List of recruitment agencies in Sri Lanka released....

Sri Lanka Human Resources Portal recently published the list of recruitment agencies in Sri Lanka. Initially the list started with 22 key organizations, and planned to expand the list very soon. Currently the list contains the recruitment agencies from around the island. Being the first and only access point of the Sri Lankan HR professionals, SLHR Portal wish to serve you with all the relevant information on HR field in future.

Mean time you also can submit your organization details to be published in SLHR Portal without any cost. What you only have to do is send your organizational details into email address. Our team will verify the details and will update in the list very soon.
 You can access the list by click on Recruitment Agencies Page or click on following link :  

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Top 10 reasons why happiness at work is the ultimate productivity booster

Lisa was falling behind at work. Every morning she woke up nervous about the workday ahead of her. Every evening she went home thinking of all the tasks she hadn’t gotten around to.
Lisa is a 35-year old engineer and project manager at a IT company. With business booming, keeping up had become a struggle – she felt she had to run really fast, to just to stay in place.
With her in-box overflowing and people all around her clamoring for assistance on their projects, she started to look at various productivity tools and systems and quickly settled on the one she’d use. As is typical for Lisa, once she’s decided to do something, she does it, and with new ways of tracking time, improved todo-lists and prioritizing her work, she did notice that she was getting more work done.
But she still felt, that she could be more productive. While she was thinking about her next step, it struck her: Some of what she did, she hated doing.
While she generally enjoyed her job, especially helping people plan their projects and advising them on the best ways to move forward, some of her tasks were administrative in nature. Tracking progress, updating various statics, generating reports, etc… . They didn’t take up that much of her time – but they were a lot less fun. Let’s face it: to Lisa, they were boring as hell.
She talked to her boss about it, and they decided to give those tasks to a project secretary. This freed up a little time for Lisa, but mostly it allowed her to work on those parts of her job that she really liked. Consequently Lisa became a lot happier at work – and THAT’S when her productivity sky-rocketed. Now she had the energy to connect with her people and the creativity to think up and implement new ideas. Instead of feeling stressed and harried, she was optimistic and positive.
While her productivity system had definitely helped her get more done, the productivity boost she got from being happy at work was many times bigger. Lisa is now working way less hours – and getting much more done. And most importantly, she’s enjoying work a lot more!
If you want to get more done at work, the productivity gurus out there will tell you that it’s all about having the right system. You need to prioritize your tasks, you must keep detailed logs of how you spend your time, todo-lists are of course essential, you must learn to structure your calendar and much, much more.

But that’s not where you should start. You should start by liking what you do.
The single most efficient way to increase your productivity is to be happy at work. No system, tool or methodology in the world can beat the productivity boost you get from really, really enjoying your work.

I’m not knocking all the traditional productivity advice out there – it’s not that it’s bad or deficient. It’s just that when you apply it in a job that basically doesn’t make you happy, you’re trying to fix something at a surface level when the problem goes much deeper.

Here are the 10 most important reasons why happiness at work is the #1 productivity booster.

1: Happy people work better with others
Happy people are a lot more fun to be around and consequently have better relations at work. This translates into:
Better teamwork with your colleagues
Better employee relations if you’re a manager
More satisfied customers if you’re in a service job
Improved sales if you’re a sales person
2: Happy people are more creative
If your productivity depends on being able to come up with new ideas, you need to be happy at work. Check out the research of Teresa Amabile for proof. She says:
If people are in a good mood on a given day, they’re more likely to have creative ideas that day, as well as the next day, even if we take into account their mood that next day.
There seems to be a cognitive process that gets set up when people are feeling good that leads to more flexible, fluent, and original thinking, and there’s actually a carryover, an incubation effect, to the next day.
3: Happy people fix problems instead of complaining about them
When you don’t like your job, every molehill looks like a mountain. It becomes difficult to fix any problem without agonizing over it or complaining about it first. When you’re happy at work and you run into a snafu – you just fix it.
4: Happy people have more energy
Happy people have more energy and are therefore more efficient at everything they do.
5: Happy people are more optimistic
Happy people have a more positive, optimistic outlook, and as research shows (particularly Martin Seligman’s work in positive psychology), optimists are way more successful and productive. It’s the old saying “Whether you believe you can or believe you can’t, you’re probably right” all over again.
6: Happy people are way more motivated
Low motivation means low productivity, and the only sustainable, reliable way to be motivated at work is to be happy and like what you do. I wrote about this in a previous post called Why “motivation by pizza” doesn’t work.
7: Happy people get sick less often
Getting sick is a productivity killer and if you don’t like your job you’re more prone to contract a long list of diseases including ulcers, cancer and diabetes. You’re also more prone to workplace stress and burnout.
One study assessed the impact of job strain on the health of 21,290 female nurses in the US and found that the women most at risk of ill health were those who didn’t like their jobs. The impact on their health was a great as that associated with smoking and sedentary lifestyles (source).
8: Happy people learn faster
When you’re happy and relaxed, you’re much more open to learning new things at work and thereby increasing your productivity.
9: Happy people worry less about making mistakes – and consequently make fewer mistakes
When you’re happy at work the occasional mistake doesn’t bother you much. You pick yourself up, learn from it and move on. You also don’t mind admitting to others that you screwed up – you simply take responsibility, apologize and fix it. This relaxed attitude means that less mistakes are made, and that you’re more likely to learn from them.
10: Happy people make better decisions
Unhappy people operate in permanent crisis mode. Their focus narrows, they lose sight of the big picture, their survival instincts kick in and they’re more likely to make short-term, here-and-now choices. Conversely, happy people make better, more informed decisions and are better able to prioritize their work.

