Amity Institute Of Training & Development

Empowering your people: Creating a Future-Proof Workforce Read Time: 39 mins

About: Ms Jayeeta Sarkar has proven Learning and Development experience in diversified industries including Hospitality, Telecom and Healthcare. She has been with HCL healthcare as an employee with both HR and Quality Management. Currently, she is heading a multi-dimensional Portfolio encompassing diversity and inclusion, Talent Development, Employee Experience & Engagement. Jayeeta is also an NLP certified trainer, Mentor and Life Coach.

Click below to watch the recorded conversation.

AITD: Today we are going to discuss the topic “Empowering of People – Creating a Future-proof Workforce”. I just put the context right in the current global crisis, businesses and communities are facing the most challenging moments of their lives. As we move through the current situation and hope for recovery, planning for the new norm and re-entry to work is essential. In developing this roadmap, successful companies need to create a future-proof workforce. One that is practice resilience and flexibility. The aim would be to empower the workforce to be productive today while strengthening your businesses’ resilience strategy to aid in re-entry to the new normal.

What are the key areas of focus and how to keep the workforce engaged? What new skills are required to thrive in the future?

Ms Jayeeta Sarkar: I am currently for HCL head so it was kind of you to say though everything encompasses it. But two Portfolios that I head is training and quality amongst which the diversity the other parts of it comes in, but two predominant Portfolios I chair is for training & quality.

AITD: To help our audience understand the context better tell us a little bit about the unique services that HCL Healthcare provides to the corporate world and I know especially you have done wonderful things in the preventive area. Could you tell us a little bit about the work you do?

Ms Jayeeta Sarkar: At HCL Healthcare, we are into this field of preventive health and more so into the sphere of corporate wellbeing. What we do is we are focused not on the reactive methods of healthcare but the preventive side. COVID I think is a good eye-opener for all of us, we must have seen that there was one point in time where health took always the backseat, we used to always talk about that in a very big way that, for us first is job then is your recreation, then it's time with your family and finally, it's time for yourself or your health, but COVID has somehow made the end dimension go a little haywire, wherein we have now given health as the topmost priority.

You would see even in major social platforms, everywhere you sell all products for prevention. Ayurveda has seemed to have kicked off, and everybody is taking every shot of turmeric if possible. Going in for walks, trying to keep themselves safe, healthy. The whole focus is on preventive health, how I can keep myself, fitter, so that I don't need to go to the hospital. And that's the entire proposition for HCL Healthcare. Our mission is not to bill you. The moment you come to a hospital, our vision is different, to keep you away from going to the hospitals and even if you go you come back and again lead a healthier lifestyle, what is it that we do. That's the business proposition for HCL healthcare.

We find out first, what is your health status, how healthy you are, depending on that I tell you that, okay, if I give you grading, which is very a unique composition which is only present with HCL Healthcare. I give you a health index marker that on a scale of 10 how healthy you are. And based on that I put you onto certain care plans, which is a mix of your lab diagnostics, doctor visits, and a dietary consult. I do all these three and also the unique proposition is I will give you a health coach, you must have heard about this term in learning and development of CEO coaching, but nobody applies it for their health. I provide you a health coach who is going to talk to you on regular basis to find out how healthy you are, what are the steps that you are taking which are right or wrong, help you correct and ensure that in this entire journey of care you turn out to be fitter. So, that's the business that I am in.

AITD: That's a wonderful area, I think; you seem to be at the right time at the right place. But just to understand in the backdrop of COVID, many hospitals reported a very sharp decrease in footfall, they were impacted.

How was the impact of COVID on HCL Healthcare, and how did it affect you and your role as an HR leader and as a corporate?

