Collective Bargaining to individual negotiation…. Transition of HR profession….

HR Leader — VP & Head of HR @ Omega Healthcare — Life Member @ ISTD, NHRD, BMA & NIPM

Early ’90s the corporate buzz word was LPG. As a factory HR professional,

“If someone could not explain LPG those days, they were called old school”.
Liberalization, Privatization and Globalization.

Prior to LPG revolution, HR (Personnel Management) was the custodian of labor laws, to enforce discipline, and implement various statutory regulations. You had to know, legislation like, Factories Act, The Shops & Establishment Act, The Minimum Wages Act, Trade Union Act and The Industrial Disputes Act. They played crucial role in creating cordial work-environment between employer and workmen.

These legislation primarily focused to create healthy industrious India, harmonious work environment, with social security and employee welfare. They empowered workforce with their rights, but also helped balance potential exploitation of labor.

Personnel Management professionals identified themselves on the bargaining table. Union representatives were negotiating about wages and conditions of work. An HR professional ensured that minimum terms and conditions are explained to the group of workmen. The workmen seldom demonstrated individual opinion and are part of a large group.

The last two decades saw the diminishing face of ‘Collective Bargaining”. The union and the idea of collective bargaining is not appreciated by today’s workforce.

The digital era caught up. Now, the role is a lot different. We now have a workforce who are innovative, independent, and articulate. They are highly achievement oriented. The need of the time, is to identify the right talent and retain them for the success of organization. It is now individual negotiating based on demand for type of talent, capabilities and competencies of the individual etc.

Attracting talent only addresses basic challenge. The true challenge lies in engaging them and retaining them. Our engagement strategy has to be tailor made to understand the employee’s voice and create engagement programs around that.

An engaged employee is motivated to perform better, but that doesn’t guarantee retaining them.

Engaged workforce are committed to their deliverable.

Today’s talent requires constant nurturing and reassuring that they are contributing. They need to know that they are contributing to the success of the organization.

Creating a sense of ‘belonging” is the key.

In order to ensure that ‘talent is relevant’, it is important for organization’s to have ‘Talent Strategy’ to address learning and growing opportunities.

People leaders, realize & recognize this. Organizations consider talent as the core for its business.

I am witness to the shift in the role of an HR professional from the industrial era to the information era. Am equally excited to see it into the digital era.