Millennials seek meaningful work

Amrita Nair Ghaswalla | Updated on January 13, 2018 Published on March 01, 2017

PNSV Narasimham

Cyient on how HR is adapting to the times

Typically, HR in most organisations is not an early adopter of technology or change. But, the ₹3,100-crore Cyient, says PNSV Narasimham, its Senior Vice-President and Global Head of Human Resources, has always been upgrading “through forward investment in future technologies”. He says the 13,000-plus-people strong firm, focused on engineering, networks and operations solutions, was the first Indian organisation to implement Workday (a cloud-based human capital management tool). Excerpts from an interview with BusinessLine’s Amrita Nair Ghaswalla:

A challenge for companies today is to engage younger employees, who are a complex and heterogeneous group. What is your approach towards them?

While the millennials are perceived to be complex, heterogeneous and entitled, we recognise another side of them which is dominant. They are very determined, self-aware and ambitious, and more importantly, they seek to create an impact through meaningful and purposeful work. We attempt to provide them opportunities and platforms to contribute in a way that is meaningful to them.

Primarily, we classify this current generation into three categories – a) those seeking a long-standing career with Cyient; b) those seeking short-term engagement with the company for industry exposure; and c) those who would like to add value to their careers even through a short stint with the organisation.

We cater to the needs of all the three categories and tailor our approach accordingly. In their early stages with us, we give them robust growth opportunities to build their careers through trainings, job rotations and best-in-class tools and technology to work with. Additionally, we reward them appropriately for their achievements.

How can HR managers handle a flexible and virtual workforce?

There are essentially four key stakeholders – emerging technologies, supply chain (schools and colleges), business managers and changing needs of the customers that need to be catered to in the current competitive business scenarios. HR teams are progressively making an attempt to adapt to the needs that are coming in from each of these stakeholder groups. It is crucial to consider that these stakeholders are not homogeneous and therefore cannot be stereotyped, particularly when we operate in many different landscapes across the globe. For instance, our recruitment campaign in Hyderabad is modified appropriately to target the potential talent pool in Prague or Brussels.

Companies today are changing policies often. How easy is it to roll out new features so that employees understand the nuances?

As with all change management exercises it is important to set the context and expectations for everyone to get on board. In dealing with people, there is no definite way to predict how well the information will be received, and that makes it interesting, more than difficult. There are a few tried and tested ways in which the perception and reception of information can be handled in a way that best serves stakeholders.

To roll out any new features there are mainly two key considerations – selecting the right mode of communication and training to empower in the face of change. Both these factors need to be tailored with respect to the audience. At Cyient, we attempt to strike a balance in the flow of information through the right mix of content, media and training.

Should HR place a priority on leadership training?

We recognise the leaders of tomorrow emerge from the budding managers of today. Leadership programmes at Cyient are systematic and tailored to the target group, adopting a combination of learning-in-action, exposure-driven, and reflective learning.

We have focused development of senior leaders driven by individualised plans and a flagship programme for the middle management, called the Business Leader Programme. Our Emerging Leader Programme identifies high-potential junior managers and provides immersive learning. Many of the senior leaders at Cyient today have undergone high potential training programmes several years ago, with some going back a decade.

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Published on March 01, 2017
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