SHRM India HR Awards 2014 aimed to connect professionals from various fields to come under one roof and inspire each other to grown their business. It recognized organizations that have excelled in bringing growth to the people practices and empowered HR to become a strategic business partner.
Various organizations, from time to time publish reports that focus on the “best” and “worst” workplaces, organizations and industries relative to employee turnover. Their reports are eye-opening but not necessarily prescriptive.
The great (or is it not so great?) part of HR is that academicians,
practitioners and consultants associated with the field of Human
Resources have been trying for years to answer questions like:
Since its inception, employee engagement is seen as a local (read team level) phenomenon and is believed to be largely driven by the ‘work group level’ dynamics. In such a reality the team manager, is indeed, the central anchor of employee engagement. At one time Gallup estimated that managers account for at least 70%(1) of the variance in employee engagement scores across business units.
Any finished product is a function of both form and substance. These share a symbiotic relationship and neither is complete without the other- the best substance cannot exist as an amorphous mass and the most perfect form needs substance to fill it. Likewise, Assessment Testing needs both a framework and content. The design, operation and review/ updation of the Framework is no doubt, as all of us know, a critical determinant in the success of an assessment testing application. Equally important however, is the quality and relevance of the Content.
Industrial Relations is a very interesting subject. Actually any relationship is so intricate and involves human emotions that films get made on it. Industrial Relations is the only subject on which many feature films are made. You will remember 'Aaghat' which was a Govind Nihalani film made in 1985.
Very often I hear from all my clients using psychometric assessments - "How do I ensure that the candidate has not responded in a socially desirable behavior?” This is more often than not, followed by another question “How do I decide whether to hire or not, if a candidate has responded in a socially desirable manner?" What these questions really aim to do, is to understand whether the person has tried to ‘present oneself as Mr. or Ms. Right’, or tried to ‘distort the recruiter's perception about himself/herself’? However, is it so bad to present oneself in a favorable manner?
In 2009, there was a famous research report published in the Harvard Business Review (January Edition) where they presented a myriad of contradictions and controversies about the profession of coaching. Fortunately, the domain has evolved very quickly and the situation is not as paradoxical today as it was back then. For the trained and certified coaching professional, there is more clarity on what are some of the ways to successful interventions and more focus on the outcomes, process and method of coaching.
One of my HR colleagues recently read my blog post on “Getting Employee Engagement Practices Right!” and commented that although Employee Engagement is important to every HR practitioner, what is the HR capability and preparedness to take on such a noble cause? What is the role of HR in facilitating Employee Engagement and how can we build the capacity to deliver?
SHRM has been organizing programs of interest to HR professionals and I congratulate them for this excellent effort. The purpose as I understand is to get professionals to share their experience and conclusions; today I venture to share mine. I am acutely aware that some of my conclusions may not be validated by research, yet if I succeed in generating a debate on various issues related to learning, I believe that the purpose of this Forum Meet will be served.
Retaining influence on employees [in spite of unions]!
I was invited to address the HR Meet of a very reputed company. The audience comprised senior managers. One of them asked me, "How can we not have a union at the workplace?" My answer began with a rather rude statement, I am not proud of it, but yet let me state it. "If we ask wrong questions we get wrong answers.” I then explained that the real issue was “How to retain influence over our employees in spite of unions."
A few thoughts are placed for your consideration. And then, at the end, I will place a summary for your deliberation.
Is our idea of relationship moored in avoidance of dispute?
Is Employee Engagement your Priority?
Many readers of the first two posts in this series have asked for ideas on what to do to enhance Employee Engagement. This blog post is based on a series of conversations with HR Professionals and explains how to get Employee Engagement practices right.
Reflecting on past events is essential. It enables us to understand trends and varying points of view. It also lays out issues clearly before us. And hopefully it helps us to learn and find a better way, moving ahead.
"Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action”, said Peter Drucker. So let us review ‘Employee Relations’ in 2014. This is the first part of a three part series of blog-posts. I have divided this note according to subject. The current blog post focuses on ‘Strikes and Lockouts in 2014’
This is the second part of a three series of blog-posts. I have divided this note according to subject. The earlier blog post spoke of strikes and lockouts in 2014 and this one features stories of industrial unrest.
We begin with the story of ING Vysya.
Reflecting on past events is essential. It enables us to understand trends and varying points of view. It also lays out issues clearly before us. And hopefully it helps us to learn and find a better way, moving ahead.
“Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action”, said Peter Drucker.
