“HR should seek influence, as it will lead to power,” Hari TN

The future will be about employing women and encouraging them to take tech and analytics roles, in conversation with Hari T.N, head HR, Bigbasket for HR 2019 Forecast

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More power to HR in 2019

HR should never seek power. Whenever they have tried to seek power they have failed to add value to business. Instead, they should seek influence, as it is influence that leads to power. In the past, HR was never the first choice for professionals. Generally people who couldn’t make it to other professions typically ended up in HR. This must change. We should see more people from line function moving to HR. Unlike other professions, such as law, engineering and medicine, HR is relatively straight forward. Anyone who has worked in teams and has been in corporate career for five years has a reasonably good understanding of HR. If a business head moves to the HR function, he will earn more respect from the people in that business because he will be able to speak their language and understand their problems. I feel that more people from line functions should move to HR.

The biggest challenge for HR in your sector

The biggest challenge for us is at the bottom of the pyramid. Almost 75 per cent to 80 per cent of our workforce is at the bottom and the attrition rate is very high. It can be five per cent a month to 20 per cent a month.With this kind of churn, it becomes very difficult to achieve high productivity and deliver consistent customer experiences.There is no easy solution to this problem. We are identifying the means to keep the bottom level content. Respect, recognition and fair wage – we are using these three elements and delivering them consistently to create an attitude of loyalty. We are also training our supervisors so that they treat the workers with respect and not stress them with overwork. We have set a trust, which takes care of not only our direct employees but also our associates who come from the third party.

“If a business head moves to the HR function, he will earn more respect from the people in that business because he will be able to speak their language and understand their problems”

Role of HR in the temp workforce

The temp workforce model will see tremendous growth in 2019 and beyond. HR will create an environment for the successful hiring of temp workforce. Many companies have created a platform, where service providers and customers can come in contact and this model has seen a success. This will see tremendous growth in the future.

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Managing diverse workforce

Corporate India overcame the cast barrier decades back. The future will be about employing women and encouraging them to take tech and analytics roles, giving them support to see them grow and be successful with time. There will be strict policies in companies for the benefit and growth of women in the workforce. Companies will not only hire people with disability but also create an environment conducive for work. In our practice, we have seen that the attrition rate is much less for people with special needs. The future will see more such people joining the workforce and getting employed. We have created an eco-system where women are comfortable working in a male-dominant job.

“The future will be about employing women and encouraging them to take tech and analytics roles, giving them support to see them grow and be successful with time”

Personalised people policy – one size doesn’t fit all

Companies in the past have had a basket of benefits to choose from. We have taken a different approach to ensure that there are some common benefits that are universal and good for everyone. In addition, we feel cash is most important and therefore, we like to pay our people in cash and pay them well so that there is a common medium, which pleases all. Some benefits will be marked as basic and these should be universally adopted by a company.

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