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We have a lot of automation in HR using HR technologies like AI, ML, Bots etc which has a fair amount of success. But automation alone is not fully enough to look at business outcomes especially in today’s world. So ‘Outcome + Automation = Outcomation’.

Moderator


Mr. Rabindra Srikantan

Mr. Rabindra Srikantan

Convenor –  CII Karnataka Technology & Innovation Panel 2020.
Managing Director – ASM Technologies Ltd

Speakers

Mr. Vasant Sanzgiri

Mr. Vasant Sanzgiri

Group Head of Human Resources – Shapoorji Pallonji Group


Mr. Ashish Kakkar

Mr. Ashish Kakkar

CHRO – ICICI Home Finance Company Limited

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Mr. Prasad Rajappan

CEO and Founder – ZingHR


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Mr. Prasad Rajappan

CEO and Founder – ZingHR

The world has been talking about automation in HR using AI, Bots, Robotic Interviews, and so on. We at ZingHR – Best HR Software Solution  believe in Outcomaton, and I believe Covid has given an opportunity for the HRs to become business partners and drive Business Outcomes. There have been multiple discussions on increase in productivity in current times and making Work From Home forever. The general opinion of most senior management personnel is, there has been a lot of collaboration, but we are missing human touch, and how do we continue with business continuity.

ZingHR has coined the term ‘Outcomation’ which means, focusing on Business Outcomes through HR Innovations. We often mix up between, Activity and Productivity, Value-added and Non-Value Added, Purpose and Means.

Covid has affected our way of working in multiple ways apart from binding us all at home. Team performance is given higher priority as compared to individual performance. Covid has also been a great leveler. It’s an opportunity for everyone who believes in agility and adaptability. When ZingHR launched Work From Home HR software solutions, we were flooded with calls from many big names across the industry. We realized that was because we were agile and adaptive in our approach.

Now coming to outcomes, Covid has made us focus on Business Continuity and Customer Retention & Growth. This becomes the purpose and the means is How do I improve Productivity? How do I upgrade my skills? How do I get transparency built in? How do I show concern for my people? Most importantly, how do I convert Fixed Cost to Variable Cost? As managers, what can we do to achieve things? How do we face realities of loss in revenue with costs remaining the same?

Hence it’s time to focus on real outcomes, and moving out of the euphoria of working from home.

Mr. Vasant Sanzgiri

Mr. Vasant Sanzgiri

Group Head of Human Resources – Shapoorji Pallonji Group

One of the very important points in Mr. Prasad’s notes was related to Activity and Productivity. That makes the question, what is the role of automation in the way we work? Was automation a means to improve the work conditions and activities that were being done or was it a means to improve productivity? I think they both vary, as one has got to do with efficiency relating to humans and other with conversion of the level of work that has to be done by man vs. the machine.

Over the time, many activities of HR operations were considered to be mundane and automation was introduced. It had its pros and cons. Somewhere along the line, in this whole euphoria, of getting into automation, we forgot the aspect of measures to improve efficiencies.

I look at automation as bringing in efficiencies and not removing humans. So the starting point of any of this change is what is the outcome that you really want? If your vision on the outcome is clear, you take the right steps. As for automation, it’s not a question of whether it’s a boon or bane; it’s more got to do with the value that we are bringing in for that transaction or experience to the employee. Therefore what needs are getting satisfied by automation needs to be answered. There are many advantages to it, but if you are going for it only because of trends then you are missing it. Like in customer facing organizations, how do you say, machines would be dealing with them. So there are paradoxes that exist and you grapple with; when you talk about automation, and so the focus needs to be on Outcomes that we want.

At the end of the day businesses exist to create value for all shareholders and stakeholders.

Mr. Ashish Kakkar

Mr. Ashish Kakkar

CHRO – ICICI Home Finance Company Limited

Let me give a broader dimension on what Vasant touched upon. Human beings are wired to keep looking at things to improve. The whole purpose of automation or automating factories was largely to improve productivity and multiply things by 10. This happened in industry till 1900. Things changed after that, they moved from there to simplification. From the mid 1900’s to 1960’s, the world started looking at simplification. Today’s workforce started asking, why am I supposed to do what I’m doing, and that prompted us business practitioners in identifying why things had to be done? And I think that’s where this whole concept of Outcomation is important.

Until and unless we write down why we need to do what we need to do, doing what and how is irrelevant. We need to have a clear vision on what we want out of it. Today for any organization, having an online HRMS tool is imperative, it’s not a luxury. Today’s workforce demands it.

We need to be conscious of 2 things in today’s world, Artificial Intelligence in HR and Natural Stupidity.

Questions

What are the current challenges in the industry?

Mr. Ashish Kakkar
Mr. Ashish Kakkar

One of the challenges especially when dealing with automation is, what is its need; and does it tie up to a business goal. Business goals are not limited to reducing costs. There was a period when, largely automation was towards reducing cost, now the world is changing where automation is required to improve revenue.
Secondly, today automation is also asking for it to remove human to human touch. As humans we thrive on human interaction, without that it’s difficult to get the best out of the person. Automation is no longer an initiative, today it’s horizontal rather than vertical.
Lastly, people are now getting frustrated with too much automation. Human intelligence is getting covered by the chatbots or analytics. That is taking over the human gut. We need to be cautious about automation telling you things, we cannot have human gut being taken over. Automation is not the ultimate goal.

Mr. Vasant Sanzgiri
Mr. Vasant Sanzgiri

Life will be definitely different once we get back to offices, and what we had assumed to be impossible is going to be the norm; especially in companies with traditional yet successful approaches. So the biggest challenge is going to be, making a change to the mindset in the way we work, with some technology and some human interface.
I’m a firm believer that some functions cannot be entirely replaced with automation. So if efficiency is something you’re aiming for, you need to see what value the automation will bring, to both customers as well as internal stakeholders.

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Mr. Prasad Rajappan

I think the current challenges are Predictability and Constraints. We are not able to predict what the future is. Whatever future we were envisaging earlier, just passed away yesterday! There are a lot of constraints. The question is how do I stay with the constraints? Economy will grow from cities to rural areas because of the constraints. We can convert the challenges into opportunities.

How much justified is it to go for a salary cut after Covid?

Mr. Vasant Sanzgiri
Mr. Vasant Sanzgiri

In today’s world, the biggest challenge is going to be managing fixed costs. It is made to ensure that you can sustain in his environment which is competitive to a different level. The days have gone where you had advantages of things like your brand. Everyone is at the same level now in terms of challenges and expectations to deliver a particular service. Compensation reduction therefore should be part of a bigger initiative for any organization, to manage its fixed costs. Businesses are mandated to negotiate with their vendors, office rentals and landlords. So everyone is trying their best to reduce fixed costs, and compensation is a part of this. So HR needs to see this as a part of making the business more robust, so tomorrow when the opportunities open; I will be there as a part of the organization to contribute, and when I contribute, I will be rewarded as well. So when the PM says, ’Jaan hai to Jahan hai ’, it’s a fact. If we do not make small sacrifices, tomorrow when the opportunity is there we won’t be there to share the spoils. Salary cuts are painful to everybody, but if there’s a long term perspective, we should be happy that the organization is having us as a part of them and giving us an opportunity to turn around the business.

Mr. Ashish Kakkar
Mr. Ashish Kakkar

Whether Covid or no Covid, every organization has to keep evaluating its cost structure. For every 10 organizations that get setup in a year, there are also 2 organizations that close down. So organizations have to keep re-evaluating their cost structures. The point is, is it done with transparency? And that’s where the business heads along with HR partners will really have to put out a very transparent process to all the stakeholders. If we take any one cost element in isolation, it will lead to victimize. The definition of leader has changed. This is the time for the character of individual and organization to come to the fore. This is the time to show your true values. So if it’s a question of survival, we all will need to do it, but in a very transparent way, where employees need to feel as partners and not victims. Mr. Prasad Rajappan: Covid has happened to the entire universe and we all are part of that. So now you need to be a party to that change process. Salary cut is always heartburn, but if there is transparency it will be less. And salary cuts are always better than layoffs. You always need to strike a balance between the two.

What would be the roadmap of HR on upcoming days, in current situation and post covid?

Mr. Prasad Rajappan
Mr. Prasad Rajappan

According to him, HR will become a trait niche manager. Every manager needs to have HR characteristics. If you’re part of the HR fraternity, it’s time to take center stage and take charge. Most HR people are successful who think of the business.

