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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

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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..!

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

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/the-summer-of-discontent-and-some-small-mercies/article9341975.ece

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 http://newsite.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/Rural-TN-hit-as-cash-becomes-scarce/article16379620.ece

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 http://www.thehindu.com/business/card-usage-surges-microlending-grinds-to-a-halt/article9341086.ece.

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% !!!!

http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/rs-1000-note-ban-will-lead-to-30-crash-in-land-prices-lower-home-loan-rates-116110900574_1.html

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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How to Create a Culture of Teamwork at Your Company

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Neelam Afzal
Program Officer HR section

SRSO-Micro Finance Services Sukkur

 

How to Create a Culture of Teamwork at Your Company

When you take a group of independently talented people and create a team in which they can merge their talents, not only will a remarkable amount of energy and creativity be released, but their performance, loyalty and engagement will be greatly improved.

Here are five steps for building an extraordinary team culture:

  1. Create a team-oriented organization

Make teamwork one of your core company values, and put a clear emphasis on self-managing teams that are empowered to make their own decisions. Don’t just talk about teamwork. Show your employees the seriousness of your commitment by giving teams the authority to get their jobs done on own terms.

  1. Assign serious team goals

Give your teams really important projects, not just planning for next summer’s annual company picnic. Bring teams in when you’re looking at new trends in the market, or need to see things through new eyes. It’s important to mix it up and not have the same people making the same decisions all the time. Ask them to challenge the status quo and the conventional wisdom. This will help to keep your company fresh and ahead of the game.

  1. Encourage informal teams

More work in organizations is accomplished through informal teams than formal ones. It’s therefore in your interest to encourage the proliferation of informal teams throughout your company, addressing any and all issues and opportunities that capture their interest. When your employees are able to tackle concerns themselves, without elevating every little decision to top management, you’ll have a much more efficient organization.

  1. Cross-train employees

When employees understand how different areas of the company work, they are more apt to make decisions that benefit the company as a whole, rather than solely their own department or group. Give your employees the opportunity to learn other people’s jobs. They’ll have a new appreciation for what your regular employees go through on the job.

  1. Provide team resources

No matter how talented a company’s individuals might be, teams cannot be successful without the proper resources. Teams need a designated and available place where they can regularly meet. Nothing much can be achieved in an over-crowded lunch room. All employees need to be given adequate time to devote to their team meetings, with no grief from supervisors. And make sure to supply your teams with an appropriate budget if required, and the permission–with guidance–to spend it as they see best for the company.

Written By: Neelam Muhammad Afzal (Senior Program Office HR-SINDH RURAL SUPPORT ORGAIZATION-Sukkur Sindh)

 

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Manage your Behavior to Manage Impressions

 

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Preethi Paranjee

Preeti Paranjpe works as Manager – CBE (Centre for Behavioral Excellence), Talent Transformation,

Wipro Technologies

Manage your Behavior to Manage Impressions

I recently got a feedback from my senior that I had poor networking skills. I was surprised and wanted to know more. As he is also my mentor, I set up a meeting with him and expressed my wish to understand what made him say so and how can I improve.He gave me examples of how I had missed out on opportunities to connect with stakeholders who matter, pointing out the significance of such touchpoints in forming the right impressions. While the discussion went smooth, I was justifying and defending myself at times during the discussion, as I thought I had been doing enough to establish connect. Clearly my intent of connecting and what I did about it, had not worked. What was appreciable was how he gave me tips on modifying my behaviors to modify the impressions that had got created.

Sometimes even such constructive feedback and tips can be confusing and disturbing. We might think ‘Did I really do / not do that?’  Chances are that we are unaware of how our behavior is constantly shaping perceptions in the minds of others. Such perceptions are quick judgements we make based on what we observe and experience about others. Sadly, they can take a long time to change. When my senior told me that one internal customer commented ‘Preeti seems busy these days’, I realized that the impression I may have created is that ‘I am busy and do not have time for you at present’. Not one of the best perceptions to leave in the mind of a customer! My lack of awareness of this and some other instances, made me think about how this could mar the efforts I am making to create a positive impression at workplace. It took me a couple of months to eventually accept the given feedback and start working on it. The acceptance came through only when I was able to answer these questions:

  • What impressions, perceptions do I want to create on people around me at workplace?
  • Am I communicating and behaving in a way which will form those impressions?
  • What is the gap, if any, and how do I fill it? What should I change?

