Senior HR Specialist
Prema Pillai is a Certified Senior HR Specialist possessing over 17yrs of rich, extensive experie... more>>
Business Growth, Shortfalls, Improvement Reviews usually happens in closed doors with few from top panel and remains closely guarded secrets of the leadership team. Engagement of rest is very uncommon. This probably limits us in capturing ideas and symptoms apprehended by our own internal stakeholders who spends maximum of their waking hours at workplace. Since our People are usually close to real problems, they could offer workable solutions to arrive decisions quickly. We need not always seek complex explanations when simpler solutions are within arms reach. Failing to explore internal customers visibility even if it appears hazy in outline, will let unknowns remain unknowns.
Descend from Glory
Forbes annual list of most profitable industrial corporations way back in 1980 with that collated in 2012, we find from the then first thirty rankers not even 1/4th figures within that ambit in 2012.Quite a number among first 500 of that time have even perished over these years. And the dramatic changes we are talking are of established closely held huge enterprises.
Assets Evolution Value
The business shifts is mainly attributed to the speedy scientific and technological advancements. But a strikingly relative development has also emerged. Many global studies, quantitative datas would indicate how the relative measure of Tangible assets has come down. In 82 the tangible value to companies was 62% as against 38% & 10% in 1992 & 2006 in the given order. Rest percentages were Intangible Assets that has increased over the time and which typically are not found in our balance sheets. In one of the annual global CEO survey, 92% CEOs admitted peoples linkage to business agenda a top priority.
It is an admitted fact our Peoples expectations and preferences have changed (and not just of our client customers). For sustainable business it has become important to sell what they want to buy instead attempting to make them buy what we want to sell (be it internal policies, procedures, practices). The art and science of valuing Human Capital (the major chunk of Intangible Assets) is extending "freedom of voice & expression". Businesses which have taken cognizance of this factor also know employees are capable to feel the pulse of the Organization.
Social Era (against Vanished Industrial Era)
Networking globally by people has become more a fundamental paradigm. Since they partner with so many outside the setup, they are positioned to source large amount of entropy from our competitors or others in similar business domain making the information mobility flow seamlessly. Its a strong tool to capture relevant information from multiple sources, thus opportunity being immense it in turn helps business.
The What & Why of Doing It
Successful employee relationship chain happens only if it is aligned with the Organisation. The idea of collaborating business growths with people struck me watching our preparedness and presentations to external customers. One such, while attending Aon Hewitts Best Employers Annual Conference, an open forum through which companies make best of displays, inviting questions, discussing growth plans business anatomy etc. Likewise, our other preparation for external stakeholders, business clients or to vendors whether be Pre/Final appraisal for process quality certifications viz., ISO, CMMI, COPC, K-Level.
Our quality parameters & achievements in an organised (selective) manner can be made to our credible internal resources as well, opening a whole new sphere of emerging ideas. Many of us had been part of companys annual (or bi-annual) events watching Senior Management Representative or Organisation Heads addressing employees yearly (or more frequently). Next, ask the crowd if they have any questions, suggestions and more often than not, we find them giving blind looks as if its their first day at work. It is said " a picture paints a thousand words". More than 60% of our people communicate visually for us to takes significant cues. Allowing people time in advance to come prepared to interact fearlessly and reach out to Senior Rankers is real involvement.
Providing such platform would enable them comprehend the big picture, the common purpose and goal. Such Engagement trend creates a common language and perceivable approach for improvement. And it ranks high on the list of Human Resource Challenges in many surveys and established reports.
There could be multiple ways of getting employees evaluate Organization; a SWOT analysis of the business organization could be one, a program that seeks value add information on major perspectives viz., Clients, Internal Processes, Learning & Growth, Financials. A Forum to ----- Share Opportunities, Threats besides ----- Strengths, Limitations. To assist this transition employee orientation is must; it could be started with a small team/group based on companys size and geographical placement. Following it then with an Annual General Meeting unfolding how some suggestions were incorporated to the system. This would amount to real Partnering and Accountability Sharing. Facial expressions then witnessed would imply strong emotions with people enriched, engaged and empowered in true sense. And companys vision, mission, values shall be better understood than ever before, since employees at every level understand the strategic intentions and aims pursued by their Organization.
The objective could be the same as for an employee appraisal program i.e., it serves both an evaluative process and a communicative tool, with confidentiality ensured (if employees so wishes). An online web questionnaire could be one of the methodologies.
Advantage: Employee & Employer
As far the Organization:
Organisations Strategic Performance Feedback from employees helps discover peoples business partnering skills, heightened powers of observation and deduction and a broad range of accurate information ---- to act as our accelerators. Thoughts, ideas from every corner must be welcomed for actual transformation. If insights are from our own people, enterprises can withstand any storm. Companies like Exxon Mobile, Conoco Philip, AT & T, General Electric, General Motors and few others managed to do well over decades of witnessed turbulence. By being both inwardly and outwardly focused, they embraced and sharpened as change agents, remained integrated to survive the battle as one among the fittest out there. It is remarkable in particular, how Exxon Mobile was at no.1 spot way back in 1980s and is there in top of the pecking order in Fortune list of 2012.
Hierarchy of Participation in Organization Assessment is a KEY engagement model. History of unceasingly high performing businesses indicates not only moving away from lean principles and practices but also timely adopting innovative ideas and expanding awareness and involvement of their people in the right sense of Organizational direction, avoiding conflicting interests between two stake holders i.e., external and internal. Global Workforce studies have proved the criticality of this aspect. Gallup Research that measured employee involvement to critical business outcomes have indicated 3.9 times the earning per share of such businesses besides other improved differentials.
Intellectual capital being elusive in nature, its careful leveraging helps escape gravitational pull of conventional holds too. Companies having acknowledged this are not just at their best winning a culture of recognition and creating atmosphere of trust at all levels but rightfully boasts of having global army of admirers too.
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