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 Pratik Raj, Senior HR Business Partner at Flipkart. Prior to this, he has interned at organizations like ICICI Lombard, General Electric, & Tata International Limited.
GUEST AT A GLANCE:
Name of the guest: Pratik Raj
What he does: Senior HR Business Partner at Flipkart.
Find him on LinkedIn.
Get Smart: “One of the definite opportunities is to promote the idea of peer to peer recognition. So on one side, you are creating a culture where people are mutually appreciative of each other’s work, and that, in turn, helps build better relationships with each other.”
In this episode, you will get valuable insights into:
- Significance of internships for better exposure.
- Qualities required for leading teams better.
- Factors to be considered in the onboarding process.
- Creating a framework of rewards and recognitions.
- How can employee engagement increase productivity?
Significance of internships for better exposure:
An internship is a pedagogy of the practical exposure every individual requires. Pratik feels that the major problem lies in the fact that our education system relies on theory. To solve the complex issues of the industry, one needs to have holistic experiences. Theoretical learnings do not offer this exposure.
There are multiple opportunities for organizations and academies to collaborate and offer students to work in the corporate world. These are the same set of individuals who are going to join these organizations in a few years. Thus the organizations are investing in them a little prior to enhancing the larger talent ecosystem.
Qualities required for leading teams better:
Especially in the middle of a pandemic, the most important quality that every people manager/leader should have is compassion and respect for their team. The second quality is a holistic understanding of the people. People managers should know their team and their aspirations. It helps in better coaching and mentoring. And the third quality is the reasoning behind the tasks. The team needs to know what they need to achieve and why. It drives the behavior and motivation required to complete that task.
Factors to be considered in the onboarding process:
The virtual world has brought in many challenges in the workspace. Pratik talks about the onboarding process in his company. In the first three to six months of a new employee, whatever they bring to the table irrespective of their skillset is considered very important. They should feel psychological safety within themselves. It brings in the belongingness and their interest in the organization’s growth. He further mentions that the onboarding starts as soon as the paper is signed.
Pratik talks about the mix of centralized and decentralized measures in the process. One cannot have a specific checklist regarding the things to be done. From a central onboarding perspective, there are things that companies can help the employees assimilate, for example, some systems, structures, etc. These are some of the processes his organization focuses on that will help ensure that everything is pleasing for the employee. All these things should be completed before joining or within the first week of joining.
One of the problems which Pratik personally picked up was the feedback they received from the employees after attempting everything. The employees do not feel that they know their peers even after months of working. That is where the role of a people manager comes into the picture. They need to ensure that the employees receive a platform where everyone is connected.
Creating a framework of rewards and recognitions:
According to Pratik, rewards and recognitions depend on what the company is trying to drive in terms of behavior. There is a fine line between collaboration and aggression. As leaders or people managers, it is extremely important to understand the reason behind getting recognized.
This entire process helps setting up a particular kind of culture that can sustain the overall reward philosophy. The next thing to be considered is what the employees value as rewards. The company needs to personalize that experience for them.
How can employee engagement increase productivity?
Pratik shares his personal learnings for this topic. Employee engagement is extremely important for the performance of a business. It is a function of the overall culture of the company. Pratik feels it is totally based on the way the company treats its employees. Several initiatives are being run in different organizations, and they are working out well. Concepts of employee wellness and no meeting hours can be included here.
Thus the leaders in the organization must have empathy for these employees. Pratik feels that these factors have been considered effectively in the organization. One of the most important things is making work meaningful and not just an input-output matrix.