Sapna Vedagarbham
Current Organization smartShift Technologies
Designation Director HR

Previous Organization(s)


Belongs to (place from)

Born and brought up in Chennai, lived most of my adult life in Bangalore

Life Mantra

Travel as much as you can

I draw inspirations from

Travelling and meeting people of different cultures

Had I not been an HR Professional then

I would have been a nomad, travel blogger or a travel journalist. 

At what point in your life did you decide to take up HR as your career? What were the guiding / motivating factors?

I chose HR as a profession and pursued my education in HR very early on, 17 years back. The exposure and information, at the time was limited. One key factor that personally attracted me take up HR as a profession was to be able to move across the industry. Early in career, I realised that people make the difference. People make the culture of companies, success of an idea, business or product.

HR is one practice that touches human lives directly. Do you think employers and especially HR Professional can play role in reducing stress levels of employees through various employee engagement initiatives?

I wouldn’t limit HR’s role in reducing stress only by conducting Employee Engagement activities. HR is accountable for the holistic wellbeing of an employee, by which I mean, encourage them to take a break from work, go on a holiday and come back rejuvenated. Make their lives at work more connected and meaningful. I feel, what people pursue outside of office directly reflects on their performance and productivity at work

What are some of the most important employee engagement initiatives related to Music, Art, Dance or Sports that you have taken in your career?

Employee Engagement is the most misconstrued term in HR, popular belief is to conduct MADS events. Employee Engagement is much more; it extends to meaningful interaction, challenging work and the organisation culture. 
We have a core team comprising of a cross section of employees across different departments who run events each month. They organise competitions around music, dance and sports. Our employees are very competitive, we witness creativity every now and then.

Do you think time and cost for employee engagements are an investment for the organisation and can help in multi-fold returns?

If you look at some of the successful inter department collaborations within the organisation, it is because of interaction and rapport they develop during these events. These events are a platform to forge relationships beyond the monotony of work, tasks or deadlines. To that effect, there is indeed an indirect ROI.

Do you feel there is a need even to reach out to the family of employees so that they get better connected to the company? Have you undertaken any such initiative in your past or current organization?

Most organisations consider that families of employees as an extended family of the organisation. Employees spend more time in offices than at home, and during crunch time they stretch. I’m sure every employee at some point in their careers was dealing with a deadline or crisis and missed an important life event, that’s the sacrifice families make. As a token of gratitude, organisations involve families at some level. We do that over a cricket match every year.

What is the one change that you would like to bring in HR practice that has potential to boost employee’s work-life balance?

Even in today’s day and age, employees have a mind-set that longer the hour spent in the office better performance or the perception of it. I hope to change this mind-set. We should focus more on productivity and results rather than the time s/he is spends in the office.

What are your personal interests in Music, Art, Dance or Sports and how do you continue to pursue it?

Unfortunately, I’m not talented, but I do appreciate and enthusiastically cheer. I love watching sports, live performances, theatre, etc.  Wherever I travel, I always look for the local theatre, live music, dance performances and visit art galleries.

Any other thoughts you may want to share.

I believe that an HR practitioner can facilitate in individual’s career growth and help them achieve professional goals, if we understand what motivates our people. We should focus on productivity and then we could hope to see 4-days-a-week a reality in India too.

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