Tag Archives: hr

Donkey For Sale : A Mulla Nasruddin Story

21 Jan


Mulla Nasrudin had a good-for-nothing donkey. The donkey was wild, unruly, lazy, and obstinate and would not obey Mulla Nasrudin and all efforts to train the donkey failed. Soon the donkey became such a nuisance that Nasrudin and his wife were fed up of the donkey and wanted to get rid of it, so they decided to sell off their useless donkey and purchase a good one.

So Mulla Nasrudin took his good-for-nothing donkey to the weekly fair where animals were bought and sold by auction.

“I want to sell this good-for-nothing, lazy, useless, disobedient donkey,” Mulla Nasrudin shouted.

A man offered five hundred rupees and Nasrudin was delighted to get this unexpected prize for his useless donkey.

Mulla Nasrudin roamed around the fair and suddenly he saw a huge crowd around an auctioneer who was auctioning a handsomely decked-up donkey wearing a crown.

The auctioneer talked about the donkey’s strong muscles, “look how strong and supple this donkey is – it is so hardy that it can wok tirelessly for hours carrying heavy loads. An excellent beast of burden.”

Someone bid one thousand rupees.

“What? Only a thousand rupees for such an intelligent donkey? You can train him to anything you want and he will learn in a minute. This is a most gentle donkey. Just look at his eyes. You know he’s a wonderful donkey. You can let him carry your children home with full knowledge of the fact that this kind animal will protect them from any harm. For he is a strong loyal friend…” the auctioneer said.

Someone bid three thousand rupees.

The auctioneer continued talking about the donkey’s value and and as he laid it thick and praised the donkey’s qualities the bids started going higher and higher.

The auctioneer went on and on extolling the donkey’s virtues which so impressed Mulla Nasrudin that he suddenly bid ten thousand rupees, won the bid and bought the donkey.

He triumphantly led his prize donkey home and told his wife that he had sold their good-for-nothing useless donkey for rupees five hundred and bought this wonderful new donkey for ten thousand rupees.

Nasrudin’s wife had a close look, realized that the decked-up donkey Nasrudin had bought was their own lazy good-for-nothing donkey and was furious with Mulla Nasrudin and shouted at him, “are you crazy Nasrudin. This is our own useless donkey – you sold it for five hundred rupees and bought it back for ten thousand rupees?”

A stunned, bewildered and baffled Mulla Nasrudin looked closely at the donkey for some time, then recovered his wits, and said, “Maybe I did not appreciate the true worth of my donkey until the auctioneer explained it…”

It’s true, isn’t it?
Sometimes we don’t realize the value of what we have or the worth of those close to us, till someone else appreciates it.

There is a saying in hindi: “Ghar ki Murgi Dal barabar…”
It’s high time to introspect and realise the worth of our near and dear loved ones and friends and value the things that we already possess.

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 Stories :- Test of Communications Skills

3 Dec

It was a hot meeting at the office conference hall. All the people from the department had been called. The VP was looking much tensed.
 

The mood was so bad. My friend asked me – “Hey, what is this meeting all about? I told – May be they will decide on when to have the next meeting.

People around smiled at each other. Then the VP started talking. It was about the recent attrition rate that was so high. Around 10 people had put in their papers. All experienced guys. It was quarter end and so work was huge. If we do not complete the work on time, we need to be paying heavy penalty said the VP.

The VP turned to the manager and told “Hey – take how much ever resources you want. Recruit or take them from other departments. But complete the work in another 25 days. Take people and complete it man.

 
To this the sweet manager replied “Sir! Give me one wife and nine months and I shall show you results. Don’t give me nine wives and one month. I cannot do anything.” Everyone looked at him blank.

 
The VP was not prepared for this answer. We looked at the manager and thought “What an Awesome Reply man!”

HR Articles :- Top Signs Your Employees Are Not Engaged

3 Dec

A tongue-in-cheek look at some signs that employees are not engaged, followed by proven action plans to improve that situation.
 
For decades, studies have shown that employee engagement has a direct influence on a company’s financial performance, its capacity to recruit other high performers and its ability to retain top talent.
 
To put a slightly off-kilter spin on employee engagement, here’s a list of signs your employees are not engaged, followed by an action plan that companies can implement to improve employee engagement within their organization.
 
Signs to be on the look-out for are:
 
1. Your employees are more satisfied with new episodes of MTV’s Jersey Shore than company benefits.
 
Action Plan:
Use an employee e-newsletter to regularly educate employees about their healthcare, vision and dental benefits, highlighting specific updates and special perks.
 
2. Your employees never show up to work on time yet always arrive at company parties 15 minutes early.
 
Action Plan:
Hold a time-management training seminar, teaching employees how to better manage their time and priorities.
 
