Monthly Archives: September 2008

Laid Off?

Laid off?

In times of global turmoil, your seemingly steady company could turn into a ‘Lehman’ overnight. Here’s how to get equipped…

Arun Nayar (name changed) never saw it coming. A divisional head of Lehman Brothers – ranked numero Uno in “Most Admired Securities Firm” by Fortune just last year, was shocked to know about his company filing for bankruptcy last week.

His fate, like that of the company’s 2,500-odd employees in India, hung in balance then and he did not doing anything but panic, receive calls, track developments and panic all the more.

When you have no idea that you fall under the ‘vulnerable’ category, news like these can hit you hard, especially if you’re the major breadwinner of your family. (Also, if your parents have put you up in the shaadi market, the social repercussions can be damaging!)

Given the current volatility and the Lehman debacle, here are ways to equip yourself to see another day even as your company goes to the streets.

Organise yourself

Apart from printing and taking home personal data from your workstation, it is essential for you to locate copies of your performance appraisals and other records obtained from the HR guys. Give another look to your status reports and files of your projects.

These would help you update your resume so as to reflect all your recent accomplishments and skills. While organising yourself, always foresee where you’re heading next and what all would help you reach there.

Take what’s yours

Go through your employment papers and see if you can make the most of any perks and benefits to which you are entitled. If you’re insured by the company, schedule your checkups and cater your dental or medical issues.

If you’ve been given a flexible spending account, turn in all outstanding claims to avoid forfeiting any balances. Also, you must calculate exactly how much casual and sick leaves you’ve used and how many are left unused.

Though most desi private limited companies are known to dishonor unused holidays, some of them pay you for any remaining vacation. If you bring that to their notice that is.

Get Connected

After you’re hit with the deadly news of a sell-off or a major re-structuring of your company, spend more time networking than answering curious callers. Call that trusted career mentor of yours, and don’t forget to call former co-workers and clients. This is also a good time to help others who may save your ship from sinking in the future.

Sometimes, pure gyaan also helps. It won’t harm to visit the websites of relevant trade and professional associations as well as companies where you’d like to work.  Keep on the vigil for job fairs, skill workshops and the like.

Make an exit strategy

Your HR folks will already begin working on a script when the company is in the bad phase. If no information about your fate has been communicated, you need to hunt down the company policy manual to find out what is the standard practice.

Beware, do not agree to sign anything in the first few days of turmoil, always buy time to review the proposals with your advisors.

Our employees have more bargaining power than they realise. It can pay to thoroughly assess your situation, so that you can negotiate aspects of the termination that will have the most value for you.

For example, if the layoff occurs just before a bonus was due or before an anniversary that would increase your pay, prepare a case that you should be entitled to receive that payment or additional vesting.

WHAT MATTERS

YOUR STANDING

Layoffs can create many uncertainties, but only you can assuage them by determining whether you’re likely to make the next smart move or sink with the ship. If your talent, skills, value and relationships in this company were all credible, be confident of fishing out another employer in no time. Or rather, the other way round.

YOUR BOSS

If your company’s otherwise okay and is just downsizing thanks to a new policy, your boss might be your saviour. Take the time to have regular chats with your boss about projects you’re working on. Face-to-face conversations make a difference in building relationships, HR gurus say. Occasional lunches or quick talks over chai can also go a long way!

YOUR NETWORK

Don’t wait until you lose your naukri to start nurturing business relations. Get to know others in your field and join professional associations. Don’t just build a collection of business cards – the real key is their usability. Closely knowing five big shots in your field is way better than casually knowing bosses all over the industry.

Ref: Mumbai Mirror – September 22nd, 2008

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Simple Test- Are you smart enough

Think you are smart and intelligent…

Try answering this one…


Question 1: You are driving along in your car on a wild, stormy night, it’s raining heavily, when suddenly you pass by a bus stop, and you see three people waiting for a bus:An old lady who looks as if she is about to die.
An old friend who once saved your life.
The perfect partner you have been dreaming about.

