Today’s business world is the fusion of technologies on various fronts demanding speed, scale and systemic transformation in all sectors focusing on the essence of core human nature.
The communication revolution has swamped the world with information. The result is stress while one tries to manage information. Emotional undercurrents are present in almost every activity within the organization and they influence employees’ morale productivity and behavior. They play a critical role in the business of all the organizations.
Management experts are recognizing this reality and are convinced that spirituality and management are not strange bedfellows. Most management books deal with the fundamental concepts of management like Goal setting, Leadership, Team management and Motivation etc., skirting around the core nature of human identity.
They are struggling to bridge the “Execution Gap” i.e., what the organizations have planned to achieve their strategic goals and what they actually achieved in the process. They are working hard on how to improve the processes and systems with a focus on the primary goals, trying to improve employee engagement practices and re-engineering performance management systems. They are trying their best to keep people on track of the peak performance every time. But their frustration is how to make it happen.
Management experts are slowly opening the doors to spirituality in dealing with the business and its people. The management gurus are now welcoming certain terminologies and their practices in the corporate world like Self-analysis, Self-awareness Meditation, Value systems, Self-motivation, Transformation of people etc., Now, they talk about how the spiritual dimension is our core and our commitment to them are vital for people development and performance. This they treat as an investment of time and they feel that no corporate can afford to neglect. They recognized that it helps to identify one’s core governing values leading to willing contribution with effective management styles.
With this new thinking it’s now clear that the management is two-fold; management of myself, management of situations which involves people. This lays the foundation for personal management and situational management. If one finds difficult to manage himself he will definitely have problems managing his organization and the role he is playing. Hence managing self is the cornerstone for managing events and people around.
The new role of HRD
With this background now, the task before the HRD is profound. They are no more confined to the limited activities of recruitment, retention and retirement. They are expected to proactively rejuvenate employees and regenerate their thinking process to look at themselves, the events and the situations afresh with far more positivity and a sense of wellbeing. They need to meet this metamorphic transformation of people from a new perspective and create a platform on which they can handle people and their true development.
Knowing fully well that this new shift that senior management across companies are contemplating, the HRD should note that the leadership development and self-mastery doesn’t happen overnight but it happens over a span of time. They need to create a dedicated HR team to create a “Sustainable Developmental Alliance” with the employee to drive their individual improvements and organizational transformation.
Institutionalize self-awareness and self-acceptance
To bring an effective change management at individual and organizational level the HRD needs to work on four strategic fronts
- To bring pressure for change
- To synergize clear shared vision
- To build capacity for change
- To take actionable first steps
Conducting self-renewal workshops at regular intervals throughout the organization to help people to confront the deficiencies if any without embarrassment or without any guilt feeling
- To enhance better perspective of one’s own behaviour
- To make them more objective, skilful and self-observant
- To leave the setbacks in the background and set the courage to give and receive feedback
- To cultivate the habit of maintaining a diary
It is nothing but recording of experiences and notable situations or events every day. They can be either personal or job related. This works as an excellent feedback tool to know whether we are in the right track and what needs to be done to improvise.
To cultivate a habit of giving and receiving feedback as a development tool
Through a rigorous training a resistance to critical feedback is removed by making people to know that the intent of the feedback is to develop the individual. Creating a culture of holding discussions with openness on personal development and organizational development issues with superiors/peers and subordinates.
Creating a database on critical problems either technical or human with solutions so that they can retrieve them at any point in the future.
Teach meditation to all people: Create a facility for people to practice meditation
Having executive retreats once in a quarter: to have brainstorming sessions on the long range strategic plans. New HR strategies and interventions in which stakeholders also have a major role to play.
Giving weightage to EQ while people get elevated to the managerial and leadership roles: Grooming the managers and the team leads to be the coaching communicationalists on the above referred areas to orient people on a day to day basis. As mentioned earlier this is to be done in a planned and disciplined way through various workshops and trainings.
Help people to shift their paradigm
The problem with relying on just personality ethics is that unless the underlying paradigm and perspectives are corrected the outward behavior will not be affected. Stephen Covey feels that we all have paradigm and perspectives and they can have a dramatic impact on the way we handle the people and the situations.
Make people unlearn
There is a need to focus on how to make people shift their paradigm and make them unlearn their pre-existing biases, habits, core beliefs and their core behavior. The more we think in a certain way the stronger the associations become over time and we get into a ‘rut’ in terms of our thinking. Individuals and organizations need to use tools to actively break their paradigms.
As mentioned earlier this can be achieved by ongoing training, regular workshops, small informal talks and discussions. People will unlearn through these practices. Through experiential learning labs, psychometric tests, exercises followed by action plans on the individual’s developmental areas with a follow up action. We can help people to be aware and bring changes
To site a few paradigms:
- “I must receive more or less constant love and approval from almost everyone.” [Agree or Disagree]
- If the answer to this is agreed this paradigm needs to be challenged and changed. This is our irrational belief. In reality it does not happen. But still people depend on this belief in various ways. But this paradigm needs to be changed by reframing our thinking as “It is neither necessary nor important for me to get constant love and approval from almost everyone.” If it comes I will accept it. If not I am okay with it”. I must recognize that my expectations is unreasonable and need not be fulfilled always”. Otherwise this would lead to anger and frustration.
The same way certain dysfunctional beliefs that are activated by potentially troubling or disturbing situations are:
If total perfection is not achieved then a perception of complete failures. (eg- people care all good or bad. Projects are perfect or a failure)
Disqualifying the positive
Even if sometimes positive is experienced it is mentally disqualified from having any relevance or importance. (eg – I passed the exam this time. This is a fluke)
Arbitrarily predicting that things will turn out badly. “I am going to fail this time”. The wisdom lies in challenging them. The challenge lies in making it happen.
HRD should drive this improvement and organization transformation with a missionary zeal. Executives and managers are the principal owners of the strategy execution within the business units and their teams. The HRD should drive these changes through them making them coaching communicators. They should make the “training and coaching” their tools to bring these themes of “unlearning”, “paradigm shifting”, “self- introspection” and “emotional intelligence”.
It is no doubt it is a tight rope walk but not a vain speculation as many may think.
HTC Global Services has already started experimenting this new strategic shift in developing people with a dedicated team on the strategies mentioned above, through Self-Renewal workshops and Heartfulness programs making people to view their performance in a new landscape with a refreshing outlook of people, relationship and their roles in the business world.