So let us review ‘Employee Relations’ in 2014. This is the first part of a three part series of blog-posts. I have divided this note according to subject. The current blog post focuses on ‘Strikes and Lockouts in 2014’
Employee Engagement: The Role of Leadership
In my last SHRM blog as a Subject Matter Expert, “HR Processes for Employee Engagement” I ended with a caveat that the quality and tonality of Employee Engagement cascades directly from the leadership of the company. HR interventions can enhance the positive effects or reduce the negative effects of leadership and often does both. So, it is important for the HR Professional to be acutely tuned to the leadership culture and flow with it, at the same time, working to improve the leadership itself.
Yes, we are a generation of job hoppers. Yes, we don’t think of “stability” as a cool word. Yes, we believe in “moving on” to greener pastures. But is that what we really are at heart? A bunch of Bedouins forever gazing down the horizon raring to get back on the road?
Cultural Anchors of Employee Engagement
Why do we need a deeper understanding of Engagement?
The subject of this blog is 'Changing Paradigm of Employee Relations.' As I thought about this subject, I realizedthere are four key aspects to it. So, let me begin by sharing these with you as I 'set the approach'. I will then move on to other details.
Setting the Approach
Under influence of the belief that "good is the opposite of bad", mankind has for centuries been fixated with fault-finding, weaknesses and failings. Doctors have investigated the causes of diseases in order to learn about health. Psychiatrists and psychologists have investigated sadness in order to learn about joy. Organizations have investigated their "areas of development" or "weaknesses" in order to develop and make themselves better places to work.
A friend of mine recently went for an interview at a leading MNC. I was sure she would get the job as she has always been a high performer in the past, was exceptionally good during college, is smart and holds a charming personality. But, to my surprise, she did not.
Because she gave the right answers, but to the wrong questions!
The mid monsoon forum meet in Pune was all about changing 'point of view'. Suman Nair, a seasoned Human Resources facilitator, demonstrated how practicing a simple technique can change focus: from seeking to overcome the weaknesses in an organization, to appreciating and leveraging the core strength of the organization.
Ms. Nair is Managing Director at Atiitya Training and HR Consultants Pvt. Ltd. In the last two decades, she has worked extensively in the Human Resources space in companies like The Ion Exchange, Pantaloons, Tracmail, GE Capital and Mastek.
I was invited to participate in SAARC Sub-Regional Seminar of UNI Apro. The subject chosen was relevant and important for all who are interested in employee relations. For me personally it was [and it is] important. Let me explain the reason. I retired seven years ago and I have been meeting workers, professionals and managers from various industries. I have met union representatives. I have also been interviewing them to learn their view point and their concerns.
Create a plan for yourself and consider how you will evaluate it along the way - don't be scared to film yourself giving that next presentation and then asking a graduate to provide you with some feedback -I dare you.
- Gavin Freeman
When we speak about inclusion of all kind of talent into the workforce, there is a big chunk of the pool that we are missing out on – the differently abled individuals. As per statistics, approximately 2.13% of India's population is differently abled in some way. Most of them have been marginalized and kept out of the workforce, hence indicating the perception that they might not perform at par with the others.
Employee engagement is not just a buzz-word today. While it’s great that most organizations have come to value the importance of an engaged workforce, the obsession with the annual employee engagement surveys and award lists seems to be a case of misplaced importance. Granted that surveys are a great way to pool in copious amounts of data, that they help in establishing a base-line and the results can be insightful enough to guide you on the path ahead. But a survey is not the answer to everything (and that’s not just because surveys only have questions!).
Isn't this what we all want for ourselves and for the teams that we lead - To Win, Every Time?
This was precisely what Gavin Freeman, author, executive coach, and the keynote speaker at SHRM India's Annual Conference and Exposition talked about in his webinar held on 14th September, 2016.
In this competitive world, there are high chances of employees and managers moving between different roles. As a result, many of us experience working with various managers exhibiting different leadership styles. While some of us learn to forge relationships with our respective managers through few interactions, many of us take time to build a rapport with the new boss. During this transition phase, most of us find ourselves pondering upon questions like: Has the information about our performance been handed – over smoothly from the previous manager to the new one?
While we are quite familiar with the concept of 'feedback' and have faced many while at work, how many of us actually have noticed 'unsolicited’ feedback? This kind of feedback is also an important input when it comes to making behavioural changes. Most of us spend our entire life and career oblivious to these subtle cues or ignore these remarks that we receive. If given a little more thought, these too could make us more effective professionals by imbibing specific behavioural changes.
The pressure to perform consistently results into stress.
Talking about stress/pressure at work with the people at work is a topic non grata. Bosses don't want to know. Mostly, because they have no immediate solution at hand. Employees don't want to talk about it fearing they will be considered weak, non promotion material. People suffer and work suffers. A lose-lose situation for everyone.