The upshot
Think back to a situation where you felt that you were at peak performance. A situation where your output was among the highest and best it’s ever been. I’m willing to bet that you were working at something that made you happy. Something that you loved doing.
There’s a clear link between happiness at work and productivity. This only leaves the question of causation: Does being productive make us happy or does being happy make us productive? The answer is, of course, yes! The link goes both ways.
But the link is strongest from happiness to productivity – which means that it if you want to be more productive, the very best thing you can do is focus on being happy with what you do?

So how do you get to be happy at work? There are two ways, really:
·         Get happy in the job you have. There are about a million things you can do to improve your work situation – provided you choose to do something, rather than wait for someone else to come along and do it for you.
·         Find a new job where you can be happy. If your current job is not fixable, don’t wait – move on now!

Article from :

Importance Of Training and Development

Optimum Utilization of Human Resources –Training and Development helps in optimizing the utilization of human resource that further helps the employee to achieve the organizational goals as well as their individual goals.
Development of Human Resources – Training and Development helps to provide an opportunity and broad structure for the development of human resources’ technical and behavioral skills in an organization. It also helps the employees in attaining personal growth.
Development of skills of employees – Training and Development helps in increasing the job knowledge and skills of employees at each level. It helps to expand the horizons of human intellect and an overall personality of the employees. 
Productivity – Training and Development helps in increasing the productivity of the employees that helps the organization further to achieve its long-term goal.
Team spirit – Training and Development helps in inculcating the sense of team work, team spirit, and inter-team collaborations. It helps in inculcating the zeal to learn within the employees.
Organization Culture – Training and Development helps to develop and improve the organizational health culture and effectiveness. It helps in creating the learning culture within the organization. 
Organization Climate – Training and Development helps building the positive perception and feeling about the organization. The employees get these feelings from leaders, subordinates, and peers.
Quality – Training and Development helps in improving upon the quality of work and work-life. 
Healthy work environment – Training and Development helps in creating the healthy working environment. It helps to build good employee, relationship so that individual goals aligns with organizational goal.
Health and Safety – Training and Development helps in improving the health and safety of the organization thus preventing obsolescence.
Morale – Training and Development helps in improving the morale of the work force.
Image – Training and Development helps in creating a better corporate image.
Profitability – Training and Development leads to improved profitability and more positive attitudes towards profit orientation.
Training and Development aids in organizational development i.e. Organization gets more effective decision making and problem solving. It helps in understanding and carrying out organizational policies.
Training and Development helps in developing leadership skills, motivation, loyalty, better attitudes, and other aspects that successful workers and managers usually display

Article from, 

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National HR Excellence Awards 2011

CIMA Holds Annual Convocation

Eleven Sri Lankan prize winners, 413 exam completed students and 206 newly-elected Associate and Fellow members received their certificates and gold medals during the biannual convocation of the CIMA Sri Lanka Division, held at the Cinnamon Grand for exam completed students and Waters Edge for newly-elected Associate and Fellow members

