Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Small Things can Do Wonders in your Business

The common belief doing the rounds of organization,is that we are the best in the class, not because we have set in the best benchmarks, but because we boast of the the unique human capital mix, which many of our competitors may not possess.However, one need to go behind the scene activities and observe each and every move with a magnifier and hear the sounds with an amplifier to know whether the statements are only lip-service or reality.It has been observed that in spite of having the best employees, most of the organizations, care a damn for their most important resource, namely the human capital.Ironically these practices are often found in knowledge driven sectors, where human resources are supposed to form the fulcrum of every activity.Short term myopic approaches often reflects the endeavours of the management, thereby reducing the confidence of the employees on the organization and its ability to protect their well-being.Protecting the well-being of the employees are not restricted to doling out an attractive pay packet with some perks and fringe benefits, here and there, it calls for that human touch from the employer towards their professional and personal issues, giving them that confidence, that the organization is standing rock solid behind them even during the moments of crisis.The small deeds so as to make that permanent mark in the mind and soul of the employees can result in with that birthday wish or by complimenting him on his new house or car or even greeting during the anniversary.All these does not cost much in true sense for an organization, but it's the absence of that culture of showing that we care which results in employee morale dwindling, affecting the productivity over a period of time.Did anyone say employee turnover and erosion of talents can also be attributed to this factor, big time, especially in knowledge driven companies.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Advancing age a barrier to the modern day workplace?

The common perception that goes around is the amount of grey hair one has is directly proportional to the sensibility of his mind.The experiences gathered recently proved me wrong and after observing quite a few of the so called experienced campaigners, I have concluded that its more of an exception than a rule, especially in the modern era.The employees who are comparatively younger presents not only an added thrust in the workplace, but also shows more maturity especially while dealing with a host of stakeholders. The grey haired experienced hands are often at the receiving end mainly because of the head-weight they carry along with their personality. A normal individual who was a thorough professional during his prime now presents instances of childish/kiddish behaviour either through their peer management handling or through the estranged relationships they build with other staff members, including those at the helm and the ones below their level. The workplace having an equitable mix of old and young minds often comes across this crisis, and the positive channeling of the accumulated energy depends on the abilities of the organizational masthead. If the man at the helm happens to be an old mind he would generally favour the staff of his clan and age, however, the same cannot be said about a young boss as the 21st century folks are always on the look-out for new things and are fast learners and adapters. On the top of that if the workplace boasts of a diverse workforce comprising of different nationalities, the job is even more cumbersome for the leader.The ideal situation would have been to respect the grey haired individual owing to their age especially in a culture where age is considered head and shoulders above the exceptional talents possessed by the young minds. It is imperative for the decision makers to respect the young blood who are responsible for bringing in fresh perspectives, mindset and approach.The overall satisfaction lies in complimenting the old hands with the young ones in a way which is symbiotic for all concerned and is beneficial for the organization at large.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Is Peer Learning successful everywhere?

Peer Learning is a very strong tool in the modern day learning.It helps an organization to inculcate a culture of learning by sharing apart from saving on a substantial sum incurred by the learning and the development domain/function.However, prima-facie it may look like peer learning can be imbibed by all organizations,a microscopic study and minute observation would reveal that not many organizations can successfully align their organizational culture with that of the peer learning model.Some reasons which contributes towards the failure of the implementation of the peer learning model in an organization are- Lack of awareness at the top management level,Absence of cohesiveness amongst the rank and file of the organization,Unhealthy competition amongst peers where success at the cost of ethics and values are appreciated, encouraged and acknowledged,a sense of false ego in the mind of the decision makers,favouritism and nepotism forming the backbone of most of the decisions taken by the strategic and middle level managers, absence of an open communication system and culture,unequal motivational level amongst the staff members, lack of corporate focus,haywire and shoddy management information system are few of the reasons. Some companies try to adapt to these situations by practising pseudo-peer learning which are more of an eye-washing exercise.It is either to manage their annual internal and external audit exercise by filling up their files with papers showcasing peer learning through some exercises, get-togethers and other allied activities here and there.A thorough analysis by quizzing the key stakeholders so as to know the depth of peer learning either through the indirect organizational indicators like peer relationship, cooperation and motivation across the functions and levels or through the periodical understanding of the direct learning quotient of staff on a continual basis provide enough food for thought for an analyst to decipher the reasons of success and failure of peer learning.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Diversity can be a boon and a bane

Organizations which are willing to grow always thrive on diversity.The ones which are contented with their current positions and are not willing to disturb their status-quo or which pretend to be a growing organization under the garb of nepotism, favouritism as there is yawning gap existing between the top management and the ones managing at the operative level.The organizations which tend to take global shape would always develop a neutral culture and thereby provide a level playing field to all the stakeholders representing different ethnicities.Handing over the reins of an organization to a specfic nationality having a global perspective would always lead to such titled endeavour thereby affecting the organizational culture.Indians have always thrived on their Unity in Diversity tag, especially when it came to represent the varied culture, language, food habits, dress codes of the country.This boon which is often emphasized by the leadership of the most populated democracy, albeit as a lip service, to serve their own myopic visions with a self centric agenda, translates into a bane when Indians join a global organizational set up.Reasons are not difficult to find, in a foreign land where Indians should do away with their diversity, which are considered their USP back home try to leverage the same with some amount of ulterior motive, so as to serve their vested interests.The favouritism shown by one bengali towards another, one tamil towards another, one punjabi towards another, one Malayali towards another, without even bothering even an iota for the bigger objective of serving the organization commensurate with the larger organizational goals and objective and their national fabric of unity in diversity poses serious doubts about the importance of diversity to an alien.These favouritism driven personal approach on the basis of language, state, dress, food, caste, creed culminates in the development of a global organization more on aspiration and short on perspiration.This stagnates the growth of the employees, not to mention the impact it has on the overall trajectory of the organization, which can only be arrested with the dawning of the realizations by the higher ups, taking firm action with a neutral stance in the overall interest of the organization concerned.