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BW Businessworld

HR Ensures Individual And Organizational Development, Says Satyendra K Mallik, CHRO, Eastman Auto & Power

Eastman has initiated Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) for its employees with the main objective to achieve organizational excellence

Eastman Auto & Power limited (EAPL) is a manufacturer, supplier and exporter of energy storage solutions and solar solutions. Satyendra K Mallik, President - CHRO, Eastman Auto and Power Ltd talks to BW Businessworld about their HR initiatives, hiring and change in the role of HR.  

How has the role of HR changed with the shift in technology; in terms of better hiring for business development?

The role of HR has shifted from typical establishment and administrative role, where it was more perceived like watchdog; into more strategic role, wherein it not only partners the business but also ensures individual and organizational development. 

The human resources need to be skilled, re-skilled and upskilled accordingly. The role of HR has become multi-fold, not just acquiring talent ahead of the curve but also to manage and develop talent in such a way, which makes the organization scalable and keeps the organization ahead of the rest in terms of people capability.

Employees now place a higher value on work-life balance and enjoyable work environment. Digitalization is encouraged. Adopting things like employee wellness apps and new feedback tools could change the way HR interacts with employees and gets feedback about a workplace real-time. Considering the new role, it would not be an exaggeration to say the modern HR focuses on achieving “organizational excellence through people excellence” 

How has employee engagement changed over the years?

Engagement is about how passionate employees are about their individual goals, which ultimately synchronizes with organizational goal. Leveraging on engagement model has gained momentum in early 2000, when organizations started exploring what would engage the work force to the assignment and to the organization. Necessities that are in simple words, roti, kapda and makan drive the entry level professionals, while motivation and providing an opportunity is what is looked by the mid-level. For the high management, self actualization, building something new and opportunity to create history are things that need to work on. 

If we look at new generation professionals, even basic physiological needs may not motivate or engage them much, as they have already crossed the basic need of need hierarchy theory. So, what engages them? It’s the clarity in role, span of control, clear channel of communication and a definite and fast career progression, which really engages the NexGen and motivates them. So, it’s not just some fun elements at work but sense of achievement for sure, is the driving force for the engagement nowadays.

Has the hiring pattern changed, with job roles being re-defined?

The hiring pattern has changed as with the age of millennials, and is not only based on CV’s but also using artificial intelligence. It is now easier for an employer to find top ranked candidates using predictive analysis and machine learning based algorithm. This is not only a cost-effective solution, but it also helps in reducing the time by enabling recruiters to reach out to the best candidates in days and not in weeks. HR needs to realize new measurements in terms of proper hiring of employees and pay attention to their flexibility, global mobility, belongingness and training needs. With the change in hiring pattern, the focus is now on the person’s skills which should be equally advancing with the technology. 

What are some of the challenges in the HR industry? How has the role of HR changed in reaching out to the employees?

One of the major challenges for any HR professional is to help their employees acquire the required skills to work efficiently with the evolving technologies. The workplace is much more employee-focused and individualized that is pushing employers to other things, providing flexible schedules which provides them with an opportunity to upskill them. 

Another challenge for the HR is to move away from the rooted and accepted practices and evolve according to the new needs and change in perspective of its employees. Earlier, considered to have the administration role, it now needs to play the role of a strategic partner. Digitization of the department has made it difficult for them to remain attached to their old practices. However the biggest challenge is to manage the expectations and aspirations of employees. Now-a-days, employees have bigger dreams, a person at the age of 24 wishes to become a CEO at 30. Being educated and being employable are two different things. A person can get knowledge from schools, books, college; Skill is using that knowledge into practical real life and readiness to carry out the skills to achieve objective is what makes attitude. Therefore, the real challenge becomes finding a candidate that has all the three and not just either of two. 

How are the recruiters enhancing the quality of recruitment?

An employer looks for candidates with traits that go beyond having only specialized skills. Speed and precision are important to them. A person's swiftness in making quick decisions highlights his\her effectiveness. Managers in every sector look for people that can think innovatively and out-of-the box.   However, thinking differently is not the only important thing; execution is the stage where the skills come into use. The employee should give attention and cater the customer's needs in order to stay ahead in the business. He/She should know what the customer wants and deliver even before the demand arises. 

What has been the strategy behind introducing ESOP; was it done to ensure more loyalty and productivity?  

Eastman Auto & Power limited initiated Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) this year. This proposal aims at providing work satisfaction to all its employees by acknowledging their valuable efforts and contribution. The company wishes to soon extend the scheme to all the employees. This was done to create a sense of belongingness which will make people start working and questioning like stakeholders and not as employees. Their way of thinking will become like partners and will create a collaborative and deeper engagement of all the employees. These are our attempt at empowering them and regard them as our partners in achieving the quest of professional excellence. 



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