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How the Steel was tempered- Lessons from a downturn

Sanjay Dhar* Abstract In this paper the author has described how the HR professionals in SAIL re-aligned the HRD process in Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) to enable the organization meet the challenges of the downturn in the steel industry from 1997 to 2003. The paper describes the various initiatives taken in the HRD process and lessons learned from them, that have applications for HR professionals across industries. The main thrust of the paper is on treating HRD as a process and not as a function. He also describes how line managers and HRD professionals need to come nearer and have better appreciation of each others roles to have greater alignment of the HR process with the business needs. *Sanjay Dhar, is a Faculty Member at Management Training Institute, Ranchi- The corporate training institute of SAIL. Contact : Sanjay Dhar, Faculty Member Management Training Institute Steel Authority of India Limited Shyamali Colony, P O Doranda Ranchi- 834002 Jharkhand e-mail sanjaymti@hotmail.com Ph: 0651-2411059 (O ) 0651-2441179 (R )

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How the Steel was tempered- Lessons from a downturn Introduction


George Bush Sr. is once quoted to have said, Thank you for your great recession in a fund raising reception hosted for him during his presidential campaign for re-election (He lost to Bill Clinton). The American press had a field day at this slip of tongue, but for Bush Sr., it was more a case of a Freudian Slip reflecting his deep concerns over the economy of US at that time, which was undergoing a recession. Recession is a very powerful word and can cut deep into the psyche of an industry, and very few can claim to have been affected by it more than the Indian Steel Industry. It has only this year (2003) emerged from one of its most prolonged down cycles that lasted six long years (1997-2003). Although steel is a cyclic industry, with booms and busts a part of the industry cycle, the Indian steel got a strong taste of it only during this cycle where a combination of global recession, overcapacity and increasingly demanding customers brought the industry to its knees. For Steel Authority of India limited (SAIL) also, being the biggest player in the Indian Steel industry it was a trial by fire. . Some of the challenges faced by SAIL during the recession were Increasing losses inspite of improved technical performance, because the multiple pressures of cost escalation in raw material like coal, rock bottom prices of steel, inability to utilize capacity due to low demand and the financial burden of loans taken for modernization during the boom years preceding the recession. Low morale of the workforce, with a critical mass of people almost believing that the organization was a lost case. One can get an idea of the despair in the workforce considering the emotion underlying a statement made by a line manager when discussing the future prospects of the company. Dammit, we are working much better than in the past, how come we are getting from bad to worse! Decrease in resources, most critically manpower, accelerated by the Voluntary Retirement Schemes. The SAIL manpower reduced from 175,000 to 1,37,000 in

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the past 5 years. VRS was part of the strategy of long term cost competitiveness, but for the line managers on the shop floor, the re-adjustment was proving painful, especially in cases where critical skills were getting depleted. This period of trial has also been a period of trial for the HRD function of SAIL, and the story that you shall read here is the story of how HRD in SAIL re-invented itself and become one of the pillars on which the newer, stronger company was built.

Rediscovering HRD
In the darkness of the whales belly, Jonah found light. This biblical analogy is apt to the HRD professionals of SAIL who also found light in the dark moments when the very basis of their existence was in question. It forced the HRD fraternity to re-examine their contribution and their approach to work. It also made them re-examine their relationship to the line and the fundamental nature of Human Resource Development. The results of the introspection were a few insights that are shared here. Those insights didnt come as cleanly as they are shown here. It was through cycles of introspection, seeking feedback and validation of the new understanding through new initiatives, and the process of understanding did have moments of confusion and pain, but moments of bliss also. Some of the key principles that got validated through the experiences of the downturn are given below.

