My Interview is Published in Human Factor!

Posted on March 6, 2009. Filed under: Articles, Valuable Insights | Tags: , |

It was a good day 3rd March, Dad’s Official B’day , and a copy of the Magazine which published my Interview came home.

Human Factor is a Publication. Focusing on HR Domain, this month March 2009 ,they were focusing on Go Green:

this is the link to my article http://www.thehumanfactor.in/01032009/storyd.asp?sid=206&pageno=1

Here is the draft of the interview

 Q1. Do you feel a need to protect the environment and conserve societal resources? If so, do you feel this need more at an individual level or at the level of a business/HR leader?

 We feel there is a dire need for all individuals and corporations alike to take the responsibility to protect our environment, at a business level or an HR level it is through the precedent we set in our strategies and practices that clarify our stand and reinforce the values one imbibes in doing business, for the individual it is the effort and sacrifice one makes to contribute to the overall mission it is a collective effort an organization can only encourage it’s the indivudal who can make it happen.

 Q2. Would you say that business attitudes are changing with respect to conservation of the environment? If so, what are the changes you have noticed? Are these changes taking place only internationally or in India as well?  

 Business Attitudes have increasingly started to reflect high degree of social responsibility, for example workspaces and business building in the past were made to adhere to safety standards like fire standards, earthquake resistance etc . Presently companies are making it clear that they want the workspaces to be not just safe for the employees but also are centers of environment protection, I have heard of ‘LEED platinum’ certification in the US for commercial interiors that certifies that building that are safest for the environment. India as always is quick to catch on, A lot of new workspaces boast of environment friendly initiatives like Rainwater harvesting,  energy management system etc.

 Q3. How would you define the concept: ‘HR Goes Green’?

To my Mind it means Human resource Practices that display the commitment of saving the environment by devising strategies that reduce the carbon footprint of their business on the environment it includes people practices like encouraging employees to work from home, saving their transportation to office, like rationalizing the usage of polluting vehicles for commute of the employees.

 4. If you do believe in eco-friendly practices, what are the initiatives being taken by you or your organisation to promote the same? Please give examples.

 American Express has the strongest commitment towards the environment. And its shows in the way it does business, it promotes small little efforts that can collectively make a big difference to the environment for example, towards saving trees:

  • Encouraging  employees to restrict the paper consumption by recycling existing paper,
  • All printers print on both sides of the paper. Reducing the conventional usage by half.
  • Encouraging all to think before printing anything out and in some cases making the business environment paperless.
  • Distributing saplings and encouraging tree plantation. Etc

Similarly there are specific policies that govern behaviour leading to saving electricity and usage of natural fuel.

 5. Do you feel that ‘greening’ business practices comes within the job role of an HR manager? Also, what would be the role of the top management and line managers in this regard?

 The green practices of today’s business not only address the environment but also the changing needs and wants of the newer workforce , for example encouraging work from home concept, apart from its green benefits also reduces commuting thus the stress level of the employee  he  spends more time at home increasing his work life balance, rendering the organization a happier satisfied and a more productive employee, and that’s not all , with more employees working virtual, facility maintenance cost also decreases leading to reduction in expenses. So It is even more imperative in today’s times for HR to understand these practices in its totality that will make it Easier for the HR manager to draw linkages with the company Values and the business bottom line, role of the top management is to constantly innovate and look for better versions of good ideas and look for elegant solutions that address more than one need of the hour.

Q7. How would your business maintain profitability while doing its bit for the environment in a competitive and dynamic industry like yours?

Go green practices is good for the companies profitability, really, because in the effort to reduce your consumption of trees and fuel, you are making your processes and practices more efficient and rational .Wherever there are expenses like installing a rainwater harvesting plant or getting organic paint on the walls it leads to massive brand building thus helping attract better talent, and shareholder respect.

Remember The color of a dollar bill …its green, In any industry ,in the long run Going green will always result in going more profitable.

Q8. If you were make a checklist of things to keep in mind while promoting environmentally-friendly business practices, what would you include in it?

Agra the famous city of Taj Mahal has in few years back witnessed a campaign ‘Cleen Agra- Green Agra’ sponsored by the government, good thought isint it? Any ideas on how the civic authorities achieved the mission …very simple, painting every thing green, from bus stops to all government building to everything in the way of the Taj Mahal, planting trees and real cleaning may have taken a backseat in implementation because its results are not seen immediately,but the idea to paint everything green got support from all quarters not realizing that every time chemical paint is used  it  just releases more toxic lead into the environment.  This is a real example of how we can completely miss the point, there can never be any check list better a simple question one can ask before promoting any practice..’is this in the true spirit of my mission or is this to tell others what my mission is’ and the answer will decide what the result will be of that practice.

Q10. How would you summaries the benefits of environment-friendly practices for your business?

Cost Saving, rationalization of resources, Brand building, attracting best talent, Increase in productivity and efficiency.

 Q11.What would you list as the possible barriers while promoting green practices in your industry? How would you overcome these barriers?

Primarily there can be two kinds of Barriers:  Cost barriers which can be softened by looking it return on investment and second people’s attitude barriers or reluctance of people to make changes in their old ways of doing which can be addressed by increasing awareness and alignment of values with that of the company’s.

 Q13. Going forward, what is your outlook for the HR function in the Indian context? What do you consider as the major opportunities and threats for HR professionals?

HR has grown over the years from keeping leave records and attendance to now managing talent and becoming a Business Enabler .what a performance coach is to a sports person HR will be to the business .surely there’s opportunity to contribute more and more for the new HR professional which will require him to constantly better himself challenge the realities and bring new IDEAS to the table

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