Article (September-2021)


It is a challenge to align the business processes focusing on fulfilling people agenda

Dr. Jignesh Shah

Designation : -   Vice President-HR & Admin

Organization : -  Montecarlo Limited


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Do you think there will be need of recalibrating HR post covid? If yes, what would be the focus areas?

JS Yes, there will be need of recalibrating HR Post Covid. The current Covid situation has forced every organisation to think out of the box ideas to get work done. Suddenly, thing like "Digital Transformation" has taken a boom and performing various HR processes in online platform has become a "New Normal".

Keeping in mind the present scenario the major focus areas for recalibration would be :

Leadership - Every employee would have to develop leadership quality within them. It's time to develop them as a Brand like; PRIDE (Proactive, Resilience, Innovative, Discipline, Ethical) DRIVE (Daring, Responsive, Inclusive, Venturing, Empathy).

Having good leadership skills is not strictly about supervising or managing others. Instead, it's about communicating your strategy and vision while encouraging others and embracing feedback from colleagues and superiors. Being self-aware and holding yourself accountable is particularly important during these challenging times.

Flexibility & Adaptability - Being flexible and adaptable is something we have all had to get used to over the last few months. But it's also a crucial skill that every employer would be keeping an eye out for. While being flexible in work was once aligned with geographic mobility, now, it is about having an open Mindset, being able to work well under pressure, adjusting to new and unexpected deadlines, prioritizing tasks and in some instances taking on additional responsibilities.

Tech Savvy - This is the most important aspect of Post Covid requirement for any employee/employer. The pandemic has accelerated the desperate need for specialist digital skillsets to help businesses become more aligned with todays numerous technologies and platforms. It is important to know every system or platform, demonstrating a solid working knowledge of data literacy, computer programming, big data, and server to cloud, artificial intelligence will help to grow the business.

Communication - Communication and social intelligence go hand-in-hand and there is still a need for genuine human connection and understanding in every job role. To have good emotional intelligence is to be aware of and demonstrate empathy for others emotions and behaviours which is crucial, especially when people are feeling uneasy. And this is also where good communication skills are critical; as many of us continue to work from home, clarity in emails and at virtual meetings is a must to cement trust and retain high productivity levels.

Do you think that employee trust deficit has come down to low? If yes, what factors have been instrumental in this shift?

JS In view of Pandemic employees trust has shaken because they have faced extraordinary uncertainty in their professional & personal life. The global growth turns negative sharply which impacted on their career as well as prospect of career growth. Employees of retail, hospitality, tourism & transport have faced the maximum heat of this uncertainty.

The main factors are retrenchment, lays off, holding the annual increment/bonus, pay cut, lack of employees' wellness initiatives, abrupt drop in company's financial growth etc.

However, I would also agree to the fact that many organisations had to change usual approaches of serving customers, working with suppliers/vendors, and working style of employees. They had to increase the speed of decision making, while improving productivity, using technology and data in new ways, and accelerating the scope and scale of innovation.

Organisations in a wide range of sectors and geographies have accomplished difficult tasks and achieved positive results in record time.

People have shown positive responses, continually adapting to change and restrictions, becoming accustomed to remote working and demonstrating a level of resilience that has hardly ever been required in a corporate set-up. Crucially, the workforce has also experienced wellbeing challenges, and as a result, expectations have been formed as to how people may want to work in the future amid continued uncertainty.

A new way of thinking about work, life, business, and leadership. One of the major dimensions of this is the need to reaffirm employee trust.

Many Organisation thought that in the current climate, gaining the trust of employees is most important factor. Hence, they have shown more concern towards employee well-being by adequate insurance coverage, full salary payment, annual salary revision, and no layoff has really build a good trust and loyalty of employees towards their Organisation. Moreover, many organisation are sympathetic towards the family member of deceased employee by providing adequate financial assistance as well as considering the education financial burden of the children of employee who died due to Covid.

How far HR has worked on three factors-Purpose, passion and perseverance to enhance its contribution to business?

JS HR professionals have many roles within an Organisation. The competitive forces that managers face today and will continue to confront in the future demand organisational excellence. The efforts to achieve such excellence-through a focus on learning, quality, and teamwork are driven by the way organisations get things done and how they treat their people.

Purpose : HR Professional have redefined their purpose post covid to contribute more to business by accepting new normal. We are trying to keep our workers productive, motivated, engaged and connected, so that their performance should meet the standard of organisation.

Current state has taught us the correct meaning of "Health is Wealth", giving more importance to the health and well-being of every employee and their families has also become an important aspect of any organisation.

Passion : HR is passionate about people. Every Organisation need manpower to run their business. It is our passion to keep the employees happy by developing employee friendly policies and processes.

The first way to support passion is to build systems for new employees which helps them to discover their particular domain work. This includes sharing physical and virtual spaces for teams, and feedback tools, and management support.

The second way to support passion, was in creating connections between employees. Passionate employees are wired to seek out others who can help them meet their goals.

By providing opportunities to the employees to upgrade their skills and work in more than one function. Time bond work culture like 9 to 5 has no more existence, employees are allowed to work within their time frame and space. Rather than giving importance to the quantity, the quality of work has become the important aspect. Providing employees with financial, emotional and mental support is the need of the hour.

Perseverance : Organisations and their employees have experience profound upheaval due to covid. This pandemic has created profound and immediate changes to how societies operate and how individual interact and work. We have all witnessed many changes in the way we used to work, work has shift to remote work, boom in digitization and automation to meet changing individual and organisational needs. Resilience in workplace has to be developed by connection, trust, care, adaptability and flexibility among organisation and employee.

Do you find any difference between your "inner voice" and other one prevailing within the organisation? On which voice you would like to work and activate more in future?

JS Yes, definitely there is difference between my inner voice and other one prevailing within the organisation. Due to pandemic, organisations are struggling to sustain and trying their best to survive in this situation.

Now, my inner voice tells me to strike a balance so that I may help the organisation to come out from this situation as well as there will be less economic impact to the employees. Keeping in mind this win-win solution, I will work in such a way that there is an adequate initiative whereby there is a reduction of cost as well as bringing improvement in the processes whereby wastage has been reduced which will indirectly add to the bottom line of the company. In the other side I will suggest that there should not be any pay cut to the employee so that they will sustain their current livelihood and meet their other liabilities.

However, I will not suggest to give any salary increase during this critical period for business and instead I will make sure that there is no downsizing in the origination and all employees will be motivated to perform at a highest level so that company may come out from this difficult time.

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