Ms Jayeeta Sarkar: What I think is, when before COVID hit us, there were many things that we thought was not possible, like we are a healthcare company, whenever we thought of operating from home was a concept which was not there at all in anybody's mind. We always felt that you know we can only be productive at work health checks can happen only in person. But this pandemic taught us elsewhere. So, for both the line of businesses what we realized is training can be made a very effective form and there are wonderful tools which is available online like I had my entire team, who has utilized LinkedIn learning, to the best of its outputs and I have seen people on that with a lot of skills that they have acquired ‘Udemy Coursera’.

These were great online platforms, from which my people have learned apart from that also as an organisation, within my team I deployed my team into doing lot of interactive work, we have used teams to their highest potential, and we have trained people. Now when I come to the other side of operations, there also I think as HCL Healthcare we seize the opportunity at the right time. Preventive health checks so luckily for us, even during the lockdown of healthcare services there was no ban on health care services. The health checks that we used to provide in our clinic, we shifted it to the customers’ homes.

We said that we will send my technician, my lab partner to your home, do the blood sample collection. Once the sample is collected and the reports are out. Telemedicine luckily at that time which had not got approval by the Government. COVID saw and approval that the Telemedicine sector also got, so because of which I could get the health checks done at home, the blood sample collection, and through the virtual model. We had our doctor connects done. Therefore it ensured that our people stay in touch so they could take their samples, they could consult a doctor and they could be enrolled in certain care plans and their care journey continued. We also created COVID helplines in our company, wherein all the people who had lots of ambiguities, doubts and wanted clinical consults from doctors that was also possible through a virtual connection that we had through the COVID helpline.

AITD: HCL Healthcare is in right place both in terms of technology and in terms of healthcare, you are at the right junction, at the right time at the right place. We wish you more success in the years. Now we will come to a little bit to our main topic which is the workforce. Now many organisations are focusing on employee experience rather than focusing on employee engagement.

What should HR do to build a strong employee experience and inspire their people?

Ms Jayeeta Sarkar: Absolutely. I think there is a huge shift now we are doing is, before HR was considered like fun Fridays and Monday motivations were considered to be great employee engagement tools that you have come in, do some activity on the floor, that makes your people excited. The answer is not there. Actually, what happens is we need to find out what's your true calling is so, therefore, employee experience can only be enhanced, not only by the HR department, it's a joint effort.

Firstly, you need to hire the right resource. And when you are hiring the right resource there is an equal responsibility from the person who is hiring and the person who is getting interviewed as well, that are you in the right job. Are you or have you signed up for something that you like, the moment you have signed up for what is right? It is also the responsibility of your manager to provide you with experience on enabling you with tools which are right, like I might really like to join the army but if an army doesn't equip me how to face combat.

The Javan is not going to be in a very comfortable situation on the War-front. Similarly, therefore when I train the person well when I equip the person with doing what they do.

And finally, experiences about how every single day what is it that you are learning what value is what you are getting at your job. That's very very important. I think nowadays as companies or as employees, it really doesn't matter if you don't do a floor activity. That's good to have it just a moment of happiness that you do. Because what is important is every single day the work that I do. Am I being appreciated at the work, am I adding value to what we are doing.

It's basically as sales managers, we need to ensure that whether we are making the entire engagement of the employee, reach their unique potential save people I always, as a manager question this with my team, that my team should be happy working with me. You should have the ability to voice out against me also. There has been multiple times I worked with a team that if I tell something they sit to discuss and argue it out with me, that is not right, why are we doing this. This is not an autocratic power that since I am in a position of power, everybody needs to listen. It's all about inclusivity and that creates the experience.

AITD: I will add to that my next question A few days ago, we were discussing with some of our Amity University students. They are the young millennials who are now joining; some of them have joined you also. This office experience is more important than a paycheque. That is what most of them felt.

How do you provide flexibility in when where and how people work? Tell us what you are looking for?

Ms Jayeeta Sarkar: I would refuse again it's a paycheque that definitely matters end of the day. These are all questions people ask when they get the flexibility they say that give me money. It's money that matters but yes, I think, again COVID has learnt to teach us how we can be relevant, even if you are not coming to the office. Ultimately see this flexibility, the balance we always talk about it all the time, but I. need to also reinforce this fact that in every life stage, there are certain commitments that we need to do to our jobs and our flexibility again, is like responsibility.

