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.
In this episode of The Shape of Work, we welcome Gagan Arora, the CEO & Strategic Growth Leader at Vertex Global Services. He is the Chairman of Foreign Investors Council, India, and the recipient of Forbes India List of Top 100 Great People Managers and Leaders 2020.
GUEST AT A GLANCE:
Name of the guest: Gagan Arora
What he does: the CEO & Strategic Growth Leader at Vertex Global Services.
Find him on LinkedIn.
Get Smart: “Feedback is one of the best ways for us to know if we’re doing something right and what our opportunity areas are. We follow a feedback culture that enables staff members, at every level, to feel free to provide feedback and constructive criticisms, regardless of where they rank within the corporate hierarchy.”
In this episode, you will get valuable insights into:
- Significance of employee feedback in an organization.
- Effective employee engagement strategies.
- How do people manage to ensure that there is no information overload?
- Changes in the BPO industry.
- Key leadership skills required for operating as a people manager in any remote organization.
Significance of employee feedback in an organization:
Happy employees turn into happy customers. In Gagan’s organization, all employees are treated as brand ambassadors. In this scenario, they have 700 brand ambassadors globally, and thus the impact has become huge. The organization has been certified as the best place to work in India in 2020, and they received an employee satisfaction survey score of 94%. It showcases the care and importance given to the employees. Gagan feels that feedback is one of the best ways to know if they are doing something right or not.
They have rewired the HR function into an Employee Care department. This department specifically caters to the requirements of the employees.
Effective employee engagement strategies:
Communication is the basis of any healthy relationship, personally and professionally. There are few strategies that Gagan’s organization follows:
- The more the team asks questions and gives their opinions, the more they feel empowered and trusted.
- The organization should show that they are listening. There is nothing better than seeing ideas and work practices being praised and followed.
- Hearing the employee voice through an employee satisfaction survey. Having this survey monthly is a much better option than on an annual basis.
How do people manage to ensure that there is no information overload?
Gagan talks about improving just 1% every day. It leads to being 365 times better in a year. He talks about improvement by subtraction by doing less of what does not work, eliminating mistakes, reducing complexity, and completing the essential. The first rule to be followed is the two-minute rule. Tasks that can be completed in less than two minutes should be gathered and completed at once. It will eliminate distractions and improve efficiency. The second rule is named “eat the frog”. It is a productivity hack where tackling the most dreaded task is a priority.
Changes in the BPO industry:
Work from home was not considered an effective way of work before the pandemic. Now, the viewpoints have changed. It has helped a lot of clients to reduce their costs. There will be more employment in India. Many people are physically challenged and cannot travel to the office even though they are wonderfully talented. Similarly, remote work has opened up opportunities for housewives and women in their maternity phase. Hence they are coming up with a model where everyone, having a decent internet connection and technology, can join their gig model. So this will help a lot of people who are currently not working or trying to resume office.
Key leadership skills required for operating as a people manager in any remote organization:
Every employee should think that they would be a leader one day, and that is how they will evolve themselves. They require this transformation in a very early stage. Thus leadership skills are the most important skills to be showcased. He talks about a few skills that people managers would need:
- The ability to understand team dynamics and to work with the team. Everything depends on how effectively the team manager and the leader is making the teamwork happen.
- The ability to interpret redirection from a high end creating a common and coherent vision for the team. For example, when the pandemic started, everybody had to be switched to work from home, and a lot of new technology was implemented. It was the leader and the people managers who believed that they could do it. It resulted in a 0% impact on their business.
- The ability to coach for performance and long-term development.
- The ability to use technology better.
- The ability to recognize achievements. As a leader, it is necessary to recognize everything that the team is doing from an achievement standpoint to highlight the opportunities to achieve better.
- Being proactive and always staying in contact.
- Trusting the employees and motivating them, especially during the pandemic.