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Acquisition, Development And Managing Workforce Is Core To The HR Department: CEO, NeoNiche

"Engagement can never lose meaning unless you run your organization with robots or treat your employees like robots!", says CEO and MD of NeoNiche

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Prateek N Kumar, CEO & MD, NeoNiche talks about HR processes, engagement and hiring the right set of people.  

Several reports suggest that Indians are the most hardworking employees across the globe, how important is employee engagement. Is engagement losing its meaning nowadays?

Employee engagement is critical for the survival, growth and strategic advantage of the business. There is enough research already done to suggest that a disengaged employee can result in revenue loss and an actively engaged group of employees can actually make a business grow faster than the competition. Therefore engagement remains an important goal that we actively pursue. Engagement can never lose meaning unless you run your organization with robots or treat your employees like robots!

How often do you measure employee engagement? And what to do after that?

Formally, we measure it once a year during our employee offsite when we conduct an externally anchored, confidential survey. However, we very actively look for signs of engagement or disengagement during our monthly 1O1 process and take active steps to sort out any issues. The annual survey results in a Stratcom managed and delivered action plans. The regular checks result in quick corrective actions like more active mentorship, role changes, career and/or compensation growth etc. 

How has the role of HR changed in an organization in terms of hiring as well as management?

Talent Acquisition, Engagement, Development and finally managing performance is core to the existence of an HR Department. Any failure in performing any of these roles well will result in organizational vision failure. We must, however, be mindful that HR is a subject matter expert working on designing and enabling processes. Embedding the HR processes and making them live is the Business leader’s job. The critical manner in which HR role has changed in our case over the last 18 months of Talent Transformation is that HR is leading the strategy formulation in the organization. All the functional goals take shape as an outcome of our Strategy Retreat in April. 

How strong is the role of HR in today's world considering the fact that quite a few decisions are taken by top management? Is it HR or top management that decides on what to go ahead with?

That is an interesting question and assumes that HR is not part of top management or strategic leaders which is not true. HR is very much part of the leadership team. However, HR has to earn that seat on the table, same as any other function. In our case, we have co-opted Industry HR Veterans (all erstwhile HR Heads of Fortune 500 companies) into our Stratcom who advise, guide and facilitate strategic decisions at NeoNiche.  

What will define organizations of the future? Is it going to be around the employees that are engaged, or will it be around competitive hiring or what?

You are asking a buy or build question. I believe both questions are important. Buy is for the short term talent need after that build kicks in. One must have the capacity to attract great talent and hire them in the right roles. However, this process only feeds into the engagement, development, and performance processes. Finally, only the lasting performance over a significant period, of these new hires will grow the business profitably. Organizations of the future will be those who instill a sense of purpose in people and convert their careers into a calling!


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