February 28, 2002 | Times of India

New HR framework will unfold the Tata business ethos

In an effort to retain and nourish talent within the group, the 80-company strong Tata Group is putting in place a comprehensive human resources framework, Satish Pradhan, executive vice-president, group HR said.

"The Tata Group is a loose confederation of companies, and hence it is near impossible to put in place a strict HR structure. Hence we are looking at putting in place a framework instead," he said. "The 135-year old Tata Group is not an organisation held together by any structured commercial interests but by a set of values forged by the century old Tata ethos. Hence a framework which will bring in commonality without regimentalism," Mr. Pradhan pointed out.

The framework comprises of a four-point agenda which includes defining work bands, putting in place a salary architecture, streamlining individual goals with corporate business objectives and defining a reward mechanism for a Tata employee. As part of this framework, the group is putting in place broadbands of work levels for each of the group companies. While defining parameters for the nature of work of an individual, the worklevels will also leave room for individual initiative.

Following the implementation of these work bands across the group companies the group is also working out a remuneration architecture, which while flexible, will provide the bandwidth suited to the requirement of work at a particular work level. Explaining the remuneration architecture, Mr. Pradhan said, "The group believes in rotation of its employees across several group companies to provide them with a broader and more wholesome perspective. If an individual is entitled to a certain allowance in Tisco in Jamshedpur, and his counterpart in Telco may be receiving a different allowance, quantum of which could differ, a transfer could result in a disparity in salary levels. To address this issue we are putting together a salary bandwidth commensurate to a particular work level." The third aspect of the HR framework is the alignment of an individual with the business and the business performance of the company. This is being done by aligning the employees individual objective with that of the broader business objective of the company he works for.

"The fourth aspect of the framework is the reward structure. We are looking at a reward which will be beyond the monetary, but will drive an individual to contribute even more than he is expected to," Mr. Pradhan said. The rewards could take many forms, Mr. Pradhan explained. "For example, we have a scheme for an individual to earn learning points if he contributes to the learning of his fellow employees."