Tech and IT companies in Bangalore are going all out to mentor young professionals, keep them engaged and churn them into future leaders.
For instance, Akhil Agarwal was in for a surprise when he was asked to be the HR India head of his company for a day. SAP Labs calls this concept ‘In the Spotlight’, wherein managers are provided with an opportunity to become the HR head for a day.
This initiative enables managers to learn the complexities of a senior leadership role.
The selected employee ‘lives the role’, by occupying the office of the HR head and doing all the key activities of the HR head.
“I sat in Bhuvaneswar Naik’s cabin and all enquires that were directed to him came to me. I attended meetings, took decision on behalf of the company. The experience was an eye opener for me.
I learnt a lot about the ways to interact with senior leaders in the company,” says Agarwal, who is a senior development manager at SAP Labs.
In order to shape up leadership skills among employees, companies do not mind allocating important responsibilities to freshers, which otherwise would have been given to veterans.
Happiest Minds, which celebrated its second anniversary recently, gave the entire responsibility of the event, which needed coordination with CEOs and top managers, to a junior employee.
“Of course, we were there to guide him. But we wanted him to handle it on his own. He did a remarkable job,” says Raja Shanmugham, chief people officer, Happiest Minds.
In another popular concept, companies allow their employees to ‘shadow’ a leader. It basically means, one gets to attend important meetings with their boss, have lunch with him, be part of the decisionmaking process, etc.
“What you pick up from the leader is critical. Though one day is not enough to learn from your leader, what is important is to pick up the the way decisions are taken. By spending a day with a great leader, you can learn a lot,” says L Krishnan, president at IMTMA.
He was speaking at an event organized by XIME for the Joy of Giving Week. Students and young professionals will bid for their favourite leader, and the funds raised will be donated in a social cause of the leader’s choice.