Which one would you choose to offer a ride to, knowing very well that there could only be one passenger in your car?

This is a moral/ethical dilemma that was once actually used as part of a job application.

* You could pick up the old lady, because she is going to die, and thus you should save her first;
* or you could take the old friend because he once saved your life, and this would be the perfect chance to ! pay him back.
* However, you may never be able to find your perfect mate again.

Out of 200 applicants one man had no trouble coming up with his answer. Guess what was his answer?

He simply answered:

“I would give the car keys to my Old friend and let him take the lady to the hospital. I would stay behind and wait for the bus with the partner of my dreams.”

Keep the Spark….by Chetan Bhagat

Inaugural Speech for the new batch at the Symbiosis BBA program 2008

© Chetan Bhagat

Good Morning everyone and thank you for giving me this chance to speak to you. This day is about you. You, who have come to this college, leaving the comfort of your homes (or in some cases discomfort), to become something in your life. I am sure you are excited. There are few days in human life when one is truly elated.  The first day in college is one of them.  When you were getting ready today, you felt a tingling in your stomach. What would the auditorium be like, what would the teachers be like, who are my new classmates – there is so much to be curious about. I call this excitement, the spark within you that makes you feel truly alive today.

Today I am going to talk about keeping the spark shining. Or to put it another way, how to be happy most, if not all the time.

Where do these sparks start? I think we are born with them. My 3-year old twin boys  have a million sparks. A little Spiderman toy can make them jump on the bed. They get thrills from creaky swings in the park. A story from daddy gets them excited. They do a daily countdown for birthday party – several months in advance – just for the day they will cut their own birthday cake.

I see students like you, and I still see some sparks. But when I see older people,  the spark is difficult to find. That means as we age, the spark fades. People whose spark has faded too much are dull, dejected, aimless and bitter. Remember Kareena in the first half of Jab We Met vs the second half? That is what happens when the spark is lost.   So how to save the spark?

Imagine the spark to be a lamp’s flame. The first aspect is nurturing – to give your spark the fuel, continuously. The second is to guard against storms. To nurture, always have goals. It is human nature to strive, improve and achieve full potential. In fact, that is success. It is what is possible for you. It isn’t any external measure – a certain cost to company pay package, a particular car or house.

Most of us are from middle class families. To us, having material landmarks is success and rightly so. When you have grown up where money constraints force everyday choices, financial freedom is a big achievement. But it isn’t the purpose of life. If that was the case, Mr Ambani would not show up for work. Shah Rukh Khan would stay at home and not dance anymore. Steve Jobs won’t be working hard to make a better iPhone, as he sold Pixar for billions of dollars already. Why do they do it? What makes them come to work everyday? They do it because it makes them happy. They do it because it makes them feel alive. Just getting better from current levels feels good. If you study hard, you can improve your rank. If you make an effort to  interact with people, you will do better in interviews. If you practice, your cricket will get better. You may also know that you cannot become Tendulkar, yet. But you can get to the next level. Striving for that next level is important.

Nature designed  with a random set of genes and circumstances in which we were born. To be happy, we have to accept it and make the most of nature’s design. Are you? Goals will help you do that. I must add, don’t just have career or academic goals. Set goals to give you a balanced, successful life. I use the word balanced before successful. Balanced means ensuring your health, relationships, mental peace are all in good order.

There is no point of getting a promotion on the day of your breakup. There is no fun in driving a car if your back hurts. Shopping is not enjoyable if your mind is full of tensions. You must have read some quotes –  Life is a  tough race, it is a marathon or whatever. No, from what I have seen so far, life is one of those races in nursery school. Where you have to run with a marble in a spoon kept in your mouth. If the marble falls, there is no point coming first. Same with life, where health and relationships are the marble. Your striving is only worth it if there is harmony in your life. Else, you may achieve the success, but this spark, this feeling of being excited and alive, will start to die.