Chief Guest CIMA Global President George Glass congratulated the winners on their accomplishment and said: "I would like to offer my warmest congratulations to the 413 students who have completed their written examinations, the 190 new Associates, the 16 new Fellows and the 11 prize winners on their accomplishments this year. You are members of a global CIMA community of 183,000 students and members in 168 countries that are uniquely skilled to help create successful and sustainable organizations.
"To become a member of CIMA, you have to be passionate about business and finance. The institute is not ashamed of the fact that its syllabus is rigorous and demanding. The examination process itself is designed to sift the best from the rest. Those who have joined the CIMA community have proved themselves to be first class finance professionals with the potential to become the business leaders of the future. I would also like to extend my thanks and appreciation to all family members, tuition providers, employers, colleagues and friends who have provided valuable support to students through in their studies and to members as they take on greater responsibility in their careers."
He added: "A growing number of organizations around the world are recognizing that the unique skills and insight provided by chartered management accountants have become an essential part of the business toolkit. Because CIMA's formula is underpinned by an emphasis on ethics and good governance, our members are not only the best management accountants in the world but they work with an adherence to integrity that is essential if businesses are to prosper in the long term. As you know, CIMA's motto is, 'honesty, accuracy, justice'. If CIMA members are to make their contribution to the future of organizations in both the public and private sector, they must use the skills outlined by CIMA's motto to become business partners and, beyond that, business navigators who can steer business thorough the challenges ahead. CIMA members in Sri Lanka are ideally equipped to play as essential role in developing the country's position on the world stage by helping its organisations to enhance their reputation for diligence and excellence. I wish you every success in your future careers."
Chairman CIMA Sri Lanka Board Shiromi Rajendra said: "On behalf of the CIMA Sri Lanka Board and the CIMA community let me congratulate the exam completed students, new associate members, new fellow members and the prize winners on their success and commend the 11 prize winners who have excelled in their professional studies for their outstanding performance. We take great pride in your achievement and hope that your success will inspire and encourage the 13,000 strong and growing CIMA students' body in Sri Lanka.
"The CIMA syllabus is designed to deliver a strong understanding of all aspects of business enabling our members to contribute in many areas of an organisation. The training is designed to prepare people for a career in business and the CIMA qualification is recognised as the most relevant finance qualification for business. As you stand at the threshold of your professional life we hope you will utilise the skills and competencies achieved during your period of training to maximise your career potential and use CIMA's wide range of products and services to continually develop your selves and get updated on the changes in the business world."
"Your achievement is a result of your dedication and hard work. It is a success you truly deserve and an achievement you have truly earned. No doubt many of you would have had considerable support from your families, employers, tuition colleges and numerous others.  On behalf of CIMA Sri Lanka I would like to thank them for their contribution to your success. May I once again congratulate you on your success and wish you all the very best in your future endeavours," she added.
Guest of Honour Prof. Christopher Prince, Executive Dean, Birmingham City Business School, congratulated the winners on their accomplishment and said: "I would like to take this opportunity to offer my warmest congratulations to those of you who have just completed your examinations. I would also like to offer my congratulations to associate members, fellow members and prize winners on their significant achievements. Birmingham City Business School is proud to be associated with today's Convocation and with CIMA, the world's largest professional body of management accountants.
"In the UK, demand for CIMA professionals currently outstrips supply, particularly in larger blue chip companies. Organisations need leaders with advisory or management accounting knowledge and competencies. Like CIMA, Birmingham City Business School is committed to ensuring graduates are prepared to meet such demands, as well as, developing the next generation of business leaders. We have no doubt that the CIMA qualifications we help deliver will provide you with the knowledge and confidence required to succeed in your chosen career, broadening your employment opportunities and employability and better preparing you to take on finance leadership roles in the future."
"With continuous professional development in mind, the Business School has been working closely with CIMA and employers, to launch a full-time MSc Accountancy and Finance (CIMA Pathway) and Msc in Accountancy and Finance (top-up) which can be studied on a full-time or part-time basis. We are confident that employers will value the contribution that these newly validated postgraduate degree courses, combined with the CIMA qualification, will make to their organisations," he added.
Both convocations were well represented by members of the CIMA Board and officials from Birmingham City Business School.

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Are You Ready to Battle......

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The Pros and Cons of Online Recruitment

Newspapers are still jobseeker's most popular source of vacancies. But the Internet is fast becoming a rival. In the past four years, the web has nearly doubled in popularity among job-hunters. That's according to a survey by the British Market Research Bureau, which discovered that 23 per cent of those questioned preferred to go online to find work.

Well over 1m people have found jobs online during the past five years, and as graduates and young professionals become increasingly IT literate, so the numbers will greatly increase. 

But IT career consultants say it is unlikely that online recruitment will ever replace traditional methods like newspapers, the trade press, word-of mouth and contacting a company directly, which are seen as pro-active ways of finding work, while the Internet is regarded as reactive. Another survey – by IT services firm Parity – suggested that only five per cent of big employers used the Internet to recruit in 2003, compared to 33 per cent in 2001.

The common complaints about online job-hunting centre on the impersonal nature – its lack of human contact and personal feedback. Job seekers bemoan the fact that details can be out of date, sites crash at vital moments and e-mails get lost. Recruitment sites also sometimes don't have information arranged in a logical or accessible fashion.

