An open letter to HR Professionals

An open letter to India HR Professionals


Telecommuting is the Future of work says Meghan M Biro whose work I admire. The business case and evidence for telecommuting is piling up.  Telecommuting ensures less carbon footprint ( less burden on our planet earth)  , saves infrastructure costs for organizations, ensures higher employee productivity & job performance. 


Then why do Telecommuting roles are less common in India Corporate Inc ? 
Is it lack of awareness about the business case for Telecommuting,  lack of formalized HR Policy (Read What would HR Policies look like if they were based on giving ) , lack of manager skills to manage a virtual team or general bias towards telecommuters ? 
Talented candidates are seeking Flexi roles and Millenials want Career choices. 
Diversity is a business imperative across all organizations. Organizations are loosing out on diverse talent pool by not providing Flexi work options through HR policies. 
This open letter is a general appeal to HR professionals to consider the business case of Telecommuting in the context of your business, do through fact finding, evaluate and go through an informed decision making wrt Telecommuting.  Whether you are a recruiter, mid level hr professional, senior or C level Executive, you all play an important role to define the Culture of India Corporate Inc. HR Expert and Thought Leader Abhijit Bhaduri says Work from home has been increasing as an acceptable way of working rather than a perk.
Ask yourself few pertinent questions 
1. Am I thoroughly informed wrt Decision making for telecommuting  ? 
2. What role does Telecommuting play to influence the corporate culture in my organization  ? 
3. Do I need to  influence the stakeholders in my organization  ? 
4. What does my business gain by  tapping into untapped & Diverse Talent pool ? 
5. Is my workplace inclusive and diverse ? In what ways can I ensure diversity at my workplace ? 
6. What Skillset do I need to equip my managers with to ensure Telecommuting roles are a success in my organization ? 
7. Am I leading a  21st century organization ? Is the business culture of my organization suitable for candidates who seek out Flexi work options ?
 What cultural changes at workplace do I need to pursue ? 
8. What are the hallmarks of a Culture where Diversity thrives ? ( Read 5 elements of irrestible organization)
9. What do we do to make organizations engaging  for Millenials who want Career  choices ? 74% Millenials want Flexi work schedules.  The burden of lost productivity to disengaged workforce is immense and impacts us all. 78% Leaders rate engagement and retention urgent and important according a Deliotte Global Human Capital Trends research.
10. Would this move build credibility for HR professionals  in the Industry, with the business, amongst its stakeholders  ?
11. Am I creating a culture which makes my workplace well designed to be recognized as ” Future of workplace” ?
In India, I am aware of two startups – PlugHR and Sheroes who work with Corporates for Flexi work options . Seek their counsel. Talk to Industry HR experts where Telecommuting is a norm. 
Look forward to hear your thoughts, concerns and comments. 
The author can be contacted via twitter @rucsb

Recommended Reading –

1. Abhijit Bhaduri’s take on Telecommuting

2. Lynda Gratton’s Book ” The Shift ” 

3. Telecommuting Statistics- Global Workplace analytics 

4. 1.2 billion of total workforce ( approx 3 billion) worldwide Telecommutes

5. The Future of work has no boundaries by Meghan M Biro


Open Letter to Women looking for Job Opportunities

Hello ,All Talented women who have taken a break from work for personal reasons for few years. Congratulations.  that now you have decided to join the workforce. Of course, you should. After all, all the education, talent, experience should be put to a greater use . Work is a part of our identity though we don’t like to be described in terms of work alone.

I am writing a generic letter to all talented women who look for Career guidance. I list out few  Things that are well within your control which you can do to make yourself workforce ready . It will help put the best foot forward .

