Milind Apte elaborates upon the company´s successful Career Development Programme.
If the wind will not serve, take to the oars. -Anonymous
This proverb sums up the journey of an employee at Godrej Properties Ltd (GPL), where career development is all about taking up the ´oars´, or taking charge of one´s own career.
GPL, part of the 119-year-young Godrej Industries conglomerate, forayed into the Indian real-estate sector in 1990. Built on a foundation of trust, respect and integrity, and driven by a vision to grow 20 times by 2020, GPL has experienced exponential growth in terms of size, scale and complexity. It was not just about growing from a 200-strong to 1,000-strong family, expanding our footprint from two to 12 cities, and growing our construction count from five to 50 projects û our story goes beyond numbers.
As we reflect upon what propelled us on this growth trajectory, one factor stands out: A highly engaged workforce. Our people were motivated, energised about being a part of GPL and became catalysts in making GPL one of the top three listed developers in India. Over the past five years, the company has consistently featured among the best places to work in India, demonstrating its ability to create an engaging and supportive work culture. Today´s ´GPLite´ is getting younger (the average age has dropped from 35+ to under 30) and has strong views about making a difference and creating an impact. With changing demographics like age, we have also witnessed a change in the ´levers of engagement´ for the workforce.
In 2015, we realised that we were at a turning point- the playing field was changing dramatically on the business and people fronts. While real estate became increasingly volatile and competitive as a sector, on the people front, we witnessed changes at the demographic and cultural levels. In essence, there was a need to revisit what makes today´s GPLite ´tick´.
Thus, we dove into what drives ´engagement´ for a GPLite in today´s context. We discovered the predominant theme that kept appearing in data and employee conversations: Careers. Traditional indicators, such as grade and promotion, were rapidly losing their value as indicators of a ´successful career´. Instead, factors such as meaning, passion, autonomy and significance were gaining importance. With these changing dynamics, GPL acknowledged that our future success hinged on the ability to provide employees opportunities to have meaningful experiences in line with their career aspirations. From an organisational perspective, a sharper focus on career development would also play an important role in building a strong, future-ready leadership pipeline.
An ambitious initiative
With this in mind, we launched an ambitious Career Development Programme with the aim to: