HRSangam conference on People Agenda – Empowering Line Managers

HRSangam started the new year 2014 with a conference @ Chennai focussing on empowering line managers. Had a good set of speakers and panel discussions. Learnt few things:

Every speaker touched upon VUCA (Volatality, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity).  HR heads from fast growing companies such as Flipkart, TVS Logistics, HCL Technologies, Equitas, Take Solutions, etc. talked about how they handle VUCA with their own examples, Scalability challenges and stressed on the need of agility in HR practices right from recruitment to talent engagement to exit. They are all going through phenomenal growth. And, HR works truly as a business partner in each of these companies.

Both Take Solutions & TVS Logistics stressed on the importance of continuous feedback, goal setting, formal dialog with team members every 3 months on the goals+achievements, training & engagement. Both organizations have envisaged that a future performance management system should be focussed on “continuous feedback” to employees. I am happy to relate on how Synergita has this as fundamental component in our performance management approach.

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Anu Zachariah from DDI consulting threw an interesting insight: their finding through their experience is that Leaders are generally good on business planning, Profit & Loss, customer acquisition & growth, etc. & they need help when it comes to talent management and engagement. Derailers across various leaders (across multiple industries) are mostly around personality, behaviour traits. HR should focus on coaching leaders on the talent engagement aspects. She also talked about VUCA and its impact on succession planning. If someone is not ready to work with ambiguity, they have to be trained on this before they take a position which involves considerable ambiguity in work. Otherwise, it is obviously going to throw the team / organization into difficulties.

Raghavan, head of HR from Equitas talked about the HR role played by a line manager. For a team member, line manager is the HR. If you have a branch office in a remote city having a manager & 10 employees, obviously, the manager has to play the role of HR. It means the manager represents the company – he/she should transform the vision, educate employees on the policies, help in implementation of such policies, help employees on their growth, etc. So, it is important to empower the manager and engage effectively. Well said!

With March approaching fast, several of the HR heads have already started on their talent planning process for next financial year, performance appraisals in March, etc. End of the day, they have to deliver on talent planning – without which, organization cannot meet its goals!

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