The strategy was simple - to measure success in terms of baseline numbers, that is, improvement in customer satisfaction and market share, and indeed, this laser-like focus has paid off.

With a bronze win for Excellence in HR Change Management at HR Excellence Awards 2020, Singapore, Uttam Toyota’s HR team credits team effort in building the organisation capability model and finding a silver lining in the pandemic in the form of optimising change management frameworks through digital transformation and communication.

Q What is your organisation’s winning HR strategy, and what are some milestones you’ve accomplished along this journey?

Our HR vision contours the strong objective of 'building internal capabilities, people practices & customer experience' which enables us to be a high performing team. To achieve our HR strategy we have built up our organisation capability model depicted below as our blueprint for reaching our business goals & vision.

organisation cabability model

We have evaluated the organisation structure to identify the vacant critical positions, filled through internal movements and external hiring. New hires are from diverse backgrounds such as manufacturing, hospitality and IT/ITES, which were earlier limited to automotive sector only, bringing in their best practices. In order to support our people, practices and process improvement we have implemented various people policies and SOPs to bring in transparency and efficiency.

Also, we are in the process of setting up a learning academy which will further help in upskilling the manpower across all levels, both behaviorally & technically.

Uttam Toyota is leading the Delhi/NCR region amongst all other Toyota dealerships and has recently been awarded “Best Performer Award” as Dealer Best Practices during MDPP/DCTC.

These strategies are directly impacting the business ROI and helping to level up the bar every day by executing our change management strategies.

Q How has this strategy helped you achieve your HR priorities, and what role has the leadership played in helping make this initiative a reality?

In our industry where HR practices & involvement in the business are still at a very nascent stage, HR is considered as a support function rather than strategic and that’s the reason we were facing problems with less-engaged Employees, lack of transparency, and talent development activities. The organisational capability model was able to streak our employees as a highly engaged workforce linking with elevated profitability.

Through our leadership conclaves and monthly review forums, the HR Head & HRBPs are connected with local business teams and partner in communicating the HR vision to the employees through regular HR connect programmes.

The leadership core team is in place, which is instrumental in implementing all strategies at a company level. There is a weekly SLT (senior leadership team) review where all business heads, and HR Head along with the Director take stock of all key initiatives.

Q Unexpected roadblocks are part and parcel of executing any initiative. What were some of the barriers that you and your team experienced while rolling this out, and how did you successfully get past them?

There is always resistance to change and people feel loaded/burdened to accept new initiatives. With constant reinforcement, branding and sharing the importance of the change process amongst employees, these get imbibed in the culture and become the new norm. As a change agent team, HR is enabling our people to understand the importance of continuous learning & growth, and various HR interventions are enabling people to achieve the business goals with a positive outlook.

For the change process, there are three areas we focused on:

culture productivity efficiency

The primary change was to create a positive & competitive culture where our people feel safe yet eager to learn & grow. The automobile dealership industry is not bent towards getting changed but we are breaking this thrust and working towards having a better environment for employees with regards to learning & growth, culture of meritocracy, transparency, empowerment, employee benefits and better work environment.

During this pandemic, every industry is corresponding their work along with the new changes.

It was the most difficult phase for us to engage employees digitally because 60% of our employees are the frontline team who are not well versed with technology and who can only speak their native language.

But we considered this phase as an opportunity to upgrade ourselves and move further with our transformation. We opted for digital engagement and communication; it was elusive but we pulled it off.

During the lockdown, our business units were closed but with new initiatives, we made some impactful changes which helped us to engage our employees like:

  • Online training sessions for employees right down to the last person at the frontline level.
  • Digital felicitation of reward & recognition.
  • Digital HR connect.
  • Online DWR (daily work report) platform to keep things transparent and understand where man-hours are getting allocated at group level.
  • Strengthen the internal audit process.
  • Identified unique positions in the organisation benchmarked per the latest competency trends.
  • Identified critical roles, as the next step in creating succession plans backed by internal (identifying high potentials) & external talent pool.

Q As evidenced by the win, this initiative clearly delivered some amazing results. What was your game plan for measuring ROI? What are some proud achievements you can share with us on this front?

Our strategy was simple - to measure our success in terms of baseline numbers, that is, improvement in customer satisfaction and market share.

With the implementation of the above strategy, we have been able to increase market share from 23% to 27%.

Customer appreciation has increased significantly, the sales teams are more engaged and aggressively working to meet the targets. Customer complaints have gone down for in-service team. Among the other dealerships, Uttam Toyota has received 100% customer satisfaction scores.

The results are encouraging, and the people and stakeholders have started acknowledging the importance of the change process. A lot of focus is now on learning & growth and automation, thereby increasing efficiencies and productivity.

Q Given just how quickly the external business environment is adapting, how do you ensure that your HR team keeps pace in HR change management and is constantly upskilled to manage newer HR scenarios?

We can say our HR team has opted for complete transformation through change management process to set an example in our organisation. We are ready for our next phase where our HR team is all set to pace up per the latest HR trends and strategies of continuous learning.

We have transitioned our traditional HR process to an HR analytical approach through initiatives like:

  • Prediction attrition analysis
  • Agile HR processes
  • HRBP roles
  • Monthly brainstorming, motivational & review HR meets
  • Learning portals to engage & upgrade the teams
  • Certifications
  • Internal movements & creating new roles.

As a next step we would be further strengthening the above strategy and focus on e-HR to fully align and supporting our HR Vision. This wil be done through the following:

  • Performance management & talent development tool
  • HR automation / ERP implementation
  • Integrating AI for talent management, predictive attrition & employee productivity culture
  • Introduce HR analytics strategies

Photos / Provided

Read more interviews on why organisations have won trophies for their HR practices - head over to our Winning Secrets' section! 

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