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Being Human!!!

When I first saw someone wearing a T-shirt with “Being Human” written on it,  I  thought “Ah!  There’s another incorrect usage of a phrase.  That should be called ‘Human  Being’  and not ‘Being Human’. Isn’t it?” Little did I know that ” Being Human ” was an initiative started by a Bollywood star to support the under privileged.

But this confusion of usage of the phrase made me think of another phrase that the working class is very used to –  “Human Resource or famously known as HR”. Now the real question is “Is HR really Human or at least being human?”

There are employers who take really good care of their employees simply by implementing HR best practices and showing people the real “HUMAN” side.  A side which shows care, understanding and most importantly empathy towards it’s employees. And then there are employers who just don’t seem to care. All employers big or small care about profitability and market share but the real question is at the cost of what resources? Human resources perhaps…

HR simply sitting in big cabins and taking pride in being management’s spokesperson serves no purpose.  There are situations where employees simply don’t want to go to HR with their concerns because they are quite sure that they won’t get a solution. And then there are situations when HR shows a little too much of interest in salary discussions for employees during appraisals. I understand that HR should be involved in such discussions but the question is to what extent? I’m sure that everyone would agree that they shouldn’t be influencing decisions.

I am not sure what happened to the open houses and employee grievance redressal forums where HR would come out of their cabins and talk to the employees. Some companies have an HR POC appointed for employees to reach out to. But how is that person supposed to operate? Expecting employees to reach out when they have a problem… Nah! Probably being proactive and reaching out to the employees.Well, may be…

Why should only a few companies look at employees being the most valuable resources when it’s a well established fact that companies would need their employees for their growth and success now and forever?

Unless certain practices are changed, it is not far when people start addressing HR as IR or “Inhuman Resources”

-B

If only I could…

If only I could,

You know for sure I would…

Be right beside you,

Do everything that you want to do…

Be  your shining star… just the sight you ever wanted to see

And then it wouldn’t be just you or me….it would be only “WE”.

If only I could,

You know for sure I would…

Make you the sparkle of my eye,

Love you to the extent of the blue sky…

Shield you from all that is dark and hold you tight,

Be there for you day or night…

If only I could,

You know for sure I would…

Take all your pain away, throw away all the strife,

Just love you endlessly all my life!!!

If only I could,

You know for sure I would…

Please don’t go…

With the world emerging out of recession and the job market getting back on its feet, it has become pertinent that employers make an attempt to combat the sudden increase in attrition rates. As the global markets went down, jobs dried up and people chose to stick with their employers as they were happy just to have a job. However, as the markets have started opening up, employees now have choices and have started switching jobs. 
 
IT and ITES jobs had taken the biggest hit during recession and Forrester Report’s senior analyst Sudin Apte wrote in one of his reports that attrition rates had dropped below 15%. However, in his latest reports he has indicated a steep rise in this rate over the next couple of quarters. So now the entire onus lies on the Human Resources (HR) teams to come up with strategies to retain their employees. But with the cost cutting measures still on what do they do… 
 
Employee retention has always been the greatest challenge for HR. Apparently, US based Aflac INC. founded by the Amos brothers in 1955 is the only company in the world which has never laid off an employee and has an average attrition rate of less than 1% in their 55 years of being in business. So what is it that the HR in this company does to retain its employees: Is it perks, an employee benefit program every quarter, salary hikes or something different? 
 
As a practice, employers need to focus on getting the right people for the right job. Although this sounds simple and is easier said than done, more often than not it becomes a huge reason for employee dissatisfaction and hence contributes to attrition. 
 
Hiring the best match is always the “ideal” solution, and in case you don’t find the best match, it would not be a bad idea to hire people with the smarts to fit into any role. People with the most innate talent may help reduce the employee turnover. 
 
The greatest factor in hiring and retaining an employee is of course salary and perks. It’s not mandatory that an employer offers a package better than the rest, nevertheless, for an employee to be happy the salary and benefits should be competitive. Better the benefits lesser will be the attrition rate. 
 
An aspect that employers often neglect is continuous grooming of the employees. Training is never a onetime exercise. There should be ample opportunities for the employees to share their knowledge and hone their skills. After all, training others is the best way of self learning. Cross training is always a good idea and allows career progression. 
 
Employees need to be treated with due respect and given due credit at all times, HR plays a huge role in ensuring that this practice is lived up to. If you are thinking why am I talking about respect… then just put yourself in the spot and think. Would you work for an organization where you don’t get respected for what you are?
 
At all times ensure that good work is duly appreciated. Constant feedback and appreciation keeps the employees motivated to outperform themselves. Don’t create an atmosphere of too much competition between employees that might affect the employee’s morale. It’s best when employees compete against themselves on their own accord. The opportunity for employees to outperform themselves is a motivation by itself. 
 
Allow flexible start and end time with core business hours thus allowing employees to spend adequate time with their families. Remember, a Children’s Day celebration at your daughter’s school is as important as a deadline at work. Make the work environment friendlier by allowing active participation of employees in decision-making. The best ideas come out when more brains are put down to work. Isn’t it?
 
Recognize and celebrate performance and success. Make them feel a part of the organization by paying them a part of the profit. If that seems like a costly option, you can always choose amicable bonus pay out periods and link them to performance.
 
Identify and nurture any unique or distinguishing talent. Allow room for cross training. This will have a twofold benefit. Not only will it create good bench strength to fall back on in crunch times, but also reduce overtime hours for employees, saving your cost and keeping the employees happy. 
 
Finally, making employees feel a part of the family by celebrating organization traditions. Have a costume party. Allow celebration of personal occasions like birthdays and anniversaries. 

Think about these… If the HR becomes more HUMAN, life would definitely be sweeter and employers will never have to tell their employees… Please don’t go.