Although Disruptive In Ideas; Can Startups Do Away With The Basic HR Policy Framework?

Date:   Friday , June 03, 2016

Headquartered in Bengaluru, is a zero brokerage home rental platform that enables people to find compatible roommates and rented accommodation. It aims to connect property owners or current tenants to prospective tenants directly, surpassing the hurdles of middlemen.

Time travel to a few years back and one could picture firms as controlled environments that did not focus much on innovation. An employee\'s thinking was attuned to adhering with the institution rather than bringing about an innovation. Cut to this day and we see a sudden upsurge of startups witnessing initial success, owing to their disruptive idea at a pace like never before. These firms appreciate, value and promote collaboration. Flat organizational culture and open door policy has become a norm. The age difference between the founders and the employees has reduced drastically. Gone are the days when leaders could dictate and employees executed them blindly.

Startups have ushered in the concept of \'independent contributors\', who take ownership of their task and break away from the norm of working in silos. This change in ideology has paved way for accelerated team efforts which include the top level management coming down and sitting with their teams to brainstorm, leading to ideation and problem resolution.

Startups, by virtue of their aggressive nature, have changed the dimensions of most management functions. In this scenario, it would be interesting to see how it has molded the dynamics of Human Resources. HR policies form the basis of any organization and the criticality of these policies are mainly dependent on the size of the startup. The list of policies in the HR policies rule book is proportional to the size of a startup. One grows as the other expands; thus paving way for the inevitable change in management policy. The changes made are at a very granular level and are revised from time to time.

One of the major factors which are critical in the growth of any organization is transparency. As a strategic partner, the HR manager must focus on the needs to ensure that both the employees and the employers feel that their work place is quite transparent, be it related to policies or anything that goes on within their office space. A set of well-formulated rules and regulations serve an important role in instilling a sense of freedom and ensures that each and every individual feels that they are being treated equally.

Flexibility around timings, appraisals and open leave policies are some of the common policies we see trending within startups. Such policies set startups apart from MNCs and is one of the main reasons for traction of employees with the former when compared to the latter. The time frame of MNCs to scrutinize their policies vary significantly when compared to a startup, as a startup evolves from time to time; be it in terms of their size or area of service.

The culture of an organization is highly derived from its vision. A company\'s culture gets modified with time and the growth in the number of employees. A gap in communication would present itself as an area that requires work as a firm progresses. These need to be kept in check by duly implementing guidelines which keep the communication gap at bay. The workforce of a company plays an essential role in upholding the culture that surrounds their work place. A younger team brings in the much needed enthusiasm, innovation and energy required on the floor and the experienced ones nourish the fairly new ones with the wisdom that they have gained over the years.

Appreciation along with personal and professional growth is a basic expectation that employees have from their workplace. A motivated staff in turn adds to the growth of an organization and creates a positive aura around the office environment. The role of a HR is to ensure that all of the above is achieved and maintained consistently by finding the appropriate cultural fit in the form of a team. They need to handhold these young leaders on their journey to success by instilling policies which are less granular in nature, employee friendly and reflect the needs of an employee in addition to an employer\'s perspective.

While one size does not fit all and startups are on their way to transform the functions of HR, they cannot afford to forget the well-known adage \'If you fulfill the wishes of your employees, the employees will fulfill your visions\'.