Bengaluru: The HR department of a major IT company was laid off after senior management decided to outsource office decoration, making the quantum of HR staff within the organization redundant.
The move came after disappointing Q1 financial figures of the company, which forced the organization to streamline processes. “The business environment has not been good in the previous year. We didn’t meet any of our targets and the revenue kept falling. As always we looked at employee costs and revenue generated per employee for every department. When we zeroed on the HR department, we realized that HR. showed the lowest revenue generated per employee,” said the CEO of the company.
“I mean do we have to put so much effort in decorations? It can easily be outsourced and look how much we can save,” he added.
The decision however has not gone down well with the HR staff, who said that the knee-jerk reaction will only perpetuate the stereotype that HR is useless.
“We are just the fall guys. The top management believes that we are good only for decoration. But to tell you honestly, we have done much more than just put pasting artwork on walls. I manage around 10 Watsapp office groups, send daily Birthday mailers each day without fail, send daily motivational quotes to employees and so on. Isn’t that hard labor?” questioned an HR manager.
Industry experts say that this move could have a domino effect and other organizations may follow suit.
But a few organizations that our reporter spoke with, dismissed this as an ‘overreaction’ and lauded the efforts put in by HR staff. “You can outsource office decorations but it will not have the personal touch as that given by HR. They make a workplace more lively. Everyone compares us to Stuart Binny. But that is so unfair. We can justify our place in the organization,” said the HR Head of another company.
Sources say a section of the company’s HR staff is now planning to move to the Labor Ministry and ask for recognition of ‘Office decoration’ as legitimate and productive work.
Meanwhile, a few MBA colleges that previously had ‘Decorations’ as a separate subject as part of HR elective, are now striking it off their list.