What are the challenges faced by advisory firms in hiring and attracting the right talent?
While NDs and banks can offer better salary packages, I feel our employees get better exposure to different aspects of the business at an advisory firm. Our employees have multiple roles to play. This helps break the monotony in work.
Also as a firm, we do not set any sales targets for our employees; all we expect them to do is build a healthy relationship with our clients.
Who is your inspiration or role model in shaping your leadership style and HR philosophy? How have they influenced you?
Ratan Tata is my role model. I had once met a bunch of Tata employees at a conference. They looked extremely happy and inspired.
During the conversation, I found that these employees enjoy their work due to a better work culture. In fact, the company encourages their employees to maintain work life balance.
Taking a cue from this, I decided to maintain a stress free and friendly environment in my firm. I do not encourage setting sales target; instead I focus on qualitative parameters like strengthening relation with clients.
We conduct monthly sports competition where our employees along with their families participate in games. This helps us create lively office environment and strengthen relationship with them.
In addition, we encourage our employees to attend training sessions and events for knowledge enhancement.
How do you incentivize your employees? Do you think monetary incentive is a good way to motivate your staff?
Money is a big motivator. We follow a practice of incentivizing our employees through variable payouts based on qualitative assessment.
What type of training do you impart and how?
- Orientation: When I hire, my staff have to go through training for the first few weeks. We focus on imparting training on soft skills; that is must in the advisory business. Technical skills are taught in a staggered manner as it gets difficult for a new hire to undergo such trainings at a single stretch.
- Weekly meetings: Every week an employee has to discuss his/her weaknesses. Other team members have to recommend some measures to overcome this. This helps in team building.
- Continuous learning: We encourage our employees to read at least one book a month on advisory business. During our monthly meetings, each employees has to share key learnings from the book.
How do you retain your employees?
We ensure that our employees have a healthy work-life balance. This helps us retain them, as they get enough time to groom themselves and learn new things even beyond office hours.
We do not put employees under pressure. Instead, we prefer challenging their capabilities without breaking their spirit.
What is your advice to employees?
I always tell my employees that you have to grind in your 20’s, build in your 30's and chill in your 40's. I do not encourage them to get complacent.