Managing People in the Social Sector

In my fifteen years’ career with development sector, I have come to realize that NGO & CSR organization, Corporate have distinct work cultures and problems but when it comes to getting results, they are not that different. A defined vision, with focus management and the right people seems to be the right combination, regardless of the nature of the business thus making the social sector, in a way, at par with the industry in terms of career opportunities.

NGOs are going through a culture change in terms of approach and the cause thereto. The new generations of social workers are graduating into professional orientation and they are more focused, ambitious and trained. The activities of NGOs are becoming target, result and quality oriented in place of being relief and welfare oriented.

Graduating from Personnel Management to Strategic Human Resource Development, FACT, like any other organization in the corporate world, meets its strategic goals by attracting, retaining and managing employees effectively in development sector.

About FACT

FACT is a Vadodara (Gujarat, INDIA) based non-profit organization that supports the overall development of Society especially poor children, their families and communities in rural and urban areas with special focus on children in difficult circumstances. FACT is established with an aim to provide the support to the less fortunate with a sense of physical and emotional security, installing in them a sense of self belief and pride – all the while keeping their sense of independence intact. “Every child deserves a chance” is what FACT believes in and what it will work towards.

Evolution of Human Resource Management in FACT

Human Resource Management has come to stay as a professional system in any progressive organization, which is result-oriented and which makes an impact on the society. While managing human resources is popularly practiced by corporate, CSR and social sector organizations are fast catching up with the phenomenon as they professionalize themselves. FACT is no exception.

FACT has institutionalized Human Resources Management since inception with emphasis on Personnel Management. Over time, it will add various elements of Human Resources Management, making the internal talent management process comprehensive enough to match with corporate model. FACT has institutionalized Manpower Planning, Recruitment, Induction, Orientation, Objective Setting, Capacity Building, Compensation & Benefits, dealing with Turnover and incentive for Performance, management information system and many more.

FACT Human Resource Development Processes

FACT’s HRD processes have been defined by applying industry’s best practices to the needs of the organization. These processes have changed the organization’s approach and have become a key function. Emphasis has been given to:

  • Focusing and responding to the strategic goals & objectives of the organization and aligning them to employees and collaborators.
  • Developing employees’ capacity to increase productivity and improve the service to beneficiaries.
  • Proactively manage FACT’s human resource by manpower planning and development.
  • Supporting development sector with quality human resource for successful results through better implementation of projects.

Unique Challenges

FACT operates in conditions which are different from the corporate world, but are equally demanding. It is good to appreciate these difficulties of working in social sector whilst considering social development as a business and a profession. Thus, we at FACT have dual challenge to be addressed:

Social work as a profession: The objectives and deliverables of employees in the social work have a different flavour from those of the corporate world. The Human Resources function in FACT plays a vital role in this process, as it needs to create the linkage between the organization’s vision and mission, and the employee’s objectives through the implementation of management by objectives.

Profit in an alternate perspective: NGOs aim to promote human welfare and making people self reliable, in a similar manner to that in which businesses aim to drive profits.

Different Skills & Attitudes required from workforce: We therefore need a very special breed of professionals who are prepared to face these challenges, while at the same time expressing the following attitudes - compassion for the underprivileged, ability to communicate with the society, determination to contribute silently and professionally.

The common challenges: Besides all of this, FACT also aims to tackle certain universal challenges of managing resources, e.g. finding the best talent, maintaining the motivation levels, knowledge retention etc.

Shashikant Sharma, Chief Executive Officer/Managing Trustee