Saturday, December 10, 2011

“Varkaris” of the HR Profession…

I always surprise about the way HR professionals think and perceives their profession. I remember, few years back, I had asked the question to plant HR person in one auto Component Company about the canteen facility. My question was, “Do you provide canteen facility, food to your employees?” His answer was, “Act (Factories Act) says that you have to provide the lunch room facility. Where does it say that you have to provide the food?”

My question was purely from the HR point of view and his answer was purely compliance point of view and he was not wrong that time. He was practicing the compliances only. He never thought that how employees will be engaged if they don’t get the proper food in the organization.  Shift working was 7.00 am and people had to travel from 40-50 Km away to the plant. They had to work on the machines and they were expected to bring their Tiffin from their home. Nothing wrong in it, but imagine employee point of view.    

In the developing and growing economy, your role is not only for compliance and but you need to be more focus for aligning your talent towards your organizational objectives and by implementing good HR practices.

The HR agenda is not the agenda of HR only. It is and should be the top management agenda, however typical organizations are still far away in understating the HR risk. You can not avoid the tactical HR, but strategic thinking is must. Such small issues may create big problems.  

One of the friends shared with me a strange experience. When he joined the company in HR, his typical orientation was planned with some senior employees. He was welcome by one senior person in HR (GM-IR) and the interaction was frustrating. “Oh, one more person from HR to do the bossing on us.” Was the statement of that person! There was no need to show the rivalry between HR and IR functions. Both functions are important. People handling hardcore (so-called) HR and Industrial Relations required the great expertise. But sometimes people incubating the senior chairs behave strangely.

The problem is with the attitude and the mindset of such people. People hate HR professionals because either they are not sensible to HR issues or they run their own agenda. Even in most of the cases they don’t respect their fellow HR friends, forget about the other employees working in different profession. Compliance attitude brings the arrogance. They become so bureaucratic that they forget that they are “Human Resource” professionals and needs to be sensible about the issues. Sensible does not mean emotional, it is being sensitive about the HR issues and take the proper and relevant action.

In Maharashtra, the “Varkaris” ( are the people who follow “Vitthal”of Pandharpur and they have a faith on their God. Crores of “Varkaris” go at Pandharpur and worship the deity “Vitthal”. These “Varkaris” have a unique practice- When one Varkari meets another Varkari both “Varkaris” touch feet of each other, irrespective of their age. Their action indicates that when anybody becomes “Varkari”, he is equally respectable.

There will be issues, confrontations, problems but let’s respect each other.

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