Straight Drive venture founded by brand consultant Mukund Trivedy concluded 2nd in the series of World Happy Workplace Conclave on Friday, 6th July 2018 at Hyatt Centric in Bangalore. Over 130+ employees from leading MNCs and start-up founders attended the event to hear eminent speakers address various issues concerning workplace wellness and happiness. Given the overwhelming turnout, Mukund Trivedy, founder of Straight Drive-HyWe is now set to launch the first-ever membership drive for employees to join the global Happy Workplace movement.
L to R – Mukund Trivedy, Gopalakrishna Gubbi, Leza Parker, Bina Mirchandani, Pradeep Sreekanthan, B.K. Kulkarni
Harish Bijoor, Brand Guru and Founder, Harish Bijoor Consults Inc. delivered the keynote address. This was followed by a panel discussion on the Construct of Happiness with eminent panelists including B.K. Kulkarni, Life and Business Coach; Leza Parker, Entrepreneur from Singapore; Gopalakrishna G Gubbi, CEO Cloud HR Consulting Services and moderator Pradeep Sreekanthan, business consultant. Sangeeta Chacko, Head – Corporate Communications, Percept Ltd. spoke on “Be the change you wish to see“. Standup comedian, Comedy Wala Amar espoused the need to “Be You@Workplace“.
HyWe – Sangeeta Chacko
Leading founders and eminent corporate heads participated in two panel discussions on the “new rules for happy employee engagement for online reputation management” and “Impact of Work Environment on Employee Health“. Bikram Walia, Director – HR of Amazon India; Ramanujam Sridhar, Founder – Brand-Comm; Jessie Paul, CEO, Paul Writer; Sujit Patil, Head of Corporate Communications, Godrej Industries and moderator Melissa Arulappan, Head – Corporate Communications, IQVIA participated in the first discussion. Panelists for the second session included Smitha Murthy, Vice President, Corporate Programs, Art of Living, Bina Mirchandani, Happiness Mentor, Anish Philip, AVP – People Function, Mindtree and moderator Seema Ahuja, VP & Global Head of Communications of Biocon. Few key take-aways from the event are enumerated below.
HyWe – Harish Bijoor
Delivering the keynote address, Harish Bijoor emphasized on the importance of leading with ethics and clean practice branding in an evolving and challenging work scenario where “job-quake and farm-quake are grappling the country…people managing sensor based management system and inferior jobs are set to go out. 70% of retail jobs would vanish in the next 8-10 years.”
Quoting leadership guru, Simon Sinek, Mukund in his introductory speech said, “We need to move from head count to heart count. Would you join an organization where numbers are sacrificed for people or people are sacrificed for numbers? It is high-time the employers accept that the problem of workplace toxicity exists. We must ensure the first level of change happens and that societal stigma attached to the topic is removed.“
Taking this philosophy forward, Leza Parker in her panel discussion reiterated the need for corporates to “Have passion in people and not in power. This means companies must understand why people are with you, what they want and then align collective aspirations to business goals.” Stressing on the difference of outlook towards work for multi-generational workforce, B.K. Kulkarni said, “For traditionalists work was life, then came baby boomers who lived to work and now we have millennials who live first and if possible work. What millennials therefore value is recognition, flexibility and transparency.”
Demystifying the happy workplace notion, Sangeeta Chacko explained, “Ethics = happiness. What is the ethics quest? Disney has done it well with the Marvel Angels series. Instead of calling the angels ethics, they have called it courage, fairness, integrity. When you design a Great Workplace try to make it sound sexy like Marvel angels. It becomes aspirational and millennials relate easily to aspirational, cool and sexy.” Commenting on ethical leadership, she added – “Culture is the shadow of the leader. Most adults do not have adequate moral compass. The answer to ethical leadership has been found 1000 years go in a) self-leadership = self observation + self management b) Self trait analysis c) Self reflection – blackboard eraser technique and d) Self regulation – re-frame technique.”
Comedian Amar stressed on the need for a “kranti in corporate culture” while Seema Ahuja stated that transformation of work culture for a happy workplace was no longer a choice while quoting from the gallop survey indicating that “happier employees have 47% lower health costs.” Smitha Murthy averred that the reason for toxic work culture boiled down to lack of 3 Ls – 1) ability to listen to people 2) levers such as motivational level and 3) local leaders who can inspire and challenge people. Anish Philip suggested the need for creating micro-behavior by looking at a set of habits. Bina Mirchandani pontificated that “66% of workforce will be millennials by 2020. They need a workplace that is home away from home.” As one of the panelists pondered, perhaps the time for a Chief Wellness Officer in organizations had come.
About Mukund Trivedy
Mukund is an Independent Consultant with more than 23 years of experience in the field of Branding, Communications and Employee Engagement across Steel, Chemical and Pharmaceutical Industries. He is an alumnus of Management Development Institute (MDI), Gurgaon.
About HyWe Happy Workplace Conclave
Is creating a happy workplace a choice? Globally, studies have shown that workforce happiness is one of the most powerful drivers of organisational performance. People, who work with a sense of mental well-being, are more creative, innovative and productive. They cope with work related stress better and are able to sustain peak performance especially during economic downturns.