One last thing about nurturing the spark – don’t take life seriously. One of my yoga teachers used to make students laugh during classes. One student asked him if these jokes would take away something from the yoga practice. The teacher said  – don’t be serious, be sincere. This quote has defined my work ever since. Whether its my writing, my job, my relationships or any of my goals. I get thousands of opinions on my writing everyday. There is heaps of praise, there is intense criticism. If I take it all seriously, how will I write? Or rather, how will I live? Life is not to be taken seriously, as we are really temporary here. We are like a pre-paid card with limited validity. If we are lucky, we may last another 50 years. And 50 years is just 2,500 weekends. Do we really need to get so worked up?

It’s ok, bunk a few classes, goof up a few interviews, fall in love. We are people, not programmed devices. I’ve told you three things – reasonable goals, balance and not taking it too seriously that will nurture the spark. However, there are four storms in life that will threaten to completely put out the flame. These must be guarded against. These are disappointment, frustration, unfairness and loneliness of purpose.

Disappointment will come when your effort does not give you the expected return. If things don’t go as planned or if you face failure. Failure is extremely difficult to handle, but those that do come out stronger. What did this failure teach me? is the question you will need to ask. You will feel miserable. You will want to quit, like I wanted to when nine publishers rejected my first book. Some IITians kill themselves over low grades – how silly is that? But that is how much failure can hurt you.

But it’s life. If challenges could always be overcome, they would cease to be a challenge. And remember – if you are failing at something, that means you are at your limit or potential. And that’s where you want to be. Disappointment’s cousin is  frustration, the second storm.  Have you ever been frustrated? It happens when things are stuck. This is especially relevant in India.

From traffic jams to getting that job you deserve, sometimes things take so long that you don’t know if you chose the right goal. After books, I set the goal of writing for Bollywood, as I thought they needed writers. I am called extremely lucky, but it took me five years to get close to  a release.

Frustration saps excitement, and turns your initial energy into something negative, making you a bitter person. How did I deal with it? A realistic assessment of the time involved – movies take a long time to make even though they are watched quickly, seeking a certain enjoyment in the process rather than the end result – at least I was learning how to write scripts, having a side plan – I had my third book to write and even something as simple as pleasurable distractions in your life  – friends, food, travel can help you overcome it. Remember, nothing is to be taken seriously.

Frustration is a sign somewhere, you took it too seriously. Unfairness – this is hardest to deal with, but unfortunately that is how our country works. People with connections, rich dads, beautiful faces, pedigree find it easier to make it – not just in Bollywood, but everywhere. And sometimes it is just plain luck. There are so few opportunities in India, so many stars need to be aligned for you to make it happen. Merit and hard work is not always linked to achievement in the short term, but the long term correlation is high, and ultimately things do work out. But realize, there will be some people luckier than you.

In fact, to have an opportunity to go to college and understand this speech in English means you are pretty darn lucky by Indian standards. Let’s be grateful for what we have and get the strength to accept what we don’t. I have so much love from my readers that other writers cannot even imagine it. However, I don’t get literary praise. It’s ok. I don’t look like Aishwarya Rai, but I have two boys who I think are more beautiful than her. It’s ok. Don’t let unfairness kill your spark.

Finally, the last point that can kill your spark is isolation. As you grow older you will realize you are unique. When you are little, all kids want Ice cream and Spiderman. As you grow older to college, you still are a lot like your friends. But ten years later and you realize you are unique. What you want, what you believe in, what makes you feel, may be different from even the people closest to you. This can create conflict as your goals may not match with others. . And you may drop some of them. Basketball captains in college invariably stop playing basketball by the time they have their second child. They give up something that meant so much to them. They do it for their family. But in doing that, the spark dies. Never, ever make that  compromise.

Love yourself first, and then others.