Mr. Vasant Sanzgiri
Mr. Vasant Sanzgiri

In many conferences it is said, HR needs to become a business partner. I think this is a good time to put that statement to test. How do you balance the sensitivity to the softer aspects as much as being firm? It’s like finding the balance between your heart and mind, and HR is in that sweet spot to bring that balance to the business.

What broad steps companies should take to improve the post Covid situation?

Mr. Ashish Kakkar
Mr. Ashish Kakkar

One of the first steps is ensuring your employees that you’re going to give them a safe working environment. To give comfort on the future which is right now uncertain would be unfair. So we need to take one step at a time. First is ensuring offices are a safe place, people not risking themselves while coming to work or delivering their work. Secondly we will have to wait and watch, rather than giving a very prescriptive answer for the next 6 months. How the next 6-8 weeks go in India, will help to draft those answers.

Mr. Vasant Sanzgiri
Mr. Vasant Sanzgiri

Emphasized that it is going to be important how the last 2 months were used by the organization. This situation has given everyone time to take a step back and look at the business in a calm and clear way. If this has not happened, and we are waiting for the world to open again, then we will end up going in the same circle of madness that was happening before. However, if you have looked at your business from a different level, than there are chances that you have identified certain building blocks. Identifying the gaps and working at solutions to fulfilling these gaps is important. You many need to tweak the fundamentals and bring in some technology aspects, but it needs to be done. So when everything opens up you’re ready and turn out to be a much stronger organization.

Mr. Prasad Rajappan
Mr. Prasad Rajappan

Made a valid point that We need to be agile and resilient. Apart from high level strategy for resuming work, we have technology tools too like HR Software with Facial Recognition technology or QR based attendance software rather than Biometric, linking of medical policies and so on. They all will show your care towards your employees.

Which areas of HR should be in focus more in terms of needing a change in policy/benefit/practise?

Mr. Vasant Sanzgiri
Mr. Vasant Sanzgiri

Answered this question, when you are part of a test team, what is more important? Batting, Balling or Fielding? In your organization, you need to figure out, which area are your weak and strong seats; and start building on your strengths. That is the mantra we follow, it helps make your weaknesses relatively insignificant. That could mean policies or technology in place, safety in the environment.

Mr. Prasad Rajappan
Mr. Prasad Rajappan

Had a question which he asked to Vasant and Ashish, do you think Covid 19 is going to make less control policies and more empathy policies? There are many discussions on making policies more employee friendly, do you see that happening?

Mr. Vasant Sanzgiri
Mr. Vasant Sanzgiri

Answered this stating One thing that I have observed in this Work from Home phase is, employees have realized working is about outcomes. So as long as you are delivering your outcomes, the number of hours or location does not matter. This is a change in mindset that I can see happening gradually.

Mr. Ashish Kakkar
Mr. Ashish Kakkar

Felt what differentiates a great organization from a good one is having empathetic policies. Now the organizations may want to have empathetic policies but will be constrained by budgets, because all these policies will come with a cost. Like insurance for instance, today I might want to widen the scope, but I will not have money in my pockets. My second take is, controlled policies have to go away. I think we need to start thinking of the 3% who will break the policy rather than the 97% who will follow it. The policies should have less use of Don’t and Not to do and more of Do and what you’re supposed to do

How can salary cuts help in reducing your fixed costs?

Mr. Vasant Sanzgiri
Mr. Vasant Sanzgiri

When you talk about CTC, it includes incentives, but incentives are built upon performance. There are companies that are accepting that 2019 has been a decent year and performers need to be rewarded. But as of 2020, 3 months have passed and we don’t have clarity for the next 3 months. In such a situation, how do we materialize any incentives. There are companies that have reduced their pool by 50%. The reduction needs to be done on salaries; it also depends on company cost structure. Some of them have 50% cost structure towards employees, some have only 5%. So 10% reduction in a company with 50% employee costs is a significant saving, and 10% in a company with 5% costs is a symbolic saving.

What are possibilities of future hiring and increments to employees going forward?

Mr. Vasant Sanzgiri
Mr. Vasant Sanzgiri

There will be huge re-evaluation on business, restructuring of profit and loss statements of companies. So to answer whether there will be hiring or increment in future is difficult. It will vary in different industries. Like healthcare or online platforms will not have a huge impact. So to answer this question on a general level will be unfair. Apart from this, it’s important to accept the reality, given the situation; we need to reset our targets and aspirations. You need to focus on staying in the game rather than succeeding in it.

Mr. Prasad Rajappan
Mr. Prasad Rajappan

There might be hiring in sectors like retail or manufacturing, because their employees like part time workers have moved back to their villages. Hiring will happen in phases, and multi-skilling will be essential; as companies will look at operating frugally. As for the question on education, that sector is up for a big change. With the government announcing that education till Higher Secondary can be completed online, an education revolution is on its way.

Mr. Vasant Sanzgiri
Mr. Vasant Sanzgiri

I endorse everything that’s been said. The takeout is, if you’re an employee; ensure you’re constantly upgrading your skills. If you’re an HR, please communicate the message to your people. If you’re a student, make sure your education makes you employable, not just your certificate but also your skills.

We as an industry should have some ready-made handbooks to deal with trade unions post COVID scenarios. What is your stake on this?

Mr. Ashish Kakkar
Mr. Ashish Kakkar

Since I have worked in the Industrial Relations sector, my short answer to this is, if you view trade unions as your partners you can really make changes. Trade unions happen because of policies of the organization. If you have employee centric, empathetic policies, this will not completely change, because humans are wired to interact together. I don’t have a handbook answer, but unions will also change their view going forward.

Mr. Vasant Sanzgiri
Mr. Vasant Sanzgiri

With an analogy of how things change between test cricket and T 50, and if you say I will play test cricket the same way I played T 50 and vice versa, then you are in the wrong business. Rules will have to be framed with a uniqueness that will help you with Work from Home, and in the absence of any framework, it’s like free for all. We have calls at 8 PM which never happens in normal office life. So we need to lay groundwork that makes sure Work from Home does not become a burden.

Mr. Ashish Kakkar
Mr. Ashish Kakkar

New rules will come in place, and the HR practitioners along with CEOs will have to sit and define these rules. There are no best practices right now; what works for Google may not work for you. Things will clear up as time goes by. In the interim, it’s the business leaders who will make the rules.

View of the increase of moratorium period impact on Business and how HR can roll in this situation?

Mr. Prasad Rajappan
Mr. Prasad Rajappan

The HR team needs to organize training for all employees on Finance Management. We have been receiving this question on the moratorium period from employees as well as customers. Maybe you can use them to clear your credit card bills or high interest bills. Also the RBI has said moratorium for another 3 months, so 6 months is a good time to plan your finances.

Kind of roles and processes will be relooked or changed or impacted and how HR Leaders are positioned to handle them?

Mr. Vasant Sanzgiri
Mr. Vasant Sanzgiri

Mentioned that multi-skilling will be essential so you’re not limited to the box of say HR Operations or Recruitment. Now it’s the time to be a generalist, who is good in every aspect.

Will Outcomation also put pressure on organizations to relook at its existing internal processes and Organization structures? What are the major shifts that can be anticipated?

Mr. Prasad Rajappan
Mr. Prasad Rajappan

In his opinion, it’s not pressure but an opportunity. When we conducted Lean HR workshops pre-Covid, there was an observation of around non value 80% activities. So now it’s an opportunity and imperative for us to focus on this.

Mr. Vasant Sanzgiri
Mr. Vasant Sanzgiri

I agree this is an imperative where HR has a role to play in working on the cultural dimension of the change; because that will naturally be receiving unprecedented resistance as everybody is under the pressure to perform. So it’s important that HR is the holder of that cultural dimension in bringing about that change.

Mr. Ashish Kakkar
Mr. Ashish Kakkar

If the designed outcome is that there has to be changes in the org structure and roles & responsibilities have to change then they will have to change. Otherwise the whole purpose of automation is lost. So let’s not fear it. This whole process is not only about cost deferment but also revenue increase, if we can make this work, then we don’t need to worry about AI driven or non human interface processes.

