Garima Konda | Assistant Manager – HR | Larsen & Toubro
I am an engineer by default like many others in India. During the 3rd year of graduation, I realized it was time for me to decide on the way ahead. I was already then a part of the department student committee & the kind of work we did gave a peek into management aspects at a micro level which I found interesting. It was then that I started having conversations with my uncle who was in a senior HR role. During these conversations, I realized that HR as a management field is at a nascent stage of its maturity & the increasing importance of people’s role in business success provides a lot of scope to HR professionals to impact business. Since the moment I applied for HR specialization at the time of joining the PGDM program, I have never looked back at my decision and the journey has been exploratory, insightful & rewarding.
Points of differentiation
My key differentiation from others would be my drive to connect to business and immerse myself in business challenges thereby coming up with impactful people solutions, coupled with strong HR domain knowledge. The credibility gained has provided me opportunities in designing HR interventions across spectrum of HR & at various levels in my organization as both an individual & in teams, acting as an internal consultant.
Biggest Talent Priority to solve
According to me, harnessing the potential of talent through talent mobility is a challenge faced by many organizations especially of large size. While we have come a long way in terms of Talent Identification & Development, most of the times I’ve seen that the talent is withheld back by their managers when it’s time to move on to a more critical role in a different segment of business which is in line with talent career aspirations. At higher levels this even results in succession planning not resulting into action where it just remains a plan.
Hence I believe building a culture of talent visibility & mobility across the organization along with structured process & enablers to ensure a smooth role transition is critical for continued business success.
The one thing I will retain in HR
Performance Differentiation: While few organizations are doing away with bell curve as a means of differentiation, I think performance differentiation with or without bell curve needs to continue to exist. This is because the normal distribution curve is a natural aspect and will continue to exist in any kind of organization set up and performance differentiation acts as both recognition to high performance and a motivation to raise the bar.
The one thing I will change in HR
HR – Transformation from functional expert to Business Partner: I believe HR needs to partner business in a pro-active manner even at times when business leaders don’t expect it from their HR teams. While there is a lot of talk & motion around HR being a business partner, at the ground level there is still a lot of road to cover. This also involves a change of mindset to how HR can add value to business in the minds of both business leaders & HR professionals. To gain the credibility, I think capability building of HR team in terms of business acumen & integrating that with domain expertise is the key which would also result in decreased dependency on external expertise in designing key HR processes/interventions.
Vision for HR's future growth
With fast advancing technology and deeper understanding of human brain, I think in the future, talent is going to be key differentiator between business success and failure and the HR function is going to act as a business pillar. Focus would be on creating an innovative, productive, agile & positive mindset workforce. HR will be a function where domains like business, psychology, branding and finance integrate and analytics mature to a stage where ROI of every penny invested on people would be calculated. Soon, CHROs are going to be active members of the board. The workforce will become more diverse in all aspects & people processes have to be more customized & integrated in a seamless way to ensure great employee experience making strong business sense. HR professionals have to prepare for this change and be ready to lead it rather than follow it.