‘Great vision without great people is irrelevant”, wrote Jim Collins in his book, Good to Great. Extending this backward, even an ordinary vision without good people is not possible. It does not matter if the company were to be a manufacturing or a service organisation, large corporate or a small firm as people in the workforce matters the most.
You may wonder whether people will be needed as we go forward and evolve more as a society. Even in today’s era of increased automation, we are required to perform their roles to transform an idea into a reality. Despite increasing accent on self-service, there is an ever-increasing demand for service quality levels, for which you need people.
Most large companies in advanced economies depend on hordes of executives in Indian& Filipino BPOs and KPOs to service the needs of their customers. This is not going to change anytime soon.
So, if people are the key, how do we ensure that they are attracted to join our company, stay and become productive. This is the role of the HR team in any organisation. They help plan and recruit talent, on-board and induct them, train and make them productive, engage with them so that they are retained, undertake performance appraisals to give increments, promote and figure out improvement areas and finally off-board them, once they quit or retire. They are involved in the full chain of talent acquisition and management.
Properly structured HR policies allow employees to understand what rules are in place in their organisation. What they are permitted to do and what they may not do, becomes absolutely clear. Their rights, responsibilities as well as accountabilities become transparent. Roles and rules become clear and everyone comes to know of the consequences of breaking rules. More importantly, expectations are clearly set by such policies for both the employer and the employee and between the employee and his / her supervisor. This ensures that there is low dissonance in the system.
One of the significant pain points that any organisation goes through is attrition. India is a land of plenty and a land of poverty when it comes to entry-level roles. Millions graduate every year, but very few are ready to actually be deployed at work. Even those who have the aptitude don’t prefer “tough” jobs they all aspire to “key-banging” in an air-conditioned room to any other job.
Assuming some do get attracted and the organisation spends time and effort to skill them to play a role, they move out quickly. Gone are the days when employees joined a company for life. The millenials jump for as low as Rs 500 month increment and even worse they jump once they get bored with their work routine.
Organisations have tried to bring in policy changes that added job rotation, retention bonuses, and sabbaticals for further education among a long list.
Most organisations strongly believe in gender equality and encourage equal opportunity. They do this diligently at the time of hiring and bring on women in large numbers, if not matching numbers to men in roles.
Every aspect of HR, across the talent acquisition and management cycle, can be looked at in similar fashion and policies framed to cater to an Indian employee who has changed dramatically. He/she is better informed, has more opportunities, is extremely ambitious, perhaps a bit less committed, is ready to quit without another job in hand. Such policies that also evolve with time, is sure to help an organisation overcome those specific issues that prevent them from growing.
The writer is Managing Director, C&K Management LTD,