Providing feedback has long been considered to be an essential skill for leaders. As they strive to achieve the goals of the organization, employees need to know how they are doing. They need to know if their performance is in line with what their leaders expect. They need to learn what they have done well and what they need to change. Traditionally, this information has been communicated in the form of “downward feedback” from leaders to their employees. Just as employees need feedback from leaders, leaders can benefit from feedback from their employees.
Exit Interviews are usually not perceived as pleasant interactions – some people view it as a venting exercise, some adopt an “advisory” approach of providing solutions to the issues they faced and a lot of people are usually indifferent!
We all know that finding, managing, developing, nurturing and strategically deploying talent - in short known as Talent Management - has become one of the major functions of HR. The questions on our mind are what defines this ‘Talent’, especially in today’s dynamic and ever-changing world? Does one Definition fit all?
We connected with DP Singh, VP and Head HR, IBM India/South Asia, to know more about the Face of Talent in the 21st Century.
The Start up movement has a lot of potential to create a positive change in the Indian economy, if, as an industry, we can lend support and guidance to those that are experimenting, innovating and are trying to create something new.
SHRMi16PITCH has been conceptualized with the aim to support all those who have dared to become a part of this creation process despite the risks it presents.
Technology-enabled learning is the use of any technology that aids in the acquisition and development of knowledge and understanding. Digital learning is becoming increasingly popular with organizations and working professionals irrespective of the fact whether it’s a part of the organization’s learning and development program or whether employees want to upgrade their skills as a part of their career goal.
However, this form of learning comes with a few pros and cons that learners should take into consideration to draw maximum benefits.
Potential needs opportunity to flower. It’s a live energy, if untapped at the right time it dissipates. With most things in life, what is not defined well is often, not measured well, misunderstood for most parts and abused in some parts. In most organizations identifying potential is a BIG deal. Some do it more scientifically than others, some more rigorously than others. What is certain that there is no standard way of identifying this Holy Grail.
Recently, I was a speaker at a panel discussion organized by a premier B-School. The moderator of the panel discussion asked me how my organization is dealing with the challenge of managing millennials. Pat came my response, “Do we need to manage millennials? Do we see the presence of millennials in our organizations as a challenge?” The moderator clearly didn’t anticipate this response and was visibly off-track for a few minutes before gaining the momentum back.
Employer branding has become an important part of HR. Building a brand that people would feel proud to work with and for is becoming necessary to attract the best talent and to retain current employees. The brand image and what it stands for is a major consideration when accepting a job offer.
We connected with Alpana Parida, Managing Director - DY Works + IDIOM, to understand what makes a brand, THE BRAND?
What defines a bold HR - is the question on our (all) our minds. It’s also the theme of our Annual Conference and Exposition, so to find out what it’s all about, we went straight to the source.
Ritu Anand, Dy. Head, Gobal HR & Talent Management - TCS, shares her thoughts on the bold new HR.
In the past few articles we have shared various elements of Diversity , as well as the importance of Diversity audits. While our country does not make diversity a legal compliance area, in order to be perceived as a global organization that believes in equal opportunities, organizations must proactively have metrics in place related to the composition of their workforce. This kind of periodic monitoring assists organizations in ensuring that close any glaring gaps which are leading to some kind of diversity imbalance at a particular location or business unit or management level.
To say that businesses around the world are facing tough challenges would be an understatement. To stay competitive, organizations are increasingly under pressure to be innovative.
The talent war that HR has been facing in the recent years is never like before. It's not only selecting the right fit to avoid the bad hire cost to the company that is a concern for HR. It is also equally imperative for HR to ensure that the employees are continuously preparing themselves for the emerging talent requirement to perform to their optimum potential and contribute effectively to the organization's goals. It is for these two reasons that there has been an increasing use of talent assessment tools in the organizations.
How does it feel to be a crucial part of your company’s ethos?
Today, one of the contributing factors that helps measure the progress of a company is the people that work there. ‘The employees’ are the wheels that carry the organization from point A to Z. The happier this sector, the more the chances of the organization flourishing.
Nearly 70 per cent of HR professionals use social media for recruitment. According to a study released in September 2015 by The Society for Human Resource Management, in collaboration with Ascendo Resources, 65 per cent of companies surveyed said they discovered new hires through social media channels within the past year.
A talented workforce is what gives an organization an edge over its competitors. It is therefore important for all organizations to have a set and well formulated strategy to acquire, engage, and retain talent.
We connected with Harlina Sodhi, Senior EVP, Head, Culture and Capability, IDFC Bank, to understand her viewpoint on talent acquisition and holistic approach to the metrics.
