Category Archives: Human Resource

How to Make Your Boss Love You? – Part 2

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So, how did you fare with the Bully, the Manipulator and the Liar? Did you try some of the tips suggested in the first part of the series? This part contains a few more types of bosses and tips on how to handle them with care.

The Goody-goody

shutterstock-a-good-bossSupportive, encouraging, competent, soft-spoken – did you have the good luck to come across a boss like this? Such miraculous personalities are rare and when you chance upon them, you should make sure that you are in their good books. Most often than not, the goody-goody will always think well of others, since they like to have a positive outlook. However, a problem with them might be their tendency to give second chances to the slackers. If you are a slacker, you will have a gala time. However, if you are hardworking, you might feel frustrated by the number of chances your boss gives to the non-performers.

How to deal – ‘Slog’ is the word you have to take very seriously with the Goody-goody. Work very hard and learn as much as possible. If you do manage to befriend her, you can quietly advise her about not giving too many chances to slackers. However, if your relationship is that of a boss and reportee, it’s best to work hard, be good to her and at the end of your tenure, request her for a strong reference.

bossThe Unpredictable

Does your boss sing praises of you one day and then not give you an appraisal the next day? Does he have frequent mood swings? Then you can easily categorize such a person as unpredictable.

How to deal – The best way to tackle such moody souls is to steer clear of their ways on their bad days and speak to them only when they approach you. Also, you can try limiting your communication with them to urgent office matters. Keep in mind that they treat everyone in the same way because that is how they are and try not getting negatively impacted by their attitude.

The Incompetent

Incompetetnt-BossIf your boss taunts you about your qualifications and tells you blatantly that you are not performing to your optimum, you can assume that he is under-confident about his own skills. A self-assured boss will never try to show you down. Contrarily, he will tell you that he has higher hopes from you.

How to deal – People with complexes are slightly difficult to deal with…all the more so when such a person is your boss. There are two ways of tackling such a boss – either develop a thick skin or leave the job.

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S Venkateshwaran On Dysfunctional Organization Cultures And Falling Corporate Empires

ganesh article on Culture

A reader of Mission Sharing Knowledge S Venkateshwaran had this to say on one of our previous articles. Since we thought the comment to be really relevant, we have published it in its entirety. 

Dysfunctionality tends to occur in those organization more often than not, where the Boss is either a self made person who thinks that he / she knows how to run the business, or has an aggressive approach to business more out of the need to over achieve. I have worked in an organization where the Boss was so stern that he would keep pushing people in all directions. Every day would start off with meetings in which all the heads had to participate.

This would go on for an hour (discussing the activities of the previous night in terms of production targets etc.), followed usually by two or three in depth meeting with selected departments and finally followed by end of day meeting to review what was supposed to be done in the day. At the end of it all, he would rave and rant because work did not happen. To ensure this, he would make all the Heads stay back late.

The irony was he wanted a strong HR team that would “fearlessly” tell him when he was wrong. Quite obviously, when that happened, the poor guy was out of work the next week. Highly emotional, and rigid, the person would shower abuses which would put a rickshaw driver to shame.

The only group of people who were able to work with him, were, not surprisingly, those who could flatter and live up as his ego alters, who also used the same technique of imposing themselves on the poor “lower the line” persons. Not surprisingly, attrition was very high; but this did not affect him, even though others in the company knew the reality but choose to keep quiet.

Based on my observations, some of the traits of a dysfunctional Manager I would think are:

Tells you to do something you don’t want to do, but blames you when it goes wrong.
Says He / She wants you to take responsibility, and then publicly overrides your decisions.
Loves to be in front when there is a big audience otherwise will send sub juniors to attend a customer.
Intimidates with aggressive words and posture, knowing that you will never confront but becomes a pacifier when confronted. .
Handles meetings as though he is the only speaker.
Revels in the invention of creative curses for just the right occasion.
Verbally approves new requisitions, later denies doing it.
Gets too personal in his berating.
Ride you mercilessly while pet employees can do no wrong.
Always right: when confronted with mistakes, blames them on someone else.
Fiercely protective of pet projects.
Highly compulsive and obsessive about minute details.
Displays a good understanding of the “Good Cop” and “Bad Cop” routines and generally practices it.

Dysfunctional Organization Cultures And Falling Corporate Empires

ganesh article on Culture

Ganesh Subramanian from IIM Trichy writes why without transparency in communication organizations would invite doom. 

A friend of mine called me up a few days ago seeking some suggestions to come out of the problems that she finds herself in, in her company. She works as a recruitment executive in a firm. She said that a week before her recruitment, the firm had rolled out offers to candidates who are joining a multinational firm, which is a client of this recruitment firm. Despite slogging for a week and achieving targets which have never been achieved before, there was little appreciation for the work done. Forget appreciation, there wasn’t even a mention of the work in the subsequent team meetings by her boss. To complicate matters, the recruitment team was asked to report to a lady who is supposedly well known to the boss. Now this lady is new to the business of recruitment having moved into this role only a few months back and behaves more like a school teacher than a team lead. In this scenario, my friend was contemplating quitting her job and she says that the organization culture is bad beyond repair.

