Manish Kumar Sinha: Bringing The 'Human' Back In Human Resource Management In Manufacturing | CEOInsights Vendor
Manish Kumar Sinha: Bringing The 'Human' Back In Human Resource Management In Manufacturing

Manish Kumar Sinha: Bringing The 'Human' Back In Human Resource Management In Manufacturing

 Manish Kumar Sinha,  Sr. Vice President - Corporate HR

Manish Kumar Sinha

Sr. Vice President - Corporate HR

Traditionally, cement is an industry with yet evolving people processes. Truth be told, it is not an industry typically known for adopting a human-centric approach to Human Resource Management. And yet, with an open, inclusive, and empathetic modern work culture, Prism Johnson is leading the way. To understand what brought about this phenomenal shift in an unlikely sector, we caught up with Manish Kumar Sinha, Senior Vice President- Corporate HR, to get a glimpse of their innovative approach.

How has Prism Johnson maintained its mark in the industry since its inception?
I believe that, in any organization, the leaders build the culture of an organization, and I can say with a hand on my heart that Prism Johnson leadership team has been open, inclusive and honest about a performance driven and yet humane work culture. The vision was to create an organization where individuals, teams and innovation thrive.

I must mention that our Managing Director, Vijay Aggarwal has long been an advocate of developing talent long before it became the management buzz word. His vision was clear Great businesses are built on the foundation of great talent. And that vision has proved to be the crucial foundation upon which our success is built. It's not that we did not face any challenge in making it happen. All great visions need great execution and that is what we have been focusing on.

Take for example the issue of attrition, employees leave an organization for a variety of reasons. And in today’s talent economy the ‘talent’ has much more avenues than ever before. The idea is to build a workplace where people want to work and contribute actively and wholeheartedly and to a large extent we have succeeded in that. Admittedly, there is still some ground to cover but being reflective and action-oriented helps put things in perspective. In my experience, an employee needs to stay at least five years to have a material impact on
the teams and business. There could be exception to that rule but that is the thumb rule. It has served me well.

You see the principle of compounding that we observe in finance works as well as in this case. All good things take time and that is true for talent as well. No, it is especially true for talent.

How do we link the individual’s motivation to work with the organization’s broader goals? Is that a challenge? Organizations that are able to do that, perform exponentially better than organizations that don’t.
Some of the vital elements of our talent acquisition and retention system are: defining role clarity, creating a supportive environment, ensuring worklife balance, SAP Success Factor (Saksham), our performance management system based on SMART principle, a rationalized salary & job band, capability building & skill development, employee engagement, career path and succession planning. Above all, Prism Johnson has its core values which we call 1TASC (One Team, Transparency, Accountability, Speed & Changing with Times). The objective of the program is to create a culture of collective ownership.

Diversity fosters creativity, innovation, & a broader understanding of employee needs. Empathy & emotional intelligence also help them significantly

How do you create employee training and development opportunities that contribute to the company’s progress as well as their personal growth?
I am sure some would think of this as a radical and provocative statement. But this has been my observation and various researches also support this. I believe trainings don’t change people, only the right training does.

It will be overly simplistic to say that just by bringing people to trainings we can change behaviours. My sense is what we do before, during and after trainings is also very important and defines the ‘stickiness’ and overall effectiveness that is beyond the initial engagement and euphoria.

The often-overlooked factor of ecosystem support is vital to build effectiveness into all learning and training interventions.
One of the major aspects of our training & development plans is Individual Development Plans(IDPs). We have well-defined systems in place to measure and evaluate the effectiveness of our training programs, in addition to providing open communication channels for employees to provide feedback.

How do you perceive technology’s role in aiding HR management within your organization?
Overall, technology has transformed the HR field, revolutionizing how HR professionals operate. It has improved efficiency, reduced manual errors, and enabled HR teams to focus on strategic initiatives, such as talent development and organizational culture.

However, it's essential to balance automation and the human touch, ensuring employees can still access personalized support when needed.

What are the radical factors you consider while building a successful HR team? What are the traits that you look for in a potential team member?
A successful HR team should be diverse, representing different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. Diversity fosters creativity, innovation, and a broader understanding of employee needs. Empathy and emotional intelligence also help them significantly.

What is the future destination you are headed towards?
HR is increasingly becoming more data-driven, utilizing people analytics to make informed decisions. The future of HR involves leveraging data to predict employee needs, identify trends, and optimize HR processes for better organizational outcomes.

Going forward, the focus on employee experience will grow stronger. Wellbeing and mental health will be a predominant focus area for all organizations. Remote and hybrid work culture is here to stay. HR will continue to adapt policies, technologies, and employee support systems to accommodate flexible work arrangements.

Manish Kumar Sinha, Sr. Vice President - Corporate HR, Prism Johnson
An MSc. Tech. in Applied Geophysics from the Indian School of Mines (IIT-ISM) Dhanbad, M. Tech in Human Resource Development & Management from IIT Kharagpur, and an LLB from Mumbai University and pursuing LLM from Mumbai University.

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