Tag Archives: Human Resources

The Manager’s Cheat Sheet: 101 Common-Sense Rules for Leaders

14 Dec

1226939540wXly2gManagement is all about connecting with the people on your team. So how do you effectively manage a team? With common knowledge, of course. These are a few back-to-basics rules that will help you develop management skills that really matter.

 

Body Language

Like it or not, your body speaks volumes, even when you are silent. Here’s how to express an attitude that’s appropriate for a leader.
1. Stand tall. Keeping your shoulders back and holding yourself up to your full height will give you an air of confidence.
2. Take your hands out of your pockets. Putting your hands in your pockets is often seen as a sign that you have something to hide.
3. Stand with your arms crossed behind your back. This will help you adjust your posture, and it leaves your hands in a position that is open and not intimidating.
4. Make eye contact. Always look directly into the eyes of the people you are speaking with. This shows you’re interested and also gives you a sense of confidence.
5. Sit up straight. Even if you’re at an 8 a.m. meeting and feeling tired, it’s important to sit up straight in your chair. Slouching makes you look disinterested and can give off an unwanted air of laziness.
6. Face the person you’re talking to. This shows you are interested and engaged in the conversation.
7. Shake hands firmly. For many, a handshake is a reflection of the person you’re shaking hands with. You don’t want to come across as unsure or overbearing, so make sure yours is professional and confident.
8. Always smile. Smiles are contagious and will make others feel positive when you’re around.
9. Look your best. You don’t have to be model perfect every day, but you should dress appropriately and neatly. Clothes can have a big impact on the way you’re perceived.
10. Walk confidently. Keep your head up and take even strides.

 

Meeting Deadlines

No one will be happy if your team has to rush around at the last minute to complete a project. Follow these tips to make deadlines less stressful for everyone.
11. Only promise what you can realistically deliver. Don’t create deadlines that you know you can’t meet. By only promising what you know you can do, you’ll be able to finish on time.
12. Set clear goals. Once you know what you need to accomplish, it helps to know how and when you want to do it. Put your goals down on paper and make sure everyone on your team gets a copy.
13. Organize a team. Many of your employees will have unique strengths and training that can make them great assets to certain projects. Pick a team that has the right skills to carry out the job.
14. Delegate tasks. Spread work among your employees in a way that doesn’t leave anyone overburdened while also allowing the project work smoothly.
15. Create milestones. Creating milestones for you and your team will help you keep track of your progress and also give you a sense of accomplishment as you reach each milestone.
16. Keep communication open. Keeping everyone in touch with the status of the project is key to making sure it’s completed on time.
17. Do it right the first time. Planning ahead will help prevent you from delivering a substandard product. Having to redo something for a client costs money, and, more than likely, future business opportunities.
18. Stay organized. Staying organized will help keep you from wasting time chasing down important documents and information.
19. Make sure expectations are clear. Be sure that each member of your team knows what their specific responsibilities are. This will save time and prevent tasks from being overlooked.
20. Create a plan. Compile your goals and milestones into a comprehensive plan for attacking any project you are given. This way, you can make sure you’re staying on schedule and that all of your employees will be clear about how and when things should be done.

 

Getting Along with Employees

A happy office is a productive one. Everyone will be more cheerful if you follow these simple rules.
21. Don’t make your employees come in on days they’re normally not scheduled to work or call them while they’re on vacation. A surefire way to make employees resent you is to invade their personal time for nonpressing work. Unless you have something that absolutely has to be done, let time away from work stay that way.
22. Don’t play favorites. Playing favorites can bias your judgment and impair your leadership abilities. Treat your employees equally.
23. Give credit when it’s due. Don’t take credit for your employees’ ideas or hog their limelight. This action not only fosters resentment but also makes you seem untrustworthy.
24. Don’t micromanage. While it’s fine to keep up with what your employees are working on, don’t constantly look over their shoulders.
25. Never discuss employee matters with their co-workers. This kind of gossip always gets back to the person and will make you look unprofessional.
26. Don’t interfere with employees’ work. If your employees are getting work done, don’t stress about how it gets done. Even if it’s not being done they way you’d do it, it’s best to let employees use their best judgment.
27. Don’t push unreasonable deadlines. You don’t want to spend all of your time at the office, and neither do your employees.
28. Keep your promises. Barring some catastrophic event, you should always keep promises you make to employees, especially about pay and benefits.
29. Keep work about work. Don’t require employees to run your personal errands. Take care of your own personal business or hire an assistant.
30. Reward hard work. Make sure your employees feel valued for the work that they do. Employees will be more willing to put in extra effort if they know it’s noted and appreciated.
31. Provide motivation. Sometimes employees need a morale boost. Provide them with encouragement to get a project rolling.

