Conversation with Dr. Sanjeev Dixit, President-HR, Cadila Pharmaceuticals on Workplace Challenges 2023
Dr. Sanjeev Dixit is loved to be called “IDEAPRENEUR” as he has been growing personally & professionally by creating & executing unconventional and path-breaking IDEAS. He is the acclaimed author of Culture Transformation and Business Impact book PLAN C.
He is a Global HR Leader with more than 25+ years of Strategic Corporate HR & CHRO experience across diversified industries & geographies and achieved Business transformation & growth through Values & Culture alignment & Transformation.
He has worked in different senior roles in Hindalco, Philips, Indorama Jakarta, PepsiCo, Alstom, ABD, Himalaya-Dubai, and is currently President HR in Cadila Pharmaceuticals based in Ahmedabad.
He holds a Doctorate in Human Resources Management & Organization Development from the globally renowned Academy of HRD, Ahmedabad, India. He has also achieved Chartered Fellow from globally acclaimed Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD), UK, and Fellow Certified Practitioner in Human Resources from Australian Human Resources Institute.
Q- What do you realize are the workplace challenges in 2023 and will then become the new talent force trends in 2023 & beyond?
The entire world is becoming digital and so is the workplace this is the reality that any organization across sectors across geographies cannot ignore. Now one has to manage and adapt to reality. I think while this entire transition is going on, there are various challenges related to this transition management.
2023 will be year of New Paradigm shifts Adaptability to Unconventional approaches and aggressive speed to acquire Agility and Resilience as Leadership competence & style which will be the deciding factors of either pulling or pushing the diversified Talents.
1- First things first, like employees, employers & enterprises have to re-align and redefine the entire convention of workplace definition and it will not be like pure office working and pure work from home but very near to hybrid/unconventional which is a mix of both and also giving flexibility to employees to choose between both in a balanced manner. Dogmatic enterprises with primitive “X theory of Motivation” types who believe in insisting and coercing employees to work only from office will significantly loose its Enterprise Value proposition and will artificially manage their workforce retention as people with compulsion will only work in such organizations and continue to leave as and when better opportunities arise.
2- In line with the above, a significant shift in the proposition of Best Employers or Most admired employers, etc will happen and all conventions of Employer Branding will be replaced by Experience Branding. Good quality talented workforce will look for enterprises and leadership which are providing consistent positive experience through inspired leadership and providing entrepreneurial and developmental ecosystem to thrive and grow holistically.
3-Days of old-school conventionalcompanies are numbered, which only believe in having a strategy to grow and executing the same to achieve results (Plan A), andothers whoare only driven by the factor of having detailed and comprehensive backup risk mitigation and management plan (Plan B). In 2023 & beyond, enterprises and leadership which are driven by role modelling of progressive and inspirational behaviors to build an environment that enables all strategies and systems to be successfully leveraged will only flourish, thrive, and remain relevant besides becoming companies that will pull significant talent. These are PLAN C organizations as they are only invested in building agile and resilient culture which creates enabling ecosystem for everyone working and associated with such organizations & leadership
4- Productivity measurement yardsticks will also have paradigm shifts as no longer number of days spent at office or work from home will be proportionate to performance as most old age enterprise still believe but it will all about achievement of SMART individual and Team targets which will also be set every quarter and not annually as dynamics of performance management at workplace will also undergo sea change looking at the fast-changing variables of business environment & context which will focus on higher performance linked to pay (40-50% of total compensation) paid again quarterly.
5- Without getting into the ethical or unethical debate on the terms like moonlighting or sun-lighting, trend of talent pursuing multiple assignments and projects to productively utilize his/her time with more remuneration for his value-added services will be there. It is the reformed version of GIG working and early enterprise adapt to it and create environment and guidelines to leverage it rather than counter it will be sane and productive. Enterprises needed to engage with Talent in much more open and transparent manner and except not negotiating on bigger issue of significant conflict of interest like IPR & tress passing on confidential information, prudently and pragmatically accepting the new trend will only recourse to adapt and manage it.
