Lessons Best Learned Early in your HR Career


Anita Simson

Manager – Human Resources

Towell Mattress & Furniture Industry

Lessons Best Learned Early in your HR Career

Learning- is every day, everywhere and it happens every moment. Learning is an incessant activity, atleast for some. For me, every activity ends up teaching you something or the other. We either learn deliberately something that needs to be grasped for task fulfilling and there are some other things that are gathered on the go. And, I truly feel the gathered ones- those are the real skills you learn- to tactfully encounter any situation.

Few things that the corporate world taught me and will always work wonder for anybody are:

  • Boss is always right.

Your ideas are not well accepted if your relationship with your reporting boss is strained; always stay in his good books with your commendable job and you will learn and grow incessantly. Good work will only help you and don’t get me wrong…and do not ever get into the buttering job.. this doesn’t last long.

  • Be Realistic

Being realistic to the situation helps me to set and get the real value. The term of being positive has not always worked for me. Simply hoping for positive and doing nothing to fix the glitch or just staying positive and not doing anything to work out for the results seems to be idiocy. It is better to train your mind to be realistic and encounter the real situation. This empowers you not to shatter down and get the things done after taking 360 degree perspective.

  • Probationary period

This period is meant for you to get into the right path. Utilize this period for you to understand the company culture & your boss and refrain yourself from not doing the wrong thing at the wrong time. It is not obligatory that you do the right thing at the right time… but it is very important that you may not end up doing something at the wrong time.

  • Mind your own business to a certain extent.

You got a profile- understand the same, master in the same and leave your imprint in your job works.

: 2 :

  • Be Adaptable

Accommodate yourself to the company culture and if doesn’t fit, look for something that fits you in well. [very much required]

  • Being Coo-operative.

At the first instant, get cooperation from everyone and ensure your involvement doesn’t annoy others and then slowly & steadily cut down the path for your ideologies. Make way for buy-in for all your ideas.

  • Diplomatic behavior

It’s nothing- but to be tactful, thoughtful and judicious before performing the act… a smart move…and many a times, your call is to handle the situation that very moment. Your diplomatic thought or act should be purely based on the demand of the situation and basically, one thing to bear in mind is – keep the organizational objective on top.

Now, I understood- being a HRP, one needs to be diplomatic also and only then you can be a mediator and be a connector between your employees and the management. To be an Employee advocate, you need to have a complete control on your rational behavior and hence one logic is very clear- advocacy is diplomacy. The world of HR, where you are dealing with people and not with machinery makes you different and demands you to be diplomatic. Unlike machineries, people are not programmed, people and their behavior are not predictable and thus you need to handle them tactfully, discreetly and diplomatically.

  • Be Objective

It is not about just being nice to everyone all the time. You need to be work-oriented, people-oriented and finally it makes the difference when you are goal-oriented. This is indeed a matter of being ethical.

Being ethical is not always easy and comfortable. You will find yourself in such a station where you can find things circumstantially right but certainly unfit for the position. At times, this will put you in a fix and will be quite trying at times.

These lessons certainly doesn’t demand you to do anything unethically. Do it at your pace considering others pace at the same time. However experienced you may be, every new company premises promises a new ground for you to perform and excel.

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Keeping Employee’s Motivated with Training is the Right Strategy

Arpita Ganguly

New Delhi


Keeping Employee’s Motivated with Training is the Right Strategy:-

During my Graduation days, pondering over which future course to take, a traditional post-graduation or a more popular MBA, I chose the latter for entering the Human Resources arena, keeping in mind my interest in psychology, presentations, learning and development and importantly a corporate life.

Soon I realized upon joining an organization that an MBA is becoming a must to hire managers. The tradition of Graduate as only criteria with work experience was no longer valid.It came as a pain to many who wanted to climb up the ladder, but could not till they completed their executive MBA courses. It was of-course, not a pain but a pleasant surprise to me.

Employers were sometimes at a turmoil whether to sponsor this education and risk losing the employee once the course is completed, or to refuse sponsorship and only give education leave breaks, resulting in employee demotivation. The company could lose an employee as a result of training. But on the other hand you could have an employee indebted to the organization for sponsoring him and also stay back a few additional years.

I learnt from my Head HR however, that the cost of having untrained managers is much more than risk losing one.

In the broader perspective, undoubtedly the training is both expensive and time consuming and while its effectiveness and returns are at times debatable, sometimes talent retention becomes a bigger issue in this context.

