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We Develop Human Capital "Not to unlearn what you have learned is the most necessary kind of learning" said Antisthenes. Our passion at 'The Enablers' is to develop people. Developing human resources is more important to 'The Enablers' than getting clients. We want to make sure that people take way something valuable and useful for their lives. In our workshops, we create an environment which is conducive to learning. We encourage participants to: • Un-learn what is obsolete. • Learn what is contemporary to become futuristic. • Un-learn and re-learn, un-learn and re-learn again! When people follow these three steps, the miracle process begins - the process of excelling. With this mission, 'The Enablers' was established in January 2004 by Prof. Vivek Hattangadi. ‘The Enablers’ unlock the concealed potential in people and leverage their latent talent so they emerge as winners. In our learning sessions, the participants learn the way an excellent surgeon learns - practicing what has been learned through purposeful activities rather than merely from instructions. Our sessions are pragmatic; learning’s are doable. We have a large clientele even outside India.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

HRD at Work

HRD At Work

By Vivek Hattangadi, General Manager (Marketing and Sales) Intas Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (Published in 1996)

[Published in ‘The Pharma Manager’ in January 1996 and reviewed by personalities like Dr. Cess Heiman (Director, Pfizer Ltd.), Dr. K. Anji Reddy, Chairman, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories), Prof. Tarun Gupta, (Senior Director, Ranbaxy Laboratories), Ganesh Nayak (President Zydus Cadila) and R.D. Joshi (Secretary General OPPI),]

HRD is the buzz word today. Unfortunately not many pharmaceutical companies in India give the importance it deserves to HRD functions. Is it because the HRD is considered as a non-revenue generating leech?

As a proprietor of a Rs.500 million company candidly puts it: “If I invest on developing people, they will join MNC’s and big Indian companies. So why invest? I would rather invest on giving better incentive schemes”. But he does not realize that these people in a few years may become obsolete, therefore, a liability to the organization. Moreover, the organizational growth will get stunted.

It is well recognized that development of competence of field personnel especially medical representatives and more importantly the life line of the company – the first line managers – in an organization is an essential pre-requisite for any growth or development effort, which ultimately results into higher profits.

As Dr. Krish Pennothur, President, World Academy of Productivity Science says “The primary concern of Productivity (and profitability) is it’s most precious source- The Human. Human Resources Development is the foundation of Productivity and Profitability”.

Companies which have setup “HRD Department”, symbolize the importance which the organization has given to help their people acquire competencies or to sharpen it. It also gives a feeling to the people that the management is progressive.

Human Resources Development is a continuous process, encompassing so many activities like training, motivation, appraisal and organizational culture.

But what does a Medical Representative at Imphal or an Area Manager at Trivandrum feel about HRD – Department?

I have talked to a cross- section of pharmaceutical field employees from multinationals to big growing Indian companies.

Believe it or not- to him the HRD is a glorified name of the Personnel Department.

HRD is looked upon as a discipline enforcing cell of the organization. The main function as perceived by them is to send appointment letters maintain leave records and P.F. records! Sometimes, to perform the chore of performance appraisal based on confidential reports sent by field managers.

This perception is possibly because the managers who man this department are paying only lip service to the HRD function. They have seldom interacted with field personnel.

Lack of empathy for the field personnel distances the HRD from the field.

It is time the professionally qualified HRD Managers, develop the functional line managers into HRD managers. In other words, the first, second and third line managers (even the marketing managers) should also be line HRD Managers!

The HRD at the Corporate Office and the line HRD Managers should work in tandem and complement the efforts of each other in developing the most valuable asset – people.

Human Resources Development is like a flower in bloom – to be experienced, but difficult to describe.

It is one of the most effective tools for the healthy growth of an organization-too important to be left to people who cannot put themselves in the shoes of field personnel.

HRD should therefore be an integral part of the job function of the line managers: this will make HRD activity more meaningful and effective.

Can the line manager be an effective HRD Manager?

Yes, if the Chief Executive Officer understands and believes in HRD. The CEO should have the vision to understand that brilliant marketing techniques of the marketing manager alone can not yield success.

Marketing success is a function of strategies and the enthusiasm of the field staff.

Enthusiasm can be developed and sustained only when the field employees are convinced that the management is genuinely interested in their growth and development. They will find their job more enjoyable and will be able to do ordinary things extraordinarily.

No marketing strategy can be complete without the implementer’s morale being high. This makes it all the more important for the marketing manager to be an effective HRD Manager.

In the context of the Indian pharmaceutical industry, the products of XLRI and IIM’s should blend with the line managers and provide them with instruments and systems to develop its human resources.

It is ultimately the line managers who can translate these into action. Needless to say, the line managers must realize that they have the responsibility to develop and train their junior field colleagues.

This can be achieved when the chief of marketing stops evaluating his line managers on the basis of sales alone. The message must be loud and clear: the line manager is first the HRD Manager and then the Sales Manager.

The role of line manager as HRD manager

To a CEO, P&L should not mean Profit and Loss alone.

P&L should also mean People and Love. P&L is based on






The line HRD manager can play a vital role in creating this atmosphere of love for his people. The line HRD manager must acquire new competencies to help him in his role as HRD manager. What are these?

