Tag Archives: article

Inspirational 3 Minute Speech by Stacy Kramer at TED

12 Dec

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HR Article :- 9 Qualities that will Rock your career

7 Dec

Qualities of the employeeSuccess in life is always relative. Some people are happy with small achievements while there are others who won’t be satisfied until mountains are moved.

Regardless of our ambitions, our career spans through a series of jobs and experiences that truly polish our personality and will. While we all have defining moments that will determine our core beliefs around hard work, persistence, determination, etc., these are all simply components of a greater foundation that defines ‘you’. A rocking rise through corporate ranks involves a radical understanding and possible change in your attitude and behaviors.

There are millions of brilliant people who pursue aggressive career paths and have their sights set on great achievement. While their ability is nothing short of genius, many lack the soft skills that could put them over the top. These are the traits, qualities and understandings are what make good people great. Practical and time tested, mastering and practicing the following qualities will make if difficult for success to elude you.

  1. Out of Box Thinking
    Many dislike this term but the concept is for real. All it requires is thinking of problems though a different set of eyes, or different dimension. This is why many brainstorming sessions fail; most people sit and think of work problems in the context of what it means to the company, not the user, not the environment, etc. Sit back and try to solve the problem from the eyes of a 6 year old, turn things upside down, and absolutely challenge the norm. Go outside and sit in a subway station (or somewhere you generally don’t sit to work) and think about why other solutions not worked? What has worked?

    Remember the best ideas come from people who are hands-on with their work. When everyone thinks and recommends a lackluster way, lackluster results will follow. Change your surroundings, change your views, change your thought process and come up with a killer idea!

  2. Taking Ownership
    When no one is willing to own it, be the first to grab the opportunity. A process involving various stakeholders normally loses vision and momentum. A process with a good leader, input from others, and true direction, has a much better chance of success. Be the person that jumps in and takes on a new project (just don’t over-commit). An ability to own and work towards success is a skill which gives long lasting returns.
  3. Eagerness to Learn
    After a certain period, a job becomes monotonous and people become bored and eventually even lazy. They lose all the zeal to learn new things and although they won’t admit this, their actions would make you believe they have thrown in the towel and are satisfied with a status quo life and career. If you really want to move ahead, don’t get into this rut. Don’t tune out.

    Always remain eager to learn; you never know what knowledge or capability will push you up in your career. Remember, you need an open mindset and positive attitude to approach work. If you are constantly learning, it will be tough to be or appear to be interested in mediocrity.

  4. An Eye for Detail
    If you are hands on with your work there is no reason why you won’t know the intricacies involved. Therefore, have the confidence needed to make difficult choices. When you master something and know the minute details, your logic and ideas will be highly regarded. While people love to argue, they get easily impressed by intelligent reasoning too.
  5. Willingness to Help
    Much of life is give and take. Work is no exception. If you are the person that is constantly stepping out of your comfort zone in order to help others, people (most) will return the favor when you ask. That’s the key though, you have to be willing to help someone and not too proud to ask them for help when you need it.
  6. Networking
    Your network should never be restricted to people in your domain but it should span other departments too. Again, break away from comfort and get engaged with someone from a different department. When you sell yourself in the market, you need people who can vouch for you and the broader the network, the better. A strong network always gives you an upper hand, not only to receive but also influence the information flow.
  7. Solution Seeking Mindset
    People love to mention and talk about problems. However, when you ask for their solutions to those problems, they aren’t willing to go on record with sweeping changes. The majority of employees lack an attitude to solve issues and love to keep them burning for long time, almost to encourage sympathy. It is these times that a positive mindset can send the right vibes across and can really give you a lot of attention. Don’t avoid complainers, listen to them just long enough to hear the problem, then try to come up with a solution.
  8. Humility
    Arrogance has its own advantages but it never attracts more people than the magic done by humility. When you know your work and are humble about it than there is no reason that you would not get the desired appreciation. Humility needs to be pitched with much care lest it lets people take undue advantage of you. Strike the right balance and you would see its real magic.
  9. Being Practical
    Human beings are emotional and many fall for popular decisions. A practical decision made at right time with right attitude has the ability to shower you with long lasting fame. Remember, the people who are at the top are nothing but practical.