There's a lot of buzz around HR. There's a new image in the making - its bold and brave. HR is now emerging to be one of the crucial functions in an organization. And it should be, after all the HR does manage an organization's most important asset - its people. So, what exactly is this new change in HR?
Culture - is what sets one person or place apart from another. It is also a major factor in determining if someone would want to revisit or further their acquaintance with you. If it's good - it works as a relationship builder, if not - it drives people away - this is precisely why Culture is an important aspect of the organization set.
HR is synonymous with the terms - performance appraisal and bell curve. They use these to promote, place, and assess employee training needs. Till now, it was the HR facilitating the performance appraisal of all the other employees in the organization - but recently there's a lot of buzz around HR - some are asking if we really need HR? some are saying they're the most important - but underutilized - resource in the company.
Facilitating learning and training is one of the main functions of HR. Through this, they ensure that their employees are up-to-date with the latest and the required knowledge and skills to do their jobs.
In today's competitive and dynamic business environment, organizations need to pay attention to every aspect of business. They must realize that achieving lasting success in the industry requires more than just high sales or profits. People want and expect more than just salaries, commercial payments, dividends from those that they work for and engage with as shareholders, investors, business partners, vendors, consumers, and as a part of the society in general.
SHRM India along with XLRI, Jamshedpur launched a first of its kind Integrated Executive Certificate Programme that will provide working professionals a comprehensive understanding of Human Resource Management and will prepare them for HR Leadership roles in the global environment. Based on SHRM Global Competency Model, this programme will also help the participants in their preparation for the global SHRM certification exams – SHRM-CP and SHRM- SCP. Talentedge, an e-education provider is to offer an online platform for this program.
Big news to share! Last week, I was invited to present the opening keynote at SHRM India’s HR Technology conference in Mumbai. Not only is this an incredible opportunity to learn more about the state of HR technology in one of the world’s fastest growing markets, it also challenges me to put some stakes in the ground on what I think are the most important trends driving innovation in this corner of the enterprise.
HR as a function is evolving rapidly. Usage of technology has become a key enabler for HR. Many companies have also started exploring HR Analytics as the next big lever to improve the performance of the organization. However, the success of such initiatives has been uncertain. Further, the adoption of HR Analytics in the recruitment sub-function of HR is even less evolved. Here is an attempt to understand the challenges and the road that lies ahead of us.
Analytics has three levels of sophistication:
1) Hindsight: Data-collection and reporting
'Did you capture the right metrics which show the HR value - add?' - is one of the most common questions heard in the HR corridors for long now. Dashboards, data decks and reports generated from information systems are being incorporated in the HR departments’ reports since last decade or so. HR facts like headcount, attrition, productivity, hiring and demographics are some of the popular areas of HR reports.
People are one of the key factors in creating competitive edge for enterprises. However, until late HR and CxOs never had opportunities such as data sciences and advanced analytics techniques to work together to radically improve employee productivity and retention. According to Gartner, by 2018, 25% of large organizations will incorporate social employee recognition and rewards into their performance management processes. Exploitation of analytics that measure various aspects of employee activity will be critical in helping organizations improve business results.
In December of 2014, my list of 2015 predictions was topped by the following statement: "Training management finally has its day." It's now March, and time to clarify something very important about that statement. The software vendors themselves need to move the first chess piece. That realization came to me at a celebration of Holi, the spring festival of colors and love.
Kerry Drake on-boarded his United Airlines flight. His mother, who was severely ill, was living her last minutes. He was on the way to see her. Unluckily, his first flight got postponed. Drake broke down. The flight attendants noticed his uncontrollable sobbing and helplessness. Within minutes, the flight's crew responded to this situation by delaying the connecting flight's departure to make sure he got on board and could see his mother.
HR Audits are becoming the need of the hour. An audit is typically conducted to identify the baseline or evaluate the current situation within the organization with respect to a certain area or sub-process. Hence in case of Diversity, such an audit is important to understand where the organization stands and the distance it needs to cover with respect to its goals in this area.
If one is conducting a comparative survey, then this helps to assess one’s situation against the market practice.
There are a lot of things that have happened around the world in 2016. But for us, in India, Demonetization of INR 500 and INR 1000 currency notes, that was announced on 8th November, 2016, is perhaps the highlight of the year.
For decades, we've spoken about them behind their backs, made pot shots at their behaviour, their dressing style, cracked jokes about them and ridiculed their way of life. Today our mind cannot but think of this person we deal with [or rather have to deal with] every day. Oh yes, ladies and gentlemen, we are talking about your Boss!
