HR – The Way Forward

GREAT LAKES GUEST LECTURE SERIES – Mr SANJEEV SHARAN

DIRECTOR (HR – GLOBALIZATION) – ZTE TELECOM LTD.

Thursday, 13 September 2018: An enthusiastic crowd, comprised of 100 plus Jaguars (PGDM 2018-20 batch), gathered in the auditorium dressed in business formals looking as sharp as Obsidian Blades, to learn about the significance of HR in companies from one of the best the field has to offer. Mr. Sanjeev Sharan, Director (HR – Globalization), ZTE Telecom Ltd., was in the campus to provide us with in-depth knowledge of the role of HR in the 21st Century and covered various topics like, expectations of businesses from HR, ways in which HR can be the core of a business and clarified if the time is ripe for HR to change to avoid going extinct; in an insightful interaction.

ZTE Telecom Ltd.

ZTE Corporation is a Chinese multinational telecommunications equipment and systems company headquartered in Shenzhen, Guangdong, China. It is one of China’s leading telecom equipment manufacturers. ZTE operates in three business segments – Carrier Networks (~54%)-Terminals (~29%)-Telecommunication (~17%). Being a Chinese company, its workplace policies and culture are quite different from those followed by Indian organizations. This was an interesting insight into work cultures followed by companies outside India for the attending crowd.

Mr Sanjeev Sharan – ZTE Telecom Ltd.

Mr Sanjeev Sharan is currently working as the Director (HR-Globalization) for ZTE Telecom Ltd. and is an accomplished HR Professional with over 24 years of experience in renowned organizations. Mr Sanjeev has been working as Director (HR-Globalization) with ZTE for 4 years and has also worked with MTS Sistema Shyam Teleservices and Reliance in the past. During his professional career, Mr Sanjeev has over 18 years of work experience in the Telecom industry in the HR Department. He is a strategic HR professional with Global experience and has a strong exposure to Culture Building, Performance Management and Business HR. He also headed the Globalization Project based in China with a focus on setting up HR led processes and policies aligned to Global Best Practices.

Role of HR in companies today

Expectations of businesses from HR

Mr Sanjeev started off the lecture by introducing the Great Lakers to the relevance of HR. He explained why people would want to join HR and also stated that HR is about finding the “Right people for the Right role”. According to him, HR is no longer a support function but has matured to be an advisory function. Everything that can be measured, should be measured and HR has the responsibility to find ways to accurately measure the data related to the employees and advice the top management accordingly. Another requirement that businesses have from the HR function is to get into the mindset of the person whom they are investing money in, so as to understand the value that he may provide to the company. He also put forth the fact that technologies are changing at a rapid pace, companies are struggling to keep up with these advances and are now seeking the help of HR to fill the gap between the emerging technologies and the manpower required to utilize these technologies profitably.

HR as the core of businesses

Mr Sanjeev stated that the core functions of the HR department are its “ FLEXIBILITY” in processes. He further explained that Business focus should be “married” to HR focus to achieve higher goals. He then dived into the key areas where currently HR spends maximum time (Recruitment, engagement, payroll and incentive calculation, etc.), brushing up on the tasks that are undertaken in each area. His belief is that “Power of HR is how you align it”, HR practices that are the result of an extensive study of data gathered from various processes within the company will provide more fruition than generic HR practices. Mr Sanjeev then linked business challenges to HR, explaining HR’s role as an advisory figure to business, helping them in building right leadership mindset, measuring productivity, fair evaluation culture, maintaining right talent pool and right people identification.

The Way Forward

The final topic tackled was if the time is ripe for HR to change to avoid becoming obsolete. Mr Sanjeev having two decades’ worth of experience was the perfect person to address this topic as he gave significant insights into the change that already is taking place in the HR departments across the companies around the world. He said, “The age-old HR practices have to be discarded due to the changing work environment. Knowledge is power and this is what HR has to conform to in all its functions. Deep industry and competition knowledge, networking, automation to reduce man-days, focus on culture fitment are few standouts in the recruitment function of HR.” In regard to careers, he stated that “data-based decisions, promotion linked to organization need, capability and performance-based promotion are the factors which build careers.” He then moved to Analytics in HR, as the world today is based on data and the analytics of this data. He explained that there is no place anymore in HR for “I think….& It Should”, as every action and every decision has to be based on appropriate facts and data.

To conclude, it was an exciting and interactive session for the Jaguars which helped the young B-School students understand the nuances of HR and how the theories they learn in classes get applied to the corporate world.

Author: Indrajeet Vadgama

PGDM, Class of 2020, Great Lakes, Gurgaon

Advertisements

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?

pic1-jpg

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)