HR Dept – Managing your sales team in difficult times?

Most HR managers would tell you that HR function is the most important function in an organization. It is the HR manager who is responsible for the smooth running of all office activities. The responsibilities include effective hiring & the complete recruitment process, behavioral training an employee, personal record keeping, rewarding performers, interviewing/ screening and career development. True, the job of dealing with people requires some college level degree/ education in today’s competitive market situations. And, these days most organizations prefer MBAs having specialization in human resources discipline. But if you ask anybody working in the human resources field for few years, they would tell you that one-to-one interaction with people teaches you lot.

How do we get the best out of existing resources when the company sales figures is not so promising as it should be? Simply Hire & Fire will not work! It may work in a ‘Lala company’ ( an Indian terminology meaning ‘unprofessional set-ups’) but such organizations cannot serve to be an example for others to follow. Let us look at ‘Job Rotation’ as an effective option when companies cannot hire additional manpower due to recession in markets. An effective HR manager reads between the lines quickly and understands what the Management wants and satisfies the Management. In fact, some of my friends say HR department is nothing but company Management in disguise. I do not agree – HR function is an interface between Management and its employees. Empathy and level headed behavior helps in finding solutions to situational problems. A Sales manager can learn and assist in generating Excel sheet reports, taking the place of statistics department and can add value to the bottom line of the company. Only a HR manager can foresee, bring forth revision or updates to individual employee roles. Usually, a company would like to cut costs in difficult times. But, look at the brighter side, Job Rotation also brings in job security and the Sales manager who is in job rotation mode feels wanted despite markets/ business not being so good.

HR Department plays other roles too. It can serve as a reliable, very human, valid and authenticated mouth piece especially by way of proper communication. Effective communication helps by keeping ‘confusion’ or gossip/ rumor out and far. When the markets are in recession mode and sales figures are discouraging, effective communication really helps. Many a time, HR department knows better who should be sacked and who should not be. A transfer of workplace location can serve to be a strategic layoff of a person who is not interested in moving out from where he presently is. Emotions run high when business is not good and only a HR manager knows how to handle them sensibly. Quite often, a Sales manager may lose a productive person otherwise. HR department can help in managing your sales teams as an effective, unbiased onlooker and act decisively. Usually a solution is found faster when HR function is in cohesion.

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