Balancing Judgment and Discernment

The frugality of the situation and their inter-changeability remains the driving force to strategy. Even though, it is defined, as a set of planned actions over a period, to achieve the desired result.  Organization mirrors this, as the business target to reap the profit. The business goal percolates to every function, over arching with one organization goal. HR functions identify the people factors in this goal. The strategy set for the year drills down to individual functions connecting the business units. Connecting different requirements put the functions on the same page. For instance, the broad-banding of a strategy, such as building agility, would echo for recruitment with greater in-house expertise, where as payroll may require errors free, as its prime target.A case as shared as below in ‘Concern’, surfaces the tip of an Ice berg, with the challenges in Strategic HRM. This is a part and a parcel of talent management. Every organization aims to hire the best talent and retain them with best compensation. Hitherto, the gap between perception and reality edges employee dissatisfaction.

Concern: Recently we have hiked the salary of one of our employee after reviewing her overall performance. However, she is not happy with it.  She is been expecting more. Every day she reminds to negotiate an increase in her salary. Please help on how to handle this situation.

The case facts:

  • The compensation planning allocated hikes to each grade and rank, attenuated by the performance standards.
  • The employee is presented with the hike , which do not match the expectations.
  • Ordeal of negotiations for another hike lengthens decision making.

Looking glass

Logical thinking coupled with practical situations brings in the solution.  Three dimensions that attributes to strategy are as discussed below:

  • Goal Setting: The objective may be defined, as being the market leader by the next financial year. This is calculated in terms of business target. Mostly it’s an increase in the market share through either takeovers or increase in the production. This configures the goal setting for each function. HR functions for such a growing firm would strategise to designate responsibilities, to facilitate the expansion.
  • Budget Allocation: The sum total of the spending is divided into investment in terms of benefits and other operational expenses. Compensation is identified as the value returns on the services received from the talents. This is chiefly governed by the business requirement such as higher spending on research, leading to planning for larger markets share, amid higher supply chain. The HR budge would impact with an alignment to the market is weighed to offer a competitive compensation.
  • Leadership alignment: The backbone of the success to planning lies in the hands that delivers it. The leadership team designated to set the strategy and prepare budget are accountable for the business units.  The talent planning may be chaired by a CHRO , however the insinuations are contributed by the business leaders. Communication overarching the environment balances the transparency, strengthening trust.

Balancing Act

Judging a situation with logical findings would require a non-attached discernment. In our member’s case, different implications from three dimensions as discussed had lead to the dissonance. The disbursement of the hike matched the top-down judgement, but missed on the discernment.

Future of work
Future of Work
  • Individual perception of performance and result: A contribution by an employee is valued. It results with rewards when they were aligned to the organizational goals. Dashboards and performance scorecards actualise with grades for each contribution, to ensure the alignment. However, the gap of expectations widen when the employee in question weighs every contribution for a material reward. A pat on the back received for managing an expert escalation would culminate to incentive, if that escalation results with client retention and revenue returns. The excellence of the employee would be best utilized by an higher level responsibility, when appropriate.
  • Communication: The guidance to an employee reverberates intently, with the shared views and thoughts from it leader with appropriate feedback. Transparency calls for its price. It pushes the leadership to share the confidential often sensitive information. This rings the choice to jump the boat or follow the captain.

Pen-ultimately, the priorities of choosing and aligning will glue the individual to the entity. Solution to the decision maker remains in acknowledging the human concerns with judicial treatment through strategies and communication. Employee championship is intertwined with business partnering through change management and administrative expertise.

If you have any HR Query or any query on Future of Work, Employee Engagement, Talent management, Women Empowerment, Retention or Business Strategy please write to me in here. Looking forward to learn more while finding solutions for you.

Nabomita is the Founder to Nabomita.com. She is the Top 100 Women Achiever Awardee, awarded by Government of India , TEDx Speaker, Quoted on ForbesUS, one of the Top 20 HR Influencer in Social Media as declared by SHRM India and one among the Top 100 Technology Influencer in India. Connect with her on @nabomita_smiles , Facebook Page and Google+

This article have been published on Businiess manager , October issue. This issue covers different areas of Strategic Managment. This article is listed under the experts view as shared in the link Business Manager – October Issue2015

Women as driver to growth in the age of driverless cars !

