What can you do when employees are constantly late for work?

Aarti Malhotra_Passport size photo

Aarti Malhotra

Freelance Writer 

What can you do when employees are constantly late for work?

In today’s scenario, when greater development focus lies on many factors including leadership and relationship management, managers tend to ignore the root cause of employees arriving late for work, even though they may be high performers.

Managers consider punctuality a virtue that an employee must exhibit, as it is critical to business success. If the employee fails to be punctual, then anunfavourable perception is often set. But, before managers develop any perceptions, they should fairly assess if this behaviour exhibited by the employee is deliberately habitual or if they need to examine and understand his or her circumstances. We need to avoid the mirage and locate the oasis.

You may find it polemic but employees who constantly arrive late to work are not always latecomers by habit. Habitual latecomers who are not concerned with reaching a little (or a lot) late for work are a type in themselves. They need to be micro-managed and coached. The coach needs to understand their psychology, identify root causes, and propose intervention strategies. However, sudden deviations from punctuality could be due to the employee eitherabruptly lacking motivation or developing personal challenges. A manager should have informal discussions with the employee, may be over a cup of coffee, and find out how things are at his or her home and with work. As an example of a personal challenge, managers should not reprimand an employee with a medical condition who is unable to reach office on time due to prescribed medicines. As a solution, managers should collaborate with HR, and provide flexi hours to the employeetill the time he or she recovers from the condition.Another example, a latecomer employee whose long term goals are not met inthe assigned role, should be allowed to explore challengingroles and pursue training in the organization to expand his or her vistas.

By taking time to check in, you give the employee and yourself an opportunity to examine circumstances. While employees may or may not always have a good reason, they will appreciate your giving them the benefit of the doubt, rather than a slap on the wrist.


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Brief of drivers for Job Satisfaction



Lnt InfoTech Ltd


Brief of drivers for Job Satisfaction

Everyday we go to work with certain expectations from ourselves and some from organization .When both the factors are balanced and we are happy on and off the work place that’s when we term it as job satisfaction. With increasing demand on productivity , stress levels within an organization are very high , here are some of the drivers which help us reach the equilibrium stage where we say we have job satisfaction.

  1. Work Life Balance: Flexibility at workplace .This parameter defines balancing work and non work commitments. This is one of the major factors as it helps a person to take control of his career aspirations as well as help him lead a healthy lifestyle which includes health and family needs.
  2. Respect as an individual: Employee treated as an asset and not as a resource. Its human nature that if a person feels he is valued then his commitment enhances towards any assignment irrespective of the complexities attached to it at a given timeframe. Recognition for the work drives in happiness and helps an individual to perform better.
  3. Work content : This defines the job enrichment which a person gets during his daily work routine.If an individual gets to perform the work in such a way that along with deliverables he gets to enhance his skills & knowledge at the same time , this win win situation helps attain the state of job satisfaction. Continuous learning always keeps the mind active and helps in design thinking.
  4. Trust in Organization Leadership: This helps in satisfying the basic hygiene factors like job security, remuneration, growth aspects, and self-development. This also helps in relationship building. Individuals enjoy and feel safer when relationships are built and this helps in retaining employees.

Today’s employee wants to feel happy at work. Motivation, job enrichment and timely rewards play a key role in any individual’s success and forms the key drivers of job satisfaction. Every employee wants to reach the top balancing the professional and personal factors. Job satisfaction not only helps him to grow professionally it also impacts his personal life in a big way.

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Geeta Varma,

HR Freelancer.

This is a paradoxical situation in the current scenario. Though the numbers of management students churned out are more but the employability seems to have dipped dangerously low which could adversely affect in future of capable skilled youth. In this article we will find out the reasons as to why the difficulties are arising and what can be suggested to overcome the difficulties.

At the outset let us understand the dire state of education. Nearly 80% of graduates seeking employment have been found to be unemployable. At the same time the number of management institutes have been soaring high with sky rocketing education fees. Yet sadly the end result seen is lose – lose equation.

