On this episode of The Shape of Work podcast, we have Shweta Chandrashekar, Global People Enablement Lead at HERE Technologies.
Passionate about diversity and inclusion, Shweta throws light on the DEI policies that organizations should consider adopting in 2021. Shweta leads a Lean In circle at HERE India and has been part of several Employer Branding initiatives as well.
In addition to explaining the importance of aligning policies and procedures with modern business requirements, she also talks about the role of rewards and recognition in setting up high-performance organizational culture. She further gives some valuable insights into preparing for employee turnover, and cultural sensitization in the corporate world.
How to make people aware about topics related to D&I?
There are multiple factors that could contribute to the introduction of these topics in a workplace. Shweta tells us the story behind starting a Pride week in her organization. This really helped create awareness about the LGBTQ community in her workplace. This paved the way to more formal campaigns where employees would come up with ideas and the leaders would put them to practice. Leaders also play an important role here. If they are part of these communities externally or internally, they play a huge role in introducing new initiatives. Diversity should not be seen as a number game. It is more about creating an environment where everyone feels included and can be their true selves.
Dealing with different mindsets when practicing D&I:
Making everyone understand the depth of these topics revolves around awareness. One of the challenges would be to convince people about the unconscious bias they might have. However, when an organization talks about these sensitive topics, it also results in an enthusiasm and excitement among these employees. It gives them a sense of pride for doing something for the under-represented. Thus changing the conversation in a positive way can prove to be fruitful.
Hybrid work and the challenges companies faced while transitioning to it:
Shweta thinks that the future of work is going to be hybrid. Productivity has increased while working from home but employees are still missing those connections. And that's where the hybrid workforce model would be the best option. They can still get the flexibility of working from home while also being able to come to the office and collaborate with their colleagues.
Shweta talks about the challenges her company faced after the onset of the pandemic. Majority of her employees were desktop users. A lot of employees were not enabled to work from home. Only the ones with the laptop were working fine. However, they managed to come up with innovative ways to keep them engaged. They focused on learning goals which motivated employees to upskill themselves. At the same time, they offered fully paid leaves so that the employees could sense that the company’s care for them. The other aspect around enabling work from home was also to make sure that the managers are prepared for it.
Increased attrition rates in organizations:
Organizations are seeing a huge job switch trend. The question lies in how an organization differentiates itself from others. This can depend on the culture of the organization. How they treat an employee is an extremely important factor. It is the role of HR to find ways to retain them. They need to come up with ways to engage employees and make them feel connected to it.
Follow Shweta on LinkedIn
Produced by: Priya Bhatt
Podcast host: Junius Dsilva