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Employer Needs To Keep His Promise Irrespective Of The Employee Keeping His Promise: Subramanyam S, Founder and CEO, Ascent HR

Subramanyam S, Founder and CEO of Ascent HR talks to BW Businesworld about the challneges in the HR industry employee welfare policies. Edited Excerpts:

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Subramanyam S, Founder and CEO of Ascent HR talks to BW Businesworld about the challneges in the HR industry employee welfare policies. Edited Excerpts:

How to keep employee morale high when the hiring is really low?

Keeping employee morale high is an on-going exercise in every enterprise and not just when the hiring is low/high. Interestingly, employees tend to be more loyal to their jobs when hiring is low. Employer-employee is a fiduciary relationship and hence the employer has to make sure he keeps his promises to meet employee expectations during the life cycle, irrespective of an employee keeping his side of the promises. An ongoing interaction with the employee and making sure he is fully engaged from a job role perspective together while ensuring the employees personal/social goals are balanced well, generally keeps the employee morale high.

What are the challenges in the HR industry? What do the leaders need to drive the business forward?

HR Industry has the 3 challenges of a) Hiring right Talent; b) Keeping the Talent motivated, and c) Accomplish desired productivity or goals of the organization. Large enterprises undertake several initiatives which cover training, employee engagement, rewards, and recognition to keep the employee morale high which does yield discernible results. The challenge lies with the small and medium enterprises which may not have specialist managers or adequate funds to carry out all these and suffer from a disoriented employee behavior, which gets addressed many times with the rapport built by the enterprise owner or manager with the employee which veers towards an emotional exercise

How to make technology more relevant to bridge the skill gap in different professionals?

Technology is not the only narrative for salvaging any situation. While Technology is an enabler in the modern industry, personal skills of the employee and his job knowledge play a huge role in meeting his professional and personal goals. Our education system is very academic and employability is still a major concern for the industry, therefore hiring the right person and training him for the job or role is critical to achieving productivity. As the latter part of the statement suggests, technology can bridge the skill gap through online or any time coaching together with the simulation of the work environment.

Has maternity leave bill affected female hiring?

The amendment to Maternity benefits act was done in haste without consulting industry fully. Cost of childbirth or child nourishment should be a responsibility of the Government and that of the society, passing this squarely to an enterprise is unjust. It has increased the costs of managing women employees and hence small and SME would tend to reduce the women workforce if not avoid them altogether. In addition, even after 6 months of change, the industry has not seen clear guidelines on creche facility which leads to inadequate implementation. We pride ourselves on the young workforce of the world and this careless approach in one of the most important benefits for women has led to dilution in women workforce.

What policies can be adapted to provide a safe and good working environment to the employees?

Getting good talent has pushed the industry to offer safe and good workspace in technology companies. Manufacturing does have the pressure of several buyer compliances which lead to improving workspace both in safety and quality work environment. The government can plan incentives to Industry for improving safety/work environment and make a voluntary governance issue which needs to be disclosed in its annual financial statements. It has carried out similar initiative for CSR and another in this direction would be a great boost to improving our quality of work/life while becoming globally competitive

Is background checking becoming all the more important now?

Gig economy is gaining ground and when fresher’s are taken into employment for the first time through flexi-staffing, the emphasis would be more on identity verification and less on background checks which is more relevant for lateral hires. Having said that the large enterprises do prefer background checks for fresher’s too which is a drain on the company without quality results. Health Check of a fresher is rarely an issue while his address check would be irrelevant given the fact that many youngsters come from different regions to cities for employment. The new trend is to limit to Adhaar Verification for identity and use BGV only for laterals with some experience