What are the reasons for this? Few that are visible are:

  1. The state of education level needs immediate attention for great improvement.
  2. The HRD Ministry, state boards need to take closer look at the grant of college permission to extend the education to the students.
  3. The syllabus has to be in sync with the corporate needs to align both education imparted and its practical applicability.
  4. Education has become a money spinner with no bonding to real time work experiences.
  5. The respective people associated with institutions and colleges are not educated themselves to understand the importance of imparting the knowledge.
  6. Corruption has become the normal way of life with no guilt conscious in people.
  7. Education method still continues to be the old way and not aligned to the global standards.
  8. In the know of the situation where talent is difficult to find, companies are continuing to have a mind block in rehiring experienced persons and creating age barriers.
  9. Hesitancy in breaking free from traditional ways of handling management situations and problems.
  10. The standard of education has taken a back seat vis-à-vis the financial gains.
  11. The candidates are no longer truthful on their credentials and testimonials.
  12. Recruitment partners are not engaging enough time to dig deeper into the candidates’ provided information.
  13. At times referrals without merit are given precedent over merit thereby culture of pleasing the superiors is fast becoming a killer for selection of the right talent.
  14. Unscientific remuneration structure and vast gaps are also hampering the right talent being selected and retained.
  15. Qualification sans individual abilities sans personal choice of career are becoming the enemy of talent and the shortage of skilled personnel is leading to war of hiring the same.

It is to be noted that in the past as well we have observed war on hiring talented personnel by giving high remuneration at times stretching more than rational reasons which itself created other types of imbalances.

To productively solve man created lack of talented workforce, few suggestions are enlisted below:

  1. Let there be an active engagement between the corporate houses and the educational institutes with HRD ministry all deciding to evolve a curriculum that provides employment of the right talent.
  2. Introduce Psychometric battery of tests in the schools to gauge the capabilities, abilities, interests and skills existing in the students to pick the right choice of career.
  3. Have a registered national skill database for searching the personnel for newer skill sets, old skills etc.
  4. Reach out and rehire ex-employees if the skills are not found amongst youth.
  5. Encourage reverse mentoring to benefit both the companies and the young hires.
  6. Identify potential personnel for upgrading the new skills required, hone existing skills and create backups.
  7. Develop multi section / discipline amongst employees for any unforeseen eventualities.
  8. Truly have out of box thinking for hiring and include multi type of employments.
  9. Push for changing adage labor laws to sync with the current changing world.
  10. Last but not the least, remove gender bias and be inclusive to encourage diversity at workplace.

Hence, if the persistent problem of finding qualified workers is to be tackled head on then all the parties involved in imparting education, getting educated, being employed and desiring talented people should be gainfully involved to arrive at a new solution beneficial to them.


Article by Geeta Varma, HR Freelancer, Mumbai. The thoughts shared are personal and not intended to challenge anyone.



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Harish V. Ruparel

Powerica Ltd – Mumbai.

P. Corporate HR + Org. systems


In modern Business world, organizations are shifting towards the process based structures as they are more efficient than functional working. There are some obvious advantages

  1. No functional silos.
  2. Clear – cut responsibilities, giving no chance of excuse to any one
  3. Clear – cut authority to ensure effectiveness.
  4. Better span of control – not more than 5 – 6 people reporting to any one
  5. Delegation and accountability

Transforming from functional or product based organization to a process based organization needs significant changes based on careful consideration of both the pros & cons of each structure.


