Human Resource Managers get together in Karachi
It was a day for 150 HR Managers, Directors and practitioners to get together and deliberate on the Emerging Issues in Human Resource Management. The National HRM Conference had been organized by Nutshell Forum for just this purpose.
But there were some intruders in their midst – the likes of Dr. Aamir Matin, Country GM of Cisco Systems and Furqan Qureshi, GM Marketing & Communications of Wateen Telecom and of course yours truly 😉
So what was I doing there? Azfar Ahsan, the CEO of Nutshell Forum, had been kind enough to invite me and, since we as an industry have identified the development of quality Human Resource as being one of our key focus areas, I thought I would sit in and see if there was anything new being said.
It was a well organized conference as Nutshell’s events usually are. However, a number of presentations took us through much of what has been presented many times before. There were some sharing of programs by organizations – things that have worked in the areas of retention and motivation – nothing very earth-shattering though.
A panel moderated by Dr. Aamir Matin livened things up a bit. On the panel were the heads of HR from AKU, MCB and Dubai Islamic Bank and Furqan Qureshi. The discussion centred on the role of HR departments in the overall capacity building process when it was clearly recognized that line managers were directly involved in evaluating, mentoring, motivating and recognizing talent. Were HR departments then just a support and facilitating arm of the organization – were they there simply to implement training programs? This of course resulted in quite a lot of discussion on how much more HR managers were responsible for – they were there as counsellors, as people who developed policy and carried out recruitment programs as well as motivated the teams and were there to act as a buffer in case things went wrong between line managers and teams.
Another question that was brought up was whether HR was actually a profession – didn’t many people who ended up in HR start their lives in other career segments? How many HR heads ended up as CEOs of companies? Were HR practitioners restricted to their own silos or did they spend enough time interacting with employees in the organization, connecting with them and understanding what the real issues were?
There were also questions about flexi-time for women and the necessity for day care centres to be available if more women were to be attracted to the workforce. Some of the attendees shared programs where women worked on certain projects from home and came in a few hours a week. Most of the panel agreed that women were a lot more committed to their jobs and took much more ownership of projects than did their male counterparts. The audience was heavily involved in the discussions and that’s why I thought this was a very productive and interesting session.
A lot of networking took place on the sidelines of this event. Deals were discussed and appointments made. Overall, a good event but i would suggest that next time they have a mixture of HR managers and CEOs as well as some run-of-the-mill employees. That would make the discussion much more lively.
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