Yahoo’s Vice-President Human Resources, APAC Shares Secrets to Success: “Diversity + Imagination = Innovation” at Work

January 27, 20168:08 am2376 views
Yahoo’s Vice-President Human Resources, APAC Shares Secrets to Success: “Diversity + Imagination = Innovation” at Work
Yahoo Singapore Office

Looking at the industry from a viewpoint of “HR 5.0 – a business partner role”, Vineet Gambhir, Vice-President Human Resources, Yahoo-APAC, shares with us his candid views, beliefs, ideas, and practices implemented at Yahoo to maintain employer brand value, retain and engage talent, while ensuring the workplace culture evolves through time.

Herein, we address key challenges to influencing diversity at workplaces, to bridging the gender –pay parity gap, talent management and grooming future leaders for a tech-savvy future, HR professionals have a learning to explore through this exclusive coverage.

  1. What are the talent acquisition and retention strategies followed at Yahoo? How does Yahoo combat attrition effectively with global war of talent at its peak in current times?

At Yahoo, we are committed to recognizing the value of our world-class talent. We give them the opportunity to work on challenging projects, with mechanisms in place to surface and fast track the best ideas from across the company.

On a different track, we embrace transparency, encourage fun, and care for our people, both by how we engage with them, and providing access to world-class benefits at Yahoo. Put together, this makes for an engaged, energized workforce.

We also go the extra mile to create an open and transparent environment where they can develop and grow. For example, removing the focus on simply moving up or out allows employees to have more choices on whether to take on new assignments, apply for an internal transfer or expand their skill set.

Vineet Gambhir, Vice-President Human Resources, Yahoo-APAC

Vineet Gambhir, Vice-President Human Resources, Yahoo-APAC

We encourage employees to apply for internal opportunities and there are countless examples of success wherein employees, who have moved to different functions, have continued growing as professionals at Yahoo.

  1. Tell us more about the workplace culture at Yahoo.

Being at Yahoo is a very unique and exciting experience. We work with some of the smartest folks in the business. Giving them the freedom and openness to think out of the box requires an environment that empowers, is open and conducive to innovation and building a diverse and inclusive workforce.

Workplace culture at Yahoo Singapore office

Workplace culture at Yahoo Singapore office

While we are a large company, we have an entrepreneurial mindset. There is fluidity to the way we work now. The vibrant ambience across our offices is the starting point to spark innovation, collaboration and of course, fun, which is an integral part of our workday. Open spaces and informal ‘unwind zones’ across offices becomes perfect breeding ground for ideas.

  1. What are the efforts made by Yahoo towards influencing diversity at workplaces?

At Yahoo, we believe that diversity plus imagination equals innovation. We rely on the diversity of ideas and perspectives to drive innovation, and we strive to turn the workplace into a community where our employees feel welcomed and inspired.

When people are connected through a strong community, they are empowered to develop creative ideas that flourish into impactful products for users around the world.

We have Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), affinity-based communities at Yahoo that offer opportunities to shape company culture, influence product, develop leadership skills, and form connections across teams.

Whether it’s marching in a local Pride Parade to support the LGBTQ community, celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, participating in the Lunar New Year, or partnering with Women in Tech to bring young engineers from Girl Code, there are plenty of ways to get involved.

Some of these groups for instance include Yahoo Black Network, Yahoo Chinese, Yahoo South Asians, Yahoo Veterans and Women in Tech etc. Members of these groups strategically plan and drive the delivery of programs, initiatives, activities and partnership.

We welcome diverse viewpoints and encourage our employees to express their unique personality and style. It’s one of the many things that make this place truly special to be a part of.

See: High-Impact Talent Management: Aligning Diversity and Inclusion Practices to Business Objectives

  1. Congratulating you on the success of being Yahoo!’s first VP for HR in the Asia-Pacific, what are your plans on bringing about a transformation in how HR works at Yahoo?

