Friday, June 25, 2010

When myopia takes over from a professional approach

Teamwork is always a beneficial proposition for a modern day organization. The benefits accrued from group beats the disadvantages hands down and therefore, almost all the forward looking organizations encourages team work to the core.The de-merits if not being managed well can snowball into a crisis especially while managing teams of knowledge workers.
A small case-let is providing valuable insights into such happening-
Ram was a trainer of a leading company offering management training solutions to a diversified list of clients.The company boasted of trainers who were as different as that of chalk and cheese,however,notwithstanding their differences, they used to gel up in the overall interest of the organization.Being knowledge workers, possessing a high proportion of intellectual know-how the bunch of trainers often had ego clashes amongst themselves on petty issues.In fact these clashes resulted because of the presence of a myopic approach adopted either on the basis of seniority, project experience, training exposure one was having, apart from the scholastic profile.The departmental head being a balanced person often mitigated such issues by nipping them at the bud.It wasn't possible every time for him to know about the existing under-currents prevailing within the team of trainers.It was time for making question papers for the trainees, which happened to be the responsibility of the course coordinator, after which the same was to be approved by all the trainers involved in imparting training on the same subject, albeit to a different set of audience.The coordinator made the paper and as a routine protocol was taking it through the panel of other trainers, for their remarks, suggestions, feedback and approval, when one of them behaved indifferently.He took the paper, kept it for two days, and after the second day, when the coordinator went for seeking his feedback, he politely said the paper wasn't up to the mark, so a new one is to be made.He also added that he needed five pages to write down his comments, to which the coordinator accepted.The coordinator tried to explain him that even though a new paper is being made, there are bound to be differences as every trainer's perception is different, their target customer's vary and the like.He wasn't ready to accept that in spite of assuring the coordinator to make the comments therein, escalated the matter to the higher-ups without the knowledge of the coordinator.The departmental head as usual understood the rationale of the move by that trainer and suggested him to take the initiative of making the paper and then circulate to the team of trainers through the coordinator.He made the paper and as expected there were plethora of comments coming from all quarters so as to develop the paper apropos the requirement of the target audience.
It was myopic approach taking over the professionalism conduct essential while working in a team.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Rejuvenating from work related pressure

Rejuvenating after a hard day's work is extremely important for all, especially when the work life balance is heavily tilted towards the former.On the top of it meeting stiff deadlines and challenging targets aggravates matters.Familial pressure and appetite to rise higher up the career ladder adds up to the woes. It is important for everyone to know the de-stressing technique(s) which is not only easy to implement, but can give that much needed respite at a short notice.Listening to music soothing to the ears, meditating, reading, brisk walking,swimming, jogging, playing a game of one's liking are few of the techniques adopted by the common man employed in organizations of all stature.There are certain myths which if properly analyzed and removed could lead one to realize that the so-called rejuvenatory techniques, supposed to activate the tired mind and body is instead having a negative impact on the efficiency of the individual in the long run.Popular among those are hitting the deck of the night clubs with booze and high decibel music generally on the eve of the weekend. The exposure can not only have a debilitating effect on ones body, but can also lead to permanent disabilities of the heart, ear and even the biological clock if persuaded for weeks and months together.Although sensible organizations are trying their level best to put in place healthy work-life balance practices, the resultant impact on the masses (read employees) is not that encouraging.This also has lot to do with the upbringing of the individual as the childhood sans the health maintenance related education can often lead to an uni-dimensional movement in the latter part of ones life, especially when he or she is employed with an organization and is also having his/her own family to look after.Professional excellence at the cost of the health is one of the flip side of the modern day workforce.The concept work hard and party hard is killing many a talented professional even before they could realize their true potential and leverage the same.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Pseudo Multi Tasking- A lurking danger for organizations

