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“What hr needs today a personal touch”[1]

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“What hr needs today a personal touch”[1]

  1. 1. “WHAT HR NEEDS TODAY: A PERSONAL TOUCH” One of the most trying times in a young person’s life is the experience of leaving home for the first time. Moving to a new place, making friends, adapting to a new routine, and making financial ends meet are all challenges young people face. There’s an entire network of resources to make this transition as easy as possible. And it all starts with the Human Resources, who diligently anticipate new recruit’s needs, adding value to the overall. WHAT TODAY’S HR LACKS IN: THE CHALLENGES 1. Availability and Accountability. The stress factor is double-pronged: While HR may be a separate department, it is hardly an island in corporate waters; all company personnel believe they should have some representation through HR. HR should be at the beck and call of all employees. And if the HR professional totally buys into the rescuer role, taking every personnel problem home at night…beware: Burnout is less a sign of failure and more that you gave yourself away. 2. Objectivity. The challenge for an effective and widely accepted HR department is to maintain some functional independence even when part of the management structure. The HR professional must be somewhat detached from yet, also, be an objective and concerned advocate for both management and employees to be a robust problem-solving (not just numbers crunching) force in the organization. 3. Multiple Roles. In light of his or her hub position, not surprisingly, the HR manager/professional often plays many roles – from coach and counselor to cop and confessor. And, if that’s not enough, he or she must be the organizational or interpersonal safety net or back up when there are breakdowns or problems with: a) manager-supervisor-employee relations, b) reorganization change, such as a downsizing, c) outdated or illegal policies, d) prejudicial procedures, etc. 4. Disgruntled Personnel. Clearly, as outlined above, there are HR demands and responsibilities aplenty. The proverbial icing, of course, has to negotiate problems with people who have a grievance with a supervisor, are upset about pay, performance evaluation or promotion (or termination) issues. Certainly, it can be emotionally and professionally rewarding helping rectify a significant personnel problem. Still, chronically providing service to angry customers can all to easily result in a case of "brain strain."
  2. 2. 5. Transitional Glue. Especially in times of rapid or volatile change – mergers, downsizing or rapid startup or growth – the HR Manager often becomes a company cheerleader (or that stress confessor). He or she often must help folks sustain morale in the face of an uncertain and possibly vulnerable future. The HR Manager may become the messenger helping employees and supervisors interpret reorganization pronouncements from the management mountaintop. 6. Crisis Management. A potential danger in being the hub of the wheel believes you are the center of your corporate solar system. All organizational life depends on your energy source. The HR Manager must realize when certain crises are outside his or her sphere of productive "hands on" influence; one must resist the "solo savior syndrome" role. When downsizing trauma started evoking racial tension and threats 7. Privacy Requirements. An ongoing challenge for the HR Professional interfacing with numerous individuals, departments and senior managers is sharing critical information and upholding employees’ privacy rights. Another stressor recently came to my attention: an HR Manager unsure how to respond to a supervisor’s breach of confidentiality. This supervisor unprofessionally (if not, illegally) shared with her employees that a colleague was hospitalized for mental health reasons. Such a breach is like a virus that can contaminate everyone’s operating system and sense of security. The HR Manager’s standing as a leader is on the line, not just the supervisor’s. 8. Ever-changing Technology and Policy. Like other corporate entities, The HR Department must keep up with new software and data processing systems. Increasingly, having an internal website for sharing key information with employees is critical. And invariably, to get up and running technologically takes longer than anticipated. 9. Training Demands. The HR Team cannot provide individual handholding with employees for all personnel issues. Depending on company size, HR must have enough time and staff to provide classroom orientation on HR-related matters. An HR manager often needs to delegate the training function to a subordinate. A manager who cannot delegate is a manager who cannot survive. Individuals must be encouraged to do reasonable data gathering or research or else HR will be enabling inefficient, if not dysfunctional, dependence. 10. Office Space-Time. Finally, the HR Manager/Department must discover that elusive balance between reasonable physical access and protected space for productive energy. A department without some "closed door’ time and a closed meeting space for the HR team invites both productivity and morale problems – from actual privacy violations to free-floating privacy anxieties amongst employees. MORE TECH – LESS TOUCH In the last few there has been heavy discussion on the issue of Technology and Personal Touch in the workplace. No, this isn't about harassment - that's a separate topic. This is about how email, voice mail, cell phones, Black-Berry's and other new technology keeps us from connecting in person with coworkers, clients, customers, and the many others with whom we conduct our business. How often have you played "email tag" - sending 1-line or 2-line emails back and forth to someone when a telephone call or a visit to their office would have gleaned faster or better results? Are you a self-described e-mail addict - checking your emails multiple times an hour to see what surprises this magical service has in store for you? Have you ever calculated how much time you spend communicating with people by reading and receiving emails and by exchanging voice mails? Are these wonderful technologies increasing or decreasing our productivity? Is technology truly increasing interaction or just creating new distractions?