 

Manage Yourself

Being a good manager isn’t just about what you can encourage other people to do, it’s also about managing your own performance.
32. Be accessible. Don’t hole up in your office all day — come out and visit with your employees. Let them know that they can always come to you with problems and concerns.
33. Be open to constructive criticism. It may not always be what you want to hear, but listening to constructive criticism gives you the chance to learn and grow from your mistakes.
34. Accept responsibility. Part of being the boss is accepting responsibility for the mistakes of all that you manage, not just your own.
35. Know there’s always room for improvement. No matter how good you think you are, your job can always be done better. Always be willing to learn.
36. Improve your skills. Learning is a lifelong process. You’re never too old to take a class or ask a co-worker to help you improve your knowledge.
37. Explain things simply. Don’t use big words or technical jargon just to sound smart and impress others. Your employees will understand and perform better if you explain simply and clearly what you need.
38. Instruct rather than order. You may be the boss, but you don’t have to be bossy. You’ll have more success if your requests are more tactfully delivered.
39. Include your staff in your plans. Don’t make your work top secret; let your employees know what’s going on and how they are expected to contribute.
40. Know your subordinates’ jobs. You don’t want to be caught with inferior job knowledge.
41. Be flexible. It’s fine to be firm in what you expect, but allow for flexibility in how it gets done.
42. Get regular feedback. Your employees and superiors can give you valuable feedback on how to improve your performance. Use this to your advantage.
43. Know your limitations. You can’t be everywhere doing everything all at once. Know the limits of your time and abilities and say no to things you know you can’t do.

 

Boosting Productivity

Getting the most out of your day can be difficult with a busy schedule, but you can use these tips to help you maximize your time in order to be better available to employees.
44. Get the most out of meetings. Be organized and prepared for meetings to increase effectiveness and time savings.
45. Focus your energy on things that matter. Don’t let trivial tasks take time away from things that are really important.
46. Identify your time-stealers. Everyone has little things that detract their attention and make them lose focus. Figure out what these are and work to eliminate them, if only for a few hours a day.
47. Be punctual. Being on time is a big deal. Never keep people waiting for appointments or meetings if you can help it.
48. Respond to your correspondence within a reasonable amount of time. You don’t have to be chained to your inbox, but make sure you respond to emails within a few hours whenever possible.
49. Do only what is necessary. There are times when going above and beyond works, but doing so on a daily basis can derail your progress on more important issues. Get the key things done first, then see if you have time for additional things.
50. Stick to schedules and routines. While they may not be the most exciting things, schedules and routines can help streamline and improve your productivity.
51. Organize and manage your schedule. Use any tools and utilities you have at your disposal to prioritize your day and keep track of what you need to get done.
52. Plan more than you think you can do. While this may sound stressful, it can actually be a great motivator. If you manage to get everything done, you’ll enjoy a great sense of achievement.
53. Get to work early on occasion. Sometimes an uninterrupted half hour in an unoccupied office can help you get key things done or allow you to plan your day before there are any distractions to slow you down.
54. Know that sometimes stress is good. While too much of anything, especially stress, can be bad, sometimes a little stress can be the motivation to get you moving, allowing you to get more done.
55. Do your least favorite tasks first. Get your most tedious and least desirable tasks out of the way earlier in the day. After that, everything else will be a breeze.

