The fight for talent amongst the millennial workforce is heating up and the battle is fast moving to the CIO court. There is a growing onus on the CIO to attract and retain the free-spirited and independent millennial workforce as experimenting with new technologies becomes a key tactic to create that much needed stickiness. But, empowering the team and giving them freedom to fail is just one of the many tactics that CIOs are devising to keep their millennial employees energized and motivated.

In all my previous organizations like GE, Prudential and now Max healthcare, in order to create high performing teams, the essence is to keep the millennial and team members aligned to the larger vision of the organization. We need to help them find a sense of purpose which can give them satisfaction and help make a difference. Being from the Healthcare Industry, where the essence is saving lives, along with senior business leaders, we helped craft a larger goal like “Eager to Get you Home” for our patients to help the team find motivation.

As CIO, Prudential Indonesia and Global Digitization Leader for GENPACT for countries like Mexico, Hungary, China and the US, for me, the key was to understand the nuances of the country and culture and re-orient our approach accordingly in order to find the right balance and maximize synergies between individual and organizational goals. For example, in Indonesia, it was important to understand the virtue of patience and team work rather than stressing on individual achievements, unlike individualistic culture of countries like India and the US. Understanding of multi-cultural differences and treating each individual culture with respect is imperative in order to bring out the best from your team members.

“Similarly, in Max Healthcare we have the vision for patients to be able to go home healthier and faster, and I have tried to connect our millennial employees to that vision by creating transparent and usable business metrics for faster admission, billing and discharge, which can be powered through technology. This helps us to collectively achieve the larger goal of contributing to making lives easier and safer.

To create user friendly systems and reduce patient wait times, we have deployed applications like online portal registration, patient mobile applications, appointment queuing systems like Practo and online operational discharge dashboards to ensure patient admission and discharge processes can be streamlined and inconveniences minimized. Similarly, we need to ensure the systems are 100% available so no patient loses their life because of a system failure, which is a really big goal to have, and can really inspire the employees because they are able to actually make a difference in saving someone’s life.

I believe the kind of value that one can create in the healthcare sector sometimes far exceeds what any other sector can probably give to employees. The possibilities it opens up are immense and one can get a lot of satisfaction out of doing something well. For instance, introducing a good prevention mechanism using wearable devices or any other technology innovation could potentially transform the way healthcare is administered to millions of people in the country. This is something which can keep the millennials energized enough to find satisfaction in their workplace.

The millennial employees are far more confident, aware and ambitious, and it requires touching upon their sense of achievement, empowering them and helping them make a difference to the society at large which will help them stay engaged at the workplace.

We try to ensure that a more conducive work environment can be provided in the team and the employees are not constrained by the traditional business environment and bureaucratic processes for them to work effectively. For this we have enabled mobility tools and have been looking at new age collaboration technologies like Zoho, Facebook at Work, Office 365, etc., which would help keep the employees productive and engaged.

Also, constantly experimenting with cutting edge POCs which truly impact patient safety has helped keep the motivation levels in the team fairly high, for e.g. we have recently launched Point of care diagnostics for Smart bike ambulances in NCR where we have enabled cloud enabled logistics management and automated some of the clinical command center protocols. The target is to help reach medical aid to patients within 15 minutes using bike ambulances anywhere within NCR and using point of care diagnostics, save patient lives while a critical patient is being transported from their homes to hospital. Such innovative technologies give a huge sense of satisfaction to the employees engaged in such mission critical projects impacting patient safety.

The key is to remain flexible and embrace all cultures and new age perspectives of the millennial to remain relevant to both our customers and our employees. As the saying goes, in order to truly enable Customer First strategy in an organization, we first need to embrace an Employee First strategy so that we have super charged and motivated employees taking care of our customers. My goal and endeavor is to do just that which has been the mantra for me leading teams across geographies.

Sumit Puri, Chief Information Officer, Max Healthcare

This article is reproduced from GAVS’ enGAge magazine, June 2018 edition.