Anna Hankimaa, an HR professional from Finland is finding herself both challenged and satisfied through helping Atma Partner Masoom develop their HR management & processes.
Thorough HR systems for Masoom will create a strong work force with lower staff turn-over, allowing Masoom to maximize their resources and spend more time focusing on programs. Atma has been supporting Masoom on strengthening their HR processes over the past quarter, and brought Anna in at a key time to be able to carry the development of HR documents and programs, and the implementation of new systems. Anna is a training and marketing expert, having taught marketing and worked as a consultant providing trainings. Since Anna began as an Atma Volunteer two months ago, this HR strengthening process has truly taken off. Here is Anna’s report on her experience as an Atma volunteer with Masoom.
“A challenge in the beginning is to try to understand the organisation’s culture and their way of working, thinking and collaborating. For that, you need someone from the organisation who has time to teach you and work with you. I’ve been lucky to have such a person, Lakshmi Jayakar, who knows Masoom in and out. We’ve been working as a team on this project.”
Masoom has been an Atma Partner since April 2010. When Atma volunteers are placed with partners, Atma remains a holistic support to the volunteer, allowing them to concentrate their efforts on their partner progress. The Atma Volunteer orientation ensured that Anna was well equipped to take on the HR requirements for Masoom. In addition to all the necessary information about the Atma Partner to start work there, Anna received constant aid and direction from Atma in her work with Masoom.
“I’ve worked in many organizations in the corporate and education sector, including consultancy which I think has provided me tools to do this. However, this is my very first time working in India, in the NGO sector and as a volunteer in organisations like Atma and Masoom. These factors have provided a great and enjoyable opportunity to learn.
The change that the new HR documents and programs will bring about will be seen in the coming weeks and months as the new handbooks, templates, induction programs and HR processes are being implemented. The implementation is quite concrete as there are a few new employees joining, and the processes, documents and HR responsibilities are now on ‘real life trial’. There’s definitely a learning curve, but so far, it looks good! The long term impact depends very much on consistency in adapting and following the new ways of working. I’ll be overseeing this as much as possible during March & April.
Atma has been consistent and supportive, providing a space for me to share my HR expertise with an Atma Partner who requires it. My experience with the Masoom team has also been very positive. Getting to know them has inspired me in the project since I’m working for them in trying to create structures, processes, templates that make their work more effective. Knowing the organizational culture gives context, and hopefully has helped me to make solutions fitting to the organization’s reality. I’ve done nothing alone: everything has been through teamwork with Masoom, and especially with Lakshmi. Conversations with Lakshmi have been very fruitful, and crucial to the success of this project. The CEO’s constant feedback has been important in guiding the project. It is in the end her who makes the change happen, or not by believing in the project and requiring the organization to adapt and follow. Thus, I feel the outputs cannot be said to be provided by me although I’ve written them. The input from others has been huge!”