 

Managing Finances and Resources

Whether you’re a business owner or a manager, staying on top of tangible items is vital to success. These tips can help you keep track.
56. Set up a realistic budget. While it’s good to be optimistic, don’t plan for more spending than you know you can afford. Make sure you plan for emergencies and contingencies as well.
57. Save costs where they matter the most. Don’t just pinch pennies for the present. Make sure your savings will pay off in the long run. Compromising on quality might cost you later on in repairs and replacements.
58. Spend only when it’s necessary. Don’t spend if you don’t need to. Every bit you save goes toward your profit.
59. Find alternative sources of finance. Sometimes even successful businesses need a little help. Business loans and investors can help you through leaner times.
60. Stay true to your contracts. Not only will you gain the respect of your clients, you’ll also avoid legal battles that can be a serious financial drain.
61. Make sure employees are well compensated. Employees deserve to be rewarded for hard work. Make sure yours are well compensated for their time and they’ll be more productive and happier to come to work.
62. Learn to do more with less. Quality is much more important than quantity, so make what you have count.
63. Assign equipment wisely. While it might be nice for every employee to have a PDA, budgets often don’t allow for such conveniences. Make sure the employees that need tools the most have access to them.
64. Invest in solid technology. This doesn’t always mean the latest technology, but what your office needs to do work effectively.
65. Update when necessary. Using obsolete equipment and programs can really slow you down. Update when it makes sense so you won’t get left behind by competitors.
66. Don’t be wasteful. Every sheet of paper, paper clip and pen is a cost on your budget. Use materials wisely and don’t waste them out of haste or carelessness.

 

Communicating with Clients

Whether you’re a business owner or a manager carrying out a project, one thing is always the same: The client is dominant voice in decision-making. Learn to communicate with them effectively and you’ll set a good example for the people you supervise.
67. Remember that the customer is the boss. At the end of the day, your job is to make the customer happy. Act accordingly.
68. Differentiate your products. Don’t get lost in a sea of products and services like yours. Make sure you stand out from your competitors.
69. Retain customers as much as you recruit new ones. While you always want to bring in new business, it’s very important to maintain relationships with loyal customers.
70. Provide effective channels of communication. Make sure your clients can contact you easily and quickly if they have a problem, concern or question. They can also provide a valuable source of feedback.
71. Maintain customer data. Use this data to make your customers feel special by remembering occasions like birthdays and anniversaries. It’s also helpful for keeping track of purchasing preferences.
72. Segment your customers. Not all customers are alike. Divide your customers into groups that allow you to provide attention and services that meet each customer’s unique needs.
73. Provide effective after-sales services. Don’t let contact fall off after the work is complete. Make sure your client stays happy.
74. Listen attentively. Pay attention to exactly what clients are asking for to help you better meet their needs.
75. Don’t be afraid to say you don’t know. It’s OK not to know the answer to every question. It’s better to say you don’t know and get back to a customer than to try to bluff your way through a conversation and have to backtrack later.

 

Keep Up with Change

There is no way to stop the world from changing, so follow these tips to keep up and ahead of the game.
76. Don’t fight change. You can’t stop markets, trends and technology from changing, so learn to go with the flow.
77. Adopt a predictive managerial style. Don’t wait for things to happen to make a move. Anticipate problems and provide contingency plans.
78. Test your contingency plans. Waiting for disaster to strike is a dangerous way to find out if your emergency plans will hold. Test them out from time to time to fine-tune them and make sure they’re still relevant.
79. Identify the positives. Even the most negative changes can have positive aspects to them. Being able to identify and maximize them can help make adapting less painful.
80. Be quick to adapt. Learn to adapt to changing situations quickly and be able to change plans on the spur of the moment if the situation requires it.
81. Stay tuned to external factors. Your business is affected in many ways by outside factors. Keep abreast of these so you can anticipate any sudden market changes that would affect how you need to manage.
82. Put in place a Research and Development plan. Encourage innovation and creativity to stay ahead of the demand for newer and better products and services.
83. Keep an eye on the competition. Don’t let the competition get the best of you. Keep up-to-date with what they’re doing and use it to your advantage in managing your business.