Training: this activity can lead to skilled behavior. Training is the most direct way of helping an employee acquire new competencies. Training prevents obsolescence which is important for survival in the market driven, competitors ridden environment.
Training imparts skills, techniques and methodologies to employers and employees to assist them in establishing a place of work that is healthy. It helps one learn new processes, procedures, systems and other tools effectively I performance of their work.
The most useful and effective form of training – On the Job Training – can be best provided by the line-manager. The biggest advantage here is that the Medical Representative is productive during training. He is trained in the specific procedures required for the job. Moreover, he is able to see his progress and realize that he is doing worth-while work.

Successful training should ultimately enable one to work without close supervision. An efficient system should work well in their absence, and not only when the manager is around. Integrity, honesty and dedication should be taken for granted. The manager too, has to be trained to be a trainer. No one is beyond training! Senior managers should realize that in today’s dynamic work environment, training is a method to cope with change.

Coaching and Counseling: Dr. McCann has been on the forefront of the new model of working which has been given credibility under the name “Coaching.” What is the difference between counseling and coaching? The distinction between the two is often gray, rather than black and white.
· Counseling is often seen as problem focused
· Coaching is seen as future oriented and visionary.
While counseling deals with diagnosable conditions, with emotional and psychological disorders, coaching moves people away from problems (or “pathology”) toward solutions and a visionary future.
However, coaching, like counseling, can be very “therapeutic and healing,” just as therapy, when the therapist is focusing on the future and aiding in the formation of a vision, can be future oriented and visionary, according to Dr. Frederic Hudson a renowned psychologist.
In brief, coaching is for people who are not only hungry for change, but are willing to take responsibility for their own changes; people who believe in their own natural wholeness and resourcefulness; and who are looking for a mentor with experience and wisdom to partner, support and guide them on their path to change.

Motivation and Stimulation: Almost any treatise on people management says you must motivate people. Not entirely true – employees can bring their own motivation. Work should be regarded as a joy and not drudgery. The line HRD manager should create a sense of challenge in their daily work. When the work ceases to give a sense of growth and development, motivation goes down.
Striving for excellence provides motivation for most people as it gives purpose and meaning to life. The conviction to strive for excellence is an intensely personal one- the attainment of which is personally satisfying. After all, happiness comes from the full use of one’s potential to achieve excellence.
One school of thought says that there is no such thing called motivation. There is what is called the Stimulus Factor. High performance is not just a function of energy, skill, experience, but also a function of stimulus factor at work.

In the absence of frequent stimuli, people and organizations will fail. Success in business arises from the way Corporate HRD stimulate their employees to perform for their customers.

When effective stimulus is not provided, relations may atrophy and business will go into decline. Stimulus, therefore, must be factored into all business relationships, whether with the customers, with the vendors, suppliers or even employees.

What will happen when you fail to stimulate your body with exercise? Your body will be flabby, diseased.

Failure to stimulate heart with positive feelings and your heart will be clogged with negativity and make you feel bad.

Should you fail to stimulate the motivation of your people, their performance will progressively decline.

In selling should you fail to stimulate customers, with new experiences, they will be tired of your company and its products and they will look for business elsewhere

The eventual objective of motivation and stimulation is to make one effective. Pride, joy and a sense of growth are the basic elements of work motivation. How rich can be the job of a line –HRD manager be made!

Organizational Cultural Aspects: It is a set of beliefs, values and norms which together with symbols like dramatized events and personalities that represent the unique character of an organization
It also represents the organizations belief, knowledge, attitudes and customs.
Culture may result from the senior managers’ beliefs but may also result from employees beliefs.
It can be supportive or non-supportive
It can be positive or negative

It can affect the employees’ ability or willingness to adopt or perform well.
Organizational culture reflects the attitude of the top management. The culture in an organization flows from the values and beliefs it wishes to inculcate amongst its employees.
Organizations must promote an open culture as this promotes high performances as they bring out the true potential of its field employees.
Openness develops mutual trust between the superior and the subordinate. Such a culture creates a climate that engenders excellence. Unfortunately it has become a fad to display values which are rarely practiced. The line HRD managers should acquire newer techniques and skills to nurture the values and beliefs of the organization.

Appraisals: Performance appraisal can be a difficult and depressing activity for those appraisers who have not been trained in this area. The natural tendency then is to play safe and rate all appraises as “average” or “near average”. Effective training of the appraisers is the only answer.
The qualified HRD Managers have to step in to help the line HRD managers make performance appraisals dynamic and positive. For the medical representatives the appraisal scheme to be effective, it should be open.

Appraisal Reports should be read by the Medical Representative and then used by both the Medical Representative and the line HRD Manager for healthy discussion. The appraisee should be also be given the option to add his written comments.
Closed schemes can become the seed-beds of distrust and apprehension. While no process concerned with homosapiens is without snags, without doubt, appraisals have their share. The skills developed by the line- HRD Manager should build up a climate conducive to the development of the appraisee.

The pharmaceutical industry has made FMRAI and its allies into Frankenstein monsters. It’s high time the industry leaders not only tame it but brings it back into its fold. The line HRD managers’ role is now crucial. The professionally qualified HRD- managers have a lot to contribute in this effort. Both together can blend an organization into the ‘most-desired-to-work-for’ company. They need to have empathy towards the lonely gentlemen called Medical Representatives. For this, let them be in the real place of work, the field. But then – are we living in Utopia?

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