Managing People or Human Resource Management is a complex and critical issue for all organizations, firms and institutions. On this page, I share my experience of consultancy related to Human Resources Development, Organizational Development, Training, Organizational Culture and Change Management and other related issues.

Research Consultancy:

Large companies do hire project based or permanent consultant to know more about their organizations. The purpose of organizational research is to collect data before introducing new policies, systems and changes. Consultants must bear in mind that organizational internal research is different than academic research, especially presenting the results and writing reports. Organizational research demands that questionnaire must be written in plain language, which can be correctly interpreted by common respondents. Unusual or jargon of words can confuse the respondents and you might not get the correct date due to language issues. Hardly, respondents bother to the researcher for explanation. The same goes with interviews. Avoid impressing respondents by using words which they are not aware of. If you have specific meaning of a word in your mind, it is better to explain. The researcher must honestly tell the purpose of collecting data. If the respondents are not aware of the purpose, they can fill out the form hurriedly without taking into account the importance of research. For example, in educational sectors students’ feedback about the teaching staff is loosing its importance because students fill out these feedback forms quickly and non-seriously because they are unaware of the impact; the same can happen to organizational research if they are unaware of impacts of a research. If you have added questions where respondents can give a contradictory response to those questions, being a researcher, you must know how the contradiction will be interpreted. Common readers are not interested in reading results in the complicated statistical analysis. In organizational research, preferred method of presenting results is a percentage, which is widely understood.

Training and Refreshers:

Training and refreshers are two different things. At the senior positions, you arrange refreshers, which are usually called ‘training programs’ by consultants. Typically ‘training programs’ are for mechanical learning and for operators; for example, you can train a person how to use Microsoft Excel but cannot train a person to handle conflicts mechanically. Attendees of training and refreshers must understand the difference between mechanical and non-mechanical training programs. Only in mechanical learning, attendees can get absolutely unique information which is not a case in non-mechanical training and refreshers. If you are arranging training programs on topics such as stress management or conflict management, a trainer or consultant can only give refresher in which tips becomes part of the training. Sometimes participants of refreshers get confused with mechanical type of training and non-mechanical type of training and expect every word or tip must be unique, which cannot be. For non-mechanical training programs, it is better to use word ‘a refresher’ than training.

Workshop:

Workshop is a great way to learn aspects which are either absolutely new or being ignored in day-to-day life. A design of workshop is different than a seminar or lectures. Sometime consultants use the word workshop when it is a kind of seminar or lecture on a specific topic. Designing a workshop is not as easy as some people think. A trainer or consultant must design a material for a workshop in which participation is interactive. If a workshop is not interactive, it is a kind of a lecture or refresher. Of course, you can start a workshop with a lecture in which you can quickly highlight the major points of the topic; for example if you are arranging a workshop on communication, it will be a good idea to prepare notes for delivering 1-2 hour lecture in which you go through quickly about the concept of communication. After highlighting major points of communication, it is better to have some exercises in which participants actively participate and develop insight about their own behavior patterns.

Organizational Change:

Organizational change is a deliberate action by the strategic management to bring change in the system. Organizational change initiatives are taken by the top management to improve efficiency of people so that material resources can be used at the optimum level which in return improves the overall level of firm’s productivity and return on investments. A decision regarding organizational change cannot be implemented in one day. Indeed, it requires in depth investigations to understand what should be changed, how it should be changed, when it should be changed and who will be affected by this change. To bring successful change, those who will be affected, they must be taken into confidence. It is not true that organizational change initiative will not have any negative consequences for anyone; the fact is someone will be affected and this is the reason that organizational change is resisted by the employees. However, good preparation can reduce levels of resistance. An organizational change initiative roughly takes one year to one and half year to design and implement a change. Hurriedly taken change initiative can fire back.

Organizational Culture:

Whether top leadership or owner like it or not, the truth is that organizational culture plays a key role in controlling behavior of all employees without considering their hierarchical level in the organization. Organizational culture is the consequence of formal structure, informal grouping and organizational conventions. It is deep a rooted phenomenon hence it is naive to ignore it. Any organizational change fails, if it clashes with organizational culture. Cultures do not change by merely issuing formal statements in black and white but they change through actions, deeds, preaching and using motivational strategies.

Performance Appraisal:

Whether top leadership or owner like it or not, the truth is that organizational culture plays a key role in controlling behavior of all employees without considering their hierarchical level in the organization. Organizational culture is a consequence of formal structure, informal grouping and organizational conventions. It is a deep rooted phenomenon hence it is naive to ignore it. Any organizational change fails, if it clashes with organizational culture unless the grounds are prepared to introduce changes in the existing culture. Cultures do not change by merely issuing formal statements in black and white but they change through actions, deeds, and using motivational strategies.

Induction:

When an employee joins organization, it is important not only to introduce with the nature of work in depth and organizational culture but he/she must feel welcome in the system. The line manager should let feel the newcomer that he was waiting for him, this transfer of feeling should not only be in words but in deeds as well. For example, working place or office should be ready for a new employee prior to his/her day of joining. The line manager must remember that, at least, one subordinate will be in his/her team who would not like a newcomer and try whispering it to other old pals; this can be devastating for a new employee. Line managers must discourage the tendency of whispering against new arrivals.

Induction Interviews:

The concept of Induction interview is opposite to exit interview: in induction interviews, employees are interviewed within 30-45 days after joining. Induction interviews are very important for top management and change management managers to understand the organizational culture and view thing beyond the ‘group thinking’ or beyond their own nose. When new employees join the organization they are fresh, impartial and they view the things, which might not be possible for those who have been working in the system for a longer time. Induction interviews, if conducted intelligently, can provide rich information which organizations can only gather by spending huge amounts of hiring external consultants.

Please feel free to contact if you have any question

 Nadeem Yousaf