A person’s journey in the world from birth to death bears the most intimate nexus with his/her mother. For every president, film/sports celebrity, successful businessman, iconic CEO amongst others, there is a mother behind them who fostered her child to reach his/her full potential.
An employee’s life cycle throughout his/her tenure in an organization, invariably bears one crucial and indispensable relationship, and that is with the HR function.
In this edition of cajobportal Insights, let’s try and draw a corollary between the two functions
Your tryst with an organization begins with a call from the HR for the interview. If all goes well, this is then followed by the offer letter and the actual joining, induction etc. Subsequently, the function, steers you through the rigmarole of daily office life as well as the big ticket events like the annual appraisals. Eventually the HR is the last person you interact with on your moving on (if any) from the organization – the exit interview, release letter and the F&F.
Whenever in doubt, you don’t read the manual, you approach the HR.
It is the HR function, which like a mother, remains your constant companion.
Not at all!! Do we judge mothers on that parameter, either?
While it may be commonplace for you to evaluate your functional bosses through the prism of academic qualifications, you judge the HR function primarily based on the warmth they exude in taking care of you as you navigate through your organizational journey.
No wonder, HR is one function, where you might feel that someone who is a graduate might emerge as a better functionary than an XLRI/TISS.
On a typical HR day, an HR professional will deal with an employee’s personal issue one minute, an intermittent leave question the next, and a recruiting strategy for a hard-to-fill job the minute after. And that’s to say nothing of social media, wage/hour, engagement, retention, and a whole host of other things, every one critical to someone.
In HR, if it’s not one thing, it’s another. Priorities and business needs move fast and change fast, and manager A who needs someone hired doesn’t much care if you’re already helping manager B who needs someone fired. You need to be able to handle it all, all at once.
तुझे सब है पता, मेरी माँ (Tujhe sab hai pata… meri maa) says the iconic song in Taare Zameen Par.
For a mother, soothing a worried kindergartener after a nightmare or coaxing her toddler to eat all of his mashed banana is an innate art in itself. With her caring calmness and relational intuitiveness, she is probably able to predict the child’s needs before he or she even knows they exist!
A Jewish proverb rightly affirms what most of us have experienced: “A mother understands what a child does not say.” Indeed there exist a dynamic between mother and children. Mothers can hear sentences in the silences of their children.
One of the key jobs of the HR function is to partner with business and understand what exactly the employees want. Whether it is a pay raise, role change, training & development or a mere ‘pep talk’, often, it’s the HR, who like a true mother understand and makes his/her best endeavor to take care of your rapidly evolving needs.
Like a Mom, we often take the HR for granted. It is not uncommon for someone in the line function to disparage the contribution of HR to the organization. They are always at the receiving end of anything and everything that’s going wrong.
But when it comes to us getting in trouble, often getting rebuked by the boss (the strict father who sees nothing but logic), we run to the maternal comfort of the HR
HR professionals are the conscience of the company, as well as the keepers of confidential information – They are the ones we confide in, the people we turn to when there’s something important weighing on our minds and our hearts. Their role as confidants is often heralded as one of their most significant contributions to our organizations
Employees expect human resources professionals to advocate for their concerns, yet you must also enforce top management’s policies. It is the HR professional who pulls off this delicate balancing act and wins trust from all concerned.
News flash! In any organization, everyone doesn’t always get along with everyone else. High productivity demands that people work together at least civilly. HR has to find ways to allow that to happen. And that’s to say nothing of the myriad other problems that hit HR’s inbox.
There are times when the HR make decisions to protect the individual and other times when they protect the organization, its culture, and values. These decisions may be misunderstood by some, and HR may catch flak because of it. But like the mother, HR remains steadfast on the job of keeping the house together.
HR teaches us to dream
The term “BHAG” (for Big Hairy Audacious Goal) has been around for 20 years. It was introduced by authors James Collins and Jerry Porras’ in their 1994 book Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies.
HR is a function that champion for employees, vigorously representing their concerns to senior management, making a case for them in Job Band evaluation committee, looking for internal opportunities for the employee etc.
If you watch the movie on MS Dhoni, you will notice a poignant scene where the mother clearly articulates to Dhoni’s father that her kid has big dreams in his eyes, a safe but mundane government job won’t just be enough for him
Now wonder, Indian cricket’s biggest names – Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane – found a beautiful way to pay tribute to their mothers. As part of a new campaign by Star Plus called ‘Nayi Soch,’ the three men in blue have changed the names on their jerseys to those of their mothers instead.
It’s also time we take a moment to reflect on the motherly role played by an HR in an organization. Maybe it will change our approach towards the function forever.
Who we are?
We are a group of CA and IIM Ahmedabad graduates who, in Aug’13, launched cajobportal.com – India’s first recruitment website exclusively for finance professionals [CA, CS, CWA & MBA-Finance]