to begin than being able to adapt your benefits and compensation model, to the extent possible, to match employee needs in the present day. - Tulika Banerjee

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Very well-articulated. An interesting take on how the pandemic has not created but only caused us to take existing red flags seriously. The realization around digital literacy is not something new, conversations around the need to upskill employees in digital skills and make them digitally proficient have been doing the rounds from before the focus on the digital revolution. However, with the alarming dips in employment rates globally and identification of digital as an emerging area of employment in times to come; there sure is a visible rush towards upskilling the workforce in digital skills.

People Matters values your feedback. Write to us with your suggestions and ideas at editorial@peoplematters.in

David Guazzarotto @DaveGazz Tuning into the virtual #TechHRSG conference with @AlightSolutions Colin Brennan keynoting on the graveyard shift at 2am for him. Great to hear his voice again. And good insights on the big reset. #nowofwork @Leapgen @PeopleMatters2 follow

M > @PeopleMatters2

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october 2020 |

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Jobs

21 Mn salaried jobs lost in India between April and August

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As reported by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CIME), about 21 MN salaried employees lost their jobs during

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April-August, with about 3.3 Mn jobs being lost in August and 4.8 Mn in July. These job losses are not only confined to blue-collar salaried employees but also include industrial workers and whitecollar employees.Salaried jobs in August came down to 65 Mn from 86 MN in the country in the full year of 2019-20. “The deficit of 21 Mn jobs is the biggest among all types of employment. About 4.8 Mn salaried jobs were lost in July and then in August, another 3.3

Job Cuts

Hiring

Citigroup to resume job cutting to save cost

Citigroup will resume job cuts soon, joining rivals such as Wells Fargo in ending an earlier pledge to pause staff reductions during the coronavirus pandemic. The cuts will affect less than a percent of the bank's global workforce. With recent hiring, overall headcount probably won't show any drops, the bank said. "The decision to eliminate even a single colleague role is very difficult, especially during these challenging times," Citigroup said. "We will do our best to support each person, including offering the ability to apply for open roles in other parts of the firm and providing severance packages."

| october 2020

Mn jobs were gone,” the CMIE said. As per the monthly CMIE data, the unemployment rate of the country rose to 8.35 percent in August from 7.40 percent in the previous month. The urban unemployment rate inched higher to 9.83 percent in August from 9.37 percent seen in the previous month, while the rural unemployment rate increased to 7.65 percent in August from 6.51 percent in the month-ago period, the CMIE data showed.

UPS to hire over 100,000 for holiday season

Employee Engagement

IT professionals more stressed, but also more empowered: Survey

40 percent of IT professionals believe that the IT function will be involved in more business-level meetings and decision making going forward, based on a SolarWinds survey conducted in support of IT Professionals Day. The exigencies of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent acceleration of digitalization has put a great deal of weight on the shoulders of IT professionals, but it has also left them feeling more empowered and confident in their own ability to handle unexpected change, according to a survey by hybrid infrastructure firm SolarWinds.

UPS announced that it expects to hire over 100,000 seasonal employees to support the anticipated annual increase in package volume that will begin in October 2020 and continue through January 2021.

“We’re preparing for a record peak holiday season. The COVID19 pandemic has made our services more important than ever,” said Charlene Thomas, Chief Human Resources Officer. “We plan to hire over 100,000 people for UPS’s seasonal jobs, and anticipate a large number will move into permanent roles after the holidays.


Employee Relations

Singapore Airlines' retrenched staff to receive salary till December

Singapore Airlines has announced that the employees who started receiving their pink slips from September 14 will continue to receive their salary until Dec 15 this year. They will also retain their medical and other benefits until then.

Amazon has confirmed that it is hiring a further 100,000 full and part-time employees across the US and Canada, mainly to fill sorting, packing, and shipping roles. In its announcement on September 14,

COVID-19

54% of employees in UK are still reluctant to return to work

More than half of workers in the UK are still reluctant to return to the office over fears they might contract coronavirus, despite employers spending hundreds of millions of pounds per month in an attempt to make workplaces ‘’COVID secure’’, a study by People Management has found.

A poll of 5,000 UK workers and 2,000 employers conducted by Huma found more than half (54 percent) of workers were still reluctant to return to work because of concerns they could catch the virus.

Culture

Google extends the Labor Day weekend for collective wellbeing

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Amazon expands hiring spree in US and Canada

the company said that this new wave of job openings is not part of its seasonal holiday hiring, and is instead related to the continuing growth of online shopping in North America. It is also planning to open another 100 operations buildings across the US and Canada later this month to deal with online orders. The tech giant has been hiring at a tremendous rate since COVID-19 lockdowns began, mainly on the warehouse and delivery side of its operations: it already added some 175,000 such jobs earlier in the year, and in July, its total global workforce passed the one million mark.

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Jobs

According to media reports, each affected employee will be paid in lieu of the notice period in their employment contract. This can be up to three months' salary.

Those who have been in service for two years or more will receive one month of pay for every year of service, capped at 25 months. The retrenchment exercise which affects about 2,400 staff - is being conducted at the SIA Training Centre, near Changi Airport, for Singapore-based staff. SIA had announced that it would slash about 20 percent of its headcount - about 4,300 positions amid the COVID-19 pandemic that has paralyzed the air travel sector.

Having extended its work-fromhome model to summer 2021, Google offered an extended weekend to its employees on the occasion of Labor Day, aimed at supporting employees' well-being during the coronavirus pandemic. To make sure its employees are maintaining their peace of mind and not letting work take a toll over them, the tech giant added an extra day to the two-day long weekend, meant for the employees' ‘’Collective Well-Being’’. The company also encouraged all managers to support their teams for carrying out the same. october 2020 |

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newsmaker of the month

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The GDP free fall

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he coronavirus pandemic has deeply impacted businesses causing an unprecedented collapse in economic activities over the last fast few months. India saw one of the world’s biggest GDP contractions in the AprilJune 2020 quarter, contracting by 23.9 percent. It is the worst fall since the country started reporting quarterly data in the year 1996. According to figures by the CEIC, during this same period, the USA saw a contraction of 9.1 percent, Germany contracted by 11.3 percent, and UK’s economy contracted by 21.7 percent. According to the Asian Development Bank, developing economies in Asia will contract for the first time in 60 years. The International | october 2020

Labour Organization’s (ILO) most pessimistic scenario – assuming a second pandemic wave and return on restrictions, predicts slow recovery resulting in a loss of millions of full-time jobs. It is estimated that close to 10 trillion dollars has been spent on supporting workers and the industry since the pandemic first began, however, 88 percent of that total is spent by advanced countries on advanced countries.

The path to recovery

The road to stability is going to be long and hard. In order to produce optimal sustainable labor market, the ILO states that there is a need to find the right balance and sequencing of health,

economic, and social policy interventions. There’s also a need to protect and promote the vulnerable, disadvantaged groups. And sustaining policy interventions at the necessary scale as resources are likely to be limited. Writing in Foreign Policy Magazine, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva and Chief Economist Gita Gopinath noted that “Even as people return to work, employment rates in many countries have not returned anywhere close to pre-crisis levels…Job losses have hit younger and lowerskilled workers hard. Globally, the ILO estimates that the equivalent of 400 million (40 crore) full-time jobs were lost in the second quarter of 2020. They also noted the importance and need for a medical intervention. “Though the world has learned to live with the virus, a full recovery is unlikely without a permanent medical solution. Lingering uncertainty about the virus and the fear of recurring outbreaks are weighing on mobility and the confidence of consumers and businesses. The availability of a vaccine, or therapies with proven success in treating COVID-19, will materially lift the global outlook.”


Chairman of Changi Airport Group steps down

Changi Airport Group (S) Pte Ltd (CAG) announced the stepping down of Liew Mun Leong as Chairman and Board Director of the company with immediate effect. Liew was the founding Chairman of CAG following the company’s formation in 2009. The news of Liew's stepping down came in days after the High Court acquitted his former Indonesian maid Parti Liyani of stealing from Liew and his family and raised questions about his motivations in lodging a police report against Parti. Liew played a pivotal role in the corporatization of Changi Airport, which paved the way for Changi to operate more flexibly to meet the challenges of a competitive aviation environment.

Jane Fraser to head Citi as CEO

Facebook announced the appointment of Arun Srinivas as the Director of Global Business Group to lead the strategy and delivery of the India Marketing Solutions charter that is focused on large advertisers and agencies. Arun's appointment comes after a series of senior and leadership recruitments in recent months across marketing, partnerships, communications, and other key verticals demonstrating the company’s expanding charter and commitment to India.

SAP SEA appoints Verena Siow as President & MD

SAP announced the appointment of Singaporean, Verena Siow as President and Managing Director of SAP Southeast Asia to drive growth and accelerate digital transformation for ASEAN businesses as they prioritize technology to cope with disruptions caused by COVID-19. Verena will oversee SAP’s business across Indonesia, Malaysia, the

Poly, the global communications company, announced the appointment of Dave Shull as President, Chief Executive Officer, and a member of the Company's Board of Directors. Shull succeeds Robert Hagerty, who has served as Interim Chief Executive Officer since February 2020. Hagerty will continue in his role as Chairman of the Board, and resume his membership on the Nominating and Governance and Strategy Committees, as well as his role as Chair of the Mergers and Acquisitions Committee.

Lila Snyder joins Bose as the new CEO

Bose has appointed Former Pitney Bowes exec Lila Snyder as the new CEO. Becoming the first woman in the CEO post at the audio stalwart. She's filling a position that had been vacant since Phil Hess stepped down as CEO early this year.While the company has yet to make a formal announcement, Bose Chairman Bob Maresca confirmed Snyder's appointment to the position. Snyder comes from Pitney Bowes, where her title was president of global e-commerce.

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Facebook India names new head for Global Business Group

Poly appoints Dave Shull President and Chief Executive Officer

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Jane Fraser is currently head of Citi’s global consumer banking division, a major part of the bank that oversees checking and savings accounts but also Citi’s massive credit card business. She’s been with Citi for 16 years and had recently been tasked with leading the clean up of the bank’s troubled Latin American banking business. Fraser takes over from Corbat in February, 2021.

Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and other emerging markets in Southeast Asia.

Ex Wipro CEO Abidali Neemuchwala joins Dallas Venture Partners

Former Wipro Chief Executive Officer Abidali Neemuchwala joins as venture partner in Dallas Venture Partners, a fund that focuses on B2B early and growth-stage startups in India and Dallas, US. The fund will invest $300-500 million in India over the next 10 years. Neemuchwala, who took over as Wipro's CEO in 2016, resigned on January 30, 2020, a year before completing his five-year term in the Bengaluru-based firm citing "family commitments".

White Oak Capital Management appoints new CEO

Aashish Somaiyaa has joined White Oak Capital Management as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Somaiyaa, who served as CEO of october 2020 |

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Motilal Oswal AMC for seven years, had stepped down from the position in July. Before working at Motilal Oswal AMC, Somaiyaa was the head of the retail business at ICICI Prudential AMC.

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Nickle LaMoreaux to lead HR for IBM

In a LinkedIn post, Arvind Krishna, CEO, IBM announced major leadership changes in the company. Diane Gherson, who had been IBM’s Senior Vice President of Human Resources for the past seven years, had decided to retire. Nickle LaMoreaux will succeed Diane as Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Chief Human Resources Officer. Currently responsible for HR in Cloud and Cognitive Software, Nickle is a seasoned HR leader who has a deep understanding of business and the needs of clients.

DB Schenker names Katharina Rath new global CHRO

DB Schenker announced that its global supervisory board has appointed Katharina Rath the new Global Head of Human Resources, effective December 1. Her full title will be Member of the Board of Management for Human Resources. Calling her an internationally experienced expert in various fields of HR, Dr. Levin Holle, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Schenker AG, said: "The Supervisory Board and I are very pleased to have gained her talent, knowledge and leadership skills for the DB Schenker Board of Management."

Rent the Runway appoints new Chief People Officer

Rent the Runway, the designer dress and accessory rentals company, announced that Ellen Shultz is joining as the company’s Chief People Officer. Shultz--who previously served as The New York Times’ most senior HR leader and member of the organization’s Executive Committee–will play a critical role in accelerating Rent the Runway’s continued transformation of consumer behavior change. She brings to Rent the Runway more than 20 years of experience pioneering people strategies and building diverse and inclusive organizations. Her start date is September 8, 2020. 14

| october 2020

BharatPe appoints new CHRO

The merchant payment and lending network company BharatPe further strengthened its leadership team by appointing Jasneet Kaur as Chief Human Resource Officer. Jasneet’s appointment comes at a time when BharatPe is going through a massive expansion phase. Jasneet will work closely with the leadership team to ensure the rapid growth of the company through strategic talent management and dissemination of the company’s core values and culture across the organization.

Robin Kirby joins Benefitfocus as CHRO

Benefitfocus, a technology platform to protect consumers' health and wealth, announced Robin Kirby as the company's new Chief Human Resources Officer. Kirby formerly served as Senior Vice President of HR for USAA and is a current member of the Forbes HR Council. Kirby will be responsible for Benefitfocus' future-of-work strategies and expanding its talent acquisition and development capabilities in all areas.

EggLife Foods appoints VP, HR & External Affairs

EggLife Foods, Inc., the Chicagobased food brand announces that Rebecca Lucas has joined as the company's Vice President of HR & External Affairs. Lucas joins EggLife Foods at a stage of groundbreaking success and exponential growth, as their debut product, EggLifeTM egg white wraps, is currently taking the health and wellness industry by storm.

ATCC elevates Teri Sellars as VP, HR

ATCC, the biological materials management and standards organization, announced it has promoted Teri Sellars to the position of Vice President, Human Resources and Chief People Officer. In this role, Sellars will lead a team focused on continuing to create and drive innovation and employment initiatives to fuel ATCC’s growth objectives and to enhance the overall employee experience.


Rapid-Fire

eight Questions

interview

Drew Fernandez

Global Chief People Officer, Bottling Investments Group, The Coca-Cola Company Singapore By Neelanjana Mazumdar

5

1

One thing that makes you passionate about HR?

HR professionals have a unique opportunity to build a purpose-driven organization – a force for good and a positive contributor to society. HR leaders have also the ability to touch lives – allowing people to find meaning in what they do and therefore live a more fulfilled life.

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Embrace the mindset of a start-up entrepreneur – be determined, passionate, ambitious, hard-worker, and a hustler!

3

One tech/innovation that will transform HR?

Intelligent and data-driven HR can transform the way we operate and make business decisions every day and AI and machine learning tools will play a critical role here.

We all need to get comfortable with uncertainty because we will never get all the necessary information to make a single decision

4

One question you ask in every interview?

“Do you have any questions for me?” I allocate a huge amount of time during the interview for the candidate to ask questions – it allows me to see how the individual is able to take charge of the meeting and properly frame his or her thoughts.

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What’s the last thing you watched on TV and why did you choose to watch it?

r a p i d - f i r e

Earlier in my career, I had a choice to continue and pursue a career in sales and marketing or to take on the very first “HR business partnering” role in our company. It was a gamble into a new emerging HR role at that time, but it was probably the best decision of my life.

“How To Make Disease Disappear” by Dr. Rangan Chatterjee.

Your advice for aspiring HR professionals?

2

What was the turning point of your life as an HR professional?

One must-read book for CHROs and HR leaders

Peppa Pig on Netflix. My 3-year-old daughter Inez likes watching TV with me in between my meetings. Even if I only have a 5 to 10-minute break, she would pull me out of my office to our TV room for a little daddy and daughter bonding.

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What do you think about when you’re alone in your car?

Nothing. Sometimes I take advantage of the heavy traffic in Manila (or any city I am in) for some quiet me-time. october 2020 |

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I N TERVIEW B IG

To thrive amid this crisis, companies must build on the trust of their employees: AMD Global CHRO 16

october 2020 | OCTOBER


The IT industry is highly adaptive and continuously evolving. These attributes have helped big technology companies, including AMD, stay productive and continue to deliver the products that customers expect, says Robert Gama, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, AMD By Mastufa Ahmed

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Employee Resource Groups, and actively works with members of AMD’s Pride and Women’s Forum resource groups. Here are the excerpts of the interview.

I N TERVIEW

How do you see the impact of COVID-19 on the tech industry? The biggest technology companies seem to be steady amid all this uncertainty. At AMD, we moved quickly to implement best practices to mitigate the spread of the virus while maintaining business continuity for our customers, supporting our communities, and applying our technology and resources to help fight the virus. AMD maintains a robust global supply

chain and while we are not immune to macroeconomic effects, we are laser-focused on our goals of providing high-performance computing and graphics products to customers. The pandemic caused an acceleration of remote working, which in turn has caused an increase in demand for remote working technologies, PCs, and IT services. The IT industry is highly adaptive and continuously evolving. These attributes have helped big technology companies, including AMD, stay productive and continue to deliver the products our customers expect.

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obert Gama is Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer at AMD. Gama works with the global human resources team to solve AMD’s most complex people, culture, talent, and leadership challenges. With more than 20 years of business and functional experience, Gama is a proven, resultsoriented leader with demonstrated ability to drive business outcomes through strategic HR practices. Since joining AMD in 2013, Gama has led efforts to transform AMD in multiple global leadership positions. In his previous role as Chief Talent Officer, Gama aligned AMD's HR strategy with business objectives, re-energized corporate culture, and pragmatically transformed HR to drive simplification and accelerate global growth. Prior to joining AMD, Gama held various leadership roles at Lenovo, PepsiCo, and Dell. Gama is dedicated to driving AMD’s culture of inclusion as the executive sponsor for AMD’s

How is AMD weathering the impact of the pandemic on the well-being of workers, the overall business

While it’s a challenge to plan in an uncertain environment, when you have the trust of your employees and your finger is on the pulse of your organization, it can make it easier to digest tough decisions and keep the workforce productive october 2020 | OCTOBER

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I N TERVIEW B IG 18

performance, and customer relationships? We went into this pandemic with a very strong foundation of trust among employees and customers. We spent the last several years building a culture that centers around trust that continues to deepen year over year. It is demonstrated by our continued gains in our employee survey and our business results. And since the start of this pandemic, AMD has sought to understand and be ahead of the needs of employees during this new reality. We initiated several short surveys about employees’ remote work environments and because we are a global company whose locations include China, we had an early understanding of the pandemic and were able to apply learnings from those offices to the rest of the world. | october 2020

Can you take us through initiatives that worked for you at this time of uncertainty? We had already embraced work flexibility and remote work environments. We simply doubled down on these initiatives further. Early in 2020, we made available a clinically validated tool called meQuilibrium or meQ, to help employees build resilience, improve focus and overall well-being. This is in addition to a global Employee Assistance Program that gives AMDers 24*7 access to a variety of resources, tools, and services to help balance work, family, and personal life. Under this, employees or their family members can access free confidential short-term counseling. And, in the past 12 months, we had increased investment in our Employee

Resource Groups and they continue to play an active role in supporting colleagues. These groups offer a collaborative community where employees can freely share best tips and tricks and attend events with experts around successfully balancing work and family. We did learn that as more homes became offices, many people were finding it difficult to disconnect from work. We recognized early on that this could impact employee well-being. So, we launched a vacation “Recharge� program to make it easier for our employees to take time off. The goal was to have these as no-meeting days and a significant portion of AMDers around the world took full advantage of this opportunity to take time off. We added a $250 quarterly allowance to help employees with extra expenses to set up their home office and be productive. As remote learning becomes the new norm for many children, we also announced a onetime/one-per-household technology reimbursement of $250 for employees to purchase an AMDbased desktop, notebook, or Chromebook for a dependent child. We made monetary donations to local, national, and global relief efforts and


The role of HR and people managers has evolved amid this pandemic. What is the way forward for people managers to help businesses come out stronger and embrace the new normal? As a company of more

to work with these leaders to remain connected with their direct reports. We launched several trainings and learning initiatives for them on how to better lead virtual teams. Feedback from employees have been that they appreciate the careful listening from their leaders. They trust that their managers have their best interests at heart. I also firmly believe, that one of the most important things leaders can do, is lead by example. This includes taking time off, communicat-

We initiated several short surveys about employees’ remote work environments and because we are a global company whose locations include China, we had an early understanding of the pandemic and were able to apply learnings from those offices to the rest of the world than 13,000 employees, we really had to rely on our people managers and leadership network to support our employees during this time. We have always had a culture of transparency and trust – a culture of overcommunication and no surprises. Our manager quality scores for the past several years have been best in class and continue to rise. The HR team continues

I N TERVIEW

Home office, flexitime, telecommuting, digital nomad, and remote working seem to be new trends. How do you see these trends shaping organizations as they come out of COVID-19? AMD has always supported flexibility. We see the desire for flexibility to increase as the future state

will include more balance and variety in terms of how workplaces look and feel. At the end of the day, we know that health and family come first for our employees, and we want to make sure they feel supported while we continue to drive the business forward.

B IG

organizations to support the communities and countries in which we operate. We have donated $1 million in funds to local organizations on the front lines of the fight and contributed additional $1 million through a 2:1 employee gift matching program. Through the employee gift matching program, we donated over $145,000 to local India organizations including United Way India, Concern India Foundation, and Indian Red Cross. We created a COVID-19 HPC fund to provide key research institutions with computing resources to accelerate medical research on COVID-19. This included donation of a super computing system to the CSIR Fourth Paradigm Institute in Bengaluru. CSIR 4PI will host and manage this HPC facility and offer secure computational access to researchers and academicians in India working to tackle COVID-19 related challenges.

ing openly, and participating in meetings via video, for a more in-person touch to the discussions. The leader must do these things consistently to drive the same behaviors in the team. That has always been important but due to the number of employees that may remain virtual, this will become critical to maintain connection and productivity. october 2020 |

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I N TERVIEW B IG 20

Organizations including the traditional ones are increasingly leveraging tech innovations to adapt. Do you think it is time for HR leadership to employ technologies such as AI to move to the next level of work? HR is in a unique position to leverage technology including AI to transform our function with a focus on creating personalized experiences optimized for each employee. Of course, we can use AI to process HR transactions more efficiently, but the opportunity we have ahead to improve the lives of each individual employee are much more inspirational. Anywhere there is an abundance of data and transactions, there is an opportunity to leverage AI to automate and personalize. Here are just a few examples:

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• The approach can be used for sourcing external candidates. For example, we are already using tools like LinkedIn Talent Insights and Talent Neuron to identify sources of talent with the skills we need across the globe. • We use AI to assist in our job postings. We use Textio to ensure our postings are effective and reach the diverse candidate population we are looking for. • AI is perfect for making sense of feedback from employees. Acting on information gathered from our employee surveys is crucial to ensure we maintain trust and earn that feedback in the future.

In contrast to previous crises, women’s employ-

ment is at greater risk than men’s at this uncertain time. The latest labour force survey data from ILO reveals alarming trends that threaten to exacerbate existing disparities and eliminate the modest gains achieved in recent years in terms of gender equality in the labour market. What do you think is the need of the hour? With COVID, the persona of the employee as a caregiver has never been more pronounced. Companies must acknowledge they hired a whole employee, an employee with responsibilities outside of the workplace, and provide resources to enable the employee to balance the demands of work, school, home, and parental care. AMD always had a strong framework with flex time, generous leave balances and back-up care support. We have doubled down on these to meet the needs of employees during this new reality. With so many kids and elderly loved ones in need of extra help, AMD’s Caregivers Employee Resource Group has become a resource to employees. By sharing tips, resources, and webinars on working remotely and managing family obligations, we support each other as a community. The Caregiver group has also


partnered with our Women’s Forum and women in leadership positions to host sessions on resilience and happiness.

our employees to learn new skills. As we move forward, we want to ensure we are being proactive about the skills we will need. Investing in skills development training is critical. AMD has over 4,000 online courses available to our employees. We have found that since the pandemic, virtual attendance has increased, and employees are really taking advantage of skills development. These include LinkedIn Learning, SkillSoft, Udemy for Business, and GlobeSmart among others. From online technical courses to intercultural

caring for our employees. We were already in tune with our workforce, market and customers and were able to quickly reset the business to brace for what could be a challenging year. We had the trust of the employees behind us embracing our moves, walking with us vs. pulling them along! To continue to thrive, companies must ask themselves – Do you have the

tion, it can make it easier to digest tough decisions and keep the workforce productive.

With remote work now the norm, how can organizations continue a highimpact learning culture in their organizations? AMD has a strong eLearning platform and had already embraced a variety of digital platforms for

education to industry articles from prestigious educational institutes, we are encouraging our employees to access these resources at their own pace to upskill themselves. We have found that offering trainings with flexibility is the key. Our employees have the option to take full day workshops or short 45-minute sessions depending on their availability. october 2020 |

I N TERVIEW

One of the most important things leaders can do, is lead by example. This includes taking time off, communicating openly, and participating in meetings via video, for a more in-person touch to the discussions. The leader must do these things consistently to drive the same behaviors in the team

B IG

What are some of the top questions that leaders need to ask to prepare for the future of work as we strive hard to come out stronger from this pandemic? At AMD, we were already driving a culture of trust, transparency, and feedback. This allowed us to be more resilient and continue to focus on our mission and vision of the company while

trust of your employees? And if the answer is no, then how can you begin to build that trust for the new normal? How will you continue to connect employees to one another and to the organization through purpose in their work and how does that tie to the greater mission of the organization? What are the technical hurdles and opportunities? While it’s a challenge to plan in an uncertain environment, when you have the trust of your employees and your finger is on the pulse of your organiza-

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Visty Banaji

Partner people first

The road less travelled

It’s so gratifying for HR to claim partnership with a CEO or business leader. Shouldn’t HR’s primary partnership be with people?

what sets them apart from their peers. Others have grown into the people partnering role consciously and sometimes painfully (partly because of the trade-offs it demands). It is from observing and conversing with the latter type that some of the pointers in this column have evolved. But first let’s nudge the business partner role, that currently occupies the entire stage, a bit to the side – where it deserves to be.

