Arun Nayyar, MD & CEO at NeoGrowth & Huma T, CHRO at Dvara KGFS, sketch the career planning & guidance initiatives taken by their organizations:
Ravi: What initiatives have been taken by your organization to refine career planning and guidance for employees?
Arun: At NeoGrowth, right from the talent acquisition stage, we try to create awareness to distinguish a career from a job and emphasize that joining NeoGrowth can help a candidate build career. From these initial interactions itself, we try to provide clarity to a candidate about the grade structure in the organization and what the career growth path would look like for a candidate.
We recognize that investing in our employees’ growth and development is the key to collective success. During the employee’s tenure with us, we empower them with the skills and knowledge required to perform their tasks with maximum efficiency. Some of our key initiatives are as below.
1. We have designed a corporate induction program, ‘Prarambh’, and a functional induction program, ‘Gurukul’. We spend significant time giving clarity to a new joiner on the career path at NeoGrowth through the programs.
2. Through HR and L&D connections with employees, we offer training and awareness modules on career growth in various roles and departments, including the skills needed for effective progression. We have grade-wise programs such as the learning path for entry-level profiles and the leadership path for mid-level profiles.
3. We sponsor part-time MBAs for some of those who could not do it before joining us for any reason and now want to invest in themselves to make them more capable managers and leaders.
4. To create an in-house talent pipeline of future leaders, we have institutionalized Catapult Management Trainee Program. Under the program, fresher tier 1/2 b-school graduates join us.
5. Annual appraisals and goal-setting discussions are crucial components of career growth discussions.
NeoGrowth understands the importance of empowering women employees to go beyond their current roles. For women employees at the formative stage, the company has created ‘Womentor’, a career counselling and guidance program designed by women, for women. The program matches senior women colleagues with women employees to provide mentoring, share experiences, and provide valuable feedback. Additionally, NeoGrowth offers a Second Career program to give career and growth opportunities to women who have taken a career break. In conclusion, at NeoGrowth, we believe that building a career is a continuous process. We are committed to providing our employees with the necessary tools and support to achieve their career goals and aspirations.
Huma T: At Dvara KGFS, we have introduced a grade structure that is fair and transparent, providing employees with a clear view of their career progression. The structure outlines the criteria, skills, and experience required for each grade, along with the necessary training, mentoring, and job rotations to help employees progress to higher levels. Additionally, we have an in-house program called ‘Know the ROPEs’ for our first-time managers, which focuses on providing them with the necessary tools and resources to manage their teams effectively.
Share the details of the career planning programs introduced by your organization. And the results achieved from them?
Arun: We place great value on the holistic development of our workforce, prioritizing the cultivation of essential skills alongside professional ones. Our training programs are tailored to support the growth cycle of employees, and we are dedicated to engaging our staff with innovative and industry-relevant skills. We achieve this through initiatives such as ‘Ideathons’ to encourage the sharing of unique ideas, and by hosting sessions led by external experts on themes such as self-defence techniques for women and financial awareness.
Our ‘7 Pillar’ approach to talent development, consisting of Neo Connect, Neo Recognise, Neo Learn, Neo Benefit, Neo Celebrate, Neo Care, and Neo Giveback, is designed to nurture talent which also helps in employee retention. We conduct multiple training sessions every month to keep our workforce informed of new regulatory or company-level developments.
One of the key outcomes of these career planning and growth programs is a robust pool of in-house talent. As a result, a significant number of leadership and mid-level roles within the organization are held by individuals who have grown and developed within our company.
Huma T: Our career planning programs are designed to provide employees with the necessary support and guidance to achieve their career goals. We have several programs, including our internal job postings, which offer role elevations to tenured employees and backfills at the lowest level. We also have a recognition program for our first-line leaders, called Prestigia, which provides them with recognition and an opportunity to undergo curated courses from premier institutes. We partnered with Aon Hewitt and conducted assessment centers for our executive committee members to identify and develop potential successors. Each leader was given a comprehensive report on their top strengths and areas of opportunity, feedback, and coaching sessions were organised, and IDPs were created; along with periodic monitoring and follow-ups done to ensure action completion.
Which new career planning programs will be introduced by your organization in the coming months?
Arun: As a future-focused organization, we are constantly striving to provide our employees with the resources and support they need to achieve their professional goals. In line with this commitment, we are looking to further enhance our mentoring and coaching programs, leveraging the expertise of our senior leaders to provide guidance and direction to our talented workforce. By emphasizing this aspect of our development initiatives, we aim to create a culture of continuous learning and growth, empowering our employees to realize their full potential and drive our organization towards even greater success in the years ahead.
Huma T: Our performance management system is a critical tool in supporting our employees’ career aspirations and planning. We focus on having meaningful conversations with every employee, where we record their career aspirations, identify areas for development, and set goals for their individual growth. We believe that these conversations help employees understand their strengths, skills, and areas for improvement, and enable us to create development plans tailored to their individual needs. Additionally, we have an internal job posting system that offers role elevations to our tenured employees, providing them with opportunities for growth and career advancement. This program also ensures that we backfill at the lowest level, thereby creating a career progression path for all our employees.
Overall, our commitment to offering these types of initiatives has helped us create a culture of continuous learning and development, enabling employees to build rewarding careers and contribute to the organization’s success. Our performance management system focuses on meaningful conversations with every employee, recording their career aspirations, and paving the way for their development.