The Essence of True Corporate Identity
Companies are growing as they call for transparency. They are transforming modern corporations into glass boxes and scripted communications are interrogated by empowered and connected stakeholders. Never before has an organisation’s culture so visibly borne relation to business outcomes. Talking on the essence of rue corporate identity, Harjeet Khanduja, Vice President of Human Resource, Reliance Jio, lead the session at the recently HR Summit and Awards conference
“A person has an aspiration to four values in order of the Maslow hierarchy. Accordingly, in every human soul there comes an aspiration for power, care, esteem and meaning You as an organisation have to choose and start creating the experiences by selecting any one of the four”
Today, HR consumerisation is implementing its way through the market where the workforce is being personalised, with having an objective to create an employer brand which provides a wholesome experience to the current and potential employees, and also to the consumers by delivering the nearest to what they expect from the company. A candidate may walk in tomorrow asking for a developer job in the city he wishes to work in. That is where we have to personalise the job according to the demand of the employee, by attracting the talent by addressing needs. Harjeet Khanduja a TED talk speaker, an influential personality, lit up the audience with his vibrant aura across the podium, on the topic of ‘Uncovering the essence of your true corporate identity’.
The need to be unique
I am going to show you a few pictures of personalities who are experts in their field, each belonging to a different field of music, dance, games. If we have to rank these personalities, who will be the first one? I asked 100 people the same question. They opted for soulful voice. The kind of intensity that you create in the work you do, will finally decide if people have to get attracted towards you or not. If a fresher has to choose an organisation among four organisations which are different in nature, he will choose the one that attracts him the most. Today, organisations need to place themselves in a unique position. You, as an organisation, have to create the intensity for the people, which is done by creating experiences and aspiration. An organisation needs to be the bigger picture to show its picture to the audience and create aspiration.
If you are doing the basics right, people are not going to leave you. Kejriwal won Delhi elections and all the seats in the capital of the country at one point of time, just by promising the public that electricity will come at a cheaper rate. Electricity is the basic need of people. Similarly, organisations have to address the basic needs of the employees in an organisation. Mother Teresa was once addressing a seminar which consisted of the HR people. She came and asked only two questions - Do you know your people? Do you love them? She was an extremely caring personality. Today, if you only follow what Mother Teresa says, you do not have to wonder about the ways to create uniqueness in your organisation.
“I as an HR head did not know how to leverage an organisation. But when I discovered that by managing the managers, HR can function a lot better, I realised that it was the most important learning of my life"
A person has an aspiration to four values in order of the Maslow hierarchy. Accordingly, in every human soul there comes an aspiration for power, care, esteem and meaning. You as an organisation have to choose and start creating the experiences by selecting any one of the four. It is how formally and with what belief you can implement this concept in your organisation.
My personal experiences regarding the qualities I observed in the people just a day before, I was travelling in an Uber, which was being driven by a person who was from a small village near Bhopal. That driver has 20 acres of land back home. The reason he was driving an Uber in Mumbai was not because he wanted to earn money, but because people from his village looked up to him and started valuing him more when he started working in Mumbai. The driver wanted to see respect in the eyes of the people for him. These are the things people do to satisfy their self esteem. Your organisation has to create a strategy which will differentiate it and determine a way of how it wants to stand unique with the kind of experiences it is creating.
Standing in a unique position apart from the crowd will also make one noticed. I met one of the HR people of ISRO at a conference where he was one of the spokesperson. He was introduced as the General Manager of HR on the brochure when he actually was the Senior Manager of HR. On the podium, he mentioned that what the brochure says about his designation is wrong. I was completely driven and motivated by the big role I was playing. This is an example where one understands that if you create an impact and a name in the minds of people, it will always matter more than the money. To uncover your true essence there are three things that one should take into consideration be unique, create experiences, address the needs.
How do you create the uniqueness?
How do you do it?
There are few principles an organisation needs to follow with a religious discipline, which is the primary task for any organisation after having made a strategy to accomplish success and the vision of an organisation. How are you going to put the strategy into action?
The first principle is to have a leader for your organisation who the people listen to. The leader should be able to stand up for his people. The second is to create a collective vision for your organisation where you need to have a direction for everyone to go towards. This vision should be understood and followed by every employee at your workplace. When I asked the sweeper at NASA about what he was doing, he said he was trying to send a man to the moon. Thus, the direction and the collectiveness is important.
The third is to create some noise around the vision of your company which is equally important. Fourth, the need to do things in a particular fashion or style, referred as the ‘swag’ of the organisation. If you lack the style, people are not going to be able to relate to you every time you come up with something new. Facebook came up with the concept of keeping bean bags in their office where employees could sit back in it and sip coffee. No one can sit and work in a bean bag for more than half an hour. But, this is their swag. Fashion gives a status to your company.
Fifth is celebrations, due to which you will be noticed. Once you start celebrating, people also celebrate the vision and employees are happy and motivated towards the vision. It is very important for one to feel that he is going to achieve the goal and win. This is an inherent wish of people, to win in all walks of life.
Then comes the reach of the interventions that the company is doing, which should reach the knowledge of each and every workforce. If interventions do not touch the hearts of the people, the company will not be able to make an impact and reach success. As HR professionals, it is not possible to be accessible to every employee but HR can reach the managers which is a limited population. If the managers are willing to be committed, the employees are bound to be committed as they will speak the language of their managers. I as an HR head did not know how to leverage an organisation. But when I discovered that by managing the managers, HR can function a lot better, I realised that it was the most important learning of my life.
The last principle: the people of your company should be pampered for the chances of your winning to increase. These are the doable steps to be unique, create experiences and address the needs to uncover the true essence of your corporate personality.