 

Resolving Problems

Whether problems are internal or external, they can make your management duties a nightmare if you don’t handle them correctly. Here’s how to stay on top of them.
84. Stand up for employees. If other departments or managers are bearing down hard on your employees, stand up for them.
85. Fix what’s broken. Don’t waste time placing blame. Take care of fixing the problem before dealing with any possible repercussions.
86. Manage and control your emotions. Don’t let anger or frustration affect your problem resolution. If you are emotionally invested in a situation, cool down before discussing it or bring in an outside mediator.
87. Learn when to step in. Some problems might resolve themselves if you just let them be, but you need to be aware of times where you’ll need to step in and take control of a situation.
88. Take the blame. If you’ve made a mistake, fess up. It’ll give you more time to work on fixing the problem instead of talking your way out of taking the rap.
89. Get the facts first. Before you pass judgment on a situation, make sure you have the whole story. Listen to employees and refrain from questioning anyone’s integrity without first ensuring that you’ve gathered all the data.
90. Rise above the crisis. Learn to separate yourself from the problem and rise above the fray. You’ll be able to think more clearly and make a better decision on how to rectify the issue.
91. Don’t ignore problems. A small problem can easily snowball and become something much more difficult to fix.
92. Try to depersonalize problems. Let employees know that the problem isn’t with them but with their actions. Don’t make it personal.

 

Go Above and Beyond

Managing people isn’t just about getting the job done. To truly be a great leader, sometimes you need to go above and beyond what the job calls for.
93. Lead by example. You can talk until you’re blue in the face, but the best way to get a point across is to be the model to emulate. Let employees follow your lead.
94. Get your hands dirty. Sometimes you need to show your employees that no one’s above doing unattractive tasks.
95. Make a difference to your employees. Don’t just be a generic manager — stand out as a leader and role model for your employees.
96. Gain your employees’ trust and respect. You’ll have a much easier time managing employees when they respect your rules and boundaries and trust your leadership.
97. Be empathetic to personal problems. Whether it should or not, what happens outside of work can have a big affect on the quality of work produced. Be sensitive if employees have personal issues that keep them from concentrating on work.
98. Be unique as a manager. Every position demands something different and you should be proud to be adept at your particular role rather than trying to emulate other managers.
99. Remember that ethics matter above all. Be honest and reliable in all of your business and personal relationships.
100. Be on the lookout for new ideas. You never know where your next great inspiration will come from.
101. Get to know your employees. Learn more than just their names. Get to know your employees’ family backgrounds, likes and dislikes. Doing so will make you more personable.

The original source of this article is InsideCRM.com , part of the Focus network of sites.

Understanding CTC and your Actual Salary

14 Dec

15fin3Whether you are joining your first job or changing jobs, it is important to understand the difference between cost to company (CTC) and take home salary. It will help you in negotiate better with the HR and in structuring your salary.

One of the most commonly used terms by companies, yet least understood by its employees is ‘cost to company’ or CTC. The CTC, as quoted by employers and the take home pay are two different amounts.

Also salary hikes in the form of an increased CTC does not necessarily increase the monthly salary. So what exactly is CTC and as an employee what all are you entitled for?

This article aims to clarify the confusion that often arise in employees’ minds when it comes to salary structures.

 

Lets Understand about the CTC (Cost To Company)

Demystifying cost to company

Ravi Bhushan, a fresh software graduate, joined a top notch IT company. For his first job, he was extremely happy with the total CTC of Rs 6,00,000.

On the basis of this CTC, Ravi made lavish plans to spend his first month’s salary. Expensive gifts for family, a swanky new bike and the latest mobile phone. But when he got his first salary, he realised some of his plans had to wait.

His take home salary was nowhere close to his estimation. He approached his HR, who then explained the breakup of his CTC, which he had just glanced over at the time of joining.

Here’s what his HR manager explained to him:

The cost to company refers to the total expenditure a company would have to incur to employ you.

It includes monetary and non-monetary benefits, such as monthly pay, training costs, accommodation, telephone, medical reimbursements or other expenses, borne by the company to keep you employed. The total CTC need not be the actual salary in hand at the end of the month.

It is simply a sum of various components put together.

Components of CTC

Companies offer various attractive components in the CTC to retain and boost the morale of the employees. Whereas some salary components are fully taxable some are fully tax-exempt. The composition of your CTC and a few of its components could be grouped as below.

1. Fixed salary

This is the major part of your CTC and forms part of your monthly take home. It commonly consists of the following:

Basic salary: The actual pay you receive for rendering your services to the company. This is a taxable amount.

Dearness allowance: A taxable amount, this is paid to compensate for the rising cost of living.

House rent allowance (or HRA): Paid to meet expenses of renting a house. The least of the following is exempt from tax.