6- Enterprise can’t be defensive about Talent attrition but in 2023 need to focus on providing value added experience much more than before as retention will be directly linked to higher talent engagement on account of new learning, critical business exposure, upskilling of role-relevant competence and finally culture of experimentation and toying unconventional and new ideas of working. Flexi working and Work from anywhere till you deliver your performance goals & targets will not be even matter of discussion as it will be given. Outdated Enterprises that have an allergy to such topical practices will live with mediocre & below average loyal talent not necessarily meritocratic and superlative in performance delivery. The biggest risk of such outdated organizations and mindsets will be very superfluous and incoherent performance achieved to do window dressing and secure jobs.
7- Diversity & Inclusion of the workforce will much more relevant and highly imperative for enterprise’s sustainability as engagement of retired but highly competent workforce along with women on sabbatical, failed startups talent, and project-based Gig and Niche expert talents will be in high demand which will challenge but refine the talent demand and supply dynamics across globe and entire alignment of enterprise’ leadership and people practices needed to be circumspect about it while making Business and Talent scalable strategy.
8- Enterprises that are progressive in their practices on Environment Social Governance with a high focus on green technologies, social sustainability initiatives, and having simple and transparent policies will pull talents from Organization that have multiple SOPs on paper but have very poor implementation and zero belief on such practices ( only lip service)
Q- Is fulfillment more imperative than engagement or job satisfaction? What are the Key factors that influence fulfillment?
To me, Fulfillment is a philosophy of high quality, mature and institutionalized version of employees’ glue (connect/engagement) to his/her workplace, team, manager, stakeholders, external partners, and finally to each and every touch points of work-life elements. Fulfillment to my mind is achieved when head, heart, body & soul in true sense is connected to workplace elements of enterprise e.g. Leadership’s vision, execution of vision through inclusive & engaged execution, role modelling of inspired behaviors by most influential people led to building of progressive work culture based on mutual respect, trust and values-oriented consistent action.
Organization’s leadership should first focus on building connect and positive engagement with their talent workforce as without first level of engagement and connect, we will only be stuck on semantics of whether we are achieving fulfillment or engagement. In a well-knitted family, we are not concerned about terms like satisfaction, engagement, commitment, or fulfillment but these outputs are organically & gradually achieved with focus on inputs and process of personal touch using hi-tech technology like Artificial Intelligence, BOT, big data, analytics etc.
Q- What do you anticipate Great Resignation and attrition in 2023?
As mentioned in my previous response, it is absolutely waste to be obsessed and defensive about Great Talent attrition as it will remain there for long as entire perspective of work & life has got different meaning post significant amount of human loss during pandemic and now work & money earned out of that is just a mean to achieve the end of living and leading a healthy and long life along with family which was not the case pre-pandemic and that time boundaries between Work & Life got blurred and work become life and life become work but now it is no longer that way, old school enterprise want to accept or not but it doesn’t matter as nobody cares.
Now talent will only like to choose organization where they see significant opportunity to add value to their professional and personal needs as today and tomorrow’s talent work philosophy will be “Work is part of life and not entire Life” so 08-10 hours are only work time and rest is time to live life with family, vocation, hobbies, interests and fulfilling engagement.
Q- How do you see the rise of Gig Economy and its future in 2023?
Already explained that Gig Talent workforce will be the trend that will grow exponentially across the globe including India and all these hyped discussions on “Moonlighting’ and “Sun lighting” will have no standing as it will remain in the realm of intellectual and corner room’s talk.
Till there is no major conflict of interest and significant compromise of Intellectual property rights, enterprise, and their pseudo-righteous leadership need to take a chill pill and sniff oxygen multiple times (basically breathing exercise) to relax and manage, leverage and productivity utilize the talent trend and make use of it productively and pragmatically. In the next five years, the Gig talent workforce will be almost equal to conventional talent workforce believe it or not.
Thank you, Dr. Sanjeev!