  1. Network Network NetworkWhy do I say so ? 80% of today’s jobs are landed through networking . Network is your networth. Make use of Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin . Reach out to folks who are willing to share their expertise, knowledge, experience and insights with you and learn from them. Open Forums and Knowledge groups are great platforms to find new friends , belong to a community, and ultimately land up job opportunities. If you are a HR Professional, I invite you to join WOWHR, we discuss HR , help and support each other , Learn together and have Fun along with way 🙂

  1. Develop your Personal Brand – In simple words, raise your visibility. In a crowded job market, it pays off to differentiate yourself 
  2. Reinvent Yourself – It means be open to take on a totally different avatar & be willing to do different stuff than what you have done before. Add new skills to your portfolio, take on new assignments even if it means a short term ( 2- 3 months) assignment. 
  3. Social Media Management – Social Media has made all of us publishers. Write your own script and best narrative to showcase through Social Media. 
  4. Join Communities of interest – Community means new friendships, new learnings, new relationships. Remember The strength of weak ties i.e., when applied in real world it means that weaker ties ironically are more helpful in landing jobs than one’s close friends. Twitter and Linkedin both are great houses for communities for a keen eye. If you cant find an interesting one, Hell yeah, start your own community and demonstrate your Leadership potential. 
    Follow Nischala’s blog. She speaks through her heart  to women of all ages . You will find an instant connection and a friend in her blog.

  5. Attend Conferences like Sheroes to Learn new things and meet interesting people once a year -If you havnt heard of Sheroes yet, you might be truly living under a rock. Register yourself on Sheroes. They are doing a great work for women community . Where else could I learn that there is a Venture Fund exclusively setup to fund and encourage Women Entrepreneurs.
  6. Read Good Books – Read books related to your work interests to keep yourself sharp and stay upto date on latest trends. Need I say more ?:-) 

  7. Believe in yourself – We all go through different phases in Life – Highs and Lows. Let the lows not affect you so much that you forget to swim. Keep learning , Keep navigating , Dream on new dreams and then make yourself busy to realize those dreams.

Stay connected 🙂 Share your story . I can be reached out via twitter @rucsb

Looking for guidance on how to get into Corporate training on Freelance basis

December 9th, 2014


chhavi asked:
Q:I have been a part of IBM for 6 years was in the software profile but was also actively involved in training, tech interviews and business facilitation programs Now i have my own development compnay But I miss the co-operate training’s…and sessions, I am a good speaker, wanted guidance from you regarding i could do that on a freelance basis, as food for the soul .    A: Chhavi, Kudos for starting out your own venture and being a role model to other men/ women who contemplate to branch off from corporate world to pursue their dreams. At the same time, I realize you miss the intellectually stimulating Corporate environment too and have interest in Facilitation / Corporate trainings.
Congratulations, you are highly self aware, have goal clarity as to what you want to do next/ parallely which can be the energizer in your Life.

Probably, I am not the best person to advise on Freelancing opportunities however I will share few insights from my observation

I would advise, the best way to swim is to jump into the pool.
Freelancing is an option . If you are good, word of mouth will get you Clients. What kind of training programs you like to facilitate ? Who will be your target audience, How will you reach out to prospective customers ? Why should Corporates hire you for the workshop ? What’s your USP ( unique value proposition) Articulate your value proposition clearly .
Who will create the training content ? What problems are you trying to solve for the client through your training programs ?
Once you have answers to these questions, you will have clarity on next steps. Reaching out and offering your talents will become relatively easy . Do associate yourself with some of the training houses that work with corporates who look out for freelance trainers. That could be a good starting point. Startups ususally do not have a full fledged HR/ Corporate training team in the growth phase, however they have a need to do Motivational / Team Dynamics sort of programs. Third is Conferences, there are thousands of Conferences organized in India every year. Select pick that matches your areas of interest , that can be good avenue to offer your your expertise , connect with Influencers, Decision Makers . This is how An acquaintance recently got to associate himself with a prestigious organization, after attending a Conference and following up with Decision maker and a suitable opportunity landed up his way. Specialize in 1-2 training programs at the minimum to become with , which would be your flagship offering. Connect with and Talk to freelancers.
Santosh Babu is a reputed & known name in this field .
Of course, there are many more I am not aware. There are certain institutes which make you a Certified Facilitator. Explore if such certifications are the right fit for you and would help you move forward and make way in this area. Network and Learn from those who have charted the similar path before us. It can be one good way to find directions future in Life & accomplish your goals , dreams. Kudos for software startup and bakery startup too. I hope I will learn to bake good cakes from you. Happy to connect, Chhavi. Hope I answered your question to an extent but keep talking to other folks too . Go after something that you truly want. When you know why , you will figure out How soon 🙂

