Malvika is a seasoned HR professional with illustrious experience in HR practices, both strategic and operational. She is currently serving as the Lead - HR & People Management at Talentedge.in and has previously worked with Airtel & FashionAndYou.com. With over 15 years of experience in diverse HR roles, Malvika’s area of expertise is in transforming redundant processes and practices into lean, employee and organization oriented processes.
A diverse workforce is that secret ingredient which leads to the creation of stronger, smarter and innovative organisations adept at serving the needs of the clients and communities. An organisation that is committed to a diverse workforce is able to harness a pool of individuals with unique qualities and create a productive, fulfilled and motivated workforce.
With the emergence of global markets and shifting workforce demographics, investing in a diverse workforce has become a necessity for creating robust organisations. Workforce diversity, not just in the case of gender equality but also as the fine blend of fresh talent and seasoned professionals, is the secret ingredient which leads to the creation of stronger, smarter and innovative organisations adept at serving the needs of the clients and communities.
Building a diverse workforce requires creating and encouraging a culture of inclusion, understanding and respect from top down. Although diversity benefits everyone, encouraging it within the organisation and facilitating inclusion can prove to be a bit difficult at times.
If you, as an HR, are also facing these difficulties then allow me to introduce you to a few steps which will enable you to overcome these challenges and successfully build a truly diverse workplace.
The Hiring Process
Building a diverse workforce essentially requires keeping a healthy balance between experienced and fresh talent covering individuals from across the country of both the genders in the organisation. This will require you to begin the hiring process by evaluating the level of diversity already present in the organisation across locations. Post evaluation set specific goals in accordance with latest statistics which help in making a lasting impact while creating a diverse workforce. Once the goals are established, focus on hiring employees from a wide range of backgrounds. Apart from the qualifications and past experience, the other aspects that should play a major role in the hiring of employees are enthusiasm, creativity, desire to learn, passion to succeed and, needless to say, diversity.
At Talentedge, we have a healthy mix of experienced and ambitious freshers in our talent pool. Moreover, when it comes to gender diversity, we are proud to say that the taboo of men not reacting well to female bosses is now talk of the past as the ratio of female to male leaders at Talentedge, above DGM level, is 50:50. 40 per cent of overall employees are females and 65% of all non-managerial employees at our Pune office (the most populated office in terms of employees) are women.
An open door policy with no barriers is a great way to encourage communication and inclusion at the workplace. Keeping both the young employees and the senior leadership teams in the same open bay areas, where there is no such thing as closed doors, is a great approach to encourage this policy. This approach enables the experienced employees to seamlessly train and maximise the potential of the young employees who have fire in their belly to prove themselves and the zeal to excel.
Embrace Flexible Working
Over the last half a decade, flexible and smart workplaces have replaced the monotonous 9-5 routine of jobs. Various studies have also showcased that approximately three-quarters of employees favour a job that provides them with the option of working flexibly. To stay relevant in the modern work culture and encourage a sound work-life balance for employees, Talentedge has abolished the 9-5 routine and now promotes the flexible-work timings where employees are required to complete 9 hours a day on the job, 5 days a week. How they do it and what time they clock in, we trust them to make that decision as per their convenience and personal schedules.
Embrace Latest Technology
Technology has advanced greatly over the past decade and thanks to this, workplace communication has never been so efficient and convenient. Whether it’s a conference video call/meeting, e-mails, or cloud-based services to share documents across teams, processes have now become modernised with the technological updates.
The technological aspect of modern offices facilitates flexible working and appeals to the entire group of employees, experienced and fresh. For instance, a technologically advanced workplace enables a new parent to continue to work from home easily and also attracts younger talent.
As per the research conducted by Forbes on what motivates millennials in the workplace, poor technology was cited as the most frustrating factor for nearly a third of Gen Z workers. Moreover, nearly one-third of the survey pool stated that the latest technology is one of the most vital components of a workplace. This reflects how crucial technology is for creating a diverse workforce.
Open Dialogue & Growth Opportunities
When the end goal is to build and retain a productive and diverse team comprising motivated employees, it is crucial to build trust and provide the employees with opportunities to grow. The key to keeping the workforce motivated and attracting future talent is to make sure that they know that their organisation cares about them and their future.
Keeping this factor in mind and leveraging the fact that we are an Ed-tech firm, focused on developing the professional competencies of the nation, Talentedge provides all its employees with a fair chance to learn new skills by offering them all its professional certification programs at subsidized prices.
As HR leaders, we can’t pretend that creating a diverse organisation doesn’t require work. Although we’ve witnessed a significant change, with firms like ours and many others beginning to embrace newer, more transparent approaches, there is still a long way to go. Looking forward, leaders need to invest in their employees for creating a more productive, fulfilled and motivated workforce. Thereby, creating a more collaborative approach to business which enables a diverse workforce to thrive.