H

R has begun to deify the business partner role1; the rudimentary knowledge of business that goes with it is revered no less than the Eleusinian Mysteries were in their day. Supporting the business to achieve its goals, which should be the simple price of admission and continuance in a company, has become the summum bonum of HR’s existence and the business fundamentals any self-respecting MBA should know when passing out are

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placed at the apex of competencies senior HR leaders are expected to possess. Clearly, this is a cop-out we can do without. If my years of observing a vast range of HR professionals has taught me anything, it is that what marks out truly exceptional HR leaders from ones who are just very good is the dedication and skill with which they partner people. For some of these models of excellence, people-partnering comes so naturally that they don’t even realize it is

Supporting business is not sufficient for HR

Colonial literature (and reality) was replete with tales of brown sahibs mimicking the mores of their white masters and demonstrating unquestioning loyalty to them. Try as they might, this would never suffice for them to gain acceptance as equals among the majority of the expatriates. The wiser ones among Indian civil servants and businessmen instead gained enormous respect by developing their own unique blends of deep local empathy and insight with the modern thinking


needed) business-independent backbones. HR people who don’t know their own onions cannot hope, through a cursory glance at a neighboring function’s vegetable patch, to improve the crop yielded on their own. This neglect of functional competency acquisition is no less reprehensible than the demand side reason of bowing to the powerful.

this fact can never be totally eliminated. In case anyone gets me wrong, let me reiterate: supporting the goals of the business and partnering with the leader are certainly essential for HR practitioners: they are the price of admission for getting their jobs and retaining them. But getting admitted can’t be the end of the road for an

The constituency with which HR can partner uniquely is people. In fact, no other function can make such a strong claim for partnership with an identifiable group. Marketing and Sales are possible exceptions but, for all the talk about customer centricity, the customer is outside the firm’s boundary and the tension arising from this fact can never be totally eliminated Being a business partner is, in any case, not unique to HR and every function and its uncle is queued up to partner with the boss. The constituency with which HR can partner uniquely is people. In fact, no other function can make such a strong claim for partnership with an identifiable group. Marketing and Sales are possible exceptions but, for all the talk about customer centricity, the customer is outside the firm’s boundary and the tension arising from

The road less travelled

necessary to uplift the condition of Indians. Those who took the easier alternative of being sedulous simulacrums became the butt of humor both for their own countrymen and the rulers they tried to mirror. Such are the risks of aspiring to partner with people who clearly consider themselves your superiors. I am not suggesting that all (or even most) CEOs consider themselves superior to their HR partners but many of them do snigger at the pretensions of HR to outdo everyone at the top table in sheer business acumen and capability. And yet a growing number of HR professionals feel their 'MiniMe' partnering with the business leader is the A and B of their existence, with people partnering being relegated to a distant C. There is also a supply side explanation for the business partnership preference demonstrated by HR. It points to the diffidence several HR professionals have in the depth of their HR competence. Compared to keeping up with the latest behavioral science research and other cutting-edge thinking, paddling in the shallow pool of business understanding (no more is expected from the HR business partner) is child’s play. True professionals need to expend continual effort to build both well-developed HR knowledge-skill muscles and (when

active participant. It would be like relaxing after getting selected for the final race. Or goofing off after making it through the entrance exam of a prestigious educational institute. The best performance has to be put in after earning the right to enter the arena. HR practitioners who win the people partnership race, after entering the tournament grounds based on their business support record, are the ones whose names will be recorded in the HR hall of fame. october 2020 |

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Why and how partnerships work

area or retain them but in return for accepting similar non-common goals of the partner. The goodwill and honesty with which such a deal is committed to and maintained is an infallible indicator of the future health of a partnership. Obviously, it is not necessary, or even desirable, that partners bring the same capabilities to the table. However, it is important that there should be rough equality in the effort-reward ratio

A partnership is premised on shared goals that couldn’t have been achieved so quickly, efficiently or at all, by one partner alone. Since it is very rare for all partners to have total congruence between their objectives, it becomes necessary for both (or all) to set aside some of the goals that fall outside the overlap | october 2020

the partners enjoy. Similarly, it is rare that partners are equally powerful or resilient. It is critical, however, that the more powerful partner does not take advantage of the other. Otherwise, the partnership can easily slip into a patron-client arrangement. The Delian League was formed under the leadership of Athens, initially

The road less travelled

Partnership is a rather loosely used term so it might be worth our while to delimit its outlines. The advantages of joining forces with another person, group, or larger social entity are too obvious to bear repeating. What is not so evident is that every successful partnership requires some sacrifice of objectives, freedom of action, or physical resources by each party.

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to unite Greek city-states in meeting the Persian threat. However, once Athens began using the League's funds for its own purposes and lording it over the rest, there was murmuring among the less powerful members and then open conflict with them. Athens’ heavy-handedness finally led to the Peloponnesian War and the eclipse of that great city’s fortunes. As a general rule, powerful exploiters of unbalanced partnerships don’t remain unscathed in the long run. To prevent imbalances of power as well as other misunderstandings and disagreements leading to the dissolution of partnerships, it is important to have decision-rules, mechanisms and forums for raising and resolving differences. The veto is an example of power voluntarily ceded by the more powerful to the less, so as to prevent the latter from being steamrollered in critical moments. Regular face-to-face meetings are useful for heading off misunderstandings before they become unbridgeable chasms. Neutral third parties that can be trusted to mediate or even arbitrate are also last resort before partners become foes. As Idries Shah wrote: "Enemies are often former or potential friends who have been denied – or think that they have been denied – something."


The people-HR partnership

You cannot partner with people unless you meet with a crosssection of them regularly and with an open mind. Yet this simple prerequisite is "More honored in the breach than the observance" conveys all the 'don’ts' to be avoided if a partnership is to be effective and last. I have written extensively elsewhere about the building blocks of fairness in organizations3 and will limit myself just to listing those elements most important to an employee population: • Having a formal code of fairness, communicating it, reviewing what’s actually happening, and revising the code from time to time. • Complying with the spirit of the laws and not

The road less travelled

Let me start with a simple ground-rule that should be blindingly obvious but which is decreasingly practiced. You cannot partner with people unless you meet with a cross-section of them regularly and with an open mind. Yet this simple prerequisite is "More honored in the breach than the observance". I don’t blame HR managers for preferring to have endless meetings in air-conditioned conference rooms with other HR people and business heads and then transfer their bulky backsides to their equally wellpadded office chairs rather than walking around the shop-floors and open offices (how to achieve this in the post-COVID-19 Work From Home world will have to await another column), talking and listening to people who face the greatest problems and perhaps have the keys to the best solutions. As I said, I don’t blame HR managers for this preference – I condemn them. Spreadsheetphilia and peoplephobia might be assets in certain functions (that shall remain unspecified with a view to retain my Finance friends!) – not in HR. What is worse is the wholesale effort to off-load whatever face-toface contact that comes by way of discharging routine HR jobs to line managers, a central shared service, or an

outsourcing partner. I have expecting employees to devoted an entire column to find or use loopholes. 2 this malaise so I won’t go • Honoring commitments, whether formal, verbal, beyond insisting here that or implied. For instance, there can be no partnering facilities and benefits without regular interaction cannot be withdrawn withand contact between the partners. out adequate replacement The other pillar necesor compensation. sary before laying the arch • Taking affirmative action of a lasting people-HR partto recruit and grow disadnership is basic fairness in vantaged people includpeople dealings. No partnering those from deprived ship can work if one partner sections of society, minority communities, and deceives, exploits, or shortchanges the other. 'Unfairwomen. ness' is a single word that • Implementing policies,

practices, and treatment that demonstrate people are valued. • Sharing gains and pains equitably across levels and geographies. • Encouraging dissent, being patient with deficiency but ruthless about shortcomings of integrity or other deviations from the code of fairness. The keystone of the arch connecting these two pillars is the pursuit of aggregate employee happiness which should be the prime prioroctober 2020 |

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The road less travelled

ity for HR and the key to cementing its partnership with people. There is an entire column dealing with the decision consequences of such a mindset.4 Happiness in this context is far more than simply hedonic enjoyment. The eudaimonic happiness that should be HR’s goal to facilitate for employees is well described by Alan Waterman: "… eudaimonia can be considered related to, perhaps synonymous with, a number of cognitive-affective concepts that have been used to refer to optimal psychological functioning, including the feelings accompanying intrinsic motivation (Deci & Ryan), flow experiences (Csikszentmihalyi), peak experiences (Maslow), and feelings of personal expressiveness (Waterman)."5 He goes on to specify that eudaimonia is experienced only in connection with activities that advance one's highest potentialities, either in terms of aptitudes and talents and/or purposes in living, and from one's active strivings for excellence. The development of all individuals to their full potential is an integral part of the happiness HR must play a part in realizing for people.

CHRO as people advocate For a CHRO to play the people partner role, it may 26

| october 2020

For a CHRO to play the people partner role, it may be most useful if s/ he visualizes it as being the CEO of a dedicated people resourcing cooperative. What are the consequences of such a visualization of the CHRO role? be most useful if s/he visualizes it as being the CEO of a dedicated people resourcing cooperative. What are the consequences of such a visualization of the CHRO role? In an age of increasing automation, outsourcing and GIGgling, it’s up to the CHRO to 'sell' to the company a durably employed and highly trained workforce that outclasses less permanent or less humane alternatives by way of productivity and creativity. This requires three subroles which may be suitably divided by structure or double-hat allocation down the line. The CHRO who plays the part of the CEO of a fullrange staffing company must first work out a strategy and a long-term sourcing and manpower-flow

plan. In doing so, the CHRO, being privy to the future plans and strategic competency demands of the main business, is naturally at an advantage compared to an outside sourcing firm. Further, as a cooperative, the aim is not to maximize profits but yield returns (in terms of salaries, rewards, and benefits) to cooperative members but not let them become so high or so differentiated as to derail cost-competitiveness and teamwork. Perhaps the greatest change from the currently prevalent business partner model would be the people partner’s attempt to market the resource for which s/ he is primarily responsible to other members of the top team. The present scenario, where the HR business partner argues for contractualization or other means of neutron-bombing durable employment, is as if the representative of turkeys were arguing for roasted versions of the bird being served on the first of every month, in addition to Thanksgiving. Any wonder that the declining population of permanently employed turkeys does not trust business partner HRs? As the CMO for people, HR will, of course, begin with the customer need, interface with the product developers and producers (staffing and sourcing) to meet it, and then support it after delivery


Servant partners

Whatever role the CHRO plays at the executive table, s/he has to be the face of the top team for the majority of the employees in the organization. And, in this capacity, s/he has to both be the guarantor of what the company has promised its employees as well as demand that the other partners (the people in the organization) keep their side of the tacit bargain. What HR does for people has been elaborated under the section titled 'The People-HR Partnership'. The organization’s commitment to its people can also be summarized in the language of servant leadership. "In servant leadership, lead-

ing others is about providing leadership and service to followers simultaneously and helping them to accomplish their tasks, visions, and goals, where serving means to offer time, compassion, and care to people and leading means to provide clear vision and purpose where foresight is central to the leadership provided. Moreover, in servant leadership, the focus is on others and their growth..."6 There can be many ways to express the expectations from the people side of the partnership. I find it simplest to demand three 'I's from employees: • Integrity (both financial and inter-personal) • Initiative (including selfstarting and the ongoing dedication that is also called commitment and engagement) • Innovation (for improving products, processes, and people-happiness)

None of these can easily be measured but they really are central to what an organization can expect from its people. When both HR and people become servant partners of the other, a far healthier organizational relationship is born. Notes:

1. Fotios V Mitsakis, Human Resources (HR) as a Strategic Business Partner: Value Creation and Risk Reduction Capacity, International Journal of Human Resource Studies, Vol. 4 No. 1. 2. Visty Banaji, HR is a Contact Sport, People Matters, xxxx, (xxxx). 3. Visty Banaji, Fairness is Fundamental, NHRD Network Journal, Volume 7 Issue 4, October 2014. 4. Visty Banaji, HR’s business should be happiness raising, People Matters, 24th September 2019, (https://www.peoplematters.in/article/life-at-work/hrs-businessshould-be-happiness-raising-23175). 5. Alan S Waterman, The relevance of Aristotle’s conception of eudaimonia for the psychological study of happiness, Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, October 1990. 6. Sigurdur Ragnarsson. Erla S. Kristjánsdóttir and Sigrún Gunnarsdóttir, To Be Accountable While Showing Care: The Lived Experience of People in a Servant Leadership Organization, SAGE Open research Paper, July-September 2018.

The road less travelled

(employee communication and grievance resolution). Obviously, at no stage will s/ he de-market the resource s/ he represents. Delivery of competent people is something HR departments already do well under the business partner model. The question is whether the people that are positioned under its aegis can ever be truly committed to the organization when their tenures and noncontingent compensation and benefits are constantly under threat. The people partnering alternative should make a significant improvement in the sense of commitment and belonging employees have.

Visty Banaji is the Founder and CEO of Banner Global Consulting (BGC) october 2020 |

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Dr. M. Muneer

Do leaders know the ‘Art and Science’ of performance analysis?

Performance Analysis

Here is how you can drive strategic performance using the ‘secret sauce’ called strategic performance analysis, which includes gathering, organizing, measuring, analyzing, and interpreting data

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n the Art of War, Sun Tsu says: “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory! Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” Globally, nine out of 10 organizations fail to execute their well-thought-out strategy. Is it because the strategy was bad or the tactics didn’t work? How can they know for sure? Assuming most organizations have some kind of strategy, how can they get the tactics right to succeed faster? As a top CEO once said, he would trade a mediocre strategy well executed to a great strategy poorly executed. Over the last two decades, we have been helping enterprises across the globe and industries find better results from their strategy. Here is how you can drive strategic performance using our “secret sauce” called strategic performance analysis, which includes gathering, organizing, measuring, | october 2020

analyzing, and interpreting data. The objective is to know how well you are managing the strategy, which incidentally is a set of hypotheses that if we do some of those things, we will achieve what we set out to get. Knowing whether your hypothesis is working or not early in the year will help you fine-tune the plans. The process will help in identifying areas for improvement and guide the leaders to overcome the

barriers to execution. Done right, this is a very powerful process to drive performance. A strategic performance analysis involves both quantitative and qualitative data, and making the right interpretations based on sound judgment – what senior leaders are expected to do but so few practice. That’s why it is both art and science, and probably why few leaders are good at it. Here’s a straightforward process


When the top leaders learn the nuances of cause and effect linkages that form their strategy, they will be wiser, and that will help their planning process, resource allocation, and governance. The double-loop learning that results from strategic performance analysis will help the organization and its leaders in two ways: to make operational changes and modify strategic planning. Figure 1 below represents the double-loop learning process. Strategic learning is the top loop where the leaders collectively assess if the strategy implementation is working as planned or it requires changes in

view of new technologies, competitive forces, regulation, or, say, the pandemic. The bottom loop is where the operational learning happens. Leaders can decide where to allocate resources to improve performance and to force focus on critical opportunities that crop up when new changes occur. Done well, this could speed up the information exchange and get the bad news from the market quickly to the top – a most important requirement in the current world where competitive advantages don’t last long. One of our clients, a leading supermarket chain, was able to get huge insights on their strategy using

Double Loop Learning

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Performance Analysis

that will help top management to master the strategic performance analysis and I can assure you it has worked well for our clients to get more out of strategy. Strategic performance analysis is not about individual performance but of the overall enterprise and whether it has achieved its strategic objectives that lead to realizing the vision and mission. By making use of data, we can check the assumptions about the cause-and-effect linkages between outcome and driver objectives. A balanced execution agenda framework with themes, perspectives, and objectives will be very handy. The four perspectives typically include financial, customers, internal process, and learning and development for private enterprises and stakeholders, internal process, learning and development, and resources for non-profit and government organizations. By mastering the performance analysis of the strategy the top management can continually assess the progress they are making, see the opportunities from the market quickly, and work on weak areas for driving better results. It forms a major part of governance that a good enterprise should have – and indeed by governments too that have never executed their policies well in the last 73 years in India.

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Performance Analysis

A strategic performance analysis involves both quantitative and qualitative data, and making the right interpretations based on sound judgment – what senior leaders are expected to do but so few practice. That’s why it is both art and science, and probably why few leaders are good at it the double-loop learning. Their initial strategy was to become the best service retail chain with a customer intimacy strategy. While their performance was not up to their internally set expectations, it was not bad in comparison with rivals. The double-loop learning was that the differentiation of intimacy was not really important for a market driven by discounts and lower prices. They then changed the strategy to focus more on operational excellence with efficient –

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not exceptional – service, better supply chain management and new, higher quality store brands. The objectives were changed accordingly and followed the same process of performance analysis and revision every month. Three years later, they sold the chain at a good valuation to a private equity fund. In our experience, a successful performance analysis of strategy requires three key roles and the executives who take up these roles should work together.

1. Objective owner: He or she who is responsible for a strategic objective will be responsible for analyzing, anchoring discussions, and preparing relevant reports. He or she will have to present the performance analysis of the respective objective. The actual preparation of the report could be delegated to the Measurement leader but the analysis of data and interpretation are the responsibility of the objective owner. 2. Measurement Leader: He or she collects and provides a basic level analysis of data for individual measures and prepares presentation slides for the leadership team. The measurement leader has primary responsibility for preparing the performance analysis. 3. Review Champion: This individual manages the overall performance review process, collects and assimilates all slides and charts in a report form, and coordinates with all strategic objective owners and measurement leaders. These three roles working together can help leaders explore a few critical questions: How are we doing? What are the things that drive our current performance? How are the vari-


ous objectives performances affecting one another? Are the assumptions of our strategy working? What are the changes we need to make to deliver better performance? The strategic performance analysis involves a six-step process, which one should follow in the same order to get the best results.

Stage 1: Collection of Data

Figure out which department or individual has the best data source or access. Need not be the most senior person (or even the person closest to the operations that the data represents) who holds the key to the best data. Be consistent when collecting data on a measure or initiative over time periods. As an example, do not collect from different sources or use different formulae when you gather data from two different months. Make sure that the inputs to the measures use the same format and formula. For instance, for measuring “percentage of rejection due to poor quality� should consistently use the same aggregated percentage of defined quality rejections. Data inputs must be timely and it should not be beyond a week post a quarter or measurement period.

Performance Analysis

1. Check the validity and logic of themes, perspectives, objectives, metrics, and initiatives. Before collecting data check if any of the definitions of objectives have changed with respect to the overall strategy. Check also if your data sources for measurement have changed. Do you have initiatives with clear milestones to bridge strategic gaps? 2. Collect the most current as well as historical information on measures and initiatives. Data are contained in many different sources internally: Accounting software, data warehouse for historical data, etc. You can also do surveys and interviews to collect data from customers, suppliers, etc. 3. Collect external information such as regulatory, industry or arena, and others such as competitors, vendors, etc.

Tips for collecting data

Stage 2: Analyzing Data 4. Update objectives, measures and initiatives using the internal and external data that you have collected in the earlier three steps. This consists of editing the definitions of objectives and measures and also adding the latest data. When updating strategic objectives, bring clarity to the causeeffect linkages and also definition. As for meas-

ures, graphical representation with the latest data is best for easy understanding and discussions. Do that with the actual performance of the current period against target and also year-todate. 5. Analyze trends and causeand-effect relationships in the data. This step is the core of strategic performance analysis process. Here’s where the leaders october 2020 |

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Performance Analysis

get insights into how well the enterprise is executing its strategy. It will also throw up the challenges to execution and what the causes to those problems are. The data must be analyzed at multiple levels – enterprise strategy, themes/perspectives, objectives, measures, and initiatives. When you analyze measures, ask yourself some of the following questions: • Is the measure the right one for the particular objective? • Does it accurately communicate the strategy?

• Is the lead measure driving the desired behavior? • Are the links between measures in the same perspective or theme making sense? Similarly, there are different types of questions you should ask for overall strategy, objectives, targets, and initiatives. We have the unique process for analyzing performance and one of the things we do is using three different types of analysis, mainly to establish the cause and effect relationships between outcome and driver objectives and measures. Most leaders are familiar with

Strategic performance analysis is not about individual performance but of the overall enterprise and whether it has achieved its strategic objectives that lead to realizing the vision and mission

these three types of analysis but they rarely do that in the right way, leading to poor analysis and understanding of the strategic performance. These are the three different types of analysis: a. Trends: Evaluate the same type of data over several successive measurement periods, typically monthly for the first year and then quarterly. b. Similar Relationships: Examine the same type of data from different units or departments or functions. c. Root Cause: Deep dive into the actions and events that you believe have generated the overall performance. You may use Fish-Bone or the IIAA (Issue-Implication-ActionAccountability) framework for this. 6. Summarise your findings in qualitative and quantitative terms. The objective here is to prepare the ground for the strategy review meeting of the leadership team. This is the ultimate aim of the performance-analysis process. The quantitative data that are gathered for measures should be color coded with traffic signal colors (Green for target achievement, amber for warning, and red for problem alarm). It is not enough to have just quantitative data even if captured in attractive graphs, and

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Update the results for each measures

so describing the interpretations of the same by the objective and measure owners is very crucial for facilitating stimulating discussions around the strategy. The qualitative summary should address issues on current results, connections to other objectives, problem areas, caveats, improvement possibilities, risks, and recommendations. Fig 2 above shows a typical summary template for one objective (Source: CustomerLab). Most leaders face difficulties in preparing strategic performance analyses. Some are good with quantitative stuff and most do

Most leaders face difficulties in preparing strategic performance analyses. Some are good with quantitative stuff and most do not apply their minds to the qualitative part not apply their minds to the qualitative part. It is imperative that you as part of the senior leadership team ask the following questions while planning strategic performance analysis: What types of data your organization currently gathers for performance analysis? Who gathers what? How does your organization make use of the data? What kinds of questions executives responsible ask

Performance Analysis

Analyse the issues, implications, actions, and accoiuntabilities implied by measure performance. Include impacts to other measures

about what is seen in the data? How do you currently summarize performance data? What’s working well – and what’s not – in your organization while preparing for performance analysis? What changes might merit progress? Muneer, as managing director of CustomerLab and co-founder of the nonprofit Medici Institute, helps enterprises and governments align strategy with people and processes. Contact him at muneer@customerlab.biz october 2020 |

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SPE C IAL I N TERVIEW

The pandemic offers an opportunity to build fairer societies and economies by investing in people: IMF's Kalpana Kochhar The pandemic is likely to increase poverty and inequality, further painfully exposing the precariousness of work and the challenging prospects for the young of accessing opportunities they desperately need, says Kalpana Kochhar, Director, Human Resources Department, IMF, in an interaction with People Matters By Mastufa Ahmed

K

alpana Kochhar was appointed Director of the Human Resources Department (HRD) at the International Monetary Fund in June 2016. Prior

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to that, she was Deputy Director in the IMF's Asia and Pacific Department. Between 2012 and 2014, she was Deputy Director in the IMF's Strategy, Policy and Review Department.

Before starting her career at the IMF, Kochhar was Assistant Professor at the George Washington University. She then joined the IMF’s Economist Program in 1988, assigned to the Asia


She currently leads the Fund’s work on jobs and growth and has conducted groundbreaking research on gender inequality and its impact on the macro-economy. She will continue to co-lead the Fund’s work on gender from HRD. Here are the excerpts of the interview.

The COVID-19 pandemic, which started as a health pandemic, seems to have long-lasting ramifications to the way we live and work. How do you see the impact of the pandemic on our lives and the global business scenario? Isn’t a whole new ball game?

economic scars of this crisis. In some countries, more jobs were lost in March and April this year than were created since the end of the global financial crisis in 2008. School closings also impacted people’s ability to participate in the labor market, especially women. Bankruptcies also are becoming more common as firms exhaust their cash buffers. And human capital is at risk: the education of over a billion learners across 162 countries has been disrupted, for example. The bottom line is that the pandemic is likely to increase poverty and inequality, further painfully

In some countries, more jobs were lost in March and April this year than were created since the end of the global financial crisis in 2008 Indeed, this is a crisis like no other. The human costs of this crisis are immeasurable, but we can measure the economic fallout. From the start of the crisis until the end of 2021, the world economy is projected to face a cumulative loss of more than $12 trillion—equivalent to the combined annual output of Japan, Germany, Italy, and Spain. It is a dramatic loss. Many countries will be deeply affected by the

SPE C IAL I N TERVIEW

and Pacific Department (APD). She worked on various country assignments in APD for six years before moving to the Strategy, Policy, and Review Department (SPR). In 1997, she returned to APD, where she was promoted to Assistant Director in 2003. While in APD, she led work on Japan, India, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Bhutan, and Nepal, and has also covered China, Korea, Malaysia, and the Philippines. In 2004, Kochhar moved to the IMF’s Research Department (RES) as a Senior Advisor, working closely with then Chief Economist Raghu Rajan, before returning to APD in 2008. In 2010, she left the IMF to join the World Bank as Chief Economist for the South Asia Region. She returned to the Fund in 2012, joining SPR as Deputy Director to lead work on the Triennial Surveillance Review, and then moved back to APD in 2014. Kochhar also has extensive institutional experience. She served as Senior Personnel Manager in RES for two years, and again in APD during the downsizing of the IMF in 2006–08. She is currently a member of the Diversity Council, and also serves on the personnel Review Committee— appointments she also held before her move to the World Bank.

exposing the precariousness of work and the challenging prospects for the young of accessing opportunities they desperately need.

As countries struggle to keep their economies afloat in the midst of a global recession, how is IMF helping countries address the economic impact of Coronavirus? At the IMF, we acted swiftly from the moment we saw this crisis coming. october 2020 |

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SPE C IAL I N TERVIEW 36

We have provided emergency financing on an unprecedented scale. We have already disbursed over US$30 billion to 75 countries (as of September 2). Never before have we done so much so fast. Our total lending commitments are about $270 billion (as of end-July), with onethird approved since endMarch. And we have an additional $730 billion in lending capacity that we could put at the service of our membership. Also, the IMF has approved immediate debt relief to all of our poorest members. We have continued with our important surveillance work—meaning we take the pulse of national economies, and the world economy as a global public good. During the crisis did two new things—very fast. First, we merged epidemiological projections with our traditional macroeconomic modeling—so that we can project the likely developments of this crisis. We did our global and country-bycountry projections in April, and these have been updated in June. Second, we created a new global and country-by-country-surveillance of measures countries have taken to respond to this crisis. So, for 193 countries, policymakers can immediately compare their actions to those of their peers. This is a transmission line of learning that | october 2020

we have heard is very valuable. It is being updated to included measures countries are taking to reopen safely and effectively.