3. Your employees are more interested in using Groupon to save them money than finding innovative ways to save the company money.
 
Action Plan:
Reward employees who come up with cost-saving ideas that will benefit the company’s bottom-line.
 
4. Your employees spend more time talking to their co-workers about their crazy weekend than completing important projects.
 
Action Plan:
Have teams establish ground rules for working together. Post them in a public place and encourage all team members to hold each other accountable to the new rules.
 
5. Your employees trust politicians more than they trust senior management.
 
Action Plan:
Make senior management more available and visible to employees to build trust.
 
6. Your employees remember their sister’s husband’s brother’s birthday but forget how to complete easy, painless work-related tasks.
 
Action Plan:
Ensure employees are aware of all the tools, software and equipment available to them and provide training to make sure employees understand how to use them to their full potential.
 
7. Your employees would rather voice their displeasure with their jobs on “www.ihatemyjob.com” than with their supervisors.
 
Action Plan:
Develop “office hours” for employees to openly voice their opinions and give suggestions to their supervisors.
 
8. Your employees call in sick on the same day and time every week.
 
Action Plan:
Institute an incentive policy where employees who accumulate a set number of unused sick days can earn an additional vacation day.
 
9. Your employees build origami out of important project materials instead of reading them.
 
Action Plan:
Hold monthly brainstorming meetings to allow employees’ creative sides to come out, generating new, innovative ideas for upcoming projects.
 
10. Your employees believe the odds of their favorite NFL team winning Super Bowl are better than the odds of their supervisor offering them a job promotion.
 
Action Plan:
Conduct one-on-one meetings with employees to discuss career growth and opportunities for advancement.
 
These signs and others like them require immediate action by management to prevent against continued disengagement.
 
By establishing a sound employee-engagement strategy and executing the aforementioned action plans, organizations will be well on their way toward improving their employees’ engagement levels, and, more importantly, retaining their top talent as the economy recovers.
 
 
[About the Author: Kevin A. Sheridan is CEO/Chief Consultant at HR Solutions.]

Regards,

Pinal Mehta

HR Stories – A valuable lesson in life

3 Dec

A giant ship engine failed. The ship’s owners tried one expert after another, but none of them could figure but how to fix the engine.

Then they brought in an old man who had been fixing ships since he was a young. He carried a large bag of tools with him, and when he arrived, he immediately went to work. He inspected the engine very carefully, top to bottom.

Two of the ship’s owners were there, watching this man, hoping he would know what to do. After looking things over, the old man reached into his bag and pulled out a small hammer. He gently tapped something. Instantly, the engine lurched into life. He carefully put his hammer away. The engine was fixed!

A week later, the owners received a bill from the old man for Rupees ten thousand .

“What?!” the owners exclaimed. “He hardly did anything!”

So they wrote the old man a note saying, “Please send us an itemized bill.”

The man sent a bill that read:

Tapping with a hammer…… ……… ……. Rs. 2.00

Knowing where to tap………. ……… …… Rs. 9, 998.00

“Effort is important, but knowing where to make an effort makes all the difference!”

Regards,

Pinal Mehta

Tips, Secrets of a Resume Perfecto..!!

3 Dec

SAYING IT WITH IMPACT

Using verbs and adjectives effectively adds impact to your resume. Read this section again carefully just before you actually begin writing.

DESCRIBING RESULTS – GOING BEYOND DUTIES

The typical resume merely lists duties and does little else to sell the person. One of the best ways to sell yourself is to describe accomplishments in terms of results. Duties are often covered by “Responsible for …” Results are generally covered by using the verb developed, such as “Developed a secretary’s manual which explained hundreds of procedures and significantly reduced clerical errors.” This person’s duties were typing, filing, and answering phones, so to show that she stood above the rest, she demonstrated results.

THE WORDS TO USE

While develop is an excellent word, when used three or four times in a resume it becomes overworked.  You’ll need substitutes. The most common are:

Created Instituted
Designed Introduced
Established Setup
Implemented

Other verbs that may be appropriate substitutes in certain circumstances would be:

Built Fabricated Originated
Composed Fashioned Perfected
Constructed Formed Pioneered
Coordinated Formulated Planned
Cultivated Generated Prepared
Devised Installed Produced
Elaborated Introduced Refined
Enhanced Organized Revamped

Developed (devised, prepared, produced) a creative financing/purchasing package to obtain 1900 acres of prime California farmland.

Developed (created, designed, introduced) a new concept in women’s athletics and actively promoted the program. Participation b women grew from 18% in previous years to 79%

Pioneered mime program for gifted children age 8-12.

Developed (built, created, established, implemented, instituted) an intern program to allow students to work in nursing homes and schools for the retarded.

