HR Association of XIM University hosts their annual flagship HR Symposium’ 21, with stellar success.

by Priya Bharti

Bhubaneshwar: Based on the theme, “Post Pandemic Hybrid workforce Model: Opportunities, Challenges and the way forward”. The event started with the lighting of the lamp, followed by a welcome note by Dr. Mousumi Padhi, Assistant Professor of School of Human Resource Management, XIM University (New Campus), Odisha. Dr. Padhi shed light on the hybrid workforce model followed that gained prominence during the pandemic. She emphasized that, in light of changing circumstances and a paradigm shift in employee thinking, HR practitioners must use holistic metrics and ensure workforce model flexibility. She also talked about the importance of policies and laws in ensuring smooth functioning in the hybrid model, focusing on the balance between digital overload and wellness.

Prof Fr. E.A. Augustine, S.J, Registrar, XIM University, Odisha, delivered the inaugural address. Amongst many invigorating ideas, Prof. Fr. Augustine talked about the power of choice, safety, and hygiene in the pandemic context. He also highlighted the need for global policymaking and shared culture in regard to the hybrid workforce model. Finally, he spoke about “Business for inclusive growth” (B for IG) collated by OECD and how it helps in organizational development.

The address was followed by the National Anthem, post which the Panel Discussions took place. The symposium was divided into two sub-topics, and the event saw avid HR leaders discussing ideas and practices on the same.

The topic for the first panel was “Towards a performance-driven hybrid workplace: Revisiting the HR practices in the post-pandemic era”. The eminent speakers of the 1st Panel were –


1. Ms. Reena Tyagi, Chief Human Resource Officer – Manipal Cigna Health Insurance Company Ltd., shared insights on the transition to the hybrid workforce model. She talked about the quick and smooth transition to the work from a home model and the factors contributing to its successful implementation. Further, she shared her observations on how digital mindset has gained attention as a competency required in HR managers and employees. She concluded by sharing the importance of competent leadership during crisis management and its impact on the organization.

2. Mr. Sarajit Poddar, Global People Analytics Leader, Group People Analytics & Digital Solutions-Ericsson. He addressed the topic of discussion from an organization’s standpoint. In which he talked about the shift from people as an asset to people as value drivers, moving towards an agile workforce. He highlighted an initiative called “ Ericsson on the move” which is a culture-building workshop. He further discussed the analytics standpoint and how it can be used to make projections about future workforce models. He concluded with re-strategizing the workforce deployment model and employee sourcing from across the globe.

3. Ms. Mitali Chaudhuri, Senior Director & Head Talent Management- Capgemini started the talk by discussing how rethinking the talent hiring strategy is important. Further, she talked about a cyber security threats, and how to reboot the HR process and the entire employee lifecycle. She also focused on the policies such as preventing women employee burnout by providing child assistance programs, money for family exigencies which helped the employees make a smooth transition. Towards the end, she talked about building resilience for new HR professionals in the new VUCA world.

The Panel 1 discussion was moderated by Dr. Subhra Pattnaik, Assistant Professor, School of Human Resource Management, XIM University. Post the panel discussion; the moderator opened the platform for a Q&A session.

Followed by the first session, The topic for discussion in Panel 2 was “Leveraging Technology to engage and motivate the hybrid workforce”. The panel comprised of-

1. Ms. Geeta Naresh, Head Talent Acquisition, PepsiCo (Global Business Services) was the first speaker in the panel, she kept the session interactive by conducting a small activity to highlight the idea of “Digital Fatigue” she further discussed workforce norms and practices pre-and post-pandemic. Finally, she talked about Culture and its 4Cs namely, collaboration, creation, celebration, connection, and how they strengthen employee engagement.

2. Mr. Mino Thomas, Director, Head of Talent Acquisition & Staffing, Adobe, enlightened the students with two philosophy vectors, namely, assimilation of culture and empathy in business conduct, the speaker also gave some examples of how Adobe leverages technology to implement these philosophies in various steps of the employee lifecycle.

3. Mr. Rituraj Sar, VP & Head-L&D, Lupin Ltd laid an elaborate description of the workforce in the current scenario. Some insights included employees’ need for choice, a shift from loyalty factor to interest factor, and employees increased appetite for adventure in terms of exciting projects, new geographies, marketplace, etc. He also mentioned some initiatives like the self-health check app and in-house search engine that can help increase employee engagement through motivation and help assuage their need for recognition.

4. Mr. Sanjay Srivastava Director Boehringer Ingelheim opened his discussion by saying that “There are decades when nothing happens and there are weeks when decade happens”. He shared instances of his observation in relevance to the pandemic. Mr. Srivastava discussed changes in work, workforce, and workplace and how employers should ensure they provide a psychological safety net to employees. He talked about how companies are now building a talent marketplace and emphasized the need to customize employee experience, aided by technological innovations.

The Panel 2 discussion was moderated by Dr. Lalatendu Kesari Jena, Assistant Professor, School of Human Resource Management, XIM University. Post the panel discussion, students of the HRM batch interacted with speakers through the Q&A session.

Finally, the Symposium was concluded with a vote of thanks by Ishaa Uttam, Coordinator, XIMAHR, School of Human Resource Management, XIM University, where she extended her gratitude to the Vice-Chancellor, Registrar, speakers, moderator, faculty members, and everyone who contributed to its smooth functioning and flawless execution.

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