The Master Classes organized by Corporate Shiksha team are a unique platform of learning & knowledge sharing. With the participants comprising of around 10-15 mid-level HR professionals and the faculty being industry leaders with 20+ years of experience, it surely was a class I was eagerly looking forward to.
The Master Class on Branding the Workplace was conducted on 24-25 June 2016, at India Habitat Centre, Delhi. The 2 days were full of quality interactions with senior leaders who gave us a holistic perspective of how employer brand evolved and initiatives taken by companies to stand out as an employer of choice.
Some of the key learnings, from each of the sessions were:
Business Expectation from Employer Branding and building the Best Workplace Brand
By Dr. Yasho V Verma
Speaking from his extensive experience in personnel management and employee relations, Dr Verma gave the gathering a glimpse of how the HR landscape has made massive changes over the years. He spoke of how organizations move, grow, merge and transform and described how, with the longevity of companies becoming shorter, the employee lifecycle has also undergone a metamorphosis. “Technology is critical”, he said, “but people capability has emerged as the primary differentiator for achieving heightened performance and growth”.
The key takeaways from Dr Verma’s session were:
- The four P’s of personnel management
- Purpose: Can you give meaning to your employees?
- People management: Can you motivate them?
- Process: Can you optimize your processes and systems?
- Performance: Can you identify the most potent parameters?
- For unexpected performance, it is wise to give unexpected rewards as differentiator.
- Instead of focusing on debt as fuel, profit should be channelled back to generate revenue.
- The biggest savings can often be made from the supply chain function, in minimising inventory and addressing process gaps.
- The four skills of adaptability:
- Be comfortable with the local food wherever you go.
- Speak the local language and build fluency in it.
- Tolerate the local habits of the place you inhabit.
- Use limited, focused words.
- It is very important to build a connect with the families of employees.
Talent Brand & Talent Value Proposition
By Hanumant Talwar
Mr Hanumant Talwar took a relevant session that built up the concept of the employer brand. He envisaged the employer brand and discussed the various aspects of building an employer brand proposition. For example, “always call people by name”, he advised. An employer brand must be self-driven, emphasized Mr Talwar – portraying this with the powerful example of the “I am Convergys” campaign that he had implemented while with Convergys.
Some of the key takeaways from Mr Talwar’s session were:
- Encourage innovation through the rank and file of employees, and through this, build the Brand.
- It is critical to understand the employees’ experience with the employer brand, in order to ramp it up. In this, it is as important to pay attention to the employee pulse in corridor greetings as in exit interviews.
- It is imperative to treat people with dignity and respect.
- To create brand loyalty, it is important to provide role clarity and a long-term career map.
- Spread the word. It will be a wise step to include all stakeholder – even external consultants – in the brand-building.
Managing Social Recruiting and Talent Brand Monitoring
By Aadil Bandukwala
Mr Aadil Bandukwala’s session was extremely energetic. As social media evangelist, Mr Bandukwala came equipped with a presentation that showcased the various genius tips and tricks that can be used while leveraging social media for talent acquisition. He explained how the three generations of talent (Boomers, Gen-X and Millennials) differ in their aspirations and outlook, and the approaches the employer must use to customize the employer brand for each of them. He gave the much relatable analogy of how employers must move from their current Mario avatar (underequipped to deal with change and transition) to the epic Super Mario avatar (that just “whizzes through” challenges) by leveraging technology.
Key takeaways from Bandukwala’s session were:
- Trends that are changing the game for talent acquisition and management:
- Candidate delight
- Big data
- Artificial intelligence
- The potent example of the #HoshMeinAao campaign by the Mumbai police that used Twitter in an unexpectedly appealing way.
- Don’t fall prey to the “Purple Squirrel Syndrome” – A lot of candidates get rejected because they cannot be straitjacketed into a type. Recruiters must use their intelligence and discretion to tailor and customize their requirements and assessments.
- Various tools and techniques to remove subjectivity in assessment.
- Strategy and advice to build a relationship with employees even before they are on-board.
