With India set to become the youngest country by 2020, it is time to adopt standard people management practices through public–private partnership.
Now that Human Resources Development (HRD) has evolved as a critical function across all organisations in India, which is set to become the youngest country by 2020, the time is ripe for Indian HRD to consolidate all kinds of existing and asymmetric HR practices, and unveil common and accepted people management practices.
People management is a complex process. Every human being in the organisation is per se dynamic. HR in any company tries to satisfy the urges of the mind, body and intellect of the people. People are the participants as well as the beneficiaries of the economic development process unlike material resources. We should give equal importance to both material and human resources. Ninty three per cent of urban people have a greater chance of acquiring training than residents of rural areas because of the uneven access to opportunities.
Medley of public and private sector to create an ecosystem
The Government has legitimate reasons both for undertaking the HR functioning in the corporate sector and for curing the perversions of free functioning to keep the system accountable for the socio-economic development of the country. While TCS, Reliance, Infosys, Bharti Airtel and other behemoths have the strength to recruit candidates from premier institutes like the IIMs, ISBs and IITs, the MSMEs and startups cannot afford to recruit candidates. This is because the latter are unable to offer fat pay packets. Most of the candidates are denied access to premier education on account of their poverty or their economic conditions. The quality in the startup companies is, thus, deprived. We need to create a level playing field for MSMEs/startups to operate in an industry ecosystem, in accordance with the expectations that the large enterprises have set.
There must be an equal opportunity to recruit HR professionals on par with the large corporate houses. There are approximately over 10.07 lakh companies of all sizes in India. Let us find out how many of these can afford to have qualified, efficient and smart HR professionals.
A medley of public-private partnership is essential to develop and regulate the people management practices of all companies in India. The young and experienced HR professionals should not be deprived of any opportunity and access to the best the world has to offer, and they should not have to settle for anything less.
Leveraging with NSDC
HRD needs to leverage itself by associating with NSDC (National Skill Development Corporation) to work together, acting as catalyst, in structuring the skill development and scalable vocational training initiatives. This must be a continuous process to keep them abreast of the times.
HRD shall make every attempt to take the right decisions, and shall not be influenced by political pressures. The Government should not take away the freedom of decision-making. Its intervention must be limited to regulating monopolies and promoting competition. A balanced approach by both the public and private sectors can thus promote greater equality of income and better dispensation of HR administration, which is perceived as fairer.
Collaboration and contribution of HR
Collaboration with the industry, the chambers of commerce, the various Indian universities and the universities abroad ensure uniform maintenance of norms and standards. The major contribution of a company’s HR (CHR) is in the commercial sector, particularly, in all statutory compliances. HR has to network, harmonise, amalgamate and collaborate with various other functional heads in a company to appraise the performance of an employee, thereby ensuring that the objective of the organisation is aligned and achieved.
Best HR practices
HR members are expected to endeavour to build a consensus on all contentious people matters where there is divergence of opinion. The foremost assumption of an HR shall be akin to civil servants in the widest definition of the term possible. They should contribute to the debates without any prejudices with the conviction that the outcome would be towards the advancement of the HR profession, and for the benefit of the organisation.
Ways and means
India’s demographic potential offers an unprecedented edge that economists believe could add a significant 2 per cent to the GDP growth. During this transition, regional and situational disparities in education must be eliminated.
Therefore, having an exclusive human resources institute akin to the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI), appears to be one of the best options available to maintain equality. It shall be made the only recognised professional body to develop and regulate the people management practices of all companies in India. It can award the certificate conferring the designation of Company HR (CHR). Only the students or professionals, who hold the Certificate of Practice, can start a consultancy or be eligible for an HR position in any company/firm. It ensures parity and upholds the integrity of the HR profession. Also, MSME/startups can recruit such professionals from this Institute of Companies HR of India once they are trained, examined and certified to be professionals.
HR inclusion and GEARS
A lifestyle more suited to Indian culture, which is inclusive in nature, is needed. Improving the quality of education, especially in people management, is crucial. The fear of exercising initiative and taking bona fide decisions has to be removed. With the industry gearing up for the next set of foreign players, and with the increase in global competition because of divestment, there is bound to be war on five aspects viz., grievance-handling, engagement, appraisals, retention and sourcing (GEARS).
Industry, academia, NGOs and other stakeholders need to recognise this and act accordingly. They need to consider how to win the respect and trust of each and every individual in the system.
(The author works in the HR department of the Karvy Group. The views expressed in this article are those of the author in his personal capacity.)