Human resource practices in
Mar 13 - 26, 2000
The BITS Club of IBA organised the first round of the interactive
discussion series for a course on Comparative Study of HR practices in Pakistan conducted
by Mr. Kamil Shahbazkar, ex-country manager of Philips Pakistan.
These discussions have been designed for BBA MIS V, which is the
senior-most class at the Center for Computer Studies, IBA. The participants of the first
round of interactive sessions were:
Mr. Zaheer Baig, HR Manager, Eli Lilly Pakistan
Mr. Abdullah Feroz, Director, Efroze Chemicals
Ms. Nuzhat Hussain, HR Manager, Caltex Pakistan
Ms. Muneerah Tanya Shiraz, HR Consultant, Honzon Inc.
Mr. Zaheer Baig was the first of the participants. While giving an
overview of the HR practices at Eli Lilly, he said that the core values of the company are
the people, integrity and excellence. He further said that world class standards in
performance appraisals, training and development and career planning are in operation at
Eli Lilly. The 360 degrees feedback system, which is a world-renowned technique of
performance appraisal, is practised at Eli Lilly. The company employees are also awarded
STAR's based on the STAR methodology (Situation, Action, Task. Result) upon which their
performance is measured.
According to Mr. Zaheer, the company strongly believes in the training
and development of its employees. For this purpose, regular training programmes are
conducted at all levels in the organization that include senior management development
programmes (SMDP's) and global leadership development programmes (GLDP's). Talking about
the salary structure of the company, he said that a lot of incentives are offered in
addition to the regular pay. These include bonus trips to other countries, cash rewards,
Chairman ovation etc.
Mr. Abdullah Feroz highlighted the HR issues from the viewpoint of
Pakistani organizations. He said that the distinguishing factor between the local and
multinational organisations is the emotional bond that exists between the employers and
the employees of the local organisations. He stated that many employee problems are taken
care of in a more efficient and faster way in the local organizations as compared to the
MNC's where approvals from the regional offices or the Head Office are required at each
step. He further said that at Efroze the employees are hired for attitude and paid for
their skills. Efroze also believes in the development of its workforce and for this
purpose, it has its own Human Competence Development Centre, which has a rich collection
of audio and visual learning aids.
Talking of the incentive plans, he said that apart from extra
commissions and free medical facilities, the employees are also given various gifts, free
lunches, motorcycles, sewing machines etc. He also revealed the fact that the management
at Efroze has never been late in the payment of salaries throughout the history of the
company. All these factors are essential for the development of a motivated workforce.
This is one of the reasons why the first employee of Efroze is still working with the
company. Talking about the IT related jobs, he said that the jobs plans and compensation
for IT personnel need special consideration and usually they are paid higher salaries as
compared to other employees. Mr. Feroz said that time management and discipline are
awarded prime importance and that they should be practised by the top management before
being communicated to the lower level employees.
The third speaker in the series was Ms. Nuzhat Hussain. Talking about
her company she said that after the restructuring of Caltex in 1997 the role of HR has
been changed from mechanistic to people oriented. She said that in the new situation some
of the challenges that HR dept face is:
Managing cultural changes
Knowledge Management of company's intellectuals for building
Continuous skill development of employees
Leadership development and training
While highlighting the future roles of HR Managers, she suggested that
HR would be looked upon as a strategic partner of the organization, while on the same time
acting as the employee champion and an agent of change. Ms. Nuzhat also stressed upon the
need for the alignment for the organization objectives with that of HR.
Ms. Muneerah Tanya Shiraz was the last speaker of the first round of
these experience-sharing sessions. Her company, Horizon Inc provides consulting services
to local companies and MNCs in the area of HR.
Highlighting her views about the current HR practices in the country,
she said that most of the businesses in the country are not performing real HR management.
In her opinion most of the companies are only doing routine administration work like
attendance checking, loans application processing and routine payment of salaries. She
also said that there is a great deal of misconception in the market about HR. HR role is
frequently mixed with personnel management and administration.
She also expressed her concern about the low profile of HR managers and
said that the HR managers are usually not given their due role in the management. She
further said that most HR managers have restricted themselves to act upon the order of
line managers and have stopped thinking proactively. Ms Tania also said that in today's
world the need is that HR should act as a strategic partner to the CEO of the company.
While concluding her remarks she said that HR Management is a
prerequisite for any successful manager and stressed the students of IBA to acquire
competencies in this field.
The first round of these sessions on current practices of HR in the
country, was very conducive to highlighting some of the key issues that need to be solved
in Human Resource Management. All the speakers were of the view that Human Resource is the
real asset of any company and for a successful organization good management of this
resource is essential.
The major issues that were pointed out at the end of this first round
The HR will be viewed as a strategic partner and the company
success will largely depend on HR.
HR needs to act in a proactive manner.
The HR policies of the company should be aligned with the
overall objectives of the company.
Special HR policies will be required for IT professionals due to
the changing environment.
Differences exist in the local and multi-national business'
approach towards HR Management.
In the next round of the interactive discussions sessions,
distinguished speakers from the industry will further discuss and refine these issues to
help in formulating a guideline for the businesses in Pakistan to follow.
The organizers of these sessions include Syed Saad Hussain, Vice
President BITS Club, Ahmed Ali Siddiqui, General Secretary BITS Club, Lubna Hassan, Nadir
Khan Feroz, Tazeen Kazi, Faiza Raza and Anika Ahmed.