HR Home Truths Busted

truth

I simply love the HR carnivals and always try to contribute whenever possible. So this time when I came to know that the fun loving Dwane from  Dovetail Software blog was going to host it, I knew this would going to be a different one.  He is looking for posts that talk about the truths you have learned in your time in HR. As we all know, it doesn’t take long to learn some really “interesting” things when you work in HR so I fully expect you to send in some pretty awesome posts.

So here is the stuff that I learnt from my and few experiences shared by my friends who are taking various roles in the HR function with renowned brands .

HR Does the Job of a High Profile Postman 

Sometimes cordinating and correspondence with senior management goes to such an extent that one feel as if he is working as a high end postman. When there are a number of people involved in the decision making process, the paper flows from one desk to another gives an impression as if you are merely acting as a postman by correcting and delivering document as per management expectations. 

HR is a Thankless Job 

If you do something good, that was part of your job, but God forbid if you mistakenly did something not so good (not saying bad as then you are going to be screwed) then there will be 100 questions that you will have to answer. Majority of time it is felt that a sense of gratification and appreciation is missing with the HR function. It is considered as part of the role and responsibility and any efforts made in making one feel comfortable or cared is automatically taken as part of duty.

People sometimes Fear to Approach HR 

Sometimes people fear to approach HR. They feel that their concerns might not be addressed appropriately. They also fear that there can be a possibility of shooting of several questions which they may or may not be able to answer. 

HR has NO say in Decisions pertaining to Business 

It is considered that HR knows less about the business and hance they might not be able to add value in decisions pertaining to business operations. They are not made part while the strategies are devised but they are rather enrolled at the time of implementation.

HR cannot become a CEO 

Most of the senior level management think that HR cannot take up the role of becoming a CEO. They lack the commercial or financial acumen which is a vital ingredient for running a business. 

HR Policies are Not Realistic 

Most of the people think that HR policies are devised in isolation. They don’t take a realistic approach when they are designing or revising people policies. What people don’t understand that every policy that is devised or formulated keeping in mind the benefits for both management and employees. 

Anybody can do an HR’s job 

Though we advocate the philosophy that all line managers should be HR managers, however people sometimes get overboard and start doing things as per their whims and fancies. Sometimes, they forget the main beneficiary “people” and their decisions are governed by their own perceptions. 

HR is the custodian of company culture and values 

HR department is considered to be the brand ambassador and custodian of company’s values. They have to ensure that there are no deviations from the company policies and rules. Discipline need to be ensured and that people abide by them. The onus of the implementation of the policies in the right letter and spirit lies with the HR.

How to be a Strategic HR player in 2015?

strategy

My Contribution for the next HR Carnival on 28th Jan, 2015

My good friend Ben Eubanks at his Upstart HR Blog is hosting the next Carnival of HR on January 28th. He is looking for posts revolving around the theme of “How to be a STRATEGIC HR Player in 2015″. For better understanding, here is what Ben has to say….

In recent weeks I have spent a lot of time researching and writing about HR strategy, strategic planning, etc. I took the SPHR exam, which focuses heavily on strategic HR. I think HR as a profession knows that this “strategy thing” is important, but they don’t know how to do it, where to start, etc. I’d love to hear some examples, simple ones, of how people actually put this stuff into practice. Or maybe just a tip or two on where to start for the newbies.

I thought this could be a good start up post for the New Year which can help our HR folks to get prepared for 2015. Also I thought of including some key highlights and lessons learnt in 2014 which will set the ball rolling for all our HR folks in 2015.

So without wasting your time, let’s dive in…

2014 – The Year That Went By….

Slow Rate of Growth in the Economy

The world economy didn’t grew as expected. This has led to companies making cautious investments in large projects. However, they invested significant amount in developing their people and becoming cash efficient while keeping their continued focus on building stronger and engaged teams.

Social Media had a significant impact on Talent Management

  • There couldn’t have been a better time than 2014 for utilization of social media for searching talent. There are countless experiences big and small which has changed the way we manage talent across organizations.
  • Be it LinkedIn or Facebook, organizations has realized the potential of social media and tried to use it for recruitment and selection. Several companies have used it for branding and making key announcements. There was a change witnessed where organizations preferred digital media over print ads for recruitment and selection.
  • Though this is just the beginning, social media will definitely change the way we work in the HR space.​

Creation of a HUGE Entrepreneurship Ecosystem

  • From the development perspective, 2014 has seen a tremendous surge of interest in start ups both in terms of number of new companies that were formed to graduating students joining start ups in preference to other jobs in big multinationals.
  • This kind of long term trend will not only help in the growth of a country but would also result in addressing the developmental needs of the future.