Developed (designed, established) training programs for new and experienced employees and supervised the new employee orientation program.

Set up apprenticeship programs for five skilled trades at the Physical Plant Department.

Developed and implemented an information and referral service for consumer complaints and human rights issues.

Developed and implemented mail and telephone solicitation programs and word processor systems.

Coordinated the company marketing effort, including advertising and promotions.

Designed and installed cash and inventory control systems for various clients.

Developed (created, designed) a unique computerized system, which has dramatically increased service to customers.

For this small, 29-year-old manufacturer of toys, implemented changes in sales, marketing, and production, which enabled the company to double sales and profits in a six-year period.

Developed and supervised a medical records internship program.

Created an employee orientation program, which increased employee effectiveness and helped decrease turnover.

Developed (created, built) a team of highly motivated employees.

Established a sales award program, which substantially reduced turnover of franchise sales staff.

Foresight Proficient/proficiently
Functional/functionally Profitable/profitably
Handy/handily Progressive/progressively
High/highly Quick/quickly
Highest Rare/rarely
High-level Readily
Honest/honestly Record
Imaginative/imaginatively Relentless/relentlessly
Immediate/immediately Reliability
Impressive/impressively Reliable/reliably
Incisive/incisively Remarkable/remarkably
In-depth Responsible/responsibly
Industrious/industriously Rigorous/rigorously
Inherent/inherently Routine/routinely
Innovative/innovatively Secure/securely
Instructive/instructively Sensitive/sensitively
Instrumental/instrumentally Significant/significantly
Integral Skillful/skillfully
Intensive/intensively Solid/solidly
Intimate/intimately Sophisticated/sophisticatedly
Leading Strategic/strategically
Masterful/masterfully Strong/strongly
Meaningful/meaningfully Substantial/substantially
Natural/naturally Successful/successfully
New and Improved Tactful/tactfully
Notable/notably Thorough/thoroughly
Objective/objectively Uncommon/uncommonly
Open-minded Unique/uniquely
Original/originally Unusual/unusually
Outstanding/outstandingly Urgent/urgently
Particularly Varied
Penetrating/penetratingly Vigorous/vigorously
Perceptive/perceptively Virtual/virtually
Pioneering Vital/vitally
Practical/practically Wide/widely
Professional/professionally

Significantly/Substantially

“Increased sales substantially through creative marketing.”

“Absenteeism was reduced significantly by instituting a system of flexible work hours.”

When you have no idea by what percentage you increased or decreased something, the words significantly and substantially will provide the reader with the feeling you are trying to get across. When you use these words, you are saying that what you did really had an impact. The word extensive can also be used in similar contexts.

Produced an extensive revision of the company procedures manual.”

Extensively involved in staff education and development.

Significantly improved communications between nursing administration and staff.

Virtually all apartment units were completed ahead of schedule.

Continually streamlined policies and procedures to create more reasonable work schedule.

Extremely well-organized and efficient.

Exceptionally well-trained in theatre, dance, and music.

A list of adverbs and adjectives is given below. Review the list and check the ones you feel may be useful to you. Try to include them but don’t force it. Don’t use a word or phrase unless it really fits your personality and strengthens your resume. After writing each draft, go back through the list to see if still another word or two might be useful.

Accurate/accurately Decisive/decisively
Active/actively Deep (insight)
Adept/adeptly Deft/deftly
Advantageously Dependable/dependably
Aggressive/aggressively Demonstrably
All-inclusive/all-inclusively Diligent/diligently
Ambitious/ambitiously Diplomatic/diplomatically
Appreciable/appreciably Distinctive/distinctively
Astute/astutely Diverse/diversified
Attractive/attractively Driving
Authoritative/authoritatively Easily
Avid/avidly Effective/effectively
Aware Effectually
Beneficial/beneficially Efficient/efficiently
Broad/broadly Effortless/effortlessly
Capable/capably Enthusiastically
Challenging Entire/entirely
Cohesive/cohesively Especially
Competent/competently Exceptional/exceptionally
Complete/completely Exciting/excitingly
Comprehensive/comprehensively Exhaustive/exhaustively
Conclusive/conclusively Experienced
Consistent/consistently Expert/expertly
Constructive/constructively Extensive/extensively
Contagious Extremely
Continuous/continually Familiar with
Contributed Towards Familiarity with
Decidedly Firm/firmly

Reduced lost time due to illness 81% and reduced industrial accidents by 67%.

Negotiated a product classification change for California freight, saving $18,000 annually.

Negotiated, awarded, and administered contracts with vendors for the procurement of over 65,000 different standard parts.

Continually streamlined policies to reduce redundant procedures.

