With the Covid-19 Pandemic redefining our workplaces, it has become important for leaders to focus on their employees, their wellbeing, their productivity and their overall effectiveness. As the industry goes through a war of talent, it is becoming more and more important to drive cultural transformation aimed at employee wellbeing.
Rishad Premji, Chairman, Wipro on Tuesday spoke on the future of the workplace and how the Pandemic has brought about a change in the employee-employer relation. For Premji, the most crucial learning was prioritising the most important things. “The safety of our employees was our top priority. From moving people physically to their homes, ensuring that they remain connected and productive has been a real learning from the Covid phase,” he said.
Premji while speaking at an industry forum, highlighted that the Hybrid model of work is a big debate, especially in companies similar to Wipro where remote working is possible. He stressed that there is a need to maintain the right balance as within an organisation there are people who enjoy the flexibility of remote working and want to extend their participation in that flexibility. At the same time, some people miss their level of connectedness with other employees.
While describing the challenges of the virtual medium, Premji said, “People connect for culture, organisations grow when people gossip about the organisation. They also connect for innovation and exchanging ideas. These informal talks, through which some very interesting ideas emerge are not possible in a virtual setting.”
Premji identified talent as the most important challenge for the industry and said that companies who win the war on talent, win the game. However, according to Premji, there is a huge mismatch between demand and availability of supply. “We are spending an inordinate amount of time and money to re-skill and up-skill people at an industry level,” he added.
On retaining talent, Premji stated that people don’t leave an organisation only because of compensation or lack of opportunities, “they leave when they don’t feel the sense of connectedness.” He added that it is important for employees to feel that connect with the top leadership and feel that somebody cares for them in the organisation.
For leaders, Premji said they should have learnability which essentially means the ability to unlearn things that they have known in the past and learn new things. “My view of being future-ready is to have a mindset of openness and a mindset of being able to unlearn what you’ve believed to be the truth for the longest time and the ability to change it completely,” Premji added.