Article (January-2018)

Articles

HR should contribute to business success

Jana Venkata Ramakrishna

Designation : -   Multi- property Director of Human Resources

Organization : -  Kochi Marriott Hotel & Courtyard by Marriott Kochi Airport, Kochi

01-Jan-2018

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What's on your New Year's focus list for your HR role? HR leaders share their goals for 2018, like streamlining HR processes, improving leadership training and enhancing associate engagement.
The one thing that HR leaders should focus in 2018 is to contribute to business success such that by doing it everything else will be easier or even unnecessary.
The resolutions are based on areas, which are important from associates' and business perspectives, and will reenergize the Human Resources function in the year 2018 !
IN THE BEGINNING…
Stay Connected - Social Media Champion
"I will start leveraging internal social media applications to satisfy my associates' need to stay connected & socialize" research shows that a majority (87 per cent) of associates use social media for personal benefits, such as gathering general information and sharing personal interests. Businesses need to understand this need and must strive to fulfill it by creating company specific social networks via internal applications. Doing it will not only address the associates' fundamental need to stay connected but will have far-reaching consequences by improving associates' engagement and in turn their productivity. 
Publicize your Superstars - Recognition
"I will start using new avenues for recognition of my associates like company Face book, LinkedIn etc." When asked whether recognition on social media sites encourages associates to perform better, 67 per cent responded affirmatively while 33 per cent disagreed with the same. HR can use social media as a platform to felicitate and reward associates (star performer, associate of the month etc.). Putting their pictures on company Face book page helps but giving them recommendations on LinkedIn, tweeting about them, mentioning them on company blogs are some of the other ways to make associates feel like company superstars.
Let the Games Begin - the power of gamification
"I will start exploring learning through gamification, and storytelling" Using gamification in training is found to be effective for increasing level of interest in training and better engagement. They are considered most effective for 'Soft skills training' and 'Trainings during Induction'. Another emerging area storytelling is also considered safe as it connects individuals through emotions and is ideal to engage all generations. However, companies should be cautious about going overboard with gamifying as some programs require human touch, exploration, debates and group dynamics. 
People Analytics - Leverage BIG data
"I will start exploring Predictive Analytics for obtaining Insights in Big Data" The insights hidden in Big Data today are innumerable. Predictive analytics solutions are the best way to unearth those. The area in which its benefits have been proven is recruitment. Predictive analytics for big data can be utilized in recruitment not only to manage applicant volume, but also to identify best hiring sources, and improve candidate selection in hiring process. Furthermore it can also be explored for areas of performance management, engagement and rewards among others.
CONTINUE…
Employer Brand - The Book is Judged by its Cover
"I will continue using social media to track my employer brand & reputation" Most candidates trust social sites to know about the reputation of the company in the industry and its work culture. Respondents shared that rely heavily on social media to know more about a job role. HR needs to capitalize on this opportunity to represent genuine and positive content on social media traffic about the company, its work culture and the specific jobs. Necessary steps should also be taken by organizations to manage sites such as Glassdoor.com, as 53 per cent are not currently managing them. Commanding the discussions about company on blogs, forums, Twitter, Facebook etc. is critical for HR in order to set the right mood for prospective associates and other stakeholders. 
The Learning POTLUCK
"I will start utilizing networking as a learning medium for my associates" It is time companies start exploring the utility of seminars/conferences for training as they are good platforms for networking and as adults we learn more quickly with experiential sharing. In doing so, the L&D function has to ensure that a robust process of documentation exists to capture learning through networking. Networking makes learning an ongoing, open - ended process, which is self - directed and explorative in nature. 
It's a Comma not Full stop 
"I will continue exploring how to engage with my company alumni (for referrals & strengthening my employer brand and other dipstick studies)" When asked whether they would connect with previous employer via social media after exit 62 per cent responded affirmatively. Since the alumni are quite willing to connect with the past employer, companies need to figure out how HR can create potential goodwill through electronic word - of mouth. Alumni can not only act as brand ambassadors for the organization but can also serve as a great sample for dipstick studies to preview policy change impact, areas of improvement etc. 
My Manager is my best friend
"I will continue being a friend, philosopher, and guide for my Gen Y (& not a gatekeeper)". Gen Y in general is more self - assured and certain of taking decisions. They want their managers to be more of a friend, philosopher and guide rather than a decision maker. Being a friend, philosopher, and guide to Gen Y is the best way to bond with them. This approach helps managers to understand their way of working, life's motivations and the challenges they face. Managers can also benefit from this equation as they can learn from Gen Y through reverse mentoring which is also a great way for millennials to demonstrate their unique skills.
Go Be Happy - The Happiness in Ending
90 Minutes - The Magic
"I will stop having learning sessions of more than 90 minutes" When asked about the ideal time period for a training session, majority of the companies (45 per cent) believe that 90 minutes is ideal. For one complete day of training (approximately 6 hours), modules should be designed in such a way that associates undergo training for 4 sessions, of 90 minutes each i.e. 4x90 minutes. It is interesting to note that many respondents during their conversation also shared that post 45 minutes the faculty should do a 'stop check' and proceed further. With micro learning being the next wave in learning, 90 minutes of magic could be entire training session time in years to come.
One Size does not fit all - Differential Generations Differential Rewards
"I will stop having a 'one-size fits-all' approach to rewards and will structure differential rewards for different associate generations" The three main generations at work viz. Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y have varying life's priorities and motivations. Similarly, their fixed & variable pay expectations, and incentive requirements are widely divergent. Even their benefits requirements (health, retirement, vacation) are worlds apart. Each generation is comfortable with a different combination of performance process, feedback and recognition. Gone are the days when a single total rewards strategy addresses the needs of every generation. The ultimate goal for compensation & benefits professionals will be to develop a made-to-order reward scheme for every single associate based on his/her preferences. 
Work - Life - Balance - from Nice 2 Need 2
"I will stop neglecting work life balance as low priority and start addressing it on priority" Be it Generation X, Generation Y, or even Baby Boomers, maintaining work - life balance is vital for all, even though it may mean different things for different generations. Overdose of 24x7 connectivity, long working hours, globalization are some of the reasons that made them feel the need to respect personal and vacation time. The key here is to create happy associates…those who would be happier, more productive and therefore more engaged. 
Sharing is caring - Open Hearts & Open Minds
"I will stop the mindset of not sharing the critical policy information just because the prospect has not joined yet (e.g. organization values, sexual harassment policy, rating process in performance management, leave & working hours etc.) It is striking that companies do not share important policies and guidelines with potential associates before they join (39 per cent). Only 16 per cent share it voluntarily whereas 19 per cent share key policy information only when asked for. Sharing key procedures, policies, and guidelines is beneficial both ways. Potential candidates can figure out what to expect and the practice eliminates surprises when they join. The company benefits by hiring only those who share the same values and are comfortable with the policies and procedures. 
Conclusion : 
Let it help us reach where we want by overhauling, repairing, fixing, renovating, and reinventing our practices and solutions, thereby re-energizing what we do and how we do it!