Actual HRA received:

  • 50 per cent of salary (basic + DA) if residing in a metropolitan city, or else 40 per cent
  • The amount by which rent exceeds 1/10th of salary (basic + DA)

Conveyance allowance: Paid for daily commute expenses. Up to an amount of Rs 800 per month is exempt from tax.

2. Reimbursements

This is the part of your CTC, paid as reimbursements through billed claims.

Meal coupons: Many companies provide their employees with subsidised meal coupons in their cafeterias. Such costs incurred by companies in the form of subsidies are included in the CTC. Meal coupons are tax exempt provided it is not in the form of cash.

Mobile/Telephone bills: Telephone or mobile expenditure up to a certain limit is reimbursed by many companies through a billed claim, and is a taxable amount.

Medical reimbursements: Paid either monthly or yearly, for medicines and medical treatment. The entire amount is taxable. However, up to Rs 15,000 could be tax exempt, if bills are produced.

3. Retirement benefits

This is available to you only on retirement or resignation.

These include:

Provident fund: Employers contribute an amount equal 12 per cent to the provident fund account. This employer’s contribution though received only on retirement or resignation, is an expense incurred by the company every month and thus is included in your CTC.

Gratuity: Companies manage gratuity through a fund maintained by an insurance company. The payment towards the gratuity annually is sometimes shown in CTC.

4. Other benefits and perks

Leave travel allowance: It is the cost of travel anywhere in India for employees on leave. Tax exemption if allowed twice in a block of four calendar years.

Medical allowance: Some companies offer medical care through health facilities for employees and their families. The cost of providing this benefit to the employee could also form part of CTC.

Contribution to insurance and pension: Premiums paid by companies on behalf of employees for health, life insurance and Employees Pension Scheme, could form a part of the CTC.

Miscellaneous benefits: Other perks which companies include under CTC could be electricity, servant, furnishings, credit cards and housing.

Bonus: This is the benefit paid on satisfactory work performance for employee motivation. Though this amount is not assured to the employee, most companies include the maximum amount that can be paid as bonus, to the CTC. The two types of bonuses that are normally paid out are:

1. Fixed annual bonus: Paid on the basis of employee performance, either monthly or in most cases annually, it is a fully taxable amount.

2. Productivity linked variable bonus: Complete bonus amount is paid only on 100 per cent achievement of target, nevertheless it still is included as part of your CTC.

 

Moral of the Story :- Lessons learnt

Each company too has its own way of calculating the cost to company. Let us revisit Ravi’s case.

Ravi realised, that an attractive CTC does not necessarily indicate a heavy monthly take home. Benefits like training and development, whether undertaken by him or not was still considered part of his CTC. Here is what one should keep in mind:

One must take time to find out what the actual benefits are by asking for the break-up of the CTC so as to know the entitlement.

If you are just joining the company, try to negotiate with the HR as to opting out of some facilities in exchange for increasing the take home.

Understand the expenditure limits and tax angle of perks and benefits, and use them smartly.

Here is a Sample Salary Breakup of a MID – LEVEL Manager

080822082723_mid-level-manager

 

Thanks and Regards,

Pinal Mehta

Source:- Rediff Files

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

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

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 Article – 25 Behaviors that lead to mistrust

17 Oct

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
25 behaviors that lead to mistrust
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“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

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.

Seven Ways of Employee ROI

14 Oct

It’s no secret that the economy isn’t exactly booming right now. More people may be looking for work, but that doesn’t mean that they are the right people for your company. Instead of viewing employees as expendable, businesses should focus on getting the best return possible on the workforce they already have.

Employee retention is a very big issue and it always will be, regardless of the state of the economy. After all, the key to long-term growth and productivity is a workforce that’s familiar with your company and in sync with its goals. A workplace should excite and motivate employees, so they’ll want to stay around. And that means creating an environment that challenges people and helps them grow not just as employees, but as people.

