Amity Institute Of Training & Development

Rethinking The Role of Human Resources In The Future of Work

Speaker: Mr Surya Prakash Mohapatra, Global Head of Talent Transformation at Wipro BPS

Interviewed by: Mr Ashish Sahu, Vice President Training, Amity Institute of Training & Development

Mr Surya Prakash Mohapatra is currently the Global Head of Talent Transformation at Wipro BPS and has over 20 years of experience in various leadership roles in several leading IT (Information Technology) and ITES (Information Technology Enabled Services) organizations. Before joining Wipro, he had worked with HP (Hewlett Packard) Microland, FirstRing, Computer Garage and a few other organizations and he is such a veteran in L&D and has extensive experience in setting up and running L&D functions for organizations of India and international locations. He has set up the global training function for Wipro BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) which spanned across 10 locations in Brazil, Mexico, Romania, Poland, China, and India, He also led leadership development and capability development building and talent management efforts in various organizations. He was also instrumental in setting up the Management Academy and Domain Gurukul in Wipro BPO. Mr Surya brings with him vast experience in setting up Knowledge Centres of Excellence in various domains, defining and implementing training models for Rural BPO, Tier-III BPO etc.

 Click below to watch the recorded conversation.

 AITD: Before we start with questions, just want to tell the viewers that this pandemic has just thrust human resources function into the spotlight like never. The pivotal role played by CHRO, if this crisis has been likened to that of CFO (Chief Finance Officer) in the global financial crisis of 2008 you would say, now companies need their HR (Human Resource) functions like they have never needed them before, not only to the conductor of digital transformation, which we have seen has accelerated but the new ways of working for people-related issues. It has also put the human at the centre to ensure that our work becomes fairer, better and more humane. HR is now an essential part, not only for remote management but also for coaching and leadership roles to prevent employee burnout.

Now maintaining work culture onboarding across multiple locations are some current challenges which every organization is facing these days and it has been said that the best companies in the world are outplacing all others and profitability, revenue, growth, and innovation are extremely confident in the need of reinventing HR. So that is the topic which we will talk about how we are rethinking and reinventing HR, and, in this scenario, I would like to ask you how to develop an organization with the future of work mindset which is more resilient coping with uncertain times and more adaptable or able to adapt and thrive I would say?

Mr Surya Prakash Mohapatra: Thank you, Thank you, Mr Sahu, it is a great question. When you are talking about how to develop organizations for the future of work that are resilient. I think one thing that we should understand before talking about it is, what is the future of work going to look like. The future of work is going to be interesting. And then some of it is already here today, started happening. So, in the future of work, we will see technology playing a dominant role in everything that we do, in `what businesses organizations do, we will see the workplace look quite different.

We are going to talk about hybrid workplaces in the future. A hybrid workplace is a distributed workplace, where people some people will be working at the workplace, some would be working from their homes, some will be coming to office few days a week or a month and some people will be in various parts of the globe. It is not just going to be the hybrid workplace; it is also going to be a hybrid workforce. We will see all kinds of people in the workforce composition. We will see contract employees, will see full-time employees, part-time employees, will see Gig workers, will see freelancers, we will see people working multiple employees at the same time. The concept of nine to six offices has already gone away, I think the pandemic has expedited that change. And people will be on the go, they will be working all the time, they will be working while they are on the go, they could be working from anywhere. And a few other interesting kinds of stuff we will see at the workplace. We will see the coexistence of men and machines in the same workplace. While in the past we saw people. Today we will see people working side by side, alongside machines in the same workflow.

So, supervisors are going to be challenged to figure out how to give instructions to people and how to give instructions to machines. The machine works 365 days a year, 30 days a month, seven days a week, 24 hours a day, men and women work for eight hours a day, five days a week, and so on. So how do you do the balancing act? That is going to be an interesting thing in future. So, these are some of the things that we will start seeing in future. And in Future of Work, as knowledge is going to be the dominant player, we will see innovative technologies, we will see technologies replacing human beings all the time or replacing the work that human beings are doing. So, in a scenario like this organizations, industries will struggle to survive unless they innovate, unless they keep thinking, unless they keep learning all the time, they will find it difficult to survive. So, during change, in a very volatile environment where things are changing all the time. It requires a tremendous amount of resilience to stay on foot and survive. When we think about the pandemic. The biggest challenge organizations have, how to bounce back from this crisis, and stay alive and not just stay alive but also thrive amid everything that is going on. So, I think the biggest ask for organizations is to find out their purpose. It is a sense that will drive.