  3. 3. What do you think the true impact of this instant availability is on our employee productivity? What do we lose by allowing ourselves a life of constant interruptions? Does the benefit of multi-tasking outweigh the productivity factor of focused concentration? I think it's time we stop to analyze the true effectiveness of our time management, our technology management and its impact on our people management. While our tools and instruments offer us a tremendous benefit, have you considered what they may also be costing us? ONLINE APPLICATIONS REQUIRE FOLLOW-UP FOR A PERSONAL TOUCH In addition to job boards, many companies are using their websites to post positions, and are encouraging candidates to apply online. The process is streamlined; a few clicks, a cut, copy, and paste, and you are a candidate. You get an automated response thanking you for your application and you start counting the minutes until you get the call inviting you to interview. The only problem is that your well- written and well-organized resume has had no human eye contact yet. The volume of online applications is huge and has spawned many electronic applicant-tracking systems to help staffing specialists keep up with the ''e-paperwork." These tracking systems allow human resources professionals to perform key-word searches to identify specific expertise or the name of a former employer. These searches can help some candidates rise to the top of the pile. Adjusting expectations is one of the first mantras for any job candidate. Yes, technology moves some things more quickly, but other things move more slowly because the volume of candidates who figure ''I don't even need to pay for a stamp, so why not apply?" can clog the arteries of any system. The job- search process is often one of your top priorities, but filling the position may fall somewhere further down the list for human resources staff. EMPLOYEE-BOSS BEST FRIENDS When compared to time spent with relatives, children, customers, colleagues, or bosses, time spent with friends is rated as being the most enjoyable, according to a recent study. On average, time spent with a friend ranks even higher than time spent with your spouse. How could that be? The research on the same was a bit logical. For example, if you were in the midst of rushing your daughter to school or changing your son's dirty diaper, you might have been asked to report how happy you were at that moment. In contrast, you might have been asked to recall a moment with a friend when you were relaxing or having a drink together. Perhaps most concerning was the bottom of this "people we enjoy being with" list. Clients and customers were third from the bottom; coworkers were second to last, followed by bosses, who were dead last. Interacting with the boss was also rated, on average, as being less enjoyable than cleaning the house. Undoubtedly, there are thousands of managers in the workplace who have no business bearing the responsibility for developing other people. Most of us have had a boss like this at one point or another. They make you miserable, less productive, and even diminish your physical health. But we have also found thousands of exceptional managers who have the opposite effect, and they have something in common: These great managers care about each of their employees as a real human being, not just a means to an end. Herein lies one of the secrets we have learned from top managers (and from great teachers, for that matter): They get to know each person as an individual, and they tailor their management to each employee's preferences. We want and need managers who care about our lives beyond the workplace. Gallup has asked more than
  4. 4. eight million people to respond to the statement "My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person" and has found that people who agree with this statement: are more likely to stay with the organization have more engaged customers are more productive If you're fortunate enough to have had a manager who treated you like a friend and cared about your personal life, you probably understand the difference this type of genuine friendship can make. The best managers in the world are not only experts in systems, processes, and technical competencies -- they are experts in your life. And, because of this, they increase your engagement and productivity at work. All employees deserve a manager whom they can truly call a friend, or at least a manager who cares about their general well-being. The bottom line is that we spend roughly 50% more time with our customers, coworkers, and bosses than we do with our friends, significant others, children, and other relatives combined. If you want to be happier and more engaged at work, consider developing a few strong friendships at the office, maybe even one with your boss. PERSONAL TOUCH LEADS TO HAPPINESS AT WORK Whose job is it to make you happy at work? Your manager? Your co-workers? The company? Society? Here’s the truth: The ultimate responsibility for your happiness at work can only lie with you, for three simple reasons: Happiness at work is an emotion. It’s something totally inside of you. Only you can truly know whether you’re happy at work. Only you know if things are fine, or if something needs to change. Happiness at work is individual. Only you know what it takes to make you happy at work. Therefore you are responsible for making sure you have what you need to be happy. Making yourself happy at work can entail some tough choices. It may mean quitting and finding a new job. It may mean unpleasant conflict, because not engaging in conflict would be even worse. It may mean battling existing corporate culture and values. You are the only one who can make the decision of whether or not to do these things. The choice and responsibility are yours. THE MANAGER’S RESPONSIBILITY We currently act as if people are not inherently motivated, rather that they go to work each day and wait for someone else to light their fire. This belief is common among managers and employees alike. And this belief is fundamentally wrong. We can’t go to work and expect others to light our fire. It just doesn’t work that way. The fire is inside you—the only person who can light it or douse it is you! Of course, your manager has a huge influence on your happiness at work, but the ultimate responsibility is yours. Managers have three responsibilities when it comes to happiness at work. They are:
