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Sunday, 10 April 2005

Internal Communication - A Roundtable discussion

Roundtable discussion on internal communication

A 'Roundtable' was organised by the Foundation on Saturday the 9th April 2005 at 10.30 AM to discuss the issues relating to 'protecting the youth power for the future and the challenges of communication within the organisations".  Many eminent and scholarly professionals (HR consultants, HR Managers, Professors, Students, employees, Corporates, Trainers, etc) from leading institutions participated and shared their views.The discussions were initiated by Mr Badri Narayananan, Vice President of Laser Soft Infosystems Limited, one of the leading Banking software developers of India (sponsors of this programme).  The programme was moderated by Mr K  R Ramamoorthy, former Chairman of Corporation Bank and presently Advisor to World Bank/IMF and to many Multinationals.  

Background note circulated for discussion is appended at the end of this posting.

Mr K Pandiyarajan, Chairman, MAFOI Consultants, Indian's No 1 recruiters and Mr Thomas Simon, Senior General Manager (HR), Tata Consultancy Services were in the expert panel 

Opening remarks
Mr K R Ramamoorthy, Moderator, in his opening remarks, articulated that one of the unintended fall out of competition has been the consistent erosion of business ethics and professional values. The root cause for the recent corporate scandals that has rocked the corporate world in the developed countries in particular could be traced to the unethical business and accounting practices.

Investors trust in these entities became a casualty. Good Corporate Governance has become the prescription for all these ailments. Internal communication within the organization extolling the imperative to adhere to strong business ethics is the need of the hour.  Professionals should walk the talk.

He appealed to the professionals not to barter away their professional and personal integrity for extraneous considerations. He added that the 'war of talents' presently witnessed in service industry is spreading to manufacturing sector too and there are bound to be pressures on H R professionals to deliver results by way of sourcing talents.  In search of talents, they should not fall prey to the temptation to adopt any means to achieve their ends, as this may in the medium term hurt the whole industry.   There must be some self-regulation and code of conduct of all players in poaching talents.

EXPERT VIEWS

Mr Thomas Simon said that the value systems could be preserved through (a) family systems (b) age old religious institutions and (c) participation in social events. 

Mr K Pandiyarajan said that presently there are four types of migrations taking place (a) talents (b) products (c) capital and (d) business process.  He said that migration of 'business process' had made everything upside down. 

He being a recruiter himself said that out of 41 candidates interviewed only one candidate was  suitable for employment.  He said, this was mainly due to the poor quality of academic institutions

OTHER IMPORTANT POINTS THAT EMERGED DURING THE DISCUSSION

  • Expectations of the employees are very high and they want to get promotions
  • Communication is not starting at home / family.  
  • Section of the participants
  • Communication is not only vocabulary; it is also inter personal skills
  • When candidates go for interview, the 'dress' they wear and the 'non verbal communication' play important role
  • Section of the participants
  • Lack of assertiveness amongst executives
  • They say' Yes' when they want to say 'No'
  • Lack of listening skills (hearing should be 70% and speaking 30%)
  • HR Managers face acute crisis, when the employees jump from one company to another company without prior intimation and even without relieving orders - This is the "morality crisis"
  • Corporates should help the educational institutions to help the students to get the market feel
  • Like Medical college students get the integrated exposure of industry and allied services, Engineering students can be provided with such facility

  • Section of the participants
  • Many Corporates do not have internal communication systems
  • Many times, communication skills have not produced results...How to convert the soft skills into results (Communication for results)?
  • "Face to face" communication has gone down in IT industry - communication has become 'impersonalised'
  • 'Learnability' should be developed amongst the students - When they go to the industry, they pick up fast
  • Be careful about the Cyber crimes happening inside the organisations; If due caution is not exercised, the company may land into problem
  • Employees - HR Managers ratio is very low in many companies
  • Academic professionals should take efforts in making students good professionals; Many teachers themselves are not having good communication skills
  • Many students do not read the newspapers and they confine only to sport or entertainment page;  they lack general knowledge when they come for interview
  • Industry - Academic consortium should be developed
  • Corporates should start concentrating on 'Education' also
  • Constant interaction between academics and corporates
  • Last semester should have more of industry interaction for students
  • Substance of communication is highly essential - What can be communicated and what not
  • Convergence of HR - PR has started happening...it should be strengthened 
****


ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION CHALLENGES OF COMMUNICATION WITHIN THE ORGANISATION AND PROTECTING THE YOUTH POWER FOR FUTURE


Two thousand years back Saint Thiruvalluvar said that whatever be the sharpness of knowledge and wisdom, if persons did not possess the interpersonal skills and soft skills, they were to be considered only as a lifeless wood.  He gives highest importance to Makkat Panpu which is termed as soft skills in modern days. Thus he differentiates between Technical skills and soft skills .

This Thirukkural reflects the current challenges that we are facing today. According to an estimate, in India, the population of youth upto the age of 35 is nearly 60 percent.  For developing the future of our country, we need to protect the youth power both in terms of intellect and physical health. 

Over a period of ten years, there is a tremendous growth in technology and information dissemination.  This has thrown great opportunities to the young people and more challenges.  The present day youth is facing greater challenges in the form of competition, career growth, higher salary, targets, deadlines, etc. He is unable to find time to develop his soft skills and inter personal skills.  This phenomenon affects their health leading to stress, heart attacks in young age, bad tempers, higher ego level, etc. 

Many organisations today care more for market than for developing their human resources.   If this issue is not addressed immediately, the intellectual youth of this country may have lot of challenges and it is the responsibility of every one of us to protect the youth power for future. 

During this roundtable, we will discuss 

  • The impact of the present day job requirements due to technology, targets, deadlines, competition, compensation, ambition, etc on the employees in their culture, lifestyle, attitude, knowledge, etc.
  • The present approaches of the Managements and HR Departments
  • The responsibilities of the Management, HR Managers and the youth to overcome the negative effects and to improve the interpersonal skills and soft skills of the youth
The Roundtable concept allows all the participants to share their views in brief. Please be brief in giving your views (say one to two minutes), to enable others also to give their views.  Please give your opinions only on this concept and do not mention any names of the organisations if it is likely to cause embarrassment.
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Prime Point Foundation

Prime Point Foundation is a non-profit Trust incepted in December 1999, to create Communication awareness among all the people. 

K Srinivasan (Communication Strategist ) is the Founder and Chairman the Trust.
  • The Foundation offers Training, workshop on all Communication related subjects, including Image Audit. 
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