There you go. I’ve told you the four thunderstorms – disappointment, frustration, unfairness and isolation. You cannot avoid them, as like the monsoon they will come into your life at regular intervals. You just need to keep the raincoat handy to not let the spark die.

I welcome you again to the most wonderful  years of your life. If someone gave me the choice to go back in time, I will surely choose college. But I also hope that ten years later as well, you eyes will shine the same way as they do today. That you will Keep the Spark alive, not only through college, but through the next 2,500 weekends. And I hope not just you, but my whole country will keep that spark alive, as we really need it now more than any moment in history.

And there is something cool about saying – I come from the land of a billion sparks.

Thank You.

On the chopping block?

How to retain your job in tough times

You’re standing at the coffee machine at work for your morning cup of java; a colleague comes up to you and says ‘Did you hear? They’re firing. It’s already started in marketing and they’re saying it’s going to hit all the departments one by one.’

This doesn’t come as a total surprise. You’ve seen the signs. There have been budget cuts, travel cutbacks, projects have been cancelled, managers have handed in resignations, temps and contractors have been terminated, there have been reductions in support staff, downsizing is rampant.

Times are tough, the economy isn’t doing too well, firms are simply not seeing the kind of profits they were seeing a couple of years ago. Just last week you found out that your friend’s entire team was ‘let go’, said friend included.

You have a sour taste in the back of your mouth, and it’s not the milk they’re using for the coffee. You can’t afford to lose this job, you like this job. God knows it’s going to be difficult to get another one given the circumstances in today’s job market.

Then again, you’re good at what you do. You’re smart, hardworking, you earned this job and you’re going to keep it! Never forget, they hired you because they need your skills. So, how do you ensure your job isn’t on the chopping block? Start with the intangibles.

Have a positive attitude
Nobody wants to work with somebody who’s on a constant downer. Exhibit optimism and team spirit, a go-getter attitude, all that stuff you went on so enthusiastically about when they interviewed you for this post.

Bottom line, stay positive. Act positive, speak positive, think positive. Do not complain, whine or bitch about your job or your pay.

If you’re going to be banging drums, they had better be drums of hard work. Remember, there’s a long line of people waiting at the door, CVs ready, to snatch up any opening that’s available.

Most importantly, never, ever say negative things about your job profile, timings, workload, colleagues or any other aspect of your job to, or within earshot of, your boss.

When making suggestions or bringing up matters that require attention, be neutral at worst, and helpful and proactive whenever possible .Avoid venting your frustrations and blaming your colleagues.

Never lose your self esteem
If you feel the sudden urge to build a bond with your boss, make it as genuine a bond as possible.

Taking up smoking so you can accompany the higher-ups on their smoke breaks is not only unhealthy, it also means you’re working less, not the kind of thing you want to be doing.

If you can, start taking fewer breaks.The next time a senior walks past your desk at lunchtime, you’re going to be so immersed in work that you won’t even notice them noticing your dedication to the task at hand.

Genuine hard work will go a long way. Come in early, leave late. Do not do that the other way around. You want to be at work, at your desk, before your boss walks in, and you want them to see you at your desk, showing no signs of leaving, as they’re walking out. That being said, do not stretch tasks that were supposed to be finished and handed in yesterday.

Be Smart
According to Sandeep Kalamkar of Standard Chartered Bank, “It is vital that you keep abreast of current events, among other things you need to know include changes in the economy that are going to affect the industry you work in.”

So read and be aware of what’s going on in the economic and industrial world today. Use this knowledge when you take part in office discussions, and keep your ears open to the opinions of those older and wiser colleagues that are more aware than you.

Do not let yourself become lazy. During slowdowns, it’s all the more important that you stay on your toes. Be supportive of changes at the workplace, such as cost-cutting measures. If you can, even help your boss to plan a strategy to control costs further.

