Vineet Nayar, CEO of HCL Technologies, a global IT services company headquartered in Noida, India, urged the SHRM audience to treat HR “as an experimental journey,” and to consider follow his example of treating the employee first, the customer second.
Management doesn’t create value, he said. It can only “induce, encourage [and] enable the creation of value by the employees.”
HR leaders, he said, should consider the leadership of Ghandi, MLK and Nelson Mandela. What they did, he said, was create dissatisfaction with today and develop a romance among their followers with tomorrow.
Autocracy doesn’t work, he said. Democratize the workplace. Managers need to be answerable to employees instead of just the other way around. And the result of treating employees first is that customers will be served better.
To create an environment conducive to change, however, requires trust. In his company, Nayar facilitated that trust by providing an environment of 100 percent total transparency. His 360-degree assessment is posted on the company intranet. If an employee asks him a question — and 99 percent of the questions are negative, he said — his answers are sent to all employees. (The questioners must also reveal who they are.)
His $2.3 billion company continues to grow rapidly — without new services, new products, new locations. It’s due to placing trust in his employees.
“Transfer the problem to them. They create magic in the interface of customers and employees,” he said.