Tuesday, December 13, 2016

HR Policy in Development Sector

Incentives, capacities, norms and professional identities of the organization are the reasons behind success or failing in branding. Brand name is also created mostly by network of ex-employees, partners and vendors. Hence, managing human capital and relationship becomes key in creating brand value. There comes the massive role of HR Manager in the mapping the environment to identify : Unique Employee Allegiance Proposition & Distinctive Competitive Advantage.

Why people switch organization? The answer to the question is same for each sector & development sector is no anomaly. Most Companies/NGOs have tendency to neither invest in the people nor provide mentors for the career guidance. This led to migration of the talented people who have quality of leadership. The mutual trust deficit leads to an organization which will be optimized to hire and keep people who merely want the next job. When organization sees people as true assets,they empower them with knowledge.

I always like the advice of Simon Sinek:When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute.Massive HR problems are the dirty secret of a social sector. There is no talent crunch but mismanagement of human resource in Indian social sector. There is a good article on challenges of human resource in development sector in India.

Limitations of HR Manager in development sector:

1. Usually Indian NGOs are entirely one man show and thus giving massive issues of employee grievances to HR. The centralized decision making leaves HR quite toothless in the overall decision making process. In the board meetings of a national level NGO taking place in an AC conference hall, the focus is never on HR policies.

2. The budget and time constraint lead to HR going for the safe route for seeking the degree and relevant experience in job profile. The recruitment ends up with people who are merely good enough without probing fit of new employee into organization culture. Nobody in HR ever got fired for hiring MBA guy in India. When faced with the prospect of failure, HR seeks protection by hiding behind the brand name.

3. HR Manager in NGOs has literally no say in serious issues like gender ratio and the glass ceiling of the organization. They have maximum set targets for recruiting female front-line staff and lower management positions.

4. It's unreasonable to find someone truly talented to switch to your organization with brand name and low package only. Even with limited budget in the NGOs, an organization seldom improve quality by cutting costs, but can often cut costs by improving quality of the workforce.

5. Sometimes current employee don't understand the dynamics of a hiring, they don't understand why certain new employee have been recruited for so much money and why someone else has gone for such less. HR Manager has to unearth and address such insecurities with proper communication.

Recruitment Strategy:

1. Staffing skills and requirements have already altered rapidly in line with the growth of technology and social media but is expected to become more fluid in terms of cross-organisational collaboration with PPP mode, P2P ventures & even CSR activities. The old strategy of recruitment with lowest bidder will always be misleading in case of innovative projects.

2. A good recruiter scout first for competent person with potential and then for professionals. That comes with the experience and people management. Scratchy knowledge of the sector and human behaviour can lead to poor people choice in filtering process.

Whenever a good manager recruits, the single question to be looked:“Is this person likely to replace me one day?” And if the answer is yes, that’s the sort of person an organization want. Further, the top management has to do everything possible to make sure such careers flourish and vision of organization is fulfilled by new recruit.

3. There's a great danger when it's all about process - students getting into the MBA, then smoothly into the high profile job. Sometimes what's important is to get the late developer, or the guy who's just missed out or has taken unconventional path. The guys who've gone out the profession due to personal reasons and are desperate to get back in - they just want to devote the skills. They're there for all the right reasons. The brownie point for HR, they don't even talk about money sometimes.

Retention Techniques:The tough part is retention of employees. Best place to work organization always ensure this parameter to be one of pillars in building organization

1. A Harvard study suggests that the key to sustaining loyalty in employees is making sure they get to do the things that are most important to them outside of work. The regular one to one communication with all, flexibility in hours, non monetary rewards, appreciation from top management matters most for an employee.

2. It's unreasonable to expect that you'll develop amazing people when you don't give them room to change, grow and fail. It takes a very self assured person to compliment talent of others. An insecure top management scavenges on the failure of new recruits and create negative environment in the organization.

3. Leadership that grooms only frugal, non-confrontational and smooth-tongue employee will always have succession problems. HR job is to ensure diversity in the management and as well as workforce. Talent management is not about social standing in organization but inspiring employees to on own strength and performance. Sharp analysis and straight talk promotes reform in the all type of organization. Hence, a culture of praise closes the feedback loop for HR only and best of talent slips away to other firm discreetly.

It's a tricky work being HR in the development sector as criticizing the organisation is very easy but correcting the course without any support from top is much difficult. HR ends up either looking after employees or an organization in long term. The latter is the majority phenomena. It’s a nice idea to change a system from inside. It just happens to be untrue with time. An established structure will change one before one can change it. Accomplishing all three objectives – quality, quantity, and cost efficiency – simultaneously is difficult, and the likelihood of compromise is great.

In the figment of public imagination, development sector is staffed entirely by self-sacrificing and below market standard worker bees. I would term worker bees as "Development Mujahideen" who have given any decent wages and working in remote location for universal betterment. It is still assumed that social work is a sector for people who could not do anything else in life. And that the sole aim of good students is to become rich for personal gains. There is a lot of suppressed frustration in the professional of this sector. I had once urged my friend,Manu Bansal to ventilate the frustration through words and please read the personal anguish in blog post with a pint of beer.

1 comment:

  1. Thank You for the reference Himanshu. Hopefully a day will come when development organizations especially the implementation agencies will start respecting their employees.



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