The above answers are difficult to articulate, but not impossible to figure out. I found that I wanted to be seen as an approachable and competent colleague, who is quick in her work and provides value to others through every interaction. Answering the second question was an eye-opener. It made me realize that I had established myself enough to be trusted with major projects, but few conversations with my colleagues did not always go well.  My tone with them was sometimes sharp, if I observed lack of speed in work or the deviation of a process. This left them hurt. I was also not proactively seeking meetings and interactions with them and some important internal customers. Gulping down all the frustration that came with these insights, I got down to listing how I should change my behaviors to change the impressions about me.

How easy is it to changeour behavior? Easy if we identify the purpose behind it, find theright approach and make the necessary effort. However, it can be tough if we do not believe current behavior is causing problems and needs to change. Let us look at what can help to identify the need for change and what steps need to be taken to create a lasting appropriate change in behavior:

  1. Be aware of your behavior:

Contemplate on your performance, skills and relationships – Is there something amiss? Is there some feedback you are instantly rejecting? Does it seem like an effort to move out of your comfort zone and do something different? If you answered ‘yes’ to even one of these questions, thenit’s possible that you are experiencing some amount of anxiety or discomfort in that area of your life. The first step is to commit to replace these emotions with acceptance and hope by setting goals to improve yourself. Awareness of unhelpful behaviors helps to know their impact on yourself and others. For example, I identified my impatience with few co-workers as a stressor, and understood the negative impact and impression that was left on them.

  1. Motivate yourself and set goals:

A further awareness can be about what you say and do that reinforces the current unwanted behavior. My impatience was apparent in my tone and expectations. How can I change that? I visualized how it would be to have a friendly and meaningful relationship with one colleague with whom I behaved in this way. I imagined her giving me positive feedback related to the question – what impressions, perceptions do I want to create. This motivated me and helped me to set a goal to watch my tone every single time I spoke to her next. I also made a note of how I would move out of my comfort zone and set up more meetings to network with colleagues and customers. Scheduling it in my diary was a way to commit and make it happen.

  1. Learn the new behavior, practice it:

Learning skills is rarely a wasted effort. I had learnt voice modulation in a behavioral skills class and decided to utilize the skill of sounding firm and confident, but not aggressive. It took some practice, but testing it on a friendly neighbor helped me to get feedback and stay on track!

It took me great effort to reconnect with some of my stakeholders whom I had not met for months. A couple of them had forgotten my name too! Drafting some common conversation openers and persisting to get appointments and being more social than I am, pushed me out of my comfort zone.

It could be a good four to six weeks till I get habituated to the new behaviors. But a slight discomforting consistent practice is better than being written off as a promising colleague and professional! When negative results of our behavior make us sad, generating a positive reinforcement in the form of self-affirmation (‘I can do this’) or giving yourself a reward helps!

How people perceive us through a collection of impressions and perceptions adds to their understanding of us as an individual. On identifying unfavorable perceptions through feedback or observation, look at what is causing them.  Work on the parts of your behavior that you can change, to change how they experience you. A concerted effort will yield results, and you will see a lesser gap in how you want to be perceived, and how you are!

 

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Live Thy Dreams!!!

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Anita Simson

Manager – Human Resources

Towell Mattress & Furniture Industry

Live Thy Dreams!

Dreams are the most powerful source of energy! Time and again you must have come across this catchphrase. You may have heard this n’ no. of times… yet shown some reluctance to believe it. Seriously- have you believed it truly, wholly and utterly? And if yes, how far have you believed it and tried to live your dreams?

Being skeptical on deeming that dreams are not to be dreamt and realized; but just to fantasize… is a most common notion.

‘Dreams’… let’s keep the word as dreams. I do not want to use any of its synonyms, as for the simple reason- it sounds so serene, so pure and thus no other word will complement the feeling so beautifully. I honestly do not want to use any other synonyms for dreams. As this word is big enough, beautiful enough and heroic enough to portray and demonstrate what it is meant for. So let’s address it as ‘dreams’ only… it’s phenomenal.