- A whole host of internet sites, portals, studies and spaces for targeted acquisition of talent, capability building and assessment of employee satisfaction and pulse.
Managing Employee Engagement and becoming an Employer of Choice
By Sandeep Bidani and Smriti Handa
Mr Sandeep Bidani and Ms Smriti Handa took a reflective and engaging session. They started with the need for flexibility in skill definition and building. It is important to create an internal story before attempting to build and external brand, they suggested, to make the brand robust from the start. The criticality of re-innovating the brand internally was subsequently emphasized. The intent in creating these internal stories is to listen and be attentive to what the employees feel, they said. Ms Handa and Mr Bidani also facilitated a popcorn discussion about the different possible approaches of engaging four categories of employees – candidates, campus hires, new hires and alumni. The discussion saw a range of ideas developing.
Some of the takeaways from their session were:
- Create “Listening Boards” to engage with the employees and hear them out.
- Have open sessions to address the “boxes” related to career expectations in people’s heads, and encourage them to think out of these boxes to reinvent the wheel. Encourage them to share job posting interview experience or the experience of attending specific training programmes.
- Build focused branding exercises.
- Identify ambassadors to counteract negative reviews and educate the external audience about the company.
- Create recruitment marketing taglines – such as Airtel’s “Jobs never done before”.
Quantification of HR: Leveraging HR Analytics and Metrics
By Avadhesh Dixit
Mr Avadhesh Dixit’s session started like a narrative and gradually built up to become a powerful depiction of the criticality of measuring HR management. Mr Dixit started with exploring the difference between mission, vision and strategy, and built on this foundation to position the HR function as a “process” – that will be measured in terms of efficiency (quickness) and effectiveness (bringing results). In an extremely powerful build-up, he illuminated the concept of the Balanced Score Card to the gathering. Elaborating on the four aspects of the BSC – Learning, Internal processes, Customer expectations, Financial performance – he gave the example of the aviation industry. Mr Dixit then extended this to describe how “Objectives” would need “Measurement”, which in turn would need “Targets”, which would be met by “Initiatives”
Some key takeaways from Mr Dixit’s session were:
- An example of HR BSC – Start with building employee morale and taking employees’ suggestions for improvement (Learning), Rework (Internal processes), facilitating Customer satisfaction (Customer expectations), and lowered operating expenses, improved ROCE (Financial performance)
- The difference between lag and lead metrics, and how we need to focus on the latter to reduce losses. For the lag measure “Attrition”, the lead measure could be “Early warning signals”. For the lag measure “EBITDA”, the lead measure could be “Pricing”.
- Some of the metrics – offers dropped, sourcing funnel, acceptance-to-joining, offer-to-acceptance – were discussed.
- Some of the metrics to measure successful employer branding: GPTW Score, Response on IJP, Re-join percentage of ex-employees, Social media presence, TAT.
- The 6Y Approach of root cause analysis.
Building Internal and External Talent Communities
By Deepa Mohamed
Ms Deepa Mohamed took an enriching session full of personal anecdotes. She spoke about the vital step to keep the company oriented with the dynamism of talent flow. This step is to build “Talent Communities”. As an essential part of employer brand building, creating and maintaining talent communities, allied to making the brand meaningful and socially impactful, is critical. “We are not Seats or Eyeballs or End users or Consumers. We are Human beings.” –and that is how talent should be treated, emphasized Ms Mohamed.
Some of the key takeaways from Ms Mohamed’s session were:
- Develop and use an internal social network to help employees connect with each other in order to build a community.
- Diversity & Inclusion sessions will sensitize the workforce to the need to have a healthy gender ration and the need to include marginal identities in the talent community.
- Make the social impact tangible and visible in order to provide meaning to employees.
- The most important step to engender a culture of accountability and loyalty is to always remain authentic and credible. There is no substitute to having impeccable credibility.
Posted by Priyadarshini Goswami (Deputy Manager – Human Resources at Sterlite Power Grid Ventures Ltd), participant of this Master Class.