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Saturday, Dec 14, 2019

Building an inclusive organisation

On the premise of “experiment, fail, learn, repeat”, companies are now trying different things to understand the correlation between the current employee mindset and productive culture. Here are some things which have worked for us here at Knowlarity, as a result of which we continue to attract the best talent.

education Updated: Dec 04, 2019 17:45 IST
Niddhii Kumar
Niddhii Kumar
(Sanchit Khanna/HT PHOTO)

The focus of the job market has moved from prior knowledge to passion and learning over the last decade. Candidates are becoming smarter, more dynamic, and focused on doing what they really love. With this shift in thought process and the increasing millennial workforce, companies need to adopt new strategies to acquire and retain the best talent.

On the premise of “experiment, fail, learn, repeat”, companies are now trying different things to understand the correlation between the current employee mindset and productive culture. Here are some things which have worked for us here at Knowlarity, as a result of which we continue to attract the best talent.

Effective recruitment plans

Establishing a brand in the market requires an adequate investment of time and energy. An employer needs to make enough efforts so that his brand name is perceived well, both internally and externally. Make sure your recruitment process does not nullify this as the adage of ‘First impression makes all the difference’ still prevails. When a potential employee appears for a job interview, look at the kind of experience that you are providing to him/her. Making sure your company is well represented by the concerned department makes all the difference, especially if you can get your communication rockstars to interview the candidate. Your process should reflect your company culture so that even unsuccessful candidates feel they were treated well during the entire process, and they leave on a good note.

Learning and growth environment

Deep down, every employee (at least in today’s private organisations) wants to have some level of learning in their workplace. At times, it even ranks above the basic needs like pay scale, peers and location for them. You will be surprised by the extra effort that a team member will put in if you truly give them the independence and the environment to learn, fail and iterate on their own.

A responsible organization

The common truth is that an organization that gives back to society and earns a valuable name in the market. A company with a decent amount of value-add social CSR initiatives under its banner offers an additional purpose to the employees to be with. Such social initiatives also yield a sense of greater purpose and being among employees, especially millennials. The millennials are a very curious lot and you will see that for them, the ‘why’ is the most significant question in everything that they do.

Collaboration and support

This is one of the key qualities along with the one below that demarcate ‘great’ companies from ‘good’ companies. History is littered with examples of ventures that tried to keep departments completely cut-off from each other, and failed at their mission miserably. So, it becomes pertinent to set the foundation right from the start and let the team members evolve, learn, communicate, play, work and succeed together.

Free flow of information

In the age of Social Media, we should be the ones responsible for clearly communicating the company policy/structural changes/acquisitions/partnerships and anything related to our employees. A well-informed employee is an engaged employee and mostly s/he is a productive employee too. For instance, if the company plans to hive-off certain parts of its business and some roles may get affected; the company should inform the relevant employees beforehand so that it becomes easier for them to plan smoothly.

At the end of the day, just like the above, this is an equally important parameter for employees to rank a company’s culture.

Intangible benefits

Rigid log-in timings and very strict HR policies discourage new workforce from choosing a company to join. On the other hand, flexible timings, work from home arrangements along with a fixed amount of annual paid leaves attract talent in a natural way. These allow employees to manage their personal and professional lives smoothly. As in today’s stressed lifestyle, a little bit of flexibility in these areas prove beneficial in retaining experienced employees.

Managers’ influence

Often we see a team does not achieve the desired result despite all measures being taken, and then the blame game starts. This should be avoided in all means. Managers should set clear expectations with the employees and keep sharing feedback on the accomplished work from time to time. At the same time, employees need to ensure transparent communication on where they are stuck, whether they need some help or simply more time. It is very interesting to note how so many internal conflicts can be solved by just a 2-minute frank conversation between hierarchies.

Employee satisfaction

Job satisfaction has become more important than the compensation package. The higher the satisfaction level, the higher the chance of retention. How an employee is satisfied in his/her work depends on how an employee is feeling about the work s/he has accomplished. Moreover, how is s/he is treated, nurtured and respected in any organization matters too. When an employee is respected, s/he reciprocates this sentiment to the organization.

Appreciative work environment

In many work environments, criticism spreads like wildfire while appreciation is kept to oneself due to the fear of conveying overachievement. However, in thriving cultures, what works is quite the opposite. Criticism works best when conveyed in person, while appreciation works well when more and more people know about it. While it certainly boosts the employee’s confidence levels, it allows them to create better goals for themselves in order to earn this appreciation again - contributing to the growth of the company.

Success stories

Celebrating milestones make you feel like a part of a family. With organizations tying their employees more and more with this sentiment, this has become one of the key ways of infusing sincerity and ownership in the team. In the bigger picture, such milestones help bring the team together and align them with the goals of the organization. Ultimately, an organization is pretty much like a living, breathing organism and as a part of it, you can see how it is a cohesive collection. Every individual part has a value attached to it, and it needs to be nurtured keeping the overall goal in mind. One-size-fits-all may not be the best idea, as every organization runs in its own unique way and has its own unique fundamentals - which is the key to building a culture that everyone wants to be a part of.

(The author is Head of Internal Strategy, Knowlarity Communications Private Limited)