Article (June-2018)


Bringing excellence is a shared responsibility

Dr. Tanaya Mishra

Designation : -   Managing Director-HR (Asia Pacific)

Organization : -  Accenture, Mumbai


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How do you define culture of excellence in today's business world where it seems to be captured and governed by digital technology?
TM Today is the world of a transformation journey which every corporate has embarked upon. We hear of digital technology, disruption and innovation. All these are terms of today and tomorrow we will hear some other terms as change is reality. Change always existed and we as human beings and as a function kept adapting to that change.
Reality is that humans existed, exist and will continue to do so. Yes, the way they function does undergo a change. Organizations, immaterial of how advanced they, still need humans as employees to run businesses and commerce. Employees will always thrive and give their optimum productivity when there is a culture of excellence.
Culture of excellence can mean different things for different people. But studies reveal that it is about the job content, the compensation and benefits offered, the supervisor and how engaged the company is with its employees.
What are the key characteristics of the new-age culture of excellence at work place?
TM The millennial generation that have currently got into the workforce define excellence as instant gratification. If one has to decode this, it means that they want to do something that has a visible impact and they feel responsible for the positive impact that it has on the organization. Another factor that excites them is constant learning and exercising their brain power. The pursuit to career growth is a strong driver. They want their voice to be heard and would like to be consulted in the decision making process. While this is the generation that believes in gadget and social media communication, strangely they want to be spoken with and guided by their Supervisors. The other driver is flexibility so that they can pursue their interests rather than doing just a job.
How managers should manage the change and instil culture of excellence in approach and attitude of new-age workforce?
TM Managers need to learn to embrace change and adapt to that change. This also means unlearning and relearning. In this VUCA world it's really survival of the fittest. Investing time for learning new tech methods, new ways of functioning is the key. Flexibility in approach to understanding situations on the ground and approaching situations with an open mind and empathy goes a long way in building engagement amongst employees. Reinventing oneself and innovation is the new DNA that the new age workforce appreciates.
What are the challenges likely to be encountered in developing and sustaining the culture of excellence?
TM The culture of excellence is an experience for employees. It is not a rule book that one can memorize and practice. The culture of excellence are in reality, practices and processes and the way that things are done in the organization in full transparency and fairness and the way employees are treated, where employees feel engaged and wanted, a workplace that employees want to come back to every day, where they want to give it their best and are committed to its growth. It is the very core values that each and every employee in the organization embraces across the length and breadth of the organization.
In the current scenario how do you suggest developing a culture of excellence?
TM The building of a culture of excellence is a shared responsibility and no individual can single handedly take responsibility. This requires nurturing and building it constantly. They are the fundamental core values and the DNA of an organization that have to be worked upon steadily on a day to day basis. Since this is so fragile, leaders in organizations have to constantly watch out for dilutions. Big brands have fallen because they stopped keeping an eye on the ball and did not even know when the change had taken place.
What is the role of HR in setting organisational expectations for excellence?
TM HR professionals play a key role in helping organisations to transform themselves and in building the fundamental blocks for the culture of excellence. They are the change agents that bridge the board room philosophy with the employees.