Sunday, June 03, 2012

Humanization of Human Development Index

When you heard the phrase “human development index”, what crosses your mind? Numbers? Ranks? What elements it comprises of? I asked those questions as well. Apparently, in 2011, Indonesia ranked 124 from 187 countries, based UNDP’s report, scoring 0.617. We are at the bottom of the pyramid, compared to the other top 6 countries in ASEAN, which is Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia, Thailand, and The Philippines. It was said the “Human Development Index” was based on three elements, which are education, health, and purchasing power. But what behind the number is what interest me.

On our everyday life, “Human Development Index” can be roughly translated into the quality of each person in performing his or her task. The task can be varied, from white-collar executives into blue-collar manufacturing workers, from street vendors into your own co-workers. And it can be more real by putting it in your own terms, people that you are working with everyday, your co-workers.

Having worked in two different corporations in my professional career and dealing with numerous parties, the challenge is always been the same, competencies of the people.  How many times you heard your co-workers complaining about their colleagues? How many times you complained about your colleagues? How many times you feel people around you are not doing their job properly or just hanging out in the office? How many hours in a day they work effectively during those nine-to-five? Having questioned that myself, I asked further, have we ever questioned why is that happening?

Most of the time, the answers are numerous, as well. From priority of life, education background, working experience, lousy supervisors, paycheck (which should not be an excuse) and et cetera. But let’s see it from another perspective. Looking around, we can see there are several types of people. There are people who work for a living. Salary is their bread and butter. Work is only a means to make ends meet. There are no other reasons for them to work other than to earn a living. More often than not, they will not see their work from a bigger perspective. For them, their work is only what stated on the contract.

There is a different type who sees work as a means to achieve a bigger goal. They know what they want to achieve and believe that the thing that they do right now will somehow lead they closer to what they want to be. They will not settle down for what is stated on the paper, on the contrary, they will strive to achieve more than that whenever necessary. These are the people who have a purpose in their life and know that they are here for a bigger reason. Unfortunately, not all people like this. In fact, you will see that people like this is very rare in your company. And yes, education might contribute to this problem.

In my opinion, education and exposure to knowledge significantly contributes to people’s life. Most people I see who have hunger for knowledge and decided to open their mind to it are the most inspiring people that I ever met. These people realize their potential and what they can do to contribute to this world. They work for their purpose, not merely for the money. And these are the kind of people who will lead a division in a company to innovate, to improve things, to inspire and empower others, and make a difference.

I think it is safe to assume that if most of your co-workers are the first type of people, than there are no people in the HR department or in the board management level who believe that people are the most valuable asset in the company, or has the capability to cultivate it. I believe that the role of HR department and every team leaders is to ensure the development of the members in the company to be able to perform at a high level to achieve the company’s goal. It is important to groom and inspire each employee to suit your job role and ensure they know that what they are doing is matter for the company as a whole.

If you think that the talent market out there is below your requirement, than I think you should start contributing to the country’s education. And in the short term, build your HR team to be the best trainer to groom talents to meet your company’s requirement.

Enuff said.