Mr. Prasad Rajappan
Mr. Prasad Rajappan

There are many cross-functional agile teams that are being formed, which might mean that the traditional hierarchy might deviate to such small member teams. This is the best time to up-skill and be prepared for the future. We at ZingHR (Global HCM Platform) are running our own academy for HR professionals, to train on how to handle this scenario, conduct service, how to handle AI and so on.

How do we measure the performance or productivity of people working from home?

Mr. Vasant Sanzgiri
Mr. Vasant Sanzgiri

I think it’s all about setting expectations of certain deliverables. It also depends on the nature of your job. Like in our case, people need to be on construction sites, they cannot work from home. But for people with office jobs, the deliverables should be the criteria and not how many hours did they login.

From an HR perspective, how to control employees’ emotions on downsizing manpower and other benefits cut?

Mr. Vasant Sanzgiri
Mr. Vasant Sanzgiri

Human beings are prone to having emotions and they need to be expressed. Good news is human beings are also intelligent. After the initial anger and remorse, objectivity will settle in and people will calm down.

Mr. Ashish Kakkar
Mr. Ashish Kakkar

I have also been at the receiving end of the bad news, I reacted with emotions and over a period of time you get aligned with it. When dealing with humans, you have to let those emotions come out. Trying to control them is like waiting for a nuclear reaction.

Mr. Prasad Rajappan
Mr. Prasad Rajappan

In the spur of the moment it’s going to be a problem, but later on when the person will realize that it was a rational decision with no other option, it will settle down. You can’t prevent certain things from happening.

RBI has increased the moratorium period, in this case what should be the role of HR, as it’s going to have a huge impact on business?

Mr. Vasant Sanzgiri
Mr. Vasant Sanzgiri

My understanding is, there is not going to be no interest, it’s just going to be deferred. The meter is still on, it’s just that the person’s ability to not pay, and give him an opportunity to be not a defaulter. But the fact that he has to pay the delayed interest is not going away.

Mr. Ashish Kakkar
Mr. Ashish Kakkar

Like people who have taken loans from you have an option of moratorium, you as an MFI also have an option to ask for a moratorium from your lenders. So it’s not limited to one side of the equation. There will be an impact as the cash flow will be limited, but organizations will have to find a balance depending on their own internal context. Given the situation it was expected that the moratorium would be extended and the organizations should have prepared themselves for it.

Covid-19 has had a negative effect not only on the economy but almost all the industries and households. Yes, there will be post Covid-19 effects but it is not something we cannot fight. With the right strategy and right state of mind, we can survive the effects and come out stronger.

ZingHR has developed resources to help you through these challenging times. Click here to know our most sought after Work From Home offerings to help you cross this hurdle.

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Corona has caught everybody in a situation that is highly volatile. In this pandemic, leaders across the industry are faced with a myriad of critical decisions like taking care of their workforce without hampering the business productivity. In this session, we will share our perspective on exactly how we can get accustomed to the inevitable change approaching in our work life environment, and what challenges are critical and should be tackled first.

Our Speakers

Mr. Alok Sheopurkar

Mr. Alok Sheopurkar

Executive VP and Head HR at HDFC Asset Management Company Limited

Ms. Geeta Gurnani

Ms. Geeta Gurnani

Director – ISV and Next Generation Partnerships at Microsoft

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Mr. Prasad Rajappan

Founder and CEO at ZingHR


Mr. Alok Sheopurkar

Mr. Alok Sheopurkar

Executive VP and Head HR at HDFC Asset Management Company Limited

Productivity is a function of input to output. There is technology, method, money and resources; but what gives you true productivity at an acceptable global level is the culture of the organization. It is said, when the CEO leaves the room, the culture takes over. So going forward my emphasis is going to be on what is the softer aspect to get world class productivity from ordinary people because we have to get extraordinary results in order to help our country to become one of the leaders.

Ms. Geeta Gurnani

Ms. Geeta Gurnani

Director – ISV and Next Generation Partnerships at Microsoft

As we enter New Normal, business productivity is one of the key questions not only with organizations but also with individuals. From the perspective of individual productivity, this New Normal is also going to be an emotional challenge. We are vocal about the virtual office environment, but it’s actually in a physical world of home and staying productive. The latest report of April from Deloitte suggests that the individual productivity has gone high, but overall organizational productivity has slipped to certain extent; given that they were not able to utilize every role. But has our individual productivity really gone up, or are we investing our personal time to cope-up with the business in this crisis? Productivity will differ according to your role in the organization. But we all need to acquire skills like digital selling, conducting effective virtual meetings and keeping the momentum high.

Also there is an emotional need to stay relevant and connected.

At an organization level, the challenge is even bigger. We need to strategize for all the diverse roles we have and be inclusive. We have a large workforce in India which is still not digitally literate. I will quote something that I heard from Mr. Satya Nadella. He said, “We are currently living in 3 phases, first was the response phase, where everyone moved to digital working. This worked for some roles, but not for all. Second phase that we are entering is Adjusting the Dial, where we are learning what will be the new reality, redefining new policies, enabling people, tools and technologies for productivity. Third phase will be the certain changes that will stay permanently after people realize the power of moving to digital”

Whether it be individual or organization, collaboration & inclusivity will be essential for productivity. We at Microsoft took steps like transparency, regular individual calls with the managers, counseling sessions for the employees and their families, because we realized this is not a 3 month phenomena but will last for 6-9 months.

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Mr. Prasad Rajappan

Founder and CEO at ZingHR

Corona has changed our work life balance to video call – voice call balance, weekends to which day of the week it is. Coming to productivity, I feel there is a need to redefine or relook at its definition. Fundamentally, Productivity = Outputs/Inputs. In my opinion, Outputs = Purpose and Inputs = Means. Owing to the current crisis, it’s important to look at the inputs that we are giving for productivity. These can be classified into essential and non-essential; and there is a need to eliminate all the non-essential activities.

At ZingHR – Global HR Software Solution, we have realized that the value adding activities stand at 5%. I think Covid has given us the time to define the value adding activities and go ahead.

Covid bought forward challenges like, Business Continuity, Improve Productivity and Compliance, with questions like Collaboration, Transparency and Up-skilling. This led us to collaborate with Microsoft and get some solutions, especially HR Tech mobile solutions.

Questions

Can you elaborate further on the Work from Home Policy Framework? What should be the ideal policy framework that should be implemented?

Mr. Alok Sheopurkar
Mr. Alok Sheopurkar

I believe Work from Home is new in Ms. Snigdha’s organization, like it’s in mine. Work from Home concept mainly existed in IT and ITES. In my opinion, there are few key points to be considered from an HR perspective, when defining Work from Home. I will discuss both hardware and software aspects. For hardware, it’s about who would be responsible for managing infrastructure that includes everything from routers to laptops that’s essential for being productive. Second major factor is defining the working hours of employees. For instance, in Western countries, calls or mails are not expected post working hours. However in India, the boundary between working hours and personal life gets blurred. How do we manage the breaks and silent hours in that case? There is also a need to consider the policies for female employees as they are managing both homes and work. Leave policies will also need to be redefined. Most of the office work will be replicated at home, but many things will have to be re-evaluated. There are multiple dimensions to this. We will need to make workplaces a safer environment. A broad discussion is required on this subject; however we can consider the above pointers which can trigger a proper framework for Work from Home policies.

How can digital tech play a role here?

Ms. Geeta Gurnani
Ms. Geeta Gurnani

There are 2 aspects. Now technology is a way of life, it’s no more a choice. But what we did during the phase 1 of Covid was, we moved from physical to digital workplace. We did not emphasize on any policies or how to better leverage technology for productivity. But in phase 2, I think technology will play an important role, with all the features that the collaboration platforms offer to the employees to stay productive. Like, till sometime back, I did not use the feature of Outlook which shows me my pending work list. But now, I’m making use of Machine Learning to check my pending items. We have analytics that give us the report on how many hours we have worked for the past week and were there any silent hours. HR will need to pull these reports to see how the employees are spending their time.

So in my opinion tech will play an important part, first in productivity and second in inclusivity. There are many people in India who are not tech savvy or are digitally illiterate. We need to have solutions which are multi-lingual and voice enabled. So there is a need to have accessibility enabled solutions and policies when it comes to using technology.

