Monday, January 5, 2015

What else ails a typical Indian IT/ BPO firm? Jan 1 - 15, 2015

As a part of my new year resolution, I am gonna pen down 1 post (min 500 words) every fortnight.

There are a number of reasons why I chose this as a topic for this very first fortnight of 2015. Increasing rate of attrition, increasing number of behavior related issues, decreasing professionalism at the workplace, decreasing pool of worthy leaders, and forget about leaders, across businesses it is increasingly becoming difficult to have focused contenders for first level of supervision - and these are just some of the issues which the Indian Human Resource teams are facing.

India and most of Asian countries were intended to be the places where part of the business was supposed to be outsourced. Cost usually plays the most important role in deciding to outsource (others being time zone advantage, technical expertise, easier to focus on core business, etc.)

Now imagine an Mnc. comes to India (read outsources) and starts IT and BPO work with the help of local resources. They also hire local managers with the right cultural background to hire- negotiate- maximise the output from the local employees.

This is where I would like to introduce you to first of my two hypothesis - 
1. When cost is a factor (huge one) the work can be highly compartmentalized making it easier for the right match of employees to be found.

Now when these (local) managers are tasked with the goal of minimizing the cost, they look for right fit of resources and fulfill the short term goals of the organization. Meanwhile in this process they create a monster for the HR to handle. I don't mean to say that HR is not party in creating this mess at the first place. Their goal sheets like any other business part aligns itself fully with the 'so called' business requirement - which is only this and not that. ('This' is mostly technical/ process, 'That' is mostly character/ attitude)

Having said that, companies all around the world are struggling to become 'Great' and not just good, but the limitations of hiring based on character/ attitude has become a major deterrent. The argument of lack of fair assessments which are scalable to judge a character/ attitude, is a valid one. But for the scope of the ailment which I am proposing here, I should limit the cause to a very simple one - Language.

This would be the right time to share my second hypothesis -
2. Most of the challenges we are referring to (HR Policy violations) have been started to get recognized as a violation in Asian ( and hence Indian) context pretty recently. Terms like professionalism, sexual harassment, attitude issues were never the highlights of businesses in Asia. The policies have been imported from the western world. Second part of  my hypothesis is that in order to understand the underlying meaning and fulfillment of such policies, we need to have the exposure to the western world. The only way to take that first step toward that exposure is through getting exposed to English (for Asia).

Whatever is being written here are the personal views of the author and are subjected to agreement or disagreement. And a request to all members, Please share your views !!

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