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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Challenges of The New Age HR Professional

A fellow member of NIPM Kerala Chapter ( texted me to seek my views on how the profile of a new age HR professional would look like. That set me thinking and also got some material for this blog :-)

So here's my take about the context for this whole piece:

1. Role of Data in driving / supporting people decisions have been taking centre stage in the new millennium  - this has given a new meaning to Analytical skills.

2. Understanding of neo Media – As Communication skills is an important need for any HR person, understanding of the current tools / ways by which employees seek and consume information is a prerequisite. Hence making solutions using Social media,  Real time IM tools like Whatsapp/Snapchat

3. Employee Engagement – With GenY employees being major focus for engagement activities, there is a need to revisit the age old practices (annual picnic / events being an example) and come up with tailor made, frequent and more connected activities which end up being a double Whammy of sorts. HR positions responsible for this function therefore requires updated information on adult behaviour with respect to use of Technology, interpersonal interactions, psychology, User experience (UX).

4. Employee Relations – with special reference  to India where the boundaries which existed across industry segments are set to disappear very soon, knowledge of updated legislations and their impact to people programs and policies in real time (no time to reach out to consultants / lawyers) is paramount.

5. Business Connect - Best way to deliver value and seen to be delivering value is to talk (and walk) the language of business as that helps an HR  professional connect to the people to whom he / she is providing value.

Here are some links to some Job descriptions which companies have drafted - keeping the above context in mind.



Would love to hear what the larger HR fraternity in India feels about the above.

Monday, May 25, 2015

My Humble part in Global Citizen Science Project - Documenting Birds

On May 9th 2015 my birding partner Premchand and I drove to Thattekad Bird Sanctuary. We were excited to be taking part in the first ever Global Big Day - an attempt by Citizen Science enthusiasts led by Cornel Lab's Team Ebird to list an audacious 5000 species of birds from across the world on a single day.
We met our good friend and bird guide Rejeev at the usual spot near the bird sanctuary gate and proceeded towards Urulanthanni sector of the bird Sanctuary. This was my third visit to Thattekad after the birding bug bit me about couple of years back while on a wildlife photography workshop with ILCP Fellow and Conservation photographer Mr. Balan Madhavan. Thattekad is a special habitat, an evergreen forest which is surrounded by Human inhabited areas and also home to about 14 species which are endemic to Western Ghats. You can find the full list here.

Here are some of the birds we saw and could take a pic without disturbing the subjects.
 Sri Lanka Frogmouth

Brown Fish Owl - Juvenile

Premchand and I logged about 18 bird lists from Thattekad and Bhootathankettu Dam area by about 2.30 pm. We then proceeded to our favorite Urban Birding spot near HMT Kalamasserry off the National Highway 47.
Last week, the results of the inaugural Global Big Day were published on the website. Results can be viewed here.
Prem and me share the No. 3 spot in terms of Bird lists contributors for the Global Big Day 2015 from Asia and No. 41 at the Global scale. Globally bird documentation is done really well in US and Canada with South america and India catching up pretty fast. As there's a very large cove of information which we need to unearth for many sustainable projects to support our own survival and  conservation  of nature - the need for using technology to document bird species by citizen Science initiative attains significance.

Looking forward to supporting this Citizen Science initiative.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Honoured to be #Tweeting at the 18th Edition of #LegalUpdate by NIPM Kerala Chapter

I have been associated with NIPM Kerala Chapter from early 2008 - about a few months after I took up the role as first employee in India (Yeah, prouder to be an HR guy) for Arbitron Inc's (now Nielsen Audio and part of Nielsen, the Leading Market Research company. The current Chairman of the chapter Mr. Thomas Kadavan was one of the Seniors who had invited me to the think-tank then and I've thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity.  The activities which I got exposed at the chapter which was being ranked consistently among the top chapters of the National body of HR professionals was beyond the realm of stuff which I could have explored in my full time day job. Yes, that meant that I had to 'find time' / volunteer my time (post office hours and mostly wknds when it's not my personal day off / PDO's from work.

