Article: Build a Humane approach to Human Resources

Author: CA Sunil G Karve
              Founder Trustee & Vice Chairman, MET League of Colleges (MET)
              Hon. Chairman, Governing Board, Kohinoor Education Trust (KET)

Throughout my life, I have followed some common principles that have ensured that my people love coming back to work. Whether it is my CA practice or founding & administering MET League of Colleges or advising Kohinoor Education Trust, these principles have been all pervading.

Writing this piece has made me realise that these came naturally and that is why they worked so well. I urge readers to see these principles as something they need to make part of their internal system if they wish to see the success in implementation.

Firstly, don’t make an effort to make the work place a happy place. Happiness is not something that stems up because of tactical moves like celebrating a special day or announcing special initiatives. Though important, these moves remain tactical. What is important is that the Management must carry the intent to create a happy work place.

One should genuinely believe and feel that every individual in the organisation is important irrespective of the work allocated to them. One needs to start recognizing that each function is actually a profession. Take the example of a sweeper; sweeping is not a task, it is a profession that requires special skills and knowledge of hygiene and its positive effects. In order to be a good sweeper, the person must possess the requisite knowledge and skills to ensure that the office remains clean and germ-free. Just like being a CEO requires special knowledge and skills to ensure that the company runs as a profitable venture.

Secondly, it is pertinent that a message percolates from the top – a strong message that the interest of the organisation is prime. Everyone in the organisation works in a set system of rules and regulations however, one can also venture to break the system in the interest of the organisation. Employees must know that any person acting in the interest of the organisation will be applauded and not reprimanded. Such an environment will lead to a heightened sense of empowerment where every individual works in the interest of the organisation without any fear or pressure.  Every employee will thus feel like they are part of a large family where their genuine efforts will always be applauded. Each member will work towards growing the family and act in its interest.

Thirdly, the assurance that their voice will be heard irrespective of their rank in the organisation. Every employee must know and believe that they can voice their concerns and they will be noted at the highest level. This must be a genuine effort from the top management. As long as the concerns are valid and are in the interest of the organisation, they must be heard – with an open mind.

Fourthly, I am a proponent of using the humane approach to human resources. The entire organisation should function in a properly defined and designed system. The human resource policies must recognize that human beings are not machines. Such an approach will energise and inspire employees to happily give their best.

The key word here is, “happiness”. If an employee is forced to give his best, the organisation may turn profitable. However, the organisation will transform to greatness only if the employees are happy and thus give their best.

CA Sunil G Karve
Founder Trustee & Vice Chairman, MET League of Colleges (MET)
Hon. Chairman, Governing Board, Kohinoor Education Trust (KET)

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