1. Human Resource Development is a process, not a function.


It is a key responsibility of every manager. Managers need to appreciate that the business objective of HRD is to enhance performance through people, This is not achieved just through event oriented practices like training programs, but through a whole range of continuous developmental processes like coaching, mentoring, job enrichment and challenging assignments. Most of these processes need the involvement of managers on a regular basis. Thus a process orientation is necessary to put these initiatives in context and identify their contribution. HRD is too important to be left to a department of a function. The pitfalls of making HRD the responsibility of a department can be demonstrated by the system loopsi shown in Fig.1. The genesis of this divorce of HRD from performance starts with a mindset in line managers that My job is to get the work

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done- Training and development is another department. This mindset triggers an attitude where HRD is considered secondary to real work rather than an integrated part of work, and hence unimportant especially when under pressure. Leaving the unimportant things to others without making specific and challenging demands is a natural corollary. Since it is always easier to find shortcomings in what others are responsible for doing, it becomes easier to conclude at later stages that they were useless in the first place. In line with their belief, the most competent people are utilized for real work and HRD activities are left to those who can be spared from real work. During a downturn, this mindset tends to creep up faster, aided by a feeling of not having enough manpower to manage the work is stronger. There is however a fatal flaw in this reasoning. Considering it a peripheral activity, along with the distractions created by regular crises, there is a strong temptation to either not free up employees at all or else freeing the most spare-able people for HRD activities. As a result application of HRD practices is minimal, leading to a strengthening of the belief that HRD doesnt help, which further relegates it to being a peripheral activity. (Loop A). Besides, being an activity for the results of which others are responsible, the willingness to make efforts to get benefits is minimal.
Figure 1:The systemic consequences of treating HRD as a secondary process

decreased effectiveness of HRD due to lack of application . Belief that HRD is a peripheral activity to be handled by peripheral people and doesnt affect work performance much

Tendency to either not release people for such activities or release the spare able people

A
Tendency to leave this activity to be managed by others, not directly related to work

Erosion in the credibility of the function

Reluctance of high performers, with credibility to be responsible for HRD

This sidelining also has an adverse effect on the quality of the people managing this process. Low initial credibility translates into fewer resources and lesser authority. HRD Page 4 of 19

is not seen as a central, critical function to the organization. Due to a reluctance on part of the high performers to take responsibility for the process, it gets willy-nilly delegated to the second best man, who again has neither the credibility or the authority to function effectively, thus perpetuating the belief that HRD is a peripheral activity, not worthy of the best performers. (Loop B).

2. The importance of HRD is directly proportional to the perceived criticality of the issues it addresses
SAIL has a very elaborate system of training and development, based on training needs assessment and a wide variety of training programs. The structure of the programs covered the whole gamut of general and functional knowledge and skills. It had Supervisory Development Programs (SDP), mandatory Management Development Programs (MDPs) for various levels of executives, and specific technical and managerial programs based on needs identified by the superiors. However to manage the diversity of profiles that is inherent in an organization with over 140,000 employees, a number of the programs are designed to cater to the needs of more than one department. The generic programs work quite well for basic and common skills, that enhance understanding of the concepts and develop skills in the overall context of the organization. The specific application depends primarily on the attitude trainee and his superior. When things are going on well, these basic skills come in handy to run affairs smoothly, but during a downturn, the pressure on immediate application and demonstration of results becomes more important. The HR professionals analyzed that even though the organization had been investing a lot in human resource development, the focus had been more on generic programs. There had been no serious demand to demonstrate tangible benefits in the past. The underlying belief being that most of the benefits are intangible and difficult to measure. There was a risk that when things got tough, nobody would have the figures to demonstrate the benefits, and perceptions would take over as basis of assessment, accelerating the system loops shown in Fig.1. This dynamics of organizational behavior gets accelerated during times of crisis, as line managers get overwhelmed with operational issues.

