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CareersIn Pakistan, HR often takes a backseat compared to areas such as marketing or finance which are considered ‘more strategic’ to business interests. But with talent management and HRM (human resource management) becoming buzzwords in the industry the world over, it is time for companies in Pakistan to realise that HR is about people, not administrative procedures.

Here are four new initiatives with which HR departments can achieve success in 2013:

  1. Get with the MBTI programme. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Test is an internationally recognised personality classification tool used to evaluate a candidate’s aptitude. An ISTP (introverted, sensitive, thoughtful and perceptive) personality may give a really good interview for a sales position but still lack the ability to deal with people. Using the MBTI, line managers can hire the right candidates for a job and boost retention rates in their departments.
  2. Groom a trainer. Without metrics to measure results, it is impossible to tell if workshops and training sessions impact productivity at all. Instead of inviting external gurus who have no idea about your company’s culture, groom internal trainers from various functions within the organisation; this is the best way to tailor training programmes based on performance markers that departments use to achieve results.
  3. Talk about the big stuff. Talk to your organisations about sensitive and important issues such as sexual harassment, religious and ethnic discrimination, dealing with disabilities, bullying, whistle blowing, verbal abuse, stress and depression. It is up to the HR department to send the message that they will not stick their heads in the sand on such matters, otherwise many important issues will go unreported out of fear of jeopardising careers.
  4. Get 360-degree feedback. Most organisations have an appraisal system which resembles a school report card where a teacher allots a grade to the pupil at the end of the year. This kills the whole purpose of having a performance management system. Every manager should hear how good or bad a boss they are and every employee needs to hear how their team ranks their abilities. It’s about getting better, not getting even.

– Sadya Siddiqui
The writer is an HR and branding consultant and can be contacted via LinkedIn.

First published in the Careers Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on January 13, 2013.