When Chips are down.....

When Chips are down.....The most hotly discussed and debated topic today is – Recession. From the security guard to the vegetable vendor to the auto driver – all seem to have the same opinion. That common sense and good governance can really help everyone to tide over.Similar is the case with organisations which after all are the same bunch of people who could well be your neighbours or your friends. The only difference is that in an organisation you are driven by a of professional code which is different from your personal life. But, the emotional well being is just the same. And it is this quotient which needs to be addressed by Human Resource heads and managers who are the custodians of people within the four walls. Particularly in these times.

Somewhere in the deluge of paperwork, this necessity to stay connected goes out of the window. It is all about appraisals, KRAs, performance pay and the like. The rest of the organisation sees the HR department as the most stressed team. People tip toe in and out without any scope of ventilating concerns or asking about the way forward for themselves or the organisation. The mysterious aura only grows and slowly people begin to look for other opportunities simply because they do not know what the future has in store for them.

In hard times, it is all the more important to put in that extra effort to stay connected and networked. And this is simple to do and can become a part of the HR protocol.

Every morning HR teams can take a trip around the office and wish their colleagues. The teams can split up so that different people go to different divisions or bays or parts of the office. These need to be people who have good social skills. The confidence that this would bring to the work floor is tremendous. Mingling with co-workers can help find solutions to various problems such as incompetent team mates, wrangling within groups, self centred or uncaring leaders and what have you.

Ears on the ground approach can be hugely beneficial as even the little tremors of unhappiness can be traced and smoothened. Good talent can be retained and a close knit homogenous organisation can become a reality. A good way to keep energy levels up is to identify high energy people who bond easily with others and give them the responsibility to raise the bar on bonding.

HR needs to be far more responsive to mails, phone calls or invitations. This is critical, both to the caller and the HR manager. Even if the HR manager is not able to take the call – then courtesy demands that he calls back later or sends out a message to the caller. This will ensure the caller does not feel offended. Not being responsive goes against the grain of the ethos of human resource management.

If one part of the day is allocated for these simple measures, then there would be fewer knots to untangle. And this can impact productivity and profitability as well.


- Gita Nair (views expressed in the article are that of the author)


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