Suhas Kadlaskar, Director – Corporate affairs and Human Resources and Roland Folger seated among the participants

Welcome address by Roland Folger, M.D. and CEO, MBIL

HR Market Place explained to the HR Partner Forum

The HR Partner Forum meet at Mercedes Benz India Limited, Pune

The second Indo-German HR Forum in 2016 was held on 10th May 2016 at the Mercedes-Benz India Limited (MBIL) premises in Pune. The theme of the day was Employee Engagement Strategies with special focus on Blue Collared Workforce. The entire meet, organized mainly by Mr. Suhas Kadlaskar, Director – Corporate Affairs & Human Resources and Ms. Colleen D’Souza, Deputy General Manager – HR Development & Performance Management, was a reflection of superlative standards of excellence and attention to detail after all it had to be “The Best or Nothing”.  Simply put – it left all the HR managers STAR Struck!

The MBIL Centre of Excellence was the venue for the day.  As the top management of MBIL welcomed each of the participants, the famed STAR hospitality could not be missed – personalized agenda sheets, planned seating to ensure that the group gets completely integrated with each other and constant service of refreshments. If one was not already STAR-Struck by then, the endearing Welcome Video of a baby in the driving seat of a MBIL prototype futuristic automated driving car, surely did the trick!

“People are our No. 1 assets. According to me, the role of HR is to balance our needs and engage in cross functional activities across employees. At Mercedes-Benz India, we believe that Trust, Motivation and Right Communication are the key to achieving this balance.  Experience has shown that appreciation by the management has a positive reflection on Blue Collared Workers”. With these short but impactful words, Mr. Roland Folger, MD & CEO, MBIL delivered his Welcome Address and set the tone for the meet.  An in-depth overview on MBIL’s strategy for India was given by Mr. Kadlaskar and Mr. Piyush Arora, Executive Director – Operations.

The introductory session was followed by an extremely innovative, exciting and unique HR Marketplace. Based on four STAR models, all the HR managers were split into four groups of and taken around four stations.  Each station showcased four key HR areas of work – Talent Acquisition, Employee Engagement, Industrial Relations and Learning & Development,– via poster charts.  Senior MBIL HR representatives who were stationed at these focus areas gave detailed explanations and patiently answered the barrage of questions.   This was truly an igneous idea and “food for thought”, and many of the partners expressed the desire to implement something similar in their own organization.

Post lunch, the Cerebrus team lead by Mrs. Varda Pendse, Director and Shalini Mishra, Senior Consultant ensured that one did not fall prey to the post-lunch slumber syndrome by engaging everyone in a quiz based on IR policies.  The teams, based on seating arrangements, were highly competitive as each correct answer won the respective team a bar of chocolate!

Now, having the full attention of the participants, the topic of the day – Employee Engagement Strategies with special focus on Blue Collared Workforce was brought into the forefront.  Cerebrus made a presentation on Trends in Engaging with Workforce at the Shop floor which covered the following areas: Changes in employment model and profile; Compensation structure and benefits; Skill upgradation approaches; Career growth and progression; and Managing performance.

At the end, the unanimous feedback was that the STAR truly lived up to its expectations. The networking, interaction and learnings were immensely beneficial to the entire forum.  Participating companies were: A.T.E. Enterprises Private Limited, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Co Ltd, BASF Group, Bharat Forge, Bosch Group, Brose India Automotive Systems Pvt. Ltd., Evonik India Private Limited, Häfele India Pvt. Ltd., HDFC ERGO General Insurance Co. Ltd., INA Bearings India Pvt. Ltd., KSB Pumps Ltd., LANXESS India Private Limited, Schaeffler Group and Siemens Limited.