Business Productivity during the current economic situation

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Mr. Prasad Rajappan

It’s a very pertinent question. Like I said before, today we need to redefine productivity owing to the changing demands of customers and employees. Both financial and emotional needs are changing, cash flows are disappearing and business models are changing. So it becomes essential to remap the business models and redefine productivity. This will definitely help us in navigating better through these challenging times. Like Ms. Geeta mentioned, we need to be inclusive; we need to take care of all the stakeholders, contractors as well as vendors.

How to handle Non Cooperating Employees?

Mr. Alok Sheopurkar
Mr. Alok Sheopurkar

During pre-covid, when any employee started their work day, they wanted to give their best. No one in my experience, ever started the day with, I am going to curb everyone’s happiness today! But there could be one bad conversation and the paradigm shifts. So we as leaders need to understand the chemistry that leads to non cooperation. Is there a failure of commitment, poor engagement, low care, unavailability of infrastructure, no recognition? What is causing the non cooperation? If we can spot this in early stages, diagnose and eliminate it then it will never lead to a breakdown.

If everything is good and still the problem persists, then in my opinion, a good, positive, optimistic conversation is the way to bring things back to normalcy. There are disciplinary mechanisms but getting everyone on the same table is the best way to resolve miscommunication and gaps.

Make rural new urban. Can we make metropolitan related career opportunities available In rural/remote locations, since travelling around will be next to possible?

Ms. Geeta Gurnani
Ms. Geeta Gurnani

It’s an interesting question. I think we should also think about making the city new rural, because many of us think about what if we can go and decongest the metro. There is so much density in metros; the working population is dense in certain cities. My submission would be the step one should be about thinking on decongesting the metros, and give people opportunities to work from wherever they are including rural areas. The reason being, it’s essential to skill the rural people for the digital opportunities that are coming their way. Otherwise there could be a dip in productivity from what we expect. Also it may not be a 100% digital world; it may be a phygital world. There is one more thread on LinkedIn, where we are calling for more female employees, as that will give a boost to our GDP. Not due to gender diversity, but because males and females have a different way of working and responding to situations. So the skilled mothers, who are right now at home, can be our first step, followed by decongesting metros and skilling rural populations.

Mr. Alok Sheopurkar
Mr. Alok Sheopurkar

This question is very close to my heart. You can also refer to the article that I have recently published on LinkedIn on Life Trends post Covid: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/life-trends-post-covid-19crystal-gaze-alok-sheopurkar-pcc India lacks urban centers. Cities like Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Dehradun, Ludhiana etc are now slowly coming up. After this the government released a scheme ‘100 smart cities’. The whole idea was to decentralize the economic activities. Today if we look at the top 100 cities in India, I think every city is offering the same infrastructure as Mumbai. So I think slowly and steadily there is a conscious work happening.

How will the hiring of blue and white collar employees be impacted post Covid-19 situation?

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Mr. Prasad Rajappan

The hiring is currently on freeze due to the on-going situation. However when essential sectors like warehouses, retail or factories open; there will be a dark reality that the majority of the workforce will be missing. So in my opinion, post covid, there will be a realignment of hiring. You will need to hire fresh employees, especially in blue collar; which will also make it necessary to skill them. There will also be a geographical change, where the majority of the employees would now be from nearby cities. For white collar, I think there will be a perspective of changing fixed costs to variable costs, and many companies will start engaging with consultants and freelancers.


Monitoring tools for WFH Productivity

prasad-circle-img
Mr. Prasad Rajappan

We need to define the purpose of these HR tools. Is it monitoring or outcomes? In Work from Home, you need to trust your employees and be transparent. This will help in better productivity. For HR technologies we have multiple options like, geo-fencing, timesheets, surveys, collaboration tools and so on. My advice would be, have a right balance of HR technology and employee relationships.

What shape of the Economic recovery (V, U, W or L) do you expect? Which sectors of the Indian economy are likely to recover the fastest? Which will be the slowest?

Mr. Alok Sheopurkar
Mr. Alok Sheopurkar

The recovery shape is difficult to predict at the moment. But in my opinion it will be shape C on the floor. Depending on quantitative easing, some of the sectors which in my opinion can come out faster are infrastructure, pharmaceuticals, chemicals and agriculture.

BCP planning and a better use of Microsoft Office 365

Ms. Geeta Gurnani
Ms. Geeta Gurnani

Business Continuity Plan is a very big charter in itself and Microsoft Office 365 can be a part of it. For everyone’s benefit, there’s this site that we have launched on remote working and business planning: https://www.microsoft.com/en-in/remoteworking You will find all the resources and solutions for BCP here. We have multiple solutions from Microsoft as a first party as well as third party, for all your business continuity needs.

Considering Work from Home and teams, some members of the team could be more productive compared to few members of the team due to extraneous factors which could not be in their control such as access to a robust internet connectivity or other factors. This could lead to some members being more overworked than others which affect Team Morale. In such cases, managers play a key role. What could be the ways to manage such teams?

prasad-circle-img
Mr. Prasad Rajappan

This is a practical problem, where people are having difficulties to work without any disturbances at home. We do not have any solution to this right now. We need to find out different ways to moderate the teams.

Mr. Alok Sheopurkar
Mr. Alok Sheopurkar

There still are managers who let the team burn out and leave, and then hire new people. But this attitude will not give you a competitive edge and good brand. For that you will have to prevent your team from burning out and take extreme care of their needs including infrastructure and breaks.

Managing big data for decision making dashboards has increased in a short TAT, what means can be used for faster results?

Ms. Geeta Gurnani
Ms. Geeta Gurnani

If by big data for decision making dashboard, you mean all the structured and unstructured data that comes your way; I will highly suggest you visit some of the government sites; it’s highly impressive how the government is using the insights for the huge amount of data. Like Maharashtra government is using the Microsoft Power Apps and Power BI platform. More than the data, it’s very important to consider, are we giving the decision makers the right insights of the data to take the decision. PowerBI and other reporting tools will help you in deriving the correct insights of the data.

Life after COVID 19

Mr. Alok Sheopurkar
Mr. Alok Sheopurkar

You can refer my article on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/life-trends-post-covid-19crystal-gaze-alok-sheopurkar-pcc On a higher level, many people are questioning their purpose. So there is a different slice of life for everyone. Migrant workers are thinking if they can come back to cities, professionals are concerned about their next month salaries and employment. I want to be optimistic and I’m sure life will be better after Covid, and we all will be better citizens.

prasad-circle-img
Mr. Prasad Rajappan

I agree that we need to be optimistic. I will give you our example, when suddenly Covid made us realize that People Management is an essential commodity. I believe all the sectors will be able to realize that there is a new horizon that this crisis is opening. Covid has been a great leveler. Everyone is now standing at the same point, and it’s an opportunity to start afresh.

Ms. Geeta Gurnani
Ms. Geeta Gurnani

I will continue with the optimistic thoughts. I think it’s the time for us to think, should we move our traditional world into the New Normal or should we really think about the new world which has better productivity. So there is an opportunity for all of us to contribute to new thinking, so that the world becomes a better place to balance out.

Covid-19 has had a negative effect not only on the economy but almost all the industries and households. Yes, there will be post Covid-19 effects but it is not something we cannot fight. With the right strategy and right state of mind, we can survive the effects and come out stronger.

ZingHR has developed resources to help you through these challenging times. Click here to know our most sought after Work From Home offerings to help you cross this hurdle.

Connect with Us

India

South East Asia

Middle East

Australia

www.zinghr.com

1800 233 6504

info@zinghr.com

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Today we are geared up for a discussion on how learning has been evolving especially during this new normal. We have a diverse panel and participants from across the industry to share their perspectives

Moderator

Dr. AK Balyan

Dr. AK Balyan

Former CEO & MD – LNG Petronet

Our Speakers

Mr. Ranjan Kumar Mohapatra

Mr. Ranjan Kumar Mohapatra

Director HR – Indian Oil Corporation Limited

Mr. Prasad Rajappan

Mr. Prasad Rajappan

Founder & CEO – ZingHR

Mr. VK Singh

Mr. VK Singh

Director (Personnel) – Power Grid Corp. of India Limited


Dr. AK Balyan

Dr. AK Balyan

Director HR – Indian Oil Corporation Limited

Dr. AK Balyan set the context about the webinar as to discuss the various challenges and HR issues that are being faced by the organizations, and seek expert opinion from the panel.

