Jasbir Singh Kaushal joined as Director (Personnel) in Central Warehousing Corporation on 3rd June 2013. He has a Gold Medal in Masters Degree in Personnel Management and Industrial Relations and a Law Graduate as well. He even topped in his Diploma in Labour Laws Course. He has 33 years of rich experience in all facets of HR function out of which 30 years was in Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. Itself.
He has travelled widely across the length and breadth of the country and overseas to Japan, Singapore, Bangkok, European countries, Italy, Switzerland, etc for training and advanced trainings. He is also one of the most sought after speaker for many Management Institutes. In this interview with the Free Press Journal newspaper, Kaushal talks about current HR practices and how companies tap and recruit new talent.
How do you think the role of HR function has changed in the last decade? Has HR managed to be part of strategic business decisions or is there still some distance to be covered?
The role of HR has shifted from mere Personnel Management to Human Resource development and in the role of strategic business partner in the last decade. The objective of HR has shifted to ensure that the HR adds value to strategic planning and business result of the organization. The fundamental role of HRM in current scenario is to maximize profitability, quality of work life and profits through effective management of people. The role of HR which were not viewed as integral core of business and merely viewed as administrative function has now been considered as one of the important business partners in functioning of any business organization.
What are the issues plaguing the HR function today? How has technology changed the rules of the game?
HR faces challenge for manpower planning and placement of right person at right place. Use of IT has changed the HR scenario in terms of processes and procedures. The use of technology has created competitive advantages in any organization. In current scenario, HR need to be competent in technology allowing HR practitioners to deal with intranets, online recruiting, e-learning, online employee service, ERP, etc. With a digital workplace, the productivity and overall organizational performance are enhanced.
There is an increased focus on enhancing skill set in the country. How will it shape up the future workforce?
Most of the companies in our country suffers for want of sufficient number of skilled manpower especially in the manufacturing and service sectors. This is happening due to absence of formal education in our educational system for enhancing employable skills. Indian companies have to spend lot of time and money in imparting training to acquire specific skills to the new recruitees. With the focus of Govt. on enhancing skill set in the country, this problem will be eased out for various organizations saving time and money.
What role can HR play in meeting the overall business objectives of the company? Do you see them playing a more strategic role in near future? Do you think HR should also get a business target to meet?
The vital HR objectives are established in order to support the overall attainment of a Company’s strategic business plans and objectives. The HR Department constantly evaluates the effectiveness of the organization and initiates, stimulates, develops and supports required strategic changes in the company. HR Department is responsible to promote and maintain the overall success of the company in all aspects. It listens to the problems of Employees and links with the management acting as an Intermediary and as a Strategic Business Partner. HR Department is seen and recognized as the Champion for change in any Company. HR Department activities and focuses are linked to the Company Vision, Mission, Values, Goals, Business, Plans, Action Plans and Corporate Culture.
How do you communicate with employees and business heads for better alignment?
The communication process in our organization for aligning of the business needs is done in both formal and informal ways. Regular meeting of the top Management as well as the management at the de-centralized offices are conducted. Various quality circles, mentorship programmes and periodical review are undertaken for the communication process in both the directions.
Have you changed any personnel policies and procedures for effective utilization of Human Resources or is there any specific policy which can be changed by the concerned Ministry only?
The personnel policies and procedures are changed/modified in the organization as per the need of the time. There is a set delegation of powers of changing the personnel policies and procedures. Some of the policies are changed with the approval of MD/BOD as per the delegation of authorities. Some of the policies require approval of Administrative Ministry for any changes.
The personnel policies as mentioned in CWC Staff Regulations related to recruitment, promotions, disciplinary actions etc. require approval of administrative Ministry for any change. However, any administrative requirements and financial powers require approval of MD/BOD for any change.
How will you benchmark CWC HR practices with the external organizations, generating interest in the company and building CWC’s reputation as an employer of choice?
The HR practices/policies of CWC are at par with the top CPSUs of the country. The pay packages of CWC employees are at par with the Navratna/Maharatna PSUs.
Is there any policy for an employee reward and recognition that is fair, transparent and justifiable? If yes please give some brief.
The Corporation has a transparent and robust Performance Management System for its employees. The PMS system is used not only for the evaluation of performances of the employees for promotion but also for the Performance Related Pay.