Sound staff training strategy is must

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Interview | Rajesh Tripathi, vice-president and head of human resources, GHCL

Gujarat Heavy Chemicals (GHCL) India, commissioned in 1988, has evolved as a premier global chemical and textile company. The organisation, known for its performance and outstanding people practices and processes, believes in building an organisational culture that encourages entrepreneurship and shares prosperity.

What are the most unique talent management trends that could prove game-changers for organisations in 2014?

The talent management trends in organisations are changing with time. To me, the talent management trends, which could be the game changers in 2014 and onwards will be the realisation of employees behaviours and activities by organisations that are desirable in key situations, keeping in mind the society and environment we all look to work and flourish in.

This will lead to talent spotting in organisations depending upon their cultures and cultural fitments. There will be an apparent shift from what is socially desirable and all will, by far, agree to the fact that potential and competency should be harnessed to adapt behavioural traits vis-à-vis organisational goals.

What key factors should be kept in mind while chalking out talent management strategies by organisations with big diversities?

High growth potential at an organisation adds a cue for the person to be successful at the workplace and is likely to take him a notch higher than others through his exceptional performance.

A more dedicated training of line managers will be the need of the hour to make them understand the nitty-gritty of business and organisation’s needs, and align their natural tendencies and cultural dynamics with the organisational culture.

How difficult or easy is it for HR professionals today to manage a highly diverse workforce? Where do organisations go wrong in managing such a workforce?

Today, the businesses at large consist of four generations, namely baby boomers, GenX, GenY, millennial and 1-variation: female workers.

In total, there are five mindsets of people working at the same time. Each generation and female workers have their own sets of values, biases and preferences, which make them unique and different from each other. Until these differences are understood by organisations and their leaders they will fail to tap the talent.

Most organisations prefer continuing with age-old approaches and compromise with their flexibilities in a changing environment. This is where most organisations, more often than not, go wrong.

What are the potential advantages of a diverse workforce? How can HR help organisations use diversity for a greater good?

Potential advantages of a diverse workforce have to be creativity, at the first go. Diverse workforce creates an influx of ideas, which brings in new processes and improves productivity.

The human resources department should look forward to recruit talent with utmost care depending on attitude and other personal traits, which should fit into the company’s culture. Also, human resources professionals can help organisations create an inclusive environment, which will enable them to leverage and unleash the company’s full potential.

What have been your unique policies and practices within the organisational culture, which helped you set the balance right and handle diversity better?

At GHCL, we believe in all round development of employees to meet the objectives of the organisation. We have many platforms for employees like MILAP, INCARNATION, GHCL TEA, which give an employee ample scope to unleash his/her potential and script his/her own growth story. We have recruitments taking place on the pan-India basis, which create in the organisation a heterogeneous mixture of people, ideas, knowledge and information.

What Indian organisations should do to meet the needs of a diverse workforce and maximise the potential of workers so that they can be well positioned for the current organisational demands?

Organisations should try to put in place a sound training and development programme for employees. The framework of organisational policies should mandate and endorse fairness and equality.

They should also develop systematic career guidance and planning programme, which will enable employees to cover their lacunae and grow exclusively. Educating employees about rising above the cultural, gender and other differences will also help in maintaining a focused and united workforce.

What are the areas in managing diverse workforce where Indian HR professionals still need to be trained?

Indian HR professionals need better training to develop cultural intelligence within themselves. They need to understand different generations, their specific requirements and the modes of recruiting them. This can be done through proper training and acquiring proper knowledge of the subject.

Going through books and articles of organisations, their success stories, case studies, etc, will give human resources personnel an expansive mindset to work and imbibe upon.

Have the Indian organisations been successful in managing to break the glass ceiling for women workforce, or we still have a long way to go?

To my understanding, we need to cover further grounds when we talk about breaking the ceiling for women workforce. We need to take leaves out of the books of organisations where women have created a distinct position for themselves and at the same time taken the organisation to a different level all together.

Although the practice has started, but there is still some ground that needs to be covered.


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