IMT Seminar Highlights Future Role Of HR Managers

New Delhi: | Updated: Sep 22 2003, 05:30am hrs
Flexibility and a learning mindset. These are the two major qualities that would give HR managers an edge in meeting the emerging challenges in an increasingly globalised world. This appeared to be the consensus at a seminar on HR professionals in global competitiveness organised by the Institute of Management Technology (IMT), Ghaziabad.

The speakers commented on the fact that HR would in future move away from the traditional areas of compensation, recruitment etc to look more at innovation, creativity and a long-term vision.

HR needs to have a long-term vision and not limit itself to activities like compensation etc. The primary role of HR is to create an environment to tap the creativity of all employees and involve them in conquering emerging challenges thrown up by globalisation. HR managers should take the lead in making the organisation a learning organisation and not function as mere facilitators, said J C Jhuraney, VP, HR, Samtel Group.

Also, in an increasingly wired world that, while bridging spatial gaps, also leads to limited (face-to-face) interaction, building a living organisation by looking at ways to integrate is another challenge. This is where the development of a common vision or value system within the organisation will help to keep it bound together. Developing a listening culture would also contribute in achieving this.

Mahua Lahiri, President, HR, Apollo Tyres, emphasised the need for employees to be flexible and ready to take on new skills. A structured career path does not work any more. People should be ready to work beyond the narrow boundaries of their functional duties. In future the employability of people would be a big issue due to inevitable obsolescence of skills, she said.

A Sudhakar, Head of HR, Dabur India, also emphasised the need for a talent mindset for better corporate performance. If we take care of the people issues, business can take care of itself, he said. While transaction-related and non-value adding areas like payroll and compensation handling are beginning to be outsourced, the core people-related issues would form the focus of HR initiatives. Managers would need to constantly innovate to understand the needs of the employees, he said.