People are the biggest investment of any organization – be it an academic institution, a football club, a bank, or an entrepreneurship venture. We can have all the physical resources to manage an organization but if our people are not capable enough or have not been made capable enough, then other resources are of very little use. However, the aspects that any human resource personnel have to deal with are often neglected, or taken for granted.
HR personnel have to deal with a lot of soft skills issues otherwise known as people skills. They have to identify the skills their people have and accordingly engage them at work. Most professionals have not identified soft skills as “Skills”; instead these skills are thought of as natural behaviors that people have. It is one of the reasons why HR personnel and their people management skills are mostly taken for granted.
I have a friend working as a training manager in a reputed IT company. He used to share how, in that particular organization, the computer programmers devalued his work. Since he was not “developing a program” as such, he said he was devalued. In such situation, we can think differently and explain to the programmers that the programs they develop will ultimately be used by people. HR personnel use incredible people programming skills to program their workplace. The programmers have been programmed at the workplace by the HR personnel in order to execute the program, i.e., operational smoothness and produce output, eventually achieving the organizational goal.
We can see the message in our age-old Sanskrit epic Mahabharata as well. Duryodhana, the Kaurava King was scorned by his uncle Shakuni, because he chose a large number of soldiers over one Krishna when he was offered the deal. Duryodhana went for numbers rather than the right personnel, which is considered as one of the major reasons why the Kauravas lost the war to Pandavas.
In our Nepalese context, whether by choice or by scarcity of able and willing individuals, organizations have been investing a significant amount on the right infrastructure and right physical resources. Not that it is not required, however, investing in the right people rather than a number of not the right personnel, or even training, grooming, and retaining the ones that have promise, seems to be out of focus. Yet again, by choice or by compulsion, organizations seem to forget that it is the Krishnas of the world that will create value as well as build-up their brand.
It is paramount, that the HR aspect of our organizations have to be carefully planned, coded right, so that the program, in the form of operations, is smooth and directed towards achieving the organizational vision.
Prateek Raj Neupane teaches leadership and psychology to undergrad students. He also plays in metal bands.