Where does women stand, in the age financial meltdowns, geo-political differences and AI? 1 robot out of 4 factory workers in Maruti. The numbers looks even more interesting in totality with 2400 robots at Manesarand 5000 facility. Are we still competing with men for jobs and seats at Premier Institutes? Where does this lands us especially when women have lesser access to education and finances?

India ranks 87th in Global Gender Report 2016 with highest participation of women in education and health sector. Does this set any target for us?  The report further showed that the highest level of penetration remains in the Education and Health sector with fewer women in Technology and Policy making !

With equal participation we can add upto 28 trillion by 2025 which is equal to a combination of US & China’s economy . So what do we need to build this equality ? What are the building blocks that can affect growth ? Law and order , financial independence and education?

These are few laws worldwide that instils sexism so deep that imagining equality remains light years away! When we restrict women legally how does it impact her participation socially rather financially?

 

World Economic Forum reports women remain unpaid for 50% of her productive time at work. How does this add up to her pay?

Global gender index shows Iceland, Finland and Norway tops the chart and not the leading economies! Why is it so? Is it the access to education and policies at work that makes it happen? Few days back when Maternity Benefit act was amended in India, we had people worrying about women no longer being hired. Norway offers 44 weeks of maternity leave. No wonder they have 47% of women participation in Public sector and 26% in the private sector! When we have family friendly policies at work, we are no longer forcing a women to choose between family and work

This tweet sums up the support , policies, access to education and finances that we need! Here we have an young woman as a pilot to Air India taking the same official commute with her mother who works as an air hostess! This organisation isn’t a nimble-foot startup. It is not a super funded private company with loads of money to spend. Yet, that’s how strongly they have been balancing diversity.

40 economies that participated in Global Entrepreneurship monitor reports women Entrepreneurship rate rose by 13% whereas it was 5% for males. However in India , the perceived opportunity for women is 41% compared to their male counterparts. Anusha, who celebrated her 25th Birthday recently pitched her second startup to me. And she is not in Bangalore or Mumbai but in Vishakhapatnam. Her first startup is running successfully in association with Andhra Pradesh Government. According Deloitte report, Millennial women are bridging the gender pay gap. Are we planning anything to bridge the financial gap for the ageing women workforce too?

Where does the empowerment needs to happen? Anuja Shukla, head of Google for entrepreneur runs a project on her on own where she gets girls from age 8-15 to code. Revathy Roy , founder Hey Didi , formerly Vira Cabs, have trained more than 10000 women from socially backward classes to drive. She created employment for them through her startup. She empowered them to own their vehicles and earn out it, offering loans from banks with no collateral. Urvashi Neogi runs her profitable Event Management firm, Biz Integration with her Geographically based team. She doesn’t need a 9-to-5 at an office with face time from her team members.

Here’s a research by Adobe on Future of Work which says, future lies in collaboration and diversity of skills. So what does this imply? In the age where commitment to the work and the speed of delivery remain the only measure at work, do we still need the archaical work design? Would the jobs of tomorrow offer women more potential to deliver? Will the organisations of tomorrow have the bandwidth to build the leaders of tomorrow irrespective of gender?

If you have any HR Query or any query on Future of Work, Employee Engagement, Talent management, Women Empowerment, Retention or Business Strategy please write to me in here. Looking forward to learn more while finding solutions for you. This have been re-blogged from nabomita.com

Nabomita is the Founder to Nabomita.com. She is the Top 100 Women Achiever Awardee, awarded by Government of India , TEDx Speaker, Quoted on ForbesUS, one of the Top 20 HR Influencer in Social Media as declared by SHRM India and one among the Top 100 Technology Influencer in India. Connect with her on @nabomita_smiles , Facebook Page and Google+

‘Brand You’ works: My journey through building my own startup

Almost a decade back, at XLRI , Dr. Mathai Fenn taught us ‘Brand You’. When he said employers will hire you for who you are , we heard it as a theory. He defined , that the services you deliver and the value you create, is your brand. And that alone can get you around the world!

Today, I write this to share how this worked for me inspite of all the Financial Slowdown, Geo-Political changes and Robots taking away our jobs!

It’s been a great year ! And I am writing this to thank everyone who have been contributing to my success. It’s still feels as if it was just yesterday when I started on my own! A dream that I wanted to live but never knew would happen to me.

Almost an year back, I started working for me. Yes, I was finally the boss I wanted to be and work for 🙂

Initially, I had no plan for what I would want to deliver. There were many options to explore and I believed things would shape up as I would go along. It will remain one of the best decision I ever made!