First published on Sheroes – 

Honored as Sheroes Mentor

Honored and Humbled to be invited by Sairee ( Founder, Sheroes) to join Sheroes as Mentor.  
after recognition as Must Follow Women Influencers on Twitter –  🙂

 Recently I got a question by Manisha who is looking for Career change and wishes to join HR. My advice to her :

Manisha asked:
Q:Hi mam.I have 1.4 years of experience in IBM India GBS as Abinitio developer.I am looking for a career change as a HR professional. Please help me regarding this.    A: Hi Manisha,

Thanks for reaching out. Glad to know you are contemplating a Career change. It is difficult though not impossible. You have to be prepared to start out as a fresher while making a career switch . HR is vast , you may like to begin as a HR Generalist and after gaining few years experience , you may like to specialize. Identify your real motivators for becoming a HR Professional. Get a formal education ( part time MBA HR ) or SHRM certification . Follow industry HR leaders. Join communities of Practice (HR) to learn about the field as much as possible. Mostly all HR jobs will require you to have some experience. However, few agencies eg into Recruiting may be willing to give you a break provided you bring the right skillsets, competencies to the table and demonstrate that you are the right fit for the job. First goal is to get entry into HR domain and then Make your way up afterwards. Acquiring certification is another way of signalling that you are serious about the profession. IIMs & XLRI and such institutes of repute offer HR certifications in partership with Hughes.

Sharing few resources with you for your perusal

1. WOWHR Community ( Founded by myself and my HR friends) –

2. My blogpost – Open Educational resources for HR Professionals

3. Honored as India’s Top 100 Influencers to Follow on Twitter . My twitter id – @rucsb

4. HR Communities on Twitter

Hope this helps. Keep me posted about your journey.
All the best 🙂


Employees want to work for companies that excel at social business

Organizations don’t tweet people do1. Business Managers are faced with increasing use of Social platforms by their employees, customers and competitors. Managers still aren’t sure of the context to make better decisions about Social Web and its impact on them.
Business Leaders are challenged and they are eager to know, how to make a quantum leap to derive best value out of newer emerging technologies for best business outcomes. The Answer is Social Business.
This year’s MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte2 global survey found clear evidence that

  1. Companies across industries are creating value with social business
  2. Employees want to work for companies that excel at social business.

What is Social Business3? How can an organization become a Social Business?

When companies move itself and its clients well beyond social media into a new era of collaboration, insight sharing, and lead generation it is called Social Business.”

When companies take full advantage of social media to drive business benefit while managing the potential risks associated with employee use of social media.
Companies which leverage only external Social Media platforms rely on uni-dimensional approach to managing business. Social Business looks at the ways people interact in Digital Experiences holistically (inside the firewall and on external Social Media platforms). The insights derived are applied to a variety of different business processes.
Social Business impacts all areas of a business eg. Human Resources, IT, Marketing, Sales, R&D, Product Development, Operations.
Technology implementation would be a small portion of the overall spends on the Social Business implementation. The most important aspect is Community Management and this is one of the most vital Capabilities, organizations need to develop in-house and allocate resources for. HR Leaders play a critical role to ensure their Organizational Development Function does not ignore this crucial aspect. Usually the path to becoming a Social Business is a phase-wised approach.
So how do you eat the Elephant? One bite at a time

  1. Encourage your employees to become Digital Citizens
  2. Failing early is allowed and ok too
  3. Have a Strategy in place. Reactionary approach never works
  4. Follow and Learn from Experts. Learn from the businesses and organizations that are doing it well
  5. Find out what stage of the maturity continuum you fall and have a mid to long term plan to becoming a Social Business

Reference Links


P.S-  First published in People Matters