Today was a fun day- Started from my home in my Activa-took the bike out after ages and went to the Chennai Middle School in Kosapet. A big bunch of chirpy little ones-boys and girls from class 6 t…
Today was a fun day- Started from my home in my Activa-took the bike out after ages and went to the Chennai Middle School in Kosapet.
A big bunch of chirpy little ones-boys and girls from class 6 to class 12- we had a crafts class for these children on Saturday. They learnt how to make a star using chart paper- the chart , glue and material were provided by Chennai Volunteers.
It was so much fun listening to them chatter. Some of them would not participate and they needed some special motivation. So talking to them and making them participate was a superb experience.
We plan to have more sessions in the school-Waiting to see how it unfolds.
Today was yet another reading session with Robin, we read for sometime, he wrote down notes and later I dropped Robin where he worked.Before we left, Mr Uthrapathy from TB gave me a huge guide and said he needed the whole guide to be read and recorded for someone who has an exam next month.
I hope to do justice to that guide…I have started and was able to complete reading two lessons.
Visited “Dialogue in the Dark”. I could not go inside…but took Robin to the Food Court-which is on the same floor where he works- and we ate a small meal. Robin was a little shy to eat in public since he thinks he eats in a messy way-he was not at all messy except a few rice pieces which he spilt on the floor.
Robin and I have become good friends now and I hope to help his reading and writing as much as possible.
Yes I know volunteering is considered to be an added qualification in avenues like LinkedIn because it apparently suggests we are “giving back” to society! Might I admit I do sometimes need these credentials when I am struggling to get placed….
But not always do we do certain things to add credentials to our CV. Sometimes certain activities provide genuine happiness and a genuine “kick” in life and that’s exactly where I would peg my thirst for volunteering.
Visited the Chennai Volunteers office in Eldams Road today and enquired about the summer camp they were hosting for school kids. And while we got talking, came to know of an opportunity to teach “Spoken English” at the YWCA. Between 2.30pm and 4 pm. Classes here were being conducted daily by various volunteers -and today (Tuesday 26th April 2016) was the turn of Chennai Volunteers.
I got 5 students allotted to me-one elderly lady and four school going girls, the oldest was 60 plus and the youngest was 13, in my class of five 🙂
I had reading sessions, words and pronunciation, constructing sentences using words, constructing conversations and reading them out etc. The activity I had given them was to write 100 words about something that was very close to their heart and talk about it without reading the paper. I hope they get interested in this activity and do well in the next class-which is next Tuesday.
I felt super energised after teaching this group of people, and it was such a pleasure to be able to teach under the shades of a tree and by a private pond in the sprawling campus of the YWCA Chennai.
Having been a human resources professional in India for more than a decade now, I often wonder how exactly to define what I do. A lot of people ask me several questions on my work. You are an HR professional? What do you do? Are you a recruiter? What exactly is your work?
I often fumble to answer.
Not because I do not have answers but just that my answers cannot be as specific as ” I code to create a platform for an insurance client” or ” I sell so many properties in a month” or “I am an investment banker and my role is business development”. Those sound like specific answers and sound oh-so-professional.
But to say “I contribute to the retention of people in my organisation but my contribution becomes invisible at the end of it all” or ” I ensure that people at my workplace are taken care of” or ” I am the human face to my otherwise blood sucking organisation”, seems very superficial and superfluous! Of course I can say I take care of performance management, employee retention, rewards and recognition, employee engagement, sometimes recruitment, sometimes training and development and the like.
But I am sure many HR professionals would agree that it is extremely difficult to complete what we do in a line. We can never compress all of our work into a few words-That is how vast and therefore how vague a HR professional can seem to the world.
To me Human Resources management is a skill. It is much like a skill like being able to sing or to play an instrument. It sounds easy and it sounds like just about anyone can create the excel sheets that HR professionals create or deliver the presentation a HR professional delivers. But to go beyond that, to create that “human” element and to “connect” with people from a HR standpoint and to ensure your people and people managers run to you for solutions-THAT is a skill, an art that is inborn and cannot be obtained by imitation or quick learning.
It is part of one’s personality, one’s social skills, his/her ability to relate to people and their issues, his/her quickness in response, one’s ability to build trust for oneself in the organisation and to ensure that business trusts HR as a “People Partner”
That skill, doesn’t come with a fancy HR degree from a top B school or with a certification or with exposure. Nor does it arrive to you simply by observing other “HR professionals” It is to a certain extent inbuilt! Which is why the advantage that not everyone can become HR professionals. And a disadvantage that any people manager thinks of himself/herself as possessing “HR” skills.
You got to have it in you to be a HR professional as much as you got to have music in you to be a professional violinist!
I have been a human resources professional for the past 11.5 years yet most of my writing has been on my other passion-Music.
So here is an attempt to put forth my thoughts on the Human Resources learning I have acquired over a decade.
Active posts to duly follow meanwhile here goes my hello to the world!