The pandemic has brought to fore the vulnerability of millions of employees and businesses across the globe. How can we together step up to resolve the problems especially the mounting job losses exposed by the crisis? How we protect and lift of those vulnerable and hardly-hit by the pandemic. Across the world, countries have ramped up economic lifelines to individuals and workers. These safety nets must be maintained as needed and, in some cases, expanded: from paid sick leave for lowincome families, to access to health care and unemployment insurance, to broader cash and in-kind transfers for those in the informal sector—with digital mechanisms often best for delivery. Encouragingly, countries with higher inequality have devoted larger shares of support to households, including vulnerable groups. The crisis will be transformational. Many jobs lost will never come back with the crisis triggering longlasting changes in spending patterns. So, workers must continue to be supported, including through reskill-

ing, to help them move away from shrinking sectors and toward expanding ones. As governments ramp up spending to support individuals, businesses, and communities, there is an opportunity to build fairer societies and economies by investing in people. That means spending more and spending better on schools, training, and reskilling. It means expanding social programs that are well-targeted to reach the most vulnerable. And it means empowering women by reducing labor market discrimination.

The COVID-19 pandemic gripping the world has an especially devastating impact on women workers. What measures can we take that have a positive impact on them? As I mentioned, women are one of the particularly vulnerable groups. For many women, teleworking is not an option, which makes them unduly exposed to the risks of the virus and the economic fallout. One reason is that women are more likely than men to be working in service sectors, including tourism, hospitality, and healthcare. These sectors, in most cases, require faceto-face interactions and are being hardest hit by the pandemic. Also, women disproportionately have lower access to technology, which puts them at a disad-


A lot of experts today talk about adaptability, resilience, and agility in the context of the new workplace we all are in. How do you see the new normal both as an economist and as an HR leader? We had spoken in the abstract about resilience and agility. But I would say that most organizations

really started to practice what we had preached from mid-March, when we had to change how we function almost overnight. Speaking for the IMF, the speed with which we adapted to this new reality—not only in HR but across the institution—was truly remarkable. Of course, like everyone else, being in a virtual environment does come with downsides, including on relationship building and the spark of creativity. But I would dare

in a flexible environment. Even if schooling and childcare were to go back to the pre-COVID period, we would still want to maintain this aspect of flexibility and have a greater focus on the quality and timeliness of deliverables rather than measuring hours worked or face time.

How did you see the role of HR and talent managers as an economist in business transformation? And how do you see it today as an HR leader?

The crisis will be transformational; many jobs lost will never come back with the crisis triggering long-lasting changes in spending patterns. So, workers must continue to be supported, including through reskilling, to help them move away from shrinking sectors and toward expanding ones to say that our productivity and efficiency have gone up. Like many other organizations, the IMF is seizing the opportunity to embed this as a new way of working. As you can imagine, here HR is playing a key role. For example, flexibility is in need given the difficult situation of schooling and childcare. So HR is working on social contracts between managers and staff on when and how they work

Since a lot of the new ways of working have to do with behaviors, HR is really ground zero for suggesting how things could be different. We see ourselves as a catalyst who sets policies, gives guidance, and provides incentives. But in the end, the behavior change has to take place across the institution. The actual success of new ways of working—including how people interact, deliver, and october 2020 |

SPE C IAL I N TERVIEW

vantage. Another aspect that makes women vulnerable is that they do much more unpaid care work, which has increased with the pandemic. Women already make up the majority of the poor of the world. With the pandemic, they are more vulnerable to falling further into poverty. We made great gains in gender equality over the last two or three decades. But now we are at risk of undermining quite a lot of those gains and may even lose them. So, it is important to put in place policies that handle not just the health crisis, but also the post-crisis recovery that would help maintain or even advance those gains. We need measures that have a positive impact on women— for example, the provision of parental care and other leave policies. Now in many countries, public and private sectors are rethinking these policies. These are among the lessons that come out of this crisis.

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balance work and life— are in the hands of every single person of the organization. There needs to be a high level of trust between managers and employees and also transparency and clarity in communications between them. HR leaders have specific roles to be forward-thinking and forward-leaning to push the institution to move even further. And we also need to keep our eyes open on others and adopt the best practices relevant for us. And most important of all, we need to keep our eyes on our staff to make sure that they are coping well with the situation and to offer them options and opportunities to take care of themselves physically, mentally, and emotionally, especially when the frequency of faceto-face interaction is lower than before.

To come out stronger from the COVID-19 crisis, there is a growing emphasis on workforce upskilling and reskilling. How do organizations decode the newage learning techniques to equip employees for the larger digital transformation? Indeed, workers need to be trained on different ways of working. We are very fortunate in the IMF to have a highly educated workforce, as well as good technology and connectivity, especially | october 2020

in headquarters, where most staff work. As we adapt to the new ways of working, we are thinking about how we can support staff not just in an interim way, but in a more permanent way— for example, by equipping them with home offices that allow them to maintain a high level of efficiency and productivity. Separately, well before the COVID hit, we had embarked on a wide-ranging set of modernization initiatives in the IMF. This was not merely a technology upgrade, but also an improvement in the efficiency of our business processes. These projects touched almost all aspects of the IMF's work, including human capital management, the delivery of capacity development to our member countries, and the collection and dissemination of our knowledge and data. All these modernization initiatives will come together to create an integrated digital workplace, which is intended to be modern, secure, and fully mobile enabled so that people can collaborate and work with each other from anywhere at any time. Despite the increased workload in meeting the demands of our membership, we are pushing ahead with these modernization initiatives because we believe that it will stand the IMF in very good stead both during the crisis and afterward, by

laying the foundation for us to emerge from this situation stronger and more agile.

The unfolding crisis brings with it profound lessons for the future of work. Working from home, for instance, is going to grow beyond its preCOVID-19 norms, as many experts say. What’s your take on post-pandemic trends like remote working, flexi hours and how will they impact the future of work? Organizations are looking to turn the lessons they had been forced to learn into something that would bring benefits. For example, we have had policies on the books for a very long time to enable staff to work flexibly, in terms of the days of the week, hours of the day, part time work, and job sharing. But they had been used very little in the past, partly because of the feeling that people who chose to work at home would be seen as less committed. Our new way of working during the pandemic has proven this false and largely removed the stigma of remote working. We hope we can carry the new mindset over to the future, where your performance is based on your deliverables, rather than where and when and for how long you work. Teleworking means that we have to work harder to develop personal relationships. Managers need to go


above and beyond to check in with their staff, look for signs of any distress or pressure they may face, and try to alleviate these stresses. It also means there should be planned opportunities to build team spirit, cohesion, and to jointly spark innovation and change. Going forward, we will likely move into a hybrid mode, where some individuals would come into the office in the traditional way, some would work primarily from other

not changing much and why are CEOs and boards not taking cognizance of this? Since IMF is an international organization, we are required by our Articles of Agreement to have staff of a broad geographical representation. So in a way, we are enjoined by our founding agreement to have a diverse workforce. But even an organization like ours has work to do on diversity. For the past 15 years, we have sensitized the

locations, and some would choose a way in between. I am hopeful that we will be able to land a good, balanced model for how we work in the future.

It’s widely acknowledged that organizations pursue diversity and inclusion not just for ethical reasons, but also to realize enhanced business results and better financial performance. But why is the ground reality

institution about the importance of diversity in various dimensions. Our clients are the entire world, so our staff also need to look like the entire world to have credibility with our membership. Because of these efforts, I am happy to say that the business case for diversity is no longer in question in the IMF. Several years ago, we started to set diversity benchmarks for certain

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SPE C IAL I N TERVIEW

The actual success of new ways of working—including how people interact, deliver, and balance work and life—are in the hands of every single person of the organization. There needs to be a high level of trust between managers and employees and also transparency and clarity in communications between them

groups of staff where we wanted to see an increase in representation. These benchmarks include gender representation across the institution, gender representation in management roles, as well as representation by geographic region. In particular, we identified regions that are underrepresented and have been working to improve representation from those regions. In the IMF, attention to diversity actively features in every step of the talent process from recruitment to internal promotions and other aspects of career development. We have even further strengthened the incentives by having all our departments submit action plans for the next three years to improve diversity and inclusion, and have set up mechanisms to hold the leadership accountable to achieve these plans. Like everyone else, we have work to do on unconscious bias, or sometimes even overt bias, about the different skills that different people bring. Also, as an institution, we have to continue to talk openly about race and racial injustice. I'm very proud to say that since May, we have embraced the opportunity to bring in experts from outside to educate us about the basis of racial tensions in the United States and elsewhere in the world. There is a firm commitment in the

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IMF to continue that education process. More than that, there are conversations in departments and smaller teams about race, bias, and privilege. I am grateful that we have opened that space for people to talk about their experiences so that we all understand what others may have experienced and that strengthens our commitment to do whatever we can to prevent such actions from continuing.

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others. But even in the roles that require more face-toface contact, technology can help. For example, many of us are now visiting doctors virtually. Tech companies can play a huge role in spreading digital infrastructure, access to devices, and access to content. They should be incentivized to expand access including in developing countries. In fact, this is in their interest, because it can create

Since a lot of the new ways of working have to do with behaviors, HR is really ground zero for suggesting how things could be different. We see ourselves as a catalyst who sets policies, gives guidance, and provides incentives COVID-19 seems to be accelerating digital transformation in the workplace across industries. Do you see a new tech infrastructure in the making that will help economies rebound after COVID-19? Those who have access to technology—the so-called white-collar workers—have been able to work from home and are better off during the pandemic. So what role can technology play in the future? There will always be roles where some jobs lend themselves to benefiting from technology more than | october 2020

more consumers for their services. If we can broaden technology infrastructure for better access to finance, healthcare, education, and information, that would be a game-changing possibility in the world ahead. Also, building and more creatively using more digital infrastructure has the potential for building a more climatefriendly economy. We have heard the slogan “Building Back Better”. I think the goal of universal access to digital technology will be the cornerstone of that strategy.

How do you see the overall role of HR and people managers evolving amid the pandemic? What is your advice for global HR and talent leaders as they prepare for the post-pandemic world? The first attribute has to be humility. Nobody knows what's ahead. Leaders need to have humility, courage and self-confidence to admit that we don't know. Leaders also have to promise to do several things. The first is to communicate clearly and often, about what we do know, and what actions we will take to address the uncertainties we face. Second, leaders need to have the courage to make decisions without complete knowledge of what the future holds but also to be agile in pivoting and adapting as new information becomes available. We will be the ones who push managers and leaders throughout our organizations to think positive, to push past the old practices even if they had been successful, and to keep people at the center of the whole exercise. This pandemic has shown how vulnerable we all are. So, for whatever we do, we should keep in mind that people are our biggest resource while balancing it with serving our clients. In the end, we cannot serve our clients well if we don't serve our staff. That is why HR becomes central to the whole effort, even if it is not the only ingredient.


Chris Teo

How the pandemic will change the way we care for our employees

The COVID-19 pandemic has elevated health and well-being—emotional, mental, and physical—to the top of many employers', and employees' list of priorities. As the needs of the workforce evolve, employers must also change their approach to incorporate greater empathy and understanding for workers' concerns and challenges

He a lth & We ll-be ing

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s people adjust to life amid lockdowns, remote working, and other social restrictions, larger focus is being placed on maintaining emotional, mental, and physical health. The pandemic has taken over every aspect of daily life in such a short amount of time, and many have been thrown into a—situation where they have had to adapt using what has been termed as ‘surge capacity’—a collection of mental and physical adaptive systems that humans draw on to survive in acutely stressful situations, such as natural disasters. The rub is that disasters occur over a short period of time, whereas the aftereffects of the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to be felt long after the outbreak. In a work setting, one of the biggest challenges that employers are facing is in understanding how their workers are being stretched thin by the disruption happening in their lives, and how to react when limits are reached.

The employee experience of today is moving into uncharted territory—a place where the lines between professional and personal life, and the strains that come with each, are compounded. In order to make informed decisions on how to improve the welfare of workers and meet their evolving needs, companies need to have a deep appreciation of just what it is that employoctober 2020 |

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He alth & We ll-be ing

In order to make informed decisions on how to improve the welfare of workers and meet their evolving needs, companies need to have a deep appreciation of just what it is that employees are going through on a day to day basis ees are going through on a day to day basis. Here are some areas that businesses should consider, to help navigate the swathe of changes.

Employing empathy

In a recent study conducted across Asia Pacific, it was found that 38 percent of employers are planning to enhance mental health services and stress management offerings. In Singapore, for instance, more companies are adopting an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) as part of their employee benefits. EAPs generally include access to individual counseling sessions 42

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with trained professionals that employees can claim for, and other services such as mental health workshops. While outpatient benefits, hospitalization coverage, or regular health check-ups will continue to remain the bedrock of medical benefits plans, companies will also have to start factoring empathy and understanding into their decision-making processes, to improve the general well-being of their employees. Additionally, mentorship can play a role in helping employees cope with the transition. In such unprecedented times, there is much learning and understanding to be had from both an executive and an associate perspective. By cultivating a robust mentorship program, the management can learn a lot about how the daily pulse of an organization has been affected by the virus, and what areas need to be worked on in order to improve the employee experience. Inversely, employees can have greater understanding, from a management perspective, on why certain initiatives have been set in place, and what to expect in the coming months.

Evolving work culture

HR departments are starting to realize that the criteria that potential candidates have for job selection will become vastly different. A healthy work culture is often at the top of a potential hire’s list of priorities, but the definition for it will change. Nice office spaces, lunch perks, or ping pong tables in the break room will become less important. Instead,


Conclusion

As COVID-19 continues to push personal health and well-being to the top of peoples’ collective priorities, and as work and home situations continue to face disrup-

A healthy work culture is often at the top of a potential hire’s list of priorities, but the definition for it will change. What exactly are employees looking for in a remote work setting? tion on an unprecedented scale, organizations must be prepared for the constant challenge of adapting to changing employee needs, and learn to introduce compassion in their approach. Everyone is going through the same challenging transitions in their lives, and looking for support wherever they can get it, be it from family, friends, or the office. The companies that realize this, and actively work to address new employee concerns and needs will be the ones to inspire mutual trust and loyalty in their workers. To thrive in the new normal, business leaders must learn to convert employee benefits, into organizational benefits.

He a lth & We ll-be ing

as companies move workforces out of the office and enable them to work from home, job seekers will look out for employers that understand how to maintain their welfare in a remote setting. Flexible working arrangements will come to be a key differentiator for job seekers—more employers are offering flexible work hours that allow their workers to care for children, parents, or other dependents Similarly, 79 percent of employers in APAC are increasing access to, and cadence of, virtual meetings, to help workers remain connected even as they are physically apart. As working from home becomes the new normal, employees will want to be part of teams that trust them to get their jobs done, even with the decreased visibility that it affords. By placing more thought in planning out well-being initiatives, HR leaders will not only improve the lives of their employees, but instill a greater sense of responsibility and loyalty to the organization This can lead to substantial benefits for the company—studies have shown that for every $1 invested in workplace adjustments centered on well-being, a company is able to generate an average of $5.60 in returns as workers become more productive, or make fewer medical claims, for example.

Chris Teo is the CEO of Mednefits, an employee medical benefits platform. october 2020 |

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STORY


Reimagining Workplace Learning The pandemic has brought back the focus on workplace learning and organizations are forced to reimagine a sustainable future of workplace learning By Mastufa Ahmed

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that it becomes a way of life. Even if a professional is not at risk of losing his/her job, it is important for them to re-assess their skills periodically to know if they will be able to remain competitive during this phase and, acquire new skills for the future. New tech innovation will play a critical role in devising the futureproof L&D sector as organizations come out of this crisis. Similarly, tech-related skills will be in demand. The WEF identified, for instance, artificial intelligence specialists as the number one emerging data job in the future. It highlights the need to reskill and upskill workers towards stronger data science skills, a better understanding of artificial intelligence, and to expand digital literacy overall. The cover story attempts to decipher the new workplace learning paradigms that COVID-19 has pushed into the spotlight – from learning to staying relevant. The story attempts to dig deep into the new learning strategies and what it means for L&D leaders. It also talks about the role of talent professionals to build resilience for enduring learning and development sector and form improved learning culture in their organizations.

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OVID-19 has forced us to restructure work; come up with new business models, revisit roles, set new priority areas, among others. The pandemic has also brought back the importance of reskilling and upskilling of resources as part of the larger business transformation in the wake of the crisis. Companies need to equip their workforce with changing times to come out stronger with a greater competitive advantage. As experts say, companies that continue to invest on training and offer learning opportunities for their talent will emerge as winners on the other side of this crisis. Over the last few months, the new-age virtual learning alternatives have gone into overdrive and the volume of traditional face-to-face training has reduced. The surprising benefit of our current situation is that there are so many more ways for people to learn new skills and expand their knowledge. It is important for employers to identify which talent can be up-skilled quickly. In order to subvert or minimize job losses in current times, employers will need to create a robust learning path for their workforce; link to their appraisal cycle so

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Soft skills are now more important than ever before: Mastercard’s Amanda Gervay

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The importance of soft skills such as cognitive flexibility, creativity and innovation, adaptability and resilience, social intelligence, negotiation, and virtual collaboration skills are more important than ever, says Amanda Gervay, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Asia Pacific, Mastercard By Mastufa Ahmed

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s Human Resources leader for the Asia Pacific (AP) region, Amanda Gervay works closely with the AP Leadership Team to drive and implement the regional HR strategy to ensure that Mastercard is where the best people want to be. A seasoned HR leader, Amanda is well versed in the dynamics of organizational design and restructuring, as well as culture change across Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Prior to joining Mastercard, she was

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the regional HR lead for Thomson Reuters in Singapore, where she oversaw the people strategy, with a focus on diversity, talent, and leadership development, as well as organizational change arising from M&A and divestiture projects. Amanda is now based in Singapore. Here are the edited excerpts.

How do you see the current business landscape amid this pandemic? What are some of the top questions that leaders need to

ask to prepare for the future of work as we strive to come out stronger from this pandemic? The pandemic has forced organizations all over the world to adapt and restructure at a lightning-fast pace. At Mastercard, we started thinking years ago about what the future of work means for our business, industry, and society. We conducted research, worked with analytics teams, academics, peers, and even history leaders, to understand the challenge from multiple angles. One conclusion that we came to is that leaders need to ask, what great opportunities can come from reimagining the way that work gets done? What variables must be considered, and what are the practical implications? Another critical consideration - especially in turbulent times - is how will changes impact your people’s wellbeing and company culture? To answer this, you need to know what issues your people are dealing with – both at work and home. Then ask how your policies and benefits should flex to meet their needs. Like most


to learning and development, the types of skills our people need, and our “fit-forpurpose” training approach (where learning journeys, and modules within them, are tailored for the experience level and role of each trainee). For instance, the marketing team needs to learn about blockchain from a different perspective than the engineers do, so our programs account for those differences. Over the last few months as the world shifted to working from home, the HR team tackled the challenge by splitting up into project teams and collaborating with external partners to re-design and pilot

critical in-person programs for virtual environments. We then scaled the virtual programs to reach employees across the region. Where designing and planning learning journeys previously took a few months to do, we’ve now cut the time down to a matter of weeks.

How can employers foster their employees' morale and productivity amid these uncertain times? Knowing this is an anxious time, employers should provide their people with the resources and benefits that show them that, no matter where they are or what their situation is, their employer will continue october 2020 |

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How do you see the larger picture of L&D and skilling initiatives across organizations and how have employee L&D strategies evolved in the last few months? Like everyone else, we had to rapidly pivot our entire global workforce to remote working and virtual learning in a matter of weeks. This entailed adapting all of our activities from physical to virtual formats, spanning a wide range of programs such as summer internships for 500+ interns globally to onboarding bootcamps for new hires to talent planning sessions, professional skills building, and leadership development. But a few things never changed: our commitment

The new normal is about creating a workplace ecosystem that supports convenience, functionality, and well-being. While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, the magic ingredient is flexibility

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companies, a key question we’re working through is how to maintain our strong culture and spirit of collaboration while also offering the flexibility that is important to our people. What we do know is that the new normal is about creating a workplace ecosystem that supports convenience, functionality, and well-being. But there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. The recipe for the ideal work environment will vary from person to person and change as they go through different stages in their lives and careers. The magic ingredient is flexibility.

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to have their backs. This is what has worked for us. As we considered solutions for employees in light of COVID-19, we quickly identified and implemented benefits that would give our people the greatest peace of mind — our guarantee that there would be no COVIDrelated layoffs this year, the flexibility of time off, mental health support, and comprehensive health coverage for COVID-19.

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supports employees’ physical, emotional, and financial security, with a focus on mental health.

Given that the majority of workers are now working remotely, employees and leaders must focus on their skilling initiatives. What are some of the skills that will play a critical role for businesses to succeed and thrive in a remote work environment?

This global WFH experiment has debunked the myth that learning and leadership programs need to be conducted face-toface to be effective. What’s more, we’ve found that our employees are enjoying the virtual offerings and have adapted quickly to the new normal Besides, we introduced a COVID-19 benefit that gives employees 10 business days of paid leave (over and above annual leave) in case they’re unable to work due to illness, quarantine, or caring for a family member. We’ve also made a concerted effort to continuously remind employees that, they know their personal circumstances and needs best, and that they have complete flexibility in terms of how and when they want to work, and that we support them in their choices. We also launched a global, digital-first well-being program, Live Well, which | october 2020

The upskilling and reskilling of our workforce has always been a key pillar of Mastercard’s global people strategy – and will continue to be post-COVID-19. If anything, we will only accelerate the development and execution of these training programs and solutions to help us emerge stronger from this situation. While the pandemic hasn’t changed the functional skills that our people need, soft skills such as cognitive flexibility, creativity and innovation, adaptability and resilience, social intelligence, negotiation, and virtual collaboration skills are more

important than ever. The past few months have also spotlighted the need for leadership qualities like inclusivity, connectedness, empathy, and decency. From the many global employee surveys that we’ve done, we know that this more communicative, humble, warm, and open style of leadership is what people are responding to now, especially as they work remotely. Business leaders that possess these qualities will help their teams to survive and thrive in these unusual times and beyond.

What are some key upskilling and reskilling initiatives that you have implemented in your organization and how do you ensure a high-impact learning culture? One of our biggest challenges and successes to date has been the execution of our first-ever virtual Launch Bootcamp in September which brought together more than 250 new graduate recruits from across the Asia Pacific region for five action-packed days of virtual training, interactive webinars, fireside chats with executives, virtual parties and more. The Launchers learned a lot about Mastercard’s business and culture and emerged as an inspired, tightly knit group despite the distance between them. It has been exciting to see just how effective virtual


We will continue to accelerate the development and execution of upskilling and reskilling of our workforce training programs and solutions to help us emerge stronger from this situation, post-COVID-19

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What is your advice for CHROs and people managers who face challenges

to upskill and reskill their employees including cost and other bottlenecks? Don’t wait long to go digital: If there was ever a time to transition your skilling program from the physical world to the virtual world, now would be it. This global WFH experiment has debunked the myth that learning and leadership programs need to be conducted face-to-face to be effective. What’s more, we’ve found that our employees are enjoying the virtual offerings and have adapted quickly to the new normal. We’ve seen strong demand for webinars and virtual learning journeys, with many sessions being ‘sold out’ and over-subscribed as soon as registration opens. Another important benefit of moving your L&D programs online is the costsavings. While you may need to invest at the start

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programs can be for enhancing internal collaboration amongst teams and individuals across geographies and time zones. In the future of work, where you’re “based” or what office you’re in will no longer matter. Another way we’re helping our team to develop in-demand skills is through our recently launched learning partnership with NUS SCALE (National University of Singapore’s School of Continuing and Lifelong Education). For earlycareer talent, in particular, we continue to focus more on soft skills development in categories such as higher order cognitive thinking, emotional intelligence, and social skills which are essential for preparing this group for the future of work.

to increase your technology bandwidth or provide access to online course providers, over time, the costs should be below what companies would have typically spent on travel and accommodation for trainers and trainees, venue rentals, F&B, printing course materials, and other such expenses. It’s also friendlier to the environment. One more silver lining of shifting to virtual learning is that it is borderless, which allows for greater inclusion of the entire workforce including freelancers, contractors, or others that may work remotely (even in normal times). Start small then scale: Once your skilling content or program is ready, first test it with smaller pilot groups before you roll it out across an entire organization. Make changes based on employee feedback. Only after your program is tested and optimized, should you scale it to reach more employees. october 2020 |

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L&D teams need to rethink their strategy amid this crisis: CEO, Robert Walters APAC

Learning is the responsibility of everyone and not just the L&D team. Due to the virtual learning environment not being dependent on location, it has enabled learning to be accessible to a wider audience of people, says Toby Fowlston, Chief Executive Officer, Robert Walters, APAC By Mastufa Ahmed

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oby is the Chief Executive Officer for Robert Walters Asia Pacific. He takes overall responsibility for the operations across South East Asia, Greater China, North East Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. Prior to the appointment, Toby held the role of Managing Director of Robert Walters South East Asia. He has over 20 years of recruitment experience, having first started his career with Robert Walters UK upon qualifying as a solicitor

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in 1999. He rose through the ranks and assumed overall responsibility for the London business in 2012. He moved to Singapore in 2013, leading and growing the South East Asia recruitment business. In Asia Pacific Robert Walters has offices in 13 countries: Australia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Here are the excerpts of the interview.

