HR Meet 2023

A Focus on Human Aspects in People Management

the HRM Nepal

Continuing its trend of hosting an annual conference on human resources, Growth Sellers Pvt. Ltd., the country’s leading HR consulting firm, in the last first week of March organized the 15th edition of the HR Meet at the Hotel Yak & Yeti in Kathmandu.

The two-day event held on March 30-31, organized with the theme “Restoring Human Aspects in HRM”, was inaugurated by His Eminence Tsoknyi Rinpoche. The event saw delegates participating in a panel discussion on a range of HR management and corporate topics. The HR Meet was attended by 250 participants representing different sectors including I/NGOs, banks, and government agencies, among other sectors.

The two-day conference reinforced the fact that managing people is far more challenging than managing other resources primarily because people are alive beings with varying degrees of interest and motivation. The various discourse sessions included in the conference inferred that an individual’s value to any organization went beyond the boundaries of knowledge, skill, and ability to incorporate the wider sphere of attitude, personality, values, and interests, among many other human attributes. The enriching discussions reinforced the fact that some conscious efforts needed to be put in to restore these human aspects in the way organizations in our country went about managing their people.

The event kicked off with a panel discussion titled ‘Nurturing the Human Side of Human Capital’. Moderated by a former banker, Bhuvan Kumar Dahal, the panel discussion saw Prof. Dr. Madhu Dixit Devkota, Executive Chairperson of Upendra Devkota Memorial National Institute of Neurological and Allied Sciences, Former Minister and Nepali Congress leader Dr. Minendra Rijal and former member of National Planning Commission Prof. Dr. Pushkar Bajracharya stressing the need for institutions for higher education to design and deliver value-based education aimed at producing empathetic graduates who see people in the workplace as compete for human beings and not as mere means to certain ends. Dr. Rijal opined that Nepali university graduates must possess leadership skills above everything else. “Leaders are best judged by the number and quality of leaders they are able to develop,” he said.

The second session had Chandra Prasad Dhakal, Chairman of IME Group sharing his entrepreneurial journey. Dhakal shared his journey that began as an assistant in a bank to the entrepreneurial success he achieved till now. According to Dhakal, his people management skills have been his core success mantra over the years and attributed all his accomplishments to the collective efforts of his team members. Young professionals, according to Dhakal should take complete ownership of their tasks and duties. “Whatever work we do, we should do that putting our heart and soul into it,” he said.

In the third session, Yuvraj Kumar Bhattarai, former Captain of Nepal Airlines Corporation talked about ‘Work Life Balance’. Highlighting the importance of work-life balance, Bhattarai shared his experience on the challenges he faced balancing work and life in a long career as a professional aircraft pilot, and how he was able to mitigate/overcome the challenges. “With some conscious efforts, we can do equal justice to the demands of both our professional and personal lives,” he said.

In the session titled ‘Transforming HRM Culture’, Shilpi Saxena, Chief Human Resources Officer of Golyan Group briefly oriented the participants on a few crucial aspects of HRM culture and its transformation. The participants were divided into groups and then asked to select and discuss a situation from a list of situations provided to them involving companies at different stages of the business cycle and facing unique realities and challenges thereof. Focused group discussions among the participants followed next, and the session ended with a brief presentation from two of the groups.

Generational change and its management were discussed during the session themed ‘Managing Generational Dynamics. Moderated by Jayan Nyachhyon Managing Director of Himal Tents Pvt. Ltd., the session had Siddhant Raj Pandey, Chairman and CEO of Business Oxygen Pvt. Ltd., Ritu Singh Vaidya, Managing Director of United Traders Syndicate Pvt. Ltd., and Ujjwal Shrestha, Executive Director of Panchakanya Group as panelists.

The panel discussion centered on the strong need of today’s organizations, having high generational diversity in the workforce, to put in proactive and focused efforts towards managing the generational differences and dynamics in ways that result in organization-wide synergy. Pandey said that making the young generation of employees feel important in the organization, letting them lead, and getting them to realize that they are actually very important for the company’s future would go a long way in attracting and retaining the new generation talents.

