Relevance of HR in today's IT Industry
HR role is fast changing in an IT Company. Its position is changing. In this column I will not touch the mundane roles of HR, which are there any way, but those ones that are emerging and also the new ones. These are:
Relationship of HR with
- The business
- Quality and,
HR people should understand what is the company's business very clearly even before they set out to start any activity. Meaning thereby, they need to understand what is the company's business, what is the focus, what the company wants to do, what is its vision its mission and what are its targets and goals. One may ask so what is new in this. They should any way know all this being a part of the organization. Let me take this first.
The aspect that is important here is people. The company is in the business in the area it has decided to be in; and if people do not understand what they have to do, they will do what ever they feel is right. Now you can imagine how many people are there in any company and how many people see the same issue in the same way. People will see the issues in their own different ways and differently at different points in time within the day, the month or the year. Their experiences keep affecting what they want to do. The resultant efforts may take the organization ultimately another way.
The responsibility of Role Accountability Management lies with HR. It has to establish direction in the people. To facilitate this, it must understand where the company wants to go and assess where it is going. HR should also understand the issues involved even better than the business development person so that it could direct its policies and processes which create an atmosphere that facilitates people achieve what the company wants them to achieve.
HR has to understand what is the Market, what is the competition, how others do business, and therefore, HR becomes very crucial and important part of all business meetings, leads in being a part of communication channel of the company. At times it might even assist the company to establish a direction. It is very important to note this capability.
For a company to succeed, one aspect that always forms the base to the ultimate success of the organization is Quality. Quality starts from the material quality. It gets improved and assured through processes. Of course quality products helps the company to establish its image. It helps enhance the customer's confidence. It builds the brand equity. It helps enhance the employee motivation. Think of a company where the employees would not like to use their own products because they know there are holes in the quality processes, because they know that the product is not good, they know that there are shortcuts applied whatsoever.
Quality improvement comes at a cost. Not at a material cost, but perhaps it comes at costing some people their jobs - those people who do not care for quality, those people who do not value quality, those who deliberately do not put efforts to achieve quality have no position in a quality organization.
Quality does not happen by chance. It has to be directed. Quality is a culture and a structured quest for excellence. It has got to do much more with mind than with any thing else. Quality is an attitude. If people have the right attitude they will take all possible steps to ensure that poor quality stuff does not get through, and never to the customer.
The emerging role that I see of HR is in training of people for developing the right attitude towards quality. Taking lead in helping quality obtain its rightful position within the organization structure. Which route, how and why, all will have to emerge only from within the organization.
The third dimension where HR will have to innovate is to assist people manage Time. If the company has a good quality product but it does not come out in time then anyway it has problems.
It is not important who understands the market best and even if the business direction is right and company understands the business best, yet if the people are not there in time, some body else who is faster will capture the business. Therefore time becomes a very crucial aspect, input or a resource to manage.
The moment you put up this aspect to a HR person, he would work out with some management consultant, a Time Management course. There are people who train people on time management courses on a 2 to 3 day course.
A typical thing about creative persons is to lead them towards corporate objectives. They are typically stuck in between what they like doing and what the company expects them to do. Managing them by defining roles, setting objectives sets the base line.
Teaching them the how to manage their time through theories, tips and tools is important but what is more important is to practically assist people manage their time. That is where I say that HR will have to assist people to manage their time. Do people actually know where they are spending more time? Do they understand where the company's focus is? And if so that all the efforts that they make result in achievements? Sitting with people and helping them manage their time is what is required rather than putting them through a 2-3 days program and letting them back to loose themselves in to the same old corporate jungle.
A HR Professional