It is imperative to develop generalists who can be plugged into multiple roles: Vivek Rao

It is imperative to develop generalists who can be plugged into multiple roles: Vivek Rao

With the economy in doldrums and a consequent decline in sales and freight volumes, the commercial vehicle (CV) industry, like many others, hasn’t been spared the wrath of COVID-19. What, according to you, are the challenges and opportunities that the ongoing pandemic presents for the CV industry?


The past few quarters have been difficult for the CV industry, and the pandemic-led lockdown could not have been more untimely. However, I believe that a concerted response, both in the short and mid-to-long term, will ensure a hockey-stick recovery. The CV industry must rapidly execute plans to ride the storm in the short term and establish long-term strategies to minimise the potential future impact. Businesses who use this crisis as an opportunity to restructure and reinvent themselves will emerge as winners.


Companies also need greater situational leadership and creativity today to deftly navigate this crisis. Furthermore, there is a need to build differentiated capabilities for building data-driven, agile, and future-ready organisations that will help create long-term value.


Automotive companies need to ensure and review business continuity planning by setting up instant response teams, defining and aligning leaders, building the right skills, reviewing co-working guidelines in critical roles, and measuring, maintaining and supporting supplier stability.


The breadth, depth, and scale of the novel challenges being experienced by HR managers are indeed astounding. What would you say are some of the biggest talent challenges for the CV industry right now? How do the same need to be tackled going forward?


Being a CV manufacturer with a strong focus on productivity, the company always has a challenge of managing its operational cost. Some of the ways in which we are tacking this challenge are:


♦ Moving to an agile work model to improve our efficiencies more speedily than what was planned earlier


♦ Focusing now on how to more effectively use flexible manpower in our manufacturing processes in an unstable market condition


♦ Identifying the increasing opportunities for low-cost automation for better productivity and quality


When it comes to addressing key concerns such as changing business needs and boosting employee morale, what are the vital points that function as an imperative for an organisation in your sector?


The line between personal life and work-life has never been more blurred. The question which then arises is: How can employers help employees maintain work-life boundaries while also ensuring a productive working culture? We are working on redesigning the way business is done in the organisation. Some of the areas are as follows:


♦ We have used this crisis to review our Employee Value Proposition (EVP) offerings and to strengthen the organisation’s caring/connected aspects. We have accordingly launched a virtual engagement framework to deal with the employees’ mental and physical well-being and their re/upskilling.


♦ Learning has moved largely to eplatform, which is heartening. It is very useful as we are experiencing the shift to BS VI norms, and it is important to train all employees, customers, dealers, and third-party employees.


♦ Before, connecting with the customers had to be face-to-face. During the last few months, we have developed e-connect systems, which have helped us connect more with our customers and design our offerings accordingly.


♦ We have shifted to a blended work environment that includes a work-from-home model and have created a digital framework that quickly adapts to the new situation, thereby taking care of business continuity, employee safety, and productivity.


Are there any skill gap concerns that COVID-19 has surfaced for the CV industry?


In order to sustain our learning during the pandemic, we have adapted to newer learning tools. The L&D function across companies in the CV industry is adapting to lead with innovative and rapid digital solutions to engage a dispersed workforce.


The key focus is a multi-skilled and multitasking workforce. No one should be irreplaceable, and in the COVID situation, we have had cases of employees pitching in for colleagues who could not be physically present on the shop floor. Therefore, it is imperative for the business to develop generalists who can be plugged into multiple roles, leading to more efficiencies.


Many organisations plan to adopt a hybrid working model or move at least a chunk of their workforce to permanent remote positions post COVID-19. How viable is continued remote work for employees in the CV industry?


Blended working is the way forward in any industry, and the following points need to be addressed in order to make this successful:


♦ Management training for a blended working model, such that there is objectivity in the assessment of work, dignity and respect in the dealings and interactions, and clarity in communication and expectations, has to be an imperative, considering such a model offers flexibility in the workplace.


♦ Aggressive talent development strategies have to be put in place to ensure that professionals who are at the 90th percentile and above and those who possess the competencies to thrive in an uncertain environment are occupying the key roles to be able to do the catching-up game and leapfrog into the future faster than the others.


♦ Compensation strategy has to help in the aggression expected to be displayed in the market. This strategy has to help retain the right talent, attract the right talent, and get more and more discretionary efforts by the employees.


Follow and connect with us on LinkedInFacebookInstagramTwitter for latest HR news and insights.


0/3000 Free Article Left >Subscribe