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Looking ahead into 2016



Industry experts list 16 things to look forward to in 2016 and 16 practices to leave behind

Palak Bhatia

Things to look forward to:
1. A work environment that is focused on innovation, learning and development;
2. Professionals will be constantly on the lookout for job opportunities that spell a paradigm shift in learning, offer consistent growth and allow them to live their ambitions;
3. Organisations will provide opportunities to employees and frame clear career paths for all talented staff;
4. Focus on providing leadership that is collaborative, consultative and participative.

Things to leave behind:
1. A risk-averse approach and limited communication channels;
2. Don’t change jobs for marginal improvements, superficial benefits, peer pressure or as a habit to get a new kick out of life;
3. Leave behind the old-world ideas of people having to do their time and work for a certain number of years with the right number of grey hair to be given opportunities;
4. Do not micro manage the team.

- Ashwin Shirali, regional HR director, AccorHotels India

Things to look forward to:
5. Keeping every employee engaged will be a priority;
6. Taking care of employees is a must. Things like serving a full lunch at the office so the employees get at least one balanced meal, yoga classes to encourage fitness, etc., go a long way;
7. Believe that every employee can grow to be a VP and give them appropriate opportunities to grow;
8. Everyone, including the founders, needs to be extremely approachable.  

Things to leave behind:
5. Being scared of joining start-ups because they might fail - after all, the experience to be gained is invaluable;
6. Start-ups are notorious for not respecting employee work-life balance; so work towards improving that;
7. Move away from mass hiring and hand-pick everyone you need;
8. People have to put in long hours at times. In such cases, providing the best possible facilities and working environment does help.

- Sana Nayyar, HR head, UrbanClap

Things to look forward to:
9. The aim should be to provide employees with a healthy work atmosphere, so that they appreciate their work rather than dreading it;
10. We should have leaders, not bosses; leaders can cultivate team-oriented environments by creating incentives that reinforce this structure;
11. Companies will support work-life balance with flexible schedules;
12. Companies will adopt innovative ways of hiring.

Things to leave behind:
9. If the environment is too light or casual, it does affect productivity. So, ensuring a professional work environment is key;
10. Keep a check on how many times employees are opting for work- from-home. Employees tend to utilise these benefits too often, hampering the overall productivity;
11. It is often seen that the team has too many differences; everyone voices their thoughts, thus causing chaos. It is essential for the team to have coherence and get the work done;
12. Promoting people internally can prove very successful, but it is important to not switch if they are not seeing success in one department.

- Saurav Kumar, CEO & co-founder, Cube26

Things to look forward to:
13.  Employee engagement should happen through community building on social networks – with the employees, their friends, family and social contacts;
14. Employees should build careers as an interchangeable talent and not remain cocooned as functional experts;
15. 2016 will open up opportunities to work as a people strategist, talent manager, business developer, data cruncher – across functions and sectors;
16. Leadership that walks the talk, is committed for the long run and credible to stakeholders, i.e. the employees and customers, will be on the rise.

Things to leave behind:
13. Events that focus only on eat-drink-be merry-splurge should be avoided; such activities do not create a meaningful workplace;
14. Promotions that enhance designation (and possible pay structure), but do nothing to grow an individual holistically need to be avoided;
15. Working in conventional set-ups as ‘HR with no business vision’ or ‘sales manager with no people strategy’ needs to be left behind;
16. Leadership that's not interested in people development, is siloed and does not leverage organisational opportunities is a no-no.

- Saba Adil, chief people officer, AEGON Life Insurance

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