The single most important tip that I would share with a budding HR professional is to not see herself (or himself) as one. Rather, she should see herself as a business professional who has an all-round understanding of business with, possibly, a deeper sense of human resources management.
Hence, for those who want to make a career in the world of HR, it would be prudent to expand their view and understand the interplay of the human element in the larger context of business and society.
It has been an exciting career in HR and there are many treasured memories that I have accumulated over the years. Amongst these, the achievement that I am most proud about is having built the campus hiring program at Wipro DOP along with a stellar group of co-workers. Building the entire recruitment engine from the ground up and scaling it to become the largest in the ITES space in the country in just three years, took an immense about of effort fuelled by passion and camaraderie.
In the current world stage, entire countries re-evaluating their global economic linkages and there is significant flux on the policy front. Facilitated by Industrial Revolution 4.0, humans find themselves in the midst of debate, flanked by technology on all sides. On top of this, many in the world of business are questioning the scorching competitive, ‘winner takes all’ framework of the past decade.
This is the time, when HR is therefore, at the centre stage and expected to define the direction for businesses given the increased dependency on human capital. At such a time, HR needs to play an active role by being in the driver’s seat and working with the policy framers in charting out the direction for not only, their organisation, but the industry that they are part of. It is in this way, that HR will contribute strategically to the organisation.
Almost all organisations, have a ‘Reward and Recognition’ program that is periodic in nature. However, recognizing co-workers for their efforts and achievements on an ongoing basis is a practice that I have always propagated. I firmly believe that it delivers the dividends over the long term. As humans, we crave for acceptance and recognition and when that happens in an organic, unstructured way, it feels even more special. Hence, I have always guided my teams to openly acknowledge the hard work their colleagues are doing and thank them for their contribution. This, invariably, leads to a more warm and enjoyable work environment.
It is truly said that ‘Life is a Great Teacher’. Management books, seminars and workshops can only do so much. It is only when one is in the trenches and getting his (or her) hands dirty, does true learning take place. As one goes through the iterations in fine-tuning a product or service, one understands the multiple dynamics that play a role in achieving a successful output. And, how, seemingly small decisions and human interactions have a much larger impact. Therefore, experiential learning has a much larger impact on employees apart from just turning their grey!
As constant up-training becomes the need of the hour, it is important to create, both, push and pull factors to drive trainings within organisations. Designing and aligning training programs in line with desired business direction and then linking those to career paths creates an incentive for employees, pushing them to take up the trainings.
In parallel, by deploying technology platforms for training programs that enable on-demand learning, gamification and bite-size learning, create that pull factor which ensures that employees keep coming back for more. Along with this, at a larger level, if leaders are able to establish a culture of learning in the organisation, then training becomes more palatable, and in fact, more desirable.