ACTION VERBS

Accomplished Commanded Determined Fabricated
Achieved Commended Developed Facilitated
Acquired Communicated Devised Fashioned
Acted Completed Diagnosed Filed
Activated Compared Directed Financed
Active Compiled Discovered Fixed
Adapted Composed Dispensed Followed
Addressed Computed Displayed Forged
Adjusted Conceived Dissected Forecasted
Administered Conceptualized Distributed Formulated
Advised Conducted Documented Found
Allocated Consolidated Drafted Founded
Analyzed Constructed Dramatized Functioned
Approved Conserved Earned Gained
Arbitrated Consulted Edited Gathered
Arranged Contacted Eliminated Generated
Ascertained Contracted Employed Governed
Assembled Contributed Enacted Graduated
Assessed Controlled Encouraged Guided
Assigned Converted Enforced Handled
Assimilated Cooperated Engineered Headed
Assisted Coordinated Enhanced Hired
Assured Correlated Enlisted Identified
Attained Corroborated Ensured Illustrated
Attended Counseled Equipped Imagined
Augmented Created Established Implemented
Balanced Culminated Estimated Improved
Bought Cultivated Evaluated Improvised
Brought Dealt Examined Increased
Built Defined Expanded Informed
Calculated Delegated Expedited Initiated
Clarified Delivered Experimented Inspected
Classified Demonstrated Explained Inspired
Coached Designed Expressed Installed
Collected Detected Extracted Instigated
Instilled Ordered Received Shaped
Instituted Organized Recognized Shifted
Instructed Originated Recommended Shipped
Insured Overcame Reconciled Simplified
Integrated Oversaw Recorded Sold
Interfaced Participated Recruited Solidified
Interpreted Perceived Rectified Solved
Interviewed Perfected Reevaluated Sorted
Introduced Performed Referred Spearheaded
Invented Persuaded Refined Spoke
Investigated Piloted Regulated Staffed
Judged Pioneered Rehabilitated Stimulated
Justified Placed Related Streamlined
Kept Planned Rendered Structured
Kindled Played Repaired Substituted
Launched Predicted Reported Succeeded
Led Prepared Represented Summarized
Lectured Prescribed Reorganized Supervised
Lifted Presented Researched Supplied
Located Prevented Resolved Synthesized
Logged Printed Responded Systematized
Maintained Processed Restored Tested
Managed Procured Retrieved Trained
Marketed Produced Revamped Transferred
Mastered Programmed Reviewed Transformed
Mediated Projected Revised Translated
Minimized Promoted Revitalized Treated
Monitored Proposed Revived Unified
Motivated Protected Saved Updated
Negotiated Proved Scheduled Upgraded
Nominated Provided Screened Utilized
Observed Publicized Secured Validated
Obtained Published Selected Verified
Offered Purchased Separated Won
Operated Questioned Served Wrote
Optimized Realized Serviced Orchestrated

VERB TENSES

Describe your current job in the present tense. For all previous jobs, write in the past tense. In your current job, you may need to describe an event, such as a project, which has already been completed. In that case, use the past tense to describe the project, while using the present tense in the remaining portions of your current job.

Developed (instituted, introduced, designed) new operating procedures which reduced labor costs 24% of gross revenues to 14%.

Instituted a preventive maintenance program which increased a combat readiness of a unit by 10%.

ACTION VERBS

A resume should sound alive and vigorous. Using action verbs helps achieve that feeling. “I changed the filing system” lacks punch and doesn’t really indicate if the system was improved. “I reorganized and simplified the filing system” sounds much better and provides more accurate information. Review the sentences below to get a feel for action words. Then quickly scan the words in the following list and check any you think you might want to use in your resume. Don’t try to force them in, use them when they feel right.

Conducted long-range master planning for the Portland water supply system.

Monitored enemy radio transmissions, analyzed information, and identified enemy strategic and tactical capabilities.

Planned, staffed and organized the intramural sports program for this 1,200-student college.

Produced daily reports for each trial and made sure documents and evidence were handled properly.

Presented seminars to entry-level secretaries and worked to increase the professionalism of secretaries in the county system.

Improved the coordination, imagination, and pantomime techniques of adults through mime and dance training.

Allocated and dispensed federal money to nine counties, as board member of the CETA Advisory Board.

Evaluated financial health by analyzing financial statements and ratios.

Prevented the loss of numerous key accounts through effective account management and by solving long-standing problems.

Compiled extensive fisheries data from interviews with thousands of sports fishermen.

Researched and proposed a $1,000,000 project to improve warehouse storage and develop a better distribution system.

Since the inventory system was designed over a year ago. It must be described in the past tense.