AITD: So, you have thrown light on men and machines, learning the hybrid workplace various facets of how people will thrive. Now in the process of adapting to this changing reality, every process function and role will be reimagined fundamentally changing the three key critical aspects what you were just mentioning is one is the future of work. The second is workforce and the workspace where we talk about hybrid workplace. So, can you elaborate further on this, what is your viewpoint on these three aspects, how do they integrate? I mean, future of work, workforce, and workspace, all the three. In terms of futuristic if you look at five years from now.

Mr Surya Prakash Mohapatra: So how do the three integrate. It is an ever-changing equation they will keep changing all the time. And I think what will be interesting to see is while the nature of work is changing, and in some cases, we will see that work itself is disappearing. For example, if I take the example of driving as we see support, or as a job, tomorrow as driverless cars coming in, driving will disappear. You do not need drivers to drive cars anymore.

So, work we will continue to change, it eliminated, new work will emerge. And work can happen anywhere, it can happen at the workplace, it can happen virtually it can happen from people's homes, and so on. And the workforce is going to be very dynamic, the workforce will continue to evolve. And that is where you mentioned something particularly important, now is a workforce going to reimagine and rethink. That is going to be the challenge. So, in every function of every team, every individual will have to reimagine their role. They will have to reimagine their future. So, for example as an L&D practitioner. I would urge all L&D practitioners to reimagine their role as Performance Consultants as Business Partners. I would like them to reimagine themselves as members, or as entrepreneurs running a start-up while organizations would like to cut down costs. You really must look at yourself as a lean, mean fighting machine, how you can contribute value to the organization, how can you deliver ROI (return on investment) for every program that you run. So, we will have to reimagine our role. For example, during the pandemic the cloth manufacturing companies, started manufacturing masks, automobile companies started manufacturing ventilators. So, a lot of reimagination happened they really relooked at themselves and reimagine themselves and then say hey, we were known for creating something but now in a new context will have to real reimagine ourselves.

AITD: Absolutely and I appreciate the words or phrases you coin that says, lean mean fighting machine and ROI. Obviously yes at this point of time where organizations are cutting costs one must be much more empowered and a remarkably interesting phrase you have coined is a lean mean fighting machine and that is what is required. When we talk about the role of rethinking HR so what role rethinking HR can create an organizational culture that promotes work-life balance, flexibility, opportunity, and growth as the most crucial factors like you also talked about the balancing act. How can an organization culture of such sorts balance all work-life, flexibility, opportunity, and growth at the same time?

Mr Surya Prakash Mohapatra: There are a lot of interesting things that are happening today, so the concept of work-life balance is becoming slightly outdated and now we are talking about life integration. But most executives working from home today, then their work and life, have already been integrated. Now, how do you build an inclusive culture that is a great question. I think what will happen during the change, which is very radical, an environment which is volatile and ambiguous, some people will be ahead of the curve, they will be thinking far ahead, they will be reimagining, they will the change-makers. They will move fast. They will be thriving. And some will be surviving. They will adapt to the change quickly they will follow the leaders, when they see that change is coming, they will start embracing change and so on, they will survive. And then some would find it difficult to change. For example, when the pandemic hit us badly, many people are waiting for a pandemic to get over and then they were saying hey it is another two months, one month, three months and it will be all over and then we will be back to the old way of doing things. But the reality is that is not what happened again.

