INTERVIEW WITH AHMED ALI, AN ENTREPRENEUR

KHALIL AHMED
(feedback@pgeconomist.com)

Nov 21 - 27, 20
11

PAGE approached Ahmed Ali, an entrepreneur, for his take on human resource development in Pakistan. When asked he said, "We have noted that some professionals delineate a difference between human resource management (a major management activity) and HRD. Those people might include HRM in HRD, explaining that HRD includes the broader range of activities to develop personnel inside of organizations, including, e.g., career development, training, organization development, etc. There is a longstanding argument about where HR-related functions should be organized into large organizations, e.g. should HR be in the organization development department or the other way around?"

Not only in Pakistan but also in the whole world, the HRM function and HRD profession have undergone major changes over the past 2 to 3 decades. Many years ago, large organizations looked to the personnel department, mostly to manage the paperwork around hiring and paying people. More recently, organizations consider the "HR Department" as playing an important role in staffing, training, and helping to manage people so that people and the organization are performing at maximum capability in a highly fulfilling manner.

"Talking about HRD, I would say, HRD is not only a field of study but also a profession," he commented.

HRD practitioners and academia focus on HRD as a process. HRD as a process occurs within organizations and encapsulates: 1) Training and Development (T&D), that is, the development of human expertise for the purpose of improving performance, and 2) organization development (OD), that is empowering the organization to take advantage of its human resource capital. T&D alone can leave an organization unable to tap into the increase in human knowledge or talent capital. OD alone can result in an oppressed, under-realized workforce. HRD practitioners find the interstices of win/win solutions that develop the employee and the organization in a mutually beneficial manner. HRD does not occur without the organization, so the practice of HRD within an organization is inhibited or promoted upon the platform of the organization's mission, vision and values.

Let me tell you that other typical HRD practices include executive and supervisory/management development, new employee orientation, professional skills training, technical/job training, customer service training, sales and marketing training, and health and safety training.

HRD positions in businesses, health care, non-profit, and other field include HRD manager, vice president of organizational effectiveness, training manager or director, management development specialist, blended learning designer, training needs analyst, chief learning officer, and individual career development advisor.

In Pakistan, we need to have a world class HRD academy made up of, governed by, and created for the HRD scholarly community of academics and reflective practitioners. Such Institutions should be formed to encourage systematic study of human resource development theories, processes, and practices; to disseminate information about HRD; to encourage the application of HRD research findings; and to provide opportunities for social interaction among individuals with scholarly and professional interests in HRD from multiple disciplines and from across the globe.

We, entrepreneurs in Pakistan, must have good strategies for sure success. Same is the case for human resources. An HR strategy means as to how to implement the specific functions of Human Resources. An organization's HR function may possess recruitment and selection policies, disciplinary procedures, reward/recognition policies, an HR plan, or learning and development policies, however all of these functional areas of HRM need to be aligned and correlated, in order to correspond with the overall business strategy.

An HRM strategy thus is an overall plan, concerning the implementation of specific HRM functional areas. An HRM strategy typically consists of the following factors: "Best fit" and "best practice" meaning that there is correlation between the HRM strategy and the overall corporate strategy.

As HR as a field seeks to manage human resources in order to achieve properly organizational goals, an organization's HR strategy seeks to accomplish such management by applying a firm's personnel needs with the goals/objectives of the organisation. As an example, a firm selling cars could have a corporate strategy of increasing car sales by 10 per cent over a five year period. Accordingly, the HR strategy would seek to facilitate how exactly to manage personnel in order to achieve the 10 per cent figure.

Specific HRM functions, such as recruitment and selection, reward/recognition, an HR plan, or learning and development policies, would be tailored to achieve the corporate objectives. Close co-operation (at least in theory) between HR and the top/senior management, in the development of the corporate strategy.

Theoretically, a senior HR representative should be present when an organization's corporate objectives are devised. This is so, since it is a firm's personnel , or provide a service. The personnel's proper management is vital in the firm being successful, or even existing as a going concern.

Thus, HR can be seen as one of the critical departments within the functional area of an organization.

Continual monitoring of the strategy, via employee feedback, surveys, etc. The implementation of an HR strategy is not always required, and may depend on a number of factors, namely the size of the firm, the organizational culture within the firm or the industry that the firm operates in and also the people in the firm.

An HR strategy can be divided, in general, into two facets the people strategy and the HR functional strategy. The people strategy pertains to the point listed in the first paragraph, namely the careful correlation of HR policies/actions to attain the goals laid down in the corporate strategy.

The best fit strategies relate to Hard HR model and people centric strategies relate to Soft HR strategies. The Hard human resource management model or strategic fit model is a model with an epitome of utilizing the people working in the organization as any other resource of the organization. This model emphasize on the usage of the people working in the organization in the same manner as any other resources are used. It enunciates the concept that people should be hired cheaply and must be brewed and made to work as fully as possible.

The essence of the hard model approach is the synergy between the organizational strategies and human resource management. People are visualized as a submissive resource and are managed and controlled by a logical approach to make assure the optimal utilization of the people for the attainment of the competitive advantage. The epitome of the soft model of human resource management is the creation of a strategic relationship between the employees and the organization.

The soft model emphasizes on the interests of distinctive organization's stakeholders and the mapping of organization's goals with the stakeholders' interests. The theme of soft human resource management model is that people are intangible assets as this valuable resource can not be transacted in terms of selling and buying and their value is beyond the traditional financial codes.

People working in the organization are treated in a unique manner as compare to the other resources in the organization. Soft human resource management essence is the mutual admiration between organization and employees.

Soft human resource management concentrates on the humanist side of human resource management which has an epitome of people motivation by buying their inputs on vital decisions and encouraging the team work within the organization.

In the end, I would say that Pakistan needs to have an institution to regulate human resources like that of India and China in our neighborhood are doing.