The coronavirus pandemic has brought forth new priorities for businesses across the world. How are workers and employees adapting to the rapidly changing conditions? Do you see a synergy in terms of new initiatives? The pandemic has delivered a lot of challenges for employees and employers but also opportunity. I am seeing synergies across organizations. These include:


does the home environment differ for employees – for example people who live and share houses and are working from their beds, are they desperate to get back into the office? I believe the future state of workplace flexibility will be a hybrid model – the office will still have a valuable role to play and it will be balanced with more options for flexible work – whether that’s working from home or saying goodbye to the traditional 9-5 to fit lifestyles. Redefining what “good” looks like: both employers and employees need to rede-

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Flexible work and workfrom-home models: there’s increasing debate around what the right model is for the future success of organizations and for employee’s well-being and career development. Is lower productivity starting to creep in after months of no physical interaction with colleagues? The social capital that was built up in the office before the pandemic is slowly starting to dissipate – what impact will this have on collaboration? How

The pandemic has encouraged L&D teams to think about how they can continue to serve when people need it most. Organizations have been exploring the digital approach to L&D for a while, but this pandemic has led to L&D teams to really rethink their strategy and execution at pace

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Well-being and mental/ physical health of employees: creating a safe environment for employees is the number one challenge and priority for organizations. From a global survey conducted by Robert Walters, the top five initiatives organizations have put in place to support employee well-being and mental/physical health are: • Regular business updates from executives to feel connected and informed 82% • Implemented flexible working hours 71% • Access to regular webinars/blogs about improving physical and mental well-being 61% • Access to an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) 54% • Regular virtual social activities (drinks, coffee, quizzes, exercise classes) 53%

fine what good looks like in this new and changing environment. Employers are looking to protect jobs as well as performance levels of their employees – what are the priorities and realigning KPIs to these, changing from being focused on time spent to being outcomes focused. Employees need to be clear on the value they add – what is your USP? What are your strengths? What benefits does that bring and what impact does it have on the work you do?

Learning & development has become a new focus october 2020 |

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area amid this pandemic. How do you see the larger picture of L&D and skilling initiatives across organizations and how the employee L&D strategies have evolved in the last few months? It has encouraged L&D teams to think about how they can continue to serve when people need it most. Organizations have been exploring the digital approach to L&D for a while, but this pandemic has led to L&D teams to really rethink their strategy and execution at pace. Areas for consideration include:

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• Taking time to understand what people really need – people's needs vary during this time. There has been an opportunity to meet people where they are – whether that's creating a space for connection, upskilling, providing support in a difficult time or accelerating development in specific roles or parts of the business • How to deliver learning – teams have had to learn about different technology platforms quickly – there was no pilot stage – it's been about jumping in and giving it a go • Learning is the responsibility of everyone and not just the L&D team. This broader sense of responsibility for learning has emerged • Less is more – gone are | october 2020

the days of all-day workshops – shorter, sharper, snappier bite-sized learning is becoming more of a preferred option • People are seeing that learning is not just about learning, it's also about creating a connection and community during what has been a lonely and siloed time for many • Due to the virtual learning environment not being dependent on location, it has enabled learning to be accessible to a wider audience of people

COVID-19 has surfaced various skill gaps such as digital leadership. How can organizations fill the skill gaps when their priority is business continuity and employee well-being? Hiring specialized contract/temporary employ-

ees is an effective way to fill skills gaps, reduce the pressures on current employees and ensure business or project continuity without having the employment and headcount costs of full-time hires. A contractor who is a specialist in their field will be able to add immediate value – they are experienced at coming into an organization to perform a specific project and require limited hand-holding to get the job done. Organizations are also looking to the nomadic workforce (location-independent professionals who work fully remote) to fill skill gaps. It opens a wider pool of talent because location is not a barrier.

The World Economic Forum predicts that by 2022, no less than 54% of


ees to jobs that are aligned to their potential and put a training plan in place to support this.

Given the accelerated changes at the workplace amid this pandemic, challenging economic conditions, and news related to layoffs, how can employees keep their employee morale and productivity intact? What leaders can do: • During this time, human spirit is absolutely critical. Any opportunity, whether it’s getting

them the knowledge and understanding they need to feel secure and adjust to changes happening around them. • Ensure innovation remains invested in. There will be productivity gains that can be generated. What employees can do: • It’s all about the mindset you choose to hold. Surround yourself with the people that have a positive impact on you and in return, have value

employees together for a town hall style update, virtual team building activities or putting time aside for regular one-toone check-ins, is time well spent. • Regular communication and transparency from the organization’s leaders are also paramount in a crisis – this is the responsibility of leaders at all levels, from team leaders right through to senior executives. The words and actions taken by leaders will provide comfort to employees – it will give

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The fourth industrial revolution is already having a profound effect on the way we work and in turn, how organizations resource in a time where skills will become outdated and the pace of change will be unprecedented

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all employees will require significant re-skilling and upskilling. So, how can organizations upskill their workforce at this scale and make them future-ready? The fourth industrial revolution is already having a profound effect on the way we work and in turn, how organizations resource in a time where skills will become outdated and the pace of change will be unprecedented. Predicting the impact of innovation on jobs is more of an art than a science. Considering how jobs will transform over time, identifying skills that will be most valuable to the organization in the future (not just technological but also soft skills – the ability to adapt to change, be human and learn is more important than ever), and what training and technology will help employees perform in their future job. The starting point for these conversations needs to happen at the top with senior leaders, alongside HR, and a skills plan needs to be designed to ensure the approach is focused on the right people with the right type of training. Some jobs will cease to exist, and organizations need to make sure they really know the potential of their employees as well as their transferable skills. Match impacted employ-

to offer them. See challenges as opportunities, avoid holding the victim mindset and keep up with the positivity by expressing gratitude, recognizing when your negative voice creeps in, being present with your thoughts and encouraging those around you to do the same. • Be clear on the value you add – what is your USP? What are your strengths? What benefits does that bring and what impact does it have on the work you do? october 2020 |

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Considering how jobs will transform over time, it’s important to identify skills that will be most valuable to the organization in the future (not just technological but also soft skills – the ability to adapt to change, be human, and learn is more important than ever)

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• Focusing on your wellbeing – what does balance look like? Know what you need to feel balanced. • Set small goals – both work and personal related. Ensure they have some stretch in them so that a real sense of achievement can be felt.

How can business leaders and HR teams work together to create a highimpact learning culture in their organizations? • Focus on what's critical for business success – what are the skills and talent required in the organization now and in the future? Don’t just rely on what has worked in the past. • Take the outside-in approach – what's important to the end customer? And then align the | october 2020

approach internally to this. • Agree what a learning culture will look like, specific to your organization, and how it will integrate at all touchpoints of the employee experience. What will it look and feel like? What's important about how you want people to learn? How do your people want to learn? What strategies need to be in place to make it successful and valuable? Ultimately, it’s a partnership – business Leaders and HR need to work together – it's not about one telling the other what to do. Agree where to start, what is the priority, who needs to be involved. It’s also important to start at the top – leaders need to be role-modeling learning.

Do you have any advice on switching industries or getting into tech for people who aren’t already a part of the tech world? The people we’ve seen successfully land a job in tech from another field have typically laid the groundwork for that transition in their previous company. A good example of this is the case of an HR professional in her thirties who was working for a Fortune 500 company whom we placed as a tech consultant at a technology vendor specializing in HR software. Our client was willing to take a chance on our candidate because of her extensive experience on tech projects as an HR business representative and to her credit, she had made it a point over several years to become an expert on the


how will your employees work productively, how will you continue to evolve your flexible working strategies and what tech is required to make it successful. • Know the challenges you are having in your business – what tech products do you need to overcome these challenges – don’t just jump on the latest trend or shiny new product – make sure it’s relevant, has a purpose and worth the investment. • Be willing to invest – if you aren’t willing to put the financial investment and manpower behind the

tech solutions, it will be time and money wasted. • Innovation and technology are about creating efficiencies but not taking out the human experience.

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The pandemic-hit world has some traditional companies embracing technology to sail through this uncertain time. What’s your advice for such companies to leverage technologies in a better way? It’s about preparing for the future: • Look to other companies as a model, what innovation is driving their business forward. • Understand what the future of work looks like for your organization –

At Robert Walters, we are going through a large digital transformation, and one of our operational business leaders wanted to reskill and is now the APAC lead on the project delivery

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technologies used by the HR team. What’s great for anyone looking to get into tech these days is that there’s probably no shortage of tech projects underway at their company that they can ask to get involved in – from digital transformation to big data and analytics to data protection, privacy, and cyber security. At Robert Walters, we are going through a large digital transformation, and one of our operational business leaders wanted to reskill and is now the APAC lead on the project delivery. By combining work experience on tech projects in your present field with the effort to study about tech (whether formally or informally) so you are credible in interviews, you can be well-positioned to make a successful career change.

For example, at Robert Walters, we have a dedicated Innovation team, who are responsible for understanding future industry trends and how we plan to work and collaborate in the future and finding innovations in the market to complement this and our service offering but not taking away from the core of our business – relationships. october 2020 |

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Leaders should bridge skills gaps by cultivating people’s core capabilities: Deloitte’s Michael Griffiths

To provide a modern and highly impactful learning experience, organizations are rapidly adopting digital learning capabilities, says Michael Griffiths, Principal and Learning & Leadership practice leader, Deloitte Consulting LLP By Mastufa Ahmed

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ichael leads Deloitte Consulting LLP’s Learning Consulting practice in North America. He focuses on working with global clients on building high-performance businesses that drive growth and optimization through talent and learning. Prior to joining Deloitte, Michael led the Learning Strategy business for a Big Four firm and

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was the head of training for a major online retailer in the UK. He has more than 20 years of experience leading key programs at marketleading clients, including running the learning and change management office for a top-tier merger in the Financial Services industry and driving learning transformation for a global brand in the food and beverage industry. Here are the excerpts.

How do you see the larger picture of L&D and skilling initiatives across organizations and how the employee L&D strategies have evolved over the last few months? In the pre-COVID-19 era, ongoing changes in the nature of work were already shaping the relationship between learning and work,

making them more integrated and connected than ever before. The pandemic has accelerated the shift toward virtual work with a large number of organizations committing to workfrom-home arrangements. As learning becomes more and more intertwined with work, organizations are realizing the need for learnerled and in-the-flow learning. To provide a modern and highly impactful learning experience, organizations are rapidly adopting digital learning capabilities. But despite the efforts and investments being made, some organizations are struggling to respond to the new reality and the changing nature of work. However, the early adopters of digital learning are in a unique position to strategically leverage

While some organizations are struggling to respond to the changing nature of work, the early adopters of digital learning are in a unique position to strategically leverage the existing infrastructure to accelerate digital learning and collaboration tools


with 80 percent of organizations saying worker wellbeing is important or very important for their success over the next 12–18 months, it’s important that leaders focus on efforts surrounding it. Here’s how employees can keep their morale and productivity intact and how organizations can help: • Enabling flexibility in work arrangements and delivery: With the boundaries of work Higher team morale and life becoming blurincreases employee engagerier each day, organizament which has a clear tions need to encourage impact on productivity. How team members to talk about the challenges they can employers keep their face when working from employees' morale and home and collaborate to productivity intact? COVID-19 is taking the find a solution. Acknowlworld by surprise, causing a edge the anxieties your great deal of uncertainty and team members may be raising issues that require feeling and take time to thoughtful, people-first explore options and a responses. It’s no surprise positive outcome of the that this is impacting wellcurrent situation. Leaders being across the board, and should lead by example october 2020 |

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COVID-19 has surfaced various skill gaps such as digitization skills and digital leadership. How can organizations fill the skill gaps when their priority is business continuity and employee well-being? In today’s environment it may seem that businesses need to redouble their efforts on training employees to close the skill gap but focusing on skills alone isn’t the answer to building a workforce for the future. The number and variety of skills required to serve a profitable market is growing faster than the workforce can learn them. In fact, according to our 2020 Human

Capital Trends report, 53 percent of respondents said that between half and all of their workforce will need to change their skills and capabilities in the next three years. To cope with this, organizations need to broaden their approach to include enduring human capabilities such as, curiosity, critical thinking, imagination, empathy, resilience, etc. in the talent equation.

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the existing infrastructure to accelerate digital learning and collaboration tools. Organizations with mature digital capabilities and progressive L&D strategies are focusing on adopting more fluid and iterative learning to enable their workforce to drive their own needs, influence learning delivery and knowledge sharing. Many learning and development teams have already realized that reskilling the workforce is essential, but that learning as we know it will not suffice. L&D and skilling initiatives can no longer be formal standalone events but more fluid and iterative to enable lifelong learning and career development.

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and maintain boundaries between their own work and personal life. • Promoting Resilience: Resilience means being able to productively navigate the unexpected and to lead others to learn and grow in the face of uncertainty. Encourage employees to see this time as a growth opportunity and recognize that they aren’t doing it alone. Leaders should ‘‘respond’’ to the needs of their workforce, ‘recover’ by learning and emerging stronger, and ‘‘thrive’’ by preparing proactively for the “next normal”. • Promoting a culture of well-being: Instill wellbeing breaks (e.g., short meditation sessions, quick midday walks) and personal coping mechanisms (e.g., home office plants, virtual coffee chats with colleagues) in your daily routines.

What is your advice for CHROs and people managers who face challenges to skill and re-skill their employees including cost and other bottlenecks? Instead of looking to continuous skilling and reskilling of their workers as the answer to keeping up with marketplace demands, leaders should aim to bridge skills gaps by prioritizing creating an environment that develops and culti58

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vates people’s core capabilities. Changing this mindset requires commitment and courage. People managers faced with cost challenges and other bottlenecks can reshape talent development by: • Refocusing the L&D team to enable a learner-led approach to encourage workers to create their personalized development journey • Enabling learning-in-theflow of work by looking for ways to bring solutions we use in our daily lives into the learning environment at work. • Building a culture of hiring from within the organization through internal mobility programs. These efforts will provide visibility and access to growth opportunities thereby enabling workers to activate their “passion of the explorer”. As an explorer, they will not only seek learning more often and from a wider variety of sources, but see everything as an opportunity for development, searching for additional ways to gain the skills and support they need in pursuit of their passion.

How can business leaders and HR teams work together to create a highimpact learning culture in

their organizations as they come out of this crisis? There are a number of methods business leaders and HR teams can adopt to come out of this pandemic with a strong and highimpact learning culture. A few of them are: • Realign and re-engage: HR and learning leaders must align the learning function with business needs and goals. For many learning teams, doing so can also be an opportunity to reengage with employees, as many learners have stopped looking to their corporate learning departments for training and are already immersed in the enormous range of available digital learning and content. • Adopt a learning architecture that supports an expanded vision for development: Rethink what “development” means in the context of the organization. If such a vision does not yet exist, adopt one and communicate it broadly. • Adopt a learning architecture that supports continuous learning: Dedicate resources, set expectations, and align corporate culture with the goal of enabling employees to get the learning they need, when they need it, at every stage in their careers.


growth offerings, technical institutes provide professionals with rolebased learning tracks that allow them to develop mastery in key technical focus areas (e.g., cloud, analytics, etc.). • Cura - Our global learning platform that uses AI capabilities to personalize each user's learning experience, providing access to continuous, on-demand internal and external content, curated

ration or engagement, etc. Deloitte has created a decision framework by categorizing virtual platforms into 4 categories: • Synchronous virtual delivery platform such as Zoom or Webex that offer video and other standard features like chat. These platforms are great for meeting virtually and support large audiences. • Blended learning programs such as Panopto that automatically

learning pathways, and collaboration forums.

The pandemic-hit world has some traditional companies embracing technology to sail through these uncertain times. What’s your advice for such companies to stay up to speed with digital innovations? To adopt virtual and digital alternatives, organizations need to consider a range of factors such as nature of learning, audience size, need for collabo-

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Many learning and development teams have already realized that reskilling the workforce is essential, but that learning as we know it will not suffice. L&D and skilling initiatives can no longer be formal standalone events but more fluid and iterative to enable lifelong learning and career development

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What are some key upskilling and reskilling initiatives that you have implemented in your organization and do you ensure a high-impact learning culture? Across our businesses, over 40 recent initiatives focused on upskilling and reskilling our employees in key technical skill areas, including cloud, AI, cyber, data analytics and visualization, and tech-savvy capabilities. In addition to building technical skills, upskilling initiatives have also provided professionals with access to resources and knowledge required to support clients impacted by COVID19 related disruption (e.g., CARES Act) in a virtual environment. A few highlights include: • Tech Guilds - Modeled after guilds from medieval times, the Guilds provide a level-agnostic, self-managed, opt-in forum for professionals to build tech-fluency in key domain areas (machine learning, cloud native development, Blockchain). Guild members can choose the level of mastery they want to attain through self-service learning and curated pathways along with hands-on experimentation and mentorship. • Technical Institutes Aligned to our strategic

syncs video, slides, and onscreen content, allows editing and secure sharing. • Digital collaboration platforms such as Microsoft Teams that a high degree of digital collaboration and/or a workshop-like environment. • Event management software such as CVent, Aventri or Socio that reduce the typical technical pain-points of registration, network hosting issues and logistics. october 2020 |

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Create an agile learning ecosystem that has the resilience to adapt: Shell's Raman Sidhu

L&D leaders today need to stay ahead of the curve and take advantage of digitalization to build a learning strategy that aligns with the organizational direction, says Raman Sidhu, the Global Head of Learning, Shell Eastern Petroleum By Mastufa Ahmed

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als in the Americas, Europe, and Asia, and works closely with the global business leadership to successfully diagnose, design, and deploy solutions that help the business address critical capability gaps, improve business performance and organizational effectiveness. Here's what he shared about organizational development and learning trends in the near future.

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aman Sidhu is the Global Head of Learning, Shell Eastern Petroleum. With over 25 years of experience in sales & marketing, supply chain, and HR, Raman has successfully led global teams in organizational development and learning, talent acquisition, sales, and supply chain. In his current role, he leads a team of senior organizational development & learning profession-

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What are some of the new trends that the pandemic has brought into the limelight and which of them will have long-lasting implications for businesses globally?

At a macroeconomic level, the pandemic has meant slower GDP growth and recessionary trends in most of the global economies. At a community level, it has meant responding to the care and treatment of a large number of vulnerable people in our society. COVID-19 has brought economic strain to small businesses and families, including job loss and reduced income. The social impact of COVID19 has meant less face to face people interaction and more time in confined spaces. This imposed reality has spawned multiple

Learning and organizational development will play a critical role in employee engagement, organizational effectiveness, and impacting business outcomes in times to come. L&D leaders who master this paradigm will create a significant impact on progressing the relevance of the function and attracting the right talent to this exciting pillar of HR


ing leadership to respond by deploying appropriate strategic responses. As cyclical changes are getting compressed and sometimes superimposed over each other at the same time, the need for a swift strategic and agile business response is imperative. In the past, learning prepared people to skill up for the predictable cyclical business changes. Today, there is a need to create an agile learning ecosystem that has the resilience to adapt constantly and a pull-based model. L&D has become a key strategic lever to constantly think ahead of the learning curve.

Virtualization has meant the need for L&D to be agile and conceptualize creative ways to engage and skill-up and foster network building across the organization.

What’s your advice on bridging the skills gap the pandemic has brought to the fore? COVID-19 has meant businesses have had to preserve cash, protect revenues, and innovate to open new commercial streams. And this has been quite challenging with the top line and supply chain processes disrupted across geographies. Skill buildoctober 2020 |

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Employee learning and skill building is more important than ever before due to ongoing crisis times. How are the new L&D strategies shaping up to be relevant to the current times? Organizational growth and health are key outcomes of a sustainable business strategy at play. In the past few decades, the cyclical changes were longer, allow-

Today, there is a need to create an agile learning ecosystem that has the resilience to adapt constantly and a pull-based model. L&D has become a key strategic lever to constantly think ahead of the learning curve

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creative ways of engaging, delivering, exercising and caring for people in lockdown. Video interaction has become the default channel to connect and has reinforced how powerful it is in stimulating the social and collaborative elements of human nature. With businesses slowing down and people commuting significantly less, multiple options of WFO, WFH, WFO&H, WFA have opened doors to creative ways to serve our customers and provide meaningful opportunities to employees to stay productive. One of the biggest challenges COVID-19 has posed is in the space of mental health and the associated co-morbidities like addiction, marital violence, and social isolation. With the crisis situation not dissipating in the near future, it remains the most important yet quite neglected area of human well-being.

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ing has meant focusing on personal care and care for the community and with more disposable time available due to WFH, there has been a spike in learning content in the past six months. COVID has accelerated the digital journey for most organizations and forced their hand in deploying creative platforms, channels, and media to engage, entertain, stimulate, and commerce. These incubators have disrupted established business models faster than before and have taught organizations to manage the value chain at a fraction

of the cost and at a much faster speed. This has meant skills like agility, collaboration, e2e decision making, and knowledge of newer digital channels to reach the customers have become essential building blocks of organizational success.

Given the accelerated changes at the workplace amid this pandemic and challenging economic conditions, how can employees continue to perform well while working from home? Working from home has meant re-contracting the

Today, there is a need to create an agile learning ecosystem that has the resilience to adapt constantly. L&D has become a key strategic lever to constantly think ahead of the learning curve

| october 2020

schedule at home. It has trade-offs in terms of delineating a workspace within a home environment, fusion of work and home priorities, monotony of spending long hours staring at a screen, and a confined and compressed social time for the family. In this global storm, the challenges are unique to each employee; some have enjoyed WFH while others have had challenges managing small children and household chores. To perform well, employees need to be coached on assessing their unique home circumstances and then making healthy trade-offs between work, family, self-care, entertainment, and downtime.

What is your advice for CHROs and talent leaders who face challenges to skill and re-skill their employees including cost barriers? In my view, HR leaders need to focus on three things. Firstly, helping their business leaders manage themselves well. Secondly, leaders taking initiatives to genuinely care for their people by engaging, empowering, empathizing, and encouraging their efforts. And last but not the least, foster an organizational climate to preserve and grow the business that


brought everyone together in the first place.

and organizational development leaders who master this paradigm will create a significant impact on progressing the relevance of the function and attracting the right talent to this exciting pillar of HR. Kirkpatrick’s learning model has been in vogue for many decades now. However, I have found it difficult to find many organizations demonstrating an ability to deploy L4 learning solutions. I believe that a learning model based on predictors of performance will lean heavily towards an agile business outcome-

based approach. We have applied advanced data analytics to key business databases to distill these predictors of performance, producing correlational and causational trends. This has allowed us to design learning and development interventions that correlationally influence these predictors of performance. From an employee perspective, any skill building that leads to achievement of business results is exciting, rewarding, and helps create an innovative organization that learns, unlearns, and relearns all the time. october 2020 |

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Where do you see the L&D function and the role of L&D leaders five years down the line? Learning and organizational development will play a critical role in employee engagement, organizational effectiveness, and impacting business outcomes in times to come. Learning

From an employee perspective, any skill building that leads to achievement of business results is exciting, rewarding, and helps create an innovative organization that learns, unlearns, and relearns all the time

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What are some key upskilling and reskilling initiatives that you have implemented in your organization and how do you ensure a high-impact learning culture? Learning has leapfrogged to become an even more critical HR function during COVID. The need to engage our people, build informal networks, foster curiosity, and a learner mindset, and stay focused on physical and mental health has meant the scope of learning has expanded to harmonize the business system at organizational, team and individual levels. Virtualization has meant instructor led interventions can be as powerful as face to face, self-paced learning has grown exponentially this year and has helped our people stay focused on their development. Newer gamified and scenario basedlearning solutions have been deployed.

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COVID-19 has accelerated the need for tech competence: Dr. Josh Heniro

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In today’s environment, strategic thinking and strategic analysis are skills that enable management accounting professionals to create greater financial value within their organizations, says Dr. Josh Heniro, Senior Director, IMA Southeast Asia, and Australasia By Mastufa Ahmed

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osh Heniro is the Senior Director of IMA (Institute of Management Accountants), Southeast Asia, and Australasia Operations. Since assuming his position at IMA, Josh has been responsible for promoting the value of Management Accounting and the CMA (Certified Management Accountant) program. Leading the set-up and execution of the strategic priorities of the SEA region, Australia and New Zealand since 2016, Josh’s key focus is to grow and manage IMA’s partnership development efforts with public and private-sector organizations, universities, and training providers. He is responsible for all strategic and operational management for the region. He was also responsible for setting up | october 2020

the Southeast Asia team and office, located in Singapore. Prior to joining IMA, Josh worked at multinational corporations including Standard Chartered Investment Bank, Societe Generale Investment Bank, ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), and Curtin University. Here are the excerpts of the interview.

How do you see the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on employees and businesses? What role can management accountants play to create value out of this uncertainty? Unlike most previous

health or economic crises, the COVID-19 pandemic is global which is ailing the economy and leading to mass layoffs – and it will be more difficult for businesses to recover even after the virus has subsided. The COVID-19 crisis has added a new dimension to the increasing complexity, volatility, uncertainty, and pace of change, competition, and even business model in today’s global marketplace, making the need for strategic analysis and execution greater than ever. In these unprecedented times, management accountants are in a unique position to oversee and even lead the


value, that there is longterm profit in allocating capital to a business that practices sustainable growth and proactive risk management, employee engagement, and retention and corporate reputation.