It is a new world that we are talking about a new norm. So, some people will still struggle to adapt to the change and then keep pace with the change. But in organizations, we need everybody. And we need to encourage and promote people who are the changemakers and allow them to challenge, so that they can innovate, rethink, and then take the organization forward their career forward and then we will have to help the people who are good at adapting to the change, embracing change, and moving forward. We will also have to support the people who are struggling. That is why inclusion is important. We cannot say that the changemakers will thrive, and those who cannot keep pace with change will perish. Then we do not need HR, HR must play that inclusive role, HR will have to support people, people who cannot keep pace with change will require help. They will require additional reskilling. they will require upskilling they will require counselling and they will require support. And not just those people, I think within the organization, people should get their own pace, who have their work style and preferences, who have their struggles, trials, and tribulations. We will have to make sure that they stand up and they enable people who are thrivers who are changemakers to flourish.

AITD: Thank you. So remarkably interesting thing when we are talking about rethinking the roles, now how do organizations rethink their existing processes and hierarchies also to allow flexibility and agile working? Now this word agility is something which everybody is talking about these days. So how do you see the Agile working and renewed hierarchies and processes post-pandemic?

Mr Surya Prakash Mohapatra: We need to relook at the hierarchies, the processes, the structures, the policies. everything needs to be relooked, I think, without getting into the details of the changes, I can talk about the fundamental pillars such as structures, organization structures, processes, policies, which drives the working, ease of doing business, empowerment, trust, collaboration, and so on. The processes and policies are too bureaucratic, such organizations will not survive. They will not thrive in this future work scenario. If you have processes that require multiple layers of approvals for a small expenditure, then you are not creating an environment of trust and empowerment.

There is an organization that allows the employees to fly any class if they want to fly business class, they can fly. They can choose the airline they want to fly. They have given that kind of autonomy to people and assigned to hold the people accountable. They say each team each department is responsible for maintaining that profitability. We will not ask you to explain why you are spending so much on travel why are you spending so much on the advertisement, but you need to make sure that you meet your revenue goals, profitably goals. So, if you empower people, they will do their best, they will become responsible. People are always responsible. So, I think in an environment like this, the fundamental principles of a structure, processes, policies need to be empowerment, trust, convenience, ease of working, ease of doing business, and so on. Structures, processes, policies that hinder, all of this will not help organizations, organizations which have the right structures, hierarchies’ principles policies, practices which support this, these fundamental principles I talked about will thrive. Each organisation can decide how they want to do it.

AITD: Thank you well for wonderful insights on this. Now you are being a hardcore HR professional and of the national and global presence, what should be the new role of HR. Now, we talked about what mindset shift does this represent for the future and how different are these priorities was today, the priorities which we had in the past. Are you seeing some of them started to happen? Some mind shifts which I would like to focus on here like enabling performance or managing performance. That is one. The second is that you know the mindset should be job focused or wellbeing focused. It should be bureaucracy or self-managed team which you have said in the previous discussion, culture and behaviour focused or strategy or goal-focused, people-focused, or technology-focused? So, I think you have spoken about these. So, I just wanted to focus on what mindset shift, we are seeing now, and we will see in the future. In all these five areas?

Mr Surya Prakash Mohapatra: I think the two parts to that question, the first part of the question was, what is going to be the role of HR. And how is the HR role going to evolve? Today tomorrow the role of HR is not to be multifarious, versatile. An HR leader will have to be a technology specialist, he or she needs to understand technology very well. He or she needs to understand analytics very well and use data and analytics to interpret insights that he is getting and make sense out of it and take decisions basis data and insights. And he or she must become a good marketing guy so that he can attract talent to the organization. And not just attract but retain them, keep them engaged, motivated, and inspired.

The HR leader will have to become a finance guy, he must make sure that he or she does everything and then also in a manner where the profitability is not impacted the revenue is not impacted and so on. So, there are multiple roles the HR person is going to play in future. I was addressing a group of students in one conversation. One student told me that I chose it HR because I did not like marketing. I said hey you are in the wrong place. You are a marketing person as an HR leader. So, if you chose HR because you did not like marketing, then you are in the wrong place. Because in future an HR guy must be marketing guy, sales guy, technology guy, and analytics guy, business, and finance guy, and so on. So, I think we will have to wear multiple hats, and we will have to take off one hat out and another depending on where we are on.

