Volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity have always existed in every business and every function.
New technology comes in and disrupts the markets overnight. New competitors emerge from unexpected corners. In order to operate successfully in a world where everything is fast-moving and complex, leaders often feel they have to run to stay where they are. They are also expected to devise a strategy to manage and mitigate VUCA.
Sudeep Kumar Sen, Vice President, Gi Group India, joined us at our Parichay‒Ask the Expert session to discuss what organisational leaders need to know about VUCA.
Read the edited excerpts below. Want to hear it directly from the expert? Watch the webinar recording.
The concept of VUCA is not new. We deal with it every day. The pandemic only aggravated the situation, so the leaders need to seek answers to these questions in order to deal with it effectively:
How should we deal with VUCA? How predictable is it? How was it handled in the past? Is the strategy relevant today? How can we leverage human capital and technology to handle the situation? After finding the answers, the concerned stakeholders have to patiently and consistently move towards the goal of addressing the challenge, be it volatility, uncertainty, complexity or ambiguity.
Outline a unique strategy to reach the organisational goals. This includes the short-term goal, long-term goal, and investment required for the same. You also need to know how you got to the current position and where you want to go. Once you get started, aim to achieve some progress every day. What's more, you need to simplify the work with technology and assign tasks smartly to maximise productivity.
The overall strategy must be communicated in such a way that people understand it and become committed to it. This is often a challenge. Preliminary and frequent discussions are essential for sustenance and success. People may not always have the time for the same.
After the strategy has been rolled out, progress should be measured with the right processes and tools. No doubt, this is another ordeal. The entire process can be challenging if there are flaws in planning or execution.
Employee engagement is not about tapping everybody every day and asking, Are you happy? Are you fine? It evolves from practices, situations and how communication and execution happen. It is important to ensure that an engagement initiative improves an employee's sense of belongingness and commitment. A committed employee is likely to be more productive. This commitment is also essential to make any engagement initiative successful. Simply put, employee engagement is not a one-way street! It requires the efforts of both employer and employee.
It is a triangle consisting of people, technology and wellness. Organisations should invest in human capital and encourage everybody to rise through the ranks. The second component is technology. The leaders should adopt the right technology, automate processes and maximise efficiency. The third component, wellness, is much more than mental wellness. It is about ensuring holistic wellness and building an ecosystem where everybody feels mentally and physically healthy.
The first step is to create employee buckets based on their expertise and experience. Then they must put together a set of processes to help them realise their dreams, keeping the organisational goals in mind. Monitoring progress for continuous improvement is the next logical step. But it requires the deployment of the right kind of programs and tools. Only then can they gauge the impact and sustainability of the strategy.
Ten years ago, HR quantified only administrative tasks (e.g., Number of people interviewed, onboarded or trained). Now it is a lot more advanced. Analytics is used to calculate the cost of hiring, employees' contribution to the organisation and more.
As the custodian of human capital, HR has now become responsible for employee retention and productivity. Analytics can enable them to draw the right insights for handling these challenges while contributing to the growth of the organisation.
First, we need to understand why it has come to this stage and ensure that it does not get repeated. The next step is to try and retain the person by offering what is possible. Lateral moves, reskilling and wellness programs are some of the ways that can help retain an employee.
Listen to the recording of the entire webinar