We are all aware that this is an unprecedented type of situation created by a virus. It impacted almost 150 countries worldwide and developed countries were hit more. Practically, the business activities have come to a halt and we are in for a recession. Such extraordinary situations call for extraordinary efforts and initiatives. There is uncertainty about how long the impact of Covid will last. We can only make some assessments; what and how much is the impact is only based on our assumptions. We feel that the initiatives taken by the Government, many organizations, major NGOs perhaps it might be a U shaped recovery. The focus of business has come to survival and sustainability. Apart from that there are large efforts on how do you maintain your assets and continue working on them and prevent your assets from turning into non performing assets. Many sectors like hospitality, mobility and aviation are badly impacted. So we need to understand the challenges and the initiatives that are being taken by the businesses to keep the continuity on.

Mr. Ranjan Kumar Mohapatra

Mr. Ranjan Kumar Mohapatra

Director HR – Indian Oil Corporation Limited

Mr. Ranjan Kumar Mohapatra added to this yes, this is an unprecedented situation and it definitely requires an unprecedented response from all of us; individually and professionally. This is the time where everybody is tested whether we survive or perish. He quoted Paul Romer here, ‘A crisis is a very terrible thing to waste’. We need to convert this into an opportunity. As Mr. Balyan rightly said, many industries are impacted and even start-ups are facing problems with funding. In India itself, many start-ups are on the verge of shutdown. At the same time, we need to respond well to this crisis and turn it into an opportunity.  This is the time for us to relook at the 3 main areas of HR i.e. Work, Workplace and Workforce.  HR Technology is redefining work.

Mr. VK Singh

Mr. VK Singh

Director (Personnel) – Power Grid Corp. of India Limited

Mr. VK Singh expanded the topic and mentioned that Mr. Balyan and Mr. Mohapatra has already given us an overview of how this situation has impacted us externally as well as internally. HR as the field is primarily impacted. It’s physical, emotional and operational. It’s very important to rethink all policies, procedures in the system. We cannot wait for the things to get easy; we need to respond right now. There is one emotion which encompasses all others, and thinking is built around that. So this crisis should not go waste, whatever we have learnt, we should follow it. As per his opinion right now, great places are those that are safe places. So where emotional and physical threats are concerned, we need to create safe workplaces. It’s now survival of the safest.

Prasad Rajappan

Mr. Prasad Rajappan

Founder & CEO – ZingHR

Mr. Prasad Rajappan started on a lighter note, Corona has brought changes like, converting our work life balance to video call – voice call balance, planning weekends to which day of the week it is. Life has become very dynamic. The major concerns that can be observed in both private and public sectors are safety, response process to this unknown enemy corona, protection of employees and their families. Another concern has been the customer retention and growth, especially in the private sector. People are also worried about business continuity, up skilling and ensuring transparency. For a finance perspective, everyone is looking at converting the fixed costs to variable costs.

Productivity needs to be relooked as value added and essential activities that deliver outcomes and not only activities. We need to focus on Outcomation. Covid has enacted as a great leveler and brought everyone at the starting point. This is an equal opportunity for everyone, for only agile and adaptive minds will be able to grab it.  Major challenges today are predictability of what will happen and constraints in our mind.

India has this opportunity to redraw its economy; the question is it’s up to us to decide what we want to do. As our contribution, we have opened our HR Tech Products  in the market for free of cost.

Questions

We know that you belong to a fortune 500 company; you have the vast presence, and are the biggest refiner and marketer of petrochemicals in the country. With such a network and also falling under essential services, how have you ensured smooth operations? Can you please share how you are managing your workforce; both regular employees and secondary? What were the essential steps in your opinion, which helped you manage this?

-Question from Dr. AK Balyan to Mr. Ranjan Kumar Mohapatra


Mr. Ranjan Kumar Mohapatra
Mr. Ranjan Kumar Mohapatra

Yes we are spread all over. When you have such a large organization with almost 33000 employees, more than 4.5 L secondary workforce spread across all over, it is difficult. We consider our frontline workers, delivery staff the Covid warriors. Everyday our delivery staff is reaching different 30 – 40 houses. In a month or so they are connecting with 1000 of houses. So that becomes a huge challenge.

We focused on 3 fundamentals, which we thought were essential:

We gave only authenticated information and guidance to our teams. We had a hyper committee which was constituted, and we have been meeting regularly since the last 50-60 days. We also decided to take out advisories which would be sent out to all the stakeholders, and they comprise all the guidelines.

Connecting with people was another element. It makes more impact when you connect with your people in adversities.

Keeping people engaged and motivated. We have 60% of our people working from refineries or pipelines or supply locations. Another 40% of our employees work from administrative offices. It was essential to keep both these groups engaged and motivated.

In his opinion five learning’s will be very important for us to take it forward:

Flexibility, Adaptability , Agility , Resilient, Empathy

Have you included the Covid information in your e-learning program? Also many of your outlets are not owned by you, but are licensees. You think there was any difference in productivity or way of working?
-Question from Dr. AK Balyan to Mr. Ranjan Kumar Mohapatra

Mr. Ranjan Kumar Mohapatra
Mr. Ranjan Kumar Mohapatra

We have almost 27000 retail outlets as of now, out of which around 170 are the ones where we operate; the rest are franchises operated by dealers. There has been no difference in productivity, in fact in many places, the delivery and customer teams of the dealers have responded extremely well to this situation. We have supported each of them by offering a 5L ex gratia and have covered them under medical insurance.

Are you planning to implement any new initiatives post Covid?
-Question from Dr. AK Balyan to Mr. Ranjan Kumar Mohapatra

Mr. Ranjan Kumar Mohapatra
Mr. Ranjan Kumar Mohapatra

Going by the learning, a lot of new activities have now been undertaken. We have realized that we can work from home. Also we are realizing maybe our work assignments need to be more developed. We had developed technical competencies for each role on paper. This crisis gave us an opportunity to take that forward. We are planning as to how we can align our customers with the internal stakeholders at any point of time.

Your organization is very agile, and has been able to quickly respond to the needs of the present times. How have you been able to do that? Do you have other locations from where the team is working or is it only Mumbai office? What has been the work environment?
Question from Dr. AK Balyan to Mr. Prasad Rajappan

Prasad Rajappan
Mr. Prasad Rajappan

We have our offices in all the major cities in India as well as in Singapore. All of a sudden there was this realization, that HR Tech solutions for employees is an essential service. Earlier customer requirements were more inclined towards controlling the work of employees, and in no time this perspective shifted to care and concern. So the tools were the same, but requirements changed. For instance, many organizations wanted to check if their teams were safe and doing well in this crisis. Going by this demand, our team worked relentlessly to get a survey tool in place, which can be used to reach out to people on both, smartphones as well as via SMS.

The deployments have been huge. People are looking out for HR Software with facial recognition technology without having to invest in a recognition device. This led us to develop a mobile based facial recognition with Artificial Intelligence. There is also a surge in demand for chatbots and multilingual solutions. Fortunately, all our solutions come in all 26 local languages. This has helped us in reaching out to diverse people.

Another thing I observed in corporate India is; everyone started empathizing. Another phenomenon is the employees started reciprocating, which is very good for the economy. They started thinking of the company first, some employees are ready to leave their leave balances, and some are ready to leave their incentives. People have realized that this is a global crisis.

So, are there any products that were developed in these 2.5 months and are ready to be procured by others? Also it was expected that certain sectors of ITES would do well, so is it alright to say that the business of ZingHR has increased?
Question from Dr. AK Balyan to Mr. Prasad Rajappan

Prasad Rajappan
Mr. Prasad Rajappan

Absolutely! We had most of the HR Tech modules ready before, but the demand has increased now. The activity and engagements have become 200%, and we are hiring more people as well as collaborating with partners.

How do you take care of the customers and stakeholders who do not have smartphones?
Question from Dr. AK Balyan to Mr. Prasad Rajappan

Prasad Rajappan
Mr. Prasad Rajappan

We do have many SMS solutions, as well as tracking solutions for non smartphones via tower triangulation. I have companies who are worried about their employees who have moved to their native, and they want to track them from a concern perspective. So we have SMS solutions using which it can be tracked in which region.

What would be your one suggestion to the industry, particularly to those who are badly impacted?
Question from Dr. AK Balyan to Mr. Prasad Rajappan

Prasad Rajappan
Mr. Prasad Rajappan

We have been trying to reach out to the Arogya Sethu team, to see if we can integrate our solution with them. Around 2.5 CR people are using it, so we can integrate with them and try and keep people safe. So like we have the best HR solution with a mobile application , where you can check from your phone, how far you’re from Red Zone. This is a national movement, so we are checking the feasibility of linking it with Arogya Sethu and opening it free nation-wide.