Now you gave me some scenarios you talked about whether it is culture strategy, bureaucracy, or government or people-focused, or business focused and so on. Now the reality is both, HR and organizations will have to find the balance. Finding the balance is the key. You cannot be completely tilting towards one side. It is like the pandemic situation where you have a lockdown and no lockdown. If there are no lockdowns people are dying if there are lockdowns people are also dying. They are starving because they are out of jobs, they do not have income. How do you really find that balance? I think the successful line finding the balance, the true balance. That is important; they are not completely tilted on one side. As HR you will have to make sure organizes earns its revenues, maintains profitability. At the same time and must make sure people are taken care of, people are given the support they need, people who are struggling, people who have health issues, people who have psychological issues who have nervous breakdowns. They need to be taken care of. So, you must take care of people, you must take care of business. You must take care of both. That is important. It is it cannot be either-or.

AITD: I think what you said must be balanced between both worlds. And that is the most challenging part. If you are on one side may be on technology or people, bureaucracy, strategy, goal, or technology so it would be easier, I guess if you are on one side. But balancing with so many evolving things at the same time, I think is more difficult and very-very difficult I would say. And I realize, when we are talking about the various hats being worn by the HR guy, he must be a technological person, he must be an analytical person, he must be a finance guy, he must be a marketing guy. So, I am sure at this point the HR role is evolved many folds and multifarious I would say the role has become. Remarkably interesting definition of HR role, we have seen and that is the benefit of talking to a person who is so experienced as far as HR things are concerned.

Now you talked about people, what is your people strategy, what kind of talent you recruit and how you manage them? Do you see people strategy as a differentiator for companies? I mean does it make difference. Are there any instances where you have seen differentiated people's strategies contributing to the impact of the company or industry?

Mr Surya Prakash Mohapatra: People strategy is important. It is a key differentiator. And because today we are living in a knowledge economy, where 90% of what we see in organizations is knowledge. The rest 10% could be buildings machinery etc. So, it is in a knowledge economy human capital is extremely critical and the success of organizations depends on the cumulative knowledge of the organization and the organization's ability to unleash that knowledge. So, there was a McKinsey report recently in a study that was carried out. It says that situations like pandemics, another black swan event put a lot of pressure on organizations. And there is pressure to innovate, there is pressure on them to automate, there is pressure on them to kind of drive innovative programs and so on. And during chaos organizations struggle to figure out how to respond to these changes that they see around them. And the real success lies in the reaction time. How quickly do organizations respond to the changes?

So pandemic situation COVID-19 challenged many paradigms but organizations which responded quickly, I think, survived. And many of them thrived and they became more profitable than they used to be before the pandemic situation. So, what is important for organizations and for individuals to understand is to have a robust talent strategy that is built around knowledge, and why I talked about change and the ability to respond to the change because it depends on the ability, the collective capability of the organization to respond to the change. So, when the external environment changing the internal environment also must change, but that is not enough. The internal environment must change faster than the external environment. It must survive and thrive. We talk about the GAFA companies, Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and so on. They are the organizations that have demonstrated that they can pre-empt change, they can see change before it comes, and they take advantage of that. And they become the front runners. So, when during volatility, ambiguity they thrive because they can see change coming and they are better prepared to deal with the change not just to deal with the change but to sometimes to drive the change themselves. They become change-makers. So, then what is the crux of that, the crux of that is people talent. You do not have the right talent then you will not be able to respond to the changes it is it boils down to capability. So, talent strategy is important.

So, in today's world, there is an important thing that we always talk about there is a talent war, the war for talent. During the war for talent, organizations need to have a robust talent strategy otherwise they will lose the war for talent. They will lose to the competition. So, it is particularly important that organizations need to have a very robust people strategy and talent strategy at the core. People are at the core of everything that an organization does, and that is important. How do we attract the right talent? How do you retain them, how do you develop them, how do you grow them, how to provide them career opportunities? These need to be fundamentals of any business strategy. People at the core of the strategy is important.

AITD: So, you talked about like knowledge economy and we are talking about attracting talent we are talking about retaining talent. And there the role of HR becomes extremely critical. And the one thing which we are being a learning and development organization where we are working with various organizations as a knowledge partner. And one thing which has come out very strongly is the concept of BEI (Behavioural Event Interview) interviewing skills which is Behavioural Event Interviewing Skills which is very-very important, and we are working with a couple of organizations regarding this.