Here are our top five reasons, on why we think, being a boss or a leader is tough work:
How is the learning landscape of the workforce changing?
There are five trends reshaping the learning landscape today. Let’s take a closer look at them.
The term "Employer Branding", was first publicly introduced to a management audience in 1990 and was defined by Simon Barrow, Chairman of People in Business; and, Tim Ambler, Senior Fellow of London Business School. It was meant to denote an organisation’s reputation as an employer. Since then, it has gained considerable acceptance in the global management community.
Reading a post in the paper a few days ago got us thinking about how people (new employees) in a job might really look at their jobs and work life balance.
We know that these two areas are linked. But what we are yet to understand is which one determines or impacts the other. So in essence, we are trying to answer this core question through the article – Does a flexible workplace lead to a more diverse workforce being there within an organization OR if the organization has a diverse workforce it tends to create a more flexible workplace?
“In a world where most factors of production are increasingly standardized, where a production line or the goods on a supermarket shelf are much the same the world over, employee engagement is the difference that makes the difference” (Macleod & Clarke, 2008).
In an increasingly globalized world and multi-cultural workplace, professionals face many challenges including dealing with cross cultural sensitivities. How individuals, teams and organizations work effectively across these cultural differences was the subject of the talk by Brian Schroeder, Head of Culture and Communication, Microsoft, at SHRM India’s Bangalore Forum meet held in June.
The world of work is changing. Increasing globalization is constantly reshaping the contours of knowledge-driven economies and also belying the importance of Industrial Relations (IR). The changes have also brought along with it a number of strategic opportunities to improve prospects of both enterprises and employees.
LET’S PLAY TOGETHER
Okay, we are different it's true.
And I don't like to do all the things that you do.
But here's one thing to think through,
you are a lot like me and I'm a lot like you!
We often hear about diversity, and usually in the context of gender, race or ethnicity. These certainly are aspects of diversity, but that is not all there is to it. Diversity can also be introduced through several socio-demographic factors like personality, age, disability, sexual orientation, values people bring in, work experience, geographic locations etc. In true sense, it is the diversity of thoughts that is the essence of all of the above and these challenges are more pronounced in a vast country like India.
In October this year, I attended the HR Tech World Congress as a Speaker and Moderator in their Learning Track. The organizers had requested me to speak on Big Data and how it can be leveraged in the Learning and Development space.
While interacting with the delegates at the conference, my earlier notion of Big Data being a black box to L&D practitioners just got further reinforced. While most of them were aware that Big Data is going to change the way people learn, many didn’t know how to deal with this new phenomenon. This discovery prompted me into writing this blog.
The Armed Forces devote their lives to guard our nation’s sovereignty and work tirelessly to protect us and our families during times of turmoil. Some of these brave men and women lose their lives or are incapacitated while defending our safety. The attacks in 2016 in Pathankot, Pampore, Uri, and the latest in Nagrota are the most current examples of the dangers that they face while on duty.
Doesn’t it then become our duty to assist and ease the transition to civil work-life for them when they retire from the force? It does.
There’s a lot of discussion around artificial intelligence. Industry is exploring and experimenting on how it can be used by various functions across the organization, its pros and cons - especially how it will affect the workplace or more specifically our jobs. Given all this buzz about artificial intelligence, we want to know how HR can use it to its benefits - especially in the field of talent management.
This week's question for Ask the Coach:
I read that you have flown millions of miles. I don't see how you do it. Do you have any suggestions for making air transportation less painful?
Millennial employees are expected to change the workplace culture in the coming years. Born between 1980 and 2000, these employees are entering the employment in vast numbers and will form around 75% of global workforce by 2025 according to a Brookings Data Now report published in 2014.
While the trend of technology in HR is yet to mature and reach its full potential in India, it is definitely catching up with its global counterparts. The buyers and suppliers of HR technology in India have taken several steps in the right direction leading the industry pundits to predict that the maturity story of the HR technology domain in India may shape up quicker and better.
Aligning a team or organization towards a common vision is one of the biggest challenges faced by leaders across the world. In the fast-paced business landscape of today, having a good idea does not seem to be nearly enough, companies with great ideas are being beaten to the post by competitors who are able to move their teams and organizations faster. This poses a two-pronged problem for the leaders:
If you want a crash course in HR Tech that culminates in an illuminating talk about what’s next in WorkSpace technology, you’ve come to the right place. Over the next 3 months, as a lead up to my job as a Key Speaker at the SHRM India HR Tech ’15 Conference in Mumbai, I’ll take you through the ins and outs of HR Technology. In the 6 posts that follow, I’ll discuss some of the biggest topics in this space.
Here’s a rundown of the topics: