The culture has an impact. But there are a few policies that are universal and there are a few that could be adapted and customized according to the culture of a nation. Compliance, ethics, need for treating an employee with dignity etc are universal and remain consistent across the globe. Things like recognition, employee engagement, etc have a cultural influence. Even global organizations need to understand this and must align their identity with the culture of a particular nation.
In India, the need for employers to take care of the aspirations and demands of employees is much broader than what we think of it in the US. Also, various things that we need to do to be seen as an employer of choice might be different in different countries. HR professionals must ensure that they do not follow a one size fits all kind of a practice.
HR must be innovative and to remain innovative, they have to be change leaders. HR must understand the business and the implications of the workforce. Technology is the key enabler for HR professionals and equipping HR with tools and systems for improving processes and systems will definitely help them not to get bogged down by the tactical transactional issues in the system and will make them more effective to concentrate on building talent, leading change and engaging employees.
Collaboration allows you to understand things and diminishes appreciation differences. One should not follow a top down culture and must modify the corporate culture according to various national cultures where one’s business operates in.
In terms of change, the manufacturing and engineering sector is on a high growth mode. Along with the growth, we are witnessing changes in employee expectations too. Now, even engineers want flexi-working hours and options for telecommuting etc. Even employers understand that their employees need flexibility and are modifying several people practices to accommodate the changing employee aspirations. But the manufacturing sector is a little slow in terms of changes as work conditions here are different and there are shifts and the requirements and demands of the industry are also different.
There are number of ways through which D&I can support India’s economic development: a) women’s economic empowerment and their ability to impact the society – without this, you will be losing a wealth of economic output (50 per cent of your country is female). Research also shows that women reinvest – 90 per cent of their income goes back to family and community (compared to 30-40 per cent from men), b) cross cultural working as India continues to successfully emerge. Corporate India faces the same challenges as all other global organizations being able to effectively and productively work. Cross culturally and intergenerational working 50 per cent of people in India are under the age of 25. This could be a huge power or a huge chain in the future.
There is clearly a focus on D&I with several organizations, which is manifested in the increasing numbers of female.
Leaders seen in professionally managed companies. Several firms in India are focused groups and teams with leadership, sponsorship dedicated to D&I which is a great start.
One big challenge that all companies have is the presence of unconscious bias. We all have to process so much information in any one day that we need to rely on what we have seen and learnt previously. However, when it comes to people decisions, web need to be aware of this bias and the way we tend to stereotype so that we can assess our talent accurately.
Every single person is unique. So, organizations should be aiming to achieve an inclusive culture, thus creating a level playing field that supports everybody.
It is often, too easy to neglect having a focus on disability for a number of reasons. Many disabilities are not obvious and if they are not declared the organization won’t be aware of them. Organization are often concerned that accessibility adjustments will be onerous and/or expensive and managers are often concerned that they will do or say the wrong thing or that managing a disabled person will be too challenging. —