USING ADJECTIVES AND ADVERBS

Adjectives and adverbs are words that describe actions and things. Used appropriately, they can enliven a resume and describe more accurately what you did. Notice how they change the tone of the sentences below.

1.       Worked with industrial engineers.

Worked closely and effectively with industrial engineers.

2.       During seven years as staff pharmacist, learned the operations of the pharmacy department.

During seven years as staff pharmacist, became thoroughly familiar with operation of the pharmacy department.

3.       Initiate and develop working relations with local, state, and federal agencies.

Initiate and develop outstanding working relations with local, state, and federal agencies.

4.       Establish rapport with customers.

Quickly establish rapport with customers.

Here are more examples of how to use these words.

Dealt tactfully and effectively with difficult customers.

Outstanding record in teaching.

Comprehensive knowledge and experience in group facilitation.

Presented technical material in objective and easily understood terms.

Able to actively involve parents in individual Education Plans.

Able to train experienced people and develop highly effective teams.

Consistently maintained high profit margins on all.

ACTION VERBS

Corresponded Arranged Recorded Separated
Performed Referred Consolidated Interviewed
Examined Posted Controlled Removed
Priced Prescribed Built Protected
Ordered Logged Oversaw Typed
Provided Assisted Prepared Counted
Instructed Researched Loaded Drew up
Counseled Reviewed Devised Improved
Invented Manufactured Installed Recommended
Operated Adjusted Labeled Audited
Studied Verified Pulled Determined
Negotiated Phoned Analyzed Increased
Reduced Implemented Wrote Organized
Supervised Developed Coordinated Created
Produced Instituted Planned Expanded
Identified Collected Hauled Administered
Constructed Served Lifted Advised
Tested Received Translated Communicated
Obtained Detected Charted Assembled
Routed Distributed Promoted Filed
Dispensed Filled Lectured Mixed
Sold Directed Conducted Trained
Completed Managed Delivered Checked
Supplied Unloaded Eliminated Designed
Solved Wheeled Maintained Evaluated
Realized Represented Selected Purchased
Sorted Processed Moved Packed

Use of the words has substantial impact on the Resume Reviewer.

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

Humour – Indian Can’t be Terrorists

19 Nov

1. We are always late; we would have missed all 4 flights.

2. We would talk loudly and bring attention to ourselves.

3. With free food & drinks on the plane, we would forget why we’re There

4. We talk with our hands;therefore we would have to put our weapons down.

5. We would ALL want to fly the plane.

6. We would argue and start a fight in the plane.


7. We can’t keep a secret; we would have told everyone a week before doing it.

8. We would have put our country’s flag on the windshield.

9. We would have postponed the mission because a cricket match was going on that day


10. We would all have fallen over each other to be in the photograph being taken with one of the hostages.

Regards,

Pinal Mehta

HR Tool :- Six Exercises to Sharpen your Focus

20 Oct

One reason many people have trouble remembering something is that they don’t make a clear picture of what they want to remember, because they don’t pay enough attention in the beginning. The crucial first step to remembering anything is to PAY ATTENTION. You have to first take in the information in order to put it in your short-term or working memory and later transfer it to your long-term memory.

Naturally, you can remember all sorts of things without being particularly attentive, as unconsciously you are absorbing information all the time and much of this stays with you, even if you are unaware of it. But, this casual absorption of information can be a hit-or-miss proposition. While you may take in much of this information unconsciously and may later remember things you didn’t realize you had even learned, to improve your memory you have to consciously pay attention. This approach is sometimes referred to as being “mindful” as opposed to operating on automatic.

Certainly, you want to continue to keep most everyday processes in your life automatic, since you need to do this to move through everyday life; you can’t try to pay close attention to everything you do, since this will slow you down. Yet at the same time, you can become more aware of what you are doing on automatic and you can focus more closely on some usually automatic activities. Then, you can better remember what you want to remember, such as the names of people you meet at a business mixer or trade show.

Learning to Pay Attention

The following exercises are designed to help you pay closer attention to what you do.

Creating a Memory Trigger to Increase Your Ability to Focus

When you’re in a situation where it’s particularly important to remember something, you can remind yourself to pay close attention by using a “memory trigger.” This trigger can be almost any type of gesture or physical sign—such as bringing your thumb and forefinger together, clasping your hands so your thumbs and index finger create a spire, or raising your thumb. Or you could use a mental statement to remind yourself to pay attention. Whatever signal you choose, it’s designed to remind you that it’s now time to be especially alert and listen or watch closely, so you’ll remember all you can. If you already have a signal you like, use that, or use the following exercise to create this trigger.

Get relaxed, perhaps close your eyes. Then, ask yourself this question: “What mental trigger would I like to use to remind myself to pay attention?” Notice what comes into your mind. It may be a gesture, a physical movement, a mental image, or a word or phrase you say to yourself. Choose that as your trigger.

