Article (April-2018)


Look before leap

Pramod Kumar Tripathi

Designation : -   AGM - HR

Organization : -  Bajaj Energy Limited


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The stiff corporate blows of the earlier few years and the intricacies of the working environment have layered new demands on the contemporary HR Leaders. Millennial folks are willing more from their organizational HR Leaders - encouragement, empowerment, emotive sincerity & steadfast confidence. The dribble of approaches viz. learning, empower to delegate, sharpening skill of communication, gaining  and building trust quickly amongst the employees would surely equip leaders groove early triumphs. The current business scenario and large scale indulgence of millennial in industry has destined the leader to become tougher and multifaceted. They require comprehending and confronting the conflicting hassles of the VUCA ecosphere.
A manufacturing company, Biotech Healthcare Ltd., which is involved in production of medical items, have good reputation in market. Management have developed healthy HR policies for the welfare of its employees, there is no union of employees but a committee was constituted from employees to negotiate salary increase in every three years. Mr. Lokesh Nigam has joined as HR Head, his credibility among the employees is worthy and has healthy relations with departmental heads as well as junior staff, he has a practice to go on rounds in every department and talk to workers very frequently, if any issues noticed, he settles immediately, his practices of plant round and interaction with employee was not liked by some sectional heads. As operational head, Mr. Nagwade, has raised a question that he has no command over his subordinates due to regular interaction by HR head with junior staff, consequences thereof are deteriorated quality of products as people are sleeping in night shift. Mr. Lokesh Nigam was shocked to know about allegation and became upset and decided to call a meeting of committee employees and complained about sleeping of workers in night shift. During conversation, Mr. Daya Shankar complained about shift manager's sleeping during first four hours and then next four sleeping by workers in connivance. Mr. Lokesh has not reacted on this point and dismissed the allegation of committee member Mr. Daya Shankar. Further, Mr. Lokesh Nigam called a meeting of all head of departments and conveyed the allegation made by Mr. Daya Shankar which was rejected by all HOD's as baseless.
After few days, Mr. Daya Shankar's call to Mr. Lokesh Nigam in mid night made him to come to plant and see the situation where shift manager Sushil was found sleeping by stretching is legs on table. He did not awake even on calling him. Next day he reported to production manager and called Mr. Sushil to meet in his office, He also got clearance from CEO to act. Mr. Lokesh instructed his junior to print his termination order. The message was flashed in the plant and there were negative feelings among people against HR Head. Lokesh adopted the democratic way of leadership which is exhibited in his day to day working style like visiting the plant thrice, interacting with every deptt. employees that's why recognise him as plain, simple, caring but tough when it comes to values, ethic and discipline of the organisation Mr. Lokesh Nigam has acted in haste to issue him termination letter. First he should have asked Mr. Sushil the reason for sleeping in duty & probe his personal life patches with healthy talks to arrive at route causes. If it was first instance, then he should have issued only a warning letter and sought reply from Mr. Sushil not to repeat such activity in future.
Ambiguity navigation
Being a HR head, Lokesh should develop and educate staff about the consequence of poor product quality, resulting in to affecting financial soundness of establishment. If anyone has physical problems to perform duty in night shift, matter should be discussed with department head & get arrange to change his duty. Night vigilance team could be formed for sudden physical checking to avoid recurring of such incidents. In this case it is enunciated that Mr. Sushil's wife is sick and he was taking care of his wife in day time with panic mode. These all aspect & impact must be analysed before taking a punitive actions against him.
Personal & emotional conservation
Department head has also not liked the way of working of Mr. Lokesh. This will lead to damage the loyalty confidence of job security and reputation of an organization resulting into low morale of staff. There is need to organize more employee engagement activities and involve families to create a family environment among worker and family member and flourish a strong message that job security is first priority to loyal employees and try to remove negative feeling which has created  due to termination order message. Though, naturally, Mr. Lokesh would melt on the personal touch due to his association with his wife during college day. In this specific case, Mr. Lokesh has to re-think, re-assess the situation with personal touch, humanitarian ground and accordingly convince the CEO/higher management to withdraw or amend the decisions and advise for a lesser punishment rather than termination.
To condense, being HR Head, Mr. Lokesh has to craft new habits and discrete outlines by being supple, sharp - eyed, and receptive. There is need to rethink assumptions, learn the unsaid, ask questions to get deeper meaning, collect information, solicit feedback, take on multiple perspectives, develop a systemic vision, and create different plans to iterate their way toward the future.