HR City

Chandra Shekar
Chandra Shekar
y & Global
& HR Lead
- Org
HR Strategies in Place in your Company

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited is one of the four largest banks of Australia with presence in over 33 countries. In recent times, ANZ has increased footprint in Asia with the vision of becoming a 'Super Regional Bank'. ANZ's presence in Bangalore can be traced back to 1984, through its subsidiary ANZ Grindlays Bank PLC. ANZ has re-entered into banking activities in India recently with a branch in Mumbai. ANZ Operations & Technology Pvt Ltd, based out of Bangalore for the last 22 years, provides the Operations, Technology and Shared Services capability to the Group.

Chandra Shekar is the Senior HR Business Partner supporting Technology and Global Shared Services business. Additionally, Chandra also leads the Organisation Effectiveness practice for the Bangalore campus. Chandra's career spans more than 20 years covering Sales & Marketing, HR consulting and Learning & Organisational Development with multi-geography & multi-cultural exposure.

Changing priorities for HR function

Globally, in the past decade or so, Human Resource function has evolved from being an administrative function into being a strategic partnership this with a seat at the business leadership table. With this, the expectation from HR function has changed significantly and has evolved primarily into;
  • Thought leadership in managing the business
  • Change agent through acquiring and retaining quality people
  •  Strategic direction in developing and nurturing Leadership capability
Engaging Gen Y workforce

Gone are the days when an employee, especially a 'baby boomer' (born around 1950-60s) worked for a single organisation all his/her working life. Gen Y population is highly aspirational and well educated. Today's workforce demands attention from the organisation in terms of career path, learning and development, etc. They look upto their managers to continuously coach and mentor them and demand individual attention and constant motivation. Lack of such a 'caring' work environment would not only trigger retention issues but also attracting talent would become difficult.

While the 'deliverables' of a HR professional has changed from tactical to strategic focus, HR fraternity is responsible to create sustainable and proactive systems and processes to help business leaders in setting and managing right expectations from their staff-right from the grass root level upto to senior leadership level.

Motivating Employees with Rewards

In any organisation, whether in a service industry or banking, people remain the most important part of the business. And people, at all levels, expect to be rewarded for their efforts. However, it is important to acknowledge that the word Reward does not always have to be associated with monetary benefits. Any Reward & Recognition framework should span "across the spectrum" between non-monetary recognition and monetary rewards. A non-monetary recognition could be a simple 'pat on the back' for the job well done. What is critical is a Reward or Recognition should be Timely, Spontaneous, Transparent and Visible. It is also important that the Reward framework be openly published and employees educated around the process. Any such framework should create positive competition within the organisation rather than concerns about the fairness in the process

Attracting and developing Talent/Leadership

It is important to recognise that Leadership as an attribute is required at all levels-even at an individual contributor level and not just at managerial level. This means the primary focus of the hiring process should be on cultural fit, right attitude and learning agility. Technical skills to perform a role is, no doubt, very important but such skills can be acquired or taught.

In terms of developing leadership skills at the managerial level, we need to be conscious that an employee who is highly successful at his/her job may not always succeed in the next level. Progressing into next layer of leadership, and being successful in a role a level higher, requires different set of competencies. For example, a highly talented software developer may not automatically succeed as a team leader-leading a set of software developers. To succeed in such a role, attributes such as motivating staff, listening, fostering and nurturing new ideas from the team members becomes more important. This means, as one grows "up the ladder", Technical brilliance is of less importance compared to general management skills. Hence, developmental initiatives must focus on such skills. It goes without saying that, the developmental initiatives needs to configured and deployed to foster leadership skills at all levels -not just at the senior levels.

Additionally, it is also critical to measure effectiveness of every such initiative to ensure Return on Investment for the business-in other words the developmental programs / initiatives should be designed to 'solve a business problem'. Failing to do so would result in developmental initiatives used more as a 'time off' from work!

Performance management and Attrition Management:

There is no doubt that the retention of employees is the primary focus of any organisation. Performance management system should be designed to ensure rewarding and retaining employees appropriate to their performance level, again in a transparent and visible manner. This helps an organisation to retain high-performing and high-potential employees.
Attrition management is critical for any organisation. When 'War for Talent', and hence attrition, is a business reality, organisation should focus on keeping attrition at the high-performing / high-potential staff at the lowest possible levels. Attrition-while is not most desirable, brings opportunity to infuse fresh blood in the role. The organisation may choose to provide opportunity of growth internally or choose to hire from external market.

Advice/suggestion to fellow HR Professionals

While the role of the HR has transformed in the past decade or so into strategic partnership, HR professionals cannot take their place at the business leadership table for granted. It is imperative for the HR function to continually and proactively add value to the business.

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