It is a jungle out there where you not only need to survive but flourish too. Develop the killer attitude for success and no one would ever dare to stop you.

Always

  1. Work Hard, Work Smart
  2. Make sure the world knows about it
  3. Make sure to sell it in right manner to right people

Go, Get Success

 

Regards,

Pinal Mehta

HR Article :- 7 Effective Ways to recognize your People

1 Dec

Employee recognition is a much talked about, but often overlooked part of the workplace. Recognizing and rewarding your employees can be a slippery slope to navigate and sometimes it seems that managers either get it, or they don’t. If recognition is not sincere and genuine, your employees will know it.

 

 

7 Tips for Recognizing Your Peeps – this list isn’t about expensive ways to reward your employees because we know you can figure that out, but more subtle no-cost ideas that educate, motivate and inspire your team because a happy, invested team will always outperform a bunch of bitter Betty’s!

7 Tips for Recognizing Your Peeps

  1. Give ‘Em the 411: Informed peeps are empowered. Many managers make the mistake of keeping all the information to themselves. Instead, share information with your team. Fill them in on how your organization is doing, what the future holds and how they play a part in it. By giving your peeps information, you empower them to make informed, confident decisions and choices, which not only benefit them, but your organization.
  2. Miss (or Mr.) Independent: How many people like being micromanaged? Not too many! Employees value independence, so give it to them. When you work with your peeps to tell them what needs to be done and then give them the ability to decide how to do it, you increase their independence and ability to take more ownership of their role.
  3. Be Gumby: Everyone appreciates flexibility in their work whether it’s working flex hours, working from home or something else. This can be very motivating and shows you trust your peeps. In workplaces where this may not be possible, find ways to be flexible and your employees will respond.
  4. Give Me More: We all know training and development happen in real-time, on the job. Provide your peeps lots of opportunities to grow and learn by investing in their development and provide them stretch goals. It shows your peeps that you trust, respect and want the best for them. You’ll be rewarded when they perform at higher levels with each opportunity.
  5. Decisions, Decisions: How does it feel when all the decisions are made for you? Not so much eh? Well, your peeps are closer than anyone to the work they do so they are really the best decision makers. Sometimes as managers we make the mistake of deciding for our employees. Take a step back and ask them what they think and what they recommend. They’ll be more involved in the process and therefore more invested in the outcome.
  6. How Am I Doing? Everyone wants to know how they are doing at any time so hold frequent check-ins throughout the year so you can have honest conversations about your peeps performance. Take the time to share what they are doing well and what could use some work. Also, remember to share great feedback with the leadership team of your company so they’re aware of the contributions your peeps are making. The more feedback you give your employees, the more they will be equipped to respond to the needs of your organization.
  7. Celebrate! Often we are so busy strategizing, working and executing that we cruise through the year without taking the time to celebrate all the success along the way. Remember, if you celebrate often you’ll get more back in return and you’ll foster a culture of recognition.

How are you recognizing your peeps? I’d love to hear.

Regards,

Pinal Mehta

HR Article – 25 Behaviors that lead to mistrust

17 Oct

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25 behaviors that lead to mistrust
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“Trust men and they will be true to you; treat them greatly, and they will show themselves great.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

All of life is relationship – even life at work. And the most critical, foundational building block of a team is trust. Without trust most teams are really disparate collections of individuals called groups. The element that creates or erodes trust is your individual behavior. Trust can support teams to go the extra mile, work for the greater good of the team and the organization, foster open and honest communication and engender mutual respect and support. Distrust, on the other, often stems form a “me first” mind-set that leads to destructive conflict, egoism, and a “going through the motions” attitude.

As trite and worn as the statement “There is no ‘I’ in team.” is, its a fact of life at work that when trust is lacking among team members, they spend inordinate amounts of time and energy resisting others’ inappropriate behaviors, reacting to others’ disingenuousness, playing politics, resisting meetings, and feeling reluctant to ask for, or give, support.  In a culture characterized by mistrust, relationships suffer and when relationships suffer, performance, production and profits suffer. So, how might you be contributing to mistrust on your team?