  1. Activities or employees are grouped according to function.
  2. Functional expertise to support core competency.
  3. Focus on narrow range of skill or expertise.
  4. Applicable when technology is routine & small number of products.
  5. Functions-
  6. Finance
  7. HR
  8. Marketing
  9. R & D
  10. Operations
  11. Supply chain


  1. Business organized horizontally around linked & end to end process.
  2. Teams define the structure.
  3. Employees are empowered to decide at point of contact.
  4. Decentralizes with few supervisors.
  5. Functional expertise maintained through center of excellence.
  6. Processes
  1. New product development (Innovation)
  2. Demand generation & customer acquisition & retention
  3. Order fulfillment
  4. HR & administration
                     STRENGTH                                WEAKNESS


1.      Ideal when specialized resources are required. Difficult to manage for a big product range
2.      Can be efficient given economy of scale &cost controls              Quick actions & decision difficult.
3.      Collaboration &quality with each function.              Performance management difficult.
4.       Supervision easier              Functional silos can be problematic
5.      Easier to mobilize special skill  


1.      Customer forcus             Operating culture difficult to change
2.      Focus on value chain & value addition.             Roles & responsibilities must be correctly redefined.
3.      Productivity, speed, quality             Training very important
4.      Empowerment            Co-ordination of center of excellence can be difficult.
5.       Effective cost management  



In the modern business scenario, companies are rated not only on the basis of top line & bottom line but on many other factors which are covered in this concept.

For better management of performance the above guideline cane used to establish corporate goals & objectives & they must be cascaded down to the process owners & their teams for more effective business.

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Performance Management of “Vocational Training”!!!


Udayan Shriram Modhe

S R Shroff Aajivika Trust

Head – Skill Development

Performance Management of “Vocational Training”!!!

Performance management in social sector boils down to “Impact” of social intervention, on the community. Over the years, technology is transforming social sector interventions and their delivery mechanism.

Earlier, Performance management was loose enough to get manipulated.  Performance of training could be evaluated only through surprise visits, internal periodic assessments or post training interviews, which would give a feedback of the training delivery and point lacunas, if any.  In many cases, attendances and training delivery used to be manipulated. Candidates would be marked present, fictitiously, examinations would be managed. This was some-how resulting in lower performance in terms of impact on society.  To some extent, it brought disrepute to the entire sector.

Thanks to, increased Government funding for social sector, add to that CSR funding, it became imperative to measure outcomes effectively. Deployment of large funds is always monitored with stricter Performance norms. Incorporation of technology in monitoring mechanisms, has transformed Performance Management in Vocational Training arena. Training delivery is being monitored online over web using “Geo tagged” CCTV. SOPs are in place for the training delivery emphasizing on keeping records of every aspect of training delivery. Be it training calendar, attendance, preservation of CCTV footage, various daily reports related to daily assignments and failure of machinery, etc. There is complete transparency in the system. The monitoring can be done at state capital or from office of ministry in Delhi.

Entire value chain of vocational system in incorporated in MIS right from beneficiary identification, approval of beneficiary, training curve monitoring, target management, placement record and hand holding of candidates post training.

This is transformative new trend in “Vocational Training Arena”, which is benefiting performance management of S.M.A.R.T. Goals. Measurement of Social Impact can be measured by easier means.


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Performance Management


Karnam Balaji

Senior Manager HR

Butler America

Performance Management

As most of the Organisations are moving away from the Bell Curve model, since it significantly doesn’t justify the performance assessment of individual employees during a period and this might lead to increase in dissatisfaction in job and voluntary attrition in the Organisation. Trend is moving across to customized performance management system, where management is empowering employee to set their own performance parameters which is specific, measurable, and realistic and time bound.

These parameters are broadly divided into two parts: Behavioural and technical skills. Where the weightage is defined based on the positions roles and responsibilities (Ownership, Decision making, Risk factors and accountability). Rather than evaluating his performance at the end of the year, it is best practice to do a quarterly performance assessment based on the behavioural and technical skills and consult them on the grey areas, which can be set as a target to achieve for the next quarter assessment.

This will help employees to understand his strength and weakness on a consistence basis, and provide him an opportunity to achieve those shortcomings. After four quarters he will not be surprised to know where he stands in terms of his performance thru out the year. This will lead to less disagreement and arguments during the time of appraisal.


