Monthly Employee Engagement Get-Togethers

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The afternoon hours of the last Saturday of the month are observed as Employee Engagement get-together by HERD Group of Companies. This excellent idea by HR is taken up with enthusiasm by all people working in and out the organization. It is really an interesting wrap up to the month that has the varied personnel meeting each other. The last Saturday also makes use of the forum to wind off the get-together by celebrating employee birthdays during the month.

In a pretty widespread and structured organization like HERD Foundation where more often than not staff may not always get to meet or talk to each other the activities allow for people to enjoy and have fun. HR wisely also uses the opportunity to take on some interesting training that adds to the efficiency and knowledge of the staff. Past such engagement has seen Nestle taking up training for staff attached to the Pharmacy division. This Saturday’s training is on Understanding Investments & Savings.

Employee engagement sessions organized by the enthusiastic team HR department allows staff members to relax, rewind and feel refreshed. Also the training session adds value to the merrymaking later. It is the aim that staff has fun at work and at the same time such activities help in building and fostering team spirit. It is for this reason that the HR staff devotes itself whole heartedly to bring everyone together from top to bottom in a bid to relieve the month’s stress and also to assist staff in bonding with each other. All miffed up feelings that are natural to occur in a huge set up get reduced when employees feel emotionally attached to their common work place.

It is great to hear the young HR staff figuring out what fun and games activities to take up. Having done this for some time now it is a challenge to come up with novel activities every month. And the spirited manner in which all aspects of such activities for employees is taken up is worth all the dilemma. Employee engagement activities are therefore totally vital when the employers want their employees to truly engage with what they do. And for the HR department that is always on the lookout for new and more interesting ways to make the monthly affair bright and happy here are some bright ideas –

Another aspect of such engagements is that they help in staff retention and most organizations do want to retain their best talent at work. This is a wonderful way to emotional connect to everyone working from their vantage positions. And so out of the everyday running around the last Saturday of the month becomes a day for some excitement and breaking bread together. Out of the rigors of daily fetters of their jobs such engagements help in creating a normal, relaxed end to the month’s pressures.

We do believe that our series of employee engagement activity has kept our workforce incredibly lively and dynamic. We have found this actually works to make them more productive too. There is little doubt that there is a direct relationship between employee engagement and employee motivation, productivity, satisfaction and retention. HERD Foundation remains indebted to its HR department for raising the bar when it comes to staff welfare and staff well being.







Psychometric Tests for Insights on Employee Performance

It is a well established practice to conduct psychometric tests for the well being of an organization. Usually HR takes on tasks related to modus operandi for psychological measurement and evaluation of staff members. Psychometric tests make use of predesigned instruments that are now readily available online. Such tests appeal to modern day HR practitioners concerned with objectively measuring skills, knowledge, abilities, attitudes, personality traits, and educational levels of personnel.

Psychometric testing involves two essential functions – one the use of appropriate instruments, and two the deducements and evaluation in the wake of applying such tests.  The truth is not many of us really understand how psychometrics works. Psychometrics is actually the science of educational/psychological testing. It attempts at probing the mind of an employee to evaluate defined variable aspects. However to most people psychometric testing remains a black box. Even so one gets a basic understanding of employee mindset which is what makes psychometrics important for organizations.

One really needs to know full well how such testing benefits the organization. The basic intention for implementation of psychometrics in any given organization is to process improvement in employee output based on outcomes of specially-designed testing instruments. Test scores are usually used to categorize candidates into groups – pass/fail , hire/non-hire, and below-basic/basic/proficient/advanced and so on.

Psychometricians document their assessment by determining the results through use of defined methodologies.  Validity of responses is the evidence provided to support score interpretations. For instance they will interpret scores on a test to reflect knowledge of English, knowledge of numericals, personality types, reasoning powers and so to provide documentation and research supporting this.

Companies are likely to place some emphasis on numerical reasoning skills if they are considered important in ensuring a high performance in the given role. The allotted job profile would therefore expect one to have moderate to high numerical reasoning skills. Therefore an employee would be subject to numerical reasoning questions of a level of difficulty and complexity.

Verbal reasoning tests are designed to measure written verbal skills that assess one’s ability to quickly understand and efficiently convey work-related concepts and information. One needs the ability to comprehend and quickly filter through extensive amounts of work-related written data to identify critical issues to draw logical conclusions.

Finally an abstract reasoning test is to measure conceptual reasoning skills that refer to lateral thinking or evaluate fluid intelligence. It measures one’s ability to quickly learn new information, identify patterns in data, integrate complex information, and apply it to solve work-related problems. There is no dearth of test instruments that may measure employee intelligence is whatever it is that you are trying to measure. These tests are usually subject to multiple-choice questions that remains the popular mode for quizzing.

Often an organization may need to state very precisely what their expectations are from such psychometric tests. These are typically run as job analysis study to form quantitative, scientific blueprints for outcomes from different levels of employees. There is a whole lot of information on the internet dealing with the literature on how to make the most of such psychometric tests to evaluate potential and existing employees. HR uses them to the advantage of the organization by leveraging their knowledge of employees and guiding performances as per evaluation content.



