Perhaps infrastructure sector of the country is much critical for the overall growth of the country but facing severe people issues apart from others like finance, regulations and transparency. Construction and realty industry is the gigantic labour oriented sector where in spite of fast technological advancements, people still play an important role. It is typically observed as an evolving rather than a strategic management process. It is estimated that construction sector employs more than 30 million people in the country and is second largest after agriculture in terms of employment.
This sector is commonly perceived as owner/ promoter driven where HRM is neglected and professional approach towards managing HR function is a miss. They have a host of HR challenges specific to the industry. An understanding of recruitment, training and retention are basic requirements for an effective HR function in this sector.
But now industry has started feeling a pinch of absence of matured HRM and far sightedness in this direction. And the fall out is professionals do not get attracted to this sector. They donít see a career path and growth here thus making the demand and supply gap of skilled professionals huge. To meet and match the demand supply gap, industry has to improve the image of its own as capable of providing an attractive and fruitful career option by running the organization professionally and strengthen the HR policies and practices. Other issues before the industry are to expand and strengthen the apprenticeship training system within the organization. With introduction of new technology de-linking and re-skilling of labour is also required. Since this sector is heavily dependent of migrant labour, health and safety requirements are to be responded with bigger stroke making legally compliant too. To make all this possible, HR should be looked at as a profit centre instead as a cost centre.
The construction sector may avail the opportunity to keep their employees engaged by utilizing their skills at optimum level, motivating them to go beyond formal job responsibilities, making them quality oriented, giving non monetary rewards and recognition, having regular effective communication and adopting regular performance review processes.
After all, this entire sector is all about people and its processes which can be put in place perfectly by empowered HR only through strategic sync with project people. It is possible when both understand and appreciate each otherís limitations and opportunities.
The cover story of Dec. 14 of Business manager-Hr magazine ponders on people issues of this sector as to what are the challenges lying before HR and the various options to address.
From India, Delhi
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