Nov 18, 2011

Whose business is People? Liveblogging #nhrd11

Note: Liveblogging the National HRD Conference - excuse the typos please :)

Members of the panel: Santrupt Mishra (CEO Carbon Black, group Head of HR for Aditya Birla Group) , PM Kumar (Business Chairman - Group Corporate Development - GMR ), Vijay Chandok (President -International Banking and SME- ICICI Bank) , Bijou Kurien (President and CEO-Lifestyle, Reliance Retail), Dr. C Sripada (Head HR - IBM India & South Asia), and moderator Anand Shankar (MD - Aon Hewitt India)

Anand Shankar - sets context - who's responsibility is it to engage employees?

Santrupt Mishra - On a lighter note: The headhunter's business is people. The individualist says it's a person's business. If the focus is paternalistic or collective then they would say it is the business of everybody. We need to segment what is the area we are talking about.

PM Kumar - We need to understand what it means to be human. We are the only species who can imagine and reflect. We have two needs, to relate and to express oneself. Anyone who deals with people need to remember that.

Vijay Chandok - First I thought it is obviously the business of the line manager. But the analogy of the F1 driver, focusing on the critical aspect of the pit-stop. Who is responsible for winning the race? A delay in a few seconds can impact the result. The Line Manager is significantly partnered in the same way by HR.

Bijou Kurian - 85% of our employees are in the frontline. People don't aspire for this role. Attrition is in 3 digits sometimes in the retail business. We need to attract and engage them. It cannot be delegated to a department. Typically we use people as a denominator. In a P&L we focus on topline and bottomline. How do we measure "Return on People"?

Chandra - The first answer that popped into my mind is "My business is people, as the HR head". Then it is responsibility of anyone who impacts it.

Santrupt - The leadership rests with HR but delivered by line managers - therefore its a partnership.

PM Kumar - The line manager can handle toolkits - HR people overrate their needs.