Dr Sanjay Kumar on Industry 4.0 - The HR Perspective
Institute of Management Technology (IMT), Nagpur was delighted to host Dr Sanjay Kumar, Director (HR); WCL at Coal India Ltd. Dr Sanjay Kumar has a wide experience in the field of Human Resources and Corporate Governance. His insightful session motivated and educated student managers about various perspectives under this domain.
The following is an excerpt from the interview from them-
Q1) In terms of organizational culture, what is the difference between traditional HR and HR 4.0?
Ans. Traditional HR, is like the head of the family. There is a one-way communication, boss-subordinate relationship, hierarchical structures and ironclad policies. HR 4.0 will require a matrix structure, a collaborative environment and multi-way communication instead of a hierarchical structure, patriarchal environment and one-way communication. It is a very open and fearless culture with flexible policies, unlike traditional HR models that have rigid policies and induces fear. Therefore, the list is endless.
Q2) With the possibility of having AI in the workforce, how do you see the future of HR managers considering the changes that would come along?
Ans. Considering the future of HR manager, let us look at some statistics. Future HR managers have to deal with human beings and humanoid robots. The humanoid robots are not going to ask for a salary or any entitlements. However, there is a report on ‘Future of Jobs’ by the World Economic Forum published in October 2020. It says that “By 2025, 85 million jobs may be displaced due to division of labour between machine and humans, while 97 million new rules may emerge that conform to a new division of labour that is - human-machine and algorithm.” Therefore, the roles of the HR manager will have to create space, when artificial intelligence becomes prevalent. They will have to devise and maintain policies for human beings that can enable their overall growth and nurture them as well as maintaining those machines with the best of conditions, which will perform critical jobs.
Q3) How can corporates align the objectives of HR operations with the company’s strategy?
Ans. HR functioning cannot be disjointed, separated or dissected from the overall objective of the company; HR works with the company as a strategic partner in the business. Therefore, the company objectives and the HR objectives will remain aligned when it becomes a part of the overall planning process. HR becomes a partner in business, strategy making, planning and execution, etc. All the departments of the company should be shared with HR, from technology, operations or finance as if there is financial distress; it is the HR, which can play a big role in educating people to look after the financial troubles. So, as long as HR is part of the action and business as a strategic partner, the goals and objectives will remain aligned.
Q4) How the role of HR has been changed due to this pandemic and how do you see the future of this particular profession?
Ans. HR will have to evolve; they will have to come up with practices as per the situation such as work from home and sick leaves, etc. They have to work on the mobility of people and provide technical support such as work systems and internet facilities at home. HR will be required to facilitate reimbursement or to create infrastructure at homes. HR personnel need to build trusts in the employees who are working for the company in this situation. Many companies are using different software to monitor the employees but that is not a desirable way of monitoring as the trust element and the belief system is not there, which needs to be curated. Therefore, a lot of change and evolution has to happen in nature.
Q5) Since everything these days has moved online, so have our seminars. So how was your experience with IMT Nagpur?
Ans. The experience was pleasant and it was well managed. The general request of the authorities is to wear a mask and maintain social distancing. The hope is for the Institute and the students to follow the same.