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Mr.Sushil Kumar Srivastava, HR Head, TPDDL

14 May 2015

‘There is no magic recipe to motivate individuals’

Human resource is vital to any company’s growth. Creating a viable and effective HR strategy for the organization, retaining talent and keeping employees motivated, is quite a challenging task. Sushil Kumar Srivastava has been doing all this in TPDDL since 2007. He spoke to InfralinePlus on the challenges on HR front and the talent availability in the sector. Excerpts...

Given the high degree of responsiveness people in distribution and transmission sector need to show, how difficult is to keep employees motivated all the time. What all techniques / methods does TDDPL employ to keep the alertness alive?

A successful organization can generally trace its success to motivated employees. The same can very easily be said for Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited. However, motivating people can be difficult; there are no magic formulas or programs to motivate individuals. Motivation is also personal. While one employee may appreciate time off, the next may enjoy new challenges. The basic rule is to discover what our employees want and create a way to give it to them or encourage them to earn it. People are motivated by interesting work, challenge, and increasing responsibility. These intrinsic factors answer people’s deep-seated need for growth and achievement and that’s what we at Tata Power Delhi Distribution do. The number one need is to spot good talent, get them on board and keep them engaged.

The company is committed not just to provide world class services to its consumers but also focusses on framing employee friendly HR policies that contributes to high engagement levels amongst its workforce which enhances productivity and fosters a harmonious and caring work environment. We offer our employees a culture of openness, accessibility to top management and encourage engagement of employees’ families.

There seem to be mushrooming of professional institutes / colleges in energy sector. What is the quality of talent available in the country vis a vis other developed / developing countries?

Indicating acute shortage of skilled workforce, India has been ranked 78th globally in terms of talent competitiveness of its human capital in a list of 93 countries -- compiled by INSEAD business school in partnership with Adecco and Human Capital Leadership Institute of Singapore (HCLI).

Despite being the largest regional economy, India (78th) ranks fourth amongst its peers, and also happens to be the lowest-ranked BRICS economy.

However, as compared to western economies where there is a burden of an ageing population, India has a unique 20–25 years window of opportunity called the “demographic dividend.” It means that as compared to other large developing and developed countries, India has a higher proportion of working age population vis-à-vis its entire population.

In India, about 12 million people join the workforce each year comprising highly skilled (constitute a minuscule part), skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled work force.

India is expected to have the largest workforce in the world by 2025, with around 2 billion English-speaking people by the end of 2020. Within the same period, India has the potential to have a surplus of around 47 million skilled workers through its skill development program, while countries across the world are expected to witness a shortage of around 56.5 million skilled workers.

Tell us something about Employability / about in-house training programs.

Responsible businesses are playing a role in helping young people, to acquire the skills they need to develop their careers. Employees aren’t satisfied with just a degree, they want to develop skills and achievements that boost their attractiveness as a potential employee.Organizations today want employees who not just add value to their business, but also have the skills to help to transform their organization in the face of continuous and rapid economic and technological change. Keeping in view employees’ aspirations Tata Power-DDL focuses on growth & development of its employees through various Learning & Development avenues.

Tata Power-DDL’s effective training system focuses on learning & development needs of the workforce, enhancing intellectual capital resulting in comprehensive employee development. Tata Power-DDL strives to encourage employees to upgrade their knowledge & competencies to grow with the changing business scenarios and ever demanding & competitive environment. All in-house trainings are carried out at CENPEID, the in-house Training Centre of TPDDL’, where trainings are conducted by internal experts and through domain experts invited from premier technical and management institutes and industry.

Employees are encouraged to improve their educational and professional qualification by sponsoring employees for Higher Education Programs, giving suitable incentives, Sabbatical etc.

Multiple learning opportunities are created for employees - Competency based programs, Focused group training programs, Theme based lectures, Reachout training programs, Customer Centricity enhancement for customer facing positions, high value training programs, development of promoted employees and high-pots, Mentoring by Sr. Leadership and many more.

What kind of industry exposure does TPDDL offers to students of various professional courses?

The objective of TPDDL’s Summer & Winter internship process is twofold. While we encourage students to learn from practical exposure, the interns too bring fresh perspectives, ideas and energy to the organization. The work area for these interns may vary from generic exposures, overview of operational activities to extensive research based, benchmarking projects and more. Students who join us are given projects in their areas of interest and our mentored by our distributed leaders.

What is the employee mix in TDDPL i.e. Indian nationals v/s foreign. Have you noticed any perceptible difference between work ethics of Indians and foreign nationals?

A diverse workforce in an organization with an inclusive culture makes the organization more innovative, agile, and attuned to the needs of customers. Infact, Organizations that want to thrive in today’s world will need to have employees and managers, who are aware of, and skilled in, dealing with diversity and believe in inclusion.

Tata Power DDL recognizes that diversity is a business imperative today. Talent shortage has been a prime driver for organizations to actively seek diverse talent, and one of the largest under-represented groups that organizations have tapped has been women.

Our objective: by 2020 we intend to double the current figure of 115,000 women in a total employee workforce of 540,000 across Tata Group and second, is to groom and develop 1,000 women leaders in the group.

What is the attrition rate in TDDPL as against the industry?/p>

With the heightened demand for transparency and workforce mobility, building a culture within the organization that meets the expectations of the employees is absolutely necessary. Culture is a driving factor for many employers and employees. Most importantly, it is integral to employee engagement & retention.

Our objective is to ensure there is a culture of strong bonding between the people and the company, and ensure that the culture is carried forward, in consonance with the Group’s ethos and this in turn ensures that our employees don’t leave us.