Here are 25 behaviors that contribute to creating mistrust on your team:

1. You fail to keep your promises, agreements and commitments.
2. You serve your self first and others only when it is convenient.
3. You micromanage and resist delegating.
4. You demonstrate an inconsistency between what you say and how you behave.
5. You fail to share critical information with your colleagues.
6. You choose to not tell the truth.
7. You resort to blaming and scapegoating others rather than own your mistakes.
8. You judge, and criticize rather than offer constructive feedback.
9. You betray confidences, gossip and talk about others behind their backs.
10. You choose to not allow others to contribute or make decisions.
11. You downplay others’ talents, knowledge and skills.
12. You refuse to support others with their professional development.
13. You resist creating shared values, expectations and intentions in favor of your own agenda; you refuse to compromise and foster win-lose arguments.
14. You refuse to be held accountable by your colleagues.
15. You resist discussing your personal life, allowing your vulnerability, disclosing your weaknesses and admitting your relationship challenges.
16. You rationalize sarcasm, put-down humor and off-putting remarks as “good for the group”.
17. You fail to admit you need support and don’t ask colleagues for help.
18. You take others’ suggestions and critiques as personal attacks.
19. You fail to speak up in team meetings and avoid contributing constructively.
20. You refuse to consider the idea of constructive conflict and avoid conflict at all costs.
21. You consistently hijack team meetings and move them off topic.
22. You refuse to follow through on decisions agreed upon at team meetings.
23. You secretly engage in back-door negotiations with other team members to create your own alliances.
24.  You refuse to give others the benefit of the doubt and prefer to judge them without asking them to explain their position or actions.
25. You refuse to apologize for mistakes, misunderstandings and inappropriate behavior and dig your heels in to defend yourself and protect your reputation.

When you show up in integrity, authentically and allow your vulnerability, others will see you as genuine, warts and all. As such, your teammates will begin to trust you and gravitate towards you as you have created a personal container of safety in which others feel they can relate to you in an equally genuine fashion.

Communication and true teamwork is a function of trust, not technique. When trust is high, communication is easy and effortless. Communicating and relating are instantaneous. But, when trust is low, communicating and relating are efforting, exhausting, and time and energy consuming.

Finally, no one wants to give 100% to someone they can’t trust. Period!

So, some questions for self-reflection are:

* How deeply do you trust your own guidance?
* Do you trust that you know what’s best for you?
* Do you often find yourself needing to be in control?
* Do you feel the people in your life should think, feel and behave as you do?
* Are fear, doubt and anxiety a large part of your life?
* Where or when do you feel not good enough or not worthy enough?
* Do you generally feel most folks can’t be trusted?
* What would your life be like if you substituted trust for fear?
* Would you describe yourself as one who has a well-honed capacity to trust, be non-judgmental, and compassionate?
* Would folks describe you as a good listener? How do you know?
* Are you trustworthy?
* What does trust mean to you?
* On what do you base your notion of trust?
* Do you believe others, if asked, would say they trust you?
* Why is trust easy or difficult for you?
* What does someone have to do for you not to trust them?
* Do you have a lot of rules that have to be met before you trust someone?
* What was your experience around trust like when you were growing up?
* Have you ever been told, directly or indirectly, that you can’t be trusted? If so, what was that like?

The chief lesson I have learned in a long life is that the only way to make a man trustworthy is to trust him; and the surest way to make him untrustworthy is to distrust him and show your distrust.” ­ Henry L. Stimson

Change Management : Customer First

15 Oct

Customer First is the mindset change behavioral intervention about customer needs, satisfaction, delight and loyalty. Customer First focuses on dynamic interactions between the organization and customers as well as competitors in the market and its internal stakeholders. Customer First helps continuous improvement as a business priority.

Customer First places the emphasis on listening to customers in the BAT mode of Behaviors, Attitudes and Thinking.

There are seven key behaviors that strongly indicate a customer First attitude:

· Thinking and talking about clients a lot

· Continually assessing your customers’ perceptions

· Resolving priority issues in favor of the customer

· Giving in, compromising, adding value for the customer

· Making amends to customers for poor treatment

· Employing a “whatever it takes” policy to satisfy special needs

· Redesigning processes, re-deploying resources and when they get in the way of service quality

The average person who has a bad-service experience tells at least nine others about it and l3% of complaints relates their experience to more than 20 other people. In comparison, people who receive an excellent service only tell three or four others about it.

