“Culture and people management are very much a science that can be practised. It is much a management philosophy that can be measured in the same way that tangible things inside a business can be driven,” said Warren Harris, CEO, Managing Tata Technologies, on Day Two of YourStory’s Future of Work 2021 summit.
In his keynote, he emphasised on finding “the right balance between culture, management, morale, and remote working”.
According to him, challenges across a company can be dealt with by focusing on organisational health, keeping in mind two aspects:
- The smart side: This is how an organisation is organised, how it manages operations, and how it does things in a tangible manner
- The healthy side: This relates to culture and people
“Increasingly, even though business schools teach more and more about the smart side, the real differentiator in performance lies in the investments an organisation makes in the healthy side of the business,” he said.
The multiplier effect that results by focusing on the healthy side of the business is driven much more by the work an organisation does in terms of culture and employee engagement.
4 key pillars to focus on
Warren suggests that a healthy organisation is driven by four key pillars. These include:
Cohesive leadership teams
Leadership teams are driven by trust. This is not the conventional definition of trust that is ‘Do I trust somebody to be honest’ or Do I trust somebody to do the right thing’.
“What I mean by trust is vulnerability-based trust. On the inside of a leadership team, does an environment exist where leaders can say I don’t understand, you are better at this than I am, I am not very good at this, I need help here. If you have such an environment inside the leadership team, you have the foundation of a cohesive leadership team that can work together,” Warren said.
It is vital to create clarity on six basic questions:
- Why do we exist?
- How do we behave?
- What is it we do?
- What constitutes success?
- What’s important right now?
- Who does what?
Warren stated that there was a rising need to over-communicate clarity. One should make sure that every single stakeholder in the organisation understands this clearly. “Research suggests people need to be told eight to nine times to really internalise anything, so over-communicate.”
If an organisation needs to be healthy, the basics need to be reinforced regularly.
“How does an organisation recruit, manage performance, celebrate success, and promote people inside? If the decision-making in and around those things is not aligned, then that discontinuity generates scepticism. But if you have aligned it between clarity and how you operate, it drives engagement,” he said.
Talking further about organisational values, Warren touched upon the three core values at the heart of Tata Technologies.
“We make a commitment to our team before our customer, considering them an extension of our customers who we work with. The second core value is bringing a global mindset in the organisation as our value chain connects people in different parts of the world, and the third core value is the attitude to innovate,” he said.
A big shout out to our Future of Work 2021 Co-presenting Sponsors Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Unique Solutions; Digital Excellence Partner, Google Cloud; Associate Sponsor HP and Intel; and Sponsors: Atlassian, Freight Tiger, Archon I Cohesity, TeamViewer, and Pocket Aces