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Turning the profession of #HR



Anupam Singh - Corporate HR,Motherson Group


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HR function as a whole has to perform as an integrated unit. It takes a sense of competence and a strong ability to listen and learn. HR is all about learning. We have to be in a continuous learning and innovative group.

Today we talk about the turning the HR profession into the most valuable part of the business, what is and how it looks like?

We need to understand why HR is important but just remember that everything going in business is dependent to some degree on people and everything which goes on people's side of business should be taken care of by HR. Hiring, Sourcing, Developing the people, moving people into the right role, creating an innovative culture, improving DEI, improving retention, reskilling people on and on and on.

So, what you find when we relook at the matter of the professional skills of the HR is a very  high correlation between the skills of the HR and the business of that business units.  My experience spans a wide range of study to look at the capability’s levels of the HR team. And that’s because the people's operations run better, and people are better taken care of.

Couple of things I want to mention here are that HR professionals themselves are very complex, just like any other profession in the business like IT, finance, operations, marketing and  there are many different roles and many professionals who come to very different roles. From my perspective, HRs are really like anthropology, it’s like a whole bunch of animals working together on this planet of opportunities in this business area. People comment on this anthropology with different backgrounds and tend to specialize in different areas.  Let me just run through this major facet of the pillar and understand the transition of HR looks like.

  1. First of course of Administration, payroll, compliance, operations, staffing, time and attendance management, these are majorly traditional facets of HR.
  2. Then its compensation and benefits, rewards, executive compensation, sometimes well-being that’s a very specialized area.
  3. And the third is most common which is the HRBP, the person who is the VP of HR, the generalist, the person who faces off against the business unit, the person who sits together with the leadership team to manage the ongoing business ops.
  4. The fourth is the L&D people, people who run the development of the organization, chief learning officer, training managers, content developers, these people understand the leadership development, succession management and many forms of the professional training, understand the technologies and methodologies of education and training.
  5. The next is what I call employee experience, there is a whole domain of people in HR that have psychology degrees, or they have certification in analytics and statistics. They do employee surveys, collecting data between the different parts of the organization and what is the impact of the various employee factors.
  6. The next are facilities people, people those are related with logistics, facilities, operations.
  7. The next is labor relations, like labor related companies, labor-oriented environment, manufacturing, people that deal with collective bargaining, legal negotiation, compliance, harassment, and all these are legal relation people.
  8. Then there is DEI people, a small but very important group of professionals that understand all the issues of equity, inclusion, and fairness.
  9. Then there are TA professionals, people who deal with the highly complex area of sourcing, recruiting, assessing, interviewing, on boarding, finding people, creating employment brands, understanding the relation between recruiting, and hiring managers and the entire complex process.
  10. Then there are people in HR tech, people who are basically technology professionals, working in the domain of HR and understanding how systems work and their implementation and integration with IT.
  11. Then there are data scientists, analytics people, they understand check-bots on the basis of data, AI, ML, and
  12. Finally, there are people who focus on health and safety and all.

We HR professionals are expected to be highly competent and understand the role of technology and be specific about the goals associated with the groups that are connected and have a clear mission with the organizational goals. The second things the great HR organizations has clear and continuously improving service delivery model. Everything that happens in the employee’s life from losing the laptop, to forgetting the ID card and feeling underpaid could kick off the requirement of the special support, that’s service delivery model is critical to success.

Developing the service delivery model is critical and it demands lots of expertise and technical skills.

Design and innovation, company are investing in the people practices, there are highly

The fourth is the professional development of the HR team, now just like professional development of the salespeople, marketing people, IT and finance people so it’s true in HR. This is a very in demand area with very immature solutions, it doesn’t mean sending somebody to get the SHRM certification really means giving people job rotation into and out of hr, into cross functional teams and sending academies. Access to external experts in continuous education on best practice, evolution of technology, culture, economics and science and what’s going on in the business industry.

The fifth indication is world class focus on technology, now you could be great HR dept and lag in true sense of technology. Everybody’s job is based on tech and depends on data. Invest in an HR IT partners and architecture, constantly look at the tools and technology because the market is changing so fast. Experiment and iterate and feel the sense of competition around the technology and HR technology in the HR function itself.

The sixth is very important area is a focus on the employee experience, I don't mean just buying employee exp tools and just doing surveys, I mean having a serious focus and the deep understanding of the critical roles of the personas, the journeys, demographic challenges of the workforce, the transition of the people go through in the company, what impacts the well-being, what impacts the diversity and inclusion and what are those various technology enablement that we can provide to make their experience better and better and better over time.  The employee experience stretches from the candidate experience to the new hire experience, to the somebody in their job and becoming a manager or leader to somebody who is becoming an alumni so that’s a big area, it's not about the one person so it's a big area of HR. Just make sure employee experience should be in the center of anything which you design.

Number seven is the optimization of the center of excellence, now many people in HR know this but the domain of the HR is complex. I mean Talent Acquisition alone has hundreds of practices required to do huge practices, L&D is similar, C&B, Rewards systems. How to build a mobility system, How to do analytics, these are COE.

Another important aspect is finally the “Team”, now the HR functions as a whole has to perform as an integrated unit. It takes a sense of competence and a strong ability to listen and learn. HR is all about learning. We have to be in a continuous learning and innovative group.  Highly capable HR teams” directly correlate with the financial, talent, and customer performance in their respective business units.