In the ‘2020 In Review’ series of the Talent Management Institute (TMI), Mukta Arya, Head of Human Resources–Asia Pacific at Société Générale, explains how the company responded to the pandemic lockdown with ‘bouncing back’ sessions plus support tips and tools for employees. Talent management practices went virtual and aimed at building resilience and a positive spirit in employees.
Mukta: HR has become even more important in supporting mental and physical wellbeing, for which efforts to connect with employees were stepped up through virtual modes. The ‘bouncing back’ sessions focused on the mental wellbeing and resilience of employees, while new assistance programs and tools assured them that support was available when they needed it.
What has been the impact of racial activism on businesses?
Mukta: The awareness of and discussions around diversity and inclusion (D&I) have grown. Employees are more aware of these matters and discuss them on various fora, and call surveys help uncover their thoughts on D&I. Activities and programs by the company still continue, but now with a lot more awareness and interest.
Which challenges and changes did talent management face this year?
Mukta: Work from home was not new to the company, only limited to a few departments and their people. Strong IT infrastructure helped to ensure a smooth, company-wide rollout, and remote work is now a way of life. Delivery processes for flagship programs did not change as much as their mode of delivery did. There were some adaptation troubles but they were sorted out soon, especially with Zoom, Murals, and other tools.
What is the main lesson 2020 gave you?
Mukta: Resilience is important, both as individuals and as a company, to weather different challenges. Also, focus on the positives as that will help to grow in the future.