However, the Internet is speedy, instantly available and offers a vast amount of information on job hunting as well as offering vacancies aplenty, allowing people to search, view and apply for jobs and post CVs at the click of a mouse, at any time of the day or night. Many job-search sites offer free registration and job alerts by e-mail. When used in tandem with more traditional, 'human' offline methods, the web can be extremely useful in helping shape your career.

Web-based recruitment offers candidates access to a sizeable amounts of information about their potential employers, making brushing-up on the background much easier than it was in pre-Internet days. Websites, with their interactive elements, are far more useful than company brochures in offering an idea of how a company views itself and what it expects from its members of staff.

Some recruiters have abandoned their online methods because they were being inundated with unwanted or inappropriate e-mails. But many more businesses have refined their websites to benefit both themselves and potential employees. Filtering software can screen applicants early in the process; meaning valid applicants are less likely to be lost in the glut of applications.

The very best employers' websites offer realistic job previews, sometimes through editorials featuring interviews with people currently working at the firm. Applicants may be able to e-mail specific employees, nominated by the company as spokespeople, to enquire about the nature of a position. Having access to a wealth of knowledge means you won't waste your time applying for a role to which you are not suited.

Competency questionnaires, ability tests and psychometric exams can feature online at the front end of the job application process, meaning applicants who pass these stages are the most suitable and likeliest to be considered.

It can be weeks between sending an application by post and taking a new job, by way of interviews and aptitude tests. That time frame can now potentially be reduced to days, even hours, without the need to ever leave your PC.

[Article extracted from:]

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More than 300 hits, within less than 10 days….

Sri Lanka Human Resources Portal proudly announces that the blog site hit by more than 300 HR professionals & Students and other HR communities, within last week.

It is a huge encouragement to continue our effort to create a central HR community in Sri Lankan Cyber Space. Thank you very much for joining with us and sharing the ideas !!!

Sri Lanka Human Resources Portal planning to come to your desktop with many updates in coming days….


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IPM Young HR Minds Awards 2011

Align and measure Employee Objectives to Corporate Objectives Via Hoshin - Kanri Appraisal Model

This case study delivered by Mr. Sunil Dissanayake, Head Group Resources/Services from Hayleys Group, Sri Lanka, at the hSenid International HR Conference 2011. Mr Dissanayake introduces Hoshin-Kanri Appraisal Model and presents, how this model helped to align employee objectives to achieve corporate objectives in Hayleys Group, which is an international conglomerate of 54 companies.

You can download the full Case Study, along with many other resources related to hSenid International HR Conference 2011 through following link:

‘Gender should not be a Business Issue’ – Dian Gomes

Drawing a parallel from the boxing arena to responsible decision making, celebrity corporate leader and Managing Director, MAS Holdings Dian Gomes said “Women mean business; studies show that businesses with women at the top can sometimes be more effective than men-only companies.”
Gomes, as head of an organisation that employs the most number of women in Sri Lanka, was invited to address the female employees of Standard Chartered Bank on International Women’s Day.
Providing inspiration to over 200 of Standard Chartered’s women management cadre, Gomes went on to add that many Sri Lankan women shunned taking on additional responsibilities and were reluctant to move out of their comfort zones and therefore are slow to move up the corporate ladder. When offered Chief Executive positions, women declined in fear of trading off their primary roles as wives and mothers.
When questioned on what he saw as common barriers that prevented women from reaching corporate board levels, he said “confidence to take on additional responsibility” as a key barrier, citing examples.
Using his experience of the many years in supporting and motivating Sri Lanka’s Olympic level boxing team, Gomes delighted the audience by drawing parallels from the boxing arena to responsible decisions and leadership.
Gender diversity and work-life balance is an intrinsic element of Standard Chartered Bank’s Diversity and Inclusion agenda. The bank, which boasts of a female workforce of 48.5%, strives to help women realise their full potential through development and supportive workplace practices, one of which is a Bank-run crèche for its employees.

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SHL products unveiled in Sri Lanka

(Article from Daily FT) 
Intercontinental Institute of Human Resource Management (IIHRM) – probably the most high-tech service provider in Human Resource tools and ‘Next Generation’ compatible learning products that achieves breakthrough bottom-line results now in Sri Lanka, partnered with the world’s leader in objective assessment – SHL Group (UK).
SHL Group is a leading consultancy service specialising in the objective assessment and development of people at work. Established in 1977, has extensive professional and technical expertise in the design of objective assessment procedures and is widely acknowledged as a world leader in the implementation of competency based assessment and development initiatives.
“The duo has made Psychometric on-line assessment and development tools affordable to the corporate world in Sri Lanka at a fraction of the cost with our partnership with IIHRM and we are just a call away” said Y.V.L. Pandit the Managing Director of SHL. “Through the research and development work which has underpinned the development of our assessment tools and over 20 years experience in organisational consulting, SHL has developed and refined sophisticated systems for the analysis of jobs and the identification of the key personal attributes required for successful performance” stated Pandit in a press release. We are pleased to have had the opportunity to partner with Sri Lanka’s number one HR consulting house which we call the ideal fit and probably the best vehicle to bring the must have HR tool kit to your doorstep,” concluded Pandit.