This would not be a good time to put in a request for spending, say on training, or to ask for holiday leave. Remember the mantra, work, work, work. If you’re seen as somebody who isn’t a hundred per cent devoted to the job, you’ll stand out in a way you won’t like.

Multitask
It’s not uncommon for employees who have witnessed a round of layoffs to feel paralysed or trapped, but that’s the perfect time for them to reinvent themselves. Tough times often present the hidden opportunity for employees to put other skills to work, to multi-task, handle various roles, if even to a small extent.

Employees that are good at multi-tasking not only help a company keep up the work pace, but ensure that they are more useful to the firm and hence less at risk in the next wave of job cuts. If you’re good at multi-tasking, and you feel you can do part of a laid-off colleague’s job, do head on to the boss’ office and let them know that you can help.

Nothing helps like pitching in. A volunteer spirit demonstrates team-player skills, and team-players support change. Taking on additional roles helps you gain insight into wider aspects of the business, increasing your knowledge of how the firm operates and what skills other tasks require.

Multitasking
It also helps you to understand how your role at work connects with others. Plus, offering to take on additional responsibilities can help pave the way for a pay hike when things get back on track, and also add value to your CV.

According to Kim Moldofsky, President, Positive Impact Inc, training and consulting firm, it is important to ‘let your bosses know what you’re doing.’ From big and innovative projects to small, seemingly inconsequential tasks make sure your bosses are aware that you’re handling your share.

Do not brag, or be brazen about it, just keep them informed. Letting your bosses know that you’re pulling your own weight will help ensure your job safety in the long run. Keep them posted on a phone conversation you had with an important client, or CC your boss on a relevant email.

Be organised and alert
Be organised, sharp, and quick on the job. Boost your CV. Plenty of people work and take supplementary courses as well. You could either pick up an additional qualification or take a training course in a hobby.

Informal information that comes through the company grapevine is really your best bet to gauge the pulse of the firm.

Often the first hint that a company isn’t doing as well as it should be will come through the grapevine, and the sooner you know, the more prepared you will be for when rumors turn out to be fact.

Do not however use the grapevine to speak ill of your colleagues. That kind of thing will almost certainly come back to bite you in the behind.

Be approachable and appreciative
Firing is often more subjective than objective. High Maintenance Employees (HME) are twice as likely to get fired as employees that are well liked by their colleagues and superiors.

If you’re the kind of person who is egoistical, refuses to help a coworker with a problem, brags about their achievements, and generally has an unpleasant attitude, chances are you’re going to get it in the neck even if you do perform just as well as the next guy. Be as approachable as possible without being a doormat.

If you’ve asked a co-worker for advice or help on a deadline, and together you’ll get the job done, don’t forget to thank them. Every little thing contributes to keeping the atmosphere at work friendly. It’s also a known fact that the first person that comes to mind in a positive light is somebody you like, not somebody who is just competent.

Things are never as bad as they seem, and every trough is followed by a peak. Follow the simple points and you’ll be well-prepared for whatever the job market throws your way.

Courtesy: Mumbai Mirror, Dia Kirpalani

Rejection Letter Response Template

The next time you get a rejection letter from a hoped-for employer or publisher, just send them the following:

Dear [name of the person who signed the rejection letter],

Thank you for your letter of [date of the rejection letter]. After careful consideration, I regret to inform you that I am unable to accept your refusal to offer me [employment with your firm/a contract to publish my book].

This year I have been particularly fortunate in receiving an unusually large number of rejection letters. With such a varied and promising field of candidates, it is impossible for me to accept all refusals. Despite [name of the organisation or agency that sent you the letter]’s outstanding qualifications and previous experience in rejecting [applicants/manuscripts], I find that your rejection does not meet with my needs at this time.

Therefore, I will initiate [employment/publishing] with your firm immediately following [graduation/job change, etc. – get creative here]. I look forward to working with you.

Best of luck in rejecting in the future [candidates/manuscripts].