Here are some ways organizations can foster the kind of growth-oriented workplace that will survive and thrive, even during a downturn:

* Forget Monetary Incentives: Focus On Relationships. Even if you can offer them, fat salaries and bonuses, more vacation time, and other perks will not increase employee loyalty. Instead, they tend to tie people to your company in the same manner that one trains a dog to stay in the yard—until, the people across the street offer a bigger, juicier bone. Creating a culture in which good relationships are valued gives employees a profound and rewarding reason to come to work every day. Only through relationships can people change and grow…and personal growth is a requirement for survival in our increasingly complex world.
* Help Employees Find their “Familiars.” What is a familiar? Simply put, it’s an emotional state we return to again and again. It is a feeling that holds tremendous power over our choices, relationships, and careers. Rooted in our families and our upbringing, the familiar is a feeling that we unconsciously reproduce, sometimes to our benefit, but often to our detriment. For instance, the eldest child of a large family might have grown up having to subrogate her needs to the needs of the younger children. Perhaps she was told she was selfish for asking for things for herself. It is no mystery that as an adult she is frustrated at work and has trouble communicating her needs to her boss. Her familiar—the feeling that she doesn’t really deserve to ask for anything—is reproduced in her work environment, where she is unable to assert herself.  You can help your employees tremendously by learning about familiars and encouraging them to identify—and subsequently diminish—their own.
* Seek Employee Input. A big part of creating a growth-oriented workplace is to constantly question your employees. “Did you notice what you did there?” “Why do you think you said that?” “I noticed that when your position was challenged in the meeting, you didn’t defend it—why do you think you backed down?” Creating a “question culture” will help employees identify their familiars. It will raise performance expectations throughout the company. It will train employees to think carefully about how they do their jobs and ensure that they have sound reasons for every decision they make.
* Encourage Conflict and Confrontation. Yes, you read that right. Conflict and confrontation are rarely pleasant, but they are the very definition of teamwork. They are also necessary to create growth relationships. The purpose of the workplace is not to make everyone happy—it is to grow people to their maximum potential. The enormous popularity of consensus decision making/negotiation, participatory management, and self-directed work teams is a sign of our unhealthy quest for comfort above all.
* Provide Honest, Caring Feedback. Keep the lines of communication open by continually telling your employees how they are doing. A relationship without honest feedback is a “mutual toleration society.” Unconditional acceptance—in both personal and professional relationships—is actually a form of abandonment, because it robs the other party of the most important catalysts for growth and change. (Hence the reason the feedback is labeled “caring”).
* Practice the Art of Self-Disclosure. Feedback cuts both ways; you want your employees to provide it to you as well. One way to do so is through self-disclosure. If you want to turn a stagnant employee relationship into a growth-oriented one—or start a new relationship out on the right foot—share your feelings first. This is a big risk because you don’t know how the other person will respond; you must be prepared to deal with any type of reaction you receive. But it’s a risk worth taking because you can learn a lot from your employees. Self-disclose often and you’ll model the kind of relationships you want to encourage in your company.
* Form An Accountability Group. Many people fear receiving or giving feedback because they don’t want to show weakness or cause discomfort to someone else. Put them in the right setting, however, and they may be willing to become involved. In an accountability group people give and receive feedback, create action plans based on that feedback, and hold group members accountable for implementing their plans. I have found accountability groups to be amazingly effective in helping clients overcome debilitating work and personal problems. Done correctly, they can lead individuals and organizations to transform themselves from the inside out.

I am certain that the actions detailed here will increase your company’s productivity. People who are personally and professionally fulfilled make better employees—it’s that simple. But the big reason to implement these strategies has more to do with tomorrow than today. Creating a work environment rich with opportunities for self-discovery is an investment in the future of your company. Begin now, and when the economy rebounds, your employees won’t leave you for greener pastures. Why would they? Your organization will be meeting needs far more compelling than a weekly paycheck.

[ An abstract from an article publish by Joan McCarthey, CPO – Human Consultancy Inc, in Human Capital Magazine]

-Pinal Mehta

HR Work Style – Balancing Four Generations “Baggage”

14 Oct

Every employee brings “generational baggage,” and today’s HR manager has to carry four generations’ baggage at once, says Giselle Kovary.

Kovary, a consultant at n-gen People Performance Inc., specializes in helping companies “get, keep, and grow” four generations of workers simultaneously.

In her well-attended session at the recent SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) Annual Conference and Exhibition in Chicago, she defined the four generations as:

Traditionalists: Born 1922-1945 (63-86 years old)
Their goal is to build a legacy.

Baby Boomers: Born 1946-1964 (44-62 years old)
Their goal is to put their stamp on things.

