The True Mantra – People come first!
Solomon Vijayanand, Chief Enabling Officer of Solomon Management Consultants has some strong opinions about what leadership means to HR and the relevance of HR functions for corporates including small and medium enterprises. He says to his social media consultant that he is frequently asked “is there a shortage of HR leaders? and “what does it take to be a leader in HR?” He highlights some of the characteristics he believes are essential for all HR leaders across the globe.
HR must be a leader, not simply a business partner. “You have to be out in front and going first. Some of the qualities of good HR Managers are sensibility, ability to express, good market knowledge, great confidence and perpetual winning attitude and the likes. All organizations are people-driven, making people initiatives more important. Gone are the days, where HR means Admin only!” he says.
You need to be proactive. “Seek out problems and opportunities,” he says; “don’t just wait for things to happen. It is very strategic as it is people who make a difference to the business. As much as business houses support clients, HR should support people. Human Resources department is very important, and it is not just a post-office with correspondences being transferred from management to employees. It is a series function that drives the organization towards its long-term growth.
On being asked about some conglomerates who keeps people first, Mr. Vijayanand divulges, “Narayan Murthy of Infosys Technologies, Bill Gates of Microsoft Corporation, Gordon Bowker of Starbucks Corporation are great examples of the same.”
You prioritize and don’t treat everyone the same way. “The focus is on what business unit or what jobs are the most important. It’s a narrower approach where only about 20 percent of the work gets a high priority. Often most business which is of trading nature, especially in GCC, our mindset becomes profit-driven while ignoring the pertinent fact that it is people who bring profit and people makes a great difference. For any business, people need to be valued if clients need to be valued, thus HR needs to be sensitive towards employee’s issues,” reveals Mr. Vjayanand.
A good HR will develop employees’ complaint system where staff will raise their issues and concerns to the management. And his last message – “Do not box people into jobs!” signs of Mr. Vijayanand.
Solomon Vijayanand is Chief Enabling Officer of Solomon Management Consultants, and Vice-President of BNI Insomniacs Chapter at BNI. An award-winning trainer, Mr. Vijayanand has written extensively about HR, talent management, leadership, and smart business practices.