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Construction : HRD | January 2016 | Source : CW-India

People Power

KAMAL GUPTA elaborates upon the initiatives taken by the company to know the pulse of its employees and help them thrive.

At Omkar, we invest in our human resources with regular training sessions and skill upgrade programmes. The belief is that the growth of the company is closely linked to the learning and skill development of its employees. Currently, improvement areas identified include:

  • Sensitising the property affairs team (handling slum rehabilitation process) to the ways of dealing with slum dwellers.
  • Training the liaison team in dealing with government departments.
  • Enhancing the communication skills of customer relationship management.
  • Developing team spirit among various divisions of Omkar.
  • Updating senior management´s skill and exposure to global practices.
  • Relieving workers of everyday stresses of high-pressure work.

Omkar´s main business area is slum rehabilitation. This involves interacting with slum residents, which demands a collaborative approach. We organised a training session specifically for those working in the property affairs department to fine-tune the communication channels and strategically engage the slum stakeholders for better mutual understanding. Likewise, government liaison work requires in-depth policy knowledge, good presentation skills and, if required, a certain flavour of diplomacy. For this purpose, another engagement-centric workshop was designed. We have also been organising training programmes for our Customer Relationship Management (CRM) division that is in direct contact with customers, present and potential. They get updated on client-engagement and relationship management acumen.

As in any corporation, various divisions of the company have to work in tandem to attain results. This is even truer for the construction business, where projects last for four-to-five years. As a team-building exercise, an outbound camp was arranged for the employees of different divisions to promote a sense of trust and sharing. The results were immediately visible as the working atmosphere turned more collaborative among various teams, ushering-in a renewed sense of bonhomie and belonging.

Omkar Realtor´s other business comprises construction of tall towers and high-end residential developments. This requires key departments to be aware of the latest global trends and innovative technologies. To address the same, senior members of various divisions like engineering, architecture and sales and marketing are sent every three months on study trips to other countries. For instance, a recent visit to Turkey brought to our notice the tunnel form construction technique that can complete a 23-storey rehab building structure (RCC) within three months. Adopting the same in our Goregaon project helped us complete a 23-floor structure in just seven months (civil).

The phrase ´All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy´ holds especially true in the construction and slum rehabilitation business where stress levels can get high. To promote a stress-free work environment, we have various activities focused on sports, arts and culture. To cite an instance, this year´s Standard Chartered Marathon in Mumbai saw a record participation of 77 employees from Brand Omkar.

Apart from these exercises, an employee effectiveness survey was conducted for the first time in the company asking for inputs on topics ranging from remuneration and requirements to expectations from the company. Based on the suggestions, we are taking up various initiatives, among them the establishment of a library in the office premises where employees can refer to books and journals on law, engineering and design, among others, as a process of continuous learning and skill enhancement. We plan to conduct such a survey every two years to keep abreast with employee aspirations.

About the author:
Kamal Gupta, Chairman, Omkar Realtors & Developers, has been instrumental in introducing HR initiatives to make this organisation an employee-friendly place, whereby paving the way forward for a brighter future.

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