  5. 5. 1. To make themselves happy. 2. To know and care about their people. 3. To create a mood where it’s easy for people to be happy. As a manager, your most important responsibility is to make yourself happy at work. A happy leader is a natural role model for their employees, and spreads a good mood by their very nature. An unhappy leader, no matter how well-meaning, can’t reliably create that atmosphere of happiness that is necessary to allow people to do their best work. Secondly, managers must know and care about their people. You can’t lead people without a sincere interest in them and some detailed knowledge about them. How happy are they at work right now? What makes them happy or unhappy? What are their goals and dreams? Good managers know this about all their people. Finally, good managers use this knowledge to create an environment in which it’s easy to be happy. Whether or not employees take this opportunity is up to them. You can’t force people to be happy, Obviously some managers fail completely at this, and instead manage to create atmospheres of mistrust, apathy, and desperation and cut-throat competition. These managers are failing in their responsibility to happiness at work. Other managers create a mood of happiness, positivists, openness and teamwork, and still find that some employees remain unhappy. That is not the manager’s responsibility, and it never can be. THE COMPANY’S RESPONSIBILITY Top management’s responsibility is to enable managers to create an atmosphere where it’s easy to be happy at work. No matter how well you do, you can’t force people to be happy—that is still their own responsibility. The company has a responsibility to prioritize, value and reward happiness at work. It’s no use for a company to say, “We want people to be happy at work,” and then turn around and reward massive overwork, ruthlessness and a traditional authoritarian management style. You can forget lunch breaks. You can’t make money for a company while you’re eating lunch... if you don’t put in the hours, someone just as smart and clever as you will. Fact of life: the strong survive.If you ignore this you might just end up as roadkill—lying dead by the side of the corporate highway as others drive right past you. THE CO-WORKERS’ RESPONSIBILITY You and your co-workers have a responsibility to work together to create an atmosphere in which it’s easy to be happy at work. Whether people choose to be happy in that atmosphere is their own responsibility.
  6. 6. YOUR RESPONSIBILITY As long as you sit on your butt waiting for your colleagues, manager and company to make you happy, nothing will happen. Things will start to improve only when you choose to act. The truth is that your options are almost endless—and most of them are pretty good. But it’s better to start somewhere else, with something even simpler. Start by making yourself happy at work. HOW HAPPY ARE YOU AT WORK? When you consider everything that’s good or bad about your job and the people you work with, I’m betting that you already know well enough which of these three categories you fall into: Argh!—I hate my job and would rather walk a mile across burning coals than ever go into work again. Meh! —My job is kinda OK. I can take it or leave it. Not too bad, not too good. Yay! —I love my job. It’s so great, I would pay to work there. Please don’t tell them I said that last part… Take a moment to rate your current job. Where are you at, right now? In most workplace surveys, 10% say they hate their jobs and 10-20% love it. The rest, between 70 and 80% of employees, are somewhere in the middle. If you’re at Argh I can only advise you to do something about it as soon as humanly possible. If you’re already at Yay you can still decide to make your job even more enjoyable. Or, even better, choose to spread some of that work happiness to the other people at work. Meh is dangerous because it’s comfortable. It’s easy to accept a nice, safe, slightly fun, slightly boring, slightly unpleasant job situation. Don’t! I’m deadly serious here. Don’t accept it—push for Yay. When you’re at Meh, you’re only a shadow of what you can be. You’re using only a small fraction of yourself. You’re not infecting people around you with your energy and happiness. You’re not coming home every day with the knowledge that “I rocked!” Don’t settle for Meh, decide to get to Yay—then figure out what it takes to get there.
  7. 7. HR FOLKS: ENHANCE PERSONAL TOUCH Here’s How – 1. Birthday / Anniversary cards for all family members 2. SODEXO Meal discount coupons / Big-Bazaar Gift Vouchers 3. Department / Division parties 4. Large scale integration meet with COO / CMD 5. Family visit to plants 6. Different kinds of contests for kids e.g. drawing, essay writing, quiz etc 7. Merit scholarship above 80% to the wards 8. Interest free loan for higher education for self and family 9. Spontaneous Gifts to innovators (value added work) on a day-to-day basis, e.g. movie passes 10. Tea / Coffee / Lunch / Dinner sessions with CMD Best Wishes The Author MR. HARI NAIR, a young Masters in Public, Personnel Management & Industrial Relations from Osmania University, did his Graduation in Commerce and has a Degree in Education Psychology & a Diploma in Journalism. Currently he is at the helm of affairs at Sona Koyo Steering Systems Ltd, Gurgaon as its Vice President – Human Resources, and can be reached by e-mail – hari.nair@sonagroup.com or hari.nair69@gmail.com and on his Mobile No. +91-98-102-89047

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