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3. HRD professionals can best add value when they act as insiders in the process of organizational problem solving.
This implies remaining involved in problem solving initiatives along with the line managers and not waiting for human related issues to be marked to them. This proactiveness would provide the overlap between line and HRD function for a common understanding on critical issues of performance through people. Line Managers wanted the HR professionals to work with them on the shop floor to identify possible solutions. The underlying message from line managers was, that HRD professionals have to try to understand the working conditions that provides the context and some technical aspects of our problem also before addressing the human issues, otherwise line managers are not able to communicate their problem properly. The other aspect of becoming an insider was one of acceptance and credibility. The process of working with the line managers to explore the problems makes it easier for HR professionals to act as performance consultants. It also enables people to open up during problem solving processes in a manner they would not in the presence of an outsider who they feel would not appreciate their problems. This shift would mean an expansion in the role of the HR professional as a performance consultant, which is a bigger and more complex role than that of the traditional trainer. It also implies having a larger proportion of programs where the depth of content gets greater focus than the breadth. The dynamics of this interplay leads to a greater solution space within which organizational problems can be solved.

4. Structured processes of introspection highlight appreciation of HRD and continuous learning.


When the HR professionals sought guidance from the top management on priorities for action, most often the words like mindset, ownership, commitment, responsibility for own destiny cropped up. It was felt that efforts at turnaround were not really giving the desired results because the emotional connections and internal locus of control were not strong enough. People were more bothered about their circle of concern but not exploring enough about their circle of influence. Problems were getting externalized and

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attributed either to adverse market conditions, technical problems, bad investment decisions of the past etc. It was analyzed that people were not spending enough time to think through their problems and understand how they contributed to the problem The HR professionals felt the need to design structured processes to facilitate this introspection, with the belief that True learning comes from knowing how we contribute to our problemsii.

From knowing to doing: Re-aligning HRD


With the insights that came from an assessment of how HRD was perceived, the elements of an alignment strategy began to fall in place. The action points that would form the building blocks of this strategy were

Getting started: Asking the right questions


Ask the right questions and you will get the right answers. In order to develop the strategy, the HR professionals asked themselves a few questions, the answer to which provided them the agenda for action. To validate their understanding of issues, they asked a cross section of line managers the same questions and used the feedback as starting points. The feedback from line managers was taken through a survey where a number of people related issues were addressed. What are the critical challenges facing the company? The issues that were a common concern for most employees of SAIL were identified as focus points for further action. These issues were Rapid depletion of manpower, leading to less working hands as well as loss of key skills in some critical areas. Little involvement of managers at different levels in the turnaround efforts, accentuated by a lack of understanding of the macro issues and strategic initiatives being taken to turnaround the company. This led to a feeling of helplessness, further leading to externalization of problems as beyond my control A lack of understanding of the systemic nature of problems in the organization and perception of problems as mainly market related or technical. Slow rate of change within the organization

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Inability to reduce costs to completely neutralize the effect of input cost escalation and lower prices. How can HRD help to address those issues? The HRD professionals reasoned that isolating HRD problems from amongst the key concerns would not be taking a systemic perspective. It was felt that rather than identify, which issues HRD would address alone, it would be better to identify how HRD can make a value added contribution in a cross functional effort to address this issue. With this basic principle of HR function working as a team member, the HRD professionals tried to identify where they can add the maximum value. On analysis, it turned out that the best value addition by HRD professionals would be in designing the processes that would address these issues and acting as a facilitator. The leaders for all the initiatives would be the line managers.

Designing the processes


A number of initiatives for communicating the core issues were taken up both at the Corporate level, to be executed at the Management Training Institute and at the Plant level, to be facilitated by the plant level HRD setups.

