Article (October-2021)

Articles

The middle for cracking the Riddle

Indranil Banerjee

Designation : -   Sr. HR Professional

Organization : -  CRM Cell, West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Co. Ltd., Kolkata

01-Oct-2021

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Top down and bottom up approaches are there to emphasize the importance of enterprise solutions. The Middle level managers of any organisation are there to circumvent organisational issues. But at the same time they are bogged down by advancing age, mid-career crisis and manifold of challenges in their personal space. Middle level managers are yet to be senior, not sure if s/he would reach at the top. Enterprise's fundamental expectations from them are communication, supervision and timely execution - mostly a homegrown person with knowledge of organisational dynamics with a high level of people skill. But the post covid-19 challenges are having serious impact on this level of management when the industry is facing low demand and compelled to slim down and execute wage cuts.

Mid level managers are having challenges of multi dimensions at this phase of time, if not more than ever before. Some of the challenges are industry specific, others are generic. The manufacturing, service and IT sectors are trying to combat the ongoing battle and expecting the State to support them in some critical areas. Contractual employment and engagement through 3rd parties are dominating practice across the sectors. Healthy future looking policies not only keep the workforce motivating and productive but also it would create a robust foundation for lasting employer-employee relations. During this phase of time the "employee advocacy" role is emerging as a potential role not only for own survival but also for sustenance of the enterprise one belongs to. Important for middle managers is not only to limit itself to championing a healthy IR system for the enterprise but also to influence the policy making activities, both at enterprise level and industry level by identifying key issues where kind intervention of Government is need of hour.

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Basic transactional HR issues and re-calibrating to make them contemporary are always there. But this is the time for HR to come out from the allegation of serving lip service often consisting of fancy words and focus on serious issues which are having far reaching impacts during the pandemic. This is more as required as very soon four labour codes would be implemented in the country. Some issues that middle managers could explore upon are, Identification of sectors that are yet to have notification related to minimum wages and bringing out the same in consultation with the stakeholders.

The current wage practice engaging contractual employees does not have any space to reckon experience and exposure of the employees. A person with 10-15 years of experience is being equated with a person of '0' years of experience and the same minimum wages is given to both of them. There should be some quotient of extra remuneration based on years of experience over MW, in general. It cannot ignore that with passage of time one gets exposure and gathers superior skills and becomes more productive. Uniform approach of Minimum Wages often leads to commotion.

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