I never knew what I did had any monetary value to it. I love building communities, connecting businesses, identifying solutions and delivering them. I feel strongly for causes I have been working for. And, I loved speaking about them. Initially, I couldn’t imagine it to be a profitable venture, till I had companies actually looking for it! It has been an exhilarating moment, each time I found a business house quoting a monetary value. The magic of getting paid to speak is immeasurable to me!

Evangelism arrived for me professionally! I had never imagined it would. I never knew the impact of what I did, till I started doing it for me!

Few of the most cherished moment have been speaking at the Think Tank by Adobe, and researching on Future of Work and presenting it in San Francisco, addressing World Forum for Responsible Economy by RESPCO Institute in association with French Government, delivering my first TEDx Talk at TEDx Bocconi U Mumbai, delivering Faculty Management Program at Rajagiri Business School, delivering the Keynote to more than 5000 delegates at E-Summit in Hyderabad, Inaugurating India HR Summit 2016, Inaugurating and delivering the Keynote at International Convention at SVIMS and many more!

I have been working with amazing business leaders, who have not just added on to my experience but even mentored me! I can not thank enough to those people who went beyond commercials to Special thanks to Ministry of Women and Child Development, Dr. Nanu Bhasin, Dr. Jessy Fenn, Mandar Joshi Executive Director TiE Pune, Vishwas Mahajan Trustee TiE Global, Urvashi Neogi Founder Biz Integration, Chitra Narayanan and

I can’t thank enough SHRM India for naming me in their Top 20 Influencer in the country and Indian HR Convention for celebrating my work. It was a joy beyond measure seeing Nabomita.com mentioned in the Ecosystem Partner to TiECon Pune!

Building a firm is all sweat and blood. But then its all worth it, when the world celebrates it with you ! The pain and challenges I went through seems small when I am acknowledged for my efforts. Thank you and cheers to every such moment !

If you have any HR Query or any query on Future of Work, please write to me in here. Looking forward to learn more while finding solutions for you.

Nabomita is the Founder to Nabomita.com. She is the Top 100 Women Achiever Awardee, awarded by Government of India , TEDx Speaker, Quoted on ForbesUS, one of the Top 20 HR Influencer in Social Media as declared by SHRM India and one among the Top 100 Technology Influencer in India. Connect with her on @nabomita_smiles , Facebook Page and Google+

How long would you wait for that job offer?

“So I applied for a job in late November and had three interviews throughout the month of December. They all went really well and I was even referred to by a well respected employee of the company. I was in contact with the HR coordinator throughout the process and said she will have more information for me before the holidays (Christmas and New Years). Unfortunately I never heard back. So I emailed her after the first week in January and she apologized and said she was out of the office…fine, no big deal. But then she said she will have something for me at the end of the week. So about two hours went by and she then tells me she got off the phone with corporate and she won’t have anything until the end of the month, but if I can wait they will have “good news” for me. I was a little disappointed because I now have to wait another 3 weeks, but I really want the job so I told her that I’m very interested in the position and I’m willing to wait. 

So the end of the month comes and still no response. I emailed her again kindly asking if there is an update and she emailed back saying they will have more information later in the week or early next week. It’s now early next week and I still haven’t heard from the company.

Are they stringing me along or should I just keep being patient?”

The answer looks straight into our eyes! When you are being communicated and yet not offered the role, it says more about the decision making capabilities of the firm. Every Job Opening have a closing date mentioned on it. The Hiring Manager are well aware of it. No job remains opens endlessly. Any requirement is supposed to be closed within 45-60 working days, at the most.

Gone are those days when companies could hire for to build the internal resource pool. No talent in the current economy can remain unbilled for long. Hence, every requirement have a monetary return mentioned on it. Any delay in closing the Job Offer can extend the monetary impact, leading to a loss. The preference remains on getting the talent billable as early as possible.

The disparity in views among the hiring managers can lead to an absence of clarity in communication. It can arise from various situations right from being able to decide on which candidate to hire to when to close the offer. Ideally, Business Managers prefer interviewing newer candidates till the final week, whereas HR Managers tend to close it early.

Last but not the least reason for holding a role is the Business Manager back-trackking on the role, even after informing the candidate to resign from their existing jobs. This is the worst phase where no Hiring Manager wants to be. However, uncertain Business Units tend to raise a job requirement and close it abruptly without hiring any candidate. This kind of experience affects the brand of the employer. Few firms may extend an offer with different role to retain the candidate. But then, thats the prerogative of few!