Today more than ever, customer service is like a famous celebrity. Every action is noticed, talked about, shared and magnified. What has made this so? Technology.

The Customer First Focus:

· Understanding the specific needs of the customers

· To listen openly and with empathy to the customer

· Judge the content, not the messenger or the delivery

· Comprehend fully using multiple techniques (ask, repeat, rephrase etc.)

· Attend to non-verbal cues, body language. It is not just words – Listen between the lines

· Satisfying the customer needs by asking for his/her views or suggestions

· Acknowledge what is said, rather than control a conversation

· Listen to all the facts and do not interrupt the customer until he / she concludes the statement

· Listen to key words of interest on which to comment or ask questions

· Understanding the bottom line in written communication

· Arranging information in a logical sequence

· Writing clear and concise sentences and eliminating the passive voice and redundancy

· Developing inter team / intra team relationship for cohesiveness

· To connect with others

· To understand the importance of an action plan for individual and organization growth

Great results at JK Tyres, Life Tree, Sonata Softare, Titan, Buhler, SRL Ranbaxy, ESAB and many others right from the word go.  Their people who went through the intervention are now able to;

· Identify the gaps and barriers in your interaction with customers

· Develop an excellent customer relationship against parameters like,

Reliability

Assurance

Tangibility

Empathy, and

Responsiveness

· Adopt a positive attitude at work

· Build Rapport and steps to Assertive Communication

· Relate to different personality styles and flex your communication to suit each  personality style

· Learn the art of positive reciprocation without any disruption/deviation

· Structure presentations to deliver crucial points and emphasise on the key message

· Listen for unspoken fears/moods/aspirations/concerns

· Understand others with respect and validation

· Listen rather than think about how you are going to respond

· Build optimism and positive human regard

· Remove conflict and have better understanding with adequate communication

· Be proactive

· Make reading clear and concise thereby creating a winning impact

· Demonstrate a higher order of team effectiveness

· Have the agility to respond to situations

· Be interdependent-each member depends on the other when the team wants to be successful

· Follow an action plan for self assessment and their by being able to take self corrective measures instantly

It is time for you to bring about the change in Behaviors, Attitudes and Thinking of your people. Customer First helps all types of Customer interactions be it in retail, manufacturing, IT, BPO, Services or wherever it calls for people Skills. Customer First is original creation of Oscar Murphy International, Singapore.

Innovative Retention Strategies in Indian BPO

10 Oct

Retention of Key employees is critical to the long term health and success of any organization. It is a known fact that retaining your best employees ensures customer satisfaction, increased product sales, satisfied colleagues and reporting staff, effective succession planning and deeply imbedded organizational knowledge and learning.

Employee retention matters as organizational issues such as training time and investment; lost knowledge; insecure employees and a costly candidate search are involved. Hence failing to retain a key employee is a costly proposition for an organisation. Various estimates suggest that losing a middle manager in most organizations costs up to five times of his salary.

The BPOs in India face an enormous challenge in reducing attrition rate and this being a nascent industry needs to draw parallels, examples from other industry practices as well as develop innovative Employee Relation Initiatives as highlighted below. This has been classified into three groups

1. The Corporate level

2. Managerial/supervisory level

3. Employee Recognition Initiatives

Here this article attempts to highlight the strategies for the corporate level.

Corporate Level Retention strategies:-

Relevance of Retention Strategies in the Indian BPO Industry vis-à-vis other industries is very critical to its existence for the following reasons –

· To bring stability in business and increase customer service process.
· Nasscom has estimated that the Indian ITES industry will gross over $5.7 billion by 2005 (based on a conservative year-on-year growth of 65 percent by Nasscom).
· Staff/employee satisfaction translates directly into money quite quickly in the BPO industry compared to other industries.
· To reduce the pressure on the recruiting process.
· Recent acquisition deals both domestic & overseas by BPOs makes it even more critical to stabilize their back end operations to service new customers.

Before we proceed its important to understand the underlying reasons for high attrition rates, which are pretty steep and are around 40-50%. Currently it is about 35% in non-voice and 45% in voice call centers. About 80% of them look for better careers within the same industry. Agents want to become team leaders. Team leaders want to become supervisors. Supervisors want the job of the CEO. Based on my discussions with the experts in the BPO industry, literature and data available, the following trends are seen as below.