With great power comes great responsibility which Spider-Man had said, which is very true. If you want flexibility, if you want empowerment, we need to question it every single day as employees, am I being true to the flexibility that I am getting? As employees I feel, so every component is important, paycheque is important but then if I get flexibility is important. If I get everything, there has to be a balance, it can't be like, I get everything, and I don't contribute and people don't tell anything and I continue in a workplace.

There are no free lunches. I think, again, it has to be a huge balance that if I have taken flexibility, am I working on my output? What if I am working from home, am I working during the period that I am working? Or is it that I am playing with my kids, taking an afternoon siesta and then I say I am overworked and stretched, I am depressed.

And that doesn't work like that in the long term. All that we got as a benefit during COVID. I think, for all these practices to last incorporated, it's very important as, as employees or as people who are looking for new jobs, we need to ask ourselves, how to stay relevant, how to stay more productive. And to do that, if the question is if I can make myself so productive, it doesn't matter whether I am here or you would get your desired output. If that's the conviction, I get with my manager, flexibility definitely will be given.

AITD: We are talking about flexibility. Work from home or work from the office, these are the issues which are coming back to centre stage.

Now, as we stand today, in February, as we enter March, things are slowly returning to normal, there are a lot of trades going on; whether work from home is okay or work from the office is required? What kind of a balance of mix do you foresee in the next few years and how will it impact the workforce? What kind of workplace do you expect? And how will it impact the workforce?

Ms Jayeeta Sarkar: In my mind, I think, as you know, what I was speaking in the previous question that you asked; flexibility is here to stay. Work from home also is here to stay. However, with an annexure that if I am promoting work from home, I should also see as an employee, whether I am being true to this entire format, or not. So, working from home, I have noticed in multiple situations or multiple employees have come across who take a call, when they are working from bed, they are half in their supine position and they are attending meetings. Attentiveness does not happen like that. There have been people where I have seen that as a problem. And also, I have seen the corollary of it, that there are people since they have cut down on their travel time, they've been able to stay at home and also give focus to their families; their productivity has also gone up.

I think it will be a balance that will be seen later as to what happens or how we utilize this entire change. See, as corporates, I think many of the corporate happy to offer work from home. And that's what the trend that’s happening now is. Because it saves a lot of costs, it saves a lot of costs to the company, because infrastructure cost is saved to a great deal. But with that, if productivity is not hampered, the companies will be happy to take it. But if productivity shows up, a couple of us who do not take this benefit well, then that's where it's going to not be, we leg and get back to probably the traditional way of working.

But I think so therefore, the bonus lies on each one of us who are working because I have known a lot of parents who are happy, especially new moms who have young kids, they feel that while they can be productive, they have been able to take care of their kids also, and they have been overseeing them. That's a benefit. But again, like I said, to have that work, it's very important that as employees we do our bit very honestly be productive during the day. Take meetings attentively, make sure that we are visible and available during work hours. So, all that is very, very essential.

AITD: I think, for some time, this system will continue; there will be a mix of work from home and work from the office. I think, by now, people have got used to how to work efficiently and productivity has also not decreased for most companies. I think the present scenario will continue for some time. I want to ask you about talent management. This is an issue, which is very important as we look into the future. Without clear development programs and pathways, it is difficult for employees to see a clear purpose in their work.

What talent management strategies do you recommend for your colleagues who are listening to you today and for business who would like to be future-ready? What kind of talent management strategies have you found useful?