Penetration of Smart phones and E commerce platforms

The emergence of smart phones and E commerce platforms has resulted in creation of jobs however the numbers are not that encouraging at the moment.

What Strategies HR Needs to Focus Upon in 2015?  

What I am about to share is simple yet effective strategies which can help HR to become a Strategic Player in 2015.

Ready to rock and roll…..here I go​

  • Know the pulse of your business and HR will emerge as a “SELF RELIANT” Department
  • Work upon Digital diplomacy and Digital governance as people would prefer connecting via public conversations. This can help in significantly reducing hiring costs.
  • Make use of online learning technologies to diversify and provide opportunities to your employees in acquiring new skills
  • With the changing needs of employees, HR should look forward in providing environment and services that will not only support their people but will also increase their engagement levels.
  • Make use of digitalization to improve customer and employee experience
  • Enhance deeper collaboration between top academic institutes and industry as it can provide a platform for both to research and learn
  • Focus on corporate responsibility and sustainability

Do you agree that the strategies above will help in shaping the future of HR in 2015? How can HR take the role of a strategic partner in an organization? Do share your views in the comments below.

Eight Team Collaboration Myths Busted

SONY DSC

Team collaboration is highly confused concept in today’s corporate world.

We easily exchange and use it for TEAM-WORK.

I have observed every one of them across organizations I have worked with – big or small.

So what are the Eight Team Collaboration myths that I strongly believe influence the attitudes of team members?

Here goes my list:

1. Collaboration Comes Naturally to Everyone.

Leaders feel that once the right tools are in place, everyone can collaborate. Collaboration is medium for achieving shared goals without any leader to resolve the conflicts. Hence set clear guidelines of shared goals, hone skills to influence and creatively bargain with each other.

2. More the Merrier.

Since the professionals have competing responsibilities and limited capacity to participate. With more number of people involved, it becomes increasingly difficult to bring everyone on common ground for decision making and conflict resolution, deterring the goal.

3. Team Building Requires Time Away from Regular Work Routines.

A team building excursion or gala lunch is not necessary to conjure collaboration. In fact, it is during work, stress and deadlines that team collaboration is most richly experienced.

4. Team Collaboration Depends upon the Leaders.

Leaders provide leadership – mission, vision, values, roadmap and the lot. They uphold and exemplify company standards but they do not drive team collaboration. Their role is to facilitate and equip teams for optimal performance.

5. Team members must like one another to collaborate.

Not really. Some of the best professionals I know don’t like their team members on a personal front. That does not deter them from working with the individuals to deliver on goals. It’s not about “liking” but about having high regard for each contributor.

6. Harmony achieves great results.

Harmony isn’t the best bed for innovative or disruptive ideas. Debate and dissent are more likely to deliver the best from teams. A genuinely collaborative team will fight it out when ideas and strategies differ but will either convince or accept to focus on a common agenda.

7. New employees bring innovation and fresh ideas to the floor.

They do. But it’s also true that the longer a team stays together, the more productive it is. Call it familiarity or comfort; these teams are well set in their expectations from each other and individual roles to deliver without too many glitches.

8. Collaboration means Video-conference, Meetings and Chat.

Tools and technology help in making collaboration easier but the right integration, hand-holding, clear processes and metrics are required to make it a success. Right tools play very small role in end result.

About Author:

Kinjal Vora, (@vora_kinjal) Marketing Evangelist at Teamgum & Drona Mobile. Bringing engagement and collaboration tools to professionals around the world. Teamgum is a platform for team members to present their thoughts, knowledge, and learning to each other; open topics for debate and discussion; exhibit professionalism and accountability; and create a truly synergistic environment for team collaboration. Teamgum is a simplest link discovery, sharing and collaboration tool for professionals via browser extension and mobile app. Sign up for free

Do Organizations Really Need An HR Department?

hr department

Sometimes the only thing worse than having an HR department is not having one.

With a sudden boom in the HR software industry it has become a lot easier to automate or outsource people related processes such as attendance, payroll and benefits.

So the big question is Can We Do Away with the HR Department and can the managers take up the HR role in the organization?

This article on the Wall Street Journal caught my attention and I thought of asking you and what is your take on the subject. Another thread on LinkedIn which takes a dig on this subject is a perfect read.

In 2012, U.S. employers had a median of 1.54 HR professionals for every 100 employees, up slightly from a low of 1.24 in the recession year of 2009, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. They earn a median annualized wage of about $51,000, government statistics show.

Think of the financial and strategic risks when you consider eliminating certain portions from the HR Department.

If we study the trends of last 5-12 years, many transactional jobs such as payroll, attendance management, recruitment, on boarding and benefits are already being outsourced by companies. Sometimes it does makes sense when you can have an outsourced expert who can do these jobs faster, better and cheaper, isn’t it?