There are varied reasons for the same and the major reasons for attrition rate are(based on author’s sample study):-

· Money – 10%
· Night shifts – 35%
· Monotonous/boring job – 30%
· Others – 25%

As seen above from the above data, HR Strategist at the Corporate Level of the BPO Industry indeed have a huge challenge before them and their approach has to be proactive and they have to develop Innovative Employee Relation Initiatives as mentioned hereon.

· A satisfied employee knows clearly what is expected from him every day at work. Changing expectations keeps people on the edge and creates unhealthy stress. This creates insecurity and makes the employee feel unsuccessful. An employees deliverables at work must be communicated to him clearly and thoroughly.

· The quality of the supervision an employee receives is critical to employee retention. Frequent employee complaints center on these areas.

–lack of clarity about expectations,
–lack of clarity about benefits pertaining to performance based incentives.
–lack of feedback about performance,
–failure to provide a framework within which the employee perceives he can succeed.

· The ability of the employee to speak his or her mind freely within the organization is another key factor. Have meetings or dinner once a month, to share the company’s vision, the industry’s growth and where they see themselves in this scheme of things.

· Using psychometric tests to get people who can work at night and handle the monotony.

· Talent and skill utilization is another environmental factor your key employees seek in your workplace. You just need to know their skills, talent and experience, and take the time to tap into it

· The perception of fairness and equitable treatment is important.

· When an employee is failing at work, Refer to W. Edward Deming’s question, “What is about the work system that is causing the person to fail?” Most frequently, if the employee knows what they are supposed to do, then the answer is time, tools, training, temperament or talent. The easiest to solve, and the ones most affecting employee retention, are tools, time and training. The employee must have the tools, time and training necessary to do their job well – or they will move to an employer who provides them.

· Another important factor is focus on the process than on the person especially when the employee is not failing at work.

· Implement Competency Models which should be well integrated with HR processes like Selection & Recruitments, Training, Performance appraisal and potential Appraisal.

· A common complaint or lament during an exit interview is that the employee never felt senior managers knew he/she existed. In my experience I knew the MD of a company who knew the first names of all staff including workers to that extent he used to enquire about the well being of the family members if it was casually mentioned that wife or children aren’t keeping well. Senior managers refer to the president of a small company or a department or division head in a larger company. They have to take time to meet with new employees to learn about their talents, abilities and skills. Meet with each employee periodically. They will have more useful information and keep their fingers on the pulse of organization. It’s a critical tool to help employees feel welcomed, acknowledged and loyal.

· The Senior Managers to be involved in the recruitment process if the Recruitment team has identified potential and cultural fit candidates.

· Involve the advisors or team leaders in the interviewing panels.

· In Company presentations to potential candidates, encourage the employees to share their experiences.

· Your staff members must feel rewarded, recognized and appreciated. Frequently saying thank you goes a long way. Monetary rewards, bonuses and gifts make the thank you even more appreciated. Understandable raises, tied to accomplishments and achievements help to retain staff.

· Select the right people in the first place through behavior-based testing and competency screening.

· Draw lessons from the Indian Army, for their command and control leadership where the troops are highly skilled, motivated and morale is high. The comparisons is drawn as both(BPO & army) have large numbers of employees and army’s style of leadership may not relevant to BPOs but it must be understood & gathered that military organizations are team oriented with continuous training. Troops expands their skills and experience capabilities they never dreamed possible, produces a highly motivated and efficient organization. Learning opportunity and responsibility is the key.

· Offer an attractive, competitive, benefits package.

· Provide opportunities for people to share their knowledge via training sessions, presentations, mentoring others and team assignments.

· Demonstrate respect for employees at all times. Treat the employees well & provide dignity of job; follow the maxim of Mr. Marriott that “Ladies & Gentlemen serve the Ladies & Gentlemen”.

· If a key employee resigns, it should be taken up on a priority basis and kept confidential as far as possible and the senior management should meet the employee to discuss his reasons for leaving and evaluate if his issues bear merit and whether they can be resolved

· Exit Interviews: Outsource this process to external consultants to get a realistic and unbiased feedback. This can be a great source of information regarding the shortcomings in a management system.

· People want to enjoy their work. Make work fun. Engage, employ the special talents of each individual.

