Rapid technological changes, coupled with rising societal and human psyche shift is predominantly pointing towards a different path in every sector whether it’s corporate or noncorporate. It has become imperative to break the shackles of the traditional way of governing a system irrespective of whatever sector it may be. The workforce is aging; experienced talent is on the path of exodus through heavy retirements, younger generation with completely different aspirations are gradually taking over and the entire mental psyche is undergoing a lot of transformation. The multi-generational workforce conundrum is making the entire governance re-look at the way HR function was considered for all these years.
Amidst these changes and uncertainties looming ahead, a plethora of innovative and effective measures are being considered and planned round the clock by HR Leaders and top executives in the Indian corporate world. In fact, the education system too is undergoing lot of progressive changes to combine skill and technological upgradation for future generation. There is hardly any sector which remains unaffected with so many changes in this VUCA world. How can the Indian non corporate sector be left behind?
Recently there has been some progressive change in traditionalist thinking of non corporate sectors. Let’s have a closer look at the two very important sectors where HR function is being re-invented to solve the new age problems of the present and hopefully future too.
The first ever HR Round Table Conference by Indian Railways was inaugurated by Minister for Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu this month. On 8th June, at Vigayan Bhawan (New Delhi), the country’s biggest civilian employer with the aim of improving the productivity of the human resources organized the round table conference for inter-change of ideas with various stakeholders, HR practitioners and academicians.
With strength of over 13 lakh employees, spread over 10 departments in 17 Zones, 6 Production Units and 68 Divisions, Indian Railways works 24X7.
The Conference was organized around the following three themes:
- Creativity within Constraints
- The Future of Work – HR Role
- Stakeholders Expectations from HR
Chairman, Railway Board, Shri A. K. Mital, Member Staff Shri Pradeep Kumar, other Railway Board Members and senior officials were also present on the occasion.
The agendas discussed ranged from defining corporate goals to creating the right organization structure for driving efficiency and performance. It emphasized that the change should start from the top level officials. The issues relating to wrong people been assigned to the wrong jobs were discussed. Chairman Railway Board Shri AK Mital said that in all other organizations the cost of employees is around 30% whereas in Indian Railways it is 60% of the operation cost. The need of the hour is to increase the earning so that the cost of employees will go down which will be possible only when efficiency and output of each and every employee will improve.
Finally, there seem to be some steps taken forward to the missing element in the non corporate sectors. The failure to recognize that employees are integral for higher performances and the potential for improved performance is being significantly re-looked at with the help of thought leaders in the industry.
Many videos have surfaced in recent times on social media pointing towards a lot of 'not-so- good' issues penetrating in Indian Army. It is felt that over 50 percent of the workforce in Indian army are not being promoted despite being highly competent. This sticky issue has never been brought in light in such an unpleasant manner as seen in recent past. Battling these challenges of managing super talented assets of our country, relating to the pyramidal structural issue of this acclaimed body, a Six day annual commander’s conference was organized by the top brass of the Indian army. These included grievances relating to compensation, performance appraisals and disgruntlement among some jawans over the Sahayak system.
HR policy ramifications came out as one of the key area to be addressed to with a more pragmatic approach.
“The core values of the army though haven’t changed; rapid societal changes and discernible impact of socio- economic aspirations on the army have been a focus area of the conference,” the army said in a statement, giving gist of deliberations at the conference which concluded recently.
There are plans going on to make Short Service Officers entry scheme more popular. This will definitely combine actions relating to streamlining of the hiring pattern, employment of women officers and grant of honorary ranks to Junior Commissioned Officers and Non Commissioned Officers. The call for a more 'participative' form of policy formulation to address HR issues by enhancing transparency and inclusiveness is being deliberated and converted into an action plan by the Army.
In the existing traditionalist set up of non corporate sector, the HR function (mostly known as personnel office) had quite a limited role to play. It is more focused narrowly on administering and enforcing rules and programs. Mostly considered non technical they are seen as an impediment to change. The non corporate sectors so far has completely ignored the reality of progressive organizations and the role social psychology plays in the work experience. It is a difficult ball game to convince the top officials in non corporate sectors that HR can play an important role in improving business and people issues. The recent changes surely hint on the shift in the mindset, moving towards a better future and is being welcomed wholeheartedly.