Employees And Organisation Both Should Benefit With Each Other: Director HR, Fujitsu India
"Employees constantly look for better opportunities, but it should also be noted that this happens only when there has been a level of dissatisfaction for that employee with the organisation"
Sumit Sabharwal, Director HR, Fujitsu Consulting India talks to BW People about the HR function, skill gap, hiring and the changing workforce demands.
Employees constantly tend to look for better opportunities outside. How do you keep them engaged and keep the attrition rate down?
With the constantly evolving dynamic business environment, there is always a space for fresh talent. It is true that employees constantly look for better opportunities, but it should also be noted that this happens only when there has been a level of dissatisfaction for that employee with the organisation. We at Fujitsu Consulting India are committed to give our employees a productive working environment. As a result of international, cross-location cooperation, employees can work in international projects and learn best practices that are being followed globally. Employees are offered an environment that helps in ideation and produce innovative practices towards their day to day work. Fujitsu India also has an innovative portal “Kakushin” which recognizes best innovative practices and applauds employees for being part of the forum. Keeping in mind the rapid technological evolution we firmly believe in developing talent in our employees that enables them to develop their careers. Besides that, Fujitsu understands the need for extracurricular activities, while employees are at work and celebrate various events like the Family day, Awards function that emphasizes on giving away awards in the presence of family members, with regards to sports and achievements. Fujitsu believes in the power of co-creation.
How do you ensure fairness in promotion and hiring and keep employees happy?
Fujitsu as a global company runs a global process in the promotion. We have systematically defined eligibility criteria, basis which we identify people for promotion. At Fujitsu, promotions do not happen out of sheer entitlement but basis the position which is open. In promotion we look at two categories of people:
- People who are already doing an acting role
- Ones who need to have a replacement for that particular role
This is a cyclic process which we follow at a particular time span through the financial year. It is a fair process as the executive team of the company gets involved in the promotions. We run our promotions on the basis of eligibility and recommendations. The recommending manager makes a presentation to the executive team post which the decisions are taken and communicated. It is a very transparent process and we make sure that once these employees are promoted there is a monetary gain to them in terms of revision in salary. We do a lot of promotion in the company to the point that after a certain point we avoid hiring from outside and promote our people. Thus impacting the overall happiness quotient of the employee.
How is technology shaping up the HR function in IT space?
The vision is to enable the business to deliver outstanding performance & results by empowering leaders, managers, and employees to achieve their individual and collective potential. With the advent of technology, organizations are rewriting the way HR functions. Right from attracting talent, developing and retaining them, to analysing the performance of the employees, organizations have slowly started to shift their focus from the traditional approach to adopting the tech method. With our firm belief in integrating technology with HR, we have designed some tools that encompasses aspects right from the time a candidate engages with Fujitsu and further enhances throughout his/her tenure with us.
Since there is a lot of talk about the skill gap in the market, how difficult is it for the HR to hire?
It totally depends on demand and supply and what is happening in the market is something which is more of optics which is being talked about in larger IT companies. At Fujitsu, we are pretty good at workforce planning. As a matter of fact, from an industry-standard, we maintain a fairly low bench. That’s possible because we have a very robust skill enhancement plan where we enhance the skill of the employees and start working on it even prior to their coming on the bench. That’s how the resource managers engaged with them. Even when they are on the bench we make sure that they are quickly trained in 15 to 30 days and redeployed. So quite a bit of investment goes in skill development and that happens largely basis our gut feeling as to where we want to invest. Owing to the constantly evolving business environment there can no 100 percent clarity around what skills would be the next one. In order to address the skill gaps, we roll out certification courses at regular intervals. We also make sure that our employees are well updated with the latest technology in the market that would create value for our customers.
How does your organization adapt to meet the requirements of a changing workforce?
Fujitsu is a very people-centric organisation and our policies are designed in such a way that we look at people who come in, right from millennials to people who want to work on contract as the third party. In tandem with that, we design our policies keeping in mind the basic principle of how do we reward and evaluate fairly along with having a fair distribution of incentives. With the gig economy or the next generation of people having their focus on permanent flexibility, we make sure that our programs are designed in congruence with the need of the employees and not purely on industry best practices. With an average age, say in the early 30s, a lot of our employees do want to focus on work-life balance, on parenting, on their parents getting old, their children. The whole idea is to see how we can benefit them and they stay with the organization for a longer duration.
How can organisations lead the way in learning and close the skill gap both for their employees and for their organization at large?
It is imperative to understand that due to the constant change in the business environment there is a pool of opportunities for employment. In today’s day and age development of business is attributed as a bi-product of technology that has led companies to attract talent that can match their skill set. On the other hand, organisations also hold an equal onus in developing and enhancing the skill set of their employees. We at Fujitsu Consulting India lead with a belief in having a productive working environment for our employees. Once a particular employee is on board Fujitsu we provide him with training and a robust talent development program that would not only be beneficial for the company but eventually would develop their future potential to enable optimal career development. We also have a top talent program and we are having a lot of focus on situation leadership because youngsters have to deal with different situations. We are also focusing a lot more on new manager induction programs along with a special focus on the gamification way of learning than just a classroom.