Now, to give power to this trigger, make the gesture or movement or let this image or word appear in your mind. Then, as you make this gesture or observe the image or word, repeatedly use this gesture for a minute or two, and as you do, say to yourself with increasing intensity: “I will pay attention now. I will be very alert and aware, and I will lock this information in my memory so I can recall it later.” This process of using the gesture and paying attention will associate the act of paying attention with the gesture.

Later (either the same day or the following day if you are beginning this exercise at night), practice using this trigger in some real-life situations. Find three or more times when you are especially interested in remembering something, and use your trigger to make yourself more alert. For example, when you see something you would especially like to remember (such as someone on the street, a car on the road, etc.), use your trigger to remind you to pay attention to it. Afterward, when whatever you have seen is gone, replay it mentally in as much detail as possible to illustrate how much you can remember when you really pay attention.

Initially, to reinforce the association with the sign you have created, as you make this gesture, repeat the same words to yourself as in your concentration exercises: “I will pay attention now. I will be very alert and aware, and I will lock this information in my memory so I can recall it later.” Then, look or listen attentively to whatever it is you want to remember.

Repeat both the meditation and the real-life practice for a week to condition yourself to associate the action you want to perform (paying attention) with the trigger (raising your thumb, etc.). Once this association is locked in, continue to use the trigger in real life. As long as you continue to regularly use the trigger, you don’t need to continue practicing the exercise, since each time you use the trigger, your attention will be on high alert.

Then, any time you are in an important situation where you want to pay especially careful attention (such as a staff meeting or a cocktail party with prospective clients), use your trigger, and you’ll become more attentive and alert.

Using a Physical Trigger or Motion to Keep Your Attention Focused

To keep yourself from drifting off while you are listening to something or to keep your mind from wandering while you are observing or experiencing something, you can use the trigger you have created or any gesture or physical signal to remind yourself to pay attention to what you are hearing or seeing.

For example, every 20 or 30 seconds, click your fingers softly, move a toe, or move another part of your body as a reminder. Once you decide on the trigger, practice this signal to make the association with paying attention by repeatedly making this gesture and after that focus your attention on something. Then, that gesture or motion will become your trigger to pay attention.

After a while, should your attention drift away, simply repeat the trigger to bring you back to attention again.

Using Clear Memory Pictures or Recordings to Improve Your Memory

Another way to pay closer attention is to make a sharp mental picture or recording of the person, place, or event you want to remember. This process will also help you with the second phase of the memory retention process, where you encode this information using visual imagery or sounds. But this first phase is what picks up the information in the first place, much like using a camera or a cassette.

A major factor in poor remembering is that often we don’t make this picture or recording very well. As a result, we may think we remember what we have seen, but we don’t. Courtroom witnesses, for example, often recall an event inaccurately, although they may be positive they are correct. Accordingly, before you can recall or recognize something properly in the retrieval stage of the process, you first must have a clear impression of it.

One way to do this, once you are paying careful attention, is to think of yourself as a camera or cassette recorder, taking in completely accurate pictures or recordings of what you are experiencing. As you observe and listen, make your impressions like pictures or tape recordings in your mind.

It takes practice to develop this ability, and the following exercises are designed to help you do this. At first, use these exercises to get a sense of how well you already remember what you see. Then, as you practice, you’ll find you can remember more and more details.

The underlying principle of these exercises is to observe some object, person, event, or setting to take a picture, or listen to a conversation or other sounds around you. Then, turn away from what you are observing or stop listening and recall what you can. Perhaps write down what you recall. Finally, look back and ask yourself: “How much did I remember? What did I forget? What did I recall that wasn’t there?”

At first, you may be surprised at how bad an observer or listener you are. But as you practice, you’ll improve—and your skill at remembering will carry over into other situations, because you’ll automatically start making more accurate memory pictures or recordings in your mind.

An ideal way to use these techniques is with a mental awareness trigger. Whenever you use that trigger, you will immediately imagine yourself as a camera or recorder and indelibly impress that scene on your mind for later recall.

The next three exercises are designed to give you some practice in perceiving like a camera or cassette recorder in a private, controlled setting. The fourth exercise is one you can use in any situation to perceive more effectively.

Looking at Things More Accurately

This exercise will help increase your powers of observation.

Look at something in front of you that has a lot of different things in it. These can be different objects, people who are mostly stationery (i.e., sitting down, not a bustling crowd), scenery, and so forth. Or use a picture of such a scene. Then, stare at this scene for about a minute, and as you do, imagine you are taking a picture of it, as if your mind is a camera taking a snapshot. As you do so, notice as many things about the scene as you can. Pay attention to forms, colors, the number of objects or people there, the relationship between things, and so on.

