Best kept secrets of HR

We recently had a annual HR strategy meeting in our organisation.  This year there was a suggestion given by a young colleague of mine.  It was to request all employees to name one family member of theirs, who have made a lasting impact on their life and career.  They were advised to give this information well in advance to the organisers.  The organisers on their part printed a nicely worded letter of appreciation signed by the CHRO.

I was touched by the idea and the way it was implemented.  Almost all employees had tears in their eyes, when they received this appreciation letter along with the token gift from their respective managers during the course of the conference.

This was not the end of it.  After the conference, we got emails, messages and letters from their family members for this thoughtful gesture.  I was overwhelmed by their response.   What started as an innovative idea by a young colleague ended in stirring emotions amongst hundreds of human beings across the organization and their families.

The lesson we learnt from this idea was that gratitude and recognition are much more valuable than monetary rewards.  In our daily routine, we tend to forget these simple deeds,  which can make them feel cared for and appreciated.  We always have to remember that what we are today is the outcome of the toil of many unsung heroines and heroes in our lives.

S Ramesh Shankar

CHRO 2.0

How the world is changing and the role of HR along with it ?  We have more questions than answers to this question.  The rate of change is more evident than the change itself.  How does it impact HR ? What are the capabilities of the future CHRO ?

A.  Simplify complexity :  In my view, the first and foremost capability for HR is our ability to simplify a complex world.  Today everything is complex.  It is tending to get more complex and ambiguous as time passes.  In this ever changing world, how do we as HR simplify things and focus on the basics will be a good quality to possess.

B.  Be human :  The advent of technology has made human beings mechanistic.  We tend to react like computers without any emotions.  We fix processes and systems and automate everything.  While automation will help efficiency, it may not always result in effectiveness.  Hence, it is critical for HR folks to be in touch with employees and apply their mind.

C. Be the change :  HR has to lead the change in the organisation.  While in the past, we may have been happy to support change and facilitate change, it is necessary to lead it in the future.  We have to be the change we want to see in the organisation.  This strategic mindset of change is critical for future success.

In all of the of the above, we have to be the conscience keeper of the organisation.

S Ramesh Shankar