Dreams- what are they?  A few responses derived to this question are:-

  • Have dreams…. It’s a wonderful feeling.
  • It’s just a dream… can’t imagine of bringing them into life.
  • Had dreams…. Got frustrated in the process of realizing them.
  • Wake up and work towards its.
  • A step towards your ambition.
  • What a waste of time? Just get into some action…

According to me, my experience says that it may have several definitions or ideas; but it yields surefire results. It’s all about taking the baton in your hands- primarily, to dream big, believe strongly and then to shaping it up into realization. When the word

‘Dream’ strikes- for me… is – Dare to dream and most importantly ‘Live thy dreams’!

Dream big and dream more… this substantiates your living. Dreams help you stay alive. You know that you need to attain this dream and you strive in the right direction. Yes, moving in the right direction is significantly important than simply moving. See it, feel it, touch it and hold it… and realize you are very much on the right direction. Sooner or later, your dreams, if executed well, will materialize and will start feeling the sense of achievement… and you will live it. Let it not die and let it not turn into illusion.

If you don’t take your dreams seriously; personally- chances are high that you won’t bother to fulfill it. And after years you will regret for not doing so. Dreams are very personal… it sounds and looks big- when it is backed-up with your effort, exertion and determination. Better try than regret and time has always proven that sincere tries always win.

Having dreams make you sound like a forward looking professional. You, being in any profession, should be having an enduring vision and a clear path for your development. Being a forward looking personnel, helps you to be future proofing and incites you to understand the market scenario, instigates you to be competitive, prompts you to be knowledgeable and arouses you to stand ahead in the business world.

Someone recently asked me: Is there anything wrong, if my dreams change every day?

Here, he was pointing out his dreams, as his ambitions in life keeps changing every now and then. Do you think this sounds as a weakness?

What’s your take on this?

For me- keep dreaming and keep dreaming more… more in your platter empowers you with choices. It’s very much acceptable to keep changing your dreams- change in your dreams portrays that you are very much living and only a living person can imagine and aspire differently. One without a dream is just existing and not living. It’s like an ocean having waves every now and then and thanks for not being the stagnant water pond- where no life exists. Here, if you keep a persistence of dreaming and dreaming big, I need not tell you the difference of just existing and living. Your dreams needs to change and you need to dream every day. It shows you as living and wanting to do various things. Once you have platter full of things, you will ultimately move into the right direction and at least achieve some of the things that you were dreaming of. So, no dreams is no drives and thus no life. Don’t stop dreaming. Keep your dreams alive… this will take you far ahead.

Dreaming is a waste of time… My dreams were never fulfilled? … Another question.

This totally sounds like a frustrated struggler; who had strived but in vein. No positive talks can correct him. Here, a short story of a butterfly caught up in a room and wanting to fly out would at least help the person find some light at the end of his tunnel. It was a dark room and the only light coming in was from the outside glittering world… the butterfly pushes himself hard to fly out to the direction he could see the glitters’ but every time it bangs on some surface and falls down. Little, did he know that he was trying his hard luck every time on a glass wall? He tried persistently, sincerely and with all the desire to be out, but he failed. Finally, it died not even realizing that there was a wide door open at his back; from where he could easily fly out.

What was the reason of its failure?  Less effort, no will or giving up attitude?

No, he had strived hard and we can believe that he had all the quality to reach the external world. But had he put all his effort to change his direction he would have succeeded. When you fail for the first time, second or be it a consistent practice… take two-three steps backward and put a considerable thought on your actions, your directions and your dimensions… stop and identify what you lack and where you go wrong. When you could change this; chances are great that your results will also change. It’s simply the theory of ‘Cause and Effect’.

This context probes me to the wise old saying … ‘Where there is a will; there is a way’-quite dreamy line- isn’t it?? And very true, but with an extension would sound more practical- ‘Where there is a will; there is a way- If not, create one!’ Yes… now it is a living line. It’s very much true that in order to reap the benefits- only ‘will’ doesn’t help; you need to find a way or construct a way. The exercise from dreaming to the living makes it more mighty, more weighty and thus more beautiful. Now, this is what is dream for me! Live thy dreams!

I realized what it means to be a forward looking and wearing the HR hat, it’s one more added feather to be a ‘Forward Looking HR. Undeniably & unquestionably, a fine HR habit to be developed.

