Today, India is on the cusp of several technological, demographic and social changes that have a direct impact on the current employees as well as people entering the workforce. The plethora of challenges for HR in an organization calls for a dynamic approach – continuous changes in the existing tools to survive in this complex and competitive environment.
To discuss the changing role of Human Resource management, The Xavier School of Human Resource Management, Xavier University Bhubaneswar held a National Conference on the theme “Re-thinking People management” on February 3rd and 4th at the XIMB campus. The conference was one of the best annual HR events in the country that worked as a bridge between various stakeholders of Human Resource Management and students studying to be HR managers.
The Conference began with a pre-conference workshop on “Research Methods for Behavioural Research” on 2nd February 2017 by Prof. Satya Bhushan Dash, IIM Lucknow.
The first day of the conference, 3rd February, 2017 focused on two major sub-themes – ‘Harnessing Human Capabilities for the Modern Workplace’, and ‘Redefining Work: HR in VUCA and SMAC World’. It also had papers presented on a multitude of topics covering many aspects in the world of HR by academicians and research scholars.
Prof. Neharika Vohra from IIM Ahmedabad while giving the inaugural key note address spoke of various ways to make the workplace more inclusive, cognitive biasing processes in the human mind and the steps that organizations can take to change that.
During the first panel discussion, Dr. Rajeshwari Narendran, Director, Academy of HRD, stressed that there are several factors that were not so prevalent earlier but now are pervasive to all organizations. Mr. Richard Lobo, EVP and Head HR, Infosys, stressed on the power of networking and finding the right balance between machines and humans.. People need to work together for greater success of the organization.
The second panel discussion focussed on VUCA (Volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) and SMAC (Social, mobile, analytics and clouds), two concepts that have completely changed some of the HR functions. Ms. Bobby Pattnaik, Location HR and Senior Unit HR Manager, Infosys spoke about how Technology has changed the larger picture of HR functioning as a whole. The quintessence of HR has altered with operational job of HR becoming automated and this change has facilitated an HR to move from a traditional role to a more value adding role.
Some of the other speakers of the day were Mr. Sunil Jha, President-HR, ACG Worldwide; Mr. Parthasarathi Mishra, CHRM, Tata Steel and Mr. Bibaswan Dash, HR Manager, Microsoft.
The day had a cultural taste to it with a mesmerizing dance performance by Nrityashala Odissi Dance Institute, Bhubaneswar. The performance captivated the audience with its beauty and grandeur.
Day 2 of the conference saw a panel discussion on the sub-theme of ‘Employment Relations: Moving Forward towards Greater Effectiveness.”Now employees shift jobs with the slightest of advantage that they garner from the shift. Thus Employment Relations (ER) and Industrial Relations (IR) have to reinvent their focus and strategies to remain current and meaningful.
Eminent panelists such as Mr. P Dwarkanath; Director Group, Human Capital, Max Life; Mr. Vijay Sinha, Senior Vice President – HR, JSW Energy Ltd; Mr. Rhiju Bhowmick, Ex-Global Head, Diversity and Inclusion, Diageo and Dr. Saroj Mahapatra, Director, Jaipuria School of Management, spoke about ways in which the effectiveness of employee relations can be taken several notches higher.“To be the best, a business has to attract and retain the best. This calls for transparency, trust and communication that can lead to effective ER”, Mr. P. Dwarakanath remarked.
The two-day conference concluded with a valedictory address, by Mr. Bijay Sahoo, Group President – HR, Reliance Industries as the chief guest. Mr. Sahoo spoke about technological advancements that are going to change the future of people management in all fields. Dr. Mousumi Padhi, Assistant Professor, Human Resource Management and Fr. Augustine, Registrar, XUB also addressed the gathering. Prof. Snigdha Pattnaik, Dean, Xavier School of Human Resource Management (XAHR) delivered the vote of thanks.
The conference was a huge success and left the audience enriched with newer ideas, innovations and a broader understanding of the overall HR function in today’s dynamic environment.