1. Communicating change and increasing involvement


To address the issue of involvement in turnaround and prepare them for the challenges of managing the after effects of downsizing, as well as provide the overall context for the performance improvement initiatives, it was felt that communication about the current state of the organization and the challenges before the company was essential. alignment and commitment building was a precondition for the success of focused performance improvement initiatives. To address these issues interventions were carried out both at the corporate level and the plant level. Initiatives at corporate level At Management Training Institute (MTI), the corporate training institute of SAIL, modules on Enhancing Involvement in Turnaround and Learning to Manage with Optimum Manpower were designed to address the middle and senior level executives. These modules had sharing of experiences in-built in the design. The purpose of having these sessions was to provide a forum for managers to share success stories, bounce ideas

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and identify strategies for successfully managing the transitions. The HRD professionals acted as facilitators providing the common context and guiding the process. The process of cross-fertilization of ideas between participants from different units accelerated the learning process.
Table 1: Insights from sharing of experiences

Much to learn from each other In a sharing of experiences session, in the module on learning to manage with each other, a manager from Coke ovens in plant A was explaining how they had managed to reduce the crew size for a pusher car from 14 to 11 and he was feeling a great sense of achievement. . After he had finished, another manager from the coke ovens of another plant B informed him that they were managing with a crew size of 9 only, but he though there was nothing great about it. The two plants had different work cultures historically, so what was a great achievement in one was all in a days work at another. The two managers decided to discuss the issue in detail in the evening and armed with some more insights, he went back to reduce the crew size further. It was not a question of working hard that had made the difference; there were some practices that Plant B had perfected over years that accounted for the difference. The manager from plant A felt quite happy since he had been wondering how the other plant was managing with less people. Initiatives at plant level At the plants, massive communication exercises led by the Top Management were organized, with plant specific issues, within the boundary of the larger company level issues. Each plant designed its own communication process keeping in mind the specific culture and context of that plant.( see Table 1). The interesting feature of all the plant level interactions was that even though the details varied, some features of design were common to all of them. The HR professionals designed the message to be communicated and the structure of the communication exercise along with the line. The line clearly identified core issues, and the HR staff ensured that the message was conveyed with sensitivity as well as coherence.

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The men seen at the front in the exercise were line managers. Top-level executives led the process and set the tone. Where small groups of people brainstormed to come up with ideas, the facilitators were line managers with credibility in the shop floor. The HR professionals trained the resource persons, line managers who would act as facilitators for the process. This enabled combination of craft skills of the HR professionals with the face value and credibility of the line managers with the workers.
Table 2: Outline of the commitment building exercises at various plants

Bhillai Steel Plant

CROP (Creating a Responsive Organization through People). The exercise was conducted as a series of workshops which started off with an opening session by the Executive Director (Works), that set the tone for further discussion in a free and frank atmosphere. The groups of workers and executives then addressed the problems of the plant using a simple three question format. Who made the mistakes? (Galti kiski) Who is getting affected? (Bharega kaun) Who has to give the solution? ( Karega kaun) During deliberations, a common pattern emerged. People started with external responsibility for problems but finally the groups invariably gave only one answer. Us. These three simple questions made it easy for the employees to internalize the problems and work towards the solution. The solutions were again arrived at through a structured process, designed as a Performance Enhancement Program(PEP) The outcome was shop based action plans that were followed up by the Shop heads.
Bokaro Steel Plant

Samvaad- A communication exercise to address current issues of the plant. A common communication package was delivered in the T&D center to groups of people, with the active involvement of an Executive Director of the plant, and then groups gave suggestions for improvements whose implementation was then monitored at the highest level. These

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exercises also led to a number of action plans being developed for improving the performance of the plant. A common module was conducted at the HRD Center, and resource persons (line mangers) then had their shop level exercises in the shop-floor.
Rourkela Steel Plant

Regenerating Strength Through People, which involved communicating the challenges before the plant to a cross section of the workers, who then responded with concerns that they felt needed to be addressed. Grassroots workers got a chance to put up their point to the top management directly and action points were followed up.
Durgapur Steel Plant

Mass Contact Exercise where cross section of workers interacted with the Top management, including the Managing Director and ED(Works) . Action points arising from these interactions formed the basis of many management actions.

