In this episode of The Shape of Work podcast, Nidhi Sharma, Director - HR Business Partner at Affinity Global Inc talks to Abhash Kumar, Head of Marketing at Springworks about the challenges that remote managers face and how to overcome them. She also talks about methods to improve employee experience in a virtual work setting.
Being in the industry for more than a decade, Nidhi has been part of a whole gamut of HR functions such as Business Partnering, Talent acquisition, Talent management, Employee engagement and development. Prior to Affinity Global, she has worked with top brands such as PwC, Accelya Group, Bennett Coleman & Co, ACG Worldwide and TCS.
Embracing Age diversity in the workplace
A lot of talk goes around different age groups of employees behaving in different manners. An individual's motivations might change slightly throughout their age in an organisation. But if you, as an organization, have policies and processes in place, irrespective of your employees’ age, they feel more welcome and involved.
For example, some companies prefer professionals with a great deal of experience, while others prefer to recruit younger workers that they can develop. But, for a business to be successful, it needs to embrace age diversity in the workplace.
Productivity in both older and younger employees is higher in companies that hire both. Moreover, age diversity within work teams is positively aligned with performance when teams are involved in complex decision-making tasks.
Many people, even in senior positions, might be very less experienced. They earn this position through the potential they have. This creates a lot of inclusivity at the workplace as people of different age groups start connecting to each other.
Struggles of a people manager
Managing people is not just a struggle for young people managers without any prior training. It's a struggle with experienced managers as well, especially when plenty of newcomers keep joining in. However, these young managers are willing to learn in order to prove themselves and be better. People managers need to understand that people come from different backgrounds. The more personalized the environment, the more they get committed. They feel understood and respected in the company.
Nidhi specifically mentions that the employees, themselves, should be able to communicate their problems and requirements. They will have to take the initiative to speak to the manager when they find something wrong. Employees often crib about not being understood and being overloaded with work. However, they do not feel the need to discuss these problems in their workspace. If they want to stay in one job comfortably, they need to communicate their problems to their manager.
What are the biggest changes you’ve seen in a remote work environment?
The biggest change, as Nidhi stated, is virtual onboarding. It is not having a useful impact when it comes to building a connection with the new joiners.
“As much as we have tried different ways to talk to talk and engage with the new joiners through video chats, it doesn’t give as similar experience as having a face-to-face interaction. So I think that's a very big struggle right now. Every HR person is trying to see what would be the best way to make onboarding impactful for the new joiners. But there is much more to do with the human connection that is not happening. Thus, the engagement factor, which probably could have been a 90-90+ is falling short to 60-65.”
You can connect with Nidhi Sharma on LinkedIn.
Produced by: Priya Bhatt
Podcast host: Abhash Kumar