InterraIT has been a leader in the Information Technology Industry since its founding in 1996. The company is a Global Software Services organization that delivers innovative business and technology solutions to Fortune 1000 companies. We recently interviewed Mr. Manoj Sehgal (Senior Director-Head- Human Resources), Interra IT to know his views on employee engagement and discussed the best HR practices. All the views expressed here are personal views of Mr. Sehgal.
Please share with us your professional journey:
Mr. Sehgal- I started my career with Pharmaceutical companies in the manufacturing set up, from there I moved to Sales HR and then gained some experience in data management of HR. Post exploring all these areas in HR, I moved to pure employee engagement role. Throughout this journey I worked with IT engineers, scientists and software engineers.
Your views on Employee Engagement
Mr. Sehgal- We attract talent and then retain it, attracting talent for an established business like us is not a challenge but keeping in mind the dynamics of the software industry, retaining the talent is a challenging work. As per my understanding, if you want to give solution to a problem you need to understand the problem first. Retaining disengaged employees will not help the organization, retaining engaged employees would definitely help. To know the engagement levels of people who are engaged and who are disengaged, we deploy various tools and on the basis of the results, we act accordingly. These tools provide us information about various areas like supervisors, compensation, job tools, environment, learning needs etc.
Accordingly we keep working on our employee engagement practices.
How do employees view the subject of engagement?
Mr. Sehgal-When organizations are financially strong, have vision for future and they openly communicate their vision to employees, their employees are engaged, because they feel secure about their future and career.
Employees who have ambitions beyond organizations feasibility to fulfill, they will feel disengaged, or employees who have low ambitions and are unable to fulfill the expectations of the organization will also feel disengaged. It is only where there is a perfect match between employee’s ambitions and organization’s ability to fulfill, relationship would thrive and employee would be very engaged at work. Employees who have passion for their work and employees who are in love with their jobs would be engaged automatically. They would always be ready to work beyond office hours, on holidays, weekends and they would take initiatives help their colleagues. Employees who just have this feeling, I am here for 8 hours to work and just work for the sake of work, are not at all passionate about work will never be engaged.
People who switch their jobs often; according to you are they engaged or disengaged?
Mr. Sehgal- There are two factors here, loyalty and performance. We need a balance of both, we can’t compromise on performance and solely rely on loyalty; this would hinder the growth of organization. If we solely rely on performance and people staying for short stint in organization there is a risk in stability of business. If people who perform well and for their own professional growth move ahead there is no problem in that but their tenure with the organization has to be longer enough where organization is not getting affected by attrition and business loss. These employees are passionate about their work and their professional growth within the organization and outside the organization, organization should ensure that they meet their aspirations and stay longer in organization.
Does training play a role in engaging employees?
Mr. Sehgal- Yes, training programs play a great role in engaging employees; first is technical training, which enables one to work efficiently on the technology platform which he or she is using. Second is behavioral training, which enables one to work efficiently with people. When there is a right combination of both and proper reinforcement, people develop great skill-set and they become proficient at their workplace and enjoy their work and when one starts enjoying his or her work, he or she becomes engaged.
What is your advice to employee and organizations to have more engaged employees?
Mr. Sehgal- Develop trust factor is my advice to employees as well as organizations; trust should be from both the sides. Let me share and example with you; If employees working on a project deliver the project as per timeline and with agreed quality level, attendance monitoring system for them need not be applied, it’s a mutual trust, they can work from home or have flexible shift timings, if they complete their deliverables on time with quality input. So trust from both sides would play a great employee engagement tool.