“Service orientation — always a part of the human resources DNA,” Ravi Mishra

Ravi Mishra, SVP-HR, global proxy business, Aditya Birla Group talks about how year-on-year IR is changing its face and intensity, as things that cause gaps and doubts are changing

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2020: What to learn – what to erase

There was a radical change in human behaviour that adapted to and adopted unprecedented norms while bypassing the transitional phase. One of the toughest tasks for HR has always been to drive change management successfully. It was always a challenge to convince everyone of the fairness of the intention behind the change and need for alignment in the interest of all. Here, in just a week’s time most people started managing their work sitting at home and connected virtually with everyone, beyond constraints of age and division of functions.

In such a short time, despite limitations and challenges, people quickly embraced technology and new norms. Work-life balance swiftly moved to the next level, providing opportunities of flexibility to organise personal space.

2021 – HR turning into a service centre for internal clients with more tech

The core of HR is not playing the service centre only. In the Industrial Revolution 4.0, the role of serving employees, that is, the internal clients, will be more driven by technology to enhance speed, comfort and sense of equity.

Service orientation has always been a part of the HR DNA, which works as a strong tool to connect with people. This helps to nurture and establish HR’s credibility founded on compassion and commitment. We should always leverage this strength, just as we did during the pandemic.

“It is very important for HR to be resilient and prove its mettle with a visible and measurable impact on business”

HR also needs to be more resilient

Of course, HR should be more resilient, but it is also up to the organisations to support the cause and image of HR. Many companies still feel that HR is an expense budget, but I strongly differ. It is very easy to manage machine and material because they work on logic, substance of character, and physical, chemical or bio properties. Human behaviour and knowledge, on the other hand, are very complex. They influence and drive the entire value chain.

Hence, it is very important for HR to be resilient and prove their mettle with a visible and measurable impact on business.

Upskilling leadership or diversity in leadership

Upskilling is much more important in terms of priority. Leadership always works as a role model and anchor. Even during the pandemic, leaders with versatility in terms of skills, and equipped with new knowledge and technology were found more successful as early movers. They were able to race ahead of the others, who simply lamented or wondered who moved their cheese.

Will labour unrest shift the focus back to IR

No. Rather, interest in IR will subside. Companies are now realising the cost of these unrests and how they malign the image of the company. Even data proves that year-on-year IR is changing its face and intensity, as things that cause gaps and doubts are changing. This is because of the emergence of the digital era and the transparency it brings. All stakeholders understand the value of end results, and what destruction of trust can mean in the long term.

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