Ms Jayeeta Sarkar: Again, at HCL we give learning and development quite a bit of importance. We feel like learning is continuous, so learning is not compulsory so is survival, right? But to survive, we need to be constantly learning. Similarly to be relevant at work, it is important that we are constantly on the journey of learning. Talent management, I think, is very very important. I believe that as an employee like I was just speaking earlier, that when an employee joins, it's very important to have a great induction. For most of the induction, it is very important that we need to identify the potential areas where the employees are good at and harness that to a greater extent. I am not a believer that where people say that suppose if analytics is not my trait then it is not my thing, you sending me to 10 Excel programs wouldn't help, because that's not the thing, which I am good at.

If communication is a thing that I am good at, I should be given more training around communication so that I become better at that. Therefore, as managers as employees, whenever you are picking up development courses, I think the focus should be on picking up things that you are good at and making that better so that you sharpen your axe in that direction. If you are something that is just not your strength and you are working hard towards strengthening it, if that doesn't happen. The third part is, as organisations, I think it's very important to identify talent. Because most of the time, we identify talent only when the talent is leaving, or is resigning from us. That's the time we tried to give money and say that please stay back. That's a very wrong practice, both for the employee and the employer. Because once the employee starts to feel that I am so important that the organisation can’t stay away and let me go.

And the organisation gets into a mode, which is like, I just decide to who's going to manage my work? Therefore, a rightful identification of talent is important, nurturing that talent is also very important. And looking into the success path and career progression for that particular talent is again, very important so that there is a good jump in the corporate ladder. And that's the right way to keep your employee motivated.

AITD: We are the learning and development team and we have a lot of interaction with our corporate clients and we keep discussing with them to know, what are the skills required? What kind of training do you require? How do you harvest new technology to empower your workforce and the kind of skills that are required for tomorrow?

Ms Jayeeta Sarkar: Technology is very important. It's going to be the next big thing. I think the first and foremost block is a mental block that many of us have that you are not I am not tech-savvy. Though, I think, these days, millennials are really in the right direction. But I think as young people who are into the call, I think one piece of advice that I would give is always to keep sharpening your axe.

Today, there is enough and more opportunities, which is there available online, to learn new skills. It's like in this entire journey, we always wait and watch to feel that the corporate is going to give me everything, all the training that I need to succeed. That's not true, right? You will not go to get everything that you want.

It's very important as an individual I feel we should all have a dream, the dream? What is the dream that I have? What is it that I or how is it that I want to see myself? Where is it that I want to go? Depending on that I should make certain charts that to achieve there, what is it that I am doing? To know where I am going I need to know what the skills that I am picking up are.

Like this, what I tell my team also all the time is that, be progressive, pick up something new, pick up some learning areas that you want to pick up, do something that you've never done. Those are the things that will make your job interesting, feel relevant in the industry. If I keep saying this like if you talk with me today, again, you invite me and I say the same lines that I have been saying you will not have many people who will be keen to listen. I need to be relevant; I need to update myself with the truth and that goes for employees as well. Technology today is very important. Apart from technology, I think what is important is zeal in individuals that I need to have the right zeal and the build-up right relationships going forward. These are all the things that make you successful.

AITD: I'll come to a question which you can answer to the extent that you feel like in the sense that we don't want to any of your corporate strategies, but to come to the attracting the right kind of talent for the workforce are changing. You don't find the right fit the right people with the right skills that you need. At the same time, your requirements are increasing as the technology is driving, the customers demanding more and more.

How do you get that kind of talent that you need for tomorrow?

Ms. Jayeeta Sarkar: At HCL Healthcare, we are very particular that we hire the right talent. I think that's an important role as a manager as employee of the organisation, it's not to be reactive to see if I can pick up somebody who is not a right fit of the job and then I expect the person to perform. It's a real wrong expectation that I am having in the first place. It's very important that I pick up the right talent; so at HCL we do not hurry-bury about talent.

We are known to be people who we really are. We interview a lot of candidates and only pick up the ones that we feel are really suitable for the role. And post that as I said, we give them a proper and a thorough induction and only place them. That's very important and key to success.