It is emerging and we have experts who have researched for 10 years or so in this technique. And it is extraordinarily strong because until and unless you can attract the right kind of talent, retaining them, nurturing them becomes much more difficult. And like you had mentioned earlier, and we talk about it later also about the role of re-skilling.

Mr Surya Prakash Mohapatra: Can I add something which I missed mentioning in that. While it is important to have a robust strategy to attract talent and then develop and grow them etc, what is also important is to create an ecosystem where they can thrive. We need to create a culture where people are not afraid of making mistakes. They are encouraged to experiment try out new things, their growth mindset is encouraged. That is important.

Some organizations spent millions of dollars and getting immense talent to the organization, but they do not know how to take care of that. And they fail. Those the talent who comes in, the people who come in either become unproductive, get demotivated, and they quit after some time. So, I think creating the right ecosystem and culture is also equally important as part of this people strategy.

AITD: Remarkably interesting. What you said is right. I remember I belong to a training fraternity and when I joined a training organization so I just asked my interviewer do I think I can be a trainer. So, the answer which was given to me is that no you have passed all the tests all the psychometric assessments, and you have those ingredients. Now it is up to us how do we groom you, to become a trainer.

Very rightly you said that one is that we need to find the right talent, we have those basic competencies they have. But nurturing them, grooming them, and taking them to the next level is the essence of any organization where you are coming from, and I am glad that you added this point because it is remarkably close to us. We are into L&D partner organization, L&D function. So, it is especially important that once we track the right talent, how do you groom them to take out the best potential is very-very critical and very-very important? I am agreed with what you rightly said.

Mr Surya Prakash Mohapatra: There was a discussion with Mr Ratan Tata, they were talking about a manager, and his manager was being reviewed and there were some performance issues with that manager and a senior executive mentioned to Ratan Tata. Sir, it is a skill issue. And Mr Tata replied, is it a skill issue or a grooming issue, a senior executive may not have an answer.

AITD: Yes, So, these are very-very final subjects and as I said, a remarkably interesting discussion which we are having because these are something which comes from experts like you. And coming to that now we are talking about the people strategy, we are talking about retaining talent. Now the other important thing is that how does the organization capture and scale up the productivity that can come with the new ways of working specifically a new combination of the virtual hybrid model which you just talked about.

How do you accelerate individuals learning curves, so that they can become much more productive? So, we are talking about grooming as you said you are grooming about a conducive environment. So how do we improve the learning curve and make them much more productive, particularly in the post-pandemic era?

Mr Surya Prakash Mohapatra: So earlier at the workplace, people were sitting in front of the manager, the manager used to allocate work. So, the manager had an innovative idea of who is productive, who is efficient, who is producing what, he or she is expected to produce but today managers are concerned because people are in a distributed environment. So, I think productivity has become a matter of concern. But I think the way to address that is going to be giving them the right opportunity and empowering people.

So, managers need to stop micromanaging they should stop looking over somebody's shoulders to figure out how much progress he or she has made. Managers will have to manage by objectives and managed by outcomes, that is the only way to drive productivity. The second thing is how do you have people come across the learning curve quickly, especially people who are not in a classroom, not in a production environment that they can build an SME and today there are technologies which have evolved. Now we come to adapting the strategy when I talk about adaptive learning which is a new concept that is emerging. Adaptive learning adapts to the learning style of the learner. If I am a quick learner. It adopts a style it starts pushing more content to me. It knows that I am moving faster. If somebody is a slow learner. It gives that learner the space. It gives the learner more time to learn.

In a physical classroom environment that does not happen because every individual gets similar treatment by the instructor or the trainer. Adaptive Learning Technologies today are helping organizations drive speed to proficiency. Speed to proficiency is challenging, how can new people become as productive as the existing staff.

I answered my question. But concisely, I wanted to say that adaptive learning strategies today are driving speed to proficiency and productivity.