I would not want to stop now from looking ahead… I am unstoppable! I am living my dreams and you should live yours.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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WHAT’S MORE IMPORTANT TALENT OR ENGAGEMENT

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Geeta Varma

Freelance HR Professional

 

WHAT’S MORE IMPORTANT TALENT OR ENGAGEMENT

Talent or engagement which is more important in the corporate world? A difficult path to cross if both talent and engagement are considered as two separate saber teeth. For any Organization, both should be essential ingredients for high performance and lasting relations. Through this article, the author would like to consider both as interdependent yet mutually exclusive points. “FIT is everything” should include both the presence of talent and with meaningful engagement should get the Organizations where they desire to reach and what they wish to achieve.

If seen individually at the time of entry to the corporate world, talent is considered the key and the most critical attribute in an individual. Why? It is generally believed that for the job the individual is selected, if matching skills, attitude and ability is not seen, it becomes a bad selection. The management further propagates that if the candidate is talented, with more opportunities better results can be achieved; talent catches the eye of the management always on the search for high performers; accelerate career path of the talented individual; prepare for a tomorrow’s leader; gets the most deserving remuneration package. The list can keep adding such accolades or reasons to justify talent as the key focus quality.

On the other hand, engagement of an individual in the company will argue that if this selected talent is not provided with fulfilling needs to perform, then where will talent alone go? If the Organizations do not identify, nurture, develop talent, what becomes of this essential element? When there exists in the Organizations a sense of belonging, enjoyment at work, the talent is well oiled and aligned to attaining greater mission, the efforts put in by the individuals are recognized, offered plenty of opportunities to build their skills, reduce the heartache of employee turnoffs, help them grow in the company, keep a bond and be well connected with them provide necessary guidance and clarity on job tasks, keep them motivated, appreciate them when job done well, care for them, be the contributing leader to them , then there is a perfect solution to bring together talent and engagement.

In a recent article by Gallup it was revealed that in a bid to quench the thirst to maximize performance, businesspeople and academics asked Gallup, “What’s more important — people’s natural fit with a role or how engaged they are in their job?” Finding people with the right talent and engaging them are essential elements of maximizing performance — but of the two, getting the right person in the right role makes the greatest difference. This concept is found to be true to several companies. It may even be the foundation of the company’s employee value proposition, “FIT Is Everything.” The study reinforces that companies cannot maximize performance without engaging their employees. What’s more, it shows that engaging less-talented workers doesn’t get the same results as engaging more-talented workers. Gallup’s global research across industries shows that engagement leads to improved profitability, productivity, and customer metrics and lower turnover. Gallup’s research reveals that about one in 10 people possess the talent to be a great manager. They naturally engage team members and customers, retain top performers, and sustain a culture of high productivity. And last but not least, they contribute about 48% higher profit to their companies than average managers do. Talent was the critical ingredient. The study confirmed that managers with the combination of high talent and high engagement outperformed those with low talent and low engagement by 23.5%.

Look around the Organizations and you will notice that most of them need engagement and talent, because that’s what grows a business and delivers results, talent is accelerated by engagement if correctly put.Gallup research has shown that putting people in roles that fit their talent — especially management roles — promotes employee engagement and improved business performance.

Only 13 percent of employees across the globe are engaged at work, according to Gallup’s latest 142-country report on workplace engagement. That amounts to only about one in eight employees or 180 million employees who are actually committed to their jobs. Most employees, about 63 percent, are simply not engaged at all, Gallup reports.

Research shows that key predictors of how engaged employees are include whether they feel they’re doing meaningful work, can communicate openly, and above all, have a supportive leader.The best way to fuel engagement is to identify which engagement needs or profiles suit which employees. One size does not fit all in terms of employee engagement, hence specific needs to focus on for each employee, keeping employees engaged is much simpler. Remember every employee generally has one dominant need, determined by their individual personality, goals, and past experiences. Creating a positive work environment that includes fun ways for employees to interact will go a long way in engaging employees.

