‘HR depts adopting new business practices to stay relevant’

Our Bureau Bengaluru | Updated on January 20, 2018

The role of HRM has changed over the years from merely providing support in administration-related issues to becoming strategic business partners. This observation came out at the national conference on the ‘Changing role of HR’, which was held at Jain University.

Nandini Matiyani, Vice-President and Global Head – Human Resources, Wipro, in her keynote address touched upon this aspect. “In my journey at Wipro, I have seen the transformation of an HR person from an administrator handling the payroll to the present day, where an HR professional sits with business heads to devise and implement key strategies that drive the firm forward,” she said.

HR departments across a number of companies are evolving and adopting newer business practices that help them stay relevant at a time when a slew of start-up ventures that focus on HR issues, from job finding to appraisal assessment, are disrupting the business ecosystem. Nandini pointed out that the importance of data analytics and handling the generational shift are also issues that the department is trying to address.

Other voices in the HR industry including Dayanand Guddin, Chief Human Resource Officer, Mahindra Aerospace, explained that while strategies are a continuous process, companies have to ensure that the people for whom the strategy is designed are linked together in the process.

Industry watchers opine that there is a widespread disconnect between HR managers who are often accused of sitting in glass cubicles, coming up with trivial initiatives (to build team morale amongst other initiatives) which employees feel do not address their concerns. "It would matter a lot if the HR sits across the table and talks to us about issues rather than devise mundane programmes," said a student. "We have to make sure that people and their talent are linked to the end-to-end strategic chain,” he said.

Aaron Watson, Founder Director, Sinai Global, explained the need for positive action and a constant connect with employees. "Forget all the management jargon involving strategies and approaches, ultimately what matters to the employee is action, which speaks louder than words. Connect to your staff all the time,” he added.

Aparna Prasad, Director, Corporate Strategy, Human Resources and Communications, JGI Group and Jain University, agreed and said, "We have to set realistic targets and reach out to people.”

The participants also emphasised the need for the entire HRM process to demystify one’s own beliefs, unlearn, and realign employees' personal goals but all in sync with the vision of the organisation. We have to come up with ideas that people can relate to and build structures according to that,” added Prasad.

Published on March 23, 2016

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