Sincerely,
[your name]

Tricks to Liven Up A Meeting

  1. Stand up and act indignant. Demand that the boss tell you the ‘real’ reason this meeting has been called.
  2. Spill coffee on the conference table. Produce a little paper boat and sail it down the table.
  3. During a meeting, each time the boss makes an important point, (or at least one he/she seems to consider important), make a little noise like you are building up to an orgasm.
  4. Stay behind as everyone else, including the boss, leaves. Thank them for coming.
  5. Give a broad wink to someone else at the table. In time, wink at everyone. Sometimes shake your head just a little, as if to indicate that the speaker is slightly crazy and everybody knows it.
  6. Arrange to have a poorly-dressed young woman with an infant quietly enter the meeting, stare directly at the (male) speaker for a while, burst into tears, then leave the room.
  7. Bring a hand puppet, preferably an animal. Ask it to clarify difficult points.
  8. When there is a call for questions, lean back in your chair, prop your feet up on the table, smile contentedly, and say, “Well, here’s the way I see it, J.B…” (or any other impressive-sounding initials that are not actually your boss’s.)
  9. Complain loudly that your neighbour won’t stop touching you. Demand that the boss make him/her stop doing it.
  10. Bring a small mountain of computer printouts to the meeting. If possible, include some old-fashioned fanfold paper for dramatic effect. Every time the speaker makes a point, pretend to check it in one of the printouts. Pretend to find substantiating evidence there. Nod vigorously, and say “uh-huh, uh-huh!”

The Office Happenings :-)

Corporate Jokes – The Office Happenings

Quote from a recent meeting: “We are going to continue
having these meetings, everyday, until I find out why no
work is getting done”.

Quote from the Boss… “I didn’t say it was your fault. I
said I was going to blame it on you.”

A motivational sign at work: The beatings will continue
until morale improves.

A direct quote from the Boss: “We passed over a lot of good
people to get the ones we hired.”

My Boss frequently gets lost in thought. That’s because
it’s unfamiliar territory.

My Boss said to me ” What you see as a glass ceiling, I
see as a protective barrier.”

My Boss needs a surge protector. That way his mouth
would be buffered from surprise spikes in his brain.

I thought my Boss was an idiot, and quit, to work for
myself. My new Boss is an idiot, too … but at least I
respect him.

He’s given automobile accident victims new hope for
recovery. He walks, talks and performs rudimentary
tasks, all without the benefit of a SPINE.

Some people climb the ladder of success. My Boss
walked under it.

Quote from the Boss after overriding the decision of a
task force he created to find a solution: ” I’m sorry if I
ever gave you the impression your input would have any
effect on my decision for the outcome of this project!”

HR Manager to job candidate “I see you’ve had no
computer training. Although that qualifies you for upper
management, it means you’re under-qualified for our entry
level positions.”

Quote from telephone inquiry “We’re only hiring one
summer intern this year and we won’t start interviewing
candidates for that position until the Boss’ daughter
finishes her summer classes.”

Business Development Manager-Domestic BPO

Location: Andheri – East, Mumbai

Position: Business Development Manager

Job profile: Business Development Manager

Profile – To be able to interact with CXO level people , access requirements and get through people ( through ) the phone.

Understanding of call centre operations. Ability to do concept selling and product development.

Responsible to create the Marketing Strategy.

Ability to make proposals and follow through with clients, ability to negotiate with smaller clients on pricing.

Experience – Total years of Experience 4-5 years out of which 1-2 years in domestic software company or call centre.

Good presentation skills .

Send across your updated resume only in word format with your current CTC & expected CTC and notice period.

Contact Person: Pranali

Contact e-mail: consultant02@netsyscon.net

Contact no. : 9773015776/ 022 – 65931551 / 65931552

Rgds,

NetSysCon

Top Ten HR Practices

Here is a collaboration of Top Ten HR Practices that can help you achieve your organizational goals every year.