Here, it may be worthwhile to consider the following:

  • What if you do not train your employees and they choose to stay! Everybody will be a loser… the biggest loser being the organization. A well-trained employee with a shorter stay in the organization is far better than a less or poorly trained one who sticks with you till retirement with no scope or willingness to learn. He may further spoil the work environment by down grading importance of learning with his own juniors increasing overall demotivation.
  • There have been many occasions when employees complain about lack of training. They are not looking for free lunches in fancy hotels. These are the employees who have a strong desire to learn and perform better. Ignore this fact and be prepared to lose this talented lot.
  • Many companies keep careful statistics of candidates screened, shortlisted and finally hired. Just add another element – how many fully productive employees have been added. It may be horrifying to see that all that investment in recruiting, hiring, and integration was going waste in the absence of proper training.
  • Also this training has to be a regular practice. One day of practice is like one day of clean living. It doesn’t do you any good.
  • Finally, we may not be able to always give monetary hikes/rewards to employees. We can however make them more productive, well trained in area of their choice and pertaining to the business, leading them to get more recognition by growing as a high potential employee. We build extra steps for them to climb the corporate ladder to success.

“Good training doesn’t cost, it pays”. Like Brian Tracy said: Take all the training you can get, one good idea is all you need to save yourself years of hard work.



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What Harry Potter Can Teach the Working Professional

Giselle S. Harrison

 Talent Transformation

Centre for Behavioral Excellence 

Wipro Limited

What Harry Potter Can Teach the Working Professional

“But Harry, never forget that what the prophecy says is only significant because Voldemort made it so. Voldemort singled you out as the person who would be most dangerous to him – and in doing so, he made you the person who would be most dangerous to him…!”

As a child, Harry Potter topped the list of my favorite fictional characters. Can you think of anything more enticing than an imaginary world run by flying wizards, magical elves and ancient goblins? In fact, it’s hard to admit, but he still tops my list of favorites. Every time I leaf through my yellowed out, dog-eared copy of Harry Potter, I feel amazed at the insights I never picked up on before. I never knew that hidden behind all the sorcery and flying beings, were tonnes of lessons in human psychology. I was captivated!

For the uninitiated, the story of Harry Potter revolves around a dark character called Voldemort and his single-minded obsession with ending the life of Harry Potter. He does this for over 25 years, simply because he believes in a prophecy that was made years before this child was born. And this belief that Voldemort held, was the sole reason for his own dramatic end. He leaves the boy no choice but to fight back, to end this reign of terror. The author, JK Rowling, shows us how Voldemort’s own belief that Harry was to be his nemesis, ultimately came true because of his own actions. His prophecy fulfils itself, because of his own strong belief in it, which then drove all of his actions.

I was astounded when I stumbled upon this amazing analogy that Rowling portrayed – the concept of a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy, something so talked about in Human Psychology. As I read those lines, I found myself wondering, do I have a little Voldemort growing inside of me? Is there a Harry Potter I chase ardently, so much so, that he’s sinking me slowly? Have I sometimes just written myself off because I believe so strongly that something could go wrong?

I couldn’t help but wonder – Are we, as working professionals, guilty of being Voldemorts in our own ways? And, are we persistently chasing our own imagined Harry Potters, ensuring our defeat even before we have begun?

Have you ever found yourself avoiding social interactions? For instance, “I’m not going for the team dinner, I have no friends at work. What is this thought based on? Is it even true? It might not be. However, such a thought will make others perceive you to be indifferent and cold. By and by, you have already written yourself off and duly proceed to justify it by saying “I knew I shouldn’t have come, I have no friends at work!”

Self-Fulfilling Prophecies run deep, we tend to move toward situations that stem from the past. It could be unfinished business, or the need to do something better. We use self-fulfilling prophecies to guard ourselves from failure, disappointment or rejection. But, at the very onset, we have already established that Harry Potter is going to be the reason for our failure. We have set the wheels in motion to help fulfil our very own prophecies!

The late sociologist Robert K. Merton defined this concept as ‘a false definition of a situation, evoking a new behavior, which makes the original false conception come true.

Let’s take for instance, the all popular My boss hates me!”? Very often, we fail to see helpful feedback in its true face value. Instead, we perceive it to be a personal attack on a task well done. We then justify this saying, “I was right, my boss hates me”.

It’s time we realized that this vicious cycle of negative thinking can impact our professional success to a large extent. How can we break this cycle? Is it possible to turn Voldemort back into just another fictional character and not the protagonist in our story?


