Managing HR capabilities for MSMEs

Mr. Deepak Sawhney, founder of PHRENIMOS and a certified human potential coach, executive coach, leadership coach participated as one of the key speakers in the ‘Strategic HR Conclave’ organized in Chandigarh by the CII Northern Region Headquarters, on October 11, 2017. The session was organized to focus on ‘Developing HR Capabilities that matter in MSMEs.’

The CII Punjab State organized the event under the aegis of the Sectoral Panel of Education & Skilling. The intent was to create a breakthrough and assist the participating companies in attaining better quality in their HR Operations. The overall emphasis of the Conclave was to have informative discussions on not just developing HR Capabilities that would matter in the MSME but also on the following topics:

  • Innovation in HR: Getting Ahead of the Curve
  • Family Business & Succession Planning: The Tough Catch
  • Role of Technology in HR Development

The participants of the session were managers, team leaders, HR managers, HR thought leaders, Business Leaders, and budding entrepreneurs.  Senior officials from the Government of Punjab and the Industry were also invited to speak at the conclave.

During the session, Deepak Sawhney spoke about the need for focusing on people and culture in the organization by the entrepreneurs and smaller businesses if they want to achieve the scale of growth. He also highlighted the importance of setting a culture in the organization and marrying it with the promises that we make to the customers.  According to him, what the business preaches, ie. what it says and promises to its customers and clients, should be embedded in the internal processes of the organization too.

Deepak Sawhney Leadership Coach

According to him, if entrepreneurs and businesses want to know if they are focusing enough on HR and in the right direction, they need to ask themselves the following questions:

  • Do employees feel like partners in the goals of the organization?
  • Are we, the business and entrepreneurs, appreciating accomplishments and changes enough?
  • Are you giving a sense of continuity or permanence to your employees?
  • Do employees have a say in the future?
  • Do we treat our employees fairly and justly such as, concerning merit and gender?

All these questions arise from the definition of organization – collection of people for a common purpose.  The most significant trap that new and small businesses create for themselves is that the owner occupies himself with the vision or future and also the current problems. People work better in an organization if they can identify with, and are made to understand what the vision/purpose of the entrepreneur is.

Since time and energy is limited and ongoing issues hold priority, the future often takes a back seat. This creates a vicious circle of lack of a plan. Hence there is low growth resulting in a focus on only the costs to maintain profitability and thus lack of longevity of the business.

Businesses have to invest in people and reward them appropriately so that the owner or business leader can focus on future, sell his vision to employees creating a sense of permanence, make them a partner in this process, and implement changes to achieve the future goal.

The role of entrepreneurs and business leaders, however, is not limited to the above only.  This is part of their other roles and responsibility. They have to think of and source beforehand, capabilities that are required to fulfill his vision. They also need to initiate changes whether they are in business processes or technological.  Carrying on these changes and ensuring that these changes have been comprehended at the bottom-most level and absorbed by everyone in the organization is the strategic role of HR.  Hence to look at it in sum, HR occupies much more importance than what it is usually given in the smaller businesses as the change here is the fastest.

Unless the HR departments of organizations get involved with the creation of a culture of the team and the growth of its people, MSMEs will fail to sustain in the long run.

The session provided an insight into these and other issues –Mr. Deepak Sawhney being one of the most prominent speakers. With his clarity, wit, anecdotal conversation he was able to strike a positive note with the entire audience. His role as mentor and coach to many entrepreneurs, corporate organizations and individual executives plays a huge role in his empathetic approach to the issues that each one of these can face.

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