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Bring our law in line with the National Workers’ Charter and ILO Conventions

By T.M.R.RasseedinPresident – Ceylon Federation of Labour (CFL)
- This Article captured from Business Times. (
Sri Lanka has come under close scrutiny on the implementation of internationally recognised core labour standards particularly in relation to ILO C.87 (Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise) of 1948 adopted by Sri Lanka in 1995 and C. 98 of 1948 (The Right to organise and Collective Bargaining ratified by Sri Lanka in 1972).
The Workers Charter promulgated by the then Head of State Chandrika Kumaratunga on September 2, 1995 as state policy in the field of labour and labour relations states in its preamble that Sri Lanka is committed to the ideals enshrined in the declarationof Philadelphia in 1944 and to Conventions and Recommendations adopted by the ILO. It provides, in categorical terms, in Part 1 of the Workers Charter provisions relating to “Basic Human Rights, Freedom of Association and the Right to Organise and Bargaining Collectively.” The incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa played a pivotal role as the then Minister of Labour and Vocational Training in the preparation of the National Workers Charter.
The Industrial Disputes (Amendment) Act No.56 of 1999 was specially intended to give effect to the aforementioned provision in the Workers Charter. In its working it has now been realised that Act No. 56 of 1999 falls short of the original expectations of the framers to meet the requirements contained in ILO Conventions No.87 and No.98 and the National Workers Charter. Hence, the unions in the NLAC are engaged in the exercise to revisit and revise I.D. (Amendment) Act No. 56 of 1999 to bring it in line with the requirements mentioned above. It is the considered opinion of the writer that no amount of tinkering with the present legislation will produce the desired result. What is really needed is the complete repeal of Act No. 56 of 1999 and its replacement with a new law that will be consistent with the National Workers’ Charter and ILO Conventions: C 87 and C 98.

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Case Study : People-based Business Intelligence: from HR efficiency to business trend analysis - A practical guide to delivering meaningful people-based information

This Briefing Paper explores the concept of people-based business intelligence, an emerging approach to people management that moves reporting and analysis away from inward-looking HR metrics into a broader business context. Made possible by a combination of software tools, process automation and evolving people management priorities, business intelligence gives organizations greater insight into their employee base and helps propel Human Capital Management up the boardroom agenda.
Please Note : This is a downloaded case study and rights reserved to the author.  


The Government has declared April 15 as a special Public and Bank holiday immediately following the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, the Government information Department said today.

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Human Resource Challenges to develop eBusiness in Sri Lanka, - A Case Study

This is a case study done by Dr, Kennedy D. Gunawardana,  (Ph.D.) , Senior Lecturer, Department of Accounting , University of Sri Jayewardenepura , Nugegoda , Sri Lanka

You can find the full case study paper from

This paper presents the Human Resource Challenges in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Industry in Sri Lanka and the potential for an EBusiness in Sri Lanka. This paper has addressed secondary data which have been surveyed by Sri Lankan ICTA agency. There is a growing demand in ICT work force. Compared to last 2 years; it was grown by nearly 10,000 over the two years from 2004 to 2006. Nearly 14,500 IT workers are required in the next two years (2007-2008). However, only 2216 Major graduates will be added to the workforce every year, according to the ICTA survey. This number is insufficient to the Industry development. The Internet usage in Sri Lanka is insignificant due to the lack of various reasons.  Nearly 1.35% of total population use internet. The majority of Sri Lankan lives in rural areas. It is primarily a rural based country where a larger percentage of its citizens cannot avail themselves of these modern capabilities. Some of the key advantages of ICT development in Sri Lanka.

include its favourable macro-economic policies and a business culture open to global partners and investors. Education has been a priority in Sri Lanka since ancient times resulting in one of the highest literacy rates in the region and labour rates too are comparatively very competitive. The country possesses a talented pool of manpower and Sri Lankan software companies have proved themselves many a time that they are capable of competing in both software services and product development.  However there is lack of Human resource strategies for retaining skilled ICT graduates in local companies even though shortage of workforce. The main problems in developing E-Businesses are lack of Internet usage in total population, lack of companies’ knowledge in Internet Business, lack of Investment for future EBusiness areas and lack of government support to enhance E-Business in rural areas. This paper concludes that there is strong potentiality to go for the successful EBusiness with strong involvement of companies by overcoming common problems faced by any developing country at this stage of online business.

