Excerpt from the life of a HR executive

The human resources department of an organization and the first, last and lifetime point of contact for any individual interacting with an organization. Even before the individuals join an organization, they are already coordinating their transition with the human resources department of the organization.

It comes as no surprise that this is the department that experiences the most volatility and dynamism for the sole fact that their primary responsibility is the well being of humans forming the organization. One may debate the extent to which the HR Team plays a role in the onboarding, training, and development and overall well being of an organization. But luckily no one ever debates their utility and usefulness. The field of Human resources, more than being a niche, is the development of sensitivity and care while dealing with fellow humans.

In my tenure as the Human (Resources) Wrangler at multiple organizations, I have had multiple interesting encounters that have helped enhance my overall understanding of situations that might be a non-issue for many but enough to cause a rift for a few. Some of them have been pertaining to humans all across the globe i.e. human behavior, thought process, influences, etc. and some have been rather specific to the Indian narrative.

The situation I chose for this post is fairly recent and involves a few individuals who were selected to join our organization. These were students hired from different universities across the state of Gujarat and required to join us on 3 January 2018 in Pune, a city in Maharashtra. Given the fact that it would be their tough jobs and a transition between 2 states usually carries along a lot of cultural and logistical issues.

The city of Pune was hit with political unrest and violent protests on the 3rd of January due to which a Bandh (involuntary) was imposed across the state indicating non-functioning of all institutions and even telephony services in some parts. My heart went out to these individuals about it being their first experience to our home ground and going through of all it alone away from their families. I constantly kept in touch with all 12 joiners throughout the day, shared on the ground updates, police notification and kept information about their well-being. I had been the only person they knew from the organization right from the finding stage to the hiring and actual onboarding and it was my promise they had trusted, that imposed an added sense of responsibility on me for their wellbeing.

Throughout the day I helped them move into their new houses, find eateries around and get things ready for day 0 of their new job. However, when I was just about to call it a day, 1 of the new joiners called me in a troubled tone almost helpless and scared conveying that their tenant has leased the house to someone else and they have nowhere to go. At that point, I could have extended empathy on the situation or suggested to them common solutions like booking websites, etc. so they could get a hotel room.

I certainly knew that’s not what would help! These are young guys with limited access to financial resources coming to a state thousands of kilometers away for their first job. I’m pretty sure they knew that they could book a hotel if they could. At that point, they looked up to me for strength and support. Immediately I sent them my location on WhatsApp and asked them to come over, given the unrest in the vicinity I requested their live location to track the movements while arranging a meal for them. In India, houses aren’t very big despite that we managed to make enough room for all of us. The next day we started the hunt for another house and found something we all loved.

To summarise the experience, in a nutshell, this wasn’t really an HR situation. This was a human situation. Sometimes people don’t want the perfect solution, all they want is your support and commitment that you will see them through the situation. I could’ve looked up all the possible policies in the organization and found the perfect way to help, but it could still not beat the personal touch offered instantaneously. Such incidents earn massive amounts of goodwill for the organization and help inculcate the feeling of trust among their people. Organisations governed primarily through policies, so rigid that they form watertight compartments, soon loose their edge and start to get monotonous/bureaucratic.

The Human Resources Arsenal

Looking up the first result while looking for the dictionary meaning of the word Arsenal, would fetch something like this –

A place of storage or a magazine containing arms and military equipment for land or naval service.

However, this would make one wonder rather confused given the title of this post. Fret not, you’re in the right place and human resources personnel do not have arms and military equipment! 😀

The correct meaning in the context of this post would be – 🤓

An array of resources available for a certain purpose.

For any individual out there with a goal, it is necessary to have the right resources in order to get the job done. And this holds true for every individual with a goal, including the HR team. Bearing no exceptions!

Many HR professionals would agree that the vision and mission of the top management play a drastic role towards the shaping the HR policies of an organization. However, it is not only the formulation of policies but also the meticulous implementation of these policies that drive the success of an organization.

As the organization grows, the amount of work keeps increasing in every department and the same is true even with the HR department. In such situations, collaborative working gives a team the edge they need to stand out.

The power of collaboration – G Suite

The freedom to collaborate on the go, from any smart device along with the security from Google makes the G Suite a go-to solutions for most companies ranging from small companies to the Fortune 500 ones. It’s only a matter of time before Gmail, Docs, Drive, and Calendar an integral part of your arsenal!