As a candidate, it’s hard when you have been waiting for a role and it never reaches you. That’s the risk you need to mitigate while switching jobs. Don’t place all your eggs in one basket. Explore few options before you resign and then zero down on the role. Eliminate employers with fuzzy communication, no matter how much you may want the role or how good it may sound initially! A strong job requirement gets closed as early as possible. This says a lot of about the company culture too. Any employer who creates a ‘Candidate Experience’ during hiring would care for their careers too! Money remains the highest motivator, till you realise the need for values. The deal breaker gets crystal clear when you know whom to trust your career with!

Wishing you a great career ahead!

If you have any HR Query or any query on Future of Work, please write to me in here. Looking forward to learn more while finding solutions for you.

Nabomita is the Founder to Nabomita.com. She is the Top 100 Women Achiever Awardee, awarded by Government of India , TEDx Speaker, Quoted on ForbesUS, one of the Top 20 HR Influencer in Social Media as declared by SHRM India and one among the Top 100 Technology Influencer in India. Connect with her on @nabomita_smiles , Facebook Page and Google+

How would you deal with Substance Abuse by your Co-Founder

I run a small, IT Firm, rather a startup. We do not have an official HR department. Just me and one other person in the office. I hired a friend of mine about a year ago. I know this was a bad idea. Things have been going fine until she relapsed. This was first time in 2 years, she had been on the up and up. She almost died from a heroine overdose, and they were able to bring her back. My question is, what do I do. Obviously we are a drug free work place. To be honest she didn’t tell her boss about the overdose, but the friend in me, she had known for over a decade. Plus, would this fall under the Substance abuse at work? I don’t want to make her life harder than it needs to be, but I also know that I have a duty to my clients. So confused!

First and foremost kudos to you for taking care of the person involved and getting her the right kind of medical support. Please ensure she gets every care and counselling that she may need to claim her strength back .

How much of a work have you allocated to her? Is that crucial ? Would you be able to manage it on your own ? Would it be possible to train someone to manage her area of work till she is recuperating?

Please mitigate every risk at work and ensure you leave no thread open. Do calculate the cost you may have to incur during this. The more you prepare meticulously, the better you would be able to deal with it.

Now let’s focus on the issue at your startup. It needs an HR Department as early as possible. Please hire an HR consultant and design a Code of Conduct along with every policy manual. Clearly define every defect and its repercussions. Point out the steps to be followed in case there is any non-adherence. Please maintain a zero tolerance to every non-adherence. It doesn’t need you a big team to put Code of Conduct in place. You can start framing it, even if you continue to remain a small startup. Please include guidelines such as the one mentioned in here!

“To work effectively, all of us need a healthy and safe work environment. All forms of substance abuse as well as the use or distribution of drugs and alcohol while at work is prohibited. Unless required as part of your role (for instance for security personnel where deemed necessary), possession and / or use of weapons / firearms or ammunition while on business of the Company is prohibited. All of us should be safe at our place of work. Should you observe any unsafe situations at work, please reach out to the Helpline. “

You work with clients who might be trusting you now, but can ask for an audit at any point of time. Hence, tie up with any back ground verification firm and get every detail checked and validated, including Police and Medical clearance. The more you keep yourself closer to the rules, the better you will sleep at night!

As for your friend, please let her regain strength and wait till she is free of every substance abuse. Please remember it is not about you or your company, but she and her entire career. If you have been her friend for a decade, you are the best person to help her out. In case she is ready for a rehab, please consider one. Every addiction have a treatment. Please consider signing her up for one. Explain a strict action now will save her life. I am sure, you are the best judge on how to convince her. Wish you all the best!

If you have any HR Query or any query on Future of Work, please write to me in here. Looking forward to learn more while finding solutions for you.

Nabomita is the Founder to Nabomita.com. She is the Top 100 Women Achiever Awardee, awarded by Government of India , TEDx Speaker, Quoted on ForbesUS, one of the Top 20 HR Influencer in Social Media as declared by SHRM India and one among the Top 100 Technology Influencer in India. Connect with her on @nabomita_smiles , Facebook Page and Google+

Maternity Bill Act Amendment 2017

On 28th March 2017, The Maternity Bill received an assent from the Honourable President of India. As published on Gazette of India, the two paged document shares every changes . Such as Substituting Twelve Weeks not more than six with twenty six weeks not more than eight weeks.