Here are a few things we can begin doing immediately:

  1. Stop predicting failure

More often than not, we tend to look for the worst possible outcome & work towards avoiding it. By doing this, we have already forecasted failure. The first step to overcome your self-fulfilling prophecy is to realize when you make them and why.

  1. Expect more from yourself

The easiest way to avoid making a negative prophecy, is to catch yourself downplaying your skills. It takes no effort to undermine yourself. Instead of voicing the “I can’t do this” or “I hate that”, be practical in your views about your abilities. Focus on what you can do and how you can do it better. Once you direct yourself to the bigger picture, you will be surprised at all that you can accomplish.

  1. Surround yourself with positive people

We are social creatures and project what we are exposed to. Extend warmth and offer help instead of wallowing in an internal dialogue that will bring you down. You will in return, reap what you sow – the fruit of positivity.

  1. Learn to forgive. Being vindictive doesn’t help.

We owe ourselves a little magic, a second chance to do better. While being vindictive comes naturally to some of us, one needs to realize, that it stems from the need to self-preserve. We are very likely to create negative prophecies while we chase the idea of revenge.

  1. Positive self-affirmation

This is crucial for success as it ensures we have something to look forward to, and brings with it, a sense of fulfillment when it is realized. A higher sense of self – worth & value is so easy to achieve with the right mind set.

Your Voldemort’s are the prophecies you have made for yourself, that have limited your chance at success & happiness. As we author our own stories, we become responsible for these characters we create. The steps listed above can help us break out of the habit of making these grim predictions and prevent us from underestimating our own self-worth. Can you imagine the possibilities that open up, if I were to tell you – Voldemort’s is all but a fantastical tale – and the power to re-write your story truly lies with none other than you.

“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”


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Demonetization of Rs 500/. And Rs 1,000/ in India


Krishnan Bangaruswamy 

Director – Human Resources

Omega Healthcare Management Services Pvt ltd

Demonetization of Rs 500/. And Rs 1,000/ in India…. What can HRM look forward to? And how do we deal with it! – An insight

As I stood there in the long queue outside the bank to change my own 500 and 1000 rupees notes, I saw and heard people from all walks of life. There was an excitement and a commotion in the air and I sensed an overall mixed reaction. The line seem to be moving at a snail’s pace,despite some brilliant coordination, dedication and sincerity exhibited by the bank staff. (Bravo Bank employees!, you make us proud..!


IOB’s        R.K.       Nagar       branch        functioning                at     Sringeri             Kalyana,Chennaion MaSundaydapam.       in Mandavelli

Some said it was a brave decision towards the development of the country’s economy. They saw long term benefits, including much wanted reduction of black money which of course, is directly linked to the boost of the country’s economy, beginning of the end to corruption , control of fake currency rackets (at least in the initial phases) and importantly conversion of black money into white – leading to availability of more money for transactions in benefit of our country’s economy .

On the other side, some were highly critical about this move, more so from the overnight implementation point.. Their critique is from the angle that a common man has to suffer the consequences of action taken against tax evaders. They bring into the line of sight 6 Lakh+ villages in India without convenient access to banking, whereby, the rural economy has to take the brunt of extreme difficulty… Ref

In tandem, Micro Lending which forms the backbone for many self employed has come to a halt, and thousands of small traders and earners have had to face the consequences of financial inclusion shortcomings.. Ref

They also believe the corruptors may waste the stashed cash rather than risk to bring it into the open as “income for the current year”.. This effectively means those huge stacks of cash are lost forever, as opposed to an Evasion declaration scheme, whereby the remaining cash (after tax and penalty), is still available for consumption.

One thing is for sure, no one is too sure at this juncture as to what the future holds. It is complex, uncertain and heavily contingent on the action and results of many variables, most important amongst them being “ people”.

By the time I went anywhere closer to the bank cashier`s bay, the day had run out of time. As I was heading back hoping to come in a little early the next day, I was thinking from a HR perspective, what these events could mean to the organisation, it`s people and other HR professionals.

True … being an HR professional, I strongly believe, that during any change, we should anticipate a better future for everyone, and my personal view is that these events will brighten up the economy and the socio-cultural environment, especially from an organisational standpoint. To draw relevance, Human resource management is heavily dependent on many external factors that can be categorised into “STEEPLE” : Socio cultural, Technological, Economical, Environmental, Political, Legal and Ethical.

