It's About 'Who' And Not 'What' That Helps Create Great Workplaces

Eminent HR heads from across industries came together to address the panel on 'Creating a Great workplace, what does it take.. at 4th HR Excellence Awards and Summit of BW Businessworld


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The BW Businessworld's 4th HR Excellence Awards and Summit brought key insights on HR behaviours, habits and their perspectives about the organisations, employees and how their roles as recruiters help in enticing both in creating great workplaces. 

Eminent HR heads from across industries came together to address the panel on 'Creating a Great workplace, what does it take?...being chaired by Mr.Sunandan Bhanja Chowdhary, Managing Partner, Executive Access (India) who interacted with Mr. Altaf Madraswalla, GM-Sales & Head-Marketing, Bombay Dyeing, Mr.Sunil Lulla, Group CEO Bajali Telefilms, Mr. Adil Malia, CEO, The Firm and Ms. Anshu Sarin, CEO, Berggruen Hotels. 

The panel began with an interesting question to the HR heads by Chaudhary, "What makes successful people excited every morning?" 

Anshu Sarin replied to the intriguing question by saying, " What excites me every day is the thought that what value I am creating in my life, my family and my ecosystem. While at the workplace it's about how am I going to add value to the organisation I work for taking each day ahead, doing things differently." 

To Sunil Lulla, ambitions happen to be the driving force as he says, " It's the ambition that excites me every day, as I have many that I have not been able to fulfil whether its personal or workplace. You just need to keep going every day and keep changing your ambitions to drive you ahead." 

"So, I don't make it very spiritual about creating value, but it's my ability to make me happy by fulfilling my ambitions and then in the process make others happy too, whom I meet across the day," adds Adil Malia.

Altaf Madraswalla adding to it says, "The process of getting a certain sense of fulfilment and doing things that give me happiness, and in the due course spreading it in people around you, keeps me driving and exited."

So what keeps people awake at night? Are there any anxieties that HRs face? 

Lulla said, "See we all carry our worries, but it takes confidence within yourself to be able to sleep peacefully, as you need to trust yourself that you can handle all the stuff around." 

So what does it take to make great workplaces and what are the key elements HRs need to look at? 

Sarin said, "I think it's important for HRs to articulate what's the purpose and values of the organisation you work for. You need to be aligned with the leaders to know the kind of culture, that you want to create, that helps to get you to their achievements and purpose. So, we need to sometimes realign with the leaders all the way back, to know if we are having the right people sitting at the right positions or we just have the wrong people, not aligned to the organisation. It's important to reinforce organisation values again and again in different ways and different formats, that helps create a culture and an organisational design. For example, if we see the hospitality industry, we work tirelessly but people are often thankless and unappreciative towards our job, but at the same time, we need to give better services and satisfy our guests. In that scenario we train people to improve their skills, reinforce them to handle certain situations, that helps build their confidence, otherwise, it becomes frustrating for the employees." 

Lulla added, "See there is a purpose that every organisation has and it's important to cascade that purpose down with consistency, to demonstrate and differentiate between people, who achieve and do not achieve. My observation is that being nice takes you to create a great place to work specially in today's context when people need high-speed success, remunerated or motivated for the success. So, can you really reflect that in your employees what creates a great place to work, where employees are happy. This can be received by setting up transparent goals, making people empowered to achieve them and that is the biggest challenge we have in an organized workforce. If you can simplify these and try to help people beyond work and try to enrich their lives, because life comes first, that will certainly make your organisation a great place to work! 

"Leadership is all about making others successful," added Chaudhary. 

Malia created a beautiful organisational picture by highlighting on employee connections and engagements by saying "The journey to create value is the way ahead to create a happy journey for the employees. This can be further enabled by creating employee connections and employee engagements along with some social activities. Employee connections are about how individuals and their roles are connected to the larger strategy of the organisation's business and then you engage them to understand the enterprise and create value, that gives satisfaction and happiness to the employees." 

Talking about talent acquisition and how important it is to hire the right talent for an overall organisational growth and thus creating happy workplaces, Madraswalla said, "Frankly speaking, it's not about 'what' for an organisation but it's 'who' for an organisation. So it's important to find the right talent. Even if people know what are the values, mission, the vision of the organisations only one out of ten will be able to hit and cope up with them, as they don't know how do they succeed in an organisation. 





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