Terms such as ‘commissioning mother’ have been included which means biological mother who uses her egg to create an embryo implanting in any other woman.

The document clearly states that a woman who legally adopts a child below the age of three months, shall be entitled for a Maternity Benefit for a period of twelve weeks, from the date the child is adopted to the adopting mother or the commissioning mother as the case may be.

In case the nature of work assigned to the woman is such of a nature, that she may work from home, the employer may allow her to do so after availing the Maternity Benefit for such period on such conditions as the employer and the woman may mutually agree.

The Section 11 in the Principal Act, now have cleared instruction on the creche facility at the office.

11A. (1) Every establishment having fifty or more employees, shall have facility of creche within such a distance as may be prescribed, either separately or along with common facilities:

Provided that the employer shall allow four visits a day to the creche by the woman, which shall also include the interval for rest allowed to her.

Read the complete Amendment in here

Long live Mrs. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi who brought this landmark change.

Kudos to her leadership to Ministry of Women and Child Development. As the nation wakes up to a bright new day, a great era for working women dawns in India.

If you have any HR Query or any query on Future of Work, please write to me in here. Looking forward to learn more while finding solutions for you. This have been re-blogged from nabomita.com

Nabomita is the Founder to Nabomita.com. She is the Top 100 Women Achiever Awardee, awarded by Government of India , TEDx Speaker, Quoted on ForbesUS, one of the Top 20 HR Influencer in Social Media as declared by SHRM India and one among the Top 100 Technology Influencer in India. Connect with her on @nabomita_smiles , Facebook Page and Google+

An Odd task of preparing a Compensation Report for a small firm

“I’m the HR Executive to a small to mid-sized firm. I get asked a lot of odd tasks. Today topped the cake.

Management decided full time employees are taking way too many of their paid sick days. They also wanted to know the pay, benefits, down to every incentives offered to such talent bands. I suppose they want to be armed with some information regarding what other employers in the area offer. So they have me cold-calling Companies, consultancies and other employers with similar talent pool to get a consensus. 

It’s been pretty difficult getting this information, which is pretty much confidential. I was wondering what your opinions were on this task in general, is it really useful to them to know what other employers are offering? Is there another way I could go about getting this type of information?”

Congratulations on this initiative. No matter how odd this task may sound, it will empower you with valuable information with regards to compensation and benefits. Let this be your very first Compensation Benchmark activity at a small and a manageable scale!

To begin with there are reports on Compensation with bands and designation for every sector published by Aon Hewitt, Mercer to name a few. Top firms such as Willis Towers Watson and Michael Page can offer insights on the design. But then, these reports are costly. A salary survey would offer a comparative data on where the pay structure within your firm lies. Glass door and Payscale would offer you a broad over view to the pay range . If you research enough in the comment section for each firm you might be able to even gauge how far the benefits implemented. Job advertised on LinkedIn Monster , Naukri and IIM Jobs can share more data on the existing opening.

Segregate the data for every band, level, and designation in your firm and compare it to what your competitors are paying. Stay focussed on your region unless you have a Pan-Indian presence or hire out-station candidates. Factor in the education level and experience in years required to deliver the job. The standard of living for the cities where your firm have a presence needs to be considered.

Once you have your report ready, validate it within your HR network. Confidentiality is important, hence respect someone’s choice of not responding to you. You may try and validate the data through the employees to the firms in your sector.

Once you have every single data validated by at least 3-5 individuals from each firms, you should be good to present the report to the Management Team at your firm.

Be prepare with questions on valid the data is and how do you make it relevant within your firm. Prepare a plan to suggest the changes that needs to be made to optimise your current pay structure and benefits. Suggest a few measures to be taken during implementing the new plan. In case you are not completely aware of the Minimax calculation , consider involving an external consultant or an expert. Wish you all the best !

If you have any HR Query or any query on Future of Work, please write to me in here. Looking forward to learn more while finding solutions for you.

Nabomita is the Founder to Nabomita.com. She is the Top 100 Women Achiever Awardee, awarded by Government of India , TEDx Speaker, Quoted on ForbesUS, one of the Top 20 HR Influencer in Social Media as declared by SHRM India and one among the Top 100 Technology Influencer in India. Connect with her on @nabomita_smiles , Facebook Page and Google+

Are Interviews a good way to hire the right people in an organisation?