Now suppose for certain situations I pick up a person who I see has the potential but doesn't have the skill. Then learning and development plays a very key role. Before I deploy that individual, they go through a very stringent L&D process. They go through a proper training. They are certified and if the Training Team doesn't certify them. The Operations team can't take them for Operations. We don't give a go ahead if they do not clear the training. That's the importance of the department. That's the importance of L&D that we have at HCL Healthcare because that we feel is a key critical component to succeed, that I can't have an unskilled person facing my customer, then I not only compromise the image of that individual, but I also compromise the image for my company. And that's a complete ‘No’.

AITD: That take us to the issue about employee turnover and the question of retention. As you all know, the cost of employee turnover is becoming increasingly high.

How does a company focus on employee retention so that it retains talented and motivated employees and what strategies have you found useful in your experience?

Ms. Jayeeta Sarkar: If you really ask me, I am a very relationship-oriented person. I feel employees take if you give them a job that they like to do, if you give them the power to voice out do what they do. If you give them the power to make mistakes and not hold them accountable completely for the mistakes and reprimand them like crazy that you know why have you done it so the ability to make mistakes and finally the power of relationship.

I might tell you and also I have situations where I can shout at somebody I can voice out dissatisfaction, but I feel we should wrap up the day with good feelings. That's very important. But again, all these components like finding a job that's a value add to an individual. In my personal experience I have seen a lot of individuals who are in a wrong job. I pick up a person and I and the person is also eager to join a particular role because he has nothing in hand and you are looking desperately for a job. You pick up that thing as a great opportunity but over a period you find out that you are not cut out for that job. If you are feeling like that you are not cut-out for the job and you are into it. And if I give you a lot of training I do you motivational speeches. You are still not going to love your job.

First is identifying that employee is in the right place. Giving them opportunities, allowing them to make mistakes, allowing them to do things right. And finally as a manager I feel is also sharing the credit, it cannot be like get things done from my team. Go outside and say it is my work. It always has to be teamwork. When you give your people it's due credit people feel acknowledged and that’s the right way to grow. And that's the stickiness that you can create.

AITD: The question is that a micro managed employee is an employee who feels undervalued and distrusted by the management which will impact his productivity and happiness at work. How does a good company make employees feel secure and trusted which is very important? Otherwise he will leave the company.

Ms. Jayeeta Sarkar: Absolutely. Again micromanaging comes when you do not trust your team. The first essence is when we talk of each other as a team; you would be relating it with your army days. Right? So, team is not just a word. It’s a word for the entire unit. If one person in the unit is not doing something right, the entire unit fails.

AITD: We say that our strength is equal to our weakest link, so if one person is weak, you are the weak unit.

Ms. Jayeeta Sarkar: Absolutely. As a manager, your week link is, when you cannot trust your team. If you look every day into a given assignment and you feel that this person is not going to do it or the person is taking a leave, he is actually lying. Even if this kind of thought comes in your mind, it stems with the fact that you do not trust your team and therefore you are micromanaging it.

Nobody is going to stick around. I think It's very important that, we as managers, learn to trust and again as I repeat, it also holds true for the employees, that as employees, it's always very important to build-in the right character in the job. It is okay to take leaves and is okay to give the right reason why you want to take a leave. It is okay to voice out a few things which you have not liked about your manager.

It is much better than doing backbiting later like if your manager scolded you. It's important if you don't agree you should always say that I beg to disagree. But that should finish there. It cannot be that you go to the pantry and you are still talking about your own team. That means you are not a cohesive team and therefore things will not happen right and you can never stay engaged.

There's a mantra that we follow in HCL Healthcare and that is; the ‘Art of positive conversation’. We always say at HCL Healthcare there are three things that we really abide by is the, ‘Art of positive conversations’. Days will not be right but what is important is that even if things are not right, we say it in a positive tone; so, if I say that you are not doing something right, I should also tell you what is it that you can do to make it right. That's positive.

Second, is if things are not happening right, it's not a good thing to always say that the system is bad. Who is the system? System is you and me. So, it's important that we demand to make those corrections in the right place.

