Sunday, May 30, 2010

Silent! Policy making is in progress.

I remember the days when I got the summer internship in one company at Nashik. This company is well known infrastructure company which has built most of BOT projects in Maharashtra.

The HR Head was crazy guy who was more interested in instructing and guiding on snacks, lunch and dinner required during different meetings and events. His another expertise was in policies and SOPs. There were policies for everything in the organization.

Once somebody complained that they do not get newspapers to read during lunch break. This issue was serious according to him and he instructed to his team to make the policy on this issue. Team deliberated for few weeks and drafted two pages policy on “Newspaper reading”.

Once there was an issue of hiring the caretaker for director’s house. Director’s wife told administrative officer to replace the caretaker. This could not happen due to specific reasons. Finally the issue is tabled on desk of HR head. He asked the reason to the administrative officer. “Sir we are making a policy for this.” He calmly replied.

There was a big file of policies signed by him. Policy for telephone, policy for tea breaks, policy for reading newspapers, policy for making tea in pantry, policy for electricity and other payments. You just name the issue; you will find the policy on those issues. If not just raise the issue, the policy would be ready within two weeks. Execution of policies was the major challenge; hence the organization established “Corporate Planning & Policy Deployment Department (CPPD)”. There were three employees whose responsibility was to audit and check the implementation of these policies. Another factor was SOP, (standard operating procedures). Once the policy is made, CPPD department would make the SOP on execution.

My period was for two months in that company as a summer intern. One guy from CPPD made his career in HR in another organization; another started his own consultancy and third left the organization. I do not know what happened to CPPD department and HR Head afterwards.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Change our vision

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 vigour 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 sometime he should concentrate only on green colours and not to fall his eyes on any other colours.

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 colour 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 colour 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..!!

(Source: Internet, unknown author)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Talent from institute and perfect resume: Holy Grail

We should hire good candidates from reputed management and technical institutes.”

CEO mandated to HR head. HR head communicated this to recruitment manager and recruitment manager come up with the list of top management and engineering institutes in India along with the huge hiring budget. Management (means CEO) approved the budget and hiring plan. Recruitment manager along with other 5 panel members travelled all over the India in different institutes and shortlisted 25 students for final offer.

With so many business school graduates coming into the market it was tempting to think that this is a great moment to upgrade company’s intake. When it comes to hiring people, isn’t it true that you get what you pay for?

All these 25 students were from top institutes with excellent communication skill (means fluent in English), presentation skills, (means making and presenting ppts), influencing skills (as they influenced interview panel), and other so called soft skills. They had long rounds of screening, group discussions, and interviews.

Recruitment manager and HR head were very happy. CEO was even more happy. Now the organization was ready to make the history. Double growth, more money and 25 future leaders to work on different projects. Their average CTC was more than 6 lacs per annum all inclusive. There were another set of employees who were working with the company for last few years, experienced and doing well (as 80% were rated excellent, very good or good during appraisals). But their compensation was less as compare to these fresher. They started to check their market value and updated their CV on job portals.

“So what, these guys are from top institutes and have different qualities and traits. There will be differentiation” was the justification. It went well. Vigorous shop floor training of one year in different departments went well. Some line managers were happy with these new entrants, some were not happy. Reasons were different. Somebody was thinking that now their department problems will be easy. Somebody was thinking that, ok, at least they got additional manpower.

Finally candidates were ready for working in departments. They were absorbed in different departments like marketing, SCM, HR, Operations, QA, production etc etc.

Actual problems started.

“I am concern about my safety, I have to travel on bike to visit customer.”
“My potential is not used fully; I am from chemical background and what I am doing in SCM?”
“I have to work late evening, my work life balance is not maintained.”
“I am not getting proper feedback.”
“Travelling time is very long. This is not what I was expecting”
‘It is not challenging, you know, it is monotonous.”

And so on….

At the second year out of 25 employees, hardly 5 employees decided to pursue the career with this company; other either left or were asked to leave.

Line manager gave the feedback.
“They are good in concepts but not at par when come to the operations.””
“We don’t know what their inclinations are, but there are other hundred employees who are doing good work than these people.”
“They may be good in project planning and presentations, but then what’s about shop floor management.”
“They are not connected to the floor.”
“Everybody wants to be in marketing, what’s about sales. After all we need the people to aggressively sale the product.”

And so on….

“What they will do after one year?” the question should have been asked by recruitment manager, HR Head and line manager.

“Are they worth of what we are paying? If we are hiring these guys for the job which other lower paid employees are doing, do we really need them?” next question should have been raised.

“Business is growing, we need smart people, but what to assume that these guys will be more smart?”

“You are hiring them, but how are you managing their hunger for challenging work?”

“Are we clear on expectations? We must be expecting more merely because we are paying them more. We should look for real talent. They may be good for staff function, why to hire for line function?” So many questions need to be asked before finalizing any hiring plan.

The biggest mistake executives make, it’s a hard question because there are so many answers to choose from. But top, or near the top, of the list is the failure to appreciate the potential of their employees. When we hire the perfect talent, we hope that we have found the Holy Grail: the employee who is so smart with perfect resume and top institute stamp.

Hiring talent is easy; developing it is harder. Which do you do?

Sunday, May 09, 2010

The Poor Boy

That little boy has a curiosity about children waiting for their school bus. The 5-6 year old boy with running nose, long shirt and without pant is observing all the children. His parents are construction workers. They stay in temporary shed provided by the builder. When children gather on the bust stop, he also comes outside from his hut and just observes children.

He must be curious about what these children do and why they wait there. Instead of playing why all these children goes somewhere from their home. He perhaps also must be thinking, why he is not admitted in school as these children.

After some days, he comes closer to the children. His intention is to speak with the children, but he hesitates. Perhaps he wants to ask the children where they go, what they do etc etc. But he does not dare. He has the fear of ladies, mothers of children, standing with the children.

One day, the boy dares to speak with the children. He walks towards the children.

One girl sees him, “Oh, dirty boy, what are you looking here? get loss from here.” Her mother smiles and anybody can see the pride on the face of mother, “how brave my daughter is?” she must be thinking.

“Oh, he is a poor boy, must be dirty, but he is also a child.” Another boy responds to the girl, “But see how happy he is?”

On this response girl shows funny face to the boy.

“No need to make funny face. If any rich child than you says same to you, will you not hurt?” Another boy takes the side of poor boy.” Mother of this child feels more proud now.

This is a small incident, however teaches us the different perspective of thinking pattern of two different children. I think it comes through the influence of the value education from parents.

You may also like these.. please read