The Shape of Work

#212: Swetha Harikrishnan on DEI, workplace wellbeing, employee engagement mistakes to avoid and being a better manager in the remote workplace

April 07, 2022 Springworks Season 1 Episode 212
The Shape of Work
#212: Swetha Harikrishnan on DEI, workplace wellbeing, employee engagement mistakes to avoid and being a better manager in the remote workplace
Show Notes Chapter Markers

The biggest risk that the HR fraternity is facing today in their DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) goals is ‘the risk of exclusion.’

The risk of exclusion is derived from personal biases. We hold our own subjective world views and are influenced by our own experiences, beliefs and values. When we identify these personal triggers contributing to personal biases, we can actively manage, mitigate or avoid them.

Many companies today are leading only women-specific DEI initiatives while excluding other attributes such as age, cultures, communities, backgrounds, sexual orientation, disability, etc.

This is today’s topic of discussion with our guest, Swetha Harikrishnan, HR Director at HackerEarth. Having been a part of the HR fraternity for the last 16 years, she has worked across different functions such as organizational development, change management, and, of course, her favourite space of ‘inclusion’. 

Swetha answers questions like:

  • What does Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) mean in the workplace?
  • What is a holistic approach to workplace wellbeing?
  • Employee engagement mistakes to avoid
  • How to be a better manager in the remote workplace - beyond microaggression and micromanagement
  • Her advice for DEI professionals
  • How is today's workforce taking better charge by upskilling?

Takeaways from this episode

Three ways to approach your workplace wellbeing:

  • Tweak your existing leave policies with terms like ‘Personal Time Offs’ or ‘Mental Health Leave’
  • Build an EAP (Employee Assistance programme) for your employees
  • Create a platform/forum for your employees to share their personal stories within the company

The key to great leadership is to move away from control, and rather give control. The only thing that matters is getting the work output.

In order to kick off your DEI program, start with psychological safety first. Pen down your DEI- specific goals on a document. Identify your current culture and compare it with the culture that you want to build. Find the gaps and marry your DEI- specific goals with them. Therefore, make sure to not let exclusion happen during the process.

Important factors to consider while running your employee engagement initiatives:

  • Be cautious of the time and schedule of your employees
  • Figure out your must-have vs good-to-have initiatives
  • Measure effort vs impact

Follow Swetha on LinkedIn

Produced by: Priya Bhatt
Podcast Host:
Yashwanth Jembige

All Business. No Boundaries.
A collection of supply chain stories by the North American leader in contract logistics

Listen on: Apple Podcasts   Spotify

What does Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) mean in the workplace?
What is a holistic approach to workplace wellbeing?
Employee engagement mistakes to avoid
How to be a better manager in the remote workplace - beyond microaggression and micromanagement
(Cont.) Employee engagement mistakes to avoid
Her advice for DEI professionals
How is today's workforce taking better charge by upskilling?