AITD: So, you are talking about adaptive learning strategy which is a remarkably interesting strategy where it depends on the learners’ adaptability or the learning style of the learner. You also talked about the technology part. So how do organizations leverage artificial intelligence and analytics to infer current skill levels and provide personalized learning experiences for every employee like fostering a culture of perpetual learning that rewards continual skills illustrious career and learning paths, if I must see from the perspective of the adaptive learning strategies?

Mr Surya Prakash Mohapatra: This is a great question. So how are we using technologies like AI (Artificial Intelligence) analytics etc to drive personalized learning? I think what I said earlier is linked to that question that you are asking me. So, I talk about something remarkably interesting. I would use this metaphor, I say “buying your sandwich” so when we walk into a subway outlet. The guide there would ask you to choose your bread, choose your cheese. choose your sauce and at the end of it, you come back with your sandwich. Every everybody who walks into the same outlet walks away with a different sandwich highly personalized customized. Learning an organization must become like that. Learners should be able to choose their sandwich and I say chose their sandwich I mean they should choose their learning path. Learners should understand what their career aspirations are, what is their calling. The learning system which is powered by AI and analytics should enable that. It should push content to me, basis my aspirations and interests and styles like I go to a subway and then choose my sandwich and I make my sandwich. I should be able to create my learning path using my LMS which is powered by AI and analytics. I use another example, often in conversations like this.

Today when we switch on our smartphone, we keep getting notifications, it says the moment of switch on it says 30 WhatsApp messages waiting for you, 20 messages on Facebook Messenger waiting for you, it says that this is a news item that you may be interested in and so on. So, in the good old days, people used to go and look for content. They were going out to find content. Today content finds you. Content comes after you. Messages come and tell you hey messages waiting for you. Hey, you may be interested in this. That is how learning must evolve. Learning must evolve to that level of personalization when I switch on log into my learning management system, it should so tell me, Mr Mohapatra, we think you are interested in this model. This is all that you have been reading all these days we think you will be interested in reading this book.

We think that you will be interested in this training module. That is how content should find the learner. In the past learner used to try and find content. It has reversed. That is how I see AI and analytics driving personalization.

AITD: Incredibly good insights into AI we talked about technology how does it integrate with HR in day-to-day life. This pandemic is also brought tremendous change in human resources planning. And the way the operations is, HR is planning in terms of ensuring employee wellbeing, performance enablement and upskilling employees are performing well in these unprecedented times. And at the same time being future-ready so how is the IT workforce going to change. It is a question which is remarkably close to us. We have seen that at this point it is the performance enablement people are struggling, they are working in virtual teams, or they are working against all odds.

So, we have designed very specialized programs which we call performance enablement solutions which are bite-size programs we run 90-minute workshops every week which is very-very popular among the corporates, they take care of these things and upscaling well-being, performance enablement. How do you use these in rescaling and upskilling and enabling the performance of the employees as an HR person?

Mr Surya Prakash Mohapatra: I think all upscaling rescaling now needs to be relevant. We should teach people what they exactly need to learn. I do not think we should spend time teaching people nicely to know stuff that is anyway available on YouTube and Google and all that people can figure out. Our strategy should be very precise. We need a precision strategy where we exactly hit a nail on his head. That is important. So, making learning interventions razor-sharp and making it very-very relevant to the needs of the job or the new job that the person is going to pick up. University, Educational Institutions have professional courses which run for years together. But people are losing jobs at the workplace. And they are not expected to come into a new university or a B School to enrol for a two-year program and then go back and get a job.

They do not have the time, especially people who are suffering from a midlife crisis, who are in the 40s, 30s late 30s, early 40s mid-40s. They cannot step out with so many commitments, financial commitments and then do a two-year course. Our education needs to become more modular. I am happy to hear that you have 90-minute workshops. They need modules like this, extremely focused razor-sharp truly relevant teaching them practical skills, that is the need of the hour. Organizations need to drive that. Organizations need to engage in such programs and their curriculum really must become bite-size, microlearning, available on-demand, map to people and their roles that they are performing today, or they are going to perform tomorrow, is important. Another important aspect is outplacement, out skilling, we talked about rescaling, upscaling, we also need to talk about out skilling, where organization not only should prepare their people for new roles within the organization. Some people will not find opportunities within the organization because of whatever reasons.

