Experts of the apparel manufacturing industry are of the strong view that the pandemic has shown the real importance of HR in the apparel manufacturing industry.
Most of the experts, at a recent webinar, said that it’s not the pandemic but the companies that have broken the back of mid-level professionals and workers – there’s no bigger setback than losing jobs and workers not being taken care of. It is high time to invest in staff and workers selflessly and make them feel that they matter to the organisation.
And for that HR has a lot to do on the strategic front.
There are many companies where HR is found to be insecure and so they have to realign themselves; however at the global level, firms such as Brandix and MAS Holdings have done an appreciable job especially with regard to effective and enough communication in these difficult times.
These thoughts came out strongly from JD Giri, Director, Shahi Exports, Faridabad; Dr Rajesh Bheda, MD, (RBC); Lakshmi Menon Bhatia, Strategic Advisor-Business and Human Rights and former Director, Gap Inc. and Dr Suruchi Mittar, Principal Consultant, RBC and Life Coach. They were discussing major changes in the industry due to pandemic at a webinar “Deep Dive Session on Fashioning Resilience” organised by Rajesh Bheda Consulting (RBC).
The panellists were of the view that lately they are observing significant transformations in HR at some companies, and making salaries is no longer the only responsibility for HR.
Importantly, they are building trust. It’s HR’s role to do that. It was insisted that HR must communicate well and be empathic. There are different ways to present complex matters and one need to be very careful about this.
The panellists agreed that crisis will keep coming in different ways, and so companies should have a trust bank. The objective is to build and increase trust among one and all in the company.
Small factories that don’t have a proper HR department must outsource HR services and junior staff of the factory should be a part of this process. HR has to promote a culture of openness and transparency, and ensure the emotional well-being of their employees now and it does not cost much for an organisation.
As far as leadership is concerned, it’s time for compassionate leadership and leadership has to be sensitive.
Regarding cost-cutting, experts were of the view that it should not be transactional but transformational.
They also added that the professionals, who lose their job, should not lose hope, while the industry has to accept that there is no scope of competition now and collectiveness is the key.