The corporate world all over prefers to have multi-taskers in their roll.The need for such proverbial jack increases manifold in light of the turbulence witnessed by the American economy to start of, followed by the cascading impact it had on the European economy and rest of the world.There are professionals though whom yours truly would refer as pseudo multi-tasker, i.e. one who tries to be a multi-tasker, but fears backlash after a failure.Their characteristics would entail poking into cross-functional domains simply on the basis of the rudimentary knowledge they possess, courtesy their above average or sometimes excellent command on verbal and written English or any other communication skills. They assume that a multi-tasker's job is completed only if he knows how to communicate and understand the skeletal concepts of a subjects. Such pseudo multi-tasker's or self proclaimed master of one domain are indeed a big blot in the organizational structure.They are always in the look out to malign their peers, subordinates or even seniors on the basis of their limited knowledge of a function or they would always try to bully around those who may be a tad inferior in terms of communication, but extremely competent when it comes to their core area.Such pseudo multi-tasker may have professional efficiency in their chosen field,however, it is their habit of adulterating the working environment, which may result in having a negative on the overall organizational fabric of an organization.They should either be handled with a superior who is more agile and smart possessing excellent cross-functional knowledge or should be probed extensively while putting on fast job rotation policies. This may be a blessing in disguise as the concerned employee would be able to get away from the heavy head weight he or she is carrying and would also enable him or her to know his exact role in a dynamic organization.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Professional relationships into personal relationships at the workplace

Professional relationships at the workplace have often metamorphosed into a private one.The modern day working environment is full of pressure, stiff deadlines, challenging targets and competition which results into mental and physical stress. To add to that an unhealthy work-life balance is one of the key reason for an individual to feel strained and drained culminating in the bondage being broken with the near and dear ones.The long hours one has to spend at the workplace also contributes to this aspect and the employees are always in the look out for that shoulder to lean upon, that hand to hold or that caring eyes to understand the problems one is facing at the workplace. Healthy competition at times changing into unhealthy competition notwithstanding, employees are trying to forge relationships with people from the workplace at the personal level. This is leading to the creation of new relationships, not only at the professional level but also at the personal level. It is tantamount on the part of the management to understand these relationships and encourage the same which would not only reduce employee unrest, but would also contribute substantially towards the employee motivation and productivity.The grey areas however, has to be addressed as too much of intimacy at the workplace especially between the employees of the opposite gender may lead to illicit personal relationship.The management should sniff out the bondage and its impact on the personal lives of the respective employees before encouraging or distinguishing the creation of such relationships.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Challenges in Family Owned Business

Family based organizations are often devoid of a solid and transparent organizational culture, sans those which brought in professional hands to manage their strategic and operative affairs.The reasons are not difficult to find, on one hand the family run businesses are always willing to keep everything close to the chest of the promoters whether they are able to take the company or the conglomerate to the next level or not.Bold decisions of inducing external professionals within the rank and file of the organizations calls for a big heart and mind as the promoters should be confident of holding on to the reins, while allowing the company to benefit from a professional approach brought in by the external persons.Tata Sons, Wipro catapulting themselves into global entities after being family run businesses are exceptional cases in point.The organizations globally which were family run to start off,gradually metamorphosed into global behemoths, primarily because of the boldness shown by the promoters and the stakeholders, directly and indirectly responsible for facilitating those bold decisions.The importance of succession planning not only for the family members, but also for the smooth transition from a family owned operation to that of a professional managed one.The real clashes of thoughts may arise when the organizational culture undergoes a face-lift by the changing of hands and the actual ownership or control or even management of the company.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Employees need empathy or sympathy?

Modern day organizations spanning across industries have realized the importance of human capital. The companies both from the private and some selective public sector players are going out of the way to woo, cajole and pamper them with freebies, add-ons, novel perks and fringe benefits. In spite of all these novel motivational tools why do most of the companies in the emerging market witness high attrition rate.Employees need that human touch in all the endeavours as a chunk of their duration almost five days a week are spent in the workplace.Presuming that the employer can ride piggy of the pay packet along with other perquisites so as to motivate their flock of employees is nothing short of wishful thinking.The employees doesn't want even sympathy from the employer.What builds the trust culminating in a reliable relationship between the employer-employee duo is to empathize with each other. On one hand the employer should put self into the shoes of the employees and vice-versa so as to resolve indifference existing in their relationship.This aspect can be incorporated into the relationship chemistry over a period of time as sudden transition would not work out.Confidence building measures mainly by the employer starting from the day of the joining of the employee, taking a personalized approach, rather than one size fits all approach so as resolve issues would go a long way in being emphatic towards each other.Once the employees realizes the sincerity of the approach by the employer, they would definitely go that extra mile and consider the organization is their own and they are a well knit family in the true sense.