As of now we see that HR has a core role to play in any organization, but how do we justify the existence of this role in the longer run?

Can non-HR Managers be trained to make HR related decisions pertaining to employees?

Can they keep pace with the ever changing legal and statutory laws? Or can we outsource them as well?

Some companies are planning to decide on doing away with the HR departments. Will this trend grow in the coming times?

Let me hear what you think in the comments section below.

Should I Tell My Colleague About His Body Odor?

omg stinks

Hello Amit,

Thanks for sending regular emails on the HR subject and enlightening me like always.

I am sharing with you a problem, however I do not know how to convey it to the person concerned.

Please help. I have a colleague of mine in our team with a very strong body odor. He has a great sense of style and dressing. By just looking at him you can’t even make out that he will not be conscious of his body odor. He is well qualified but seriously I would not want to be even in the same room when we are told to work together. How should I tell him so that I am not going to hurt his male ego?

Jessica

 

Hi,

I have always believed and experienced one thing in life.

People will accept and appreciate your inputs, if they feel that your feedback is for their own good and that you truly care for them.

You ought to sound “GENUINE” so that things work on the positive side.

I think your colleague is not ignorant on his body odour, it’s just that he himself might not know about it.

What I can make out from your mail is that you really want to help him so I see no way of you hurting his male ego.

Communicating effectively is a vital point here.
 

According to me there can be 2 approaches here.

personl hygiene

You can go up to him and can tell “My dear friend you stink. Use a deo or people might stop talking to you. 

OR

You you may suggest him that “My dear friend, as I am working with you for sometime now, I am a bit concerned and would like to suggest you to use a deodorant for hygiene and personal health. My intentions are to help you as I think this will help you in your career and would also increase your efficiency at workplace. Hope you don’t mind on my inputs as I see this will help you in the long term

Which approach you think will be more effective?

Second one….RIGHT?

On the first go it may come as a surprise to him, as there are some people for whom personal hygiene doesn’t matter that much. There are people who make it to adulthood without understanding which parts of their bodies need a good soaping regularly. Even though there are quite a number of deodorants in the market these days ranging from strong to mild (depending upon your stink capacity :) ), people however ignore this basic hygiene aspect and consider it a bad investment.

So if your colleague is one of those guys, on the cheaper side ask him to wash his clothes regularly. So, if you guys share a good rapport, you need to explain to him in a polite manner that this may prove bad for his career. A bit of soap, some deodorant and laundry detergent would help him resolve this issue.

Further, if this thing is pointed out by a senior person, it could result in embarrassment for him. Make him understand that your discussion around this topic is for his own benefit and not that you would like to insult him. Your sense of genuineness will play a big role in this communication. I know being a female it would be challenging to convey such a thing but you never know your help may shape his career in the long run.

Further, I would ask you to suggest him to see a doctor as his stinking thing can be based on some medical problem, hence recommend him to bring it up as soon as this problem doesn’t become obvious to all. Secondly, if you feel that you would not be able to deal with it address it to your HR as a hygiene issue and let them take it up with him.

What do you think on my approach on this subject? These things sometimes becomes sensitive if taken wrongly by an individual. Let me have your views on this………please reply in the comments section below.

Top Five Emerging Trends in Human Resource Management

HR trends in human resource management

How has the HR services evolved in recent times? What are the future drivers in the HR industry?  How will HR create a better user experience? Why do HR exists in any organization?

In the recent edition of “People Matters“, Vikram Choudhury writes on the HR Industry story and the Disruptions for Growth. I present to you the major bullet points of the story. For complete and detailed reading, grab your copy today.

From a mere “transactional” role, the HR department is expected to rise and become a better service provider. Businesses are becoming mature and hence expectations and delivery from the HR department is growing tremendously. In my current post, I would like to touch upon the Top Five Trends in Human Resource Management that will emerge as a “GAME CHANGER” for those in HR.

1. Recruitment Services

  • Demand shifting to outcome based expectations
  • Consolidation is on the cards
  • Quality and timelines will be key to survival
  • Failing to adapt can prove to be fatal
  • Time to invest in Talent

Opportunities:

  • Positive hiring outlook in companies
  • Staffing and temporary recruitment
  • Managed Services

Threats:

2. Learning and Development Services

  • Learning budgets have shrunk in organizations
  • High demand for leadership development
  • Evolution of the partnership model
  • The emphasis on quality will rise

Opportunities:

Threats:

  • Uncertain political and economic market conditions
  • Slowdown in learning budgets
  • Changing demand patterns

