Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon, organized the Great Lakes HR Conclave, based on the theme "Millennials and the Evolving Work Environment", at Le Méridien Gurgaon on 9th August, 2019. The keynote speakers were Ms. Niti Khosla, Global Lead – People Analytics and Business Impact, Novartis International, Basel, Switzerland, and Dr. Manoj Varghese, former Director (HR), Asia Pacific, Google, and former Director (Operations), Facebook India.
The event started with an introductory note by Dr. Debashis Sanyal, Director, Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon. He said that in today's complex world, organizations should be more proactive and adaptive towards the changing environment. He also spoke about how the institution is striving to make its students relevant to the industry through innovative learning methods and real time industry exposure.
Mr. Mohan Lakhamraju, Vice-Chairman and CEO of Great Lakes Institute of Management, also Founder and CEO of Great Learning, spoke about the journey of Great Lakes, Gurgaon, till now, beginning with the very first batch of just 30 students to being the youngest B-Schools in India to receive the AMBA accreditation. He also thanked the excellent faculty members who deliver quality education to the students. In addition to that, he talked about how Great Learning is now the country's largest e-learning platform.
Ms. Niti Khosla delivered the first keynote, speaking about different traits millennials show and how motivation has another definition for the millennials. She even gave a hint that very soon the rating system of the appraisal process will be replaced by frequent feedback, awards and recognitions. This is to match-up with the expectations of millennials. She stated that nowadays it's not relevant whether you come to the office or not as long as the work is being delivered effectively and efficiently. In this era of Gen-Y, balance in life through flexibility is very important. She went on further to say that organisations should make the source of learning extremely accessible to the employees, make learning mobile, introduce awards and recognition system to keep the millennials engaged. She concluded by saying that, money can't provide the kind of motivation that empathy and patience can. So, it is very important to communicate feedback in the way it is supposed to be and keep the agenda clear and transparent.
Ms. Niti's keynote address was followed by the first panel discussion on the topic "Managing Millennial Motivations". The panellists were Mr. Piyush Mehta, CHRO, Genpact; Mr Nishit Jain, EVP & Head, Premium Banking and NRI Business, IndusInd Bank; Mr Ravi Parmeshwar, CHRO, ReNew Power; Mr Udayan Dutt, Global HR Director, Corporate Functions & Category, Health & CHQ, RB; and Ms. Niti herself, along with the Moderator, Dr. Poornima Gupta, Associate Professor, Great Lakes, Gurgaon. The discussion began by pointing out the changes that have been impacting businesses the most in terms of the behaviour of the millennials. Technology, speed and purpose now have a profound impact on the working of an individual. The choices have increased for the millennials these days, and they strive for achieving the best with a very low tolerance level. So, the work environment has to evolve accordingly. Small successes of short target and regular rigorous feedback turn out to be highly motivating. Millennials are extremely concerned about whether they are involved in the decision-making process by the organisation or not, and the degree of involvement in decision making is very important to them. The panel discussion ended on the realisation that millennials have high risk-taking ability.
After the first panel discussion, it was now time for the 2nd keynote speaker, Dr. Manoj Varghese to deliver his keynote. In his address, he touched several points related to the physiological and psychological factors which are affecting the millennial minds. He named the millennials as a Technology-Intertwined generation, as technology makes them see the world differently. He pointed out how we have shifted from a central, hierarchal, delayed processing system to a distributed, smart and robust processing systems. He also stated that we need to focus on implementing advancements at the workplace, keeping in mind the kind of working environment needed by the millennials. According to him, although FOMO, Ringing Syndrome, lack of sleep and low attention span are making the millennials impatient and anxious, at the same time it is observed that millennials are excellent in visuospatial attention and also an increased cognitive flexibility. He concluded by saying that keeping all these in mind, technology can be the best used to get this Gen-Y to perform extraordinarily by implementing transparency in feedback and collaboration.
This keynote was followed by the discussion on the topic "Navigating the Technology-Impacted Workplace" by the second panel. This panel included Ms. Anuranjita Kumar, MD (HR), RBS Bank; Mr. Rahul Ghatak, Co-Founder & Director, Acumetric Global Solutions; Ms. Madhavi Lall, MD & Head (HR), India, Deutsche Bank; Mr Nanjappa B S, Vice President (HR), Infosys Ltd.; and Mr. Manoj, with the moderator Dr. Bappaditya Mukhopadhyay, Professor, Great Lakes, Gurgaon. The discussion began with deciding where an organisation should have focus on in modern times, where technology is playing a vital role. It is necessary to have an agile workspace with recreational facilities which attracts the millennials. The panellists made an analogy by saying that as one size doesn't fit all, an organisation should become more cognitive and agile to the different sets of talent it hires, and millennials appreciate this behaviour. Fundamentally, these millennials want to grow faster in the Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and achieve more in a short period. As per the panel, from an aspirations' point of view, there is not much difference seen among Gen-X and Gen-Y. However, it has been identified that the diversity of people in a particular team affects the business in a better way. Also, they mentioned that risk-taking can lead you to either success or failure and at the end, it is in fact the attitude with which you deal with each one of this that makes an individual grow career-wise. The discussion came to an end with the point that the institutions should prepare the students well by providing them real-time and agile environment through experiential learning, more than anything else so that they can actively adapt in the technology-impacted workplace.