I believe that for HR to be a successful business partner, HR team members need to be multi-skilled. I call this the “stem cell” approach, where undifferentiated HR resources are fungible across different stakeholders, functional areas and aspects of HR.

At Yahoo, we have created opportunities for HR members to work on different projects within HR such that they sharpen existing skill sets and acquire new ones. Then, there will not be a need for specialists, generalists, Centers-of-Excellence or regions – just one talent, one company, and one globe.

Looking ahead, I want to do three things. First, create predictive modeling based on employee trends and behaviors. By analyzing existing trends, we can make smarter decisions on how we can engage our employees and help them in their career development.

The second is Triple L Initiative – ‘Leaders’ Leading Leaders’. I want business leaders to lead HR initiatives, with HR becoming the facilitator. We need to make business leaders ambassadors of the change we want to bring. If business leaders can stand up and be the voice of HR initiatives, then the initiatives will go much further and find success.

Finally, I want to have employee engagement based on respect without discrimination. How do you show care and respect to every employee, such that you engage each one, and make every employee feel like they count? Respect should not have boundaries. It should be part of our DNA.

  1. Could you please shed light on the favorable employee leave policies and benefits offered in case of maternity/paternal leave at Yahoo.

At Yahoo, we support women in different phases of their lives. We provide 8-weeks paid new born baby leave for all new parents (including fathers too!). There is an additional 8 weeks for mothers.

Uniquely, we also welcome every new child to the Yahoo family by giving them exclusive Yahoo-branded gifts and also hold ‘new child’ shower parties that celebrate the children of new and expectant parents with tasty treats, entertainment and helpful resources.

  1. What are the people management practices followed by Yahoo APAC to motivate and empower employees to be future leaders?

Our approach to learning is both unconventional and innovative. Leadership development at Yahoo includes global programs, designed centrally and rolled out across the organization to ensure a consistent experience, regional programs that factor in nuances of specific business needs and languages and on-demand learning.

We are constantly on the lookout for high performers and high potentials. From there, we invest in our leaders on an ongoing basis, empowering them to realize their potential.

With APAC being an emerging growth region, there is a need to nurture talent and help promote career growth at Yahoo.

A key development program for all high potential talent in SEA is a classroom-learning program spread over three years called the ‘Accelerated Development Program (ADP)’. This program is conducted through partnership with the Aalto Executive Education School for an exclusively-tailored and entirely company-funded program.

  1. What is the future of HR industry in India and Asia Pacific?

HR has gone through many waves. The function in itself has transformed from that of a transactional, administrative, back-office role, to a support function, then to outsourcing and off shoring and the creation of globally diverse workforces.

Today, we are at what I would call HR 5.0 – a business partner role. Here, HR is a pro-active partner, where stakeholders and the business actually take their inspiration from us.

Our insights, be it through sharing intelligence on where the best talent is available or where the cost would be optimum, help guide and influence business leaders to make more informed decisions and investments, based on the deeper knowledge of the people strategy.

  1. What are the various CSR initiatives by Yahoo to encourage employees to contribute to the community and society at large? (Volunteering outside work)

Globally, Yahoo encourages serving and giving back to their local communities. The Yahoo Employee Foundation (YEF) is our flagship CSR initiative. It is 100% employee-run, led by Yahoo employees, who volunteer their time.

YEF runs fundraising events, auctions and donation drives.  Yahoo employees, through YEF, are actively involved with their local communities, working in causes that they identify to support, like education, caring for the old, etc.

Every year, we set aside a day for employees to volunteer for a community activity that is close to their heart – really a reflection that our CSR approach is based on employees’ involvement.

Summer of Service,’ is a day of paid leave that provides employees, a chance to go out and enrich the local community with a hands-on contribution. This could be something as basic as, preparing a hot meal for people in need at the Willing Hearts Soup Kitchen, in Singapore, for instance.

Also read: “Diversity and inclusion is at the core of our winning strategy”: HR Works at Dell

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)