Mr. Singh you come from one of the biggest power transmission companies in the country and you are also part of the essential services. You have power lines going to the rural areas and projects which employ primary as well as secondary workforce. What all was unusual that you had to cope during this time?  Did you have to set instructions for not taking up field jobs? Did you practice any different way of working, or was it usual business? What was different in the last 2-3 months?
Question from Dr. AK Balyan to Mr. VK Singh

Mr. VK Singh
Mr. VK Singh

It’s a beautiful experimentation; the moment the country was stuck up with Covid. But we had planned it much ahead as we have global presence in around 20 countries, so we knew what was coming. We had all the Business Continuity Plans in place for all the departments. And as for the migrant laborers, at the time when Covid struck, we had 35000 CR of work in hand, and the construction was on at about 150 odd locations across India. As soon as lockdown was declared, we ensured all our laborers were taken care of. We started providing them food, ensured better living conditions for them by acquiring a high degree of sanitization and retained them. They are all migrant laborers and we could retain more than 60% of them. When the lockdown was relaxed, we re-started our constructions. As far as agency laborers were concerned, like security and sanitization, we took them in-house. We recognized they are our frontline workforce and retained them. We gave them INR 250 per day, when most of the organizations were cutting them.

Power is a very essential commodity and the show must go on. So in the operation area, nothing was impacted and we also had a backup plan in place for each station. An advanced preparation was very useful to us. Also being part of disaster management, we have handled multiple disasters like earthquakes, floods in Srinagar, recent Amphan in Odisha, so we knew how to handle the crisis.

You had many new practices put in place, so do you think your HR practices will be updated to the new way of working?
Question from Dr. Balyan to Mr. VK Singh

Mr. VK Singh
Mr. VK Singh

We decided to change the entire workplace practices due to Covid. It made it essential to revisit all the processes, policies, systems and we had to make them fit to the people. As for the HR perspective, you need to be adjustable, flexible and you need to redefine the policies. Safety was our biggest priority. We also started tele-medicines, and for the ease of payment allowed our workforce to send scanned copies of bills from any part of the country. We went full throttle in the HR team, even with regards to promotions. We kept exploring multiple ways of keeping employees engaged.

Innovation is the key. In some of our sub-stations, our people invented their own kind of sanitization machine. From CSR perspective, we routed almost 200 CR in PM cares fund, and around 30 CR in migrant, construction and agency laborer.

Another learning was, we already had a calendar in place and decided to go ahead with it, without any changes to the operations and training programs. Also since lots of people are working from home, we started with multiple learning initiatives, and are rolling out programs starting with morning meditation, yoga to hard core company programs. Since we are located in many remote locations, communication is the key for us, and as HR it’s very important to create a 2 way communication system.

How has your top management worked differently in the 3 months of the crisis period?
Question from Dr. AK Balyan to Mr. VK Singh

Mr. VK Singh
Mr. VK Singh

As the country was preparing to work from home, we decided that the board members will continue to work. We had board meetings held on virtual platforms, to discuss various issues. We had to ensure safety along with 24*7 operations. We did everything possible to make it a safe workplace, and provided relaxation in terms of policies. Also when people know you care for them, things fall in place.

Communicating in a timely, precise and transparent way is essential. You need to communicate the change in various roles as well as remove misinformation effectively. Prepare the employees mentally to take up additional responsibilities. Engaged employees are the best assets.

Dr. AK Balyan
Dr. AK Balyan

Emphasised that If you communicate transparently with your employees and put forward the business uncertainty situation, then many of them would understand the problems better.

Mr. Ranjan Kumar Mohapatra
Mr. Ranjan Kumar Mohapatra

Agreed with Dr. Balyan, everything can happen if you discuss it with people. Everyone needs to realize this situation will redefine the way in which we work. Agility and adaptability are crucial for our survival.

Dr. AK Balyan
Dr. AK Balyan

Justified one of the questions asked by the audience that Work from Home is a preferred option for women. He mentioned that women in his family effectively work from home as well as managing other things at home. Women are better managers in terms of time management and multi-skilling.

Prasad Rajappan
Mr. Prasad Rajappan

Added to this on a lighter note, it’s a good opportunity to make your spouse multi-skilled. On a serious note, earlier Work from Home was only for the IT sector. But now it’s essential and imperative to come up with Work from Home guidelines.

Mr. Ranjan Kumar Mohapatra
Mr. Ranjan Kumar Mohapatra

Made a valid point here that the current Work from Home experience has been bad. But this work is not the regular Work from Home that should happen in future. Female employees are facing multiple issues, and we are under the assumptions that since people are working from home, it implies they are available 24*7. But the future will change as it has to be redefined. There has to be a clear cut balance between work and family life.

Dr. AK Balyan
Dr. AK Balyan

Mentioned that From an HR perspective, the main points are: How do you deal with uncertainty? Do you have people that are comfortable to work in uncertainty? How do you convert people to manage the situation with ease? What changes are happening? Covid has hassled the process so fast that everyone is taken aback. But changes are happening and how do you predict what will happen? We need people who can help us with predictability, and larger organizations have come up with such positions.

Prasad Rajappan
Mr. Prasad Rajappan

Made an analogy. It’s like there’s a huge building that goes haywire due to an earthquake. You can either tinkle with it or build a new one, and put in only those things which are essential; because in your old house there would have been many things which you were not using. So HR now has the option to restructure things differently. Like we at ZingHR use the word Outcomation; do only what is going to give you business outcomes for organizations as well as employees.

How has your top management worked differently in the 3 months of the crisis period?
Question from Dr. AK Balyan to Mr. VK Singh

Mr. VK Singh
Mr. VK Singh

As the country was preparing to work from home, we decided that the board members will continue to work. We had board meetings held on virtual platforms, to discuss various issues. We had to ensure safety along with 24*7 operations. We did everything possible to make it a safe workplace, and provided relaxation in terms of policies. Also when people know you care for them, things fall in place.

Communicating in a timely, precise and transparent way is essential. You need to communicate the change in various roles as well as remove misinformation effectively. Prepare the employees mentally to take up additional responsibilities. Engaged employees are the best assets.

Dr. AK Balyan
Dr. AK Balyan

Emphasised that If you communicate transparently with your employees and put forward the business uncertainty situation, then many of them would understand the problems better.

Mr. Ranjan Kumar Mohapatra
Mr. Ranjan Kumar Mohapatra

Agreed with Dr. Balyan, everything can happen if you discuss it with people. Everyone needs to realize this situation will redefine the way in which we work. Agility and adaptability are crucial for our survival.

Dr. AK Balyan
Dr. AK Balyan

justified one of the questions asked by the audience that Work from Home is a preferred option for women. He mentioned that women in his family effectively work from home as well as managing other things at home. Women are better managers in terms of time management and multi-skilling.

Prasad Rajappan
Mr. Prasad Rajappan

Added to this on a lighter note, it’s a good opportunity to make your spouse multi-skilled. On a serious note, earlier Work from Home was only for the IT sector. But now it’s essential and imperative to come up with Work from Home guidelines.

Mr. Ranjan Kumar Mohapatra
Mr. Ranjan Kumar Mohapatra

Made a valid point here that the current Work from Home experience has been bad. But this work is not the regular Work from Home that should happen in future. Female employees are facing multiple issues, and we are under the assumptions that since people are working from home, it implies they are available 24*7. But the future will change as it has to be redefined. There has to be a clear cut balance between work and family life.

Dr. AK Balyan
Dr. AK Balyan

Mentioned that From an HR perspective, the main points are: How do you deal with uncertainty? Do you have people that are comfortable to work in uncertainty? How do you convert people to manage the situation with ease? What changes are happening? Covid has hassled the process so fast that everyone is taken aback. But changes are happening and how do you predict what will happen? We need people who can help us with predictability, and larger organizations have come up with such positions.

Prasad Rajappan
Mr. Prasad Rajappan

Made an analogy. It’s like there’s a huge building that goes haywire due to an earthquake. You can either tinkle with it or build a new one, and put in only those things which are essential; because in your old house there would have been many things which you were not using. So HR now has the option to restructure things differently. Like we at ZingHR use the word Outcomation; do only what is going to give you business outcomes for organizations as well as employees.