Nadiah Tan Abdullah, Chief Human Resources Officer of S P Setia Berhad, Malaysia, in her keynote session on ‘Relationship between Psychological Contract and Employee Commitment, highlighted the notion that the virtue of the psychological contract, as perceived by employees, is a way bigger determinant of their organizational commitment than what the clauses of the written employment contract indicate.

Abdullah began the session with a succinct definition of a psychological contract which is an abstract agreement between an employee and the employer forming the shared obligation, expectation, and understandings that constitute their relationship. She specifically pointed out that employee engagement is the major determinant of a healthy psychological contract and that authentic leadership is the key to that end. She further stated that intimacy, gaining trust, listening well, getting personal, inclusion, and making employees brand ambassadors, thought leaders and storytellers are the initiatives that could be undertaken for making employees go beyond the written contract and get deeply connected with the organization.

Three inspirational women leaders involved in social causes were featured in the session titled ‘People Management in Social Organizations’. Moderated by Dil Bhusan Pathak, Editor-in-Chief of Kantipur Television, the session had Lily Thapa, founder of Women for Human Rights, Pushpa Basnet, founder and President of Early Childhood Development Center and Menuka Thapa, founder and President of Raksha Nepal as panelists.

The panel discussion began with a brief narration by each of the panelists of their inspiring journey, the struggles they had to undergo, and the contribution and impact they were able to generate. They also shared their insights on the principles, values, and methods around which people are employed and managed in social organizations. There was a general consensus amongst the panelists that while the fundamental premise governing the hiring and management of people in social organizations was principally the same as in other organizations, the difference lies in the motivation aspect as social organizations needed people who are guided and motivated by the underlying cause and purpose more than by anything else. “While hiring people, social organizations should give more emphasis to good heart than great skills,” said Basnet.

In a panel discussion titled ‘Restoring Human Aspect in Political Organizations’, political analyst Muma Ram Khanal, UML Chief Whip Padam Giri, and Bibeksheel Sajha Pary Chair Samikchya Baskota discussed the human aspect in political organizations.

During the discussions, the panelists reinforced the pressing need for making our political organizations more humane in terms of structure and internal functioning. Khanal pointed out that true acceptance and respect for disagreements and differences by the top leadership of political organizations would be the stepping-stone towards restoring the much-needed human aspects in our political organizations.

A Book on Leadership

The second day of the HR Meet also saw the launching of the book ‘The Great Leadership Book’. Authored by Mohan Raj Ojha and Manohar Man Shrestha, the book was formally launched by Padma Jyoti, former President of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FNCCI).

Jyoti said that building on existing literature on organizational management, the book attempts to offer novel perspectives on leaders and leadership practices, with specific reference to Nepali business organizations.

He further remarked that the book seeks to provide business leaders with valuable insights as they consciously endeavor to better their leadership styles and behaviors. Jyoti stated that the book is one of its kind and a must-read for existing and aspiring business leaders of the country.

Honoring corporate and HR excellence

During the HR Meet, Growth Sellers also awarded six companies and an individual in different categories for their excellent contribution to the human resource management sector with HR Excellence Award 2023.

The three-member jury comprising Prof. Dr. Bijay KC, former Dean of KU School of Management, Durga Rijal, Principal of Apex College, and Sohan Babu Khatri, CEO of Three H Management selected the winners.

The National HR Excellence Award 2023 was given to Dabur Nepal. Ncell, Nepal’s leading telecom company was awarded with Excellence in HR Innovation and Technology Award 2023. Standard Chartered Bank Nepal was honored with Excellence in Employee Experience Award 2023. WorldLink Communications bagged the Excellence in Learning and Development Award 2023 while Jawalakhel Group of Industries received Excellence in Industrial Relations Award 2023. The Excellence in Employer Branding Award 2023 went to Save the Children.

Likewise, Suman Pokharel, Senior Vice President of IME Group was awarded with the “Excellence in HR Leadership” award for his consistent contribution to leadership.

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