3. HR Technology

  • Tech segment to mature faster than other segments
  • The increasing influence of cloud and analytics
  • Social technologies continues to grow
  • Technology companies to focus on the SME space
  • Traditional business models may become ineffective

Opportunities:

  • Cloud-based technologies
  • Analytics
  • Socially integrated products

Threats:

  • Dynamic demand landscape
  • Finding key talent
  • Low awareness of consumer market

4. HR Consulting

  • Companies should build base for future growth
  • Technology is changing nature of demand
  • Time to develop specific expertise
  • Engagement and productivity will be key

Opportunities:

  • Global expertise
  • Specific HR services
  • Skill and operations consulting

Threats:

  • Low margins
  • Low discretionary spending of consumers
  • Talent availability

5. HR Outsourcing

  • Service providers have to build value-added services
  • RPO will come in a big way
  • Opportunities from HR’s changing role

Opportunities:

Threats:

  • Talent availability
  • Low consumer maturity
  • Expectations of global standards

 With challenges comes a time of great opportunities. Good times lies ahead for the HR industry. There is a significant advantage for companies who have deeper knowledge of market conditions. Customizing product offering based on local conditions will help companies have competitive advantage in the market.

Do you think of other areas which can prove vital for the HR industry? Are there any other vital challenges that you can think of? Do share your inputs in the comments section.   

 

Romance @ Workplace – Cupid Strikes

CT  XX biz-0213-work-advice-huppke MJW

What will happen if your boyfriend/spouse joins your organization and becomes your co-worker?

Hi Amit,

Since last 2 years I am working in the sales department of a reputed organization in the advertising sector. Sometime back my organization advertised a vacancy in the operations department. Looking at the role and the qualifications, I am pretty sure that my boyfriend is suitable for this job and will get selected if he applies for the same. If he clears the hiring process, he would join my organization in mid July and as a result we will end up working together on the same floor. He will be helping me with all the back up support I need for closing any client call. That ways we will be in constant touch with one another on the job.

What are your views on this arrangement? I know he is capable and will be selected, however in case I recommend his name to the hiring manager will it impact me in any sense? I want people to perceive that my recommendation is purely on requirement basis and not on account of he being my boyfriend. 

What actions I must take to assure my employer that we will both maintain a professional relationship at workplace? 

Hi,

I am not sure whether your current organization ALLOW couples to work together.

If they have a policy of not hiring relatives, friends etc, REFRAIN from recommending him to your current employer.

Do check from your HR on this one

While many organization these days ENCOURAGE employees to refer their spouses, friends, cousins etc for internal vacancies, they also ensure that they both work in different departments. This is done so that there is no conflict of interest between them. 

Hiring people from internal references can be seen as a STRATEGIC move as it helps in checking the growing attrition level in the organization. It is been observed that people who are hired by internal references, tend to stay more than a normal hire.

If there is a policy by which you can refer him internally, go ahead and forward your boyfriend’s application to the hiring manager putting a word or two supporting his candidature. 

In case he gets selected you both will get plenty of time to work together. :)

One important thing to keep in mind is that you should work within the boundaries of professionalism and not INDULGE in any act which may make others around you feel uncomfortable at the workplace (I hope you are understanding my point here).

Life is full of uncertainty and I am not aware about your future plans, whether you both wish to get married or not. God forbid in case you guys decide to separate or break up, you need to address such a situation without messing up things around you. I don’t know so I can’t comment on how much emotionally you guys are attached to each other however in such a situation, react maturely without bringing your personal problems to work.

Sit down and think from all perspectives before taking any decision.

Some of my inputs are mentioned below:-

a) Do you both actually want to work with each other? I mean to say whether you both are willing to share your professional space with each other. There are possibilities that after answering this question majority of your problem will get solved. Do an honest discussion and anticipate events that may occur if you both start working together.

b) Relationships are short lived these days. In case your relationship ends, who will be the one to leave the job to find another in case there are lot of differences and things turn worse between the two of you.  

c) I understand when love is in the air, certain things go beyond your control. You guys need to plan on your behavior and reaction at workplace. I know it may sound difficult but you need to conceal your emotions and feeling with a mask of professionalism. You both need to understand that at workplace you are first committed to your job and then to yourselves.

d) If you share a good rapport with your boss I would advise you to keep him in the loop and that your boyfriend will be working with you in case he gets selected. That ways you have taken him into confidence. 

e) Office romances sometimes become the topics discussed in tea breaks or on lunch table. Maintain your dignity so that you do not become the subject of entertainment for others. 

Folks in office love gossip. As one coworker said,”I know that’s a false rumor, but it’s just too juicy not to believe.”

Go forward and work out your way. I would request other people to also share their views and help our fellow member to come to some conclusion. Please drop your comments below :)