From managing scales for organization with an employee base of 35,000 people to impacting critical business metrics around people engagement, Sriram gathers wealth of experience across all critical functions of HR/Human Capital Engine.
He is a Performance and Leadership Coach and has led teams in organizations like Deloitte Consulting, Deutsche Bank with 18 years of experience across industries and geographies in the Talent and OD space.
In this episode of The CEO Series, Sriram shares with us how his management style evolved throughout his career, and how he envisions HR in 10 years from now. We hope you enjoy his insights!
What initiative(s) are you most excited about?
We are currently working on redesigning our Talent Management Framework. We are building it ground up and as a follow up to our 5-year Corporate Strategy Refresh. The exciting part is that HR has been at the center of all of this. Over & above, there is a top-down approach we are taking in introducing a balanced scorecard approach. Not only would this ensure a top-down alignment, but the design will ensure that there is a cross-functional alignment, thereby pushing functions across the organization to help each other succeed. Last but not the least, our dream is to make this a predictive model, by the way of integrating all employee data available i.e. – Employee engagement data, appraisal data, leadership assessments etc.
What’s your favorite part of your job? Least favorite part?
What excites me the most about my job is my team and how we articulate the impact we deliver to the business. I don’t really have a least favorite part – I really do love everything about my job currently.
What was your first role In HR?
HR happened by accident, and I am glad that it did – ‘coz staying in it has been a very conscious choice. My first role in HR was with General Electric (GE), where I joined their training team back in 2000-2001, and have never looked back since.
What advice would you give someone just starting out in their career?
Compelling Question – Not sure if it’s an advice, but I’d guide them to say 2 things. One – don’t be in a rush to start out, especially today – where one can make a career literally out of everything. Times have changed so much and it’s heartening to see the world open to accepting a multitude of talent as a career. How many boys growing about a 100 years ago would have thought that they would make a fortune by the way of dishing out some delicacies from their cooking pan? Building on that, my 2nd point would be to find what you love and stick to it. A great example of this is Walt Disney – the founder almost lost all of what we had more than once, only to be where he is today – they hold the record for winning the maximum number of Grammy’s at 32 awards. By the way of finding and sticking to what you love (as a career), for the one you would never feel its work, and for the other success will find you wherever you go, rather than it being the other way round.
From your experience, what would you say is the main goal/role of Human Resources within a business?
I would say 2 things – articulation of the business impact that great people practices bring and being future ready to re-articulate and drive an organizational culture.
Point 1 is important, especially in today’s scenario where the lack of an impactful value proposition, would get you nowhere – it’s true of individuals and of organizations at a larger scale. 71% of the organizations studied in the 2017 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends, see Data Analytics as a ‘Very Important’ lever to business performance success.
Similarly, in an age where the millennial population would form a 70-80% of the workforce in the very near future, it becomes important for organizations to re-examine some of their paradigms. HR I believe plays a very important role in shaping these organization paradigms,
How do you envision HR in say 10 years and what role do you see it PLAYING?
In line with what I articulated above. HR needs to focus on analytics and helping organizations be become ‘future ready’.
How has your management style evolved throughout your career, and how has that evolution impacted your career?
The biggest shift that has happened to me over the years is to realize that the only way to manage people and the world around you, is by managing yourself. Our ability to influence other beyond a point is finite. But to work on making yourself is an infinite journey. The more I have strived to get better each day, the more it has helped me to contribute to being invested in other people’s success.
Can you tell us a bit about a crucial moment where a mentor provided you a great perspective?
This happened almost 10 years ago, where I was aspiring to transition to a Sr. Manager level in MphasiS, an HP company. Upon being denied a promotion there, my then manager told me something that’s stayed with me always ‘Sometimes you’ve got to pause and allow life to catch up with you’. To date, that adage helps me bring back my focus on to myself – to work on making myself better and allow for the results to follow.
What three experiences would you recommend to an emerging HR leader who aspires to be in your shoes one day?
- Look for articulating the business value in everything you do, relentlessly
- Invest yourself in other people’s success – for a train engine’s capability is only as strong as the number of carriages it can pull with it
- Articulate your brand, and back it up with actions in every engagement you make, every single day
Thank you Sriram
About Sriram Rajan
Sriram Rajan, Head of Organization Development at SIG Combibloc Obeikan. The second largest player globally in ‘Aseptic `packaging’.
With 18 years of experience across industries and geographies in the Talent & OD space, he has led teams in organizations like Deloitte Consulting, Deutsche Bank & HP.
From managing scales for organizations with an employee base of 35,000 people, to impacting critical business metrics around people engagement, Sriram has a wealth of experience across all critical functions of the HR/ Human Capital Engine… Continue reading