This article is a lightly-edited summary of the key takeaways from our speakers’ appearance on our podcast, “The Shape of Work.” If you haven’t listened to our show yet, be sure to check it out here. These speakers have an incredible stable of startup experiences to draw from, the kind of stories that are unbelievably helpful for HR/people managers to hear.
As another special guest of our podcast “The Shape of Work”, we welcome Ruhie Pande – an HR professional having two decades of experience in managing people in a diverse set of industries.
GUEST AT A GLANCE:
Name of the guest: Ruhie Pande
What she does: Chief Human Resources Officer at Godrej Housing Finances
Find her on LinkedIn.
Get smart: “HR is an expertise function. It cannot be done by anyone and everyone.”
- Fewer resources don’t mean a lack of Learning and Development.
- Building a startup culture.
- The significance of psychology in Human Resources.
- How can we bring diversity to an organization?
- Things people managers need to keep in mind in the digital era of work.
Learning and Development in organizations with limited resources:
Ruhie says L&D is more about learning Organizational Development. Learning is all about building skills while training can be of functional or behavioral aspects. Secondly, she covers the topic of what she does- coaching. She explains that coaching is more than just mere learning. A good coach will help his students discover answers from within. Both training and coaching are different but extremely significant in shaping an individual.
Area organization behavior decides the following:
- the company strategy,
- creating an empowering system within the organization,
- the organization structure,
- how leaders make decisions, and
- how teams work together.
Building a startup culture:
In order to build all these strategies, organizations also have to work on their culture. Most organizations focus on building strategies for solving multiple problems. However, sometimes, they don’t give the same importance to their work culture. Thus a startup is the best time to lay the foundations of what the culture should look like. In a startup, the balance which HR has to create is done by understanding the company and its business strategies. They often focus on high engagement within themselves and maintain an environment where everyone feels a part of the entire culture. These frameworks need to be created at the earliest to ensure the stable success of the startup.
When it comes to the role of the HR personnel in creating this culture, the first and very basic requirement is to understand where the organization is headed- in terms of technology and strategy. In addition, they should be aware of the competitive advantages, the core differentiators, and the requirements of the consumers.
HR personnel need to know the business language to convince the business folks. Consequently, this gives them the credibility for what they are trying to convey.
Significance of Psychology in HR:
Having specialized in Organizational and Industrial Psychology, she advises everyone in the HR function to have a good knowledge of psychology. They can either take courses or study through online platforms. However, one of the most effective methods is to implement your learning and analyze it. Psychology helps in enhancing research skills and makes it easier to understand if a launched project is beneficial or not.
Ensuring diversity in an organization:
Ruhie then takes us through the hiring process in her company. They prefer diversity of gender and experiences. 50% of her company’s top team consists of women. Diversity of backgrounds involves people coming from different industries. This helps the company adapt to more innovative solutions. Gender diversity and inclusion are subjects of passion to Ruhie.
Performance feedback is a significant requirement to bring a company’s and its employees’ values at par. Feedback shows an individual’s personality and leadership skills. The main purpose of feedback is to change a person’s behavior. The way an employee accepts feedback also highlights his values and teamwork skills.
What should people managers keep in mind in this digital era of work?
Although people have adapted very well to this new way of work, it is still difficult to some extent. To sum up, there are four things that people managers need to keep in mind:
- People are deprived of going out and meeting people. It is difficult for these employees to live within boundaries and work.
- Fundamentally, working from home doesn’t mean that employees are not working. There should be a limit to the time they are available to attend office calls and meetings. Calling them at any time apart from these hours is not a healthy practice.
- Employees should be encouraged to recharge themselves. The concept of employee mental well-being is absolutely valid. Connect with them informally.
- Above all, ensure that team members continue to learn.