This article is a lightly-edited summary of the key takeaways from our speakers’ appearance on our podcast, “The Shape of Work.” If you haven’t listened to our show yet, be sure to check it out here. These speakers have an incredible stable of startup experiences to draw from, the kind of stories that are unbelievably helpful for HR/people managers to hear.
On this episode of The Shape of Work podcast, we welcome Shishupal Rathore, an IT management professional with over 17 years of experience in IT Application Development delivery.
GUEST AT A GLANCE:
Name of the guest: Shishupal Rathore
What he does: Senior Vice President of Technology at Motilal Oswal Financial Services Ltd.
Find him on LinkedIn.
Get Smart: “Engineers really love to take ownership, drive things to perfection. They drive things by themselves mostly, but they are very vocal and very open to giving and accepting feedback.”
In this episode, you will get valuable insights into:
- Challenges in leading a team of engineers.
- Challenges his organization faced due to the pandemic.
- Managing performance of employees.
- Feedback system to make the hiring process better.
- People skills VS technical skills: what is more important?
Challenges in leading a team of engineers:
Shishupal says that engineers are really dynamic people. In particular, IT engineers are enthusiastic and sharp. He feels it is both an honour as well as a challenge to lead a group like this. He further describes engineers as very humble, who love to take ownership, and are extremely vocal.
Firstly, as a leader, being dynamic and updated with new technology is necessary. It is challenging for a leader to understand the new trends and drive them in their own organization. People look for guidance from them. Thus leaders need to ensure a clear vision, flexible communication, patience, and listening skills. These qualities can help in keeping the team motivated.
Challenges his organization faced due to the pandemic:
The pandemic has brought a big, disruptive change. No one knew how to tackle this situation. However, Shishupal mentions the flexibility, agility, and adaptability shown by his team members in coping with the situation and delivering projects.
When everyone started working from home, plenty of issues came up in their organization. Non-availability of hardware, internet bandwidth issues, power issues were a few of them that he mentioned. However, new solutions came up, and a new way of working was introduced. There was a lot of flexibility, and most people stood up to the moment.
One big issue that Shishupal observed was the expectation with the expansion of working hours. Among the blurred boundaries between work and home, the availability of the team was expected even outside working hours.
Managing performance of employees:
Shishupals’s company had set its goals before the beginning of the pandemic. Hence, the parameters of these goals were not according to the ongoing situation. However, he feels that there has not been any major change in the basic parameters. Instead, he observed a change in the attitude of the people. They rose above the situation and demonstrated flexibility, adaptability, and commitment to work. As a result, the company found its most hardworking people during the pandemic.
Feedback system to make the hiring process better:
Candidates and hiring teams need to ensure open communication. Every level of the hiring process needs to be updated to the candidate. However, hiring has become a tricky process. Plenty of times, candidates do not turn up or go looking for better opportunities. Shishupal feels that ethics are getting compromised. The focus has shifted from a career to a job. People are choosing job-hopping over building credibility. However, this should not stop the hiring manager from being transparent to the candidates. They should maintain professionalism and be open to sharing feedback. It can increase the chances of the candidate joining an organization. Understanding the candidates makes it easier to figure out whether they are interested or not.
People skills VS technical skills: what is more important?
Shishupal has a different viewpoint about this topic. An organization requires different types of skills, from highly technical to highly people-oriented. The requirements of these roles show that an individual cannot be good at everything. Every role has different characteristics, and they need to be understood. Organizations need to understand that every person cannot have a knack for all the qualities. However, the least employees should do is respect each other’s values and skills and believe in cooperation. To sum up, sending support to team members is important. Everyone acquires different skills, and there is a role for all of them in an organization.