HR should propel biz growth

To Gain: Theres a need for good HRM

HR should propel biz growth

People tend to say, it is the sales team or the project delivery teams that are principal for the business success. This article focuses on the importance of effective human resource management (HRM) and how it increases the business effectiveness. Let us look at few scenarios starting from Recruitment.

A senior designer has to be recruited for the project to kick-off. The entire team is ready waiting for the design, to understand what is to be developed (coded). The hiring of the designer gets delayed by a week from the scheduled date.

The whole team is idling for the period without getting billed resulting in a possible revenue loss. This could have been avoided by an efficient recruitment team that pro-actively short-lists few profiles, complete the pre-hiring process and be prepared to hire.

Hiring in desperation also means a lot of compromise on the quality or the pay to the resource or both. Recruitment function should keep a close watch on the market and take lead in creating pipe-line for key resources.

The training and development team (T&D) can think of some innovative methods of deploying the resources on various projects at an earlier date. If the induction programme for rookies is for three months, the same can be compressed to a shorter duration without compromising on the quality of the training by deploying e-Learning tools/or providing focused training, say ‘just in time’ training.

Increase in top line

This results in billing the resources much before the planned date that straight increases the top line of the organisation. To reduce costs, T & D can look at options of finishing school, where the campus resources are trained by a third party and the organisation selects only the best talent graduating out of such schools.

HR should be part of all business decisions right from the proposal stages. This will result in a strong partnership between the client and the service provider. HR should co-create with the client, the policies for onsite employees that enhance employee satisfaction and enable the resource to deliver the best. HR should design appropriate measurement and incentive systems that motivate employees .

HRM should create an organisation structure that enables the employees to deliver their best. This should be revisited from time to time after checking the results. For few organisations, sheer size of the organisation demands a matrix structure.

While it is imminent to have matrix organisation for such organisations, HR should see if it yields better results by making the horizontal ‘go to market’ independently and directly wherever a specific vertical is non existent in the organisation. For example, if the organisation has no vertical in the pharmaceutical space, and there is a software testing opportunity seen by the sales teams, the testing horizontal should directly pitch in for the project. This may sound very trivial, but it is the responsibility of HR to ensure no opportunity is lost for want of organisation protocol/hierarchy.

HR should also not recommend the same recipe across the organisation. What might work for a unit may not work for another unit in the same organization, simply because of the nature of the business of the unit. Maintenance units, delivery units, engineering design units, software implementation units differ in the nature of the business.

HR should design a system by which the organisation and its employees benefit the most. For example, a flexi-working time may be created for maintenance and software implementation units.  The role of HR is to constantly provide consultancy to the business groups on all the People issues. The HR operations team should participate in all C-SAT review meetings to understand the root cause of the issues raised by the customer.

Here is an example of client always complaining about the delivery team and the delivery team having concerns with the client’s frequent scope changes.  HR should create a platform where both the teams participate and voice out their concerns and make both teams empathise for each others’ issues. HR’s task is to facilitate a strong mutual partnership between the client and the teams.  The training department should directly get in touch with the client and understand the cause for dissatisfaction and deliver a programme that will help the offshore/delivery team overcome the problems.

They should walk an extra mile and check with the client if the program has made a difference to his/her satisfaction. This way, the client will be appreciative with the service provider that the feedback is taken seriously and being acted upon.

Employee engagement is another important area which has to be analysed on a regular basis.  The analysis should be on the leave patterns of employees and HR should serve the business unit a warning signal on the attrition forecast if the analysis says it. HR should create a conducive and happy/exciting work environment so that engagement levels are high.

A strong employee bonding should be created through the policies and systems of the organization. Simple tools such as a 24x7 HR helpline would put to rest many trivial issues that if not addressed in time can lead to employee dissatisfaction.  A robust ERP system with a user friendly front end interface can increase the employee delight manifold. job rotation, aspiration management, transparency in policies will make the organization a better place to work for.

HR should ensure there is minimum attrition, as there is lot of wisdom in retaining an existing resource vis-à-vis hiring a new resource. In order to identify a new resource, it means the recruitment team takes a minimum of 3-4 weeks and the identified resource takes 2-3months to join the organization.

Given that precious time is lost and the bandwidth of the project delivery team is choked, it is wise to try and retain the existing talent. Here, HR should build the capability in all areas, where the resource crunch is visualised by building capability of resources from campuses and placing them as shadow resources for the billed employees. This way, a robust talent channel is built at a low cost.

Another area where HR should focus is ‘cost management’. The management team should be prevailed upon by HR to cut the costs through austerity measures, such as travelling by economy class, conducting meetings through video conferences wherever possible, using IP phones for long distance calls, etc. It is also important for HR to engage the employees through fun-filled initiatives such as quiz contests, cricket matches, fashion shows, etc. The writers, Anand Talwar and Y C Roy, are Senior Vice President and General Manager for  Talent Management at ITC Infotech, respectively.

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