Building the Business Environment for Social Enterprise

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HERD Education and Medical Research Foundation undertook secure steps for building a sound business environment to be able to create conscious entrepreneurship. Having started off as a plainly philanthropic organization with a focus on healthcare delivery, improved educational inputs, rural betterment and participation in development, it now includes more diverse business enterprises in order to maintain financial stability for its primary intentions.

We had struck out with an unassuming and all inclusive outlook. In the past couple of years we adopted strategic business development plans that came by through our experience of opportunistic enterprise development needs. We did this in the fond hope of creating in-house financial avenues that would sustain the social development agenda. Since our initial philanthropy could only continue up to a point, it became essential to create sound business routes to keep our passion fueled.

It has been over a decade that we had been tracking the trajectory of our social work impact. And we realize we still have miles to go. This then made us add on specific strategies to shape our future. On the one hand we want to continue with the social development agenda, particularly in the oft neglected rural regions. On the other hand we are keen to broaden our perspectives on successful management of the startup companies.

While doing them both, the objective remains to provide relevant context to both ends of the spectrum. We will be continuing with our quest in achieving the four pronged social change that we envision. At the same time we also need to embed deeper insights and experiences into the mindsets of our young business managers, so that they know the importance of business leadership, competition, focus and differentiation strategy.

Roping in the best talents, senior management is keen to nurture and invest in the division heads who are being cultivated with the desire to grow. At this point in time we are facing it all – financial pressure, pressure on human resources, difficulty in overcoming fierce competition, and dealing with market trends and competitors. Since our businesses are largely consumer-centric we need to invest in the best HR grooming. Also, in order to stay on top of the game we need to invest in the best.

Concurrently we are developing sound briefing/reporting systems that inform everyone in the organization about the successes and failures. The aim is to assess gaps, undertake measures, re-strategize if need be to strike at success. We are cultivating an effective reporting-communication system with regard to strategies deployed and targets met. Weekly and monthly review meetings include planned agenda and PPT scorecard methodology for internal communication processes that act as a democratizing strategy. It gets everyone on board to be on the same page and to add their inputs wherever needed. This not only shares the measure of achievement and progress of works towards particular goals, but also keeps the business heads goaded and glued to the targets.

Such debriefing sessions also become essential strategy planning meetings. Such open communication processes provide the complete picture to the management and employees at the same time. Also this becomes a means of effective communication channel, when top to bottom everyone, together hear, see and approve business moves and directions. The crucial part here is to ensure that staff is well prepared to offer timely review, assessment and feedback. HERD Group of Companies within the ambit of HERD Foundation is thus moving ahead in areas of competence, pragmatism and full-on involvement and collaboration.

HERD Foundation Human Resources

This year began with a top-heavy note on completing formalities and compliances for Human Resources Management at Herd Foundation and HERD Group of Companies. HRM within the organization was all set to take the organization forward to the next level of ISO certification; it therefore became critical to follow all HR norms to the hilt. For the people working in various roles in different departments this transition became a rather fitful shift, even as they were ushered into the newfangled world of “human resources”.

Historically it was in the early 1900’s that the earliest notion of staff being looked upon as a kind of capital asset was developed. But now it is well understood that Human Resources are the people who make up the workforce of an organization, business sector, or economy. It is the human capital or manpower comprising of individual skills, talent, labour that makes the most essential component of an organization. It is therefore the HRM’s responsibility to ensure that they facilitate personnel in a manner that they take the organization to desired heights.

In this context the role of HRM becomes very important in keeping the personnel perpetually motivated. Human-resources department of the organization therefore takes up various aspects of employment to facilitate them to their optimal dénouement. Their job also includes looking after the legal aspects, compliance with labour law, employment standards, administration of employee benefits and other aspects of recruitment and dismissal.

Looking into the corporate environment that is being created, HERD Foundation is keen to inculcate proactive and self-motivated objectives for employees who even earlier had been customarily looked upon as assets to the various sections to which they had been aligned. And now with the HR Manual in place their value is enhanced by efforts for further learning and development that will add exponentially to the aims of our human resource development.

With regard to how staff members respond to changes induced by HRM, the HR department needs to be ever watchful in taking cognizance of staff responses. Human resources play an important role in developing and taking the organization to its penultimate success. And this is only possible by the labour offered by employees. It therefore becomes important for human resource management to solicit better employment relations within the workforce.

HERD Foundation is all set to bring on the best work ethic from its employees and therefore makes all such moves that make for a better working environment. Administration and operations are the two key roles played by the HR Department in line with the strategic planning that comes from the Managing Directors. HERD Foundation has now come to play a more outgoing role as a result of new subsidiary companies being formed that definitely need these HR regulations for achieving the goals and strategies.

The HR executive team works out the intended functions for the benefit of the employees and the evolution of the divisions that are moving on along planned lines. In time they would be taking care of various factors like organizational structure, growth, expansion and so on. But at its very core HERD Foundation HRM really encompasses the realm of finding and retaining talent for the organization. At the end of the first quarter of 2017, we will be seeing the launch of an HR newsletter very soon!