HRs in the Loop - A conversation with Tanvi Saxena

Documented interview of Tanvi Saxena on employee engagement, challenges for HRs in 2020 & much more. A must-read.
January 4, 2021

Tanvi Saxena is a senior HR professional with more than 9 years of experience in Talent Acquisition & Management. She is currently working at Bizongo as a Senior Talent Acquisition Manager & is looking after acquiring top management talent for the organization. She has a keen interest in employee wellness, so we got into a discussion about employee engagement, employee well-being & much more. Here are the excerpts from the discussion:

Hello & welcome Tanvi, please tell us a little about your own HR story & the journey you took to reach where you are today?

Thanks for reaching out. 
Sure. I started my career with TCS after completing my PGDM from IMT Nagpur. There I was working as a consultant. From there I moved on to CapitalVia, a fintech based organization. Initially, I was responsible for performance management, then I moved into managing recruitment & finally ended up being the head of HR for the organization. When I joined CapitalVia it was a startup but when I left it was around an 800 employee organization. From there, I moved to CCA International, a London based PPO & outsourcing specialist organization. There I had the role of Talent advisory. Post that, I returned to India & joined Bizongo. I am with them for the last two years, looking after the complete Talent Acquisition process for them. Here I started with leadership hiring & now have taken up the responsibility of tech hiring as well. 

That's quite an inspiring & rich work experience. Drawing from your experience, it would be delightful to hear your take on Employee engagement & its importance to the organizations?

Employee engagement has changed over the years. If we look a little further back then traditionally, it just used to be about conducting activities in the organization for the employees to have fun. But now it has become a lot more mature. In the current state, employee engagement is not only focusing on motivation. Employees are also now responsible for their motivation, so organizations are now going ahead & focusing more on their career development. They are realizing that employee engagement is beneficial for them since they can get more out of their employees, as the organizational setup is also a little lean nowadays. Focusing more on efficiency & being productive rather than only generating volume. Similarly, employees also mimic this expectation. If they are putting in 8-10 hours of the day working for the organization then they also expect something valuable in return, instead of only usual engagement activities & their salaries.

What are your views on employee Health benefits & wellness? How does it aid in both short & long term organizational goals?

In my opinion, it is one of the most important benefits. I’ve been a part of talent acquisition & over the years, I have witnessed that during the whole process with a prospective candidate, this the question that always comes up.  Even in the current scenario with the covid situation, it has become imperative to provide good health benefits. Healthcare has become so expensive & there is no replacement to the feeling of your organization backing you up with good health benefits at times of a health emergency. It plays a very important role & for a lot of employees bad health benefits can be a deal-breaker. 

There has been a lot of focus on the physical health of employees by their organizations, but mental health is something that is often ignored. We are starting to witness that organizations are now starting to focus on it too. What is your take on this topic?

Yes. Organizations need to focus on the mental health of their employees, especially in these evolving times. We also had a tie-up with ‘Cult’ for the mental as well as the physical well-being program for our employees. Although it is very important from the employee perspective, looking at it from an organizational POV, taking initiative in this matter is slightly difficult. Specifically in current times since all of us are working remotely, so to get them engaged through a third-party is a bit challenging. That’s what we found in our experience but I am sure there are others out there who have cracked this issue. 

This pandemic has made significant changes in the workplace & the roles and responsibilities of HRs. Which changes do you think have worked in favor of HRs & which are the ones that you would like to bid farewell to?

Speaking from a talent acquisition POV, more or less the situation remains the same. Before the pandemic the whole process involved overseas candidates, therefore, we had to connect via virtual networking for interviews & other steps in the process. One thing that worked well was increasing more connectivity within the different teams in India. We have offices in Bangalore, Gurgaon & Mumbai, with Mumbai being the HQ. So, we were able to include Bangalore & Gurgaon teams more into our organizational processes & it was easier for them to become a part of various decisions. What proved to be difficult was feedback conversations or appraisal-related discussions because it works very well when you meet in person. 

Lastly, please tell us if you have any message or quote to share with other HRs who are looking forward to caring for their employees by engaging via various methods?

I would just say that 2020 has been a challenging year but it has introduced newer ways to engage with your team. Ensure that you use the influx of these new tools & technology to increase the engagement.

Thank you, Tanvi for your time & these wonderful insights. We wish you the best in all your future endeavors. 

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