Monday, 27 November 2017

Best Work Happens When...

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When people are encouraged
to do work their way
freely, spontaneously,with enthusiasm
and not necessarily "my way"
best work happens....

So long as goals are  reached
why agonize over "my way","his way","her way"
feed ego, at the expense of employee morale?
at the expense of best results?

When people have learnt the job
it is time to get out of the way
and let them do the best
they know how to do
even if it means giving up
your power feelings
of supervision and control!

Thursday, 16 November 2017

The First Step

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When the project looks too big,daunting
all it takes is the first step
'initiative' is all about beginning,
taking the first step...

Once started,it keeps rolling
and before you know it
you have reached the peak
that seemed so far away, unattainable
yes,"The journey of a thousand miles
begins with one step!" 

NB: The last two lines are from the quote of
the ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tsu/ Laozi

Monday, 23 October 2017

Meetings aplenty

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Hopping from meeting to meeting
hardly any time available
for actually doing the work
for the planning,organizing,directing and controlling

When most of the time in a day
is spent behind closed doors
doing post mortems, blaming
surviving, saving one's own skin...
its a miracle that any work gets done
work if any, happens not because of
but in spite of the umpteen meetings!

Friday, 29 September 2017

The Gaps between Theory and Practice

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The buzz word in corporate circles 
is leadership, in  the VUCA world
a world that is volatile, uncertain
complex and ambiguous
pundits love to talk about it
but actually have no clue themselves of
how to  handle uncertainities of the future....

In an evening professional meeting 
the expert panel discussed an important weapon 
in the armoury of HRDians today
the current super star
the one and only data analytics!

Analytics is all about the discovery of data, interpretation
and communication of meaningful patterns
for describing, predicting, and improving business performance
the audience are excited to listen to speakers
to be able to claim as knowledgeable, abreast of latest trends....

But how much and how fast
are  they willing to implement
new knowledge, latest  trends
is a moot question

A member at question time
revealed sad story of how
his analytics  company  won
the 'showcase' award last year
yet not a single customer sought his services
after the hype and the applause died down

What matters most perhaps is filling gap
between theory and practice
with companies foucusing  more on  implementation 
and far less on the hype, discussion and debates!

Foot Note: The National HRD Network, Bangalore Chapter organises a competition annually to  "show case" the best and innovative HR practices

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Action speaks louder than words

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We have had enough
of proclamations and declarations
of how the employee is the biggest asset
of any oganization

Enough of the definitions
of ' employee engagement'
comparing & contrasting
it with ' employee experience'
or some other latest fad

At the end of the day
in simple terms, what processes
are there to ensure employees feel valued?
what opportunities for them to have their say
to feel good inside most of the time and
happy smiles, not just in team pictures..

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Healthy IR (Industrial Relations)

Good relations whether in
industrial or personal life
is all about give and take
it is certainly not about one
prevailing over the other...

In the early days of industrial revolution
capatalists had the upper hand
and in response to the tyranny
came social scientists like
Sidney and Beatrice Webb
and concept of unity of workmen

After fighting,gaining rights
came the periods of power shift
with unions holding to ransom
not just the industry, but entire nations
be it the rail, textile strikes in India
or miners' strike in UK

Good industrial relations
is all about pitting the
strong against the strong
we now know that weakness
on either side is exploited by the other
and boomarangs in the long run

Strong management,strong union
mutual respect and love for
the organization that feeds both
is the recipe for good industrial relations

Empathy,patience and willingness
to listen to the other,coupled with
flexibility and accomodation
is the key to healthy industrial relations!

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Preparation and Compassion

An audio clip went viral
in social media the other day
of an interaction between
HR and employee of a tech company
the employee asked to put in papers
and go at less than 24 hours' notice....

One can hear the employee plead
that his performance being consistently good
and notice being too short
" It is not fair to ask me to go
just like that.... overnight...."

HR just repeats over and over
that it is nothing to do with performance
but everything to do with dip in business
" I'm helpless, no one else can help either
it is a corporate decision"

Questions arise as to whether
this way was the best way
or how could it
be handled better?

Regular communication by company
in both good times and bad times
engaging employees with details
of the milestones, challenges & problems
will go a long way in preparing the receiver

More compassion while giving bad news
spending time with him/her
on " what next" and possible alternatives
and a minimum breathing time
of atleast a month would soften
the blow of a job loss crisis.

Positive, corrective steps
for future more important
than apologies, empty assurances
after the event, even if
tendered by chairman of company!

Monday, 13 March 2017

Office Politics

Office working
can be tough
it always was
yet, pressure these days
has increased manifold
even taking away precious lives...

Employees struggle to handle
ever increasing target levels
pressure from competing peers
non cooperative work groups
demanding, berating bosses
who want today's work done 'yesterday'

Add to it, deadly politics
practiced by the insecure
whether peer, boss or junior
and it can become overwhelming...
for the weak, it could mean NBD
while others live to fight another day...

There must be a better way
than this sheer madness...
where colleagues and team members
are not seen as enemies
who need to be beaten
to stay ahead in the race

Ah, what wishful thinking
in the times that we live
when politics is second nature
to some who are labeled 'savvy'
as for others, they are helpless
drawn to the office politics
like moths to the candle...

PS:  NBD refers to Nervous break down.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Secret of Managing Performance

Listening to theories
is one thing
believing in it, applying it
in day to day work & life
is another matter

So while Mcgregor's 'X' and 'Y' theories
are lauded, given a big hand
in meetings, forums and seminars
not many are convinced
of its efficacy real time
against the stark realities
of corporate world!

Simply put, it says
that we have X and Y managers
the X ones believe
that workmen basically are lazy
tend to avoid work

They prefer to work this much & no more
meaning coercion, threats
and punishments are the only ways
to get them to work...

The Y managers on the other hand
believe, people value work
for its own sake
and that it gives them pride,
accomplishment & motivation
to do the best they can!

Based on their beliefs
the X and Y managers
treat their people differently
the former gives orders
are always suspicious and
closely monitor their every action.

The latter on the other hand
encourages, supports and interacts
eliciting the best
from their people!

while both get the work done
the crew of  X managers
does just enough, to avoid punishment
while team of the Y managers
go much  beyond the call of duty!

Yet, as many managements,
 believe and think X
in the heart of hearts
not many takers are there
for the Y philosophy...

No wonder then, that the secret
of great performance remains a secret
with impatient managements
brushing aside the 'unknown' benefits,
"synergy efforts' of Y managers
its a lot more easier for them, to rely
on the trigger happy X managers!