I love this question as it highlights every blind spot, that turns a deal breaker for the new talent to survive in an organisation. However, is Interview a good way to hire ? Yes you have the best of the processes to filter talent initially on the basis of acumen through General Assessment, which includes Quants, English and a Psychoanalysis Test. There are 30 or 50 questions in each section to asses the threshold skills.

This purely clarify the skills to effectively respond to those areas within a short span of time. Then follows the initial rounds to test the specific skills for the role. For the roles in IT , its the Technical round with Practise Managers interviewing the candidate either on phone or in-person. The only skill is tested on this round is technical. It works the same for the Support functions be it HR or Finance. Once the Practise Managers give a green signal, it moves to the Hiring Manager. For a mid-level role , it could be the direct Reporting Manager. In case of a bigger scale, it is often the Team Lead or Manager.

A standard process such as this, ensures the best pre-wiring of the pitfalls that can cost you a bad-hire. But will that alone save your firm from a bad-hire?

I have been through numerous process of hiring, where in, I was included in a dialogue with the leaders within the organisation and their teams for months. There was no promise of hire, but rather, offering a rich conversation. It was only after a long right-fit activity , I was hired. I must say, those were few best roles I worked at. I know several organisation owners, who allows the candidate to identify the fit rather than assessing them. Yes, its a reverse approach to make sure the candidate willingly take up the role knowing every pitfall. I even know firms that allows a candidate to intern at a role before being hired for it.

A startup I know works in an agreement with what the candidate agrees to deliver in what point of time. The roles and timelines are closed on that. Needless to mention, it decides the pay package too!

Crowdfire, created a community with meet-ups for designers and System Thinkers. The brainstorming during these meet-ups not just brought up newer ideas for the product and trouble shooting the flaws, but also created a rich talent pool to hire when need be!

The downside to such a process is speed and time. Hiring requirement with a strong TAT or an urgent back-fill won’t be able to contemplate this.

Hence, coming back to the question, does interviews bring the right people to the job you are hiring for?

If you have any HR Query or any query on Future of Work, please write to me in here. Looking forward to learn more while finding solutions for you.

Nabomita is the Founder to Nabomita.com. She is the Top 100 Women Achiever Awardee, awarded by Government of India , TEDx Speaker, Quoted on ForbesUS, one of the Top 20 HR Influencer in Social Media as declared by SHRM India and one among the Top 100 Technology Influencer in India. Connect with her on @nabomita_smiles , Facebook Page and Google+

Recommended reading: Future of work , If bots are taking away your jobs , New job or old 

Yes, a Minister like that !

In the times where policies are redefined and processes audited , what brings the perfect affirmation to this changing world? A Minister who is just a tweet away? Yes, we trust the Judiciary and Police with all our hearts. But then the involvement of the highest authorities in the country sends the best reassurances to the survivors.

The process for complaining and dealing with a sexual harassment at work can often do more harm if not dealt with sensitivity and speed. Predators would continue to survive, till they are taught the biggest lesson. Each and every corrective actions initiated on them sends the strongest message to other predators. Every purposeful response to the complainant, build the morale for them. There is no news for the survivors than a justice served!

Yesterday Mrs. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi tweeted this:

Thankyou Minister for changing the rules of the game! You are building the new world that we have been dreaming for long. A world where even the vulnerable can remain fearless. More power to you !

If you have any HR Query or any query on Future of Work, please write to me in here. Looking forward to learn more while finding solutions for you.

Nabomita is the Founder to Nabomita.com. She is the Top 100 Women Achiever Awardee, awarded by Government of India , TEDx Speaker, Quoted on ForbesUS, one of the Top 20 HR Influencer in Social Media as declared by SHRM India and one among the Top 100 Technology Influencer in India. Connect with her on @nabomita_smiles , Facebook Page and Google+

Recommended reading: Engaging Gender , This fever is beyond Viral , Diversity

Engaging gender equality for organisational success

On 18th March 2017 , Global Workforce Management organised HR Roundtable at SP Jain Global School of Management on ‘Engaging gender equality for organisational success’. The event was graced with HR Leaders from top firms, addressing the burning questions.

The discussion was divided into two panels with ‘Engaging Men to drive Diversity’ and ‘Putting women on the driver’s seat’. Interestingly, the focus was not just into framing women friendly workplace policies but also creating a safe conducive environment for them to work. In the wake of incidents such as Uber and The Viral Fever, deeper questions arise beyond merely creating an ICC or PoSH Committee!