How is IMA adapting to the changing business environment amid this uncertainty? What all initiatives have you taken to safeguard your stakeholders, including staff, volunteers, candidates, and partners? IMA’s philosophy on COVID-19 has been, first and foremost, people-first with

safety and social responsibility top of mind. Our number one priority at all times is social responsibility for the safety of our global stakeholders, including staff, volunteers, CMAs, candidates, our professionals and student members in 150 countries, and our partners. With the world continuing to fight the global coronavirus pandemic, IMA employees around the world continue to work from home for business continuity and staying safe with their families and our offices in China have reopened on a stag-

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Unlike most previous health or economic crises, the COVID-19 pandemic is global which is ailing the economy and leading to mass layoffs – and it will be more difficult for businesses to recover even after the virus has subsided

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strategic analysis process. To do so requires strategic thinking and strategic analysis skills. In today’s environment, strategic thinking and strategic analysis are skills that enable management accounting professionals to create greater financial value within their organizations. In a survey conducted by IMA and Deloitte, “strategic thinking and execution” was the top capability identified as most in need of improvement in the controllership function. Finance leaders are also taking the initiative in moving beyond the culture of collaboration to actually making a company’s reporting include sustainability information, drawing on their ability to connect metrics to the organization’s overall business case. This requires cross-functional collaboration, for instance with the sustainable business or environmental health and safety teams on climate risk, or with the HR department on human capital issues, to prepare reports that address investors’ concerns and offer the clearest possible picture of where the company stands on sustainability. This will become increasingly important in the coming years. The key for CFOs and finance leaders is to demonstrate a connection between sustainability and company

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gered basis. Business continuity and taking care of our members at a time when they truly need us the most are important priorities. At IMA, we are making the most of remote learning, and we've expanded our offering of online CPE resources. These included a new foundational certificate course in data analytics and visualization, and experiential Blockchain 101 course, new Excel courses, and the Beyond the Basics: Data Analytics and Visualization certificate (co-branded with the University of Illinois).

In today’s environment, strategic thinking and strategic analysis are skills that enable management accounting professionals to create greater financial value within their organizations COVID-19 is changing the way people learn and work across the world. How do you the evolution of L&D strategies over the last few months? As entire workforces have moved to remote working environments and key finance and accounting activities like the financial close are being done outside of an office, technology is now the means by which organizations are ensuring business continuity. Technology empowers accountants and in turn, accountants wield technol-

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ogy as the powerful, meaningful weapon that it really is. This doesn't eliminate the need for accountants, but rather empowers them. It frees up time in their day to work with clients in a more effective way. Think for a moment about how beneficial it would be to work off a single general ledger from anywhere, at any time and in real-time. The technology here allows accountants to deliver more valueadded, business advisory services and accountants are no longer just bookkeepers; they can now tackle

| october 2020

tasks like business planning, controls, succession, and more. Better technology creates better accountants, which enables better business owners to make better decisions. Disruptions of all forms necessitate these skills, though the current COVID19 pandemic has also particularly accelerated the need for technological competence. The mass shift to remote work has left workplaces increasingly distributed, and the current economic downturn has not slowed investments in auto-

mation and artificial intelligence, among other technologies. Within the finance function, Big Data and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) have been particularly successful in increasing organizational efficiency and enabling finance professionals to build on their proficiencies around data governance and analysis. But for the finance function to capitalize on new technologies, and thus keep pace with the changes in the business world, the finance professionals within those departments must continue their education.

How can organizations fill the skill gaps, that COVID-19 brought to the fore, for the long-term when their priority is business continuity and employee well-being? Technology is impacting and revolutionizing every profession, and management accounting is no exception. In the days before COVID19, it was not unusual to see articles warning of the coming collapse of society because of technology and robotics. Now, amid the pandemic, when human contact is giving way to social distancing and remote work, the tone has shifted; robots will not be the cause of our doom and may even be our saviors. Embracing new technology is key. For example, bots and cloud account-


both an understanding of the technical management accounting skills and the emerging strategic and leadership requirements of the profession.

Robotics Process Automation (RPA). The collective impact of these technologies is that self-sustaining (and self-learning) systems will increasingly perform clerical tasks previously performed by human beings. In the management accounting profession, professionals will spend less time collecting and organizing financial data, and more time evaluating, analysing, and interpreting it. In considering professionals for finance positions as well as internal training, businesses will have to rely on programs that emphasize

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ing solutions make it easier than ever for small business owners to manage their accounting and bookkeeping tasks with the efficiency that only their larger counterparts formerly enjoyed. With these changes, there is a shift in the role accountants play in working with their business clients. This shift will accelerate as more businesses jump to the cloud. Broadly speaking, these are Big Data, Predictive Analytics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), BlockChain, Cognitive Computing, Machine Learning, and

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Within the finance function, Big Data and robotic process automation (RPA) have been particularly successful in increasing organizational efficiency and enabling finance professionals to build on their proficiencies around data governance and analysis

How can organizations upskill and reskill their workforce and scale up their skilling initiatives and make their employees future-ready? Digitalization has bred an ever-changing technology landscape where upskilling and reskilling is essential in order to keep up with the pace of the technology industry. Due to the everincreasing impact of automation, robotic process automation (RPA), Big Data, predictive analytics, blockchain, cognitive computing, and machine learning, many traditional accounting jobs that exist today may not exist in a few years. Employers will have to provide the chance for their employees to upskill and reskill and the employees need to have the mindset of lifelong learning in order to seek improvement. Today’s accountant is no longer burdened with task-oriented projects. Instead, the shift in dynamic accounting technology, accounting software programs are becoming more automated and the role of the accountant is changing to that of a business advisor. To become this strategic business partner of october 2020 |

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the future, accountants will need to make a concerted effort to expand their knowledge beyond the traditional accounting curriculum. Finally, accountants must be proactive in finding the jobs that will expand their capabilities and make them increasingly in-demand for years to come. As the changing priorities of the Big Four illustrate, the 21st-century accountant will be different from that of the last century, which he or she must adapt accordingly.

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6. Evaluating merger and acquisition (M&A) opportunities and risks. 7. Assessing the strategic risks of the organization. 8. Developing a strategy for the finance organization.

employees whilst remote working in order to boost their morale and productivity.

The future is digital. What does the L&D team of tomorrow need to look like Given the accelerated in order to prepare organichanges in the workplace and zations for a digital future? the challenging economic COVID-19 had accelerated conditions, keeping the the digitalizationprocess. morale and productivity of The current landscape on employees intact is challeng- the adoption of learning ing. What’s your view? is depending on the As the uncertainties technologies within the caused by COVID-19 continue organization and countries. Developed countries are at the forefront of digital technologies, whereas Employers will need to upscale their the developing countries digital resources – most of them workare beginning to realize ing virtually, in order to boost their the importance of these morale and productivity technologies. It’s paramount that The management account- to disrupt work environemployees expand their ing professionals can create ments, business leaders capabilities and skills in value in various leadership must be mindful of how this increasingly disruptive roles using strategic analythey can improve employDigital Age. L&D is being sis, including: ees’ mental health and forced to adopt new ways 1. Helping to develop innomorale of learning and upskilling vation and growth strateAs such, flexibility is to adjust to the new norm. gies. crucial. From managing Live classes or recorded 2. Reviewing and refinday-to-day workloads to courses are the future, and ing strategies to create adjusting employee perforthe new form of learning greater long-term mance assessments, leadmethods such as the sustainable value. ers might take into account gamified methods used in 3. Analyzing where the the challenges people are our Blockchain 101 are being company is in a competiencountering in balancused to enhance learning. tive life cycle. ing their work lives with New evaluation methods 4. Communicating the strat- their personal lives. This will need to be adopted to egy within the company is particularly true for ensure that participants and to the board of direc- working parents and other capture all concepts and tors. caregivers. Employers content of the course. 5. Developing information will need to upscale their Preparing for the future of for investor relations digital resources to better work is more about people presentations by the CFO. provide to the needs of their than technology. | october 2020


The corporate learning shift: Moving from experiences to impact Corporate learning has gone from a top-down format where learning designers push polished content, to a bottom-up approach where content is based on employees' immediate needs and expanded beyond the boundaries of the organization By Richard Smith, Ph.D.

Participant pull—not learning push

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not work as well. However, what I have observed is that many corporate learning groups have taken a pause and worked to reinvent how and what they deliver for the people in their organizations. While new ideas and formats are emerging all the time, here are a few observations on the 2020 corporate learning shift:

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ue to the pandemic, we have canceled our planned corporate leadership training,” was often the response by learning officers early this year. As an educator and frequent guest speaker, I was not surprised when events started to drop off my calendar. My engagements in Hong Kong, London, Milan, Budapest, Vancouver, New York, and Delhi were all gone without any clear promise of return. Of course, I was happy to not be on airplanes during a pandemic and was already planning new projects with my newly found time at home. However, by April the “Zoom

Phone” started ringing again with some very different types of requests… corporate learning had already started in a new direction! In pre-COVID times, companies often organized training sessions in learning centers with relevant topics, appropriate speakers, fun activities, and collective networking opportunities. The learning event was a “Total Experience” for the participants. If we try to take that same type of approach and make it virtual, it just does

As organizations are rapidly shifting to digital operations

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and rethinking priorities due to the pervasive impact of the pandemic, many learning organizations have reformulated training plans. Instead of pushing out standard courses, many learning architects are addressing key priorities by asking employees to help drive the interest areas. This move from a ‘‘push’’ of current courses to a ‘‘pull’’ from targeted employees can make a significant difference when it comes to engagement in the learning process and the demand for learning solutions. I recent-

The availability of virtual platforms such as Zoom, Teams, Google Meets, etc opens up new learning possibilities for employees ly heard from a company in the Middle East that has been running regular pulse surveys that included training topic needs. They were broadcasting new content in various forms each week based on demand—what a great way to create participant pull for learning!

Skills for now—not concepts for tomorrow

As businesses are forced to innovate with both external and internal processes, corporate learning designers are working with workforce planning teams to leverage skill forecasting to better develop new offerings. Many 70

corporations have turned to providers such as LinkedIn Learning for on-demand skill building for today. This can be especially true for technical skills, basic understanding of AI, and other concepts, as well as managerial skills in our virtual working environments. Of course, the need for new skills can be difficult to forecast given the rapidly changing environment. Early this year, one of the local banks in Singapore quickly mobilized learning solutions in conjunction with the IT department to rapidly

| october 2020

release tips and tricks for working virtually and safely during the pandemic. They were able to rapidly conduct short, targeted training sessions for areas from private banking relationship managers to corporate lending officers to address immediate needs—quite a great impact from a learning group!

Personal Imperfection—not Professional Perfection

In prior years, the development time for creating an online course was significant. It was generally believed that online learning content needed to be as

polished as a Hollywood or at least a Bollywood production. Developing professional studio videos, perfection with editing, animated exercises, and weeks of content reviews are just not possible or practical right now. Instead, we have shifted to videos made at home with our smartphones, simple editing, and more of an ad hoc approach to our virtual learning outreach. We have seen this shift create a more personal touch—seeing the CEO in her home rather than in a polished studio can provide a more human connection. Learning has provided new avenues for leadership impact in many firms.

Boundaryless—not groups

With the use of virtual platforms such as Zoom, Teams, Google Meets, etc. for learning and meetings, this format opens up new possibilities for attendees. While a training session held in person in Mumbai could be great, it would generally be limited to those who were able to physically attend. We now see a shift by organizations to reconsider attendance for learning events that may cross new workgroups or geographic boundaries. One corporate university for a consumer products company decided to open regionally targeted online


courses to others around the world. They were surprised to see how many employees signed up for sessions at odd hours to join colleagues in other parts of the world. The virtual platforms can provide new benefits for connection and culture if learning teams are willing to shift to a more boundaryless approach.

Inclusive—not corporate

eral months. The global COVID-19 situation has brought unprecedented challenges to organizations and it is great to see how many organizations are creating a “New Normal� with their approach to learning and development. These shifts to encourage a pull from participants for immediate skills that can be delivered in imperfect ways seem to be making the right impact. The opportunity to rethink the boundaries of our typical training participants and even become inclusive outside our organization

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The need for new skills can be difficult to forecast given the rapidly changing environments. As businesses are forced to innovate with both external and internal processes, corporate learning designers are working with workforce planning teams to leverage skill forecasting to better develop new offerings

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Just as the virtual platform cuts across geographic and workgroup boundaries, it can also extend beyond employees. Opening up learning opportunities and platforms for company customers and suppliers can create positive goodwill as well as improve collaboration. In addition, some organizations are working together with non-profits to help create a positive social impact. When a financial services firm asked me to join a short Zoom session to discuss strategic human capital, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that they had also invited members of the local community service groups to join. Taking an inclusive approach to learning opportunities can be a great way to make a positive impact. The shift in corporate learning has been deliberate and pronounced across many leading organizations during the last sev-

can create new opportunities that were not previously considered. While I do miss the opportunity to be physically present with colleagues around the world, there is a certain satisfaction of being able to make an impact in new ways from the comfort of the living room.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Richard R. Smith, Ph.D. is a Professor at Singapore Management University and retired partner from the consulting firm Accenture. He is a Research Fellow at the Indian School of Business with a focus on Strategic Human Capital and Leadership. october 2020 |

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Code learning as an everyday element: Novartis India’s Learning Head

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In an exclusive interaction with People Matters, Sriram Rajan, Head, Novartis Learning Institute – India shares some insights on how effective workforce planning ably supported by technology will be crucial for healthcare companies to survive and thrive in this new normal and how the wisdom in knowing how to code learning as an everyday element, especially in adverse times, is the key to do so By Yasmin Taj

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he new world order that we are experiencing in the current times has made one thing clear: the future will depend on whether, as organizations or as individuals, we have the right and relevant skills to adapt to these unprecedented changes. In this era of the pandemic, organizations that have been able to empower their people with the right kind of learning opportunities, are the ones that will remain relevant even in the future. So, how | october 2020

are organizations reimagining learning in this new world of work? In an exclusive interaction with us, Sriram Rajan, Head, Novartis Learning Institute – India shares some insights on how effective workforce planning ably supported by technology will be crucial for healthcare companies to survive and thrive in this new normal and the new skills (digital or behavioral) that are needed to excel in this new normal at work. Rajan is a passionate Talent & OD Leader. With 20 years of experience across industries and geographies, he has lead teams in organizations like Deloitte Consulting, Deutsche Bank & HP. In his current role

with Novartis, he heads the Novartis Learning Institute for India. From managing scales for organizations with an employee base of 35,000 people to impacting critical business metrics around people engagement, Sriram has a wealth of experience across all critical functions of the HR/ Human Capital Engine. A Performance & Leadership Coach, Sriram was felicitated as the MEA HR Professional of the Year in Nov 2017. His work around C-Suite leadership and culture development won the Top award across the MEA region in 2017. A Keynote speaker at regional and global forums, some of his other recognitions include work he’s done

The question organizations need to ask is not just around ‘what are the top skills in the new normal’, but also ponder over how to build a muscle around influencing, embedding, and rewarding new behaviors with a workforce that you wouldn’t meet as often (anymore)


around digitizing & establishing innovative people development practices. Here are the excerpts from the interview.

Effective workforce planning ably supported by technology will be crucial for healthcare companies to survive and thrive in this new normal. How can organizations respond to the changing demands? If not the biggest, one of the most significant upsides of COVID-19 is how it has opened up a massive and traditionally untapped talent pool. With the workforce not needing to come into work as much, organizations now literally have all of this planet to source talent – all boundaries if not immediately, will soon diminish. Organizations would hence need to not just rethink where they hire from, but also relook at how they invest in ‘’designing’’ experiences and spaces that embed the cultural artifacts that bind employees october 2020 |

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How has the COVID-19 outbreak impacted your industry in particular? With India manufacturing almost 60 percent of the vaccines used globally (3rd largest globally), a dependency of this scale is bound to have an impact. Like most other industries, supply chain is one of the first

areas to be impacted, especially with dependencies on China being high. With the pace of FDA approvals slowing down too, this has had a direct impact on the number of clinical trials. In the long-term, however, the pandemic will force organizations to distribute their work more evenly (globally). Low-cost countries will emerge as a compelling option thereby driving not just the pharma but also multiple industries to rethink their workforce plan at large. C OVER

In these unprecedented times, what is keeping you awake at night? What is your biggest worry as a talent and learning leader? Barring roles that ‘have to be’ at work physically, 50-70 percent of the workforce will work from home in the foreseeable future - a significant shift from a 30 percent average preCOVID-19. This situation demands that organizations don’t just focus on building new skills – but shift their focus on shaping new behaviors. For example, a Gartner study identifies ‘collaboration’ as the top skill in the pandemic era. Now, much as one may try to develop this

as a ‘‘skill’’, eventually this would require individuals to shift mindsets i.e. – potentially change a behavior that has lasted a lifetime. The question organizations need to therefore ask is not just around ‘‘what are the top skills in the new normal’’, but also ponder over how to build a muscle around influencing, embedding, and rewarding new behaviors with a workforce that you wouldn’t meet as often (anymore).

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together. Onboarding and integration of new talent with the existing workforce hence would become key to the long-term success of how organizations retain talent.

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What are the new skills (digital or behavioral) that are needed to excel in this new normal in your industry? Data Science, Digital/ Remote Project Management, Digital Marketing, and Cyber Security in my view would become increasingly critical, and potentially ‘’baseline/must have’’ in the near future. However, focusing on these alone, would not sustain success. The most important behavior that needs to come to the fore is empathy – at a self and a collective level. Empathizing with self by knowing we’re giving it our best and knowing others around us are doing exactly the same too. What are some workplace barriers to implementing employee's learning during the volatile times? What we’ve seen these volatile times leading to, is more consumption. For example, In Novartis India alone, our average consumption per associate in the first 6 months of 2020, has gone up by about 300 percent and the headcount | october 2020

Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai once said ‘Culture is coded wisdom’. Much of what she said applies to organizations too – the wisdom in knowing how to code learning as an everyday element, especially in adverse times coverage has increased by 220 percent, compared to 2019. As I look back, the key barrier we overcame was our ability & nimbleness to respond to the new worldchanging all that our associates knew as ‘’in person’’ learning to what’s now been designed as virtual experiences. Sustained over a long period of time, I suspect the virtual space will lead to ‘learner fatigue’. What organizations hence need to think of, are strategies around how they can sustain ‘learner engagement’ in a virtual world. From bitesized learning to redefining what we have known ‘learning’ to be, to creating ecosystems that capture the new paradigm of learning, organizations would need to disrupt some deep-rooted paradigms.

What are the cultural elements required to deliver uninterrupted learning during situa-

tions like COVID-19, where there is uncertainty everywhere and the workforce is remote? Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai once said ‘’Culture is coded wisdom’’. Much of what she said applies to organizations too – the wisdom in knowing how to code learning as an everyday element, especially in adverse times. One strong way of doing this is for leaders to endorse the importance of learning. Them speaking of their own failures, successes and the learnings thereof has proven to inspire nations (not just the workforce) to believe in themselves and take charge of their own development. What role will technology play in this new normal of work as organizations and employees learn to adapt to it? For one, it will be the glue that will keep organizations together/connected. For the other, it will further accelerate the pace of automating mundane jobs. Not only would this mean we develop new skills, but we would increasingly have more time to ourselves (with no mundane tasks to do). With more dispensable time, technology will implicitly (and hopefully) drive individuals and organizations to build the one thing it will never replace – Wisdom.


Reimagining workplace learning or getting real?

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Coursera, The Khan Academy, etc. And, since when did we need to be “empowered” to take control of our development? Which organization has ever inhibited its employees from developing themselves? Such statements are patronizing at best—so, let’s get real! If accessibility was a driver of personal development, most of us would eat healthily (it’s often cheaper than other diets); most of us would be fit (exercise such as walking and climbing stairs does not demand a membership); most of us would sleep longer and better, and so be less stressed. But, that simply isn’t how humans work. We need guidance, triggers, reminders, reinforcement.

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Empowering employees to take control of their learning cannot just be a motherhood statement: it must involve equipping them with the tools to do so, and ensuring they have the managerial support they need By Clinton Wingrove

Some effects have been very positive. Many employees claim that they have never had so much attention from their managers. Many employees are excited by the accessibility of learning materials and webinars etc. And, many organizations are very happy indeed to declare that they are empowering their staff to take control of their own development and to spend time on their development whilst working remotely. But, let’s not kid ourselves. Even before COVID-19 struck, there was already a vast array of learning and development material available either through in-house LMS’s or through dozens of internet sources such as YouTube, Ted.com, Udemy,

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OVID-19 has forced us to restructure work; come up with new business models, revisit roles, and set new priority areas, among other challenges. Over the last few months, the power of contemporary technology has been adopted rapidly to enable virtual interactions and learning. Face to face interactions and training sessions have largely disappeared. october 2020 |

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The five 5Ws of development

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The first challenge for many of us is facing up to WHY we need to develop, and most of us do not give that sufficient thought. Day to day priorities and distractions typically leave personal development in that “Important but Not Urgent” box. COVID-19 is certainly going to provide some incentive to shift it into the “Important and Urgent” box. Sudden increases in global unemployment, rapidly changing working practices, and

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increasing automation will demand that many of us upskill or reskill. It will not be a choice. We are going to have to face up to the fact that skill development may shift from a means of getting promotion, a better position, or a pay rise, to a means of survival. The second challenge for most of us, even if we know we must develop, is determining WHAT we need to develop, and therefore what learning materials or learning opportunity to engage with. Many L&D professionals struggle with producing

Organizations are going to have to invest in excellent management, and in enabling all staff to take control of their own development. It is not going to happen because we tell them they are empowered. We, at least, have to teach most of them the 5Ws of development

| october 2020

a valid and reliable diagnosis of development needs, let alone, determining the optimal solutions to them. So, how can telling employees that they are empowered to develop themselves solve that problem? Replacing an old catalog of training courses with a virtual and almost limitless candy store of options merely creates the illusion of progress. Yes, many will at least do something. But the crisis most organizations face deserves something better than such trivial solutions. Organizations that are surviving the COVID-19 lockdowns well, and those that will survive the exit, are those that recognize the need for Management Mastery. By investing in Management Mastery, they will also drive cultures in which continuous personal development is seen as a core business strategy—one that will vaccinate their businesses against most future crises. Excellent managers will work with their employees to enable them to determine WHY they need to develop; will enable them to diagnose WHAT they need to develop; and will partner with them to develop a WAY of planning and implementing effective development. We know that around 70 percent of all our skills are developed through doing meaningful work, not through watching videos


WHY do employees need to develop? WHAT do they need to develop? And how can organizations enable them to plan and implement effective development?

None of that removes the responsibility from L&D professionals to be aware of contemporary tools such as AI, simulations, or VR, new materials, and new delivery methods. Learning design and development is critical now. But, it will only address a small percentage of the development needs. L&D professionals must play an active part in ensuring that every individual, every day, is spotting and taking advantage of on-job and off-job development opportunities. And, they must use business acumen, their personal effectiveness, and courage to convince senior management that investment in that is needed too.

STORY

Hope is not a strategy. Organizations are going to have to invest. They are going to have to invest in excellent management, and that is no easy or inexpensive task. And, they are going to have to invest in enabling all staff to take control of their own development. It is not going to happen because we tell them they are empowered. We, at least, have to teach most of them the 5W’s of development: • Become acutely aware of WHY personal development is critically important • Diagnose WHAT specifically you need to develop • Have a rigorous WAY of planning, implementing, monitoring, and adjusting your development • Put in place triggers, processes, reinforcements, and people to

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and listening to podcasts. “Knowing about” something is far removed from “being able to” do that something. We also know that a further 20 percent of our skills have been achieved through interactions with others, which has now been seriously curtailed. So, it is critically important that managers work WITH their staff to create those opportunities. Employees also need to be taught how to spot and seize, or create, opportunities themselves. Even with that, they also have to have the WILL to do it, and commit that they WILL do it, and follow up to make sure that development has actually happened. This is not all going to happen just because organizations announce that their staff are empowered to take control of their own development.

work WITH you to keep your development on-track and energized • Make sure you have the WILL to commit and commit to what you WILL do.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Clinton Wingrove is the director of www.WantToBeGreatManager.com and www.ClintonHR.com october 2020 |

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Building for change: Pegasystems’ MD Suman Reddy In an exclusive interaction with People Matters, Suman Reddy, MD, Pegasystems India talks about how organizations can prepare for a postCOVID-19 world, how the pandemic has yet again highlighted the absolute necessity of digital transformation and automation initiatives across the sectors, and how technologies will evolve to make flexible work easier for employees and employers in the new normal By Yasmin Taj

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he year 2020 changed everything around us and made us realize that no matter how prepared you are, some changes are absolutely unprecedented and we can never be prepared enough for them. In the past few months, organizations have moved from the stages of reacting, responding, returning to finally transforming themselves to adapt


to this new normal at work. And as things are slowly opening up, business and HR leaders are finding innovative ways to adapt to the new world order by bringing together people and technology and finding the right mix. In order to delve deeper into how organizations can prepare for a post-COVID-19 world, we had an exclusive interaction with Suman Reddy, MD, Pegasystems, wherein he shared some insights on how technologies will

evolve to make flexible work easier for employees and employers, and what investments are the most necessary to create the technology environment that will allow companies to thrive in the next normal. ‘Build for Change’ is not just Pegasystems’ philosophy but a phrase that truly defines Suman Reddy, Managing Director of Pega India. A recognized technology leader for more than two decades and a core member of Pega’s global corporate

I N TERVIEW

Technology has been playing a vital role in operations and sustenance across the industries for quite some time, but the pandemic has yet again highlighted the absolute necessity of digital transformation and automation initiatives across the sectors

strategy team, Reddy has redefined how Indian business leaders are driving change in MNCs by influencing corporate goal setting, strategic planning and building world class software products. Reddy is credited with successfully setting-up Pega’s India operations in 2007, one of the country’s leading GICs. He built Pega India from ground-up that currently is at 1500 employees across Hyderabad and Bangalore, a third of the company’s total employee strength. As a key member of the global leadership team, Reddy has played a key role in helping the organization grow from $126 million to $840 million in revenue over the last decade. He has managed various aspects of growth from acquiring talent, building innovative products, creating an ecosystem that fosters partnerships with academia. Here are the excerpts from the interview.

