There is plenty of competition in the global economy, particularly in the sector. Organizational performance is significantly influenced by customer satisfaction. When colleagues are dissatisfied, there can be no satisfied customers in the industry. Employee commitment improves customer satisfaction and reduces attrition rates within the company. Colleagues are more likely to be committed to the company and have higher levels of job satisfaction as a result of certain leadership styles.
Since about ten or fifteen years ago, the term “human resource management” has been used in workspaces. Even so, the term “personnel management” is frequently used. The current extended adaptation of “traditional personnel management” is the result of social values being altered by technology in the workplace.
In recent years, leadership has been the subject of extensive research because it is one of the crucial aspects of human behavior. The various types of resources on leadership offer a variety of definitions.
Leaders motivate people to accomplish objectives and boost organizational performance. It does not imply that the leader has authority over their followers to accomplish the objectives that the leader desires. The leader’s followers take the same approach to achieve their objectives. It is expected of the leader to direct the process of planning and carrying out activities to achieve organizational objectives.
Bala V. Sathyanarayanan is one such leader who through his leadership skills, and wisdom rewrote practices and rules of Human Resource Management in his way. Working as the Executive Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer at Greif, he has been in the HRM industry for a while.
Greif is the main provider of modern bundling items and administrations with vital locations all through more than 40 nations. Greif’s mission is to safely package and protect the goods and materials of its customers to meet the essential needs of communities all over the world. The company has been in business for 145 years. Greif continues to remain steadfast in its commitment to being the best customer service organization for its global and regional customers worldwide.
In Search of Inspiration
Bala V. Sathyanarayanan is a person who inspired others with his years and years of expertise, but also someone who looks for inspiration on every step he takes. Holding a Master’s degree in Human Resources Management (MHRM) from Rutgers University, New Jersey, Jersey, an MBA in General Management, and BS in Electronics & Communications Engineering from the University of Madras in India. In addition, he graduated from the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.
Sathyanarayanan as an individual holds an immense amount of knowledge within his mind. He used this knowledge and skills before Greif heading Business Transformation and Human Resources for Xerox’s Technology and Business and Corporate functions. At that time, he held accountability for the company’s international workforce of 40,000 across 145 countries.
Sathyanarayanan traces his inspiration and the sources right to his mother. He has seen his mother raise the family he comes from. Being married off at 14, and moving to a bigger city in India, his mother wasn’t well-versed in the lifestyle or culture. Through educating and providing for him and his siblings, the mother educated and groomed herself; to walk with confidence and interact with her husband’s colleagues.
“From her, I learned adaptability – how to adapt to any situation, agility – absorb new information quickly, and resilience– how to not only grow but thrive in adversity. I am consistently inspired by my parents every day.”
“The Greif Way” Through Challenges
As the Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer at Greif, Sathyanarayanan is responsible to build a global workforce that can expand the created and envisioned strategies. He makes sure he delivers value to customers.
The foundation on which the business has been built remains the same across the four continents that Greif operates. “The Greif Way” (to treat others as you wish to be treated) is all core to who the company is today and how it will continue to deliver for its customers.
COVID-19 had been challenging for every company out there, and Greif was one of them. Topics that had been gaining momentum over the last several years were thrust into the spotlight during the COVID-19 pandemic. Three that will be scrutinized in 2023 include Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Pay Equity, and Sustainability.
Greif has a clear-cut way of setting its goals along these topics in its Sustainability Report. The company realized that every organization big or small, local or international, will be confronted with these filters.
COVID-19 made the company go through challenges related to supply, personnel, and operations. The team found it difficult to meet customers’ needs and improve its competitiveness. These challenges require sufficient innovative thinking, leadership focuses and the necessary resources and execution mindset to excel going forward.
Work-Culture With Greif
As a leader, Sathyanarayanan considers himself a “Realtor”- One who will find great satisfaction by collaboratively working with his colleagues across countries. He takes efforts in building a strong foundation for the organization’s success. He does so by motivating a fostering and engaging culture among his workforce.
This approach in particular encourages consistent recognition, and increased business performance. Sathyanarayanan firmly believes that when employers take care of their colleagues, the customers will automatically be taken care of.
He does so by small acts of kindness- offering a smile, lending a hand, helping someone stuck. These gestures create a sense of balance and belongingness in the workplace and promote collective growth.
“As a servant leader, I believe it is essential to prioritize the needs of our team members, particularly during times of crisis. I strive to inspire and support my team through consistent communication, empathetic leadership, and by empowering them to make decisions that will best serve our company and customers.”
The Million Perspectives
When it comes to Human Resources Management as an industry, there are a million ways to look at it. Some believe the industry is unnecessary for businesses and organizations. Not realizing that the industry does so much by streamlining and pushing forward colleagues and their problems.
The Human Resources function needs to prioritize agility. We live and work in a VUCA world. Remote and hybrid work is the new norm for many. Businesses have been required to adapt quickly to the Great Resignation, Quiet Quitting, and now to Loud Layoffs – accompanied by fears of an impending recession.
Leading with authenticity and energizing your organization to deliver for your key stakeholders is something that HR will need to master.
Advancing and Accelerating With Greif
As an experienced business strategist and leader. Bala V. Sathyanarayanan has a little framework he uses when it comes to gauging or planning the near future, or further.
- Evaluate Organizational Needs
Researching the current state of the organization and identifying gaps, opportunities, and impact. Also noting the contributions you can further make.
- Develop A Plan
Outline your goals, plans, and strategies including timelines for achieving them.
- Communicate Your Ideas
Share and develop your plans with stakeholders, managers, and colleagues. Remember to be open to feedback and criticism and make developments in the plan accordingly.
- Execute And Adapt
Begin your process to execute the plan. Evolve existing strategies, and note changes in markets, and industries to adapt more to them.
- Measure Your Impact
Once your plan is in full swing, make sure to measure and observe its ups and downs. By doing so, you will understand the value you provide to the organization, and for future developments.
- Continue To Grow And Learn
Learning never stops. With every project, plan, or strategy, you will learn something new and develop. Seeking new ideas and bringing valuable insight to the organization will help you stay current and competitive.
From Today’s Leader to the Future Leaders
Sathyanarayanan strides ahead with a servant-leader approach combined with that of a champion’s mindset. This powerful fusion calls for dedicated and passionate individuals. Colleagues who embody the Champion’s Mindset are intrinsically motivated and driven to excel in their endeavors. By adopting this mentality, they not only enhance their productivity but also contribute to creating an inspiring work environment, encouraging their peers to strive for greatness.
A leader knows the importance of change and its consistency. Change always comes with an opportunity- to stand up for yourself, claim your seat, or find a coach or mentor. One should never stop learning. The day you stop learning is the day you stop growing; both as an individual and a business leader.