Article (September-2021)


Pride generates from people, not technology

Rajeev Pandya

Designation : -   Group General Manager - HRBP

Organization : -  Geetanjali Group, Udaipur


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

RP Yes. HR has always been at the forefront of facilitating the much-required changes in any organisation across the globe. This pandemic has taught us that not everything is permanent. Recalibration is quite the need of the hour as now the change that has come along with the pandemic holds some serious consequences and repercussions for those who are slow to adapt.

Organisations unable to fathom the severity and have shortcomings in ideating a suitable transformation are being rendered out of race in the journey of business success thereby recalibration is the only way forward in a post Covid world.

With the changing times our focus as an HR professional must change too, after all we are also widely attributed as the change agents. The focus has to be shifted and concentrated to employee well-being and their safety while at the same time keeping in mind the business continuity.

We saw many cases over past couple of months where long serving employees were laid off. Families were left stranded in the wake of this demonic virus spread and many such gruelling stories came out from everywhere around the nation and the globe. What we need as of now is to empathise with our fellow colleagues, our staff members, our work family and stand with them in their tough times in their moment of need.

Uncertainty of these times require us as HR professionals to ensure employee's job security, harnessing their human potential through discipline of work, skill enhancement in terms of technological advancements that this pandemic has presented us with and adherence to all the social distancing norms.

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

RP To begin with, this question poses a contradiction. I believe that there are organisations which took this pandemic and subsequent lockdown as a challenge to excel have proved their mettle in effectively managing their human potential in these dire times. Then, there are a few who presented the other side of the same coin by showcasing their ignorance towards employee safety, security and trust which in turn has obliterated these organisations.

When it comes to trust deficit, many of small and medium scale organisations have been struggling since day one due to lack of capital, effective leadership and poor decision making. Overall, we have had mixed reviews in regards with employee trust deficit.

Many organisations have been catapulted to the limelight for their remarkable management of this crisis and safeguarding of their staff members whereas few organisations have completely given up on their human responsibilities resulting in the plummeting of the employee trust into the ground.

If we talk about factors that have been instrumental in this monumental shift in the trust economy, the major factor that come to mind is the underlying feeling of job and financial security along with the health safety of individual and their families.

Organisations that took this crisis as an opportunity have been able to strengthen their brand value in every aspect of business whether it be operations, turnover, attrition, etc. While those that didn't encash this opportunity were left facing the consequences in the form of reduced turnovers, increased attrition and an overall struggle to stay put in the wildly changing marketplace. Employers who had a long term vision have successfully harnessed their potential and have won the trust and confidence of their employees wherein those who were kept a short term managerial perspective have lost the battle and are now struggling for their survival.

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

RP Across the globe, HR has always been side lined despite knowing that it is a function which serves as a backbone to the integral structure of an organisation. On the matter of purpose, HR has always played a silent role in the creation of the work culture and the value system. Till 2019, HR was very subtle in its operations and played a passive role in the employee safety and security. But since after the pandemic, HR has been bought into the limelight to devise a strategy which can prove to be nectar for the struggling organisations. We can safely assume that the HR professionals were in a pickle to find the balance between the institutional sustainability and employee health safety and financial security with a wide spread air borne virus on the loose. On the ground of passion, human resource community has emerged as a ray of hope in this time of crisis to run the show with least possible resources, tons of ambiguity around and keeping employee morale high with a different approach and strategy to sustain employee experience. All this has to be done in such a way that employer should not lose their competent work force for the sake of short term gains.

HR has always been a community that has persevered through the desperate times and have come out with flying colours. This was already predominant in the pre pandemic world but now with the centre stage beneath us it is high time that we find that lost balance between our employee needs and what our organisational objectives are. This pandemic has presented an opportunity for the HR professionals to prove themselves with the ongoing transformations around the globe in regards with the employee experience.

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