NHRD’s July Special Event hosted at FIIB Campus
25 July 2014

The July Special Event titled 'Engagement- Participation: Myth or Reality' for National HRD Network was hosted at FIIB as the Venue Partner on 25th July 2014. At the conference, speakers with vast experience and knowledge in the HR industry shared their mind provoking thoughts to help the audience determine whether, Participation leads to Employee Engagement or vice versa or both go hand in hand.

The conference started with the thought on evolution of Human Resource from 1960s till today. The speakers elaborated on how companies realized the importance of employees and started calling people “A Resource”. In 2005, companies thought of sustainable employee engagement and started investing in Employee Engagement. Following the initial discussion, several other discussions were then held to find an answer to the question on participation and engagement.

Panelists for the session included Ms. Mahalakshmi R‎, Head Global Rewards & Organisation Effectiveness, Bharti Group & Airtel, Ms. Anusha Suryanarayan, Global Head - Talent Management, Ranbaxy and Ms. Leena Sahijwani, Director - Compensation & Benefits, GE while the panel was moderated by Ms. Preneet Bindra, Regional HR Head, Asia at British Airways.

Panel Session: Is the link between performance and engagement broken?

The discussion started with Ms. Mahalakshmi and Ms. Anusha, sharing real life case studies with the audience. While one case study showed that engagement led to high performance and other contradicted by showing engagement did not lead to performance. This mixed response reflected towards the need of Datafication of Engagement.

Ms. Leena from GE discussed how the yearly engagement studies, surveys and Gallup surveys are done at GE to identify the actively engaged and disengaged employees in an organization. With this availability of data it is easy for any organization to identify the reason for disengagement and plan accordingly to overcome the same.

Ms. Avneet emphasized that, it is important to understand that there is a different way of talk to Multi-generation organization, as different age groups have different priorities and purpose. For example- young professionals look for identity and purpose. If an organization can offer this, these young professionals will be highly committed towards their job. Adding to the same, Ms. Leena elaborated 3 aspects of employee connect.

  • Organizational Connect
  • Manager Connect
  • Co-worker Connect

The next question addressed at the conference was, what can be done for Baby Boomers? To which Ms. Leena emphasized on embracing change. She explained that it is very important to help employees adapt to various changes happening in a corporate world, as we can’t force employees to (for eg) write blog, use Iphones, etc. Therefore, it is important to plan and implement different engagement activities for different set of people.

Adding to this, Ms. Mahalakshmi being coming from global experience, presented 3 things people crave for in an organization, globally-

  • Understanding passion of an employee
  • Respect for employee gender, nationality, age, etc
  • Offering Entrepreneurial culture- freedom to work

Ms. Bindra suggested that we should look at things from different side; she proposed to ask employees (who have been working in the organization for a long time) to give reasons which made them stay in an organization and understand how things were initially and now.

Attended by NHRD members of Delhi and students and faculty of FIIB, the discussion was concluded with the following key take aways:

According to Ms. Leena, Engagement and Performance are related and there is not a single way to look at engagement. She mentioned that engagement should align to what organizations want to achieve. So evolvement is the key.

Ms. Anusha said, engagement is important as engaged employees deliver results. And because Company is not mortar but its people, so companies should actively involve in employee engagement.

Keeping it short, Ms. Mahalakshmi said, Engagement is new beginning which helps meeting ends.

The session was concluded with an elaborate answer session around the elements of entrepreneurship and innovation.

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