To me, these events will have a larger impact on the Economical aspect. Economy, in an organisational context revolves around markets and prices, labour and capital market, wages and salaries spent, employment and unemployment, profits, consumption and investment spending and so on. From a premise that, with a sudden surge of cash flow coming into the economy, Bank deposits will spike upwards, this could mean that the funding capital (in the forms of loans) by the banks for small and medium enterprises /Start ups will go up. Analyses show Gen Y have displayed more Entrepreneurial aspiration when compared to Gen X (granted, that we did not have so many banks and VC’s extending funds in those days, nor the emerging and proliferation of digital business)… With more readily available funding, many talented youngsters will prefer starting their own ventures or hop to another company for more lucrative rewards. This will have an impact on the employee turnover through “ increased attrition”. We can see a possible upsurge in the war for talents, be it for trying to retain employees Or for attracting them from industries/sectors which would experience downtrends on account of the latest events…. One such can be the burgeoning

real estate industry which is predicted to face prices crashing upto 30% !!!!

The bottom line would be that HR professionals will have to gear up in the wake of the recent developments , using high employee engagement for keeping the employee turnover at safe limits..Yes …Engagement is the Key!

In his book, ‘First Break All the Rules’, Marcus Buckingham speaks about how a front line manager can play a key role in both attracting and retaining talent, This only is too true, thanks to Gallup extensive research.

The first step for us, HR professionals , would be to devolve our true People skills to the Line managers in the form of Effective training, one such can be Coaching. Through Coaching you can create a sense of ownership to the line managers.. for them to excite and retain their team members. A key factor would be to build trust between the employees and the manager. Trustworthiness can be inculcated in the form of Ability, Integrity, Predictability and Benevolence.

  • Ability describes perceptions of leadership competence in doing their job or fulfilling their role.
  • Integrity is linked to being seen as someone who adheres to principles of fairness and honesty while avoiding hypocrisy.
  • Predictability emphasises how leadership behaviour has to be consistent or regular over time
  • Benevolence describes a concern for others beyond leaders’ own needs and showing levels of care and compassion.

Another research shows, Employees place Values and Beliefs higher than lucrative market monetary benefits. Values are what they feel Important to them and Beliefs are what they hold True to them. Employees wanted to see themselves as a part of something larger which has meaning and purpose. HR professionals have a key role to showcase the values of the organisations and connect it to the meaningful pursuits of the individuals. This can be in many forms, starting from involving them in a larger role in Corporate Social Responsibility to a Creative leadership thought of ‘What would you do if you are the CEO of our company for a day?’. The key here is HR has to come out with creative initiatives which can connect the employees through larger purpose.

‘The grass is always green on the other side’, Though so much of a cliché, the fact is at most times it, need not be necessary the same for an individual. Talented employees always want to explore opportunities that can provide them with a larger responsibility, and for them, a role with a little more discretion and autonomy ,perhaps with a larger portfolio is very appealing. As HR professionals, we can create such opportunities within the organisation. One way I see this happen, other than traditional career planning and progression, is by Reverse mentoring.

Reverse mentoring is a career development practice that helps businesses tap into insights and knowledge of the less experienced, often younger employees for use by Senior executives. Reverse mentoring can be very effective, though it is still to catch up in India. Jack welsh once said, It is the “best idea” that he has heard in many years. Through Reverse mentoring, an organisation can avail benefits such as

  • Recognition of Better leadership skills in younger employees.
  • Improved retention of younger employees.
  • New perspectives and improved innovation.
  • More effective strategic plans.
  • Improved knowledge transfer (in both directions)
  • Increased job satisfaction.
  • Reduced ‘generation gap.’

All these benefits serve the purpose of both the employees and the organisation.

Most of all, I feel it is important for HR professionals to continuously innovate in their people practice especially working in a competitive market with a change agenda. HRM has always been flexible and is organisationally contingent. It has evolved by constantly innovating itself to the change around it. Socio cultural factors play a key role in its innovative HR practice. Demographics of its talent force will be a driving factor in proposing these innovations. The caveat here would be, to link it in a way that is level with organisational performance

At an exciting time like this, It is important for HR professionals to exhibit professional competencies, such as being Collaborative, Skilled at influencing, Displaying the courage to challenge, Driving to deliver and Importantly TO Go Boldly towards the Insights, Strategies and Solutions for sustaining the capability of an organisation to deliver its aims…. for both today and the future.

Talking about today and the future, it is just about time for me to head towards the bank and change my very own 500 and 1000 rupees notes for a better today and a brighter future!

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