Maintaining high engagement levels in today’s workplace is crucial for Organizations because the job market continues to improve and restless employees will usually move on rather than remain at a job that doesn’t stimulate them, an engaged and happy team is directly related to a healthy bottom line. According to a Gallup poll, millennial are the least engaged generation in the workplace and have also been noted as the least loyal. Keeping communication lines open through one-to-ones and monthly company meetings helps to maintain a culture of openness and transparency.

Both talent and employee engagement is a long-term strategy that should start with the company culture, which naturally leads to employee advocacy. Employees who are committed to the company mission and passionate about their work can increase a companys profits by  significant rise suggesting a clear incentive to keep employees engaged. Everyday employees today enjoy an unprecedented level of power over their employers that they’ve amassed not through strikes or work-to-rule, but by virtue of the fact that talent and skills have become so rare in the modern job market. High value engaged employees are in the driving seat and can exercise their advantage whenever they like; leaving the company’s nervous of losing both talent and highly engaged worker. Never seen before than now that it has become the prime emphasis to hold on to valued employees, and most businesses will talk about the efforts they make to keep staff happy. Providing an opportunity to employees to take micro level decisions ensures they develop an expertise over time and contribute in the organizational thinktank. When HR often claims that “Employees are Our Most Valuable Assets”, their actions fail to reflect the same. Employee Engagement is a reflection of ‘how employees feel about their relationship with their managers, and the company that they work with.HR leaders must be able to express that they truly value their employees by investing in employee focused initiatives. Let your actions speak as an organization, that you truly value your employees.

Remember that seeking talent every day and employee engagement is an ongoing process and engaging an employee is not about locking him up in a case, but, it is about building a faithful relationship between all the players in the Organization. Hence to conclude, let me reiterate that while we pursue searching the right talent for the job, having a continual relationship positively with the employees with equal measures of passion and commitment will get the company where it wants to reach.

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BETTER PERFORMANCE STARTS WITH BETTER LEADERSHIP

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Geeta Varma

Freelance HR Professional

 

BETTER PERFORMANCE STARTS WITH BETTER LEADERSHIP

In the corporate parlance performance is considered very important for both the employee and the employer. How successful you are at work is largely determined by your attitude and how you spend your time. Every individual believes that they perform well on the job provided they are led, governed,nurtured and guided by a good leader. It is human tendency to affiliate with others in order to perform on the job either as an individual or as in a group depending on the tasks. Nonetheless, none of us can possibly disagree that we are influenced by our peers, colleagues and our leaders; depending on the strokes received by them our performances are heavily predisposed. Hence, reluctantly we need to accept the fact that leader and his style greatly impacts the performance of the individuals, especially in a country like India where relationships, affiliations matter tremendously.

As an individual, we are well aware that we should be able to manage our work, set priorities, possess a sense of urgency and have the ability to get the job done fast. It is an established statement that the management places an extraordinarily high value on a person who can set priorities and move quickly as speed and dependability in job completion is one of the most valued traits in the workforce. While an individual strives to better their skills by constantly up scaling their knowledge, individual personality matters as well. Probably 85% of success in the world of work is directly attributed to personality and communication ability. How much respect and acceptability that the person receives determines the popularity and results. As Jim Collins the famous author of “Good to Great” has written that one thing that separates the greatest most successful leaders from the rest is the ability to deliver sustained excellence. It’s the mark of a level 5 leader, that which is not easy to attain. Such managers turn in a consistent high performance no matter what happens. The question then is how?

As a great leader what should you be doing different to get the best out of your team, how do you set yourself apart, beat the rest, be at the top? Questions can be endless and seeking answers a thirsty road. To begin with as an exemplary leader the individual himself has to chalk a clear path of victory by taking victorious steps like being physically and mentally fresh having a well-balanced life style. Richard Branson the undeniably successful founder of the Virgin Group once said “My family means the world to me, much more than business”. Peep into the personal life of any great leader and you will find that they lead a robust life style outside of work, where they are socially active, physical exercise, a sport, a hobby, listening to music, avid reader or any other activity other than work related relaxes and frees your mind from stress. There is purpose in doing all of this because life full of other things leads to creative solutions to business issues. Has an individual ever given the best to a tired, stressed out leader?