In another example, a CEO of a firm is known for his frequent outbursts of anger, shouting at his subordinates, in front of others. The CEO’s behaviour has percolated down to the individual business units as business unit heads shout at their subordinates because the CEO shouts at them. The funny part is that this organization had a 360 degree appraisal system for assessment of performance. No wonder that the employees of the organization are scared to death when it comes to rating their superiors.

These two examples set me thinking on how organization cultures can make or mar organizations. Organizations such as those mentioned above fall into oblivion and get into a very bad cycle because nobody knows how to change this bad culture. It is very obvious that the cue has to come from the top management. The behaviour and the culture of the organisation have to be driven by the CEO and carried on by the business unit heads.

For sustainable growth of organizations, there must be transparency in communication, freedom and autonomy in work and more importantly an environment where everyone feeds off each other’s growth which in term helps them grow. The HR in the bad-cultured organizations become the scapegoat in the whole process as employees blame the HR for anything and everything little realizing that HR in such organisations do not have the power to overhaul systems in one go and they are mere spectators in the whole game.

To conclude, top management must be proactive in setting the right environment for a thriving organizational culture and must give the HR department the full freedom to maintain the culture, suggest changes for betterment and even change it.

How to Make Your Boss Love You – Part 1

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“My boss is a nice person, but for some strange reasons he does not like me…or so I think…not sure!”

“Guess my boss was a Hitler in his previous life!”

“I don’t know what she expects from me. She cracks cheap jokes all day long…of course, according to her it’s not cheap…but I find them quite distasteful!”

How many of you connect to these sentiments? Assuming that most of you will, let’s try and unravel a few traits of managers and ways of appealing to particular types!

The Bully

BossDo you get frequent mails from your boss, threatening you to complete a particular work on time, or else…? Did you make a killer presentation, which had a punctuation error on the twelfth slide and for which you were reprimanded by your boss? Is he always trying to intimidate you into performing your task? If your answer to all this is yes, then your boss is a sure-shot bully!

How to deal – Unfortunately, there isn’t a simple way of dealing with this kind of people. All you can do is project yourself as a reasonable person. Put your foot down whenever you feel he has crossed the line. Your boss might respect you when you stand up for yourself because, in a way, you are speaking his language.

The Manipulator

manipulative-bossThis type of people will never explain their requirement clearly to you. Instead, they will drop hints and expect you to find your way out. Such qualities in managers generally surface in case of great power difference. You can recognize your boss as being manipulative if he sends you running off with tasks to multiple directions. Initially, you might feel good about being given the responsibility to accomplish numerous tasks. However, you have to keep evaluating your goals. If you feel that the tasks are not helping you accomplish the career goals you have set for yourself, you have to speak up.

How to deal – Talk to your boss privately about your career goals. Tell him about what you aim to achieve, but you have to remember to make your boss look good in the process. Hurting his ego will not do you any good. With some patience and skill you will manage the manipulator.

The Liar

liar1-e1334603938595Has your boss promised you promotion after you complete a hellish project? Have you completed several such difficult projects without any promotions in the horizon? If yes, then you must accept it that your boss is a liar and that he is trying to extract as much work from you as possible, free of cost!

How to deal – While you have to keep your interests in mind, you cannot afford to get into the bad books of your manager. The best way of dealing with such a personality is by getting things in writing. May be you can start a chain mail and keep your upper management in the loop. A chain mail will be your best defense against false promises.

Employee Recognition Is A Must

Rahul Krishna, Manager – Talent Acquisition Group, Espire Infolabs, speaks about one of the best practices of the industry – Rewards & Recognitions.

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Some of the best Rewards & Recognition strategies are those that cost the least. The behavior that is recognized and rewarded is always the behavior that is repeated and widely spread by word of mouth, Simple Virtue.

This is a part of the global Recognitions & Rewards that energizes and engages employees to achieve your strategic goals. Employee recognition is a communication tool that highlights the most important outcome employees create for your business. When you reward your employees, the action and behavior you wish to see more frequently in your employees is inevitably repeated.

Reward programs prove more beneficial to the company than to the employees. Companies which have an effective program in place realize an increase in the average return to shareholders as opposed to companies which do not have ways to recognize employees. Only one in three Indian employees is working at full potential.

Dos & Don’ts: Designing a process in which managers get to select employees who will receive recognition might not be the best thing since the selection would inevitably happen on the basis of favoritism. A Process that single outs an individual, upon the individual contribution you made in the company’s growth, for instance, “Employee of the Month” or “Individual Contribution Award” will be more effective and motivating for employees.

For such recognition programs, each employee would receive a thank you note, hand-written by his Chief Reporting officer. This should spell out why the employee is receiving the honor/recognition.

