‘HR Is Expected To Make Visible And Tangible Changes In Organizational Performance’

Anil Misra, CHRO of Magicbricks, is of the opinion that HR professionals should nurture the ability to influence without authority

Q. Please tell us something about yourself.

I’m an HR professional with more than 20 years of experience. Currently, I’m the CHRO of Magicbricks. My professional goal is to bring a positive change in the lives of my colleagues and act as an enabler in their journey to become a better professional. I am also a strong believer of giving back to the society and hence, make it a point to share my professional experiences with all budding managers across B-schools and on professional forums.

I have consistently proved my mettle in the spheres of Strategic HR Leadership, Talent Transformation, Change Management, Performance Management, Leadership Development, Employee Connect & Communication, HR Business Partnering, Mentoring and Best Employer Branding.

As a CHRO, I have driven companies to the list of “Most Preferred Companies To Work For In India.” I have also gained significant global exposure to all facets of HR and organizational effectiveness, especially large-scale organizational transformations all throughout my professional journey.

I have a proven track record of managing 10,000 employee base organizations with a team of about 100 HR colleagues.

Q. How important is deep domain expertise for HR professionals? 

I strongly believe that people aspiring to make a career should make an effort to understand the principles and practices prevalent in all aspects of the HR – like Personnel Management, Industrial Relations, Employee welfare, Strategic HR, Tech & HR, Change Management etc. Lack of understanding of holistic HR approach might limit the quality of people’s solutions. While being a specialist always helps in getting into any specified field at a later stage in someone’s career, but being a generalist actually sets the foundation for specialists to flourish.

You might also be interested to read: ‘HR Professionals Shouldn’t Behave Like Robots’ – Amit Sharma, VP – HR, Volvo Group India

Q. What’s been your success mantra?

Continuous learning, risk taking, ability to “take people along” coupled with following a strong personal value system of: “treat people the way you would like to be treated”, “Challenging the status quo” and meritocratic mindset have definitely helped me in my career.

Q. How can HR help create world class organizations in today’s context of evolving world of jobs?

The HR can help in the following ways to build organizations of the future:

  • Each HR professional should create a competitive advantage through more engaging people experience
  • Use workforce analytics to make the most of your talent
  • Bring HR and business leaders together to create real change
  • With so much to gain from technology, HR needs to step up
  • Harness the potential of flexible talent and innovation
  • Get your story straight
  • Enable individuals and organisations to make learning a lifelong experience (And driven by “pull factors)
  • Make efforts to mentor, coach and guide leadership members as a trusted business partner

Q. In context of the future of work, what new roles do you see emerging in the HR function?

I forsee the following roles: 

  • HR professionals will be expected to make more visible and tangible changes in organizational performance. Specialized processes like coaching, counselling and mentoring will gain even more significance in the future
  • Technology in HR to make the lives of colleagues easier in the entire employee life cycle of an organization will also be an important expectation from HR. Hence, professionals who embrace technology and learn the art of translating information to insights will emerge as better professionals
  • Ability to ‘influence without authority’ will also be in high demand

Q. How should HR professionals prepare themselves to remain relevant?

Here are some pointers: 

  • Professionals wanting to build HR as a career must need to have a vision
  • Become a great communicator
  • Become Technology Savvy
  • Understand numbers and business well
  • Get out of your cabins
  • Take Risks and Inspire people across boundaries

Q. What’s your view on the mega global trends in HR?

While the overall people philosophies remain unchanged, following are some of the global mega trends in HR which is gaining significance:

  • Engaging All Employees
  • Fighting Unconscious Bias
  • Improving Essential People Training
  • Expanding Our Concept of Wellness
  • Streamlining HR Operations with AI

Q. How important is talent management in today’s IT organizations? Do you think organizations should manage people or what they consider talent? 

People/Talent is the foundation stone of an organization and in that context has to be given much importance. All people managers – irrespective of rank and file – should drive people agenda and not necessarily HR team alone.

Hiring, retaining, developing talent should become the shared goal of all managers in organizations.

Q. How should leaders be developed ?

Since leaders come with years of experience, I always felt classroom trainings have a limited impact in the development process. I am a big believer of interventions like live projects, coaching assistance, understudy creating the right magic in the development of leadership members.

Q. How can professionals remain employable till the age of retirement in today’s VUCA world?

Embracing change, believing in the ‘Reverse Mentoring process’, learning new technologies and identifying specialized strengths in people function and building those further will help in remaining relevant in the VUCA world.

About Anil Misra

Anil Misra is an HR leader with over 20 years of experience across diverse industries – from manufacturing to hospitality, IT, E-commerce, Title Insurance and Mortgage and Consumer Internet Services. Currently, he is the CHRO of Magicbricks. Earlier, he has been the CHRO of a Fortune 500 New York Stock Exchange listed company and also the CHRO of Indian promoters-led consumer Internet companies. Anil’s past associations have been with organizations like Fidelity National Financial, Just Dial Limited, Tesco HSC, Patni Computer Systems Limited (CapGemini), Oberoi Hotels and Denso.

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