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THE JOURNEY From Personnel Department to People Management By Bareera Hamidi

Long gone are the days when we’d say, HR is in evolution, transitioning from a mere admin and personnel department into HRM. In fact, gone are even those days when HR was the strategic business partner of the Top Management.

Today, humans are resources no more; in fact, they are very much alive and kicking! So, it’s all about People Management through Engagement and Development - securing employee commitment to the company while committing to them their own personal growth and development. And everything in between. Having said that People Management is a function that drives business performance by providing, developing and retaining performers; by inculcating the culture that supports growth and sustains high performance; that builds structures that are modular, e"ective and e cient at the same time.

It’s a time when People Management Heads are rated at the same grade as those of Sales and Supply Chain.

Some of the readers might be wondering “Which Corporate world is she talking about?” Well for me, from Philips to KE and EBM, People Management has been right up there where it ought to be and through a series of articles, I will share with you my journey as a People Manager, as I have experienced it.

To start o", a People Manager has full control over how her function is seen and treated by the organization. So, if you are happy working like a post o ce where life would be as unperturbed as it gets, you are bound to get an equally somber response. But if you want to be significant then you start with attaining a deep understanding of the job! The job, as to what is done, why is it done, how is it done, how long it takes to do it, who can do it, who should do it, who is doing it, what’s good about the job, what’s bad, what’s happy and what’s sad, what’s challenging, and so on. In short, Job study and evaluation of each and every function that is performed by the Company that you work for. Your understanding of the Job leads you to understand the Company and its People, their challenges, motivators and de-motivators. Which, is the key impetus to a gracefully successful People Management career. Of course, en route the spillovers range from un-ru½ing feathers to insecurities to condemnation of being meddling and inquisitive and the list goes on…but the end product is usually an operational, productive, strategically value adding a function that understands the business language, its needs and challenges and is thus able to provide the right solutions.

And eventual appreciation does come sooner than later. Here, having political correctness does add “long” to the successful People Management career – but then that’s a choice we make

– depending on how liberated one wants to feel at the cost of longevity.

Coming back to what contributes to successful People Management function, It may seem like a very basic, novice idea with loads of menial sittings, with everyone from labour to the higher-ups and not much value, but, understanding each job to its core gives the People Manager the knowledge which serves to create an understanding of what the issues are being faced by the management, the managers, and the employees. Thus, begins your role as a communicator; mediator, a mentor; a solicitor, a policy maker, an advisor and, above all, an organization designer – all roles that add value in many, many ways (which I shall keep discussing in bits as and when).

Although, we, as people managers, have been performing these roles in relevant situations, each of the roles listed, is now a specialized, more scientific function. One that cannot be played on an ad hoc basis but that which requires a much more focused, calibrated study, knowledge, and competence to execute.

Another critical task of a People Manager is to ensure that anyone managing any one or more is developed into a People Manager. No, it doesn’t cost you your job; it makes your job easy and more valued. Because, when they realize what it takes to be an e"active people manager, they appreciate what you do on their behalf. Having said that, your job actually increases and becomes more complex with this agenda, imagine developing all line managers into People Managers

Posted on 07/05/2018

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