Open Book Management Style

Performance Linked Bonuses

360-Degree Performance Management Feedback System

Fair Evaluation System for Employees

Knowledge Sharing

Highlight Performers

Open House Discussions & Feedback Mechanisms

Reward Ceremonies

Delight Employees with the Unexpected

1. Safe, Healthy & Happy Workplace

Creating a safe, healthy and happy workplace will ensure that your employees feel at home and stay with your organization for a very long time. Capture their pulse through employee surveys.

2. Open Book Management Style

Sharing information about contracts, sales, new clients, management objectives, company policies, employee personal data, etc., ensures that the employees are as enthusiastic about the business as the management. Through this open book process, you can gradually create a culture of participative management and ignite the creative endeavor of your work force. It involves making people an interested party to your strategic decisions, thus, aligning them to your business objectives. Be as open as you can. It helps in building trust and motivates employees. Employee Self Service Portal, Manager On-Line, etc., are the tools available today to the management to practice this style.

3. Performance-linked Bonuses

Paying out bonuses or having any kind of variable compensation plan can be both an incentive and a disillusionment, based on how it is administered and communicated. Bonus must be designed in such a way that people understand that there is no payout unless the company hits a certain level of profitability. Additional criteria could be the team’s success and the individual’s performance. Never pay out bonus without measuring performance, unless it is a statuory obligation.

4. 360-Degree Performance Management Feedback System

This system, which solicits feedback from seniors (including the boss), peers and subordinates, has been increasingly embraced as the best of all available methods for collecting performance feedback. Gone are the days of working hard to impress only one person, now the opinions of all matter, especially if you are in a leadership role (at any level). Every person in the team is responsible for giving relevant, positive and constructive feedback. Such systems also help in identifying leaders for higher level positions in the organization. Senior managers could use this feedback for self development.

5. Fair Evaluation System for Employees

Develop an evaluation system that clearly links individual performance to corporate business goals and priorities. Each employee should have well-defined reporting relationships. Self-rating as a part of evaluation process empowers employees. Evaluation becomes fairer if it is based on the records of periodic counselings and achievements of the employee, tracked over the year. For higher objectivity, besides the immediate boss, each employee should be screened by the next higher level (often called a Reviewer). Cross-functional feedback, if obtained by the immediate boss from another manager (for whom this employee’s work is also important), will add to the fairness of the system. Relative ratings of all subordinates reporting to the same manager is another tool for fairness of evaluation. Normalisaion of evaluation is yet another dimension of improving fairness.

6. Knowledge Sharing

Adopt a systematic approach to ensure that knowledge management supports strategy. Store knowledge in databases to provide greater access to information posted either by the company or the employees on the knowledge portals of the company. When an employee returns after attending any competencies or skills development program, sharing essential knowledge with others could be made mandatory. Innovative ideas (implemented at the work place) are good to be posted on these knowledge sharing platforms. However, what to store and how to maintain a knowledge base requires deep thinking to avoid clutter.

7. Highlight Performers

Create profiles of top performers and make these visible though company intranet, display boards, etc. It will encourage others to put in their best, thereby creating a competitive environment within the company. If a systems approach is followed to shortlist high performers, you can surely avoid disgruntlements.

8. Open House Discussions & Feedback Mechanism

Ideas rule the world. Great organizations recognize, nurture and execute great ideas. Employees are the biggest source of ideas. The only thing that can stop great ideas flooding your organization is the lack of an appropriate mechanism to capture ideas. Open house discussions, employee-management meets, suggestion boxes and ideas capture tools such as Critical Incidents Diaries are the building blocks that can help the Managers to identify and develop talent.

9. Reward Ceremonies

Merely recognizing talent does not work, you need to couple it with ceremonies where recognition is broadcast. Looking at the Dollar Check is often less significant than listening to the thunderous applause by colleagues in a public forum.