And finally, every single day, question ourselves, am I working in my full potential? Am I productive today? I always ask myself and I asked my team to ask this question that, has today been a good day? If repeatedly the answer comes ‘No’; then you are not in a right job, and therefore you would start feeling all these kinds of negative thoughts that I am being micromanaged, people are overpowering me, and this is not the right environment. These are all nothing but negative conversations. So, change it to positive and you will see a world of difference.

AITD: Someday, we are going to invite you and talk about positive conversations, Jayeeta. It’s a very good thought and it takes us to the next issue that I want to discuss, we all are emerging through pandemic and people are being through a lot of stress, uncertainty. Let’s talk about building resilience because everybody must come back, get up and rise and start walking again.

How do we build resilience in the workforce to enable them to adapt positively to stress? And, how can an organisation play a role in relieving stress before a crisis or during a crisis or as we come out of a crisis? Every company has a responsibility towards employees. So, what kind of strategy do you recommend?

Ms. Jayeeta Sarkar: In our organisation Brig. Rajesh, we do not reprimand people for the mistakes that they do. We give people ample opportunities to try few things and it's okay to fail. One of my favourite lines which I really believe is ‘it's okay not to be okay’. It's okay not to be fine all the time, right?

You can't expect that every single day you are going to come to work feeling really motivated. There are going to be bad days and that’s okay, one line that rings with me is that ‘not everything that counts can be counted and not everything that can be counted, counts’. It's okay if few things don’t happen your way, it's very important to let go. That is okay, so that's where I feel today's generation takes everything very seriously. You don't need to take life so seriously. Life is only enjoyable when you make mistakes because that's where you will be talking about it making fun of yourself.

And the second part is this ability to make fun of yourself. If you can stand up in a room and talk how there are 310 things that you don't know how to do. That gives you more power than standing up and saying I am perfect in what I do. I feel people who say that they are not true to themselves, and they're taking a lot of stress, which is not required. End of the day work is again like a baggage. Why are we working? We are working to have a good life. If I don't enjoy my life, if I don't go to bed happy, am I really making any sense in the process? It's like a bag on my shoulder. Sometimes the bag is heavy. It is important to put it down. You don't carry a heavy bag all the time. Put it down, take a break and look for a trolley that can carry your bag. That's very important. And then all these depressions, stress, everything will go down. Go down, go for a walk. Laugh out with friend. Crack a joke; watch a movie, come back charged to say you can create a defensive model.

AITD: We come to another issue which you are handling at present in your job. That is the issue of diversity and inclusion. We believe that diverse and inclusive workplace is one that makes everyone regardless of who they are, or what they do for the business, feel equally involved and supported in all areas of workplace.

How do we build a business build an inclusive workplace? What is your experience and what is your advice to your friends who are listening to you?

Ms. Jayeeta Sarkar: I think it's again very important so we speak about diversity we speak about inclusions, but in a real time when it comes to; there are a few issues which I feel we should be cognizant about. If I talk for male employee and a female employee, there are a couple of challenges which a woman face, which probably in our society, a man doesn't. We need to be cognizant about it and not brush it under the carpet. If you look at your career clock and your biological clock. They run completely opposite to each other.

When you join and you start working within about 26-27 people when you are right picking up in your career, marriage happens for a woman They are loaded with responsibilities and when they try to manage that, there is another component of kids that come into the picture to about at 30 where you need to be really productive. These are challenges that we have and I think modern workplace needs to adapt to these kinds of challenges where we give you those opportunities to understand that there are constraints but we give a lot of flexibility to the employees so that they are able to continue doing their job.

While they are going through their life stage. And when you are cognizant about such facts, you definitely see employee retention, and you see stickiness within the environment and people stay. So, diversity is actually a change of mindset that we need to do. And there are a lot of biases that we have as a society, which we need to pull out.