A good leader who infuses energy to his team is an alert mind, very productive by nature, plans for successful actions methodically, is motivated without much of external stimuli, committed to see success are never resting on achievements and last but not the least is not a person to settle. Great leaders are by nature restless and demanding on their own capabilities. ”If you accept that something is good enough, you will never be great”, so rightly said by Jim Collins. Logic is simple: High performing leaders create better organizational climates, which results in more productive employees and greater company performance.Since a leader can dictate up to 70% of positive organizational climate, it should be ensured that they are adept at using a variety of leadership styles depending upon the situations faced. As indicated earlier in the article, performance of the team greatly depends upon the leader, then what should be the fit recipe for a great leader and how can we achieve high performance? No one solution will fit all but an attempt should be made to keep adapting to situations for better results, remember humans are dealing with other humans and do we feel good with one behavior at all times? I think not, so then what to do?

Whether you are born a leader or learn to be a good leader you would certainly need to be a positive role model – walk the talk, exhibit actions that you want your team to emulate; be humble – give credit to your team for successful stories, admit mistakes, show willingness to seek answers from other sources, team members; surely no blame game here?; develop effective communication – be open, approachable, build individual relations with team, be confidential; mentor your team; be sensitive to emotions yet be objective; encourage transparency, individual creativity; show individual and respect creativity; passionate about work, team members and know them well; be natural and positive as much as possible; keep challenging the team to strive higher and harder; stay connected with your people, be direct and honest; encourage feedback and feed forward. All of this habits or traits requires skill, patience and creativity.

How can it lead to better performance? Leaders have followed several ways to get the best out of their employees such as maintaining records by listing differences and similarities among their team members, using these notes to plan techniques to identify goals for them in accordance to their skills, aptitude and capabilities. Such leaders do ensurevery effective interpersonal communication skills accepting and adjusting to work styles, culture and individual needs. Become the role model for the team where they see the leader as a normal person, accepting mistakes, seeking options to problems, being transparent in actions, not being prejudiced or bias towards team members, praising the team on accomplishing jobs as employees are likely to exceed job expectations when they have a sense of pride and are praised for their efforts, providing regular feedback. In case of sluggish employees encourage them to perform, draw improvement plans to reduce poor performance, train them for higher responsibilities, bridge the gap between expected and having skills through training, and invest personal time with each member for better skills, performance. Keep the team well informed on every management decision as an engaged employee can also contribute positively towards decision making indirectly.

It may not be incorrect to say that a great leader follows the team members by accepting their views unhesitatingly, implementing them and giving the credit to them. Such open support of the team can only vertically grow both the interpersonal relationships, tighter bonds between teams and achieving better performance and results.

As with the ideal parent so with the leader, one who acts on what he says gets the best result, hence in conclusion if the leader is an achiever and performer, he will have a team which also wants to be the same and work towards the goal.

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A new age leader or a control freak manager, what’s your choice?

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Ashish Raksha

Institute for Technology and Management (ITM)

Content Manager

A new age leader or a control freak manager, what’s your choice?

“Leaders become great, not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others.” quoted by John Maxwell. With the advent of time, a new breed of leaders is budding from the grassroots, the dynamism of being a leader, a visionary has replaced completely with the thought process of the traditional mind-set of bureaucratic management.
A new age leader is  concerned with the teams productive side keeping a smart balance with the teams individual contributors personal space. Flexible work hours, work from home alternatives and encouraging team with in-house board games and activities are also some things which is picking  up, though these initiatives are tagged under company’s benefits but they are well thought upon ideas strategized by  leaders, who display the concern towards their subordinates.
Being result oriented they also place an equal importance to mentoring, trainings that they look upon to bestow in the team. Moving up and holding up the flag keeping the team work as a fulcrum, emotional quotient is one of the forte which is also embedded within a leader. Learning from one’s own mistake and from the resources below without any hesitation makes him stand apart from a typical man.
A modern leader is more like a fulcrum rather than an isolated boss sitting in a cabin , believing in raising a level above than the milestone that has already been achieved, and at the same time ensuring to walk along with each team member to touch the pinnacle of success even during their odds by motivating them in a right direction is something that is looked upon.  It become utmost important for organizations to think in the direction to nurture and give an open playground to its employees, which will work like a fuel to the engine by provoking the inner sense to lead and move in the direction or rather pull the mass following in the direction that will give the organization and the society a better tomorrow.

 

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