10. Delight Employees with the Unexpected

The last but not least way is to occasionally delight your employees with unexpected things that may come in the form of a reward, a gift or a well-done certificate. Reward not only the top performers but also a few others who are in need of motivation to exhibit their potential.

– by Gireesh Kumar Sharma

 

That’s it!


That’s it!

The top signs to know when to quit. Just in case you haven’t learnt anything from the fate of the seniors of our cricket team

Do you like what you do but just don’t like ‘where’ you work? Well, it’s a familiar problem. From co-workers who annoy the hell out of you to depressing work environments, there are things that can make even the best job a nightmare.

So, just like you cross-check on whether to take up an alternative job offer, can have indications on whether to take up an offer or not, please also develop the gray cells to spot signs of when it’s time to call it quits to your present one.

Your colleagues have become increasingly annoying
Let’s face it, there are obnoxious co-workers in every office. But you need to have some sort of harmonious relationship with your fellows to get the job done. When they all seem to be on a mission to see your back, it shows in their body language.

Most offices have a Ms Gossiper, that one person who has the masala all the time and is not afraid to share it. Mr Miserable souls too love company, and find it often in the Ms Eternal Whiner, who complains 24×7. Not to mention the loud music levels and petty fights over cubicle space.

You’re out of the loop
Forget the unofficial grapevine; when you’re no longer intimated of company news or reports, it is certainly time to quit. When your boss conveniently ‘forgets’ asking you to be there during an ideation meeting, you know you shall soon lose your voice in organisational matters. And if, in your out-of-office-life, you are not sent texts of parties and gatherings, you’re out of the loop of colleagues too.

You reach home mentally exhausted
Stress causes low morale, decreases productivity and creates apathy towards work. Also, it can spill into your personal life and even have a negative effect on your health. Today, there are fewer people who are taking on more and more work, everywhere.

Yes, we all have to pick up some slack and “take one for the team” from time to time. But if there’s no end in sight, do yourself a favour and start sending resumes.

Your boss is turning into a nightmare
Lousy bosses make even the best job in the world a living hell. Your relationship with your supervisor plays a big role in your overall professional happiness and success. Fighting to have your boss removed or waiting for your boss to change or get fired are rarely successful tactics. If you are working for someone who is always absent, unavailable, self-absorbed or untrustworthy, it’s time to look for a better supervisor and a better opportunity.

You watch the clock… every 10 minutes
There is a limit to watching videos on YouTube or Facebooking. If you aren’t feeling challenged on the job, it’s a sign that you need additional responsibilities. Be warned, if you don’t have any responsibility or find yourself with nothing to do, management might be trying to phase you out and you might be in danger of losing your job.

Your ideas are losing value
Sounds familiar? Your ideas no longer get the kind of respect they used to. What’s worse, there are no opportunities for advancement; the boss ignores you; co-workers alienate you; you’re discouraged from improving skills with a course or seminar; you’re passed over for a promotion again; or you’re excluded from key projects and strategising sessions. Why are you still giving this organisation your time, energy and great ideas?

New blood has taken over
Like the Dhonis and Gautam Gambhirs of the cricket team have phased out the Dravids and Gangulys, your company too may have a similar scene. If your leader suddenly disappears and new hires may become the wave of the future. If they are given the directive to “shake things up”, you’re in for trouble.

You feel stifled
What kind of quality of life do you have? Is your 40-hour week turning into a 24×7 grilled sandwich? While your salary may seem like the end all and be all, your quality of life determines your overall success. How much time you spend on the job, working conditions, supervisors and subordinates can positively and negatively impact your job outlook. If you dread the time you spent at work, it should be a clear indicator that it’s time to break free. A job shouldn’t stifle you creatively, mentally or physically.

Bottom line: Considering what you don’t like about your current situation should give you important insight into what you are seeking in your future endeavors. If you know what your priorities and preferences are and actively seek them, work can be an enjoyable experience.

Ref : Mumbai Mirror, 8th Sep 08

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