2. Addressing specific problems that are critical to the company


HRD interventions for improving techno-economic parameters As a result of internals benchmarking initiated by the SAIL Corporate Office and shared with all the plants, it was observed that performance on the same technological parameters was varying from plant to plant. It was analyzed that achieving the best in company at all plants itself would reduce hundreds of crores in costs for the company. it is these improvements in techno-economic parameters that were made the linchpin of the cost reduction efforts of the company. Expert committees were formed, with people from all plants and Corporate R&D to systematically explore the potential of improvement in each plant. The underlying philosophy was to identify the enablers in each shop for achieving the cost reduction targets. MTI the corporate training institute took up a project to leverage this initiative that originated in a technical solution. It was argued that any problem solving effort, even on apparently technical problems has human elements that should be addressed. Taking a holistic approach to problems provides for better diagnosis. With this view MTI initiated an HRD intervention to facilitate the achievement of techno-economic

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benchmarks by supporting the work of the expert committees. The different steps followed in the process were Based on their criticality to the organizations operations and opportunities for improvement, four areas were identified by the corporate office out of a possible list of over 25 departments where the expert committees had identified the technoeconomic benchmarks.iii Cross-functional diagnostics teams with members from the concerned area of the plant, Management training Institute (MTI), R&D, Plant HRD , Corporate Office, and experts from other Plants wherever required were formed to get a cross functional systemic perspective to the problem identification process. MTI prepared a detailed rationale for the composition of the teams, identifying how each constituent was expected to add value. Diagnostics workshops were organized to identify problems and their root causes. The diagnosis formed the basis for further action planning for improving the techno-economic performance. The workshops involved people across all levels, both executives and non-executives. The approach to be used in the diagnostics workshop was finalized by MTI in consultation with the Head of Department(HoD) of the shop. Though the specific details varied from plant to plant, the broad process followed for the diagnostic workshops consisted of the following steps. o The diagnostic team had discussions with the senior management of the shop to discus the performance of the shop and related issues. After issues were discussed, the design of the workshop was finalized. o Groups of people from the shops across different sections and levels were brought together for the workshop. They were informed them about the objectives of the workshop. The employees were informed about the context in which the workshop was being conducted and the targets for the shop. Then the employees were told to identify the factors that were that are causing impediments in achievement of targets, contributions that can be made by individuals and groups and the support needed from others for achieving the targets.

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o The raw feedback from the workshops was used as the basis of further analysis for the diagnostics team. Action planning workshops were conducted on the critical issues identified. The action planning teams consisted of employees across levels and functions from the shop, who presented their plans to the senior management of the plant and also indicated the support needed for their plans to succeed. The outcomes of the diagnostics and action planning workshops also included specific training, interface workshops between different sections within the shop and re-arrangement of work practices, in which HR professionals were again involved closely.
Table 3: Some insightful incidents from HRD interventions

Technical problem or behavioral problem. In a steel melting shop with continuous casting, a major bottleneck was identified as feedstock delays ( a downstream unit waiting for material from the upstream unit). On exploring the reason for delays, people admitted that there was the lack of transparency in informing the downstream or upstream section about any problems within the section, hoping that the others would also be having problems and our problems need not be reported. The HR facilitator helped the process by simply asking Why does that happen? to every explanation that was discussed in the group. He was able to persist with the probing since he could always plead ignorance on any technical detail and seek and explanation. after some time the group got on to his game, but found in him a good confessor, who would not judge or reprimand.. After the initial rapport building, disclosures came out thick and fast. Are we really doing the best for our customers. In another plant, on the day of the diagnostic workshop, the coke ovens had provided the best coke characteristics to blast furnace, their internal customer. A blast furnace executive explained to them that more than the best quality coke on some days blast furnaces needed consistent quality coke on all days so that the furnace parameters could be stabilized. The Coke-Oven employees realized that their good performance was actually different from what their customer wanted.

