Our Actions Speak Louder Than The Inked Policies: CHRO, U GRO Capital
"A transparent and goal-based performance assessment process driven with a feedforward approach makes sure that employees’ aspirations and interests are aligned well with organizational goals.mentioned by Rajni Khurana, CHRO, U GRO Capital during the recent interaction with BW People.
How efficiently are you using technology to keep the workforce/employees well connected and engaged?
We pride ourselves in being a cloud-architected lending company and our strong tech orientation did prove to be a boon for ongoing communication and connect. Virtual venues turned out to be as action packed and vibrant seeing us conduct out townhalls, celebrate U GRO Capital Foundation day, sing birthday songs, celebrate employees’ work anniversaries, play quizzes, have cooking competitions, launch new products, conclude Board meetings et al.
The virtual interactions have rather helped people become extra sensitive and caring. Without having visited, we have been to people’s homes and strengthened our bonds with extended families. On a lighter note, people have gotten to know each other just beyond work-avatars and see the caring child, supporting spouse and enabling parent in their colleague thus raising the trust and respect quotient significantly for each other.
People do crave for in-person connect sometimes but web engagements are keeping us all close-knit, purposeful and cheerful indeed.
In these tough times, people are into despair and looking for care. You as a people leader at your organization, how are you taking care of your employees? To what extent do you think it is critical?
It is natural for people to seek safety and security foremost in times of crisis. The corporate world has risen in many ways to extend care, support and safety to its employees. Actions taken with genuine intent, however, always make people feel the care behind the actions. The word ‘genuine’ is key here. We at U GRO Capital have made it our second nature to ‘connect with care’. All conversations with colleagues, team members and associates begin first with a personal connect to know the life of the member and then move on to discussing business agenda. As role modeled by all leaders and senior members, each group call or 1:1 call first begins with first few minutes knowing if all is well with the fellow members.
With stronger communication channels fostered for daily team interactions, benefits designed to help people overcome real challenges, town-halls to give clarity on the emerging business scenario, organization thought process to deal with current situation, transparency on corporate actions helped people know that we truly care.
According to you what major 3 factors can make employees more motivated and excited to work? And how can you as an HR leader ensure those factors?
There is a saying "Motivation will almost always beat mere talent." At U GRO Capital, we live the tenet to its spirit and endeavor to foster 3 important factors of motivation in day-to-day work-life:
· Inclusive & meritocratic culture
· Celebrating high performances
· Alignment of personal and organizational goals
Meritocracy is the bedrock of all our frameworks e.g. hiring, rewards & recognition, growth & development, succession planning etc. Our actions speak louder than the inked policies. Employees feel empowered and engaged to focus on ONE common factor i.e. high performance and know this as the only differentiator that enables growth. A transparent and goal-based performance assessment process driven with a feedforward approach makes sure that employees’ aspirations and interests are aligned well with organizational goals. These factors when integrated well in spirit create a binding culture that is indeed employee-centric.
We are experiencing broken hierarchies, and people are coming up with amazing solutions and ideas. How do you see it as creating opportunities even in such a crisis?
With millennials dominating the workforce, leadership is quintessentially being equated to mentoring, coaching, and collaborating across formal hierarchies in the organization. This was gaining prominence as new-age leadership paradigm even much before the pandemic. COVID has, however, accelerated and further revolutionized this demand to an even greater extent. Leaders have moved on from their traditional belief system of productivity through physical presence, micromanagement, constant check-ins on team members. Pandemic-driven WFH has radically shifted this archaic thought process and has put actual proof of the pudding on table with visible expansion in people’s productivity, performance and overall delivery. This is going to result inconspicuous and positive changes in the cultural fabric of the corporate culture in long run.
In this lockdown period, I think we had ample of time to rethink and rediscover ourselves. What are those things that you personally discovered about yourself?
Simple yet highly energizing life principles have come alive for me this lock-down. I discovered how little we need in day-to-day life - bare necessities; the need to create and accumulate is unnecessary and the biggest cause of unrest in most lives. Took this opportunity to travel more within and make a connection with myself like never before. So far, the self-dialogue took last seat amidst other priorities. Realized how important is this relationship with self that I need to foster on an ongoing basis. And that inclusion is the only guarantee and manipulation is only a short-term game. Mother Nature has proven this enough now. And the same is true for Corporates. Co-existence, mutuality, and inclusion are the only things that will make lasting institutions.
According to you, what will the New Normal be like?
The new normal will be different for different people. Many would unlearn-learn newer dimensions of life and work and create a new normal with reformed mindsets. Many others could, however, return as they were, maybe more irrational and irritated, in a restless pursuit to make up for the seemingly lost value of money, business, time etc.
Lock-down certainly has given people a strong sense of self-reliance, respect for their own space, and a sense of flexibility that is deeply integrated and is here to stay in people’s way of life.
Workplaces, leaders, and businesses that align with this new dynamism will surely see encouraging outcomes. Those, however, who try to swing the pendulum their way without respecting its rhythm will stand to lose in the long run. The talent market is turbulent today and will turn employer-centric for a sort while but in no time will be employee-centric again. The employer brands and institutions will be built by those who will choose to keep employees at the center through and through despite ups and downs.