Young employees must be trained for leadership roles: HR

Young employees must be trained for leadership roles: HR

Top human resource (HR) executives of the Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR) met here last evening to discuss the need for identifying and training younger employees for leadership roles, as also to give their views on how equipped are today\'s HR managers to handle industrial relations.

New Delhi: Top human resource (HR) executives of the Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR) met here last evening to discuss the need for identifying and training younger employees for leadership roles, as also to give their views on how equipped are today's HR managers to handle industrial relations.

Accepting that every organization is keen these days to identify, train and guide younger employees for leadership roles, the participating panelists said it has been their endeavor to keep Generation X, Y or Z, which by and large is impatient for bottom to top hierarchical movement, engaged.
Moderating both the panel discussions was Shamni Pande, Senior Editor of Business Today.
On the theme - "Too Much, Too Soon? Why younger employees should be trained for leadership roles, the first set of panelists included Anuranjita Kumar, Managing Director and Chief Human Resource Officer of Citi, South Asia; Arun Sehgal, Executive Vice President (HR) for GSK Consumer Healthcare; P. Dwarakanath, Advisor, Group Human Capital at Max India Ltd.; Samik Basu, Vice President (HR) and Chief People Officer at Pepsico India and Srikanth Karra, Director (HR) at Bharti Airtel.
The discussion began with an agreement that training younger employees for leadership roles ensures that the leadership pipeline does not dry up, and secondly, there was an assurance that as employees rise in the hierarchy of a business, the chances of trained leaders becomes brighter.
Each of the panelists focused their views on grooming, seeking and identifying young talent, developing that talent in a 70-20-10 functional movement and moving that selected talent up the ranks in a phased and timely manner.
Anuranjita Kumar dwelled on the hiring the young as well as persevering with seniors as partners because of their experience and judgment as far as relevant to the business profile, and added that education, exposure and experience were the three human resource characteristics looked out for at Citi.
P. Dwarakanath stressed on acceptance of what is the concept of leadership before going in for identification and development of young talent. He also said that expectations are high because of globalization, and added that challenges need to be understood before being accepted.
Srikanth Karra talked about firms focusing on competencies such as technology, innovation and service before sales. He stressed on the need for training programs to be rigorous, adding that doing so would ensure the ability to differentiate between good and bad.
Arun Sehgal focused on qualities looked for in young employees such as energy, more head room, greater learning agility and drive. He vouched for the creation of a talent pipeline for building capabilities and skills for aspirational roles.
He also talked of the need for phased external hiring and looking for role models and success stories i.e. the right signals.
The panelists were of the unanimous view that not everyone can be a CEO and that jobs are undergoing a change with managements also looking at the concept of functional specialization and multiple roles.
They said selection of leaders must be devoid of club culture and nepotism. It must be seen to be fair, transparent, merit-based and applying sensitivity towards those missing the bus while "showing them the mirror".
The second session on how equipped are today's HR managers in handling industrial relations, saw panelists saying that it depends from project to project.
U.P. Pani, Director (HR) at the public sector NTPC Ltd. said that different philosophies exist the public sector and the private sector.
He was of the firm view that in the public sector, expectations are more often than not quashed, and employees learn on the job. Pani said no course in a college or an IIM can teach what you can learn and pick up on the job. He called for the introduction of job-centric courses.
Harbhajan Singh, Vice President, General and Corporate Affairs at Honda Motors and Scooters Limited, and P. Dwarakanath said industrial relations was not rocket science and must be seen as another kind of service to the public.
It called for greater engagement between management and employees; acquiring the ability to be better listeners to prevent a business from reaching a point of no return.
Leaderships, they said, must avoid sitting in "Ivory Towers" and industrial relations must be context-based, credible, compassionate, trustworthy and communicative.
They said there is a need for understanding IQ levels; the need to accept changes in life and to accept ground realities.
The panelists vouched for pro-active anticipation of a possible industrial trouble and nixing it before it arises. They endorsed a top-down approach to articulate the way forward for both employers and employees.
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