IPM announces their new HR cources

Institute of Personal Management Has announced their new HR courses those to be started by April / May 2011.
You can get the information about these courses by contacting relevant course coordinater.  

·                     Foundation Course in Human Resource Management (FCHRM)
·                    New Commencement : April / May 2011 - Contact : Madushani ( 4511138 )


Certificate Course in Human Resource Management (CCHRM)

New Commencement : April 2011 - Contact : Jananee ( 4511138 )


Professional Qualification in Human Resource Management (PQHRM)

New Commencement : April / May 2011 - Contact : Bandara ( 4542467 )

Programme in "Career Guidance and Development" (PCGD)

Contact : April 2011 - Contact : Heshyanthi ( 4511138 )


Diploma in Industrial Relations & Industrial Law (DIIRIL)

Contact : Mahendra ( 4511138 )


Diploma in Occupational Safety And Health (DIOSH)

New Commencement : April 2011 - Contact : Mahendra ( 4511138 )


Diploma in Psychology (DIPSY)

New Commencement : June 2011 - Contact : Heshyanthi ( 4511138 )


Certificate Course in Training & Development (CCTD)

Contact : Janaka ( 4511138


National Diploma in Training & Development (NDTD)

New Commencement : January 2011 - Contact : Anuradha ( 4511138 )

For more information, visit

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Your People are Your Business


It is easy to forget that people are at the heart of organisations. Human capital is the bloodflow of any corporate strategy, and thereby draws on the motivations, expectations, creativity, skills and passion of each and every individual. As such, it is what each person brings to an organisation in terms of his or her own life experience and unique expression of talent that helps drive the strategic mandate of the company. Yet harnessing this amorphous capital is challenging.
Organisational culture has a significant impact on an organisation’s productivity, ability to meet targets, efficiency and of course, ability to relate to one another in the organisational context. It is these relations that drive talent development, recognition and retention.
Such is the nature of most organisations that structure runs in top-down silos with well-demarcated chains of command and line management. This works in terms of providing career progression, and establishing levels of responsibility as well as accountability. However, in terms of collaboration and furthering operational mandates, this hierarchical structure can be counter-productive. Such an organisational system encourages competition between individuals for career advancement, and between silos in terms of annual performance. Collaboration towards a common goal feels alien in an environment that encourages and rewards separatism.
In addition, the mechanics of communication are challenging. Within an organisation, there are numerous generational differences that can hamper communication. Baby Bboomers, Generations X and Y work side by side to forward the strategic mandate of an organisation. Across management and leadership layers, Baby Boomers and Gen Xers dominate, yet a Gen Y employee would approach a strategic decision quite differently from his colleagues, based on his or her experience of the wider environment. Needless to say, each generational rung has a specific set of skills that are both relevant and productive, when harnessed astutely. Each generation of worker can provide opportunities to consolidate the company offering, however, more often than not, it is these differences that create schisms in the communication landscape.
How then does an organisation go about maximising the talent inherent in its staff, whilst fostering unity in an otherwise divided workforce?
There are two approaches to managing people; top down and bottom up. Purpose is a strong motivator for a workforce challenged by downward economic turn. As organisations tighten their belts and cut costs to streamline overheads, there is a need for work to become more than just about increasing management bottom-line – it has to be about striving towards a unified, cohesive goal with shared benefits. In addition, for an organisation that specialises in content aggregation, the advent of technology is changing the way content specialists work. In an uncertain environment, colleagues have to feel that their skills are relevant and adaptable to the challenges they face. Management needs to address these issues, both strategically for the longevity and sustainability of the organisation, but also to communicate these issues with colleagues to assuage their fears, and include them into the organisation.
Communication is key: talking to each other, sharing knowledge, opening up the silo divisions, recognising the skills that are transferable. But what of skill sharing? Top employees, although no doubt proficient in one particular area, might well have transferable skill sets that can apply to other problems in other sectors of the business. An accountant in a division is as likely to come up with a creative marketing idea, as likely as an online strategist is to spot an area for business development. It’s about communicating with colleagues, top down, bottom up, and allowing two-way feedback.
So what doesn’t work? Change management processes that are textbook driven and scholarly and rely on theory and models that assume one-size-fits-all and foster exclusion when the model doesn’t fit don’t work. Wily colleagues can spot a ‘management intervention’ without colleague buy-in, exacerbating organisational fatigue. Line management ownership which reduces collaboration to the linear processing form of advancement which retains the silo structure is also not good for the organisation. It is better to create partnerships across divisions with HR to foster co-creativity, and a sense of support. It’s best to avoid anything that’s been seen before. The time is ripe for new approaches, new ways of looking at old problems, and getting Gen Ys on board to brainstorm!
Mawethu Cawe is Group Executive for HR and Transformation at Avusa Limited (

