Transforming People

– This Much I Know with Kameshwari Rao, Global Chief People Officer, Publicis Sapient

The HR World speaks to industry leaders about their careers and life – what advice would they pass on and what wisdom brought them to where they are now.

"Our Philosophy on Enabling People's Growth: Transforming for Impact." - Kameshwari Rao, Global Chief People Officer, Publicis Sapient.


19 July 2023

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Kameshwari Rao, Global Chief People Officer, Publicis Sapient

Publicis Sapient are a digital transformation business operating around the world.  Their Chief People Officer, Kameshwari Rao gives an insight into the business’ people development strategies.

It’s no secret, the success of an organisation is intricately tied to the skills, abilities, and knowledge of its people. When people are offered avenues to acquire experience and pursue personal growth, they become more invested, motivated, and committed to the shared goals of the organisation.

Our purpose “To help people thrive in the brave pursuit of next” is the north star through which we look at people growth. Our values of “Learning Mindset”, “Embracing the Future” and “Partnering for Client Impact” remind us every day how we enable our people to transform, and have access to new age learning courseware.

At Publicis Sapient we are focused on 10X growth and that can only be achieved if we help our people with the right avenues to grow and learn new skills. To do so we are focused on building a culture of 3E’s – experimentation, entrepreneurial and equity where all our people are enabled at every step.  This is crucial to building a motivated workforce that is better equipped to tackle complex challenges and drive meaningful impact.

Organisations that prioritise their people’s growth and development, is crucial to creating an environment where individuals can chart their own path, build their careers, and develop in ways that bring their potential to life. This commitment to personal and professional development is a key factor in building transformational solutions that have a positive impact.

So, what does this philosophy on enabling people’s growth involve and how do we operationalise it in a virtual and globally distributed environment?

Creating the right environment

A work environment that is both inclusive and collaborative, where individuals feel psychologically safe to bring their authentic selves is crucial. There is value in providing people with the freedom to choose their own career path, without any limitations. When people have space where they find a purpose and can openly discuss their ideas is when organisations are best positioned to create a high-performing work culture.

Creating the right experience 

As an organisation that enables digital transformations for clients, we also value the importance of internal transformation. As digital experts, we recognise that the experience we provide in fostering growth is essential for individual development. With that in view, we are continuously improving our systems, processes, and tools such that our people have the right resources to pursue their personal and professional growth.

Operationalising the ecosystem

Focusing on the foundation through a skills matrix/taxonomy to lay the foundation for people’s growth, we have co-created a global data architecture at both the people and organisational levels. This structured system categories and organises various skills and capabilities according to job roles. By focusing on proficiency levels, we ensure there is a clear understanding of skills required for each role, enabling people and their managers to identify areas for growth and development.

In today's fast-paced world, learning is crucial to stay competitive and there is merit in providing resources that facilitate continuous skill-building for their people.

Customer care, care for employees, human resources, employment agency and marketing segmentation concepts.

A learning repository that is accessible at all times, equips people with necessary resources and support to enhance their skills. Furthermore, integrating this internal ecosystem with external platforms provides exposure to a wider range of learning opportunities that can be tailored to individual needs. It helps create a culture of continuous learning and development, where people are empowered to take charge of their own growth and career progression.

Empowering growth through real-time data insights  

By harnessing data-backed insights, we identify real-time skill gaps seamlessly within the workflow. This empowers us to deliver personalised feedback and tailored recommendations, enabling individuals to proactively embark on their development journey and take ownership of their growth.

Future-proofing skills
We recognise the significance of staying ahead in an ever-changing digital world. To fuel progress and safeguard against future skills challenges, we consistently monitor and anticipate skill and knowledge requirements at both the organisational and individual levels. This enables us to spot emerging skills trends and take proactive measures to bridge any potential gaps. By embracing agility and adaptability, we empower our workforce with the necessary skills to drive transformative change.

Unleashing Potential: Global Centers of Excellence Fueling Growth
At our core, we believe in nurturing the growth of our people to their fullest potential. To achieve this, we’ve created a comprehensive framework for developing people capabilities throughout our organisation. Our global centers of excellence act as vibrant hubs where expertise and knowledge are cultivated and shared. By harnessing the collective skills and experiences of our talented individuals, we foster a culture of continuous learning and personal growth. We are dedicated to exploring innovative learning centers and models that empower our people to experience exponential and tailored growth from within.

Prioritising people’s growth and development is not optional. When we empower people to reach their full potential, it is when we stand to unlock true organisational success. By cultivating an inclusive environment with valuable experiences and data, organisations stand to foster a high-growth culture that enables their people to learn continuously, stay curious and be empowered to find purpose in their work and drive true impact.

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