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Whose job is it to design and conduct training At the coke oven, one of the issues that came across in the diagnostics was that though people were good in their respective areas, there were gaps in understanding the coke ovens technology as a whole, and how changing parameters in one process like coal crushing, affected others like coke density in the ovens. The team decided that a training program needed to be designed to address this issue. The HR facilitator was requested to design a program, but he sought support in deciding the contents. the whole diagnostics team then discussed and mutually arrived at a program design with structure , contents and a faculty panel for each session. Most of the faculty were senior line managers, including the Head of Department. the member from R&D in the diagnostic team was also roped in as a faculty. The line managers then sought support for conducting the sessions. The HR facilitator then used his training skills and briefed them on how to prepare for the session, prepare slides, time the presentations etc. when the program was conducted, the Hr facilitator watched as an observer in each session and gave feedback to the line managers on how they had handled the process and contents. The line managers were quite comfortable with the contents, but found the feedback on process very useful. One line manager quoted to the HR facilitator I am a pretty good trainer now. the HR facilitator quipped back With the amount of technical stuff you have made me understand, I would not do too badly as a line manager Performance Improvement workshops (PIW) In addition to the large HRD interventions dealing with multiple problems, the HR professionals both at MTI and the plant HRD initiated a series of performance improvement workshops for identifying specific shop level problems that, if solved would significantly improve the output of the shop. These workshops dealt with issues like Increasing the lining life of converters, Reducing the cobble formation in hot strip mill, reducing strip breakages in Tandem Mill etc. A cursory look at the topics might give the impressions that these are purely technical problems and there is not much scope for an HR professional to add value here. But on further examining, in many such cases these technical problems had human solutions and people had to empowered and

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facilitated to arrive at those solutions. Performance Improvement workshops were designed to enable the people in the shop floor to bring their own experience and knowledge to the surface and with a little help from some external agency, arrive at a solution that they own and hence can implement. The process followed for conducting a PIW consists of Identifying a specific problem in the shop that needs to be addressed, in consultation with the head of the shop Analyzing the problem and collecting data on the problem to get a clearer definition through diagnostic tools like data analysis, discussions, observations etc. Here the HR professional uses his consulting skills and knowledge of problem analysis techniques to complement the line managers understanding of his own technology. Designing a workshop with clear objectives. The workshop could include some input sessions on problem solving tools, as well as some technical inputs form subject matter experts who could be people from within the shop or external people like Suppliers of the equipment, Research Scientists etc. However the core of the PIW is the brainstorming and the action planning sessions, where the participants discuss about the problem and arrive at a solution that they themselves will implement

3. Equipping line mangers for HRD roles.


In keeping with the philosophy that HRD is not limited to a function, SAIL gave additional thrust to the development of HR competencies of line managers. The Training of Training Officers course, that previously used to be limited to professional trainers was customized for line managers to enable them to appreciate and execute their HRD roles better. Similarly, modules for training line mangers on other people management skills like coaching, mentoring, counseling etc. that had been available earlier also were given a renewed thrust within the new context. . The objective was to embed HRD in the regular working of the departments as a process, not a function. These modules have also enabled the line managers and HRD professionals identify a common ground, which they can use to jointly understand problems and explore solutions that are holistic, taking into account both the people and the technology. e.g. PIWs. Equipping line managers for Page 15 of 19

teaching their subordinates has also facilitated the process of teaching cycles in the organization.iv

helping managers to

articulate their teachable point of view and would go a long way in initiating virtuous The initiatives mentioned above have now become a part of the HRD process at SAIL and the feedback and insights received from these exercises has led to renewed initiatives addressing new challenges like growth, knowledge management and imbibing business excellence as a way of life.