Then, look away from that scene, and try to recreate it as accurately as possible in your mind’s eye. As when you looked at the scene, notice the forms, colors, number of objects or people, and the relationship between things.

Next, to check your accuracy, without looking back, write down a list of what you saw in as much detail as possible.

Finally, rate your accuracy and your completeness by rating your observations. To score your level of accuracy, designate each accurate observation with a +2. Score each inaccurate observation with a -1. Score each invented observation with a -2. Then, tally up your score and note the result. To score your level of completeness, estimate the total number of observations you think were possible in the scene and divide by the number of observations you made, to get your completeness score.

As you continue to practice with this exercise, you’ll find your score for both accuracy and completeness should go up.

Listening to What You Hear

This exercise will help you become more aware of what you hear and help you listen more completely and correctly.

Tape a short segment of conversation or some sounds on a tape cassette. You can record this from an ongoing conversation, from a television or radio program, or from ambient sounds on the street around you. Tape for 2 to 3 minutes.

Then, while you are taping or later when you play back the recording, concentrate on listening as intently and carefully as possible. Imagine you are a tape recorder that is recording every bit of conversation clearly and accurately. Either way, as you are taping or playing back the recording, really listen. Perhaps form images in your mind as you do.

At the end of the recording, try to recall the conversation or sounds in as much detail as possible. Perhaps imagine yourself as a tape recorder playing this back. Additionally, try to remember what you heard in sequence as best you can.

To check your accuracy, write down a list of what you heard in as much detail as possible. You needn’t write everything down word for word, but write down enough to indicate the gist of each thought or statement. Then, play back the tape, and review how complete and accurate you were.

Finally, rate your accuracy and completeness by rating your recall of the conversation. To score your level of accuracy, designate each accurate recollection with a +2. Score each inaccurate recollection with a -1. Score each invented recollection with a -2. Then, tally up your score and note the result. To score your level of completeness, estimate the total number of recollections you think were possible in what you heard and divide by the number of recollections you made, to get your completeness score. Give yourself 10 bonus points if you got everything in sequence; 5 bonus points if you got most things in sequence. Finally, total and divide this result by your estimated number of total sounds, statements, or phrases for your percentage rating.

As you continue to practice with this exercise, you’ll find your score for both accuracy and completeness should go up.

Seeing Like a Camera; Listening Like a Cassette Recorder

This exercise will help you observe or listen more accurately and completely in everyday situations.

You can use this technique wherever you are—it’s especially ideal for parties, business networking meetings, and other important occasions where you want to be sure to remember things accurately. Also, you can use this technique to practice and sharpen your skills when you’re waiting in line, traveling in a bus, in a theater lobby at intermission, and in places where you are waiting for something to happen.

Simply imagine you are a camera and snap a picture of what you see. Or imagine you are a cassette recorder picking up a conversation. Or be a sound film camera and pick up both.

Afterward, turn away or close your eyes if convenient, and for a few seconds, focus on what you have just seen or heard. If you have taken a picture, visualize it intently in your mind’s eye and concentrate. What objects or people do you see? What colors or details do you notice? What furniture is in the room? What are the people wearing?

Then, look at the scene and compare your picture with what you see now. What did you leave out? What did you add that wasn’t there? What details did you observe incorrectly? The more you do this, the more complete and accurate your picture will be.

If you have tried to listen like a cassette recorder, replay what you have heard in your mind. What did people say? What sounds did you hear around you? You won’t be able to actually hear these conversations or sounds again, but you can get a sense of how much detail you were able to pick up. The more you practice, the more fully you will hear.

If you have imagined yourself as a sound film camera, review both the pictures and sounds.

Experiencing an Object

This exercise will help you become more aware of what you see and help you perceive more completely and correctly.

Place a common object or group of objects in front of you (such as a collection of objects from your desk, a painting on your wall, an advertisement or picture from a magazine, a flower arrangement in a vase). Stare at the object or group of objects for about a minute, and notice as many things about it as you can, such as its form, texture, color, design, pattern, and so on. Be aware of how many objects there are, and catalog the names of all the objects in your mind.

Then, remove the object, or groups of objects, so it is out of sight, but continue looking at the spot where it was, and imagine the object(s) as still there. Try to recreate what you saw with as much detail as you can.

To check your accuracy, write down a list of what you saw. Then, look at what you observed again and see how accurate you were.

To chart your progress each time, score the total number of observations you think were possible (this will vary with each observer), and score each of your accurate observations with a +2. Score each of your inaccurate observations with a -1, and your invented observations with a -2. Finally, total and divide by your estimated number of total observations for your percentage rating.

As you continue to practice with this exercise, you’ll find your rating will go up.

