Teachings of HR through a Startup

Published by MBA Skool Team, Published on November 22, 2015

The life of a businessperson starts with the thrust and thirst of knowledge. A bleak opportunity to enter the world of suits and etiquettes, with a jar full of confidence, self belief and the ability to have a futuristic view of the successes to come, despite all the failures to be faced.

The business world is a cobweb of all functions (marketing, finance, HR, etc.), which drive an idea into the real world of business and politics. These ideas are generated by millions of minds every day and every idea is different in some or the other way but the shape to these is given only to a few, depicting the competition of today, as well as the effort levels and perseverance of the physical form inculcating these ideas.

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In today’s generation, the first thing that comes into mind while talking about new idea generation is the huge success of the startup culture. The attraction to it is worldwide, reason being the thirst to stay ahead and prove the mighty personal potential above all. After all, predicting the future by using thorough analytics of potential customers and the market, and taking that risk of failure that remains ever hanging on each head is not such an easy task. Having that sort of courage itself is half the work done. Getting up, working on the idea, developing and delivering it in front of the entire world and then pursuing it to achieve success takes a lot of time and big drops of hard-working sweat.

The next half comes from the conduct of the workplace that has been erected through this hard-work. What environment is created, how processes are carried out with the inclusion of all members of the organization and giving equal weightage to their insights, the diversity of gender, age and profiles, the etiquettes, and such criteria depict the workplace dynamics, that helps in a complete successful and prospective business idea to reach the sought after heights. This half is the sacred pillar, which if dealt with sincerely, provides the greatest support in differentiating the business from others and giving it an edge to succeed. The dynamics here is the ever changing environment of the startups. What maybe today doesn’t remain the same tomorrow. It changes overnight: the departments, people, work and the culture. Being predictive about future is almost no use for such a place. Then one of the most important driving forces behind all these is the people. And managing these people is also supported by a backdrop of people.

This job is now named as the Human resource management. Some would say that the most important function for a startup is the technical workforce, because they help in building the base for any organization. But at that point of time people forget about the role of people. Only people and their coordinated efforts can lead to success. Growth stage is the most dynamic stage, where organizations want to act as one, people want other people to understand their point of view, as each person has a different idea in mind and thinks of it as superior to others. The crucial necessity occurs when overlapping of technical work starts happening, the coordination among people ruptures and there is a total mayhem. That’s the point where an HR comes into picture. If this is also hard to understand, then this importance of HR can could be portrayed even more simply: Everyone needs to be compensated for their work. Nobody can deny the role of an HR now.

Why our society gives such less credit to our HRs is beyond my understanding. The manufacturing sector rules out the HR policies like particles of dust and believes that they harm more rather than helping. But in-fact they are the reason for solving conflicts and understanding what the employees want. This was what I personally observed in my internship.

If a startup requires HR, this means everyone else does too. Every successful company has had a strong HR base. Take it to be FedEx as a service provider, Marks & Spencer as a retail outlet or even Rolls-Royce as a top class car producer. The organization can belong to any sector; it was once a start-up and always needed the coordination and benefits, which only an HR could provide.

Our country talks about Make in India, but this can only be achieved using some support. Before we make in India, we need to understand how to go about in doing it, the path that we are supposed to take. And this requires not just the coordinated workforce, but the motivation and feeling of being together in the organization. And no other department can do that more.

But being ‘for’ HR so much doesn’t mean that I am ‘against’ the other functions or don’t understand their value. Without the primary functions of finance and operations, the organization will go nowhere and without marketing, even if the organization goes anywhere, it will reach no one. A complete picture is the only picture that offers any value or message to the masses. If you look at half a picture, suppose of a person, you will not be able to recognize the person. Only a complete glance would help in registering the face for further recognition. Same way an organization needs a strategic overall coordination of all functions as a complete whole. The depth of team efforts and working together can be understood by the concept of a start-up. You have to be relentless in communicating each detail with others, to be successful in being understood and in growth. Therefore HR teaches us coordination, coordination among all functions including Operation, Marketing and Finance.

Finally the main message that I wanted to convey through this was that biasness should not be kept in our minds for any one function. All are equal and important in their own ways. The biasness is not in our thoughts, but inbuilt in our environment. We all know each work is important, but others drive us to think otherwise. Only the new generations can start to introduce and inculcate this belief in the entire system, and therefore what could be a more effective way than the values and beliefs showcased by a successful start-up. People believe in success, and this is what they would follow to eternity.

The environment is dynamic, and what makes it a little stable, is nothing. Just believing in being one, and facing the changes as they unfold.

This article has been authored by Shailja Singh from Institute of Management, Nirma University

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