Bhubaneswar: Xavier University, Bhubaneswar’s School of Human Resource Management (XAHR), conducted its annual HR symposium in  Xavier City campus  on Friday.

Industry veterans and faculty members, including Dr.SnigdhaPattnaik (Dean, XAHR), Fr. E. A. Augustine, S.J. (Registrar, XUB), Dr.Mukesh Biswas (Manager Administration, Oil India Limited), Mr. Satyakki Bhattacharjee (Chief People Officer, ABP News), Ms. Poonam Gupta (Regional HR Director – Asia Pacific, Metso), Mr. Sandeep Patnaik (General Manager – HR & Skill Development, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited), Ms. Rashima Mishra (Co-founder/ Executive Directorand Head of Brand Communication & Organisational Development, Milk Mantra Dairy Pvt. Ltd.), and Mr. Banabas Acharya (AGM – HR, Jindal Steel and Power Ltd.).

The first panel, consisting of  Acharya, Mishra, and  Patnaik, threw a spotlight on “Employee Happiness in Organizations”. The moderator of the panel,  Sanket Sunand Dash (Assistant Professor, XAHR) initiated the discussion by highlighting the importance of happiness, by quoting the World Happiness Report, and inviting the panel to discuss further. Banabas Acharya, banking on his experience in the steel industry, spoke of how happiness is proportional to performance and commitments; and to ensure that employees are happy, HR needs to create frameworks to sustain employees, while ensuring they remain humble to their roots.

Rashima Mishra, whose company featured recently in Forbes and Wall Street Journal, stressed on the importance of recruiting right, and how HR needs to be in a parallel loop with the business, and not in a separate orbit. She also brought out how the lines between professional and personal happiness are getting blurred.

Finally, Sandeep Patnaik introduced the gathering to the PERMA model (Positive emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning and Accomplishments), and how organizations can impact employees’ happiness and self esteem through public recognition programs.

After the engaging polemics, the second panel, moderated by Ishadarshi Mishra (Learning Manager – ETS Academy, Unilever), discussed on “Valuing Solid Citizens in Organizations”. The panel, consisting of Biswas,  Bhattacharjee, and  Gupta, pondered on the point raised by Mishra, wherein she brought out how organizations cannot afford to lose the human element in HR.

Ms. Poonam Gupta drew an analogy between sports, family and the corporate structure, highlighting how each of them is an organization. She defined “solid citizens” as someone who have been in the company, and have garnered knowledge through their experience, and are not necessarily mediocre performers. She stressed on how organizations need to retain their solid citizens by peer-to-peer recognition, and other engaging activities. According to her expert judgement, the biggest worry an organization can have is to find the right successor to incumbents, who are solid citizens.

Satyakki Bhattacharjee and Mukesh Biswas contemplated how solid citizens and solid performance can be seen differently in private sectors and public-sector undertakings. While the former stresses on delivering consistent performance, especially in a function which is competitive in nature, the latter focuses more on enabling below-average performers to get back to the curve. Both of them agreed that not all roles are suitable for the “mainstream” star-performers, and it’s the solid citizens who run the show from behind the scenes.