The Shape of Work

#75: Mythili Sarathy on the two major talent management risks and how to mitigate them

August 18, 2021 Springworks Season 1 Episode 75
The Shape of Work
#75: Mythili Sarathy on the two major talent management risks and how to mitigate them
Show Notes

‘’To grow, evolve and stay relevant, we need to keep changing ourselves to the context, environment, our dreams, and goals. True transformation can happen when it happens from within, which calls for working on purpose, need, intentions, an outcome with and without the change. As long as we are clear with these elements, a process as hard as change can be achieved with ease.’’

On this episode of The Shape of Work podcast, our guest is Mythili Sarathy, Managing Business Partner, Polymer & SCM at Reliance Industries Ltd.

Having worked in talent management for over eight years, she explains to us:

  • The meaning of the statement employees don't leave companies, they leave managers
  • Two major talent management risks: my star employees abandon me and the empty bench
  • Her experience leading organizational development and change management initiatives
  • Ways to identify A players among your candidates
  • From Polyester to Jio: how Reliance Industries has effortlessly evolved over the years

Why is investing in managers important?

A manager has an extremely important role in influencing the employees both in a good and a bad way. The focus should be on grooming the manager to ensure the right impact. No tech tool or process would be useful if people themselves do not use it efficiently. Mythili says that HR is just an enabler to this entire thing. They cannot change anything but push the manager towards the right direction by grooming them. Both HR and the manager can create two different impacts on the employees. Hence, the manager should be a spokesperson of HR. 

Risks that talent management addresses:

There are two risks that talent management has to address.

  1. ‘My star employee left me’- In this scenario, an employee is committed to the job but not the organization. He would not hesitate to leave the organization for some other opportunity.
  2. Empty bench- Here the employee is committed to the organization but not the job. He stays in the organization but is not performing his level best.

Both these issues can pose a problem for the organization. In the first scenario, the managers need to groom the employees. The employee needs to build a relationship with the organization. This is possible through engagement, talking about their physiological needs, their values and behaviour. There should be an alignment between the employees’ values with the same of the organization. It is a strategic process which helps in planning healthy attrition. While these are generic solutions, they should be specifically planned according to the context.

Managing change initiatives:

Mythili feels that the toughest initiatives are related to change. People are not always welcome to change. Thus her organization took several change management initiatives. It is important for an organization to capitalize and analyze the requirement behind the change. It should be clear about what they want to achieve and plan it accordingly. 

All employees do not accept change in a similar manner. An organization needs to understand how they will embrace it and create strategies accordingly. The HR might plan the change but it should be expressed by someone from within the team. This helps in achieving better acceptance. In addition, they should be informed about what is in it for them.

Produced by: Priya Bhatt
Podcast host: Yashwanth Jembige