The note would include the potential for the employee to participate in a “DRAW”. Gifts may range from a movie ticket to a dinner booking with family. Alternatively, it can be cash rewards.

National Employee Appreciation Day: This will be a perfect period to kick off a long-term employee recognition program. These appreciation days are important things when you recognize your employees in a Town Hall Meeting, and explain why the organization has chosen him/her.

As you can see, employee recognition programs are complex, and we need to architect those parameters to filter people. How is one person different from another person? Each program is custom-built to meet the needs of your organization.

In short, you need improve your bottom line as these resources are doing the real hard work and we have to measure our own employees by boosting employee retention and encouraging performance improvement.

For employees who wish to analyze their potential, you need to do the below following:

–  Utilize all your strengths
–  Manage your weakness

Please write these above on a paper and work to improve your own skills and the organization will recognize you as a potential candidate for the Student of the year Award! 🙂 Just joking Employee of the month goes to you, my friend.

Do You Have a Mobile Strategy to Hire Candidates?

Rahul Krishna, Manager Talent Acquisition Group at Espire Infolabs talks about a mobile strategy to hire candidates to empower employees by a cloud referral system! Also talks about opening a new source to get candidates other than the job boards.

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A Mobile phone can be a potential source to recruit top talent in your organizations. We have all the major job boards & application on our phones and this improves the candidate’s user experience to apply as you see.

There can be application acting as a referral system which empower the recruiters and open a new gate to get those referred resumes which are not present on a job board. It’s quite important to realize that the referred candidate has higher chances to qualify and join the organization as we have an employee who has referred that candidate. We are connecting to the web and corporate recruiters must understand and learn the uptrends of the market. We need to integrate a mobile application with the career website which will open a window to refer candidates

As you read further in the article we will explore the techniques for hiring talent globally & also participating in the Mobile uprising for convenience, with a click of a button which is handy enough for you.

Make this application available on the cloud, get this application to your employees; this will enable them to refer when they are not at work. Your employees will make a difference and the employees who do not refer they will also start using it as this is available on the smartphone. They have an independence to make a request and share the contact number, name and email address, a resume can be given at a later point of time. In this manner your employees have all the job opportunities of in their handheld, so it is easy for them to check with their old colleagues/friends and enable them and giving a chance to work with them. Also in this referral system we can prioritize the urgency of the position to get filled as we are hiring all billable resources and it involves a lot of money.

We may not be in front of our computer however we are always available on phone. Let’s try to be on the mobile to hire best talent globally through a referral system, giving confidence and opening a gate to your employees to participate in their company growth.

Importance of Employee Engagement

Ganesh Subramanian talks about why the art of employee engagement is of utmost importance to organizations. 

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There was a time when job hopping was a phenomenon that was unheard of. When we look at work in times of our fathers and forefathers, loyalty was a given thing; it was not sought after by the employers. It was nothing surprising to hear a person start a career with a company and stick on to it till retirement.

Fast forward to the late 90s…

…India was a growing economy and opportunities were aplenty. Employees kept changing jobs at will whenever they felt saturated in their current role or whenever they desired better profiles and higher salaries. It is not uncommon to find the youth of today changing jobs once in every 2-3 years or even lesser in some cases. As a result, employers nowadays, look at loyalty factor when it comes to new hiring. But what about the current employees – how to ensure that they stick to the same company and don’t take away the knowledge with them to another competitor? This is where “employee engagement” comes into the picture.

Let us look at a simpler way to understand the term engagement. We hear people say “I got engaged” in a marriage parlance. What this means is that you have consented to live your life with a particular person and you are committed to uphold that relationship. Employee engagement can be understood as something similar, wherein an employee is committed to the job and does not quit the company because he likes the job. To create this feeling among the employees is one of the biggest challenges of HR professionals.

Different techniques have been practiced and tested in employee engagement. Games, recognition, rewards, team outings, career development initiatives, like training programmes, interaction with the senior management, etc. are some of the ways by which HRs of various companies try to keep their employee engaged. There is no one right technique for employee engagement as companies are different, the sectors they operate in are different, organization culture is different and so are the employees. What works for one company may not work for another. Therefore, it is imperative for HR professionals to understand the pulse of their employees and customize and design employee engagement initiatives that will help their company.

Often employee engagement surveys conducted inside companies do not serve the purpose for which it was designed. Lack of interest in the survey and a general lackadaisical attitude among employees make the survey a futile exercise. This is where interaction with the team leads or business heads of various divisions helps. They can give a reasonable response about the general problems that hamper the productivity of their divisions. When a deeper introspection into a department is done, more often than not, one can find that the causes of dissatisfaction among the employees are the subtle/minor things which others feel are unimportant. Rectifying these minor irritants is sometimes just enough to win back the trust of the employees.

To conclude, employee engagement is more of an art than a science. Understanding the emotional pulse of the employee can go a long way in retaining a talented, productive workforce.