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Performance Management strategy


Neelam Mohammad Afzal

Sindh Rural Support Organization

Program Officer (HR)

Performance Management

Traditionally, performance management focused on annual appraisals as the measure of your employee’s progress. Managers in each department completed performance appraisals when notified by human resources that an employee had reached his annual hire date. Computer software has changed the ways management measures employee performance.

Here are a few trends beyond:


  1. Putting employees in the driver seat

Performance management is no longer the responsibility of a manager. Nor is it about forcing employees through a passive process that they can’t control. It’s now about putting employees in control. Just like a professional athlete that owns their career and works with the best coaches to excel, employees will now own their success.


  1. Elimination of ratings and rankings

No one wants to be ranked. The negative impacts of rating and ranking outweighs any potential gains. Ranking employees is often subjective and leads to unhealthy comparisons to others. People want to know how they perform relative to their potential and unique talents, not against their colleagues.

“Unless you’ve already including coaching, feedback, motivation, engagement, and improvement in your performance management process, you’ve failed.”


  1. Performance improvement mindset

To change how we work, we first must change our philosophies. For a long time performance management meant an annual event, a process, or tool. Now it’s about creating workplace cultures that promote transparency and open feedback. It’s also about a constant strive to improve individual and team performance. It’s really just common sense.


  1. Building alliances

Remember when managers hung out amongst themselves? The workplace has changed and relationships are based now on trust. The future of the workplace will revolve around creating win-win alliances between employees and the company. This helps the employee advance their career, and ultimately helps the company improve performance. Again, more common sense.


  1. Big Data and analytics

HR may be late to the game when it comes to big data, but they’re quickly making up ground.  In the next few years we’re going to see big data and analytics help us identify high performing teams and individuals, and disengaged employees. It will also provide predictive insights on how to increase performance, engagement, and reduce turnover.

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Geeta Varma,

HR Freelancer,




Merit pay or synonym as pay-for-performance is defined as a raise in pay based on a set of criteria set by the employer. In this kind of work it generally involves the employer conducting a review meeting with the employee to discuss the employee’s work performance during a certain time period. It would not be incorrect to place a cautionary note that Merit Pay still remains a very heavily debatable topic amongst professionals.

Merit pay helps an employer to differentiate between the performances of high and low performing employees and reward the performance accordingly. Merit Pay actually encourages individuals to stretch their own limits to achieve the best. Merit pay, allows an employer to differentiate between the performance of the company as a whole and the performance of an individual. Every employer though desire that every employee should be able to give in their best, may actually be targeting to highlight strong and high performers indirectly for improving the level of performance for the Company.

Merit pay also provides a vehicle for an employer to recognize the high achieving individual’s in the departments and their levels of performance which could be set as benchmarks for overall performance of the company apart from increasing the levels of performance every year. Individuals when pitched against one another are also encouraged to improve their own levels of performance. This pay system promotes healthy competition among employees, encouraging each to work hard to achieve their very best while also delivering great results for the company. Employees enjoy being recognized among their co-workers and upper management for a job well done.

It is an acceptable norm that Merit Pay being a monetary gain greatly appeals to all the people; although it is not showcased in that fashion. We have also observed that employers use Merit Pay as an important tact to both bring the high performers together to uniformly increase the status of the performance for their business and also use it as an employer branding tool. It has been used by the employer to weed out low and non performers by sharing the data and hence plough it as an effective lean staff organization.

Merit Pay is widely used as a compensation strategy to motivate employees with pay increases for positive performance outcomes which allows them to achieve high levels of productivity. Although every business and company has its own unique structure and culture, and must decide what payment system works best for them based on a decided budget developed from salary reports and structures.

With a Merit Pay high motivation and high morale amongst the employees is also achieved. High performers are well aware of their skills and enjoy using them in challenges to achieve goals that are linked to monetary incentives. Merit pay gives these employees the recognition and reward they deserve and also helps companies to retain their best employees.

