We Live By Our Culture of Empowering All: Harshvendra Soin, CPO, Tech Mahindra

BW People in interaction with Harshvendra Soin, Chief People Officer, Tech Mahindra on how are they sailing through tough pandemic-hit times.


As a Chief People Officer at Tech Mahindra, what is that one the thing you always keep in mind to do; in people’s perspectives?

For us, at Tech Mahindra, employees are our biggest assets, and keeping them safe is our top priority. We strongly believe in “Wellness before Business” which is why amidst the current global pandemic, our focus is to ensure the wellbeing and safety of our associates and subsequently to maintain business continuity for clients and partner ecosystem. We live by our culture of driving positive change, celebrating each moment, and empowering all to “RiseTM to dream, do and become more”.

As the revenue dips in this pandemic, how are you keeping the employees motivated and keep working- from top-level managers to the other employees?

As we battle this unique crisis, we are constantly discussing, planning, and acting in order to mitigate risk and future challenges. We are also communicating regularly with our associates through employee resource groups as well as through corporate communication channels to educate and motivate them in these troubling times. Associate safety and wellness are paramount for us while minimizing business risks to ensure continuity. We strive to maintain this perspective and ensure to guard against over-reaction from the top management to the last employee, associate, and partners. I recommend all my leaders to make smaller goals/ tasks and help the teams achieve them and celebrate when you do, share the news with others. It is very important to appreciate good work.

How efficiently are you managing productivity among employees during Work from Home?

Even as we are faced with these unprecedented times, we continue to work around it to maintain continuity of essential services for our customers. We have well-defined ‘Work from Home’ guidelines and ‘Daily Work Management’ practices to monitor employee productivity using collaboration tools and platforms. We are also ensuring network availability to all our employees, enabling them to remain connected. We are constantly monitoring the workflow through frequent quality checks. We are also taking regular feedbacks from our customers to meet all business requirements.

We are focused on helping our associates adapt to remote working and have ensured that they are well trained on the processes and tools that are necessary for remote working and teamwork, as planned. It is going to take some more time for employees and organizations to adjust to the ‘New Normal’.

As many other companies investing this time in the learning & development of their employees, do you think is this the right time to hold digital training? Are you also practicing online learning at Tech Mahindra in any way?

With COVID-19 disrupting business functions and employee engagement at the workplace, it is becoming crucial for organizations to invest in upskilling for their employees to ensure that they are future-ready. For us, at Tech Mahindra, upskilling is a top priority. The Learning and Development practices at Tech Mahindra equip our associates with the necessary skillsets in areas including leadership, technical, functional, domain, and role-based skilling programs. This is a part of our ‘Fit for the Future’ agenda. Under this, our employees are trained in emerging technologies like 5G, Internet of Things, Security, to name a few. The entire program is powered by the Artificial Intelligence-based New Age Delivery platform, ‘Upskilling as a Service’. We continue to provide a lot of learning and development opportunities to our associates as it will assure that there will be a future for them and the company, while also giving them the tools to work with renewed passion and confidence.

The sudden disruption is itself a challenge for all of us but what is that one major challenge that you are facing as an HR leader?

The rapid outbreak of COVID-19 and uncertainty of the situation is generating a lot of natural anxiety amongst all. The challenge in front of us is to continue to build hope amongst our associates and client ecosystem, motivate them, and assure them of positive times ahead. It is critical for HR leaders to lead with compassion, adopt an empathetic and compassionate behavior, and communicate to the employees that purpose and people will always be a priority. It is also necessary that we are able to provide hope and vision of the future to our employees. We are all asking more of our people during this time of uncertainty, and it’s more important than ever to inspire and appreciate the work they do, therefore recognizing their work and support.

How can you prepare employees better for the post-pandemic situation?

The global pandemic has pushed businesses to find new alternatives to tackle the crisis. Companies are adjusting to this ‘new normal’ while re-aligning their strategies to leverage new-age technologies and maintaining business continuity. Even the employees are getting accustomed to working remotely without hampering their workplace productivity. We are expecting renewed interest in technologies like 5G, Artificial intelligence, Augmented Reality, and Virtual Reality among others. In order to be prepared better for post-pandemic situation businesses need to focus on the Upskilling of employees in the emerging technologies. There should be extensive training sessions organized for employees on collaboration tools, managing remote working, stress, and crisis management. We are training our associates to be resilient and adaptive in order to respond to the customers’ evolving needs.

Tech Mahindra is one of the few tech companies to honor the offer letters already made to management trainees and lateral entries. How are you communicating with the new joiners during this crisis time?

COVID-19 outbreak continues to be a critical concern for businesses globally. Even during this crisis, we have decided to respect all the offer letters issued to lateral recruits and management trainees. Given the current crisis, we are hosting virtual welcome sessions for management trainees and other new joiners to interact with them, enquire about their well-being and answer any queries they may have regarding the effect of COVID-19 pandemic on their career or the company’s future ahead. These interactive sessions are also aimed at providing a sense of security amongst new joiners and to motivate them in these difficult times. This has proved to be a great way to reach out to them and build their trust in the organization. In fact, I have personally been part of many such sessions, and the response we have received, especially from the young students we are onboarding from across esteemed colleges in the country, has been heartwarming.

Tags assigned to this article:
Harshvendra Soin tech mahindra COVID-19 hr lockdown


Around The World