Thursday, January 07, 2010

Ranks & Grades

The grades and ranks always created the problem in the world. It is literally in the mind of people. They forget that the ranks and grades are for the position and not for the person. In private sectors, we are trapped into the same structure. Some companies are making the structure more flat to make the interactions more effective and productive.

Once, one of the friends told me that he is promoted as a Sr. Manager. I asked him, “Congratulations, what will be your new role?”, “Role? What is this, I will be doing same job as earlier doing.”

“Oh, you are re-designated.” I should not have said this bluntly. After all it is psychological satisfaction for the person.

“My husband is made executive now.” One lady was telling to another lady. “Who was he earlier?” another lady asked. “He was an engineer.” Lady replied. Organization decided to restructure the designations. There was no change in role. However it was a social status for wife. We are governed by our egos. Some people just create the different perception in the organization based on the grades and ranks.

“That stupid guard came to me yesterday and told me, Sir, this is civil life. It is totally different from the defence. You can not expect me everyday to come in your office and salute you. We all are human creatures. We all are at same level here. Unfortunately we can not sack that guard” Newly joined Sr. Manager – Administration was telling me when we were travelling from plant to colony together. This person is a retired colonel. The referred guard was also from the military. “Some colonel must have harassed him while in commission.” I laughed and replied back. Colonel was a really good human being. He was flexible and open minded. This is the reason why he could survive in corporate world. He has done a good job and he retired from the company after completing 60 years. Now he is in Pune and enjoying with his grandsons.

When I was doing my management, some defence personnel were also doing the course. One was Captain, another was major, and other two were from lower ranks. Our Director shared this incidence with us. In exams, lower rank personnel scored more marks than the senior level person. He went to the director and asked him the reasons. “In my class you are not the captain or sepoy, you are the student. If one student scores more, he has done well in studies. No further discussion on your grades.” Director blasted.

In one organization, while addressing to the seniors, employees had to write “Shree or Mr.”, then “Name”, then “Sir or Madam”. They were probably not aware that respect should be earned by your influencing power and not by such labels. Employees are also clever. They sometimes make the fun out of this. One of seniors name was Sahebrao. Employee wrote, “Shree Sahebraosaheb Patil.”

While discussing one security vendor, he went into arguing phase, somehow phone got disconnected. Somebody from his organization again called and said me,”Sir, please speak with him. He is from air force.” I asked, “Is it his privilege? I am his customer and he should listen my expectations.”

When you buy vegetables, vegetable vendor does not recognize you as Manager or General Manager of XYZ Company. When you go for shopping, salesgirl does not recognize you as colonel or captain. For all these people you are just customer who has the spending power.

In our housing society, we have retired Superintended of Jails. One fine morning, he was waiting for rickshaw with gas cylinder for 20 minutes. “I am trying to adjust my new life after retirement now. But it is going very difficult to my wife to adjust such life. We were just giving the orders, and everything would be at our home.”

The problem is inflexibility created in the mind due to ranking and grade systems. I have seen one offer letter of one big media company. One clause of the offer letter was really funny. “This company believes on the equality. Bowing, greeting, salutes are not encouraged. Politeness should be seen in behaviour.” {Another clause was,”The senior employees are always occupied in the business. Please do not expect them for the farewell parties. We believe that employee is not leaving the company permanently. The left employees are generally welcome back if they found further suitable for the job.”}

The worst thing is people do not understand that position is for time being. You do not know how many enemies you create by enforcing your rank to your juniors. When your position goes due to any reasons, nobody asks you. The internal conflict created due to this is more frustrating. Humility is the long lasting.

“Vinod, my and my family’s needs are very small. I will be retiring after 3 years. I know that once position goes, nobody will ask me. That is the reason I am not creating any problem to you people. After retirement at least I can call and speak with you.” Mr. Kajale was sharing with me. He was Assistant Commissioner of Labour at Panvel that time. Have you seen government officer giving the gift to anybody? On my request he visited the factory and surprisingly brought gifts for me and my team. Rare example!


Amit Tekale said...

I totally agree sir...sorry...Vinod. One should not think of designation as long as he/she is clear about his/her role. By the way, we have parted our ways with Sakaal and started our own media company-MediaNext. Do visit our office, if you come to this part of the town.

Vinod Bidwaik said...

Thanks Amit. Yes I heard about your separtion. Your copmany is also doing weel. Great.

Ram Gunjal said...

Designation and grades go in the mind of people. It is most of the times is misused.

Ajay Tanwar said...

Ram Gunjal said the truth that; designation is generally misused in private sector. People who are close to the owners or the high positioned employees in any organization always get some privileges and the other side employees who are at the lower grades in hierarchy & have no close relation ship with higher designated persons usually not considered seriously by the seniors / superiors.

In rare cases with their high potential & talent some of the juniors may influence the seniors & get success in finding the respect and dignity which they deserved, otherwise most of the juniors given no right to speak with high tone & if they try to do so they may be harassed.

Vinod ji, I am agree with you that there is no use of giving designations for individuals without changing their role towards higher level but somewhere higher or bigger designation may give them opportunities to make their suggestions count.

Ajay Tanwar
95600 69 222

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