Anup Lewis, HR Director, Schneider Electric

“I believe giving opportunities to employees, irrespective of their growth potential, is extremely important,” Anup Lewis, HR Director, Schneider Electric

In an exclusive interaction with SCIKEY, Mr. Anup Lewis, HR Director at Schneider Electric shared his views on rising global competition, the evolving HR landscape in 2021, succession planning for a sustainable future workforce management.

How do you think the new work from home can transform the job market give rise to global competition?

Due to COVID, people are working from home, and surprisingly, their productivity levels have not changed. As compared to previous years, productivity has only improved as people are now saving their time traveling to work effectively from home. IT and RD industries can function effectively through remote working. With the global boundaries becoming thinner, there is a rise in competition. This tough competition could be combated by hiring individuals that possess a combination of technical and soft skills such as agility and empathy. 

At any level of hiring within an organization, a mixture of these skills is crucial. Speaking of soft skills, I believe agility empathy are critical in managing people.

How do you see the HR landscape evolving in 2021?


Covid has resulted in people working from home. 60% of managers support their employees’ decision to either work from home or settle into a flexible work time flexibility. This will result in a shift in all HR processes systems. Digital transformation has led to people moving to online processes for hiring or onboarding of individuals. This skips the process of building a rapport with potential hires. When we speak of learning, AR and VR are areas that people are looking forward to for learning. Engagement is another aspect that has witnessed a drastic increase in the last year, turning into an interesting phenomenon during the pandemic. 

Across the globe, there were lockdowns. Despite that, the revenue and profitability continued to grow as compared to previous years. In areas like interacting with customers/partners/employees, we have developed virtual forums. For example, we had a target of virtual learning right from 2015 onwards. Every year we had to increase our virtual learning and reduce the ILT. 

To have a steady and reliable pipeline of talented professionals ready to step into vital roles is an ideal situation any organization would hope for, especially at these extraordinary times when companies are not considering new hiring. Hence succession planning has now become the most imperative activity for the sustainable future of HR. What’s your view on it?

With regards to sustainability, hiring externally has been limited since last year. We must give opportunities to our employees to grow, irrespective of their growth potential. With the availability of AI tools, employees have been receiving suggestions for relevant jobs available within the organization. People can apply for the jobs they want and could take on the next role whenever needed. For example, let’s say you don’t need a full-time resource or are not getting approval for a full-time resource, but you have a project to work on. So, you can share that project online and add a vacancy over it. People can then apply for it and contribute towards it from any part of the world. Succession will always remain an essential aspect for the future as it was in the past.

How should talent leaders reimagine workforce management in 2021?

Wellbeing started with health, which then moulded into fitness, moving onto mindfulness, positive thinking, etc. As we move forward, it will be a sustainable performance, where you will add to the reward, recognition, and growth opportunity. So, I think it will mould into a different space from this year onwards, and it is going to be one of the key points here.

Apart from this, we have also observed high levels of burnout and stress amongst people. With fewer chances to socialize with colleagues, people have begun experiencing increased burnout due to working from home. Recruitment will be a competitive edge the availability of top talent would be less and less as we move forward. Therefore, I believe there will be a demand for good talent in the market. We have also heard a lot about data-driven culture and data analytics decision making in the past 2-3 years. Still, it is being put in practice since last year, which hopefully will continue to increase in the coming years.


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