NCE explores HR generational issue | Daily News


Transformation from long term to short term benefits

NCE explores HR generational issue

 (L to R) M N Gunawardena, Sewwandi J. Wijesekera, Prof. Ajantha Dharmasiri, Chiranthi Cooray, Deirdre Candappa and Deshika Rodrigo (Picture by Dinesh Perera)
(L to R) M N Gunawardena, Sewwandi J. Wijesekera, Prof. Ajantha Dharmasiri, Chiranthi Cooray, Deirdre Candappa and Deshika Rodrigo (Picture by Dinesh Perera)

The National Chamber of Exporters held an informative session with an expert panel to explore the generational differences in employee attitudes. The event also discussed modern best practices in the HR field and the panelists identified stark differences in employees across generations with regards to motivation and also found that bottom-up discussion helped with employee wellbeing.

Assistant Director-General Employers Federation of Ceylon Sewwandi Jayatunga Wijesekera said, “The generational gap is a big challenge that our employers are facing. Frontline managers say, 15 years ago they used to work to build things for the home. Now children come to work to earn money and buy a phone for over a lakh and they do so, on credit. Even after that, they don’t do the work. On one hand, we have a generation that was conscious about saving and long term benefits whereas our new generation thinks of the short term benefits and the take-home salary.”

Manager Human Resources Next Sourcing Deidre Candappa shared positive factors in the apparel sector. “For the garment sector we are even luckier. Our customers come to us with a very high compliance regulation. From wages to whether they are being overworked to lighting to exits is being monitored in compliance. We ensure that our employees are looked after and so is our extended community. We engage our employees in that value proposition so that the community we work in also shares that value.”

Candappa added, “In terms of our product it is not sold in Sri Lanka. The team member, the girl who stitches, we call them team members not machine workers.” Commissioner of Labour (Women & Child Affairs) Madhuri N Gunawardena said, “We endorse good jobs for everyone. All these are based on policies that were developed long term back. If you dissect them all these things are integrated into them.”

Gunawardene added, “There shouldn’t be a chance or a question where the employer asks should we really give maternity leave for these people. The minimum should be endorsed.” She noted that there were around 40 odd laws regarding employment. Panelists felt an inclusive approach to HR planning was an essential part of good HR practice. Candappa said, “As business leaders, we ask what the strategy of the organization is and it is not one or two years. We look at the five-year plan. The plan is shared at hall meetings at different levels both the senior management to line managers. It is also shared with executives.”



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