2020 ushered us into a new way of working. Organizations are now moving to investing and setting up infrastructures to provide a superior work experience to their people– Hybrid 2.0. SAP organized the SAP HR Connect 2021 to throw some much-needed light on how we can design employee experiences for the hybrid 2.0 world that are holistic, progressive, agile, technology-driven, and most importantly, more human!

Business dynamics are under a tremendous shift as organizations re-look at the workforce and adapt to a changing work environment. Even though no one can predict what tomorrow will look like, the surest way to stay on the growth path is through talent transformation. Dr. Raju Mistry, President, and Global Chief People Officer, Cipla, explored this in her closing keynote, as she examined the nuances of building a workplace that is enabled to be smart and future-ready.

Cipla: A Rich Legacy of “Caring for Life”

As a pharma company, CIPLA has a proud legacy of over 86 years of caring for and supporting patients from all over the world. With a workforce of over 25,000 employees who serve more than 80 markets – this is a company that truly believes in “caring for life”. Its vast portfolio of 1500+ products caters to every known ailment and manifests its mission through patient centricity.

The Cipla Palliative Care (CPC) is another such example. Founded to support patients and their families in their most difficult of times, beyond medicines and treatment, its Pune center provides free-of-cost care to terminally ill patients, allowing them to spend their last days with their families. The Cipla Foundation takes the company’s socially conscious legacy forward through various outreach programs in Health, Skilling, Education, and Environmental Sustainability & Disaster Response.

While caring for life has always been and continues to remain its guiding purpose, Cipla allocates equal importance to “daring for life”. With initiatives like those focusing on HIV Aids and an 11-year long fight to change patent laws, Cipla has brought inclusiveness, accessibility, and affordability to the center of healthcare in India and overseas.

Challenges Amid Uncertain Times

COVID has taught us to question many things, one such long-standing belief has been “People are resistant to change.” The many changes in the last two years and the ways people have adapted and adopted them have turned this belief on its head.

Transformation and change are not new to Cipla. It is the reason why a company with such a rich legacy has survived and thrived in these changing times. But the question remains, “How do we manage amidst all this chaos?”.  The answer is by doing more – by multitasking, and juggling between multiple priorities, and focusing on doing more than expected.

Two of the most crucial aspects of this pyramid are ‘Enhanced IT and tech solutions’ and ‘Empathy and Nurturing’. Over the past two years, IT and technology have become an integrated part of our lives, at work and home. IT teams all over the world have got together to ensure seamless connectivity and transition to a digital way of working. And people have shown an amazing amount of resilience and adaptability to this new way of life.

At a time when face-to-face interactions are at a minimum, empathy and nurturing have also proven to be crucial focal points. For leaders and managers, this is the only way to truly understand the ground reality of their people and effectively connect with them.

Driving Change with Digital

The landscape of transformation is diverse and all-encompassing. A lot is happening in the transformational space including things like touchless factories, virtual site audits, environmental protection, phygital interactions across fields, and much more. These transformations touch every aspect of life, but it is up to the people to deliver on them.

It is at this switch from physical to digital workspaces that the challenges for HR come in. HR leaders need to find new ways to enable their people for the newer ways of working.

At Cipla, we use SAP SuccessFactors as our HRMIS to simplify most of the HR processes. Not only does this make our processes more accurate, eliminate the drudgery that comes with all the transactional work but also brings in the ‘wow’ element to both HR and the employees. With more than 20 processes running digitally, 1100 digitized SOPs, and a chatbot that manages seamless support to the employees, our HR is free to catalyze transformation and motivate shifts that will reinvent our organization.

Ever-changing Landscape of Talent Imperatives

In the era of transformation, three key components are critical to hiring talent  – Digital Savviness, Empathy, and Leading Virtually.

Previously viewed as a means to manage data and provide analytics, technology today has evolved into much more. Today it has become crucial for people to visualize and solve problems with a digital footprint and perspective. This shift will require everyone, from individual contributors to enterprise leaders, to think digitally and articulate problems in a way that they have digital solutions.

Two other aspects to building, identifying, and developing leaders in the new normal are:

  • A requisite level of empathy and emotional connection to help leaders better impress on their teams in a non-physical space
  • Leading and connecting virtually is becoming more critical as we move from physical to hybrid workspaces

Company Culture – The Foundation of Sustainable Transformation

Sustaining company culture is one of the major concerns for many organizations. Culture is the bedrock on which all processes are done and decided. While a physical space made it easier to maintain common company culture, the current shift to a virtual and hybrid workspace brings new challenges on how to maintain this culture and percolate it down the line.

Critical to sustainability, culture weaves the company together and forms a strong backbone for every employee and process.

At Cipla, we base all we do on our five pillars of culture, each combining parts of physical and technology components.

  1. Openness and Transparency –
  • Transparent communications
  • Multiple listening forums & annual engagement survey
  1. Accountability & Ownership
  • Reassess org structures and roles
  • Promote collaboration, teamwork & tiki-taka
  1. Result & Impact Orientation
  • Objective performance goals – feedback mechanism and appreciations for changing reality
  1. Managing with Respect
  • Inclusion & Diversity – how are you practicing it?
  1. Engage with Empathy
  • Giving back and making a difference

And while our offices are now open, we have positioned them as engagement centers, where people are not mandated to but have the option to come in when they want to connect with other employees or for team meetings. Offices are no longer centers for conducting business reviews, but a place where people come together to understand each other, have a cup of coffee, and build critical connections and relationships.

In conclusion, as HR processes mature and become more important, having a technology bedrock will become a strong enabler and facilitator for organizations to move ahead.

Check out more posts from SAP HR Connect 2021:

HR Connect 2021: Evolving Employee Experience from HCM to HXM in Hybrid 2.0 – SAP India News Center

HR Connect 2021: CEO’s Perspectives on the Changing People Paradigm   – SAP India News Center

HR Connect 2021: Meeting Business Priorities in a Hybrid World – SAP India News Center

HR Connect 2021: Thriving in the Vaccine Economy Through Human Experience – SAP India News Center

HR Connect 2021: Code to Cracking the Talent, Technology & Cost Trifecta – SAP India News Center