The competitive advantage of an organisation is defined by how well it manages its human resources, or how well it incorporates human resource management into its business strategy. With this realisation, psus are now increasingly considering employees as ‘valuable assets’ or ‘investments’. This is also critical in today’s knowledge economy that depends on the skill and knowledge of employees. From being a routine, administrative and reactive function, the HR function today has evolved to being proactive and strategic.
Unlike in the past, HR managers are now focused on talent management and leadership development. “Doing business in this very competitive, liberalised environment is not easy, but the task eases if an organisation is endowed with a set of capable hands–be it on the shop-floor or at the top level,” said a senior HR official in a PSU.
The official, who didn’t want to be named, said roping in talent and retaining them in PSUs are getting difficult, particularly at the higher levels, as remuneration and perks in state-run organisations are often less than in the private sector. To make up for this, PSUs are nurturing existing managerial talent to their fullest potential.
“The need and preferences of the employees, particularly those belonging to the Generation Y has changed. They no longer work for more money and a better life; they want their work to mean something more than merely a fat pay packet or a set of activities that add to the bottom-line of their workplaces. They are interested in workplaces that are clear leaders in learning and that offer them roles which aid their professional development. Giving them a bigger role and responsibility is the key to retaining them at a workplace,” he said.
Leadership development and succession planning are also critical. “Spotting talents and initiating the grooming process will help in a happy transition. It also eases the burden of senior executives. The second rung has to be groomed in the decision making process and they have to be equipped to take on bigger roles”, the official said.
A Deloitte survey, ‘Global Human Capital Trends 2015’, says lack of employee engagement is the top issue currently facing 87% of HR and business leaders. “As demand for talent picks up, the balance of power in business is rapidly shifting from the employer to the employee,” said Josh Bersin, principal and founder of Bersin by Deloitte.
“Moreover, workers are becoming more mobile, contingent and autonomous, and as a result, harder to manage and engage. In this new world of work, organisations need to re-imagine the way they manage people and come up with new, out-of-the-box ideas to make themselves relevant”, he said.
Brett Walsh, global human capital practice leader, Deloitte, said,“There are significant shifts happening in the global workplace that business must actively manage… skills needed on the job are changing faster than ever. Organisations are quickly falling behind on developing the right skills across all levels. There’s an urgent need for organisations to re-evaluate their learning programmes and treat leadership development as a long-term investment.”
As the HR landscape changes, the HR challenges are getting greater and more complex for Indian PSUs.