Working For Broader Impact

Lakshmi C strives to empower youth from diverse backgrounds at Accenture; her own learning at the organisation has been steep


Lakshmi C is entrusted with the responsibility of over 3,00,000 employees of Accenture in India, to achieve their personal and professional aspirations. "This fuels me and it gives me immense pride to do that while also creating a culture of equality that helps all our people be their authentic selves and thrive at work, every day," says this MBA from XLRI-Jamshedpur, who has been associated with Accenture for close to 2 decades. Lakshmi's prior stints include iGate Solutions and Nestle.

Enabling Role

Lakshmi is passionate about creating 360° value for stakeholders and that includes the communities we live in. She explains further, "I enjoy mentoring young people, especially young women who are starting their careers and who come from diverse socio-economic backgrounds. As a Melvin Jones fellow of Lions Club International I’ve also had the opportunity to support activities that enable persons with disabilities. In other words, my personal purpose is strongly aligned with Accenture’s purpose and enables me to contribute towards creating a broader impact in our communities."

For a person working relentlessly for others' empowerment, Lakshmi's own growth at Accenture has been phenomenal. She says, "I have been with Accenture for nearly two decades and am proud to belong to an organisation that both encourages and supports me to push the envelope and be my best self. Over the years I have had access to truly boundaryless learning and career opportunities that have built on my strengths and capabilities and helped me make an impact on our people’s experience through innovative talent practices. The tremendously talented Accenture teams I have worked with across the world have helped shape my journey to becoming the leader I am today."

The role of HR lead for Accenture in India is both challenging and inspiring, says Lakshmi, especially since India is a hub of innovation for Accenture globally and an important talent location. The responsibility of over 3,00,000 employees is a mammoth one and Lakshmi says, "It is key to build trust-based experiences for people so that they truly feel seen, safe, connected and courageous."

Unlocking People Potential

"Caring for people is caring for your business. Accenture’s 'Care to do Better' research establishes that by meeting six fundamental human needs at work — emotional & mental, relational, physical, financial, purposeful and employable — organisations can unlock their people’s full potential. We call this the 'Net better off framework'. And when people are net better off, they are five times more likely to experience increased performance at work, which automatically translates into business performance."

Further explaining Accenture's philosophy, she says, "We need to actively listen to our people, act on their feedback and co-create experiences that address their evolving needs as well as emerging market trends. For example, In early 2021, we modified our parental leave policies, such as our maternal, paternal, adoption and surrogacy leave, to make them more inclusive and focus on the importance of caregiving versus gender binaries. We have also enhanced our medical insurance benefits programme to give our people the choice to personalise their medical insurance based on their unique family situation.

"Lastly, we need to remain laser-focused on ensuring that our people become lifelong learners by implementing innovative learning delivery strategies. Every year Accenture spends nearly US$1 billion globally on learning and development."

Covid response

With great alacrity, the leadership swiftly enabled the transition for the entire staff to remote working environment, equipping them appropriate infrastructure. "We have since navigated the pandemic keeping our people’s well-being as our north star. Technology has been a big enabler for us. We have since long been one of the world’s most digitally enabled organisations."

On human level, the organisation supported employees through measures like 24*7 emergency helpline, remote doctor consultations, home delivery of relief kits, oxygen concentrators, and caregiver leave options. The organisation offered expert sessions on relevant topics, group and grief counseling for those who experienced loss and coaching our people managers on leading with compassion and empathy.

Future Skills

On the Post-Covid hybrid work culture and the accompanying challenges, Lakshmi says, "The pandemic has brought about an era of compressed transformation. And talent strategy is perhaps the most important element of the compressed transformation conundrum that organisations are grappling with. Organisations need to rethink how they design work and roles to create the right balance between humans and

technology, their talent sourcing strategies and how they can adopt more hybrid models of work."

Given the uncertainties and complexities globally, Lakshmi emphasises, "Continuous learning is imperative to remaining relevant and our immersive and personalised L&D programmes focus on building skills for tomorrow and integrating learning across our business."

Another priority is to enable inclusive growth and skill marginalised people in our communities – for instance persons with disabilities, transgenders and people from economically weaker sections of society.

(The feature appeared in the June Issue of BW People publication)

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