Dr. AK Balyan mentioned his perspective on How the Role of HR is going to change post COVID?

Dr. AK Balyan
Dr. AK Balyan

What we have learnt from Covid is, how do you make your team adapt to a new way of working? How quick is your team to adapt to these changes? How comfortable are you with these changes? People do get perturbed with changes, especially if they have been following a particular work style for more than 10 years. How do you manage these changes? Leadership crisis is different. We need leaders at all levels, who can work effectively in crisis.

Prasad Rajappan
Mr. Prasad Rajappan

Added a valid point that the best service HR can do is to make HR a trait niche manager and not keep it as a department. If HR can identify their purpose in the business; their job is done.

Covid-19 has had a negative effect not only on the economy but almost all the industries and households. Yes, there will be post Covid-19 effects but it is not something we cannot fight. With the right strategy and right state of mind, we can survive the effects and come out stronger.

ZingHR has developed resources to help you through these challenging times. Click here to know our most sought after Work From Home offerings to help you cross this hurdle.

Connect with Us

India

South East Asia

Middle East

Australia

www.zinghr.com

1800 233 6504

info@zinghr.com

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HR Manager

I have a lot of data but I need to analyze this data for a lot of business processes and gain insights. What should I do?

Well, I firmly believe that you should try ZingHR’s Power BI.

HR Manager

Can you tell me more about it?

Of course. It helps you to find the current trends and get real-time employee insights.

Not only that the dashboards are very interactive and attractive.

HR Manager

What about decision making?

You can also identify & address potential issues that will help you make better decisions & improve your performance immediately.

HR Manager

How would you rate it’s accessibility?

Well, I would rate it 10/10 as it can be accessed at any time and from anywhere.

HR Manager

Excellent. I am really impressed by this. I think I should give it a try.

I think you should. Click on the link to know more.

Covid-19 has had a negative effect not only on the economy but almost all the industries and households. Yes, there will be post Covid-19 effects but it is not something we cannot fight. With the right strategy and right state of mind, we can survive the effects and come out stronger.

ZingHR has developed resources to help you through these challenging times. Click here to know our most sought after Work From Home offerings to help you cross this hurdle.

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As the lockdown is easing up in various parts and businesses are looking to open again, there are a lot of things that Covid-19 has taught us. The invaluable learnings can be used by us for our growth and how we can survive in difficult times.

Cloud Is here to Stay

Cloud Is Here to Stay

Cloud is going to be relevant for a long long time and the lockdown has shown that it is one of the most important aspects a business can offer. The ease it offers is unmatchable and is really helpful for the businesses.

Mobile Solutions

Mobile Solutions to Enable Workers

Managers can rely on the real-time data that is coming instead of waiting for the data to come in. Mobile makes sure that your work is quickly done and reported specially if you are working from home.

Be Social

Be Social

The key to success is related to the word social. It is necessary not only to be social with your clients or prospects but also be social with your employees. Communicate with them on a regular basis to make sure they are productive.

Plan

Plan, Plan & Plan

Always make sure that you plan ahead of time. It is very important to have a contingency plan and how you will deal with unforeseen circumstances. Planning will always give you a way out.

Covid-19 has had a negative effect not only on the economy but almost all the industries and households. Yes, there will be post Covid-19 effects but it is not something we cannot fight. With the right strategy and right state of mind, we can survive the effects and come out stronger.

ZingHR has developed resources to help you through these challenging times. Click here to know our most sought after Work From Home offerings to help you cross this hurdle.

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Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos once said “Customer service should not be a department. It should be the entire company.”  Providing services to your customers during the lockdown is a very nice gesture that can go a long way in building a positive relationship with them.

Give Voice To Your Customers

Give Voice To Your Customers

Listen to the problems that your customers are facing and what are their expectations when it comes to you. A survey conducted by Microsoft states that 96% of the companies decide their loyalty towards a brand after looking at their customer service.

Share Your Customer Service Plan of Action

Share Your Customer Service Plan of Action

During these tough times, nothing can match the feeling of being assured and at ease. Sharing your Plan of action with your customers will make them feel secured. A Microsoft survey says that 74% of people say that brand image is directly proportional to the customer service provided.

Set Honest Expectactions

Set Honest Expectations

Be honest about what you will be doing for the customers and how you will plan to fulfil their needs. It is better, to be honest, and real about it as it can help you and your customer to collaborate on the task.

Promotions

Promotions Can Be A Good Option

One of the best ways of helping out your customer after the lockdown would be adding promotions or giving discounts to your customers depending on how the crisis has affected their business.

Share Your Story

Share Your Story

Be a leader and help them overcome post lockdown difficulties by sharing your stories and how you fought with it. Dimensional Research states that 90% of the customers look at customer service reviews before buying a product.

Covid-19 has had a negative effect not only on the economy but almost all the industries and households. Yes, there will be post Covid-19 effects but it is not something we cannot fight. With the right strategy and right state of mind, we can survive the effects and come out stronger.

ZingHR has developed resources to help you through these challenging times. Click here to know our most sought after Work From Home offerings to help you cross this hurdle.

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Today we are geared up for a discussion on how learning has been evolving especially during this new normal. We have a diverse panel and participants from across the industry to share their perspectives

Our Speakers

Dr. D Prasanth Nair

Advisory Board Member at ZingHR 

Mr. Anurag Sharma

Head – Learning & Development at Dixcy Textiles Pvt Ltd  

Ms. Monika Mehra

Training Head at LifeStyle Stores (North)

Mr. Naga Siddharth

Head – People and Culture at Supr Daily

Ms. Sonal Kapur Sinha

Head of Human Resources at Modern Foods  

Mr. Ravi Kikan

Growth and Marketing Head at ZingHR


D Prasanth Nair

Dr. D Prasanth Nair

Advisory Board Member at ZingHR

Work, Workplace, and Workforce are changing. Business model needs to be changed. Jobs will have to change. The skillset for every job will need to change. We need to emphasize on 3 dimensions:
Why, What and How things are changing?
Effects on organization culture, collaboration & cohesion.
Are the training programs using the technology effectively?
In my opinion 4 important skill-sets are:
• Cognitive Intelligence
• Collaboration & Coaching
• Creativity
• Consciousness

Anurag Sharma

Mr. Anurag Sharma

Head – Learning & Development at Dixcy Textiles Pvt Ltd

Whether work from home can be a new norm or not is a question. Sectors like textile, are dependent on B and C terms, where a broadband connection is still an issue. Technology adoption is still nascent. The core challenge is how to get investment into L&D and it’s ROI. Will the business be patient for ROI? L&D needs to start talking business language without losing translation. Sustaining the Business is the need of the hour.

Monika Mehra

Ms. Monika Mehra

Training Head at LifeStyle Stores (North)

L&D is not just a strategic arm, but a business partner who needs to provide effective solutions to business problems.
Two points we need to consider are:
Why and Whom are we training?
What is the need and how much is the investment?
Organizations need to have a central content repository. Bandwidth needs to be checked upon for getting this done.
Internal small learning communities need to be created.

 Naga Siddharth

Mr. Naga Siddharth

Head – People and Culture at Supr Daily

This is where we were 6 months ago, and then we had the big Covid ball coming and knocking us. It is important for us to understand remote empathy. There is a need to go beyond tools.
As L&D professionals, we need to start working on Human Resource Designs, start looking out for things where there is will of leadership to do it. Right now, the human element is more important than the tech element.

Sonal Kapur Sinha

Ms. Sonal Kapur Sinha

Head of Human Resources at Modern Foods

I’m part of an organization that cannot have 80% of the workforce working from home.
In the current situation, there is a need to resort to creative ways when making content to ensure that the learners are engaged.
Like, Modern Foods had to resort to art and theatre for demonstrating the importance of sanitization.
Another important point is, the pace of learning needs to be every day. It’s like habit-changing; we cannot achieve it in a day.

Questions

Big L&D challenge is how to prove direct relation to top line and bottom line. Do we have specific metrics that work better than others?
– Ms. Ketaki Ogale – Co-founder (BHyve)

 Prasanth Nair
Dr. D Prasanth Nair

L&D should not be islolated as a good to have function. L&D has it’s own reason for being there.
Three metrics can be followed:
One , that is same as the Business Metrics.
Second, you can use ratio of internal hires to external hires in any organization. Are you able to promote the employees to any required role based on their skills and competencies?
Third, are you able to give ROI, and the denominator remains investment, numerator can be top line, bottom line, cash-flow or valuation in stock market.