When we run the programs of hiring women in great numbers are we looking at it as an event or are we backing up with the supporting actions too? Such as a question was asked by Brillian Head of HR Times Centre for Learning to Anirudh Khekale , Group Director HR Emerson Process management India , where a huge number of women were recently hired, “What would be the workforce management plan when all these women take 6 months maternity leave?” Interestingly, Anirudh responded, “We have already accounted that, which is why we went ahead and hired them. Inclusion doesn’t stem from a policy but your constant Leadership through every situation.” For a large organisation, it could be easy to arrange different formats of work including Telecommute and a greater talent pool to re-distribute the work till the women workforce resumes office. For the smaller organisation, which wants to count this as a cost they can’t bear, the choice remains on finding a way out. An interesting point on this was raised by Surabhi Mittal, CHRO Lanxess , “What will such firms do when ‘Maternity leave‘ gets redefined to ‘Parental leaves’ and men start availing them too. Will they stop hiring men as well?” Nipa Modi, Director Secure your Credential, said ‘Right at the interview when we ask a woman if she is married, incase she is, if she planning for a baby, creates the inequality. In India it is still legal to ask such questions. Hence we instil fear in the minds of a potential talent long before we hire them!”

Anirudh Khekale , Group Director HR Emerson Process management India raised a question on what an individual can do to create a balanced environment? His question hits that right note at a point of time we are creating 33% reservation for women to ensure inclusivity. Are creating roles for women enough? Would designing policies keep women back? The diversity programs to increase the number of women in the organisation across the continuum is creating balance of power through balance of choices.

My question is how far would balance be created unless the basic safety isn’t restored? When we have cases like The Viral Fever, with the owner to the firm announcing he has the best of legal firms to his support, what is the message we are sending to the world at large? Is it the Predator who threatens the safety or is it the protection that he receives from the power centres supporting him? What will happen if a predator becomes as vulnerable as the survivor? What happens when his social clout is gone? We had few very brave men coming up to support and strengthen all those 50 women helping them to voice their ordeals. No matter how much we applaud these men, it will never be enough! It took them months to convince the women to speak up. When they had started the effort they never knew if it will ever, see the light of the day! Yet they continued. There is still not enough light at the end of the tunnel and no one knows how long will it take before the women finds justice! Most of these men will remain anonymous to support more such women out of such situations. Hence, they don’t stand to get any reward, let alone any recognition of their effort! Advocate Rizwan Siddiquee set the course right with lodging an FIR . All these men are sending one strong message, that there is help available if the women can reach out to them!

But is that enough? What exactly will bring in gender equality at workplaces? Will those programs on Diversity succeed, till safety is restored? What does it takes to let a woman in an organisation voice a concern without any fear that questions her livelihood or the stigma? Can we have enough employers who are ready to hire these talented women, in case they contest and lose their jobs? If we can provide continuity in employment will that strengthen more voices to speak up? When we deal with such complaints , can we ensure enough confidentiality in the processes? There would be no stigma, if we can learn to respect the strength these women show! Finally, can we have men shattering the Bro-code to strengthen these women? What does it take for the men in companies like Uber and TVF or men around any predator to speak up? Would covering up an indecent behaviour with a statement such as ‘Duniya hain, hota hain” [it’s normal for such things to happen] look good, when it hits the news paper? No lies remain hidden for long, no crime unknown. Today, a news no longer needs a media house, to shake up the world. What trends of the social media hits the headline like a wildfire. Exposing misdeeds breed trust. Once a complaint hits the headline, it leaves no room to hide. If a bunch of anonymous men can bring in such a big difference for Uber and TVF, shouldn’t the power centres around the predator find it easy? Real inclusivity is when men show up to foster and safeguard diversity!

If you have any HR Query or any query on Future of Work, please contact me . Looking forward to learn more while finding solutions for you. This have been re-blogged with permission from CSR India where it was originally published, with me as its Guest Author.

Nabomita is the Founder to Nabomita.com. She is the Top 100 Women Achiever Awardee, awarded by Government of India , TEDx Speaker, Quoted on ForbesUS, one of the Top 20 HR Influencer in Social Media as declared by SHRM India and one among the Top 100 Technology Influencer in India. Connect with her on @nabomita_smiles , Facebook Page and Google+