How are different industries adapting to the rapidly changing business condition? How critical is the role of technology for the postCOVID-19 world? As the countries and businesses struggle to fight the contagion and get on with normal business, industries found themselves looking into the abyss of a largely declining global economy. The contagion has impacted october 2020 |

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each sector; however, the IT sector as a whole has been far more resilient. The primary reason for this is our ability to work remotely and the sector’s comparatively better progress on the digital transformation front. Technology has been playing a vital role in operations and sustenance across the industries for quite some time, but the pandemic has yet again highlighted the absolute necessity of digital transformation and automation initiatives across the sectors. I am bullish that the range of the changes IT industry makes possible will only increase, as post-COVID-19 acceleration starts. The growth of organizations built on digital connections among billions of people, and which collect reams of cloud-based data in the process will be core to the rise and success of the sector post the pandemic. | october 2020

How are you preparing for a post-COVID-19 business? Considering the gravity of the situation, we are adopting a cautious approach on when we need to get back to our workplaces. Governments and other bodies have issued various guidelines and best practices on this matter and we are keenly following them. Additionally, we are also keeping an eye on some of the best practices which others might have adopted to strategize the next best course of action for our employees’ safety. Having said, that, we are in no hurry to get back to the offices and are keeping a close watch on the national as well as global trends. How do you see the future of remote work and how will technologies evolve to make flexible work easier for employees and employers?

The COVID-19 situation has turned out to be a major milestone for the digital transformation of the workplace. The work-from-home arrangement is here to stay across the verticals regardless of the size of the organizations. In this respect, digitally transformed and digitally native firms might have an advantage, as they are well equipped with an array of resources to support virtual work. Organizations that have not undergone a complete digital transformation might find it challenging and must act towards it. Heralding the new work paradigm requires the management to ensure that the employees are provided with the necessary infrastructure and all necessary support. Enhanced collaborations and communication capabilities along with cloud-based business technology will be playing a crucial role in the future of the digital workspaces.

What investments are the most necessary to create the technology environment that will allow your company to thrive in the next normal? New business opportunities for the global tech sector seem imminent and the new normal will undoubtedly require a tectonic shift in our technology as well as cultural mindset. Remote working is going to play a massive role in the coming days, and with a number of organizations


having already declared it a part of their future plans, we will be seeing a lot of investments in the areas of data and network security, cloud technologies and employee training and upskilling. It is also the time to go full speed ahead of innovation, as it will be the game changer in improving the management during and post the COVID-19 era. Another critical area of investment would be to foster a culture of empathy within the organization.

Remote working has blurred the lines between work and home, and it is crucial for organizations to ensure employee wellness and mental health are at the top of their agenda if they are to flourish in this new normal.

What all technologies and digital innovations are you employing to adapt to the new normal? We have been faced with dual challenges of ensuring business continuity and safeguarding employee

october 2020 |

I N TERVIEW

Heralding the new work paradigm requires the management to ensure that the employees are provided with the necessary infrastructure and all necessary support. Enhanced collaborations and communication capabilities along with cloud-based business technology will be playing a crucial role in the future of the digital workspaces

health and most of our solutions were aimed at addressing these challenges. Our innovations and technologies during this period have been focused on addressing the myriad challenges that government and enterprises are facing across the globe. In April, Pega announced a Crisis Response Solutions Portfolio to help organizations solve urgent challenges resulting from the COVID-19 crisis. The portfolio contains 18 rapidly deployable solutions that help businesses overcome a range of unpredictable issues they are facing during the pandemic – such as surges in customer inquiries, policy exceptions requests, new emergency regulations, and changing claims requirements. We also assisted the Bavarian government with technology which aided them in disbursing financial aid swiftly to people and businesses suffering in the pandemic crisis. In the early phase of the pandemic, we launched COVID-19 Employee Safety and Business Continuity Tracker app which aided us as well as our clients in identifying and taking actions through live dashboards to safeguard employees from any health hazards. Additionally, announced Pega Process Fabric™, a new cloudbased software architecture designed to radically streamline how organizations drive work across distributed enterprise technologies. With mini-

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mal deployment effort, this “platform for platforms� breaks down technology silos to unify work across the enterprise and help improve user experiences for employees, customers, and partners.

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A lot of employees must be working remotely. What are your biggest challenges with respect to dealing with this new style of working? Hundred percent of the Pega workforce has been working from home since March. As mentioned earlier, remote working can be quite challenging especially for those experiencing it for the first time. Hence, it is extremely important to empower the workforce both technologically and culturally. Empathy has been a core value of our modus operandi and we are ensuring the employees are receiving all necessary mentoring and support from us. We are being extremely flexible with our employees with regards to the timings and meetings and are ensuring that people are working as per their convenient times as long as they are able to meet the needs of the organization. Our productivity levels have gone up and with the current lockdown situation, people are available at most of the times to support each other and the organization. The enhanced collaboration in the virtual work environments has truly been a reve| october 2020

Remote working has blurred the lines between work and home, and it is crucial for organizations to ensure employee wellness and mental health are at the top of their agenda if they are to flourish in this new normal lation and has delivered great results.

How are you collaborating with all your business leaders including the CHROs/CIOs/CTOs to make sure you have the right digital infrastructure postCOVID-19? The ongoing situation has created a need for swift adaption and innovations to ensure the business goes on as usual. Whether it is about employee safety or ensuring seamless implementation of digital strategies, everything today requires amplified collaboration efforts from the cross-functional teams.

Organizations must look to create steering committees to ensure efficient planning and building resiliency, the two factors which are crucial in preparing everyone to surf through the waves of change. At Pega, we are ensuring regular interactions across the leadership teams globally, to gauge the situation better and take the best possible measures - whether it is on resource management, IT infrastructure, or employee well-being. Collaboration within the teams, functions, and external stakeholders, is the key to a successful organization.


Building a workforce that has the skills to build skills

Lewis Garrad, Partner and Employee Experience Practice Leader, International Region, Mercer, talks about redesigning jobs for skills transformation, the need to look at soft skills as ‘core skills’, and why change being the ‘’new normal’’ is a fallacy

Future of Work

By Bhavna Sarin

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n a disrupted business environment, existing skill sets and learning curve of the workforce are crucial to determining business sustainability as well as scalability. But how equipped is the existing talent, and how prepared are organizations to build a workforce together that has the skills to build skills relevant and critical to be able to survive and thrive in the face of evolution? Discussing the core skills critical for building skills for the future of work in his masterclass on “Winning the talent race in the digital economy: Skills to Build Skills” at People Matters TechHR 2020, Lewis Garrad, Partner, and Employee Experience Practice Leader, International Region, Mercer, highlights the need to look at soft skills as ‘core skills’, redesigning jobs for skills transformation and threw light on why change being the ‘new normal’ is a fallacy.

We are in a period of extraordinary change

Kick-starting the masterclass with the perspective that given the amount of change the world has experienced in the last 300 years, Garrad suggests that considering change as a ‘new normal’ is a fallacy. “Change has been normal since the 1800s...The reason things so often feel intense, COVID-19 aside, is because we are in october 2020 |

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Future of Work

We are now competing with machines in terms of our ability to learn and increasingly that will be an important part of human competitive advantage

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a period of extraordinary change,” he reckons. “We have moved from a period where we used to learn about products in order to use them, to using products and services that now learn about us.” Stating the above, he adds that this ecosystem has changed our relationship with the economy and the things we use. “We are now competing with machines in terms of our ability to learn and increasingly that will be an important part of human competitive advantage.” Here are three aspects that humans must think about to stay competitive: • Think about how products are learning about us • Think about how much value that is generating in our economy • Think about what the two points above mean for us as we go to work | october 2020

How is your role impacted by the evolution of jobs?

The existing and expected economic environment demands agility, continuous learning, and being prepared for any new challenges that come our way. While one often addresses skilling from a workforce perspective, it is becoming increasingly important to also reflect and assess skilling from an individual perspective. What does the rapidly evolving world of work mean for your role? How is your role impacted? What do you need to do to stay skilled and relevant? Recalling the Flynn Effect as established by Professor James Flynn - our cognitive skills evolve to meet the demands placed on them. Critical to survival, there is a need to adapt to a growthmindset. Mindsets are belief

systems, noted Garrad, that are great for building culture, values, and shared behavior, as well as building individual competence. “Growth mindset can help you build a shared set of beliefs around the importance of learning all the time.” On an organizational level, Garrad said, “We need to be able to ask ourselves what does it take to be an organization that actually has this learning and growth mindset. How can we bring that to life?”

Soft skills or core skills?

Organizations today are increasingly focused on technology talent, willing to offer significant reward premiums in these roles, “because at the cutting edge of expertise, is the application and development of new technologies.” However, despite the growing demand for technology-


abled jobs, given the rising focus on digitization, there exist core skills that make one efficient at what they do, over and above the expected technological proficiency. “It’s not just about what jobs are emerging, but what skills and capabilities does it take for people to actually be good at those jobs and deliver long-term value for your organization. This is where you start to see the understanding or the emergence of the core behavior skills,” noted Garrad. He shares report findings

that revealed key in-demand behavioral skills including but not limited to: Willingness to be flexible, agile, and adaptable to change; time management skills and ability to prioritize; ability to work effectively in team environments; and the ability to communicate effectively in the business context. He states that it is essential to not look at culture in isolation, but rather look at the connection between culture and capability. Soft skills are no longer just good to have softer skills, rather

Redesigning jobs for skills transformation

Garrad emphasizes that skills transformation begins with redesigning jobs, and jobs of the future must factor in aspects such as: • Increased demand and competition for technical skills • Increased importance of broader cognitive skills • Increased relevance of agile, collaborative ways of working • Shorter shelf-life of skills, given the pace of change

Future of Work

Learning generates new thinking, new thinking creates new behaviors, new behaviors create new outcomes, and those outcomes again generate new thinking. It’s a virtuous cycle that drives consistent change in the world around us

they are the hard-core skills, or ‘’power skills’’, that make one efficient and effective in the current role, while also being effective in any new role taken up, owing to the transferability aspect of people skills, and life-long relevance of human skills. There is an urgency to reassess the relevance and importance given to core skill development. Some ways to do that include: • Culturally align core skill development • Create a culture of mentorship • Offer continuous feedback • Apply collaborative microlearning in the flow of work • Make core skills tangible • Measure impact

Core skills appear much more frequently in job postings in the US and UK, appearing more than october 2020 |

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Future of Work

It’s not just about what jobs are emerging, but what skills and capabilities does it take for people to actually be good at those jobs and deliver longterm value for your organization

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twice as often in the US as compared to Singapore, says Garrad. In fact, the “top 8” core skills in the US appear in more than 20 percent of all job descriptions, whereas in Singapore and Hong Kong only the “top 3” core skills appear in more than 20 percent of all job descriptions, indicating a likely narrower outlook towards soft skills in the Asian region, owing to greater focus on technical skills. He insists that talent professionals must articulate the demand for critical core skills: • Review job ads -internal and external - are core skills clearly identified as needs? • Review evaluation criteria - are core skills clearly measured? • Review your career frameworks - how do people progress? What role do core skills play? | october 2020

Critical core skills to build skills

Sharing the core skills critical to be able to build skills, Garrad recommends a skills-based talent management approach that involves three steps: Assess (How do I measure my skills gap), Identify (What are the skills of the future) and Develop (How do I upskill). • Cognitive capabilities: Under cognitive capabilities or the segment on ‘Thinking critically’, skills like creative thinking, decision-making, problem-solving, sensemaking, and transdisciplinary thinking have been bucketed. • Social skills: Garrad says that many people take social skills for granted, and there are also instances where the importance of social skills is undermined. Emphasizing the need

to build stronger social skills he said, “The volume of people that we communicate with at any point in time causes us to have to think really differently about what is it that’s needed to be effective around others... Being able to be effective is a critical part of being successful.” • Staying Relevant: The segment on staying relevant covers skills such as adaptability, learning agility, self-management, digital fluency, and having a global perspective. As Garrad rightly said, “People should expect change more often throughout their career.” Change is inevitable. In the face of change, disruption and evolution, building core skills that remain unshaken is critical to survival of both individuals and organizations.


There has never been an opportunity like this to reset HR functions: Jason Averbook By Abid Hasan

The now of work

No one can think about the future of work, one can only talk about the ‘‘now’’. The way we act on the now together is through three basic elements. We develop strategies, we deploy strategies and then we sustain those strategies by measuring the values. Averbook shared that the equation for digital success is based on four characteristics: Mindset/Vision, People/ Audience, Process/Journey, and Technology/Solution. The first element is to have a clear mindset and agree upon a commitment to change and adaptation, which is the first october 2020 |

Employee Engagement

Jason Averbook, the CEO & Co-Founder of Leapgen, feels that HR needs to be more human and not treat people as machines or robots. Leaders should check in on people, not check upon them; ask "How are you?" and not "What are you working on?"

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company has to prepare for the future of work but to consolidate the future one has to make the present meaningful. Addressing the virtual audience at People Matters TechHR Conference, Jason Averbook, CEO & Co-Founder, Leapgen said, “We live in the now of work.” He pointed out that in the year 2000, people leaders had already started talking about the workforce and workplace in 2020 and how the work distribution and working experience would change. But most of them did not actually take action, and now the global crisis is here, which has moved us from talking about the future of work to living in the now of work.

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Employee Engagement 88

The five radical resets for HR according to Jason Averbook, CEO of Leapgen: reset work, reset budgets, reset leadership, reset trust, and reset HR priority because it is the hardest piece. The second element is about designing the right audience and making sure the design is not restricted to HR but also includes the audience of the workforce. The third element is about understanding and incorporating the journeys our workforce goes through as they experience work. The fourth element is to see what technology we need to bring that to life. Many of us start with technology without having a vision or mindset in place, and that is devastating because it gives the technology a huge opportunity to fail and results in a huge waste of money. | october 2020

“What we planned on doing in 2020 probably makes no sense any longer. Priorities have changed. Budgets have changed. Intentional sequencing is more important than ever,� Averbook said. He pointed out that we need to change our plans for this year and rethink what we were doing, rather than doing the same thing that we had earlier this year. Otherwise, we run the risk of carrying obsolete plans over to 2021.

Five radical resets

Reset Work: Work has changed forever and where, how, and when we work has also changed. The workforce has changed forever; what

matters to them and why it matters to them has also changed; and so we, too, need to change. What, why, and how we do business has also changed forever. Work, workforce, business, the purpose of work have all changed forever, and humanity is more important than ever before. What do we do about all these changes? Averbook said that we must create a new world of experiences for the workforce tied to the new world of business, a new world of workers, and a new world of the workforce. Experience means creating a workplace that meets people where they are and make them feel engaged in the work they are doing. We design experiences by understanding our people, and in the world and now of our work we must understand that our people are different and coming from very different places. A returning employee who is away from work is different from a recruiter, a recruiter is different from a team manager who has not managed a team for a while, and a manager is different from a team which used to be together but is now distributed. "We need to put ourselves in their shoes and say: guys do these shoes fit?" Reset budgets: The biggest reason that organizations don’t get approval for their budgets is that they do things piecemeal and


not with an overall vision. People need to create a vision map to execute the project successfully otherwise they will be just spinning the wheel. A vision map is a set of guiding principles that we use to measure success. According to Averbook, a vision statement should be simple, flexible, equitable, innovative, and proactive. It should emphasize the ability

tivity, not the monitoring police. "Be human and not treat people as machines or robots," Averbook advised. "Leaders should check-in on them and not check upon them. Ask, how are you, and not what are you working on? And make sure that inclusion is infused in our journeys. Reset Trust: We have to be able to trust our people,

to create and modify your vision based on the present. To create it, we must audit what we have vs what we need, and prioritize and sequence based on now. Reset Leadership: Today, a leader needs to be a futurist and a facilitator, thinking about what things might be like in the future and keeping people engaged. Leaders need to bring empathy into the business. Managers in the digital workplace need to stay human. The humanity side of things is the key. And to do that one must enable productivity vs monitoring activity—trust people and become enablers of produc-

Organizations and people leaders need to realize that the digital workplace is now a big part of HR’s responsibility which needs to be infused into all strategies. Just as the physical workplace was HR’s responsibility, now the digital workplace also comes under HR’s purview, and they must partner with IT to take control of its digital strategy. At the end of the day, HR should not just focus on a technology transition. HR must make an extra effort and undergo a digital transformation. The reset of HR is not to create roadmaps or GPS, but to create active traffic management.

our organization, and trust our data. Which means our data must be real-time and relevant. Companies need to engage their people. If people are engaged and they are performing they go at a different speed. Organizations must listen to people and act on them in order to build trust "HR is not in the area of B2B, they are in the B to me," Averbook described the HR function's role. To build trust, he said, HR should focus on not only being connected but building connections in order to bring empathy and inject patience.

october 2020 |

Employee Engagement

What matters to the workforce and why it matters to them has changed; and so HR, too, needs to change. We must create a new world of experiences for the workforce tied to the new world of business

Reset HR: "We have to reset HR. There has never been an opportunity like we have right now to change the industry. We have every reason, opportunity, need, desire, and everything that we have ever wanted looking right into our eyes and saying it’s time to change the function," Averbook said. In his view, the big reset for HR is the shift from "counting people" to "making people count". And HR professionals can do this by following three As: • Become ‘adaptable’ through the ability to unlearn • Become ‘agile’ in a fragile world • Become 'aggressive'

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HR & WorkTech Startups


People Matters TechHR Singapore Startup Program 2020 gave an opportunity to 18 emerging HR and work tech startups to seek inputs from leading venture capitalists, investors, HR experts, and business leaders to make a dent in the world of work and HR Tech By Drishti Pant “We’re here to put a dent in the universe. Otherwise why else even be here?” - Steve Jobs he uncertainty, stress, and anxiety triggered by the pandemic loomed over businesses of all shapes and sizes. These past few months shook us all and left us with some old and some new challenges to deal with. Ensuring workplace safety, managing employee experience for a remote workforce, creating a strong talent pipeline

HR & WorkTech Startups

The emerging HR & work tech startups to ensure business continuity, and keeping a check on everyone’s mental health, there is so much on the plate of talent leaders. But where there are problems, there emerge solutions. The HR and work tech market is quickly responding to these changing needs of talent leaders. The startups for a few years were already waiting and working on their tech-enabled talent solutions to make the lives of talent professionals easier. However, as more and more organizations october 2020 |

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HR & WorkTech Startups

accelerate their digitization journeys, the key focus of HR and WorkTech startups should now be on value creation and problem solving for the future. For this, they need to understand the pain points of business leaders, HR leaders, and the workforce, and also be aware of how the world of people and work is shaping up. Keeping the importance of learning and networking for HR and work tech startups in mind, People Matters every year hosts a unique

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program for them -- People Matters TechHR Startup Program. In February 2019, 48 startups participated in the first global edition of the People Matters TechHR Startup Program, which has been championing the cause of startups in India and the SEA region. This year the program returned in a new avatar and was more global than before. From an Innovation Hub to online face-to-face meetings to networking on the go with a mobile app, People

From an Innovation Hub to online face-to-face meetings to networking on the go with a mobile app, People Matters TechHR Singapore Startup Program helped emerging HR and work tech entrepreneurs, fast-track their way to a better future

| october 2020

Matters TechHR Singapore Startup Program helped emerging HR and work tech entrepreneurs, fast-track their way to a better future. Here’s how People Matters TechHR Singapore Startup Program 2020 was different from previous years: An innovation hub: More than 3,000 talent leaders, HR professionals, tech innovators, and speakers came together on one platform for inspiration, co-creation, exchange of ideas, and a commitment to action. The participants of the program got the opportunity to connect with them and build business opportunities. Product Showcase Page Visitor database was provided to the participants for two days of the 5-day People Matters TechHR Virtual Conference. At the Innovation Hub, the startups were able to showcase their best practices, success stories, and manage visitors' queries or product showcases via startup’s business representatives for two days from 7 - 11 September 2020. Virtual startup pitches to investors of leading VC firms: All 12 participants of the program were able to present their ideas and solutions to investors including Nikhil Kapur, STRIVE, Chia Jeng Yang, Saison Capital, Cindy Teo, Golden Equator Capital, and Russ Neu, Quest Ventures.


A dedicated slot for Startup Pitches gave a perfect opportunity to pitch products to top Investors and VCs and also connect with all who were interested in knowing how the products and services would innovatively solve HR & Work Tech challenges. Online face-to-face meetings: On the People Matters TechHR Virtual

and leads, but also gives insights as to how many attendees visited and interacted with the products listed in the innovation hub. Participate & network on the go: On the Go! For the participants who were working from home and their laptop screen was busy with office work, everything was also made available and accessible on Mobile. The participants got a dedicated conference App to build their network and have conversations on the go.

People Matters TechHR Singapore Startup

Mentors

Chia Jeng Yang Saison Capital

Vinod Dontimalla Openspace Ventures

Russ Neu Quest Ventures

Nikhil Kapur STRIVE

Cindy Tech Golden Equator Capital

Hidekazu Ito Mynavi Solutions India

Daniel Callaghan Veremark

Shwetank Verma Leo Capital

Weisheng Neo Qualgro

Ajay Taunk Wavemaker Partners

october 2020 |

HR & WorkTech Startups

Platform, the participants of the program could set up a One-2-One video meeting with anyone in their connected network. With one-to-ones and conversations they could also gather more insights to improvise and innovate their solutions further as per the current needs and demand. Build connections for now & the future: All the participants of the programs got the opportunity to rate all their

potential connections based on their conversations and store them in the dashboard as leads. Once the connection is made, contacts now remain active on their dashboard and the People Matters TechHR mobile app. In fact, an added feature of Dedicated Network Analytics provides the participants with deeper analytics. It doesn’t only save all the conversations

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HR & WorkTech Startups

Meet the participants of People Matters TechHR Singapore Startup Program 2020

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SkyHive

of intra-preneurs and digital innovators. Officially SkyHive invented and launched in April 2015, Fastcommercialized a unique Jobs has since been transmethodology that analyzes workforces and labor markets forming the way people are connected to jobs, with over at their most granular level one million mobile applicato deliver real-time, skilllevel insights. With its world- tion downloads, across the leading technology, SkyHive region. FastJob’s clients include brands like NTUC, allows organizations to Watsons, Miniso, Uniqlo, rapidly assess skills of the Japan Foods Holding, Don existing workforce, identify Don Donki, Pizza Hut, KFC, future and emerging skills, and facilitates company-level Yoshinoya, Deliveroo, Foodworkforce planning and indi- panda, Uber, Grab, Marina vidual-level reskilling. Based Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa. out of Canada and serving clients on four continents, SkyHive is actively acquiring hirex.ai strategic partners and new hirex.ai provides cognitive customers in the Asia region. AI BOTs that can conduct interviews by calling the candidate directly over the FastJobs phone and auto assesses Started as an incubator the interview with a 1 to 10 project by Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), the FastJobs rating. Delivered on multiple channels such as phones, mobile platform was fully developed in-house by a team mobiles, web, and voice | october 2020

assistants. Cognitive AI BOTS that are pre-trained on a particular subject would conduct the interview by calling the candidate directly or the candidate can call the BOT whenever he is free to give the interview. Once the interview is done, it is auto assessed by the BOT and given a rating of 1 to 10.

Rezoomex

The startup is dedicated to the disruption of decadeold, lengthy and painful IT recruitment practice and the building of a fast, efficient, transparent, and trusted ecosphere for IT professionals, IT recruiters, HR managers, and Hiring Managers by implementing Artificial Intelligence in recruitment with the help of Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning & Big Data. Its tool computes a


metric to measure the quality of hiring. This metric will guide the recruiters to improve their performance and the same can be shared with the hiring managers, candidates, and recruitment consultants. The tool can allow the recruiters to conduct the preliminary technical assessment and reject unsuitable candidates to improve the hit rate.

Evie

Astarel

The team at Astarel believes that hiring should be enjoyable, easy, and purposeful and this is why they designed Mathilda, an interview experience platform to help employers transform their candidate-hirer engagement and build a stellar employer brand. With Mathilda, the team brings forth creative

Hireplace Pte Ltd

Hireplace is the Zoom for Speed Interviews. Top universities, recruiters, and career fair organizers use the platform to create speed networking/interview sessions/career talks that quickly connect talents to employers in a video first format. More than 600 interviews have been done on the platform since April 2020. You can use it as a standalone or plug it into existing Virtual Career Fairs to increase engagement by 10x.

Hackertrail

HackerTrail, since its inception has worked with over a hundred clients in five cities and currently caters to candidates from over 80 countries. Its clients include Fortune 1000 companies and fast-growing startups. With an experienced team

of close to 30 people in three cities, HackerTrail provides two key solutions to clients in five cities: Its solution, HackerTrail Recruit is an end-to-end solution for hiring quality tech talent: It uses technology to source, engage and curate talent, per company and per job, allowing only the most relevant talent to meet with employers of their choice, leading to swift outcomes. Another tool, HackerTrail Assessments is a dynamic customized client landing page asynchronously engages with candidates, urging them to participate in real-time gamified tech challenges that span over a hundred different tech skills including live coding for over 15 programming languages and adaptive question banks for the rest.

Devcurate

Devcurate is an intelligent career solution dedicated to purpose-driven people and organizations. Their leading-edge AI innovation allows organizations to meet the right candidates faster with valuable workforce insight, tapping into soft skills and personality traits. Their next-generation platform also helps talents optimize their potential and chances of landing their dream jobs to create a positive impact in the world. The firm’s machine learning model is built on a dedioctober 2020 |

HR & WorkTech Startups

Evie.ai is on a mission to free talent acquisition teams from having to juggle busy work while doing their real jobs. It offers interview scheduling solutions powered by AI, complex workflow orchestration and enterprise-grade integrations, enabling a collaborative experience between interviewers & candidates. With robust natural language understanding, Evie’s solution streamlines complex workflows and allows recruiters to collaborate with interviewers and candidates.

solutions through design thinking which can bring back the human warmth of the traditional recruitment process. Some of the key features of the solution include Self-Service Timezone Scheduling, Smart Feedback and Hiring Leaderboard. Through these features of Astarel’s solution aims to help employers in monitoring the entire hiring process and also help them in creating an engaging experience for the candidates.

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cated NLP algorithm and the sector-based taxonomy. With their on-demand interview technology, Devcurate further screens best-suited candidates for individual roles. Devcurate's core team and advisors consist of individuals from the impact sectors themselves (including the United Nations agencies) bringing direct domain insight and expertise to their solutions.

