By Rick Bell
Jul. 22, 2016
That there is bright young talent among India’s workforce is no surprise.
The fact that there is a growing willingness with these young workers to seek external recognition for individual success is an indication that millennials’ budding India influence continues to grow.
The Workforce Game Changers program has never had an India-based applicant in the competition’s six-year history. That drought ended in a big way this year. Not only were several India-based workers nominated for the honors, but also three now belong to the Workforce Game Changers Class of 2016.
Abhilasha Malviya of Jindal Steel & Power, Sabera Patni of Mumbai’s Sunteck Realty and Khalid Raza of IBM India are showcasing their accomplishments for the world to see. Their Game Changer victories are another sign that India’s youth movement is creating a shift in the culture of the country’s workplace.
Raza, 34, is IBM India’s talent management manager and played a key role in developing its #SocialHRSuccess program, which is helping shift the company’s workplace culture into a more open, socially focused community. In his new role, Raza, an avid blogger, speaker and cricket player, creates the strategy under its talent transformation initiative to identify skills gaps, recruit, grow and sustain its workforce in India. He also focuses on learning and development, talent engagement and retention.
“There is a renewed focus toward employee engagement not as an HR program but as a key driver toward talent management and development,” Raza said in an email. “Recognition takes forms of appreciation and awards; however, our intent is on engaging the workforce. Management today is looking at every opportunity to engage talent, and external recognition for work done internally is a great way of achieving it.”
Malviya, 31, is a key member of Jindal’s learning and development team and recently began helping Jindal’s L&D transform from functional to a process-based organizational structure. She also is joint cultural secretary of the Jindal Power Officer’s Club Committee and is presiding officer of POSH, which is short for the Prevention of Sexual Harassment Act Committee.
“HR in India has upgraded its operating model through defined roles and improved relationships,” Malviya said via email. “It used to cling to clichéd processes, but HR today focuses on developing centers of expertise with deep, specialized insight. HR has made its way from being transactional to transformational in its approach.”
Malviya became an “HR process champion” and was selected as a member of a high-performing process team that helped each team member discover their internal capabilities and reach new personal highs.
“This initiative has offered a winning edge over our competitors and gained a competitive advantage,” Malviya said.
Patni, 37, recently stepped into a new role as head of HR at Sunteck Realty. Previously, while at GVK Mumbai International Airport, she was a leader in the People Capability Maturity Model and launched an organizationwide learning agenda to enhance customer experience. She’s an advocate of youth empowerment and has worked with several universities to raise awareness of substance-abuse issues among young people.
“The HR mandate will no longer remain the business of just the HR team,” Patni said in an email. “Every leader in organizations today will have a real and sizable HR agenda, every line manager will be an HR manager, and every employee will be the custodian of its people policy.”
Patni said HR practitioners must take responsibility in this rapidly changing scenario of new-age people practices. Yet the biggest challenge facing HR leaders is to change themselves before they can change the world, she said.
“Managing employees’ perception and expectations is the most important aspect in order to sustain change for the better,” she said. “Even simple changes can sometimes require a mammoth effort so as to get management buy-in. When all stakeholders of a business begin to see this upward shift in HR practices as necessary, when every employee becomes the champion of change is when a change agent should pat oneself on the back for a job well done.”
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