One stop communication and information solution – Slack

A fairly recent platform, Slack, is said to be the fastest growing business application in the history of mankind! There isn’t much I can say about this platform that hasn’t already been said. Slack is a one-stop information and communication solution that brings together all the communication, updates, statistics and data in one place through its integrations, hooks, channels!

Recruitment Software – Recruitee

Every individual who applies to your organization is your client and as they say

The goal of a company is to have customer service that is not just the best but legendary.

-Sam Walton

On any other day, G Suite with its all power script editor is enough to integrate and automate many of your mundane tasks. However, when your goal is to be legendary you need to start thinking beyond developing every solution yourself! Recruitee gives you the opportunity to focus on maximizing your hiring outreach while they constantly continue to work on developing new features to increase your productivity.

Asking to choose one tool over the other would be doing injustice to the contributions of the others. However, tools are merely facilitators, just like an artist who uses many brushes and colors to bring a piece of canvas to life. 👨🏻‍🎨

Get Fit!

This year began with an amazing trip to one of the most beautiful states of our India, Goa! Goa is known for its beautiful beaches and cheap alcohol that attracts travelers from all across the globe. Although that is not all, Goa for me is a very special place. This place helps me connect with myself and while I was spending time there, chilling on the beaches it struck me that due to the fear of failing or constant procrastination, I have reached a point where I no longer set fitness goals for myself. There was a time when my life revolved around sports and fitness. This visit is especially memorable for me since it reminded me what I used to be capable of. All this enlightenment while just playing football at the beach with some children who had come there as a part of the orphanage outing. It reminded me that life is not just about running from 1 post to another, competing in a cut-throat manner. I’m aware my thoughts seem a little scattered right now but it’s very difficult to describe what I felt there in that moment.

 

So for 2017, I have set a goal that I myself am not confident to achieve. But what is a goal that isn’t challenging? I have vowed to myself, irrespective of the busy schedule or tiredness I will every day do something that will qualify as a fitness activity at least for 30 minutes.

 

Anyway, coming to the interesting part. This year my visit to Goa involved trying out many new things. New accommodation, new cuisines and new shacks. So if anyone is facing any difficulty planning their visit to Goa, please don’t hesitate to drop a comment and we can connect to arrange the best possible visit for you 🙂

 

Some pictures below from my most recent vacation.

My experience at WordCamp Nashik, 2016

WordCamp Nashik was definitely one of the best WordCamp’s I have attended in India. (I had attended WC Bhopal and WC Mumbai before this)

 

To recollect all my memories on how it began, Sanket asked me about my plans on travelling and staying in Nashik. I myself was very unsure since it was a city I had never visited before and was clueless. Everyday we would meet in person and chat over Slack to finalise the arrangements for our travel and stay. But that never materialised until the last day. 😛

 

Finally, another colleague, Sandeep, found a really good place where we could stay the night and booked it. Later when I shared this hotel details with the rest of our group, they were convinced it was a good decision. (Tripadvisor reviews did help)

 

One thing led to another and we were soon discussing the idea of a road trip to Nashik on our motorcycles. The nervousness whether we would be able to complete the ride wasn’t enough to kill the fondness of a road trip and it wasn’t long before our entire group agreed for one.

 

We decided to leave at 3 a.m. to avoid highway traffic and frankly I was quite scared since it was already drizzling at around 1:30 a.m. I still recollect it was a full moon night and the beautiful landscapes almost made me lose focus from the road. After endless breaks, coffees, farsaan and jokes we entered Nashik City by morning.

 

The journey had already been a memorable one for me even before the WordCamp had started. Coming to the evening before the event, I received a ping from a friend Vailancio I had first met at a meetup in Goa held at the Next Big Thing office . It had been long since we had met and decided to catch up at Jupiter Hotel where most of the attendees were staying. It was a pleasant evening with long conversations and a lot of learning.

 

Coming to the day of WC Nashik, the venue looked like it has been specifically built to host a WordCamp. Everything was so well planned and one cannot help but acknowledge the level of detail with which the “experience” was designed. Starting with the breakfast we moved towards the auditorium for the first session by Hari. I loved all the sessions and it would be inaccurate if I had to pick any one session over the other.

 

I like how the panel discussions facilitate community members share their experiences and get more people involved. If you see #WCNashik you would know the frequency at which we were sharing updates from WC Nashik and that couldn’t have been possible without the seamless internet. (My speedtest gave me 40 mbps, that’s FAST!)

 

Overall, the memories of this WordCamp would be with me forever for all the right reasons. 🙂  Finally some pictures from the journey below.