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Joye.ai

Umwelt Peopletech Solutions

Umwelt.ai is an AI-Powered People Analytics & Employee Experience Platform for HR/Leaders to improve engagement, retention, and productivity. Nikki (ChatBot) connects with employees and hears them all through the life cycle, generates insights in real time and guides you to take effective actions, proactively. Its key features include personalized interaction and modern people science. The platform is built on behavioral science principles and organizational models validated through extensive research & experience running right through interactions, measurements and recommendations to deliver results which matter, in real time. Nikki (Virtual Engagement Assistant) interacts with people at several touchpoints during the complete life cycle as per Tenure, Peri| october 2020

ods, Events, and Exit helping you hear your employees from Onboarding to Exits. Umwelt.ai's clients include brands like Only, Vero Moda, and Escorts, among others.

WeLink Talent

It helps organizations build an exceptional business by linking them with the best talent available. The team describes its solution Return-on-talent SaaS as something that helps organizations accelerate projects, build retention pools, and maximize profit with an automated internal recruitment tool. Based in Singapore, WeLinkTalent links skills, personality, and potential to the right company to create value and synergies that benefit both parties.

An AI-powered mental fitness platform. It is a voiceenabled user experience to weave mental health into every employee’s digital lifestyle. In parallel, voice-ofemployee insights help HR to shape workplace culture. The team at Joye brings together expertise in business, psychology, and technology. Anchored in Singapore, with teams working across the globe, Joye.ai is on a mission to integrate mental fitness into digital lifestyle. We believe this is the strategic enabler for digital natives to be happier and successful. With tech being the left, right, and center focus for employers, for HR and work tech startups their ability to create valuable solutions that help organizations transition into the new normal of work will determine their success in the marketplace. As we observed in the program, from recruitment to employee experience to mental health, technology is helping enhance each talent's priority and presenting an opportunity to talent leaders to make a difference in a more effective manner. Going ahead, let’s see how these startups take the conversations and lessons from the program forward and excel in the future. You never know which one of these could become the next leader in the HR and work tech space.


Learning & Development

Speak leadership's language to gain their buy-in: Tigerhall CEO Nellie Wartoft To truly enable learning and development in an organization, three things are required, according to Nellie Wartoft, CEO of Tigerhall: a well-designed program, a positive attitude by top leadership, and HR's ability to present it in business terms By Mint Kang

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earning and development has become a huge focus for many organizations and individuals today, driven partly by the disruption of COVID-19 and the

need to rapidly adapt. But are organizations going about their L&D strategies as effectively as they could? People Matters asked Nellie Wartoft, the CEO of knowledge-sharing startup Tigerh-

all, for her take on the challenges facing L&D today and how organizations can get more value out of their learning investments. Here are the highlights of what she shared. october 2020 |

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There's plenty of content available these days, but the conversation seems more focused on how to get learners to actually pick it up. What are your thoughts on the matter? Enterprise learning hasn't changed a lot in the last 10-15 years. Many companies are still investing in classroom training, and even for those which have moved to video learning, their platform is often not as user-friendly as it should be. One problem with learning platforms today is that they aren't competitive in terms of ease of use. Instagram, Netflix, online shopping—these are all oneclick functions today. But learning platforms still lag behind in comparison, and many learning tools are not mobile-friendly either. So if we want to make learning consumer-friendly, we need to make it more customized. A big part of that is design—UI/UX, how to tap into people's attention, how to meet people's expectations around content—these days, Netflix and other programming has raised the bar in terms of content. And then you have the selection of trainers, both online and offline. Some trainers are great, with solid thinking and experience they can speak to. Some are out of their element because they don't have that subject matter exper| october 2020

tise, or they come across as inauthentic because they try to teach content that isn't theirs. Some are credible, and some are questionable—for example, would you respect a leadership trainer who's never led a company? The choice of the person you learn from is a massive thing in learning. Look at Instagram or YouTube, where viewers follow individuals in a very natural way. If that could be incorporated into learning, it would really help with engagement.

format—you can't educate an entire company just with classroom training. Blended learning starts with a model that uses digital tools to provide a very high degree of convenience and allows people to tap into things on the go. And that model will provide 90 percent of learning because it allows you to cover the basic skills and the topics that don't require classroom training. Leadership skills are a good example of a topic that you can pick up just by listening to a seminar, or reading and

If your top leadership doesn't believe in talent development, then time will always be an issue, because their focus will be on shortterm goals and results. How do you get them to believe? Between "traditional" learning such as modular courses or formal workshops, and online learning that allows people to learn as and when they choose, what are the pros and cons? Is one approach more suitable for certain kinds of skills and knowledge than another? I personally believe a lot in blended learning and using a wide variety of formats and tools. I don't think you can achieve everything with just one learning

then reflecting, without needing to sit through a workshop. On the other hand, if you're learning skills that require an instructor's guidance, like Excel or coding, it might make more sense to have an in-person class. So you take that 90 percent of basic skills and consumerize them, make them convenient to access as and when the flow of work and life allows. And for that last 10 percent that needs learner to go really deep, you provide a more interactive, personal


experience, whether in-person or virtually. Also, when you design a learning program, you need to keep in mind that people have many different learning preferences. Some people learn better by reading, others learn better by listening. Some people need external processing—they need to meet people and

And after that, the decisions about learning have to be made by both sides. But many organizations take a very top-down approach: they have the attitude that "we are the employer and we know you best, so we will tell you what to learn." The truth is, the employer doesn't know you best! If there's any platform that

surveys are always going to be aspirational. People respond based on what they want to do or what they think they are good at, which isn't necessarily accurate.

Managers and leaders frequently express concerns that if people spend time on learning during the working day, they won't get their

interact. And other people need to practice the skill on the job to learn. The key to a properly personalized program is to utilize blended learning to match someone's learner profile.

How can employees—and their managers—better identify the kind of skills they need to acquire? Everything has to start with self-awareness. That really should be the basic module everyone goes through first because it is the root of all learning.

could be said to know you best, it's something like Google or Facebook, that has an enormous amount of data about your preferences and behavior, your browsing habits. So the question really is: how can a learning platform be more like Google or Facebook? How can a learning platform know you better than you know yourself ? That's where the key lies—in tier two needs analysis, in machine learning, in user data. Many organizations still send out surveys, but the results you get from

work done. What's your take on that? Everything in any organization boils down to the attitude of the people at the top. If your top leadership doesn't believe in talent development, then time will always be an issue, because their focus will be on shortterm goals and results. The problem is, if you don't do learning today, you'll be fine. If you don't do it tomorrow, you will also be fine. But if you don't do it in the next five years, you'll be out of business. And very few people realize that. october 2020 |

Learning & Development

HR leaders can play a role in getting an organization to prioritize learning, by starting small and building cases to prove the value to the leadership

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We're always interested in tomorrow, never in the five years. You only realize the mistake after you've reached that point in the future, and then it's too late. So organizations really need enlightened leadership to prioritize learning and spend time on it. And that's also where I think HR leaders can play a role, by starting small and building cases to prove the value to the leadership.

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Have you seen leaders change their mind on that attitude? What convinced them? For sure. One of the companies that we work with, for example, is a large global tech company headquartered in the US with about 8,000 employees around the world. They're trying to drive a mindset change for digital innovation and digital transformation, and what the leaders saw was that their direct reports started coming to them with solutions. And that is a massive difference for them because as leaders, they get people coming to them with problems all the time. Having someone come to them with solutions for a change—it's something they feel directly. We also measure mindsets, to prove that people's attitude and mindset changes from the start to the end of an engagement, and leaders tend to be impressed with that as well. Behav| october 2020

ior change is great, but the kind of mindset you have is what will drive the business forward or backward.

that understanding, creating the strategies you can apply to the organization to help drive initiatives like digital transformation. What about HR? Given And I do think at the same that HR will be responsible time that HR professionfor a good part of driving als can do a much better job learning, where do you think influencing senior leaders to buy-in by using the right they should start? Self-awareness! That's not lingo. Use their business language, understand the entirely a joke. Having dealt business, understand what with HR professionals for are the pain points for senior close to 10 years now, I can leadership. What is the see it's not easy for them. hindrance to growth? What Very often, they don't have does leadership want? For full awareness of what they example, if you have a leader can do to add value to the who is very focused on revebusiness, and there's also a little bit of fear—a little fear nue, and if you can pinpoint the fact that more revenue of technology, some insecurity about their own position, can be achieved if the salespeople are better relationa lot of concerns about how ship managers, then you they can get and keep a seat can position soft skills trainat the table, how they can ing as being a good revenue have more business impact. strategy. Make it outcomeThe thing is, the busidriven. That's a language I ness impact comes through having the data and the tech- rarely see HR professionals speaking, and it's a core, nologies: making full use of these to understand what the actionable skill that HR leadorganization needs, and with ers can focus on learning.


Sunil Ganesh

Creating leadership signature: Importance of supporting a transition The risk of key talent moving into senior, critical roles not firing is real

often require contributions and results, hitherto never delivered. Organizations, in many ways, is taking bets on individuals with proven track records and the potential to deliver. But is that enough? The risk of a newly hired leader or a recently promoted manager failing always exists. The higher the level, the more significant the impact of failure. Organizations can do well

by supporting transitions, which is a way of preparing the incumbent to settle into the requirements and complexities of the role and demonstrate their unique leadership signature.

Why focus on transition?

As we look at transition, a critical question one may need to ask is, “What is the Leadership signature we want to create in our future leaders through transition?� How an organization responds to this question forms the blueprint of the transition to be supported. Different organizations may approach it differently depending upon their culture, ambition, values, and vision. The way one responds to this would provide clarity on the facets of leadership that assume significance. These facets would require awareness, understanding, and the right playing field, october 2020 |

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aking on a new role or getting promoted is something that all of us look forward to. Growth (mainly vertical) is seen as a just reward for the toil, sacrifice, and the pursuit of personal ambition. But not all promotions are the same, and not all new roles require one to do more of the same. Some of them are different, more complex, and

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where the shifts can be applied and honed. A welldesigned transition helps the budding, aspiring leaders come face-to-face with the critical changes necessary for becoming leaders of eminence. It is not as easy as it looks. Very often, managers do not always know what facet of leadership needs to change in a new role. Let me give you an example: In one of the workshop sessions that I was taking for newly promoted senior managers, I asked the excited batch if they observed any change in their roles after promotions. There were two categories of responses. The majority of the participants replied, “Nothing much. We are doing what we were doing earlier.” Others responded, “I am already playing this new role for the last many months.” Some may argue that newly promoted managers were settling in and hence may not necessarily have grasped the critical shifts, while others seemed to have clarity, which translated in the assertion. But what if, both the groups were possibly unclear? One group could not see the change, while the other underestimated the shift. One needs to be mindful of the fact that not all transitions are alike; some require a quantum leap while others are incremen| october 2020

tal. Whatever be the case, managing transition helps to enhance the impact and reducing opportunity loss for the organization. Managing transition is about gaining clarity on what one needs to pay attention to add more value. In this regard, some of the questions that assume significance include: • What is the shift in the core work to be done in the new role? • What are the critical shifts in results expected in their new role? • What facets of work should they value more in the new role?

• What is the shift in the world view expected in the new role? • When exercising judgment and making decisions, what is the shift in time horizon to be considered? Failure to provide clarity to new managers around the questions mentioned above can come at a high price to the organization. Very often, the cost is gauged based on the missed opportunity, and hence it becomes paramount that results are clearly defined. Focusing on transitions is also for the following reasons.

A well-designed transition helps the budding, aspiring leaders come face-to-face with the critical changes necessary for becoming leaders of eminence


Transitions help organizations by enhancing the level of confidence in the quality of choices that leaders make

senior roles, their most significant contribution apart from delivering the required business results is enablement – how they enable others around them to excel. The circle of influence of senior leaders around enablement is significant. If leaders do not have the skill sets, intent alone will not help. And since this takes time, the focus on this aspect needs to start early, perhaps as soon as the day they begin leading teams. Let us understand this. In the context of business, all leaders understand the language of results. There are defined objectives which are set typically at the beginning of the year and frequently reviewed throughout the year. Results are by the very nature

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a) The first one is the business. The longer the time a new incumbent takes to fire, the more it puts stress on the company. Getting the new leader to start performing requires that they settle into the role quickly, understand the space where they add unique value and function. b) The second reason is skill-building. Some of the skills require a longer time to develop and gain mastery. For example, building high performing teams requires several specific skills such as coaching, creating a culture of fearlessness, holding people accountable, enhancing team effectiveness, among others, which take time to develop. c) The third and final reason is enablement. As individuals take on more

concrete, precise and timebound, usually with a lifespan of 12 months (aligned to the performance cycle of the organization). It brings in focus and induces a specific set of behaviors and actions. But, the role to be performed by the manager is a different kettle of fish. The role dimensions and their impact very often go beyond the 12-month appraisal cycle. As one moves higher and higher in the hierarchy, the time horizon of contribution or impact of a role increases. Hence, clarity on how an individual should approach the role and deliver expectations assumes great significance.

How can transition help organizations and individuals? A well-crafted transition program can help organizations derive requisite value and enable individuals to find the right direction and feel more equipped in their elevated roles. The core purpose of any transition is to provide clarity on the unique value addition october 2020 |

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expected from a job holder in the new role. Unique value addition: Value addition is perhaps the most critical element in the entire transition plan. Value addition emanates from the way leaders make meaning of what they encounter. The ability to make meaning when variables increase — some are known, other unknown, and a few possibly indecipherable — is critical to the decision-making process. The ability to make interlinkages amongst these variables provides new and interesting insights, which contribute to judgment and decision making. Each transition is thus an opportunity to help elucidate this meaning. This meaning manifests across results, problems, decision making, creativity, and networks, to name a few. • Nature and type of results to be delivered – The shift of a role may require moving from a mindset of achieving sales numbers through the team

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to appreciating the fact that "building a healthy, high perfoming sustainable team" is an equally critical result. A subsequent transition may require significant attention to create an inclusive work culture that contributes to sustainable results. Transitions are the best way to build appreciation and attention to the widening array of results expected of leaders. • Type of problems to be solved and approach to problem-solving – This shift may require going beyond the apparent to understanding the underlying structure of the problem to seeing it from different lens, i.e., redefining the problem. The ability to analyze a given problem by including all parameters such as process, people, technology, culture, customer, and market lens may reveal indi-

cators to the “real” problem so that the problem can be effectively addressed. Transitions help clarify the range and nature of the problem to be solved. • Scope and space for decision making – Time horizon over which the consequences of decisions made manifest, varies across a hierarchy. Quality of judgement and decision making requires working with increasing number of variables, many of them being increasingly ambiguous and uncertain. Making linkages and connections and deriving meaning out of them opens up several new possibilities. The appreciation of emerging risks & its ramifications would help organizational leaders exercise judgment and make informed decisions. Transitions help organizations by enhancing


the level of confidence in the quality of choices that leaders make. • Creativity in solutions – All roles provide scope for creativity. At times it pays to leverage experience and precedence. But there are times when experience can take us only thus far and no further. Defining alternatives and selecting the best among the different substitutes by testing various permutations and combinations provide space for creativity. It helps determine what needs to be maintained and what needs to be reimagined. Transitions help in clarifying the space for creativity.

• Networks and relationships to be nurtured – The width of network and the efficacy of relationship management is the hallmark of an effective leader. Time invested by leaders in developing a network – internal and external, takes time, and sustained commitment. Often high performers at certain levels struggle to make the necessary impact in the new role owing to low value being ascribed to a relationship or network management. The ability and the willingness to understand the network, the critical influencers, opinion-makers, and the skills to manage such stakeholders

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Supporting transitions can help unlock value for the business while providing fulfillment to the leaders. Hence, ensuring an ideal win-win situation

requires time and sustained effort. Transitions help emerging leaders develop the necessary shaping skills to enhance impact. Every step in the growth journey of a future leader requires them to learn different aspects of work, the associated skills and behaviors, which help build a unique signature of a leader. If these facets are not called out and shaped well, the most apparent and visible aspect of results might be the only imprint that defines them. Leaders of the future will need to be multifaceted, with higher levels of adaptability and agility. Transitions help shape and mold these aspects. As people start taking senior roles, it makes sense for organizations to create definite plans that support the individual transition. It could be a combination of well-crafted role elements, coaching, targeting leadership capability building, and the requisite field to apply the various aspects and develop the desired signature. Supporting transitions can help unlock value for the business while providing fulfillment to the leaders. Hence, ensuring an ideal win-win situation! ABOUT THE AUTHORS

SUNIL GANESH is the founder of Pragyan Advisory. He was a Partner Management Consulting and Change, D&I Leader with PwC India. www.thepragyan.com october 2020 |

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HR leaders need to lead with a HEART: CHRO, PepsiCo India HR leaders need to lead with a HEART – Humility, Empathy, Agility, Reflective and Transformational, shares Pavitra Singh, CHRO, PepsiCo India, in an interview with People Matters

L&D and Skilling

By Drishti Pant

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n April 2020, when the lockdown had just begun in India, Nielsen slashed its 2020 growth outlook for India’s fastmoving consumer goods (FMCG) sector to 5-6 percent from its earlier projection of 9 to 10 percent. The market researcher said that the long-term effects of the pandemic will have a wide-

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spread impact in the months to come. The pandemic impacted each sector in unique and unimaginable ways and FMCG is no different. In a recent interaction, we discussed the impact of the pandemic on business and talent strategies with Pavitra Singh, CHRO, PepsiCo India. She also talks

about the changing role of HR.

How has the current global health crisis impacted your business priorities and people strategies? COVID-19 has impacted each country, each society, each industry in different ways. All businesses have been challenged. The over-


Given the emerging trends in the sector, how is the job landscape shaping up? Which roles are in demand?

With increased flexibility, jobs will come to where people are. This will mean access to diverse talent pools – women, global and local talent, gig workers We are spotting multiple trends – digitization, automation, supply chain reengineering, health, and safety focus, cybersecurity threats to name a few. These trends will shape the job landscape differently and create demand for different job pools. I see manufacturing as a sector that will grow and be one of the large job creators. The Construction and Healthcare industry will be the other ones. We will see distributed hubs mushrooming that will unlock the job market.

L&D and Skilling

all FMCG market growth will shrink, according to Nielsen, as on one hand, the lockdown has crippled demand and disrupted trade channels, while on the other, consumers are tending to save and spend more money on home items like dishwashers, floor mops, and other home appliances. Spends will be more on selected discretionary items. The rural sector is less challenged and for many companies’ growth is being driven by rural markets. Like any other industry, we were challenged with the severity of the lockdown – the backend supply chain was disrupted with restrictions on starting operations, transporting raw materials, or finished products. Equally the frontend was impacted with closures of distributors and retailers. All this coupled with the concern on safety and social distancing protocols. Every business needs a survival plan followed by a growth plan. This crisis has also allowed us to reflect on how we operate, challenge existing norms, evaluate and leverage different partnerships which are key to drive future growth, and become far more agile and quicker in decision making.

I see employment contracts and terms changing. With increased flexibility, jobs will come to where people are. This will mean access to diverse talent pools – women, global and local talent, gig workers. A lot has been said about the “gig” economy – I believe it’s here to stay and will continue to grow. This pool will provide access to niche skills and know-how on a need basis. Roles that will help in digital transformation, tech innovation, automation, AI, fast-growing channels october 2020 |

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like e-commerce will be in demand. Roles in manufacturing, healthcare, financial services, data security industries will grow.

What are the gaps holding people back from making the transition between obsolete roles and in-demand roles? How can these gaps be closed? The current education and the corporate learning systems all are largely catering for today and not for tomorrow – they are not equipped to meet the everchanging skill demands of

the future. While COVID-19 has brought in the urgency to upskill and accelerate the learning time, I believe institutions and individuals have to adopt a more dynamic approach. It's tough to predict entirely what the skills and key capabilities of the future will be. Instead, we will need to prepare for a dynamic process of adoption of new skills. Unlearning and learning will be key. The way we look at L&D itself will change with new and flexible ways of learning emerging. Agile learning through real-time experi-

Agile learning through real-time experiences on the job or project, learning concepts from diverse industries, and adapting to the current context, continuous learning tools available on the go will be the norm

ences on the job or project, learning concepts from diverse industries, and adapting to the current context, continuous learning tools available on the go will be the norm. Both organizations and employees need to be adaptive.

What are the new workplace learning paradigms that COVID-19 has pushed into the spotlight – from learning to staying relevant? COVID-19 has made us question everything. Why do we do things in a certain way, or why do we do some things in the first place. The situation has pushed us to challenge the status quo, legacy processes, and practices that are no longer relevant or effective today. We have had online training platforms for a while, but this crisis helped us accelerate its adoption. Today virtual byte size modular formats that can be consumed anytime through multiple devices have become the norm and is far more effective. We have been able to reach masses with relevant and interactive learning content in multiple languages. What are PepsiCo's key L&D priorities? How are you building a strong pipeline of talent for the COVID19 era and beyond? We have defined a few key

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Lastly, HR will have to develop new norms or principles since this crisis is unprecedented and there is no existing policy or manual to tackle such situations. HR leaders need to lead with a HEART – Humility, Empathy, Agility, Reflective, and Transformational. These are going to be key for today and tomorrow.

capabilities that will fuel growth for the future - digital skills across the value chain, revenue management are a few examples. More importantly, having a learning mindset to quickly pick up and adapt to the new requirements is what our focus is. We have a strong build, acquire, and borrow talent strategy. Our strategic workforce planning process helps us identify the future skills gaps and proactively address them either through an internal or external talent pipeline. We are moving beyond the traditional narrow requirements and looking for talent with diversity in skill sets. We have a robust process of assess-

ing and developing talent and we are leveraging this time to invest in talent to strengthen our pipeline.

How is the role of HR Changing with the pandemic? What do you think are the core competencies the HR of the present and the future need to build? HR needs to address concerns and worries first. Secondly, HR has to be an active business partner. It should align the structure to the new business strategy and define the new capabilities required to support and drive growth. Thirdly HR has to be proactive and speed of decision and resolution will have to be there.

L&D and Skilling

We have a strong; build, acquire, and borrow talent strategy

How are you ensuring that you keep calm, sail through, and help others also in these tough times? Share your tips. I look at it with three different lenses – as a company employee, as a homemaker, and as a mother. As the CHRO, I have tried to connect as much as I can and my calendar keeps overflowing every day. I recognized it's so important to have high-quality interactions and bring energy to every meeting. A full calendar challenges my other roles. I’ve tried to balance it by spending quality time with my 13-year-old daughter. We have watched Netflix series together, cooked and I have taught her how to bake. I have been practicing yoga in the morning which I must say has helped me stay calm and collected. The pandemic and the current situation has helped me unlock my potential to do so many things, I wasn’t even aware I could do. october 2020 |

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Nikita Singh

Freelancers and the future of work As the new world of work moves into a blended model – with employees and freelancers, here’s what you need to do

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wo hundred years ago - around 1819 - the words ‘’free lance’’, described paid army officers! From two distinct words in the 1800s to the hyphenated ‘free-lance’ in the 1920s, finally emerged the word ‘freelance’ as we know it now. Akin, to how freelancers are now a core part of an ever-increasing part of many organizations worldwide. As organizations adapt to a changing workforce dynamic, they have accelerated the adoption of independent talent to drive business agility. Here’s some interesting data: 1. India’s gig economy is projected to grow to $455 billion over the next 3 years. Over 60 percent organizations expect an increase in the number of freelance workers (Deloitte, April 2020). To quote Nicolas Dumoulin, MD, Michael Page India who I had a conversation with a couple of weeks ago, “The appetite | october 2020

for freelancing as well as working with independent consultants, is growing in India. More companies need expertise for a specific period of time. Therefore, instead of hiring for the longterm, they hire independent professionals. One option is to work with larger consulting firms, though they tend to be expensive and perhaps less flexible than freelancers. So, there is definitely an ask from a client

perspective. Though it works best when freelancers and organizations connect through personal networks. This builds the trust that organizations have in freelancers.” 2. 47 percent of hiring managers are more likely than earlier to hire independent professionals, since the global pandemic (Upwork, June 2020). This research also highlights that 3/4th of hiring managers say engaging independent professionals


may be the more efficient & strategic way forward for organizations* 3. PayPal research indicates that one in four freelancers globally is from India- with India alone, contributing a whopping 15 million in a wide array of sectors like IT and programming, finance, sales & marketing, design, animation, videography, content, consulting, and academic writing, etc.

Insights for Organizations basis a short survey (n=120) that I sent out

The need to define a ‘Freelancer Value Proposition’ Greater than 90% of responses suggest that freelancers face challenges with delayed payments, unrealistic timelines, clients tacitly eke out more than the contracted amount of work without compensation and importantly, not being treated as ‘equal partners.’ As one respondent put it, “I would enjoy being treated as a partner or collaborator, rather than someone who is talked down to.” Inputs such as this are disturbing and could indicate the underlying perception that might possibly be at play.” Research by Jon Younger, contributor to HBR and author of a Forbes Careers

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So, the data appears to indicate on the one hand an enhanced willingness by organizations to engage with independent professionals and, on the other hand, it points towards a larger number of professionals choosing the freelance model over the next few years! I spoke with Shanu Malkani, Co-founder at IndusGuru Network Partners, one of India’s leading online networks of busi-

ness experts and consultants. She said, “Freelancing gig work will grow in all sectors of the workforce – blue, grey and white-collar employees. The trend of digitization accelerated by COVID, resulting in increasing proportion of work-force working remotely, also will help in the growth of the freelancing economy.” Increasingly, working professionals have started to realize that the work-fromhome culture makes it even more attractive to choose freelancing as does the relatively higher flexibility and autonomy in an independent professional avatar over the full time employee model. Are we ready for a workforce that comprises 50 percent (or more) freelancers? What does this mean for organizations? What does it mean for those who freelance currently or plan to do so in the future?