Anurag Sharma
Mr. Anurag Sharma

The need needs to come from business and we need to facilitate that. Major concern is how do we tactically put this into practice? How many L&D people actually discuss about cashflow or how programs can be designed around it? Strategically it looks great, but how to tactically put it into practice, needs to be looked at minutely.

Monika Mehra
Ms. Monika Mehra

Investment in learning is an important aspect. ROI needs to be proved; if we are not adding any ROI then it’s a problem.

Learning is a slow process, results can be seen in phases.

Example, Weekly Net Promoter score helps in understanding how the employees are performing and what are customer expectations and problem areas in the retail industry.

Sonal Kapur Sinha
Ms. Sonal Kapur Sinha

Every meeting, whether that discuss people or not gives us a whip of where the business is leading. We need to stop pitching L&D as budget, but competencies and business impacts. As business partners, we need to understand business.
ROI and Training is like love, if it’s there, it shows.

With digital learning becoming the need of the time, how important is the gamification of learning?. My question is not only for kids education but for professional learning as well.
-Question to Mr.Naga Siddharth from Mr. Ramesh Ambastha (Technical Architect)-SmartBear

Naga Siddharth
Mr. Naga Siddharth

Gamification at a deeper level is about playfulness, fine with making mistakes and learning. All L&D needs to have a touch of gamification, it will definetly help people in learning better. It will increase a person’s risk appetite and make the experience more effective.
There is a child inside every one of us.

What is the future of AI?
-Question from Mr. Ramesh Ambastha (Technical Architect)-SmartBear For L&D online

Monika Mehra
Ms. Monika Mehra

If we need to measure ROI of L&D, than the answer is AI. AI is data. When we talk about improving employee efficiency, understanding their needs and competencies than we need to look into data. A good LMS is essential, which gives the data of all employees. Using this we will be able to understand learning needs, design curative programs and get results. Next step would be to understand the employees learning from the program; and if he is able to demonstrate it in his workspace. Blended solutions can be used to measure knowledge & skill-set and the actual on-floor performance. AI plays a crucial role in this.

Anurag Sharma
Mr. Anurag Sharma

Once we get access to the relevant datasets, employee behaviors can be validated. That will be one phenomenal use of AI. AI will also play an important role in training identification for a business, rather than leaders voicing it, if data speaks for itself it will be a classic problem solver. We need to convert subjective problems into objective ones and find solutions.

Prasanth Nair
Dr. D Prasanth Nair

AI gives us tools to predict and classify outcomes. This predictive nature can be used in capturing the need and designing a program uniquely for every individual. It will majorly help in capturing, designing, delivering and measuring the outcomes.

Sonal Kapur Sinha
Ms. Sonal Kapur Sinha

We need to understand that AI predictability is the result of data that has gone into the machine. So more the data that goes into it over the period, better the predictability. Right now in my opinion, humanness of the decision is extremely important and over & above AI.

You spoke about not just having proficiency in the current role but to acquire a new skill. How does an Organization’s L&D plan to help the employees to orient towards this new expectation/approach?
-Mr. Navneet Singh’s question to Monika

Monika Mehra
Ms. Monika Mehra

It’s a new skill that the employee will have to invest in. Going ahead, organizations will have less but multi-skilled manpower. Going by this situation, one will have to be better equipped with multiple skills, else his growth will stagnate. Organizations are always willing to invest in people’s potential.

Anurag Sharma
Mr. Anurag Sharma

Post-covid, for most organizations, the clear cut job dimensions will be blurred. Radius will need to become bigger. We need to get into the flux and thrive into it. There will be retrenchment, less number of jobs. Some sectors like travel will be critically affected, others like pharma might thrive. Businesses and people need to get more flexible.

Sonal Kapur Sinha
Ms. Sonal Kapur Sinha

Rather than predicting what skills would be needed years down the line, I will prefer making my people think on what is it that they would want to push themselves into. If the ask of the new skill comes from employee, it is faster taken. For skills at behavioral level, I would like to make our people more agile learners.

Prasanth Nair
Dr. D Prasanth Nair

‘Ekla Chalo re’ should be your motto. Every individual needs to take responsibility for individual learning without depending on the organization. You need to up-skill yourself and focus on your development.

Being in this Pandemic situation, where businesses are not doing to their full potentials and almost all the departments facing budget issues – what strategy should be used by L&D for investment in new training needs.
– Mr. Nitin

Anurag Sharma
Mr. Anurag Sharma

I can speak for my business. We cannot afford investing into any new methodology, we will continue with tried and tested models for at least next 1.5 – 2 years, depending on the cash in-flow. We need to look at what can be done more efficiently, without needing budget.
Many organizations are working at zero budget staffing.

Sonal Kapur Sinha
Ms. Sonal Kapur Sinha

‘We are not in the same boat, we are in same storm’.
Everyone is trying to save their own boat from sinking. Minds are already stressed.
It’s a business driven acumen right now. We need to be more reactive and less proactive.
Have the infrastructure in place, so we are ready when we do need to deliver. When will that happen, let the business decide that.

Monika Mehra
Ms. Monika Mehra

It is during this lockdown period, when stores are having zero revenue; L&D has come in forefront in keeping all the employees engaged. This was possible only because our organization had invested in correct platforms at the right time. Not everyone will be willing to invest in external learning methodologies. In this case, we can always harness the internal resources. Take support of SMEs and build internal learning communities.

Naga Siddharth
Mr. Naga Siddharth

Even with zero budgets, if we are creative enough, cutting edge L&D can be delivered today. There are so many free applications, sites available. Another approach is challenging the fact that what I would have otherwise normally done, am I able to do that ? vs. What the business wants me to do?.
It’s a paradox. Measuring metric of impact is essential.

A zero budget L&D is possible, and we required a pandemic like Covid to come and make us realize that. So why were asking for L&D budget all these years and why L&D budget post Covid?
– Question from Mr. Anurag Sharma to Mr. Naga Siddharth:

Naga Siddharth
Mr. Naga Siddharth

When pushed to a corner, my best comes out.

Anurag Sharma
Mr. Anurag Sharma

Agreed, so let’s deliver a top cutting edge LnD this year, and we may or may not need any budgets in the coming year.

Naga Siddharth
Mr. Naga Siddharth

We are mainly burning out budgets on external faculties. If business wants to send employees to Howard or IIM Calcutta than ofcourse I need a budget, but to drive effectivess and impact on ground, a very large budget is not essential. Typically L&D teams are capable and functionally qualified; it’s an opportunity for them to look at enriching and enlarging their role.

Mr. Ravi Kikan

There are multiple questions on what are the products that ZingHr is pushing across in the learning management space and otherwise.

We are posting the link to our website; you can take a look at products which might be useful for you
https://www.zinghr.com

Closing Notes

Anurag Sharma

Mr. Anurag Sharma
Head – Learning & Development at Dixcy Textiles Pvt Ltd

This was an amazing discussion to stimulate our brains on sustaining business in these times.

It’s very essential to have a fully functional L&D and L&D needs to adapt to the business, nothing needs to be lost in the transmission amongst both.

Monika Mehra

Ms. Monika Mehra
Training Head – Lifestyle Stores (North)

We need to work very closely with the business and understand their budding problem for the year and accordingly design the strategies.

Work effectively with or without the budgets.

Sonal Kapur Sinha

Ms. Sonal Kapur Sinha
Head of Human Resources – Modern Foods

Be more active; look at now fairly closely, what business needs and not what we have done in the past. There’s a lot to pick from; on how we can gamify, make engagements more interesting.

I think our fraternity is going to live most in this time when our businesses really need us.

Naga Siddharth

Mr. Naga Siddharth
Head – People & Culture at Supr Daily

Location or position of some units needs to change from consulting or partnering to actually being of service. Depute people to work on frontline, which will give us enough challenges that we will need to solve to have an impact on business. Truth is out there.

 Prasanth Nair

Dr. D Prasanth Nair Advisory Board Member at ZingHR

Every individual and organization needs to be on the learning curve. We need to Relearn, Unlearn, and Learn continuously. L&D will play a huge role in this.

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