Monday , 15 October 2018
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Can HRD really be quantified?

“Mum, please help me pack. My company is sending me on a month-long tour to Canada. I will miss you all. ”


“Sweetheart, I will be going to office on weekends as well, for the next couple of weeks. We have an audit coming up! “


The corporate sector (where we feel so proud to belong to) is an artificial society. It is a whole new world – like the glamour industry – which dazzles to outsiders and only the insiders know it all! Once you enter the rat race, seldom you will jump out of it. It is like the quicksand. If you attempt to play with it, it will engulf you and if you stay still – it does lesser harm. Of course, this is just one side of the story. The entire picture is not as dreadful as it may seem.


If we apply our minds and question ourselves, the answer stares back at us. Any business venture is set-up primarily for financial gains. Mind-you, this might be the most pursued goal but is certainly not the only one. It may often appear to be the overriding one but I can site a dozen of illustrations off-hand, to drive home the point that financial gains (or “profits “as they call it in business) are not the only goals. The most common and striking reason why a young-budding entrepreneur gets into a business venture is – the free entrepreneurial spirit. It is the sheer risk-taking ability and the confidence in one self that frees and individual from a 9 to 5 (should I say 5 to 9) job. This perspective makes me believe “Exploring one’s potential and realizing it “is the hidden and real goal of business. The “risk – taker “dives into an ocean of challenges without knowing how deep the concerns are or how strong the waves could be!


Every business, which today stands as a full-fledged business empire, was born, because of one such leader – an entrepreneur, who had the dream, the vision, the determination and above all the passion of realizing his inner potential. It is worth mentioning a few names like the Tatas and Ambani who opened the world of job opportunities to thousands of people.


We owe it to such business tycoons, that today India has a name in the global business scenario. If we look t such pioneers of business in India, the one thing common about most of them is “a genuine humane approach “to people and life. Greatest of people have also been the simplest of all. Deep in their hearts was an authentic, warm and caring attitude towards mankind. We need no research evidence to state that – a man truly altruistic at heart succeeds the most in life. And of course success to such men is not bank balances but fond memories of a well-spent life.


If the core of business is this humanistic passion, then surprising that it is enveloped by bitter layers. Layers of manipulation, politics, favoritism, and many more… It is said – we can’t market if we are unwilling to lie. We have also heard – you have to cheat to make profits and that you cannot be a good businessman if you are humble at heart. These are the bitter layers that hide the inner core which is so pure and so real!


A business does not necessarily mean a manufacturing plant or a service out station. Even hospitals and educational institutions are business entities whose humane goals are probably more obvious.


In a school we have different organizational member’s viz. the principal, HODs, supervisors, teachers and the students. Apart from imparting knowledge the teachers play another important role of understanding the uniqueness of each child, his strengths and limitations, helping him “grow” and mould his personality. May be this is the reason why “female “teachers are more acceptable to young children than the traditional “father figures “. The academic training is just one of the roles a teacher plays; the others being more abstract or intangible; which touches much deeper into the child’s life.


In one way, the teachers in schools are like the HRD professionals in the corporate sector who take up the task of nurturing the organizational members – who commit themselves to understanding each employee’s uniqueness, his talents and his shortcomings, who enrich the environment – making it conducive for the employee’s growth.


I haven’t come across any school which attempts to measure or quantify this abstract or intangible role the teachers play in the lives of students. Observations are made and the child’s progress is assured. The improvement may not be apparent in a year or two; but may take years for the bud to bloom and spread its fragrance in this world. It requires patience, consistent efforts and above all – belief in the cause or intention.


Today HRD professionals seem to be struggling for survival. It is a trend these days o talk of HR being business driven or “Making HR a business process“ – all energies focused on proving the effect of HR on the bottom-line. All these smart captions begin and end at Quantification – measuring the human capital. Splendid work is done to understand HRD issues like communication, motivation, team building, and leadership more scientifically – more objectively. Pseudo jargons are coined and the old wine is sold in a new bottle. This happens day in and day out.


We need not attempt to justify HRD if we are convinced about its contribution into the business. Neither does a mother attempt to nor does a teacher. Very similar is the role of an HRD professional – to nurture people. Every business tycoon (as discussed in the earlier section of this article) was an ideal HRD manager simply because he cared enough.


Gone are the days of Intelligence Quotient, today Emotional Quotient is given more importance. Why? Maybe because people have realized – in tough times heart rules the head. Intelligence strikes the sight but integrity wins the soul. There is ample research done to prove that people with the right attitude more than the aptitude attain success at workplace.


We need to focus our energies into development and not into management, that too management of figures to win us our bread n butter!


Like the teaching profession HRD is also a noble one and deserves due respect. In every profession, there are black sheep. The unprofessional HRD people have contributed much for HDA to be labeled as – undeserving or disabling rather than a nurturing department. An appeal to individuals who claim to be a part of the HRD community – please do not poison this treasure which the entrepreneurs of today’s business empires have left us with and an appeal to the business community at large – please do not attempt to measure or quantify all HRD processes – as – “The most beautiful things in life cannot be seen or touched, but are to be felt by the heart.”


Written By: – Prof. Gowri Joshi 

Knowledge Inc.

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