XLRI- Xavier School of Management recently organised the 8th National HR Conference. In line with its theme, ‘Building an Agile Future: Curating the new business landscape’, the conference witnessed participation from Industry stalwarts, Academicians, Government officials, Researchers and Students from the top B-Schools of the country. The conference was inaugurated by Dr Aquil Busrai, Founder & CEO, Aquil Busrai Consulting and acclaimed industry stalwart from the XLRI PM & IR Batch of 1972, who gave the keynote speech a personal touch by stressing on the importance of human resource and business through life examples. “The H in HR is non-negotiable” he was quoted saying.
The theme for the first panel – “Tailoring HR strategy according to the changing times and technology” was introduced by renowned Professor Paramjyot Singh of XLRI Jamshedpur to the audience.The panel discussion was built on driving change in unprecedented environments by finding new ways to compete in the new world of work, forming the HR leaders of today, and have the opportunity to shape the strategic direction of the organisation, thereby creating an agile vision of the future. The other panellists of the day included Mr. Kshitij Kashyap, Head Human Capital, India at Optum Global Solutions Pvt. Ltd, Mr. Amit Vaish, Director and Head of HR at Barclays India, Sujitesh Das, VP - Global HR, Microland Ltd., S Naga Siddhartha, CHRO and Head Teacher Engagement, Vedantu, Krishna Setlur, Executive and Business Coach and Shubhenjit Chaudhuri, MD – Tata Pigments Ltd. Mr Kashyap picked up the mantle from the moderator, Mr. Singh, and spoke about the presence of hot and cold bodies in the organisation. Up next, Mr Vaish spoke about how the career path of individuals is not the relevant aspect anymore, however skill gaining is and how that is disrupting the way work is defined and performed. Further, the workforce today is far more virtual with flexible restrictions – with reference to gig workers. Mr Setlur was up next who spoke on the impact of technology and its disruptive effects. He also spoke extensively about the VUCA world – wherein information is chaotic as well as clear at the same time. Mr Chaudhuri followed him, and spoke about the fears of technology in the manufacturing sector – the issues about being sustainable and at the same time being an environment which is driven by the necessity to constantly adopt and learn. Mr Das spoke about the increasing challenges of dealing with imperfections in a world where perfection is the preferred goal. He emphasised on the three I’s – Imperfection, Individualization and Intuition and how we adopt and adapt to technology through them. Mr Siddhartha concluded the panel discussion before it broke for a QnA session with the essential discussion of how bots are changing the HR landscape and automating many of the processes, the pros and cons of the same and how it affects the HR family as a whole.
The second session of Day 1 began with the Compensation & Benefits and PMS Workshop by Mr. Avijit Shastri which provided insight to the students preparing themselves to soon delve into the HR industry. The interactive session that could answer numerous queries of the students on the complexity of Compensation and Benefits and how to navigate one’s way through the tricky aspects of Performance Management. Following this, HONO HR conducted a launch event of its new HRMS product - The H2RS (Hire to Retire) platform integrated with HONO Insights- an employee engagement platform to facilitate better functioning of the HR department in the organisation. HONO generates, throughout employee life cycle events, real-time employee pulse along with sentiment analysis and provides actionable insights. This was followed by a Leadership Talk by Mr. Kshitij Kashyap, Head, Human Capital at Optum Global Solutions, Pvt. Ltd.
Moneyball and Employee Auction (part of student event HR Triathlon) were the key highlights of the third session where students competed in case presentations and compensation based competitions of HR Triathlon to better their HR skills
Day 2 of the 8th National HR Conference hosted the second panel discussion – “Breaking the glass ceiling- workforce diversity amidst changing professional climate”. Introduced by Prof. Tina K Stephen, XLRI, the discussion focussed on how the organisations of today are aligning, adjusting, and accommodating the diverse and evolving workforce. The panellist of the day were Ms. Kavita Sadhu, Senior Director HR Capgemini, Ms. Shalini Lal, Founder Infinity OD, Ms. Sinjini Sengupta, Author & TEDx Speaker, Ms. Sujata Deshmukh, OD & Leadership Consulting, Tarun Anand, Vice-Chairman & Founder Universal Business School, Rajesh Hurkat, Head HR – South Asia Mattel Inc., and Sumit Neogi, Vice President HR, Reliance Industries Limited. Kavita Sadhu initiated the discussion with examples from workplace, validating through prestigious research data while focussing on how to integrate the diverse elements such as ethnicities, religious sentiments and others to make it work for the organization. Shalini Lal, then, compared the transition that the different roles in an industry have undergone to accommodate the diverse elements in the society. She emphasised upon changing the social consciousness, despite the emerging progressive norms, by eliminating the prejudices that still remain. Up next, Sumit Neogi oriented the discussion towards achieving inclusion by removing the micro inequities through series of measures such as awareness creation, mentoring of women employees, introducing flexitime and others. Tarun Anand described his personal discrimination instances and advised one and all, to take the bull by the horns and fight the battle against discrimination. Later, Sujata Deshmukh spoke about how the unconscious bias is prevalent everywhere, as its present at our workplaces as well as in our homes. To truly break the glass ceiling, we must first eliminate that. Rajesh Hurkat centred on the lines of inclusion while talking about the care with which the cross-functional teams must be handled. He concluded with the impetus of leveraging the fresh ideas by millennials. Finally, Sinjini Sengupta concluded the panel discussion before it broke for a QnA session, by talking about how real is emotional labour and how it is hurting our potential to grow. The pyramid of hate, she continued, is deeply entrenched and unconsciously driven, and the solution to this begins with acceptance. Acceptance of the deep rooted issues.
Post the panel discussion, there was a Change Management workshop conducted by Sujata Deshmukh which focussed chiefly upon how organizations handle change and the touch points where there are high possibilities of failure. Parallely, ‘Presenters of Today’s Tomorrow – National Level Paper Presentation Event’ was also organized with the participants talking about how the organization climate is evolving and the ways with which we could manage it.
The second session of Day 2 began with a talk on Microland One, brainchild of Mr. Sujitesh Das, VP & Head Global HR Strategy, Microland who opened the discussion with innovative approaches at work including employee engagement app.
The final events of the two-day conference were the third round of HR Triathlon, a student event was conducted, which saw participation from students across the top B-Schools of the country followed by the Battle HR Royale finale.
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