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Global HR Best Practices Shared at hSenid HRM Conference

Understanding the vital role that human resource management plays in today’s rapidly changing workplace environment, Sri Lanka’s number one HR company, hSenid Business Solutions (Pvt.) Ltd. hosted the hSenid International HRM Conference 2011, which held recently in, Colombo.
The first of its kind, the theme of the conference, ‘Unleashing HR Potential to Compete Globally’, complemented the company’s goal of wanting to share international best practices amongst its customers located in over 24 countries worldwide.
Both Sri Lankan and foreign delegates gathered yesterday to share experiences and strategies at the two-day conference which began with a CEO Breakfast Meeting. While exploring the many approaches adopted by businesses worldwide, it also delved deeper into gaining a competitive edge by implementing automated HR practices.
Addressing the gathering in his welcome speech, the Chairman and CEO of hSenid Business Solutions Dinesh Saparamadu spoke about the indigenous multinational company which with a 14 year history in Sri Lanka now 
has its human resource management system used in over 24 countries.
“As the leader, the number one HR company in the country, hSenid came to the decision to host this conference in order to share international best practices to create awareness on how HR can be used as a competitive tool to compete globally,” he said.

New Era

He then spoke about the current workplace which has been undergoing rapid changes – technology is revolutionising the way people work in what is now referred to as the Facebook age and the Twitter era. New social media is changing the way things work and companies need to accordingly adjust to this new era.
Another aspect that has changed is the way employees are recruited as this too has now gone online. Saparamadu pointed out that the days where recruitment was carried out via advertisements in print media were now long gone, replaced by online recruitment systems which allow companies to attract the right employees at the right time and such websites in turn have created an environment where online recruitment has been made very easy.

Maximising Human Resources

The first speaker of the morning was the Chief Guest of the conference, the US Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives Patricia Butenis, who drew upon her 30 year career as a diplomat for the US State Department to address the issue of implementing and maximising human resources.
“The theme of maximising human resources is very timely for companies to reach their goals and for Sri Lanka to reach its true potential,” she said.

Her vast experience in several countries, including in Iraq during the civil conflict, has helped her greatly in her work in post-conflict environment in Sri Lanka.
“It is absolutely essential to coordinate all the staff, build common goals and coordinate all their work. A challenge was integrating the American and Sri Lankan staff. We have a talented group of Sri Lankan employees and it is absolutely critical to establish that no matter how hard the Americans work, they will not know the country as well as the Sri Lankan staff does,” Butenis expressed.
She went on to explain how she handles her diverse staff at the embassy by always giving them clear work expectations as employees need to know what they are supposed to do in order to complete projects handed over to them.


Butenis also touched on the subject of treating all employees equally, stating that while it is easy to have favourites, it is important that everyone is treated equally and that one should work to make sure that everybody has a chance and everyone feels part of the team.

“Transparency is the key to the abovementioned goals and in addition to that accountability too has to be practiced. Transparency and accountability must be ingrained so that everybody knows the standards to which they will be held accountable. I always try to share the credit and take the blame. Another key is inclusiveness; especially when working with a diverse team such as mine where there are many different types of people on the team, both American and Sri Lankan,” she explained.

Everyone should cooperate so that individual abilities and perspectives come through and they work together as one team and work towards achieving a common goal. A final key take she shared was empowering people, stating that she personally looks for people who come up with great ideas and push the ideas to their supervisors as there is no point in having a talented staff if all they do is just implement your own ideas.
Being a diplomat for the US State for over 30 years, Butenis said that she had seen great changes occur during this period. When she joined the US State Department in the 1980s, it was still mostly dominated by white men and there were only a few women in management positions but this has increased considerably over the years. It is therefore important to recruit people who can be adaptable and deal with the fast paced changes.

Generation X’

Amongst the many problems faced by the US State Department, one prevalent one is dealing with ‘Generation X’. The current generation of employees is talented but they find it difficult to conform to the hierarchical system followed in such organisations. Many of them see the job as a stepping stone to further careers in the future, whereas previously such a job was seen as a career on its own.

Coming back to the current situation in Sri Lanka, Butenis asserted that Sri Lanka could succeed in its efforts by allowing equal opportunities, transparency and inclusiveness; people from different backgrounds would be greatly beneficial as the country strives to build up its economy.

