We Need To Understand That This Age Will Break All Stereotypes

Homi Tarapore, Chief Human Resources Officer, TRUST explains lucidly and lyrically the role of HR in the ‘Imagination Age’

Shakespeare said a rose by any name would smell as sweet, and in that iconic moment he defined the role of HR! HR in any age and era will drive the same ethos – the science of human behavior, the art of managing human emotions.
As we prepare to enter the new age of imagination led by the millennial generation, what then should be in our toolbox as HR Professionals to successfully manage the diverse workforce in the dynamic and ever changing world?
I say use the magician’s trick, retain the science of human behavior and rework on the COMMUNICATION strategy.
It is empirical and proven in the history of evolution of mankind that what differentiatedthe successful groups, organizations and nations from their competitors was their system of communication.
So here is what I think that this change brings for us and some thoughts on how to help us prepare before we hit the stage.
The shifting need from knowledge to creation Not really, each era had its innovators and creators. There was a maverick who created the IT industry, there was an innovator who built the organized retail sector, and there was a mastermind who took all of retail online!
Like always this Age of Imagination will also bring forth its own array of geniuses who will transform the face of industries as against what we know today.
What HR needs to do here is prepare better to know and understand the business they are a part of. We cannot be a part of business ecology and not understand how it functions.
We need to understand that we as HR are beyond being people managers, the keepers of policies and the crusaders of culture. HR is a catalyst, we are the enablers. We need to bring forth the interventions, the frameworks, and the designs to ensure that the company leverages and develops its capabilities to execute its strategies and achieve results.

The Millennial Generation is very different and needs to be managed differently!
Well, I both agree and disagree to this. Yes this generation is different, but so was each of the preceding generations.
I tell you what, with this new age generation all we need to do is COMMUNICATE effectively. This generation is designed to feel special and be expressive, and we as HR need to understand and respect that.
So, use this lever effectively to offer them a transparent environment (believe me when I say this, they have an uncanny ability to see through fabricated diplomatic communications).
This generation is fed on internet; they already know most things or know the means to attain that knowledge!
As HR then it becomes crucial for us to repackage our models and policies and offerings and learn to disseminate information in their language.
I wager on ten 3-minute videos instead of a 30 minute sermon, for reaching out and connecting with this generation!

What then will be the key objective of HR?
The one thing that will keep HR on its toes like the ballerina is managing aspirations.
And this is going to be particularly critical because of the multi generational and blended workforce to be managed.
We need to understand that this age will break all stereotypes! Everybody has the right to idea, opinionated, and create, and we as HR need to acknowledge this spectrum of emotions which is inclusive and will be seen across generations.
We will not only be competing with other employers for workforce share or talent share.
We will be constantly challenged to keep the engagement with this generation so enriching that they chose entrepreneurialism over entrepreneurship.

And here is what I think we can do to orchestrate this choice!
Understand that each of the generations will have a different relationship with their job and a very different set of psychological triggers that will initiate and fuel their engagement.
Expression, Ideation and Creation will be the demand of the hour and we have to nurture this in a manner which does not have an end date. It will be important to define the goal but devoid of time lines.
It is crucial that our communication, when managing this emotion, is not focusing on feedback management. We as HR and business leaders have to nourish their inspiration through structured or unstructured continuous conversations.

How then we attract the best people and hire the right candidate?
This age will re-invent the definition of BEST, because business has become increasingly dynamic and with this has brought the need to manage workforce and talent differently. Even at the cost of sounding clichéd, the only way to attract the best is to find the one who fits best into the culture and then into the position.
To stand out get noticed – as an employer we need to be respectful, adaptable, and transparent, and as a candidate we need to think and deliver outside-in.
About me – It never ceases to amaze me, in its individual parts and in its entirety, which is why human behavior is the passion which fuels my mind. A theatre loving and avid traveling GEN X, I am heading the Human Resources department at TRUST as the Group CHRO.
18 years and few grey hair later I understand that my role as an HR Professional has been that of a facilitating catalyst with businesses in aligning the job, the resource (employee) and the emotions, with the growing/changing objectives of the organization.