Sep 11, 2020

My first podcast, talking on Employee Wellbeing and Engagement


SHRM on AIR’s special episode on managing employee wellbeing features, Ketan Krishna, Head People Function and yours truly, with our host - Archana Jerath where they talk about the challenges of working remotely and managing employee wellbeing at workplace. Let’s know it all in this exclusive episode, in partnership with RentoMojo.
Listen to episode #SHRMonAir

#SHRM #SHRMRadio #SHRMOnAir #Radio #Podcast #SHRMAir

Aug 26, 2020

Interviewed by Aniisu Verghese on Personal Branding

 Some months ago I was interviewed by Communications specialist Aniisu Verghese on my approach to personal branding 

You can find the transcript of the interview here.

As I share in the interview I have mixed feelings about the term. Since I studied organizational behavior and HR, I am aware of the term of branding and not very comfortable with it. According to marketing literature, a person is hugely complex and there are also group dynamics involved when it comes to branding.  

You all can also find the video of the interview

Apr 28, 2020

#WorkLifeTV A conversation with Debu Mishra and Anuranjita Kumar on the Shape Of Work in the COVID19 era

My friend Debu Mishra reached out to me, saying that he was starting a YouTube channel called "WorkLifeTV" and wanted me to be to be his first guest along with Anuranjita Kumar (HR Leader, author and now a VC) 
We had a freewheeling conversation on how work is changing in current times.

An edited video of the conversation is embedded below


Apr 6, 2020

My video interview with peopleHum on #HRTech and related topics

I had an interesting conversation with Aishwarya of peopleHum on the state of the HR Technology market and aligned topics.

You can find the transcript of my interview on the peopleHum Blog too

And listen to the podcast here

Feb 10, 2020

People development and the role of the Manager in the Future of Work

In my last post I touched upon the fact that there needs to be a constant reskilling of people in the future of work, and this also impacts the role of the manager much more than before

The critical role of the First Line Manager

While leadership development remains a criteria for most organizations, an often neglected but critical (if not more) area is the development of the first line manager. In most organizations individual from the front line are promoted to the supervisor/manager roles based on their skills and performance in their role, not on the basis of an assessment of their "people management" skills. However the latter is the most critical skill ! A great salesperson is not always a great sales manager

What skills do managers (of all levels) need to develop?

I'll focus this post on the area of talent development. In most performance management systems the individual's development needs arise from a discussion between an individual and their manager. However in the future of work, we say the onus is on the individual to drive their own development. So what role should a manager play?

The number one skill a manager needs to develop is the ability to assess where the individual is in their career journey and where they are headed. For that, a core skill is the ability to listen and have conversations with each and every employee on the team on a regular basis. That means the manager has to play both the part of a mentor and a coach.

What does that mean?

Being a mentor means showing the person a path forward and telling them what skills are needed to develop to go down that path. It means recognising the strengths of each individual and telling them "Look, you are great in this, and therefore you should focus on these possible career moves"

Being a coach means asking each individual questions about what motivates them at work, what is their own purpose in life and what path do they see for themselves. It helps the individual to come to their conclusions themselves.

So, why doesn't that happen more often?

It is incredibly hard for organizations to assess the above skills in people when it comes to promoting people to supervisory and managerial roles. There can be a virtuous cycle when by chance a current manager has these skills and therefore can recognize these skills in people to be promoted. Or in most cases, unfortunately, a vicious cycle when a person who doesn't have the above skills goes ahead and promotes someone based solely on performance.

What can organizations do?

Explicitly state that these people assessment and development skills should be the primary focus on deciding who takes on a frontline manager role.

Create an alternate career path for people who are great at their roles but might not want/be suitable for developing people. In 99% of companies the only way to grow in your career is the managerial route, which is why so many people are disengaged at work as their development is not a priority for their managers

Here's a great video by Julie Winkle Guilioni on what managers can do help people to own their career development