So what made me keep up this interest ? Looking back, I feel the opportunity this gave to remain connected with Labour Laws and it's ramifications from practicing professionals from Manufacturing sector whom I missed interacting from the time I moved to ITES / IT sector by choice was a key reason. I had really enjoyed going one up on my professors at Symbiosis Pune during my student days for the Masters Degree which I gained in Labour Laws (MLL & LW) - Pune University.

I feel that #MakeInIndia and the focus which Manufacturing industry would get out of the resultant policies will bring back the need to be connected in depth to Labour laws. I'd call upon my #HR colleagues from Services and IT industry to keep up on this need as IMHO, the segregation that exists within industry segments will be a thing of the past pretty soon. An example / confirmation to this - do check out a Linkedin Post by a Top 5 IT firm from our country - Job Post. 
This company happened to be in the news for a stuff which were clearly avoidable - look at this news article as an example.

All this highlights the importance of understanding the Local laws. I'm hoping that NIPM on a national level come up with some Certification programs for HR professionals on Labour laws.  Till then, my effort will be to create digital foot prints for the work which our chapter has been doing for the past 50 plus years (yes over half a century) from Kochi Kerala.. do follow the hashtag #NIPMKCLegal15 and #LegalUpdate2015

Friday, May 15, 2015

My Version 2.0 at SHRM National's Bloggers Lounge - musings

June 2012 was my first look at the SHRM National conferene. I've been very lucky to have the schedule coincide (with a lil bit of effort ofcourse) with the re-initiation of sorts of my annual trip to my then employer parent company. I had blogged about that  experience at #shrm12 from Atlanta here...

I missed attending #shrm13 as my Dad was not keeping well that May-June and that made me miss my annual trip to US of A as well. The next year, I was lucky again as I got another need to be in US, inside a tumultuous time for myself and the company. I thought I was lucky as I did not have to take up steps explained in this article :-) seeking permission... Wonder if I'd ever get myself to do such a thing at work for any particular conference.

So come #shrm15 and I'm in a very different situation - I'm now part of a energetic and committed team at SS Consulting whose founder who happens to be a Rocket Scientist (no kidding...) has taken it upon himself to see that IT SME's and IT Product firms who reach out to us gets a Win-Win value. The Win he and SS Consulting seeks is to have youngsters achieve meaning full work while being employed and in the process get back the state's talented folks to God's own country... will write about those in another blog....

From #shrm12, I had seen the need to get #HR folks connected better to the potential that #SoMe (Social Media for the un-initiated) offered for improving effectiveness at work.  Shrm folks has put up a #SoMeHive of sorts to get HR folks literally and physically (?) on to twitter, linkedin and facebook. I could imagine the situation in my country sitting there and that kind of led my thoughts around spending some time to support this need on a voluntary basis. I got the best opportunity to showcase some of those with results to HR folks in my own state of Kerala at the 31st National Conference of NIPM NCON-2012 which came up that year in September. This was the first ever conference held in Kerala in which portions web-casted live and also gave delegates free access to Wifi hotspots which I had personally set up. Yes, the router, dongle, cable contraption which was suggested by my good pals from Telecom sector combined with some of my Tech infr skills.

IM's took centre stage across the globe in 2013-14 period giving Social media has another possibility. However, solving everyday problems with these Tech tools remained unexplored even in Organizations which were pioneers in this arena. To explain what i mean by solving problems, let me take this extreme example of how Technology is being used to solve everyday and universal problem - this time curing Cancer. I believe Technologists achieve real depth only at this level and I feel there's enough room to lead more of our country's Tech talent towards this enriching and rewarding goal.

So I'm glad to dedicate my time at #shrm15 towards this interest of mine - Providing solutions to everyday Human resource problem aka Business problems involving people by using Technology as a directly or as a Catalyst... Looking forward to this journey with special thanks to SHRM India. Looking forward to reconnecting with this elite group of folks, some of whom I've been in touch for the past 3 years.... SHRM 2015 Bloggers List