By Gini Graham Scott, Ph.D

HR Survey – Why Employees leaves organization ?

17 Oct

Every company faces the problem of people leaving the company for better pay or profile.

Early this year, Mark, a senior software designer, got an offer from a prestigious international firm to work in its India operations developing specialized software. He was thrilled by the offer.

He had heard a lot about the CEO. The salary was great. The company had all the right systems in place employee-friendly human resources (HR) policies, a spanking new office, and the very best technology, even a canteen that served superb food.

Twice Mark was sent abroad for training. “My learning curve is the sharpest it’s ever been,” he said soon after he joined.

Last week, less than eight months after he joined, Mark walked out of the job.

Why did this talented employee leave?

Arun quit for the same reason that drives many good people away.

The answer lies in one of the largest studies undertaken by the Gallup Organization. The study surveyed over a million employees and 80,000 managers and was published in a book called “First Break All the Rules”. It came up with this surprising finding:

If you’re losing good people, look to their immediate boss…Immediate boss is the reason people stay and thrive in an organization. And he’s the reason why people leave. When people leave they take knowledge, experience and contacts with them, straight to the competition.

“People leave managers not companies,” write the authors Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman.

Mostly manager drives people away?

HR experts say that of all the abuses, employees find humiliation the most intolerable. The first time, an employee may not leave, but a thought has been planted. The second time that thought gets strengthened, the third time, he looks for another job.

When people cannot retort openly in anger, they do so by passive aggression. By digging their heels in and slowing down. By doing only what they are told to do and no more. By omitting to give the boss crucial information, Dev says: “If you work for a jerk, you basically want to get him into trouble. You don’t have your heart and soul in the job.”

Different managers can stress out employees in different ways – by being too controlling, too suspicious, too pushy, too critical, but they forget that workers are not fixed assets, they are free agents. When this goes on too long, an employee will quit – often over a trivial issue.

Pinal Mehta

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.

HR Case Study: Sharpening your AXE

13 Oct

Sapna, Ramesh, Steve, Meera, Matthew, Vikas and so many others in the organization complained of work pressure, unachievable targets, peer pressure, time management and loss of work life balance. Despite working hard, their performance was going down and impacting organization’s bottom line.

Who is to blame for poor performance of employees and business? Ask line managers; they blame it on HR for poor hiring. Ask HR; they blame it on line managers for poor management skills. Ask me, I would say, the Axe???? Now you will ask what (the hell) an Axe has to do in performance management business? Let me tell you a small story…

Once upon a time, a very strong woodcutter asked for a job to a timber merchant, and he got it. The pay was good and so were the working conditions. For that reason, the woodcutter was determined to do his best. His boss gave him an axe and showed him the area where he was supposed to work. The first day, the woodcutter brought 18 trees “Congratulations,” the boss said. “Carry on that way!”.

Very motivated with the boss’s words, the woodcutter tried harder the next day, but he could bring only 15 trees. The third day he tried even harder, but could bring 10 trees only. Day after day he was bringing less and less trees. “I must be losing my strength”, the woodcutter thought.

He went to the boss and apologized, saying that he could not understand what was going on. “When was the last time you sharpened your Axe?” the boss asked. “Sharpen? I had no time to sharpen my Axe. I have been very busy trying to cut more trees for you.”

Yes, the ‘Axe’ has a lot to do in a performance management business. This “Axe” for better performance is an employee’s competencies and skills. In any organization the call to sharpen the Axe needs be taken by HR.
Ask yourself a question “Are employees working hard without proportionate results?”. If the answer is yes, then probably, it is time to examine your employee’s ‘Axe” and sharpen it. In highly competitive business environment, the gap between existing capabilities of employee and required capabilities to compete in the market place widens much faster. A business that cannot bridge these gaps gets wiped off (lot of examples are there).

What to do?

Step 1: Finding Blunt Areas
Like the supervisor in the story, you need to have an evaluation mechanism that can find the skill and competencies gaps in your workforce. This evaluation can be done by streamlining your performance management system so that it could provide better data on skill and competency gaps. These competency gaps extracted as output of Performance Management System should be used to design training and development programs.

Step 2: Sharpening Your Axe

Well-designed training programs (which are focused on developing skills and competencies necessary for a specific job) help you improve employees’ Performance significantly and relieve them from work pressure. You can be gin by identifying the training needs, managing course ware, co-coordinate with faculties, manage training facilities and obtain feed back from your trainees & their managers about the effectiveness of the program. For mid to large organizations, it is possible only if your HR is equipped with a Training Management tool that can keep the Axe sharpened all the while.

Next big question! Do you have an ‘Axe’ sharpener?

Regards,

Pinal Mehta

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