If you are a middle manager, chances are that at some point you have felt or will feel trapped in your career. You will wish for somebody experienced and senior to guide you and show you the way ahead. In a personal log, an assistant general manager working at Infosys admits how he struggled for six years to reach the executive council of the company. After 15 years of working in different functions including sales, delivery and marketing at multiple locations, he did experience ample success. However, he felt as if he grew only to end up feeling trapped in a cage!
So, do companies realise what their middle managers are going through? We know that PayU certainly does. In fact, the Company has taken steps to help its middle managers overcome this issue.
Recently, the payment solutions company, with more than 2000 employees globally, launched a mentorship programme, as part of its Gurucool Initiative 2.0. Through this initiative, the CXOs and other senior leadership team members are mentoring employees on various leadership aspects.
Ashish Chattoraj, CHRO, PayU India, shares with HRKatha that the Company strongly believes in building talent and developing leaders internally. Its Gurucool 2.0 initiative gives an opportunity to employees to seek direct mentorship from their senior leaders. Employees can pick their mentees themselves. After creating a batch of 10-12 people, leaders conduct mentee sessions with the participants. The sole objective of this programme is to let employees obtain advice and support on their career or anything else they want. “Gurucool 2.0 creates a platform for employees to network with the senior leadership team at PayU. The programme helps the mid-level managers to climb further up the ladder, by learning from the senior leadership team at PayU and gaining inspiration from them,” says Chattoraj.
“We had not intentionally rolled out this mentorship programme for mid-level managers alone, but it has witnessed more participation and enrolments from this very group at PayU”
Ashish Chattoraj, CHRO, PayU India
Though the Company had not intentionally rolled out this mentorship programme for mid-level managers alone, it has witnessed more participation and enrolments from this very group at PayU, reveals Chattoraj.
Participants are free to learn whatever they want to from their mentors, be it technical skills or other soft skills, which are vital for becoming leaders.
The senior leadership team at PayU schedules such mentoring sessions virtually, with around 10-12 employees in the batch, every six months.
With this new mentoring programme, PayU has further strengthened its agenda of growing talent and leaders internally. “For PayU, growing talent has always remained at the core of its talent-management strategy,” shares Chattoraj.
As we are aware, tech talent is very expensive and companies being compelled to train and develop them internally even more expensive. As per Chattoraj, from AI and ML to cybersecurity, each skill in the tech domain is important for PayU now. Only having top-notch tech talent is not enough for PayU. It wants its employees to grow as leaders in their respective fields and take up more important and strategic roles in the Company. “We want our tech leaders to have people-management abilities and other vital skills, such as negotiation,” reveals Chattoraj.
PayU’s talent-development strategy follows a 70:30 formula for learning. “PayU’s talent development happens through 70 per cent on-the-job learning and 30 per cent theoretical learning,” shares Chattoraj.
Under the 30 per cent theoretical training, the employees get to access various learning modules, virtually, from ‘My Academy’, and upgrade their skills.
To further enhance the leadership capabilities of its leaders, PayU does have leadership executive coaching and a 360-degree feedback system to evaluate the learning gaps at the leadership level.
Also, to get apt analytics and data on learning or any other people processes, the Company has AI at the core of everything as part of its culture. Such a learning attitude helps attract and retain talent as well, creating a learning path for all employees. Though Chattoraj does admit that attracting tech talent is a challenge, he also says, “Which company does not face this challenge? After all, there is a war for attracting good talent.”