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The Future of Work is Reshaping. Are you Ready?

By Lakshmi Achanta

Probably my generation is the one that has seen majority of the changes personally and professionally. We have seen typewriters replaced by computers, telegrams replaced by telex, fax to internet, and physical presence to online, manual to automation to digital transformation. 

Majority of the decisions are instant and quick these days. Be it business or people. These have been creating tremendous pressure on all of us to be creative.

However intense the technology is, however many changes happen day in and day out, fortunately all of them happen through human beings. What hasn’t changed is the operator which is human being. Leaving the Karma sidhaantha aside for some time; we (the human beings) are the creators, operators and destroyers be it business or life. Fortunately it is constant. :) 

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The human dependency hasn’t changed yet only the dynamics have changed. We are needed to deal with the instant decisions; especially working with the millennials and their aggressive aspirations; changing technologies and ever changing demands from every corner. Every day is a new day. Every challenge is new. Every hour passed is a great relief, every day is a survival struggle with people and business. You never know what pops up from which corner. All these are making us become more attentive, be on our toes, current and progressive thinking.  

The best practices of yester years have no place and we are needed to invent them instantaneously to survive/deal with the situation. 

Gone are the days we keep talking about how hard it has been for us; how strong our roots have been, how did we come into the business ; gone are the days we can live on claiming our years of experience, academic excellence, grey hair, number of product cycles or we have been in the industry for a decade+, have success story, have been growing steadily and strategically, have offices at the heart of the city, have the best of the benefits including baby care centre, have unique retention policies, have been spending 85% of my revenue for people…… helps little and does not influence the instant decisions that our team members make, customers make and does not beat the competitor strategies. Unfortunately we are going after limited best of the talent, limited stable customers which is making our life more challenging and demanding day in day out.

While we have best of the benefits structure, best of the customers, being rated as the great paymasters, we are not exempted from attrition, offer vs joining ratio, customers/competitors ditching us……

Why people leave, why customers leave. They leave when we lose the connect. We do not lose them for money and brand all the time. We lose them for not being in touch with them continuously and not assessing what is happening with them

Let us be sensitive to the fact that customer has a choice, people have choice. It is not how long we have been serving them, the relationship we hold with the decision makers. These days it is more to do with how current we are and how connected we are; how sensitive we are; how flexible we are…..

While there is no single mantra to contain/address this, no company has unique procedures/mantras that can assure success. We can only keep trying and be creative and innovative in our approaches. What has been helping us to an extent is branding/rebranding/every day branding, instant branding, and being current, instant reach… This is where digital is helping us greatly. Intranet, yammer, face book, LinkedIn, twitter, various groups.

People like to see what is today. First thing we do when we wake up is….looking for the updates, first thing we do when we reach office is updates… last thing… all our day is based on this, decisions are based on these..

  • Do not wait for your weekly/periodical meetings, newsletters. Keep updating the internal and external world frequently, hourly. Make the news instant. Keep writing something or the other useful every day to make your presence visible.
  • Keep subscribing, keep liking the others subscriptions/contributions. It is mutual all the time.
  • Keep sending the positive vibes and messages. It should resonate at all levels, individual employees, teams, customers and society.
  • Be authentic, honest. Being truthful gets you the most mileage and long term respect.
  • Walk the talk. Lead by example. Be available for people. Be sensitive to others time.
  • Do not be a dictator. Encourage participative culture, involve in creating the strategy; be it business, retention, long term vision, culture building, transformation..
  • Respect the opinions of others. Seek the feedback. Listen to the voices as frequently as possible. Keep asking yourselves and others. Introspect. Act on them timely. Communicate back.
  • Motivate people to live for a purpose beyond a pay check and status.   Before that show yourselves as a role model.
  • Giving back starts from us.
  • Show the flexibility to adopt to the changing situations – do not be rigid.
  • Transparency, clear objectives, constructive goals setting -- gets you the more accountable and responsible teams.
  • Create importance for every role and show respect to each of them
  • Get into a habit of providing instant and constructive feedback.
  • Mix well with every level. Never hide yourselves and restrict to one set of people
  • Every day connect – directly or through next level is as critical as their first day, first week and first quarter in the company
  • Be a visionary – let everyone know and believe that you are a long term player and committed to take the business and people forward.
  • Show concern/sensitiveness to people and their issues.
  • Keep an eye – on industry, competitors, comparable others. Benchmark.
  • Small gestures make a big difference.
  • It is not just the branding teams, corporate communication teams, marketing teams, management and managers doing these jobs; everyone in the company should be partners to it.
  • Be a winner to make others also win – who doesn’t want to win? 

Topics: Insider

Lakshmi Achanta

Lakshmi Achanta

Partner and Chief People Officer at Innominds. With worldwide responsibility for Innominds’ strategic human resources activities, including workforce development, organization effectiveness, and global inclusion and diversity, Lakshmi and her leadership, helped Innominds be ranked amongst the “Top 50 Best Companies To Work For in India”, by the ‘Great Places to Work’ Institute.

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