Chairman Emeritus Reconnect 51 “Re-defining HR”

My dear friends,

As human ambitions are growing, quest towards excellence in performance is continuing to intensify. Experts and Management Gurus all over the world are revisiting HR concepts and practices to face the new challenges and opportunities in the field of Human Development and Utilization, Talent nurturing and retention, Employer Branding, Global mindsets, Drivers of Engagement etc. Call of the hour is to dissect HRM & HRD right at the foundation level and re-define these human sciences afresh in organizational context.

Business Management / Project Management were conventionally defined as management of 4-Ms:

  • Man
  • Material
  • Machinery
  • Money

Multinationals feel that talent is cheap in India!! According to them manpower resource is so cheap in India  that you can import material and export products after getting them engineered and manufactured in India through cheap manpower. Jack Welch the-then CEO of General Electric (GE) once said during the inauguration of GE’s R&D Centre in Bangalore “India is a developing country but it is a developed country as far as its intellectual capital is concerned. We get the best intellectual capital per dollar here”.

Question Arises

Is man an objectified resource like any other inert resource viz. material, machinery and money; which can be hired and fired any time! Can the choicest divine creation of God be reduced to such an inert level of consciousness that it can be queued up with lifeless material resources?

The Answer is NO…

  • One single intuitive idea of a person can fetch you billions of dollars….
  • Entrepreneurial geniuses like Bill Gates and Dhirubhai Ambani have proved to the world that even qualifications are not required to be visionary……and successful.
  • World Leaders like Mahatma Gandhi could inspire millions to achieve historic objectives without any material resource in their hands.

Human beings are Living beings not Inert Resources

  • Human beings are divine souls with unlimited power of enlightenment.
  • According to Hal F. Rosenbluth founder of “Rosenbluth International” (world Leaders in Corporate Travel Management operating in >50 countries), there can never be employees but associates, who cannot be “fired” but only parted with dignity.

We have to appreciate how “emotional and spiritual intelligence” plays a crucial role compared to mere “intellect and expertise” in raising the productivity bars.

‘The Customer Comes Second’ by Hal F. Rosenbluth deliberates upon utilization of human beings, harnessing their potential with dignity. His Company achieved 98% client retention rate by focusing on their staff, not their clients. Once I stayed in a Hotel in Hyderabad and came down to the “Reception Desk” complaining that there was no wall clock in my room and I was not able to regulate my time for preparing for an International conference organised in that city. I had forgotten to bring my own wristwatch in that trip. The lady at the reception had no clock to provide but immediately she spared her own wrist watch saying that I could keep it till I was staying in that hotel. I could not comprehend the kind of motivation infused in the staff by the Hotel Management to provide service from their hearts till I read ‘The Customer Comes Second’.

Human Potential

Human beings have “infinite potential”. While this is an undeniable truth and does not require elucidation, hardly anything is really done for optimal utilization of this limitless power. An average man makes use of not more than 5 to 10% of his hidden talents; even people like Einstein have been able to use only about 18% of this latent power.

There is, therefore, a dire need for professionals concerned with HRD to give a thought to this tremendous under-utilization of the human potential and find ways and means to augment it. Every man is capable of performing much better than what he thinks he can. Even if he improves himself by 1% the resultant cumulative effect on overall organizational proficiency will be tremendous. Sky is the limit.

Happiness in an Organization

As more and more companies pay as much attention to their people as they do to public image, employer branding, increased profits, everything else would fall in place. Profits are a natural extension of happiness in the workplace. People work better when they want to work. Henry Ford said “There is joy in work. There is no happiness except in the realization that we have accomplished something”.

Changing Management Paradigm

The changing career management paradigm is shifting from organization to individuals to be in charge of their own careers. The significant shift in terms of different parameters can be seen as below:

No Old Paradigm New Paradigm
1 Success = Career Ladder Success = Valued Skills
2 Authority Influence
3 Vertical Hierarchy Horizontal and Orbital Hierarchy
4 Entitlement Marketability
5 Loyalty to Company Loyalty to work and self
6 Identity = Job, position, occupation Identity = Contribution to work
7 Attention to bosses and Managers Attention to clients and customers
8 Employees Associates, team members
9 Full time employment Part time, Flexi time and contractual
10 Bureaucratic Organisation Shared vision and mission

Need for change in HR paradigm

Treating human beings as a resource to be used, utilized and manipulated like any other resource is demeaning. Shifting from “Personnel Administration” to “Human Resource Management” including “Human Resource Development” could not give any comfort to the employees since equating human beings with any other resource was derogatory. It was like putting old wine into new bottles. People cannot be relegated to corporate resource; they can at best represent corporate strength or corporate potential of the organisation. Working people would prefer the organisation to enable them attain their true potential and in so doing, help the organization to achieve its objectives. Synchronising the personal ambitions with the organisational objectives would be the key.

The Magic of Organizational Physics

Magic is in the understanding of the intrinsic natural frequency of individuals and synergizing the same with the induced frequency of the organizational enthusiasm. Human potential is so mesmerizing that if it is motivated/ vibrated to the right degree, it can resonate to infinite amplitudes of performance!!!

Matching the expectations at the onset

If we look at recruitment advertisements, generally the job description is mentioned along with required qualifications and experience. People have many more expectations like respect and dignity, recognition, growth etc. as shown alongside. The organization also has expectations more than mere job description. Why not define them at the first instance?

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Competency Mapping and Enhancement

Competency Mapping is a process of identifying key competencies of a person for a job and incorporating those throughout the processes viz. recruitment, job evaluation and training. Competency mapping identifies an individual’s strengths and weaknesses. The aim is to enable the person to better understand himself or herself and to point out where career development efforts need to be directed. Competencies are derived from specific job categories within the organization and are often grouped around classes such as strategy, relationships, innovation, leadership, risk-taking, decision-making, emotional intelligence, etc. Once mapped, training can be planned to fill the gaps and enhancing the required skills.

Re-defining HRM/HRD as HPD

If HRM/HRD can be replaced by Human potential development (HPD), it would make a sea change in the mind-sets. HPD would be an integrative and continuous process of enhancing human capabilities and capacities by enriching human beings’ existing potential and helping them to discover and tap their latent potential. It would focus on self-development and self-management synchronising with organizational needs and development.

Sooner the organizations shift to HPD, better it would be for their higher productivity and higher accomplishments together with overall happiness.

Best wishes and Regards,

Dr. B.S.K.Naidu

BE(Hons), M.Tech., Ph.D., CBI-Scholar, D.Engg. (Calif.), FNAE, Hon.D.WRE (USA)
Chairman Emeritus, Great Lakes, Gurgaon, NCR, New Delhi, INDIA
Former Director General (NPTI & CPRI) Govt. of India

No job is small or big, the way in which you do, makes it small or big (c)

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