Also, as conversations in an organisation, we are very particular, what is it that we are talking it cannot be gender centric abusive language, which is again, if you look at it is lot prevalent in North India, we use it like a vocabulary, which is, again, highly focused on gender, which is again, something that we need to stop. We need to start respecting start standing challenges and defining rules accordingly. So, that definitely would help us, and we'll see more engaged employees.

AITD: We come to another area which you are handling in your job; that is the area of development, Learning & Development, Talent Development. I start with the Leadership part. We at our Institute feel that the role of leadership has emerged as a critical determinant of an employee experience at the workplace.

What leadership styles are required today to instil a sense of ownership and shared purpose amongst the employees and how do you develop the leadership skills in your teams?

Ms. Jayeeta Sarkar: I know this is a topic that we always say so again as I said leadership traits needs to be built over a period. Today’s generation or the way I look at a positive leadership skill is the act of inclusiveness. Today's generation doesn’t like to be told and why today's generation, I think, even we have never liked to be told. We all like to experience things. So, as Leaders, I think it's our responsibility to let the team experience different situations and find out the impact. And then finally the art of having right conversations is important, having open conversation with the team is very important.

We have those conversations and then again following the 24 hours rule is very important. We are working with a big team I always see this as a challenge. There is always one person against the other, this person has done this, what do we do? I always talk of people to follow the 24 hours rule. If you are really disturbed, follow the 24 hours rule. If you are upset, follow the 24 hours rule. Even after 24 hours if you still feel that angry then let's talk and before you come to the leader, you should always first discuss things laterally.

First, discuss it with each other and then come vertically. I have people who come running into me and I ask this only as a question have you discussed this lateral, so first kill each other. After you've killed and sorted out each other, then let's come and have a discussion. And we can find out what has worked and what hasn't. And that’s the exact cohesiveness in team. Today's leaders are no longer people who have all the ideas or who tells team what to do. Today’s leaders are one when you pick up ideas from the team and you executed to perfection and make people believe or show them the right direction through your experiences. That's what is important and again as leaders, it’s our responsibility to stay relevant to know what is happening to understand the millennials to be a one team with them.

AITD: This is a learning and development trend where things have changed because of COVID and even technology has brought many changes. Both these things; technology and pandemic are upon us.

How has it impacted the way learning and development is done what are the new areas of training, what are the new methodologies that you found useful? How do you see that because people are not happy to go about training program when you tell them that you go and attend training program for two days? How do you make the training experience more rewarding or what are the new trends that you see coming over the horizon which will help us also to design training programs for people?

Ms. Jayeeta Sarkar: I think, what is very important is now that we are on a virtual mode. I always feel that we should have training programs nomination-based, instead of having it as compulsion-based; that you need to join this session. It should be that I want to join. So, the first shift is from a ‘have to do something’ to shift to ‘I want to do’.

Second is, now that we are using technology, so we should also use technology responsibly. So, if you are in a training program, we should always insist that we keep our cameras on. That makes us understand that we are into the session, we are completely there. It helps to make the sessions a little more interactive whereas a trainer and as a participant, you are able to see each other. That really makes an impact because just to switching off your cameras don't help the third part of it that we can do is create engaging content through the online platforms. There are various tools which are available now like you can do mind maps while doing sessions you can use multi-meter as an option where people can write in comments, which makes it a lot more interactive. And most of all, I think we should definitely make this session very-very interactive with a lot of quizzes, lot of participation and invite to different people to present some things and create a debating or an opinion around a couple of sessions, which are not subject oriented where you are improving on your behavioural skills. There should be a lot of discussion, opinion generation, idea generation that can be brought and participation in these programs should be rewarded. Once, we tried to do it, I think it will be a lot better even if we are doing training virtually. We need to adapt ourselves and also develop a couple of norms of doing the online medium; that's very important.

AITD: Now we have time for one or two questions more. Before I ask you to sum up, whatever you want to save towards the end, but before that, I'll ask you one or two questions, more. It's a very simple question actually, but something which not to feel appreciated it is a fundamental human need. Appreciation makes employees want to contribute more, achieve their goals, and stay with organisations.

Which reward and recognition strategies have you found to be most effective?

Ms. Jayeeta Sarkar: Okay, so this is a good question. This is an initiative that we have launched in HCL Healthcare. I will tell you about it. Every individual end of the day wants to feel appreciated, wants to feel nice about the work that we do. But it's not possible, right?

Your manager can’t come into your office every single day to say hello, you've done a great job. Most of the time, if you are doing a great job, it's your colleagues who know about it so what we do is always as human nature if there are things which are not happening, right, we write emails about it. But if there are some things that is happening right with an individual we never take, we don't pause and appreciate that person. At HCL Healthcare we have launched something called the ‘Alchemy Award’.

So, what is Alchemy? Alchemy is a process of transforming metal into gold. So, alchemy at work is when you convert your ordinary work experience into something which is extraordinary something which is gold standards. So, to do that we give ‘Alchemy Awards’ to people who you feel I have made a difference to you every single day. So, we have created barcodes in the office and if you feel like I have done a great job and you really liked some gesture of mine, you can just scan a code and give me a star or give me a note that you know, appreciate me for things that I have done right, and it gets collated at one place and every month we give people stars. If you have received an Alchemy note from one of your colleagues, we let you know, and the HR puts the star in front of your workstation. It's like your Army Accolades that you carry. The number of stars you carry is the number of times people have really appreciated you and made you feel nice.

Let me tell you, it's not a very easy thing to start, so initially and we had kicked off this initiative. Not a lot of people are very reluctant to wonder that ‘why should I give’ and if I am giving a start to you, what are you going to give me in return? Human tendency of selflessly acknowledging your colleague is good when you discuss it in these webinars, but it's very difficult to follow. So that's the culture that I feel that we are building in HCL Healthcare that you first appreciate each other. And if you appreciate each other, you will feel appreciated; somebody will come and appreciate you once. And that's the greatest form of the rewards that you can get apart from that we also have R&R Strategies, appreciations, and other modes which we can talk about later something.

AITD: I am sure you have got good strategies; that's why you are imagining such a large workforce both in HCL Technologies and HCL Healthcare.

Before we let you, go, we want you to give us your final thoughts on how you look at the future? What kind of workforce do you look at future? What kind of things need to be done to make the workforce future-ready?

Ms. Jayeeta Sarkar: I feel the future is very bright because the youngsters of today's generation are very, very bright people. But they are restless, so every single time the work that we do how or the opportunities that we provide, we need to constantly look into it to make sure that the work there's no stagnancy. We give people new or newer assignments to do. I think that’s the responsibility of the corporates that they need to keep up with. Technologies is going to come into a big way. We are talking about ‘Artificial Intelligence’ and everything; but however, I have a strong belief that it's never going to take away our jobs. It will help us enhance our jobs. Therefore, in whatever comes as different technologies, be curious. Curiosity is a very-very important trait. Develop curiosity as to what is happening in different industries. How is it that working? At Amity, these kinds of sessions, I think you've talked with different leaders of different organisations and understand different practices that they do which is very important to for all the listeners who have been listening; I think it's a great opportunity to pick up and research more on the organisations. Find out what is it that you can do to be more and more relevant. Now while the organisation or the environment will make things interesting for you, but opportunities may not be in all directions. So therefore, it's very important to stay relevant to pick up new courses to keep building your own traits that you have or your own skills that’s going to make us future ready. That’s going to make all the difference and I think the right attitude is what is important, and we should finally also like we always get success with the big smile we should also look at failures with the big smile. In interview I always ask how many things that you tried which you were failed. If a person has never tried anything that he has failed that person hasn’t tried hard enough. So, it’s important to try multiple things you may fail that’s ok. Pick up something that you like that’s a learning.

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Moderated by: Brig R. K. Sharma

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