“The time has now come for Sri Lanka to transform itself through economic growth and we have seen that the Government has strived to achieve economic development, which is absolutely necessary, but of course it won’t be enough on its own as Sri Lanka also needs human capital to reach this goal,” said Butenis.
Addressing one last point, the Ambassador pointed out that in the past in the face of all the issues, many Sri Lankans had taken their talent overseas. Now that things are better some Sri Lankans are coming home; the return of Sri Lankans will be beneficial for the country.
Most people thought the Sri Lankan apparel market would fade but it has thrived by developing itself further and adding more value to its products. There were also sceptics who doubted Sri Lanka’s ability to build up its IT industries and business process outsourcing, which it has done successfully and they now continue to grow.
Key takes from several industry experts followed the keynote address and they discussed how they used HR as a competitive tool in various different industries. This began with the Head of Group Human Resources and Services of Hayleys Group Sri Lanka Sunil Dissanayake, who shared with the audience the benefits of following the Hoshin-Kanri appraisal method.


Hoshin-Kanri are Japanese words that directly translate to planning and management respectively. Hayleys as a group is involved in seven completely different business sectors and can be effectively described as having conglomerates within a conglomerate.

Discussing how Hoshin-Kanri is linked with performance management, the implementation of the method results in every executive being accountable for everything and aligns all the business units in one direction, in accordance with the top corporate goals of the organisation.
“In Hayleys, everybody has engaged in it and it has now been successfully implemented. The model also helps measure employee performance which is measured through the achievement of various objectives,” Dissanayake explained.

Commitment and leadership, competence and capability of HR delivery teams, quality and process of cascading goals and timeliness are all objectives that can be achieved by the implementation of the Hoshin-Kanri appraisal method.

Automating HR

Corporate ICT Manager of AMREF Africa Mwoka Matuku Willy spoke next of the overall impact of automating HR to the organisation – how operational excellence was achieved through automation, the benefits of time saving gained through automation, statistical insight to time and cost savings.

“Most of the human resource management just like many other organisations used to spend a lot of time in operational issues. The records that were kept within our organisation were a challenge to update, manipulate and access. Each year, concentrated reports were required and putting these reports together were a big issue as we have five offices across Africa – almost 1,000 employees so managing them was really an issue,” explained Matuku, when describing the organisation pre-automation.

After adopting hSenid’s HRM Enterprise solution, processes became much smoother with HR functions delegated to the branch managers across the country. Drawing upon the simple example of applying for leave, which used to be a process that took anywhere between hours to days, Matuku stated that the process just took a couple of minutes instead.

After implementing the HR automation model, staff were given GSM models which they could log into 24 hours a day, hence eliminating the need for middlemen, filling out of forms and other time-consuming practices.

Public Sector Implementation
Head of ICTA’s Government Re-engineering Programme Wasantha Deshapriya took to the stage next and during his chat with Saparamadu stressed on the importance of public sector implementation of HR automation as the Government is currently the biggest employer in Sri Lanka, employing over a million people.
“We have commenced HR automation initiatives and so have a few others but most major organisations for most of the part has not picked up on this practice. This is due to the fact that the top management of Government organisations have dismal literacy rates – most barely use a computer and they therefore do not understand the importance of implementing this essential initiative,” Deshapriya said.

The adoption of these methods would streamline many processes, he went on to say and would allow Government officials to assess employee strength, calculate salaries and other wages and rates, etc.
He was in turn followed by the Human Resource Manager of the InQpharm Group, Malaysia, a young pharmaceutical company that works closely with the European Union. With headquarters in based in Malaysia, HR automation once again plays a key role in bridging the distance between their customers in Europe.
He discussed the methodology that can be used to uplift staff productivity in the ever changing global market, the business value and impact from HR dashboards and analytics to staff productivity and the correlation of staff productivity to reduced stress and burnt out rates.
The morning session came to a close with a brief chat with the Director/Chief Human Resources Officer of the Aitken Spence Group of Sri Lanka, Rohan Pandithakoralage who first commented on the number of people who have passed through the doors of the Aitken Spence Group in the audience.
The Aitken Spence Group is well known for their intense training programmes and the Director in turn discussed using real-time people metrics in decision making, meeting overall corporate business objetives through the system and how automation in strategic HR activities were carried out within the organisation.
The first half of the conference drew to a close with this and was followed by several technical track sessions with various industrial experts, both local and international. A networking and cocktail session held in the evening gave the many professionals an opportunity to connect and mingle, building partnerships between the many parties present. Day Two which commences early this morning at the same location will consist of further track sessions, after which the conference will come to an end.

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