Gen Xers: Born 1965-1980 (28-43 years old)
Their goal is to maintain independence.

Gen Ys: Born 1981-2000 (8-27 years old)
Their goal is to find work and create a life that has meaning.
Relationship with the Organization and Authority

Traditionalists, Kovary says, were hard-working, willing to sacrifice, and above all, loyal to the organization.

Boomers came along with big changes they wanted to bring to the workplace, but there were the Traditionalists running things, so Boomers had to be content with changing from within.

But the Boomers saw how the organization let the Traditionalists down. “That’s not going to happen to me,” they say, and so their loyalty tends to be more toward the team.

Gen X’s loyalties are for the boss, because their boss is the gatekeeper for learning new skills. Xers are in the “sweet spot,” says Kovary. They’ve been living under the Traditionalists and Boomers for 20 years. What they want to say is, “Will you please just get out of the way?” They also have up to 20 years’ experience and, as the Traditionalists and Boomers retire, workforce pressures mean Xers can negotiate and demand.

Meanwhile, Gen Y loyalties are to their colleagues. They think of all employees as peers. They may say to their manager, “Why don’t you do it?” They are likely to ignore the corporate food chain, and want to talk directly to the VP.

Gen Ys’ parents wanted them to have a voice in family matters; be part of family decisions; and now those young people bring those expectations to the workplace. Ys want their opinions solicited, listened to, and acted upon. (Boomers often tell her, Kovary says, “Well, yes, that’s how I raised my kids, but that’s not who I want to work with me.”)

Ys also move and travel in packs. And even when not together, they are in constant communication.

Ys expect all their co-worker friends to receive equal treatment. They are used to playing soccer and everyone gets a trophy. And since they cannot fail, Ys expect second chances. “I failed to meet my sales target? I want a do-over.” And if they are top ranked, they will lobby in favor of their lower-ranked teammates.
Here Come the Helicopter Parents

And then, says Kovary, don’t be surprised if Ys’ “helicopter parents” want to be involved in the application/interview process. (A quick show of hands of the hundreds of HR managers in attendance showed that most have gotten calls from parents.)

Ys can do outstanding work, says Kovary, but if they aren’t fulfilled, they’ll just leave. “Time to go; no biggie.” They have many options—or at least they believe they do.

Competency Revolution

Beware of an important change that is occurring with competency, says Kovary. For older generations, competency was held by the more experienced people, but now, in many fields, competency—especially technical competency—is with the least experienced, the Ys.
Work Styles of the Generations

Traditionalists worked in a linear fashion, following the rules, says Kovary. Boomers went along with the rules and the structure: “These are the 10 steps that we need to take.” Xers challenge the steps. They suggest, “How about steps 3 through 7 and then 9?” Ys say, “Let’s make it faster and better through technology.” They want to upgrade every 3 months to 6 months, just as they do with their personal technology.

Office Humor

13 Oct

Office Humor

Office Humor

HR Humor

HR Humor

HR Humor

HR Humor

HR Story : Change our Vision

13 Oct

There was a millionaire who was bothered by severe eye pain. He consulted so many physicians  and  was  getting  his  treatment done. He did not stop consulting galaxy of medical experts; he consumed heavy loads of drugs and underwent hundreds of injections.
But the ache persisted with great vigor than before. At last a monk who has supposed to  be  an  expert  in treating  such patients was called for by the millionaire. The monk  understood  his  problem  and said that for some time he should concentrate only on green colors  and  not  to fall his eyes on any other colors. The millionaire got together a group  of  painters  and purchased barrels of green color and directed that every object his eye was likely   to   fall   to   be   painted   in   green   color   just   as  the  monk  had directed.
When   the   monk  came  to  visit  him  after  few  days,  the  millionaire’s  servants ran with buckets of green paints and poured on him since he was in red dress, lest their master not see any other color and his eye ache would come back.  Hearing  this  monk  laughed said “If only you had purchased a pair of green spectacles,  worth  just  a  few  rupees, you could have saved these walls and trees and pots and all other  articles and also could have saved a large share of his fortune.
You cannot paint the  world green.” Let us change our vision and the world will appear accordingly. It is  foolish to shape the world, let us shape ourselves first.
Let’s change our vision..!!
– Anonymous