They have the responsibility of skilling them, providing they do not work outside. It is not enough to tell them Hey you worked here for so many years, now your skills are not relevant, we tried to find a job for you we have not found a suitable opportunity for you, this is the notice period you find a job. It is not enough. Organizations have a moral commitment to people who have worked with them for a longer period. Then it will be more important to provide them with the skilling so that they find opportunities outside.

AITD: What you are saying makes a lot of sense. Thank you for appreciating the work which we are doing in terms of bite-sized learning. And this is evolved and as I said our performance enablement workshops are very-very razor-sharp, the word which you used, and they are bite-sized and that is the reason they are very-very popular, and people are liking it because it is so interactive and immersive also. We make it very lively, interactive, and immersive so that in one and a half hours the person is glued, and you know he is absolutely immersed in the session.

So, getting from that it is a morale booster also that we are on the right track. We will invite you also to some of the workshops like these. Now it brings us to a remarkably interesting thing you said about out-skilling, and you talked about reskilling upskilling. Now, what will be the role of outsourcing for HR functions in learning and development like as you said that the capability is not always within the organization. I mean this is something of our interest, how often do you think that for L&D functions outsourcing is there or it should be done?

Mr Surya Prakash Mohapatra: Outsourcing will be in the back end. Organizations will not start with this. Organizations will first figure out what they can eliminate but what they no longer need to do. After eliminating what they find, they still have had to do a few things. The second question they will ask is can we automate these things. And if they find opportunities to automate those tasks, they will do that.

So, they will eliminate them they will automate. Then what cannot be automated, will be outsourced, except the core. Outsourcing will be at the end of the spectrum. It will start with elimination, automation, and outsourcing. Everything that is non-core, in my view, will be either automated or outsourced both in HR and L&D and it is not new it has started happening.

AITD: It has been an interesting journey so far and we are coming to the close of the session and I have some time left over which I can take up one question from the audience. And I will just ask you one question which I have received from the audience.

The question is, what will be some of the key themes on organization culture that IT sector will need to embrace in the future. Where are we now on these themes?

Mr Surya Prakash Mohapatra: The themes of organization culture, I think we have talked about some of the discussion during the discussion. We have talked about inclusiveness, we talked about collaboration, we talked about customer-centricity, organizations, and individuals will have to demonstrate a great amount of ownership, a sense of accountability, respect for each other. These are going to be the hallmarks of the Organization culture, and this is extremely important for organizations to focus on them because all of us know there is an incredibly famous saying “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” So, if we want, we need to inculcate the right culture.

Culture is a sum of what you get to see in the organization, the way people talk, the way people engage with each other the way people interact with the customers, with their suppliers, their behaviours, their demeanours, habits, all this form the culture of an organization. And the challenge with culture is if your culture is non-responsive for a guy who comes from outside, who has a great deal of responsiveness and accountability. If he or she gets into the organization and then figures out that people are not responsive, even that person will also transition to the culture that is prevalent in your organization.

So, I think bad culture and a good culture both are learning opportunities. We will have to walk the talk. And everybody else will have to consistently demonstrate. The leaders will have to demonstrate, and then if they do the others will also start demonstrating.

AITD: Thank you Mr Mohapatra for giving us such an interesting insight and covering the entire umbrella of HR, and how does it integrate with organizations and what its role is, how do we rethink how do we reimagine. Before we close, we just need to ask you, the final three things which you would like to tell the audience, as far as the Rethinking role of HR is concerned?

Mr Surya Prakash Mohapatra: So, what I would like to tell the audience is, today we are living in a world where knowledge is evolving amazingly fast. The knowledge that we acquired in the past in our schools, colleges, universities, we are not using at the workplace today. The knowledge that we need, we shall need tomorrow, does not even exist today, that knowledge, must be invented. It must emerge. So, all of us need to become lifelong learners. That is the message that I would like to leave with you is to invest in yourself and be a lifelong learner. That will take you far in life and your career. Thank you.

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