A summary of the lessons learned


The gains described here are a success of HRD as a process involving people from all functions led by the line managers and facilitated by the HRD function. It is a validation of the superiority of the process approach to human resource development as opposed to a functional approach. Line ownership of the HRD process can start a virtuous circle leading to it being managed by the most competent people who deliver results which leads to a credibility of the process and higher competence levels. (Figure 2). The role of the HR function would be that of a catalyst of the process. This would not mean a sidelining of the HR departments, only a redefinition of their role. The point is to identify how and where they can add value to the process.
Figure 2: System Dynamics of HRD as a core business process

increased effectiveness of training and development due to increased application. Willingness to release the best people for such activities, who will translate learning into action Increase in the credibility of the function Belief that treating training and development is a central requirement for long term sustainability of competence base

Treating contributions to developmental activities as a major factor for assessment of executives

N
Willingness of high performers to be responsible for the training and development function

Better diffusion of competencies enabling people to move on to more complex tasks.

Greater overall productivity of personnel

The other major learning from the experiences is that for HRD to be effective, it has to address both issues of performance and alignment. Neglecting one will give sub-optimal Page 16 of 19

or no results. The process through which this alignment for sustained performance takes place is described in Figure 3.
Figure 3:Dynamics of performance improvement through HRD

Strengths of line managers Authority, credibility, technical understanding Impart HRD skills to Line managers

Strengths of HRD Professional Neutrality, HRD processes design skills, Facilitation skills Involve HR professionals in cross functional problem solving efforts

Common understanding of issues. Co-design of process Communication and commitment building Processes

Willingness to solve problems

Capability to solve problems

Training, Performance Improvement Workshops

Sustained performance, Credibility of HRD process


The experiences of realigning HRD to business in SAIL can be used as the basis of a model for ensuring realignment of the HRD processes to business in any organization, in any sector. The building blocks of the model are line managers who appreciate HRD skills and are willing to involve HR professionals in business critical decisions, as well as HR professionals who understand the intricacies of the business and drivers of business performance, who work together as a team with complementary skills. Together, they can continuously identify key business processes that need to be improved, identify leverage points, facilitate alignment and leverage the competence within the organization to achieve superior business results. (Figure 4)

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Figure 4: Process of Aligning HRD to business

Identify key business results and key issues affecting the organization Identify key business processes Identify key bottlenecks/ leverage points Facilitate alignment of people through communication processes Develop HRD competencies in line managers

Design interventions with specific objectives to meet the needs for performance and alignment Execute interventions and collect feedback

Conclusion
It is evident that HRD is too important to be left to any function, and as a key business process, it has to be owned by all the people in the organization. this process can be the foundation for sustained performance if adequate commitment and competence is brought to bear on it. The future of HR profession is in ensuring that processes that make this happen are designed and executed. This would mean changing the roles of the HR professionals from service providers to co-creators and performance coaches v. These roles are more demanding, but also more satisfying for the individual as well as the organization. It is time we took up the challenge in earnest.

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System loops are a good way to represent the cyclic nature of cause and effect, as opposed to the

linear cause and effect arrows that are generally used to describe causality. The causal loop is the basic building block of system dynamics. Causal loops in a system dont occur in isolation. Their effects can get further snowballed by reinforcing loop thus magnifying the effect. The dynamics of how the initial disposition of of the line manger towards HRD gets strengthened is described in the system diagrams in this paper.
ii

The Fifth Discipline: The art of the learning organization-Peter Senge, 1990 Coke ovens and Iron making of Rourkela, Raw material handling complex of Durgapur and Steel

iii

melting Shop of Bokaro were chosen on account of the sensitivity of SAIL profitability to the improvements in techno-economics of these shops. The idea was to focus energy on the areas of maximum leverage.
iv

The Cycle of Leadership: How Great Leaders Teach Their Companies to Win by Noel M. Tichy with

Nancy Cardwell, HarperBusiness, 2002 .


v

From partners to players: extending the HR playing field- -Dave Ulrich and Dick Beaty, Human a set of

Resource Management, Vol 40,no. 4, winter 2001. In this article, the authors identify

overlapping roles that HR professionals would be required to take. These roles of architect, builder, coach, facilitator, conscience and leader were getting sharper focus for the HR professional involved in the HR interventions described in this paper.