“When policies are owned by all, business disruption is the least”

Rohit Manucha is a certified executive coach with core expertise is in organizational transformation and effectiveness and has over 13 years of experience in aligning organizations with their strategic agenda and managing transformation across 20 countries. He is currently the Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) at the Dubai-based SIH-AGH. In an interview with the HRM, Manucha talks about the ways for building strong employer brands and achieving effective organizational management. Excerpts:

What is the one thing HR leaders can do to build strong employer brands and attract better job applicants?
The simple rule of thumb is “Be accessible and transparent with your talent pool”. For this, provide and encourage the use of multiple avenues where your employees can share their personal experiences at the organization and the talent pool can engage on 1:1 catch-up session with role holders whose role/ team they aspire to be on.

When is the right time to introduce a new company policy to your team? How do you do it in a positive way without being seen as a disruptor of business as usual?
Policies ought to be “living” documents, reflective of a “collective human conscious”. Thus, rather than being a point-in-time “policing” document, they ought to be updated on an ongoing basis depending on their relevance and what behaviors they drive to achieve the organization’s strategic agenda. Needless to say, when policies are owned by all, business disruption is the least.

What should an HR manager consider when selecting an employee survey tool?
The key points ought to be:
– What are we trying to achieve with this tool and does it fulfill that mandate?
– Is the UX good to ensure maximum employee accessibility and adoption?
– Does it provide depth in people analytics while upholding confidentiality?
– Does it fit in seamlessly with other HR platforms without adding more work on UAT/ PAT?
– Cost-benefit analysis (one time or multi capability tool)

How do you make the transition/adjustment from being a fellow co-worker to a supervisor of your peers, after a promotion?
As the adage goes one is “promoted for potential and not performance”. Hence, one needs to have the maturity to understand that was got us this far as an individual contributor need not take us further. To grow we need to be humble, remember our roots and let our intent to help others grow to pave the way. Lead through respect earned as a capable person and not as a position holder.

What’s one way that introverted leaders (and employees) can prepare and feel more comfortable about giving a presentation and reduce their level of nervousness, especially if they’ve never had to present information to a large group of staff members on a regular basis?
Ill-timed interjections during presentations unnerve even the best of speakers, so begin by storyboarding, indexing your thoughts and building the presentation from the point of view of the listener. Practice for worst-case scenarios, rely on storytelling and present the executive summary first. Speak deliberately with pauses for checking in, add humor and focus on a brief yet powerful content delivery.

What is one way a business can successfully cut down on excessive employee absences?
Employee absence is not the problem but rather the symptom. HR needs to identify the core problem and treat that via in-depth as-is assessment and gap analysis. This could range from archaic policy design, employee experience mismanagement, etc. The first step is to recognize it and have the management buy-in and employee will to fix it.

If you haven’t been incorporating the annual review process at your company, what’s the best tip to introduce the idea and implement this practice for the first time?
If you are starting with the annual review process for the first time, be clear on why you are doing it and what you aim to achieve from it. Build linkages that serve to align organizational goals with individual objectives, help to reward performance and provide career progression opportunities. Communicate it to the wider audience for a shared understanding, expectation setting and buy-in.

What is one way a company can implement real structural change in the workplace to encourage the inclusion of a growing and more diverse community, beyond the “status quo?” How are these employees enabled to stay engaged?
To encourage the inclusion of diverse communities, one needs to focus on belonging. This begins by having top management commit to a thorough people, policy, process, structure and systems review to help build a cohesive culture wherein the uniqueness of an individual is respected, encouraged, valued and celebrated. Engagement is thus a buy product of having the right work environment and ethics in your organization.

If you’re new to using and understanding the data from workforce analytics, what is the best way to start out and implement it gradually at your company?
Start by understanding the data architecture and analytics purpose. Once you are clear on the linkages and outcomes focus on building robust data entry, review, warehousing and protection capability. For analytics begin with rule engines which create basic dashboards linked to descriptive/ diagnostic analytics and as you get comfortable enhance this to cover predictive and prescriptive analytics.

What is one productivity hack that has helped you and other team members produce the best outcomes for daily, weekly, monthly, or annual projects?
It’s basically our culture that encourages people to have periodic check-ins on what’s working and what’s not, how/ who can fix this. It empowers people to raise flags, seek help and easily receive it as we all are on the same boat (shared goal setting). This requires us to leverage technology and link our structure/ process and policies in a manner that encourages the best outcome achievement.

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