Reduce HR Outage ‘Foot Print’

A travel booking website shared an option to reduce the carbon footprint created by the airplane. It offered a variety of choices to buy a sapling, which would be planted by an NGO. The exact measure of the carbon foot print was calculated to find the accurate number of saplings required to eliminate them. As shared in the advertisement, “if the trip will generate 282 Kgs of Carbon Dioxide (CO2). A single tree can absorb 20.3 Kgs of CO2 in a year.  A traveller needs to contribute Rs. 182 for 14 Saplings to completely eliminate carbon footprint for the trip. 

This advertisement shows a clear representation of how consumption can lead to perishing of a non-renewable source and suggests a way to regenerate it. This strategy can be implemented for processes where a cost is incurred for a return. Yet when certain expenses end up as outage, newer ways to moderate the impact can be located. Accounting Coach defines, a cost might be an expense or it might be an asset. The expense is a cost that has expired or was necessary in order to earn revenues. Here we consider ‘Outage’ as the expense that brings no returns. We glance at different process in HR where this concept can be implemented.

Employee engagement have cost attached to every employee. The cost however becomes an outage when the employee leaves the company. Let us suppose the cost per employee in an employee engagement program is Rs. 10000. The term duration calculated for the program is one year. The employee leaves on the eight month of the program. The outage here would be Rs. 2000. This outage can be directed to be a future benefit with HR initiative such as forming formal and informal alumni with the employee to make them a better future hire. Generally the employee joins either the industry leaders or in some other company in the value chain. This makes their knowledge and experience enriched with time. Consequently they become excellent re-hires. HR needs to strategise to garner them back to the organization .The challenge lies in managing the friction which takes place when an employee decides to resign. The negative impact in the work-flow management infuriates the reporting manager. To make the matter worse, the employee can’t always plan the right path to exit. The serving of notice period becomes a point of negotiation. Incase the retention strategies on the employee do not work, it’s important that the HR creates an exit which can builds on the relationship with the employee that survives beyond the employment with the organization. The loyalty of the employee will get restored by the way they are treated when they leave the organization.

Resource management stands a high dependency on the availability of the resource to the job to be delivered.  Jeffry Gandz explained Zero-talent outage as the continuity of a position even when a talent resigns through a talent pool.

Training and development is another area where HR can switch the outage to a future benefit. The cost of training gets roofed by the ROI. The outage comes in when certain training program are imparted yet the new learning gained are not implemented. The trainee may not get the exact situation or may not be able to find the anchor to connect between the skill learned and scope for implementation. Here the HR needs to offer post training consultation to handhold the trainee in case there are such gaps. Six sigma training programs are an example of such situations. When the program is attended, the scope for implementation needs to be clearly defined. There are circumstances when this program is attended by trainees working in operation and not in quality control. Post training, the trainee may look for a project. In case if they are not put under a strong mentor who can guide them and ensure project completion, the entire purpose of attending the training program would stand defeated.

Just as the advertisement have shared the total impact and offered individual contribution to be made to lessen the impact. Similarly the survival of the HR initiative taken to minimise outage would require personal drive and sense of social purpose. Few key steps including role based strategic arrangement and framework of preparedness would remain fundamental. Target the strategy that can generate return 24/7 .The outage would take time to be recover and may stand million risk. But no journey remians big, once started.


  • Col Virendra Kumar

    The crux of the entire article is that you should not make any expanditure which dont give you any return directly or indirectly.Its very important for HR to maintain a relationship with those employees who are good enough but have to leave the company because of reasons which may be temporary in nature and are likely to change in future. You keep on engaging useful employees even if they go outside, for future hiring.Dont let the employee leave on a sour note.Easy said than done but never the less not impossible to achieve. That is the crux of HR functioning.
    Col Virendra kumar

  • Data entry india

    nice article….