The appetite for freelancing as well as working with independent consultants, is growing in India. More companies need expertise for a specific period of time october 2020 |

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future of work

blog supports the premise that freelancer experience matters. As Younger puts it, “Freelancers appear to perform best in organizations that appreciate their contribution. It is important to see freelancers as stakeholders who play a meaningful role.” Organizations could, therefore, benefit greatly from building an aspirational brand within the Freelance/Independent Professionals community and establish partnerships with key talent platforms. Similar

The ‘freelancer experience’ is as important as the ‘employee experience’? As I dug deeper and conversed with Dipesh Garg, CEO & Founder at Truelancer – a Global Freelance marketplace with a network of over one million independent professionals- he said “Freelancers or Solo Entrepreneurs are the future of work. The way both large and small organi-

Freelancers or solo entrepreneurs are the future of work. The way both large and small organizations are hiring is changing. Companies & founders are even hiring freelancers for the entire quarter to an ‘Employee Value Proposition’ (EVP), it would be helpful to build a favorable ‘Freelancer Value Proposition’ (FVP). For this shift to take place, organizational leaders would need to be sensitized to the valuable contribution that independent professionals make. When leaders experience this shift in perception, the focus could move to attracting the most suitable independent professionals/freelancers, akin to having a talent acquisi-

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tion strategy for permanent employees.

| october 2020

zations are hiring is changing. Companies & founders are even hiring freelancers for the entire quarter.” This appears to indicate that the future of work is shifting towards a ‘blended workforce’. High performance could then depend on the effectiveness with which organizations lead and manage ‘blended teams.’ A focus on providing positive freelancer experience is therefore critical to make this possible. Some examples that survey respondents

mention include transparent contracts, consistent process for on-boarding, upskilling & training programs, continuous feedback and involvement in significant events/ meetings. Just as organizations craft talent strategies for full-time employees, similarly they might now need to design specific ‘freelance talent strategy.’

The role of ‘freelancers’ may no longer be limited to ‘delivery’

Assignments such as Advertising & Social media campaign design, defining Organizational Culture or building IT Infrastructure are about more than only executing specific deliverables. They involve understanding the business context, asking the right questions, creating strategy, planning and agility in execution. A survey respondent working with one of the largest freelancing networks globally said “Organizations would benefit from building a reciprocal and inclusive relationship with freelancers. Often, I've seen companies treat freelancers as pure executors - if you want to get the most out of your relationship with freelancers, it's critical to have a two-way conversation and make them feel like a part of their culture. This could also enhance the loyalty and


2. Develop a process for creating work opportunities that goes beyond personal networking With the changing business context, increase in the number of freelancers and the ‘need’ to be more visible, is having a personal network enough to create a sustainable pipeline of work opportunities? Michael Page MD, Nicolas, spoke about three ways in which independent professionals could create continuous business for themselves • Discipline • Balance between being ‘available’ always and setting boundaries when required • Persistence

Insights for Independent professionals/Freelancers:

“As an independent professional, opportunity comes disguised as hard work. We have to put in work into networking, upskilling ourselves and constantly adapting to changes in the external environment” – freelancer in the Media & Film industry. “It is important for freelancers to work with the similar level of commitment & ownership as a permanent employee. Contextualizing his/her skills to the business need is important. As organizations, we also have a role to play to enable them to do so” – senior HR leader in a large Indian conglomerate.

1. It isn’t only about skill. It’s also about behavior and attitude More often than not, knowledge, expertise and marketable ‘hard skills’ are the starting points of an independent professional’s career. Delivering value consistently and ‘making it’ as a freelancer or independent professional isn’t only about ‘hard skills’; in the survey* I conducted, the five behaviors for success that stood out are: • Networking • Agility & Adaptability in execution

Here are some quotes:

future of work

commitment of the independent professional.” Given this, organizations could benefit by integrating independent professionals into their business and workforce planning.

• Deliver high-quality work consistently: In addition to personal networks, Nicholas emphasized the need to meet/exceed client expectations consistently. He said, “A freelancer is an entrepreneur who runs his/ her business. Each gig will bring you to another, and you have no choice but to deliver. As a freelancer, if you can build a track record of your work, in terms of how you have been doing it, what is the process and who are the kind of clients you have worked with, you are more likely to get business without having a personal relationship with the organization.” • Specialize: This is a tricky decision for every freelancer – to specialize or not? Many independent professionals may have expertise in more than one area of work. It could therefore make sense from a business perspective october 2020 |

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future of work

The world of work is moving inexorably towards a blended workforce. Given the evidence all around us, it is time that both organizations and independent professionals work on strategies to proactively engage & stay invested in each other’s growth to work with clients across various areas. However, Nicholas says, “As freelancers, it is important to specialize. Whilst this may impact the amount of work you get in the beginning, over a long-term period it does help to build expertise and become a go-to person within your niche.” • Partner with a recruiting firm: Recruitment firms like Michael Page have recently started to connect freelancers & independent professionals to

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relevant opportunities. As Nicholas put it, “If you’re an individual working with an organization, there could be times when pay gets delayed and other issues may emerge. A recruiting firm will have contact with the client and help freelancers with all their activities. This gives freelancers more stability as well as wider access in the market. When recruiters know your gig is ending in one month, they start looking out for you proactively.”

3. Reflect on your purpose today and how you could continue to evolve Many of us choose independent consulting over a regular job, but each one is driven by different reasons – our own ambition, life circumstances and/or potential for financial gains. Freelancing can consume us, leaving little room for introspection - which is why a process of looking within is almost a starting point for the five behaviors written about above. So, look within yourself, critically examine your purpose – “why am I doing what I am doing?”, “what is the future I envision?” and “how do I communicate this purpose to stakeholders?” These are key questions to reinforce belief and longevity as an independent professional. The world of work is moving inexorably towards a blended workforce. Given the evidence all around us, it is time that both organizations and independent professionals work on strategies to proactively engage & stay invested in each other’s growth.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Nikita is an Organizational Psychologist from the London School of Economics, a Talent & Leadership Consultant, Leadership Coach and Certified Wellness Coach


Steve Sonnenberg

Why engagement is the key to growth during times of uncertainty

Employee engagement is no longer just about driving productivity and hanging onto to performers. It's become fundamental to ensuring that employees are supported in even their most basic job duties.

ment has shifted to ensure employees are supported to handle even basic job duties. In fact, this is perhaps the most concerned the entire business world has ever been about keeping all employees engaged.

A rise, and a plunge, in engagement

Engagement soared to alltime highs at the beginning of the pandemic. People

were happy to have a job, even if it wasn’t ideal. But that growth didn't last. A recent Gallup report showed that while a staggering 38 percent of employees were actively engaged in May, within a few weeks, that rate had already dropped to 31 percent. Even with the spike in the number of engaged

Employee engagement

T

he meaning of employee engagement has changed, and companies across the board are rethinking on how to effectively engage employees today. Pre-pandemic, engagement was simply about driving productivity and retaining top performers. But as businesses adapt to cope with tremendous uncertainty, the focus of engage-

As workforces struggle to adapt to new environments and circumstances, employee engagement is needed now more than ever. But traditional rewards and recognition solutions aren't working anymore october 2020 |

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employees, the same report saw the number of actively disengaged employees stay the same over time. While employers might have an increased focus on engagement, there’s a clear issue with sustaining those engagement levels. That volatility presents many costly risks to future business performance, from employee turnover to decreased profits.

Employee engagement

Engagement is needed more than ever

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These ups and downs may be expected, but they signal something larger. As workforces struggle to adapt

to new environments and circumstances, employee engagement is needed now more than ever. The problem is, traditional rewards and recognition solutions don’t work for the modern workforce sustainably. And considering the unique challenges employees face today, they were never made to. To sustain the rate at which the need for engagement is growing, the way we recognize and reward must grow too. Changes in the world of work have in turn changed the ways employees need to feel engaged. Employees today are struggling in ways that impact

The durability of workforces depends on deep connections and frequent moments of meaningful recognition. How can those be provided?

| october 2020

their work like never before. For the employee who has had their team reduced and dispersed, or has had to adjust working hours to care for children at home, their entire relationship with work has been altered. For employees who are experiencing extended periods of isolation, or are burdened by constant distractions in a home-office environment, their risk for burnout is only getting worse. All of these conditions have changed the meaning of engagement.

What we’re missing: meaning and a personalized experience

Nuanced moments of appreciation, such as getting instant feedback from a manager, are now difficult to come by. Even having work seen and appreciated by coworkers is harder to facilitate, and traditional rewards may not even be valuable. When all of the drivers of engagement have changed, how can we make recognition more meaningful? At this moment, HR leaders have an opportunity to support their organization with technology that can make a difference. Top-down solutions don’t have the employee in mind, and can’t keep up with the pace of change today. Effective platforms must give teams the ability to configure engagement programs to meet the needs of the organ-


ization. Recognition has never been one-size-fits-all, especially now, and organizations need solutions that can meet the unique needs of all employees — in a personalized way. For employees to stay engaged, the experience of recognition has to be rewarding. Most traditional programs are clunky and cumbersome, which results in an experience that requires users to spend as much time administering as they do recognize each other. Employees want to stay connected. They want to share appreciation. But

legacy engagement platforms have failed to grow proportionally with the needs of the ever-changing workplace. A lack of integration capabilities and customization has resulted in positive behaviors being gated by over-complicated processes. Thus, employees lose interest, and activity drops.

Employee engagement

With technology that empowers employees with more choice in the way they share recognition, companies can hope to see engagement grow in times of tremendous uncertainty

Technology that streamlines recognition, giving teams from all departments or all job levels the ability to share recognition, is critical. Improving the speed and effectiveness of communication not only keeps teams connected but prevents bottlenecks for productivity. The growth in the importance of employee engagement means more employees are in need of support too. The changes in the needs of employees will only continue, so the support they receive must be nimble enough to sustain engagement in the long run. Sustained engagement lies in the capabilities that make staying connected easier when offices are closed, or give employees the ability to feel rewarded for great work when in-person celebrations are a thing of the past. With technology that empowers employees with more choice in the way they share recognition, companies can hope to see engagement grow in times of tremendous uncertainty.

Driving lasting connections in times of uncertainty

The durability of workforces depends on deep connections and frequent moments of meaningful recognition.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Steve Sonnenberg is the CEO of Awardco, an employee recognition platform. october 2020 |

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I N TERVIEW

‘Capability building is a continuous process’ Every L&D professional will have to act fast in these tough times, shares Priyanka Gidwani, CHRO, Mahindra Holidays and Resorts India in an exclusive interaction with People Matters on the role of talent professionals to build resilience for enduring learning By Shweta Modgil Build your skills, not your resume – Sheryl Sandberg

N

ever have these words been rendered more true than today. As COVID-19 changes the realities of our lives, our businesses, and our jobs, it has become very clear that old skills and capabilities have to lead to the new for organizations to accelerate their transformation out of the downturn.

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How can we reimagine workplace learning in order to stay relevant and more important sustainable? What are the new learning designs and delivery models that have come into play and what does it mean for L&D leaders? In an exclusive interaction with People Matters, Priyanka Gidwani, CHRO, Mahindra Holidays and Resorts India Ltd, shares her thoughts on the role of talent professionals to build resilience for enduring


learning and improving the learning culture in their organizations. Here are the excerpts of the interview.

Every L&D professional will have to act fast in these tough times. Most importantly, they will need to understand the training requirements of the organization and will thus need to adopt an efficient L&D strategy to improve the learning culture in the organization

I N TERVIEW

The pandemic has also brought back the importance of reskilling and upskilling of resources as part of the larger business transformation in the wake of the crisis. What do you think are some of the trends around reskilling and upskilling post-COVID-19? Capability building is a continuous process. Indeed, the pandemic has caused unprecedented disruption across businesses and has put the world into a state of chaos. More significantly, it has compelled HR professionals to rethink their roles and contributions in an organization. There is a visible reform process at work processes and structure that has led to an increase in demand for reskilling and upskilling in order to enhance efficiency. Organizing virtual training sessions and webinars to upgrade an existing skill or develop a new one, has kept the employees motivated and helped them to adapt to the current situation. These digitally enabled experiences ensure an increased sense of community, purpose, and focus on employees when they are away from the proximity of their colleagues, supervisors, and managers. Remote working or work from home was in conversation much before but, this pandemic has ensured that it is here to stay. Many employees managed with learning in the first phase of lockdown. However, continued remote working called on them to upskill themselves. For instance, sales

forces had to shift from personal meetings to setting up video meetings in order to manage customer relationships effectively in remote settings. Corporations are going through a learning curve as leaders are trying to figure out how to manage and lead their teams virtually and create camaraderie without the benefits of physical conversations. These are some of the skill sets that will emerge as companies contemplate returning to the workplace.

How do you think reskilling needs to change in the hospitality industry post-COVID-19? The hospitality sector is currently witnessing a radical, digital disruption owing to unanticipated COVID-19 pandemic. It has become crucial for companies to conduct virtual training and upskilling sessions for employees to keep them aligned with the latest developments like safety practices and procedures. Adopting digital advancement tools has now become indispensable to the daily functioning of employees, like resorting to contactless services and dealing with customer queries. To increase october 2020 |

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I N TERVIEW

We have additionally launched an iTeach program, a digital learning series which is a one-hour session conducted by senior leaders in the organization on various relevant topics. It allows our senior leaders to stay connected and the teams value the face time with the leaders productivity and stay at par with changing trends in the industry, it is immensely important to indulge employees in upskilling and reskilling activities on topics like Hygiene and Safety standards that take topmost priority currently and on technologies that drive digital savviness.

Companies that continue to invest in training and offer learning opportunities for their talent will emerge as winners on the other side of this crisis. What are some of the L&D initiatives initi120

| october 2020

ated by Mahindra Holidays in this pandemic? At Mahindra Holidays, we have been conducting extensive L&D programs to keep our employees engaged and help them getting reskilled during COVID times. We have retrained our sales teams to pitch and make product presentations virtually. We are constantly upgrading their knowledge by arranging online quizzes and competitions. We have additionally launched an iTeach program, a digital learning series which is a one-hour session conducted by senior leaders in the organization on various relevant topics. It allows our senior leaders to stay connected and the teams value the face time with the leaders. Further, Club Mahindra has re-designed the entire guest experiences, right from checkin, to in-resort experiences including F&B, to make them all contactless. The company has undertaken extensive staff training to ensure physical distancing, sanitation frequency, and safe service standards and interactions. The pandemic also highlights the need to reskill and upskill workers towards stronger data science skills, a better understanding of artificial intelligence, and to expand digital literacy overall. What is Mahindra Holidays doing in that direction? As the new work culture is shaping up, most organizations are going digital and relying


What steps can L&D leaders take to build resilience for enduring learning and development and for improving learning culture in their organizations? In today’s scenario, leadership, HR managers and L&D teams need to play a critical role in keeping the teams motivated and informed. They will need to go that extra mile to connect with their remote employees. Organ-

izations that are not used to having a remote workforce will need to start thinking about how they will share knowledge differently and lead virtually. Every L&D professional will have to act fast in these tough times. Most importantly, they will need to understand the training requirements of the organization and will thus need to adopt an efficient L&D strategy to improve the learning culture in the organization. The L&D manager will need to constantly review ongoing training programs and understand the underlying opportunities

L&D teams need to be mindful to collect feedback and information to identify any areas that need improvement and feed into the next session and future programs

I N TERVIEW

on remote working. A substantial increase in the use of digital delivery, globally, is underway across all segments of the workforce i.e. from frontline managers to senior leaders to executives and even select bluecollar(ed). Organizations around the world are using virtual learning to collaborate among teams that are working either remotely or across different time zones. They are taking courses together and working cohesively in virtual formats, such as videoconferencing and instant messaging. One of the biggest concerns for organizations is lower productivity in certain roles during continued remote working. Training/ re-skilling current employees on emerging topics, technologies, and driving digital advancement will only help them move up the value chain and increase productivity. As mentioned above, at Mahindra Holidays, we have been conducting training sessions for sales staff to pitch/ converse with customers virtually and address their queries. This has augured well for us and we have seen promising results.

during these changing times. He/ she will need to encourage a continuous learner’s mindset and share information with the organization on virtual work, remote work guidelines, and virtual leadership. L&D teams need to be mindful to collect feedback and information to identify any areas that need improvement and feed into the next session and future programs. It is very critical to remember that there is a human element side of this that people are experiencing and not to forget the subtle power of “Digital Empathy” as well as “Story Telling”. october 2020 |

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Past Month's events

Knowledge + Networking

Key to a successful HR Technology deployment: Sustaining gains from conceptualization to execution

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People Matters BeNext Certification Program 28th - 30th September 2020 Online From the greater collaboration between HR and business to improved employee experience to datadriven decisions powered by analytics-these are some of the visions and goals that almost every HR transformation project aims for. However, the HR transformation journey often ends with limited gains - a system deployment that rehashes existing processes and policies on a slightly shinier digital platform. How does technology deployment constantly stay true to delivering business objectives? How do we maximize the gains of new technology and align and integrate processes, policies, and technology so that they work in tandem? Vikrant Khanna, Partner (Sr. Director) and Asia Lead - HR Transformation and Change Advisory, Alight Solutions showed a practitioner’s view in defining what makes a successful HR technology deployment whilst exploring the journey that organizations have taken in order to balance deployment effectiveness, business priorities, and employee experience.

| october 2020

Reimagining Performance & Growth

Going Beyond Jobs: Skills & Work

People Matters BeNext Certification Program 24th - 26th September 2020 Online Designing a performance management strategy has been “top of the agenda” for the last few years. There is now a big chance for a reboot and reset, given that numerous processes are having to evolve to adapt to the distance economy. This workshop by Josh Bersin, Global Industry Analyst, and Dean, Josh Bersin Academy discussed and exercised targets to help delegates envision a new approach for growth and performance and through this, leverage the opportunity afforded by the Great Reset of productivity, meaning, and innovation.

People Matters BeNext Certification Program 21st - 23rd September 2020 Online As organizations look at workplace planning very differently in the new normal, human resources leaders need to look at talent and human capital beyond “jobs” to embrace “work” and “contribution” as concepts underpinning talent practices. From gig to flexible, to reimagining all people processes that will support and enable all kinds of contributors in the work value chain, this masterclass by John Sumser, Founder, Principal, HRExaminer discussed how to re-imagine work and how work happens.

Crafting a Sustainable Digital Vision in a two-speed world

People Matters TechHR 2020

People Matters BeNext Certification Program 14th - 16th September 2020 Online Companies across the world are facing a radically altered business landscape following the current pandemic. Going ahead, the growing digital competition and innovation may dictate a new organizational architecture in which emerging digital processes coexist with traditional ones. This Masterclass will discuss fundamental shifts that organizations need to make in their processes and adoption mechanisms to navigate successfully.

2020

People Matters 7th - 11th September

Online The People Matters TechHR 2020 was successfully hosted from 7th - 11th September 2020. As Asia’s largest HR and Worktech conference, it hosted over 3200+ HR & business leaders from 55 countries and 67 global speakers. Through the 5 days, 8,448 connections were made, 27,423 discussions were created, 539 virtual meetings were scheduled, and the social media reach went up to 34 million with 17,320+ social engagements.


Upcoming events People Matters L&D Conference 2020

People Matters BeNext Program 28th - 30th October 2020 Online The Virtual Facilitator: In this foundation program, you will learn best practices for remote facilitating, tactics to increase participation and engagement, strategies to avoid disengagement as well as learn about different virtual facilitation tools and understand when to effectively use them.

The Working-from-Home Facilitator Certification Mastertrack People Matters BeNext Program 9th November - 13th November 2020 Online The Virtual Learner: This specialist course covers everything you need to know to create impactful online learning sessions. Content includes icebreakers, how to design remote learning materials, breakout sessions, and continuous engagement.

The Working-from-Home Facilitator Certification Mastertrack People Matters BeNext Program 2nd - 6th November 2020 Online The Virtual Team: In this deep dive program, you will become more familiar with how to effectively lead, manage and design online meetings for all types of events including small to large meetings and town halls. You will learn about best practices for managing content, delivery, and on-going audience participation. In addition, we will also cover online tool decision making, to enable you to leverage the best technologies.

The Working-from-Home Facilitator Certification Mastertrack

Knowledge + Networking

People Matters 21st -22nd October 2020 Online In the digital transformation journey, having a detailed talent development roadmap will be as critical as having a technology one. Articulating critical skills for recovery, building the base of future digital skills, reimagining training at a scale in a distant world, and bringing on an experimentative mindset is the base to rev-up growth for individuals, organizations, and economies. This Conference will bring our community together to help us reflect and find collective answers to one big question: How do we RevUp Growth through capability, through change interventions, and through culture in a time of uncertainty, chaos, and disruption? In that exchange, we will charge up clarity, shed light, and uncover a new roadmap to build the foundation of a capability-driven business strategy for growth. Register Now: https://lndconference.peoplematters.in

The Working-from-Home Facilitator Certification Mastertrack

People Matters BeNext Program 16th - 20th November 2020 Online The Virtual Coach gives you the skills to help have more productive remote conversations, including regular coaching and challenging conversations such as performance coaching and implementing remote performance improvement plans

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Blogosphere Fundamental management lessons for COVID-era leaders >> nikhil arora

b lo g o s p he r e

The changes that are being demanded today are disruptive, challenging, and the ultimate results are unknown. But as they say, a crisis draws out the best in leaders, so in the current situation, businesses need to reflect on their mission, values, and beliefs and see how integrated they are with their employees

T

he country is now several months into the COVID-19 pandemic, and it has proved to be a learning experience for everyone, especially workplaces. There is stress, fear, anxiety, and fatigue all around. Situations have changed overnight. The speed with which this crisis has affected regular workplace operations has been drastic. While the pandemic is likely to create ripples that will impact us all for

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months and even years to come, it also provides a novel chance for leaders to assess and review how they approach this situation within their organization and come out stronger together. The changes that are being demanded today are disruptive, challenging, and the ultimate results are unknown. But as they say, a crisis draws out the best in leaders, so in the current situation, it is important for businesses to reflect on their mission, values, and beliefs and see how integrated they are with their employees. Here are some helpful tips for business leaders, working hard, to deal with today’s uncertain times, hoping to contribute towards the company’s overall development. • Trusting and enabling others: Studies have proven that leaders who trust and empower their workforce unleash significant potential as compared to employees at low-trust companies. Amid the current challenging situation,


leaders should consider showing trust in their teams, thereby enabling them to bring out their best onto the table. A strong sense of trust between the employer and the employee not only helps increase employee’s productivity but also helps bolster their morale. Encouraging people to take up tasks and motivating them to constantly upskill themselves alongside the ongoing pandemic, will instill more confidence in them and at the same time, allow them to explore and take up new and more challenging roles.

• Dividing Authority: In the current situation, dealing with multiple complexities has made leaders realize the need for employees to make proactive and individual decisions. With the difference in geographies and lack of in-person contact all the time, one cannot wait for directions from the superiors all the time. Therefore, leaders should consider delegating the authority for a smoother workflow. This will also help build more trust among employees, giving them the extra onus and rigor towards doing a task.

b lo g o sp he r e

• People-first strategy: The biggest asset for any business is the workforce; hence employee wellness should be the core focus for modern business leaders to thrive and succeed in the new normal. While leaders across the world have realized that health and safety of the people in the company is of utmost priority, it is important to view the situation through the eyes of the employees and look beyond providing just IT and health support. It should include taking care of the employees beyond paychecks and focusing on softer aspects like their physical, mental, and psychological wellness and needs. During a pandemic like this, a leader should consider maintaining open channels of communication to understand how employees are feeling and most importantly, listen and respond regularly. A good leader might not be present everywhere, but his communication channels should penetrate all spheres of the organization with a sense of accountability and promise.

Studies have proven that leaders who trust and empower their workforce unleash significant potential as compared to employees at low-trust companies

• Looking beyond the current situation: As a leader, having foresight is not about just predicting the future, but a significant ability to oversee, saddle, and adapt to the constantly changing environment. It includes being able to filter through a october 2020 |

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b lo g o s p he r e

ness can positively contribute to the community in these challenging times. From hosting informative webinars to providing free tools and products/services, most businesses are already doing what they can to help those in need. Not only does this help position the company in a positive light, but can also help in strengthening customers’ trust and loyalty towards your business.

While leaders across the world have realized that health and safety of the people in the company is of utmost priority, it is important to view the situation through the eyes of the employees and look beyond providing just IT and health support large amount of conflicting information and make astute decisions for the long term benefit of the people and the business. Developing a prescience can help leaders envision challenges and abstain from letting circumstances fully dictate and overpower the company. Although one could falter at times, there should always be a contingency plan in the backend, along with the ability to face challenging times and the vision to overcome them. • Giving back to the community: We all are in this together. As a responsible leader, one should figure out how a busi-

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• Communication and Transparency is key: The fundamentals of addressing a crisis for a leader are being honest and transparent about the situation and also communicating the next steps with clarity, humility, and kindness. As a leader, one should work towards reassuring both customers and employees that not only are you aware of the problem but will also work with others to find an appropriate solution to address it. As with any major crisis, it is hard to anticipate or know certainly when things will get resolved or how. Needless to say, these tough times will be testing the character and resolve of modern business leaders and CXOs. Those who are rising to the challenge are doing so by constructively shouldering responsibility, captivating their people with vigilance, putting their kin first with their actions, and being definitive. It is those robust leaders’ businesses that, when the storm has settled and the pandemic has passed, will be standing still and strong. ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Nikhil Arora is the Vice President and Managing Director for GoDaddy in India.


RNI Details: Vol. XI, Issue No. 10, R.N.I. No. HARENG/2010/33504. Price Per Copy: Rs. 150/- Printed and Published by Mahesh Kumar on behalf of People Matters Publishing Pvt. Ltd. Published at 501, 5th Floor, Millennium Plaza, Tower A, Sushant Lok-1, Sector-27, Gurgaon - 122009, Haryana, India. Printed at Polykam Offset, C-138, Phase - I, Naraina Industrial Area, New Delhi - 110028. Editor: Esther Martinez Hernandez

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People Matters: Reimagining Workplace Learning October 2020  

COVID-19 has forced us to restructure work; come up with new business models, revisit roles, set new priority areas, among others. The pande...

People Matters: Reimagining Workplace Learning October 2020  

COVID-19 has forced us to restructure work; come up with new business models, revisit roles, set new priority areas, among others. The pande...