What Role Does Branding and Communication Play in Talent Management?


The only way to stay competitive in a highly dynamic industry is to upskill your workforce,” said Manas Martha, Vice President and Chief of HR at TTK Prestige. Read on for his insights on the importance of upskilling for success. 

What are the steps you take as a leader to embrace innovative disruption?

Today’s HR Leaders are generally aware of differentiating between “Nice to have” to that “Mission Critical” actions. This calls for embracing innovations in their space of work. I think often, Innovations are largely disruptive in nature as it is always intended to bring in change for good.

I have been part of few of these so-called disruptive innovations. Let me share one of them as this was transformational in the context of business.

Framing a reward strategy that truly differentiates best to average performers. This was not easy considering the legacy of a company which is almost 50 years old with old compensation practices and beliefs. The difference between the annual increments of the best performer to an average performer was roughly 1-2% and Variable pay is almost an assured income irrespective of company’s performance. I was tasked to develop a reward strategy in this backdrop which will be acceptable to all. Happy to share that we could manage to put up a plan which took a lot of efforts to implement but turned out to be a game changer in promoting & rewarding meritocracy and became an integral part of the reward practice followed by the organization till today.

In my view, an HR Leader need to be courageous, possess business acumen and have personal effectiveness and passion to drive such disruptive innovations.

What are the strategies you employ to upskill your workforce?

The only way to stay competitive in a highly dynamic industry is to upskill your workforce. In line with our 5-year strategic roadmap, our focus is to build people capability to deliver on our mid to long term business goals. We have a multi layered development program in place.  For junior management levels, we focus on developing functional competencies along with soft skills & Managerial effectiveness. For mid management levels, we focus a lot on building leadership competencies in line with our behavioural competency framework. This gets supplemented by action learning projects (ALPs) on the identified strategic priorities for the organisation which provides them with experiential learning. They have also been exposed to executive coaching & mentoring support. For senior Management levels, development plan is highly customised one. We also use e-Learning modules to provide necessary inputs to broad-based knowledge on specific areas.

In addition to the above, 50% of our workforce are blue collar employees. We have a well-developed process to upskill them. Every factory follows a skill matrix which is developed scientifically. Workmen are given exposure to work in all core manufacturing processes in the shop floor on rotation basis to develop multiple skill set and the skill set is aligned with the reward strategy. Besides this, they are also trained on building right attitude and shop floor discipline & safety.

Download your copy of Winners Circle to read insights from top HR leaders like Manas on innovative disruptions, and upskilling ‘for the win’ now!

How do you win at talent management? 

In my view, talent must be spotted at an early stage of career, who can then be nurtured to develop as an outstanding leader through a structured intervention. Our talent management strategy revolves around five key pillars: Talent Identification, Talent Validation through DCs, Talent Development, Talent Review & Talent Deployment. We also have a well calibrated Behavioural Competency Framework which anchors this process. For leadership levels, we use tools such as 360d assessment, LSI and Development Centres etc.

Secondly, the success of any Talent Management program largely depends upon its alignment with the business strategy of the organisation. So, we emphasize upon creating leadership alignment, wherein leaders own up the entire process as well as outcomes and HR becomes the process anchor.

Thirdly, Branding & communication plays an important role in making Talent Management successful & aspirational.

What role do you think culture plays in increasing efficiency at work?

Culture, Vision & values are the guiding force behind every successful organisation as it provides a sense of purpose and direction to employees to succeed in their goals. Organizational culture can be a great enabler for the people to perform to the best of their abilities. In my current organisation, Entrepreneurial spirit, Innovation & freedom to work define our culture as this has helped us to grow our business (top line) nearly 5 times in less than 10 years. Our culture has surely enabled us to make near about 100 SKUs in a year consistently over last several years, enter new product categories, new geographies, so on and so forth.

What role do you think technology plays in talent management? How can technology bring about a change in the talent management lifecycle?

Almost all would agree that technology is a force multiplier in managing people in a digitally connected world that we are living today. Technology empowers people. Technology is used mainly in two areas, one is compliance and managing HR service deliverables such as payroll, compensation and benefits, HRMS etc and the second is people development i.e.  PMS, Potential Assessment LMS, Talent engagement, HR Analytics etc. Most of the organisations are almost done with the first one, i.e. automating the employee transactional areas, while many organisations are in course of leveraging technology in their core people development processes/systems based on their business priorities.

Technology surely helps in integrating the whole talent management life cycle which starts from Talent Identification, validation; development review to talent deployment. They can all be integrated seamlessly in one platform.  It also helps in driving a best in class performance management system by aligning organisational goals with individual goals besides conducting data-based performance reviews and documenting feedback etc all in one platform. Technology also helps in referring to historical data to take people decisions. This also helps in administering online assessments such as 360 degree assessments, LSI etc with great ease.

Most organisations use technology today to upskill their workforce through a Learning Management System (LMS) and other E-learning platforms. Technology also can be leveraged on building HR Analytics.

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  1. Hi,
    I head the recruitment team for Defence & Aerospace Sector of Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. I would loved to contribute my write up on your esteemed website as “How HR plays a cricital role in Defence Industry”
    Do connect in case you would be interested to take my contribution.


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