Article (August-2021)


Know your people

Anil Kaushik

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It can be said with conviction that pandemic has pushed the People, society, professionals and business houses to rethink on all models they have been working till now and HR is no exception.

The organisations which were reluctant in paying wages to workers during first lock down and challenged the Govt. order of paying lockdown wages in SC, after lifting of lockdown they offered flight ticket, advance rent, wages, transport and what not for bringing migrant workers back from their home town to work places. After this second wave, organisations wholeheartedly announced employees’ welfare and financially supported schemes for them to fight with pandemic. It was a pleasant change and a big shift which is the indication that HR is back to people.

It is a period of transformation and later on of performance. 

The opportunity to develop personal connect has somehow been disrupted by certain initiatives, HR has been adopting for some time. Remote and hybrid working has dramatically changed the performance measuring parameters. HR needs to have proximity with employees for identifying the challenges people having potential may have and address them. It also applies to hidden talent who contribute quietly and don't become visible. I am afraid that HR may lose impact, if they do not know their people. It is time to move from mechanistic to dynamic approach. Real HR professional has to bring leader and employee back on table to have a dialogue in person to create an impact and reinforce the sense of purpose among employees. Any app or chatbot will not do that.

Covid has provided an opportunity to HR to witness their people's leadership skills, demonstrated by them in handling the crisis. Technology can be used to increase comfort and help reaching decisions based on data analytics but not in identifying the real time hidden responses and skills.

Let HR remain like HR where it is sensitive, concerned and responsive to people and business needs and create equilibrium between the two. It has to move from Human Resource to Human Response. Whom we have served? People or the organisation? Whether we developed the organisation that evolved with people at its core? Whether we made our people truly live to the concept of unconditional regard for people? Whether we have built enough trust with the people? These are few Qs every HR professional should ask himself.

Let us understand one critical thing - Relationship is a thing of past, it is history. What matters is 'Relating' which is the present; it is the moment which we are living. It is journey from Contact to connect. We need to be shackled.

August 2021 edition cover story takes you to a journey of this transformation where how HR and business leaders have brought the people agenda back in focus. Industry HR doyens and experts share their experiences and vision on how HR should now take on for building a better future.

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Happy Reading!