April 30, 2010

People skills learnt from a 'Marketing Maven'...

Tonight I had a great dinner with my dad's friend who is the Director [Marketing] of a well known Indian company. Not only was the Pasta very delectable, even the scintillating conversation was full of learning.

During the conversation I came to know that he had done exceedingly well in his prior marketing assignments. However, he attributed his success in marketing assignments to his people skills and deep understanding about the business.

Some of my key learning were:

  • Business ownership is the real key. The business ownership should be shared by each and every soul in the organization. Even a company car driver who is well aware & appreciative of the business [and it's vision] would influence the client to a great extent during the journey from the airport to the client's hotel. He would be aware of the fact that he is transporting a business client who is capable of adding a lot of value in the business [and he is not just a mere passenger].
  • It's important that business leaders recognize and accept that they cannot know everything about business. If the leader compels his domain experts to make seemingly intelligent nods to whatever he says then he would never really allow his domain experts to truly express their views and ideas.
  • For personal success at work one should first listen to others with a very keen intent, do his work passionately, be an exceptional team player and be careful enough to market his contribution to the right people in a nice & ethical way [Life at work is not like a cricket match in IPL where you are constantly appreciated or criticized for your results delivered as well as your sincere efforts].
Towards the end of the dinner I understood one more facet about myself. It's that a decent pasta and an incredible conversation can bring the biggest possible smile on my face.

April 18, 2010

Infosys employees vent anger on HR issues in Blogs

Recently during a discussion on 'top 3 high priority concerns for HR', I said that managing the voice of employees in the web space is going to be a top priority concern. I must admit that my point was not well endorsed and finally it did not feature among the top three concerns.

However, I still continue to be a muscular proponent of what I had said with due respect to everyone who were present there.

This link from Rediff clearly indicates the point in my support. Today it's Infosys and tomorrow it might be a different company.

Hence, I feel it's important to realise that one of the new avatar of HR is going to be managing the image of it's company in the web world. And most of the time and energy is going to be invested upon moderating or managing the voice of it's own employees.

However, I feel that the real solution lies in the quality of HR value delivery. How long and to what extent can one moderate angst or displeasure? Angst will find alternate means too. But the honesty, clarity and sincerity with which HR delivers value to employees and business is going to be the real key in this regard.

Few updates...

Let me share the Naukri Job Speak highlights mailed by Naukri.com:
  • Proffessional in ITES were high in demand in March'10 as index surpassed the July'08 level.
  • Hiring activity in Delhi, Pune and Kolkata moved up by 13%, 6.5% and 5.5% in Mar'08 over Feb'08.
  • The index for ITES, Auto, Insurance and Pharma sectors moved up in Mar'10 over Feb'10,indicating an improved hiring environment.
  • Although IT sector has seen an 8% dip in the index in Mar'10 over Feb'10, the three month moving average index moved up by 6.5 %.
  • On the Total Jobs(This includes refreshed jobs), the index for the first time surpassed the July 08 levels and stands at 1005.

April 9, 2010

Silence...Noise...Melody..[It's not about music..It's about HR..]

Consider that time gap between your campus placement day and your actual date of joining. It's a time period we all go through with varied emotions like intense anticipation to even intense confusion.

I feel this time gap is a sweet spot for the HR which they need to utilize wisely or else it might even turn into an ugly spot. A lot can be done by the HR during this period in terms of communication.

In other words, they can create different sorts of music in the candidate's ears.

Following are some of them:

1. Silence: This happens when the HR team goes into a period of absolute silence after giving the offer letter. There is no communication regarding work location, date of joining etc. This can often be interpreted or misinterpreted [Depends] as a sheer arrogance or even sluggishness of the HR team by the candidate. One of my friend joined a reputed company after approx 8 months of long wait since her campus recruitment. Enough damage was done till then. Finally she quit the company within few months of joining. I guess her relationship with the company started with a bad taste. She did complain to me saying that her company did not show respect for time. If the HR team does not show respect for time then it's sad.HR teams often feel that true communication begins from the induction day onwards. I feel that opinion is wrong. The genuine communication should be right from the time the offer letter is handed over to the candidate. The communication needs to be active, authentic and sincere.

2. Noise: I am not aware of any company so far that indulges in over-communication which might irritate the candidate during this period. But it's quite possible if the HR team takes the communication job sincerely yet not so intelligently. Over communication which might end up making the candidate more confused can do a great deal of harm.

3. Melody: Melody is the ideal form of communication in this period when important details like work location, date of joining, induction dates, information regarding the news & happenings in the company, future scope of development etc can be communicated. But what's equally important in this process is not only the content that is communicated but also the timing. It's fun for the candidate to tell his Professors & friends about all these information and having discussion over them while he is still in college. It keeps him emotionally engaged towards the company. Even small actions like gifting T-shirts or stationaries during this time can do wonders. It would be so cool to wear the T-shirt of the company you would be joining and walk around the campus. That's the kind of impact the right kind of communication and actions can generate.

I am lucky that the company which recruited me is creating melody :-)

April 2, 2010

40% employees plan to switch jobs in next 6 months

This link at Rediff is going to grab attention of any concerned employer or HR associate.

Further interesting inferences from the article are as follows:
  • Employees are already mentally prepared to move out of their organizations, industry and even plan to switch functional areas for better job prospects.
  • Salary is the main driver pushing a majority of the workforce to look for new job opportunities.

  • 50 per cent of the workforce does not see significant salary hikes within their current organization.
  • Almost 60 per cent of the workforce, currently employed with manufacturing, automobiles, business process outsourcing (BPO) and call centres, is planning to change to jobs outside their industry.
  • Those employed with construction, information technology (IT) and software are looking for job shifts within their own industry.
The points mentioned above also signal the following:

  1. There is a high probability that employees are getting increasingly disengaged with their work.
  2. Mental[and actual] preparation for moving into a different job within 6 months is not going to allow them to be engaged with their current work for the next 6 months.
  3. So this is not a crisis to be dealt with after 6 months. Rather, it should be dealt in a proactive manner.
  4. If 'salary' is the issue. Then let's first recognize it with utmost authenticity and then modify the salary structure which might mean atleast increasing the variable or performance pay if not the fixed component.