Employee Experience Is At The Heart Of All Our HR Efforts: Priti Shetty

"I believe that when people bring their whole selves to work and can be comfortable with their choices and preferences, it helps them reach their full potential," said Priti Shetty, Head of People, WeWork India


Tell us about your happening journey here at WeWork India

It’s been a fantastic journey so far. The culture at WeWork is such that I felt welcomed from the word go. As leaders in the co-working space, from a people lens, there are a lot of HR initiatives that we undertake and it’s been fulfilling for me to be a part of that journey.

At WeWork, we often talk about being students for life so we are always looking for opportunities to learn from best practices and apply our learning to enhance our employee experience and overall culture. As we cater to a large millennial workforce, there is always an angle of new-age ways of thinking and working that we consider in our people initiatives. It has also been interesting for me to apply my 2 decades of work experience in HR in a setup like WeWork which is very unique.

How positively do you look at the emergence of AI particularly in this industry?

With digital transformation underway, HR managers will consider advancements in information technology (IT), predictive analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning in order to automate and streamline work. Using digital tools and software to track employee progress, give and receive feedback and monitor employee pulse has enabled HR teams to run operations far more effectively. However, this does not negate the necessity to keep the human connection alive. Demonstrating empathy, having open and honest conversations and building a culture where employees can collaborate, learn and grow, will never go out of fashion, in my view.

How do you look at the growth of your organization in this revolutionary era of co-working space in India?

When WeWork entered India, the co-working industry was still at a nascent stage. We are on a path to bring a change in the Indian workplace culture. Our USP at WeWork is that we are much more than a co-working space. Our co-working and space-as-a-service platform significantly reduce the complexity of leasing real estate whilst delivering a more flexible and premium experience compared to traditional alternatives.

From a company and HR perspective, WeWork has always believed in leveraging the diversity of our people to help them make a life and not just living. Our 500+ employees are focused on making sure that our members have the best experience possible. The value comes not just from the stunning spaces that WeWork provides, but also from its tailored experiences, business services, global access, and the chance to collaborate with other members, who will be amongst the most innovative business minds out there.

What is the major one that you personally find difficult to overcome? How efficiently you manage the challenges as an HR professional? 

I think one of the challenges for me as an HR professional is finding common ground between what is right for the company and an individual. Everyone has a different aspiration and expectation which might sometimes not align with the company’s vision but my job is to make sure that through HR practices and building a culture of transparency, I generate conversations and create a win-win situation for all. I truly believe my life experience has helped me to come up with solutions where each individual’s development and growth is facilitated, as we continue to consolidate and grow the business.

How satisfied and happy are you doing your work?

I love my job! When you do what you love, it doesn't feel like work at all - it just seamlessly integrates into your life and that has been the case for me. Also, at WeWork, I have had the experience of meeting as well as working with a diverse set of talented and entrepreneurial people from different walks of life, who are authentic, driven and focused. This has surely added to my overall experience of becoming a better person and HR professional.

What are your focus areas for development in 2020?

At WeWork, employee experience is at the heart of all our HR efforts. The modern workplace is all about picking individualization and personalization over a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. With our population becoming increasingly diverse, we at WeWork understand these nuances of the societal fabric and are always on the lookout to include people from different walks of life in our growth journey. I believe that when people bring their whole selves to work and can be comfortable with their choices and preferences, it helps them reach their full potential. Diversity and Inclusion, Performance and talent management will be other key focus areas to enable each individual to have a clear sense of purpose, perform at their optimum levels and develop further to get ready for more complex roles and responsibilities.

What are the best practices at WeWork HR Segment that makes this organization different?

As mentioned earlier, at WeWork all our efforts are always towards creating the best employee experience where everyone feels heard, valued and encouraged to do their best. Employee experience and satisfaction are the core of our organization. As we cater to a diverse workforce, we will continue our efforts towards diversity and inclusion. We have various policies to create an inclusive space for our employees which include daycare policy for our working parents, gender-neutral hiring practices, transparent and unbiased performance management, quarterly promotions etc.

With over 500 employees in India, we are the first collaborative workspace provider in the country to offer health insurance cover to partners of all LGBTQ employees. We are also one of the very few companies that allow quarterly promotions which is for all levels. We also provide our employees with personal growth credits worth INR 30K a year where employees can focus on their personal growth to experience holistic development beyond their professional responsibilities.

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