· BPOs should endeavour to implement work-life balance initiatives to reinforce the retention strategies. Innovative and practical employee policies pertaining to flexible working schemes, granting compassionate and urgency leave, providing healthcare for self, family and dependants, etc. Work-life balance policies would have a positive impact on:
Attracting high calibre recruits
Retaining skilled employees
Reduce recruitment costs
Improve employee morale
Maintain a competitive edge

· Listen to employees’ ideas; never ridicule them.

· Offer performance feedback and praise good efforts and results.

· Implement organizational culture measurement tools like Adversity Quotient (AQ).

· Recognize and celebrate their success.

· Staff adequately so overtime is minimized for those who don’t want it and people don’t wear themselves out.

· Get them involved in social causes and fund drives like Tsunami Disaster Relief. Provide a meaning or a cause to their lives.

· Nurture and celebrate organization traditions like Diwali, Holi ,Christmas etc.

· Communicate goals, roles and responsibilities so that people know what is expected of them and feel a part of the crowd.

· According to research by the Gallup organization, encourage employees to have good, even best, friends, at work.

· Encourage humour & laughter in workplace to deal with stress which will ensure that the employees are happy which gets reflected in their services especially critical in voice based transaction.

· Feeling valued by their manager in the workplace is a key to high employee motivation and morale.

· Reach out to the families of the potential candidates with sustained and focused messages in the media about the excellent prospects in the BPO Industry. There is an example of this instances- Late Rai Bahadur Mohan Singh Oberoi, Chairman of the Oberoi Group in efforts to makes sure that many women joined his company went to educational institutions and elicited women’s parents to come to the hotel. He told them “ I will walk you in and show you what your daughters will do with us, please help us to train them”.

· Excellent Career Growth prospects. –

Encourage & groom employees to take up higher positions/openings. If not fulfilled then they will look outside the organization.

Look for talents within the organization and encourage them. For instance, if a person has the potential to be a trainer, groom & develop the employee.

· Night shifts
1. Have people from other walks of life to talk about their experiences. Other professions like Army, Medicine, and shop floor workers also have to work in night shifts.
2. Have doctors to advise & guide them about their biological clocks and ways & means to deal with them.
3. Dietary advice:- Do’s and don’ts.
4. Create the passion that they are doing a yeomen service to the nation by bringing the much-required Foreign Exchange.
5. They are helping people (clients) to make their life easier.
6. Special lights in the office/workplace to ensure their bodies get sufficient vitamin D.
7. One distinct disadvantage of night shifts is the sense of disorientation with friends and family members. Concentrate on this problem and develop innovative solutions and ways to deal with it.

· Focused Training & Development Programs
For Associates & Team Leaders
· A session on Transactional Analysis during the induction period so that both are made aware of the causes for Communication breakdowns & conflicts which affect their mental behavior and stress which needs to be tackled at the earliest in the right manner.
· Those who are working on services verticals – like Banking & Financial services to be imparted training/knowledge of Vedic Maths, which would help them, calculate the figures quickly without using calculators.
· Creativity & Innovation– Its all about Attitude! A job can be as monotonous or exciting as you think/believe it to be, as it is all a state of mind. Look for excitement in the job process as it is not just answering the queries or solving the problems of customers but learning more about the customer through his voice accent or visualizing his environment/culture.
· Encourage the best performers to share their experiences with others and mentor others.

The emphasis is to create the desire to learn, enjoy and be passionate about the work they do.

· Meditation Room or deep breath exercises for Associates & Team Leaders – the emphasis is that they should never be in the stress mode or upset while attending calls of a customer.
· Hire outstation candidates (from small towns like Amravati, Latur,Nashik etc) and provide them with shared accommodation.

Conclusion

It is HR’s job, though not HR’s job alone, to champion and shepherd effective human resource management practices at both the strategic and day-to-day levels. That is, to be effective, human resource management practices must be grounded in two ways. First, they must reflect company wide commitments as to how it will manage and relate to its employees. Secondly, HR must implement these commitments so that the ideals of the enterprise and deeds of its agents are congruent.

HR to play a key role in the development and execution of the Business Strategy of an Organisation. It should evolve from a transactional support role to partnering in the organization’s business strategy.

An Article by Rajat Joshi