As there are positives for Merit Pay, similarly and parallel are the demerits of the same which should not be ignored. Merit Pay can cause conflict among employees. Some may feel that the system is unfair because no matter how hard they perform, they may not be able to earn any merit pay. This leads to very negative feelings of de-motivation and unimportance, apart from low self esteem and worth. This could be due to improper merit pay scheme, or structure leading to inconsistencies among raters.

Merit Pay can garner healthy competition, but they also may lead to the disintegration of team unity. If everyone is in it for themselves, problems could arise. Personal goals may become more important than team goals, which is not beneficial for the company as a whole. Top performers may also be seen as more valuable and important than others, leading to feelings of jealousy and invite useless political wars that can shake the company foundation and capability to soar high.

Unless the system devised is very scientific with no room for inaccuracies, there is no way, with 100% accuracy, to differentiate the performance of various employees to determine deservers of merit pay. At times the most desirable accomplishments and contributions are almost never measurable so the manager’s or supervisor’s opinion remains a constant in determining merit pay. This leads to unhealthy relationship between the employees and their supervisors. Merit Pay if designed on measurable performance indicators does not guarantee good service to the customers and may end up being money spent with little returns.

While most of the Organizations have not designed a full proof metrics, the ability of the supervisor to communicate to each employee the value of his or her contribution, and what superior performance worthy of merit pay entails, is an ongoing challenge. Some supervisors communicate better than others and communication about what entails superior performance is easier in some jobs than others.

Even while the low and the limitations exist for the Merit Pay, it still remains the best opportunity to ensure that the company’s outstanding performers remain with the company and continue to make their contributions and the organizations continue to scale up their set goals and targets.

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Trends on Performance management


Gladys Durairaj

Prodapt Company




Trends on Performance management

Today’s appraisal system has moved from the traditional annual appraisal systems. Companies have moved on to quarterly and some companies with weekly reviews. It has become highly competitive and the real world for the toughest is it for an individual or the corporate.

There are several critical success factors which are driving it. They are:

  1. Current cost of living.
  2. Competition
  3. Low operating margins
  4. Skill sets
  5. Aspiration
  6. Stock market
  7. MNCs
  8. Customer delight.

Be it an individual or a company of any size, these have become the drivers. In the whole momentum the teams/individuals are also expected to align themselves towards the common goal.

If an individual is able to keep his customer/partner content, he/she scores remarkably and deservedly. At the end of the day the organization needs ultimate bliss. Call of the day.

Today the overseas market has become so demanding on skill sets which are making companies to look at their employees very closely in terms of their outputs. Margins have become thin by virtue of the fact that overseas customer feel that organizations are deploying people with low skills and are learning at their cost. Hence the evaluation has become very tight.

The organizations are facing a few challenges in this initiative:

  1. Lack of alignment and commitment from employees
  2. Attrition
  3. High expectations, in spite of low skills.
  4. Market demand – low cost but high value.

The challenges lead to frequent reorganizations.

Another trend today is that companies identify on a quarterly basis the top ten performers, high risk employees and low performers.

High risk and top target benefited. Middle level performing people stay at their levels. The bottom 10% are either warned or shown the exit.

If you really look at the critical success factors coupled with the challenges, the change in trend has become mandatory.

On the whole it is no more an easy world. It is a life for people or organizations who can compete and are willing to put in their heart and soul, be it in the work place or in the family.

Values stand out. It is the world wherein people tend to compromise on ethics to take the short route and in the process pay for it in the long run. If one is ethical and has values, then the rewards are for sure though it may be long drawn. Better go for high hanging fruits rather than the low hanging ones, right?

There are innumerable living examples on this front. My friend often quotes Azim Premji of Wipro, Subhrato Bagchi if Mind Tree, Deepak Parekh of HDFC, etc as his role models on this front. How true!

In these organizations the change is a constant and lot efforts and money are spent in terms of employee alignment. It is tough but these individuals have exhibited time and again with their tremendous success. Amazing!

End of the day, unless a person is competent in his area of work, in this world one cannot survive with comfort. A harsh reality but it is the fact.

Performance has become the key to one’s success be it professional or personal.


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