Friday, May 22, 2009

Traits – Some Illustrations

Trait Number One: Passion!

All of these people have discovered a reason, a consuming, energizing, almost obsessive purpose that drives them to do, to grow, and to be more! It gives them the fuel that powers their success train and causes them to tap their potential. It is passion that causes a Pete Rose to continuously dive head first into second base as if he were a rookie playing his first major league game. It’s passion that sets the actions of a Lee Iacocca apart from so many others. It’s passion that drives the computer scientists through years of dedication to create the kind of breakthroughs that have put men and women in outer space and brought them back. It’s passion that causes people to stay up late and get up early. It’s passion that people want in their relationships. Passion gives life power and juice and meaning. There is no greatness without a passion to be great, whether it’s the aspiration of an athlete or an artist, a scientist, or a businessman. We will discover how to unleash this inner force through the power of goals in this article.

Trait Number Two: Belief!

Every religious book on the planet talks about the power and effect of faith and belief on mankind. People who succeed on a major scale differ greatly in their beliefs from those who fail. Our beliefs about what we are and what we can be precisely determines what we will be. If we believe in magic, we will live a magical life. If we believe our life is defined by narrow limits, we have suddenly made those limits real. What we believe to be true, what we believe is possible, becomes what’s true, become what’s possible. There is a specific scientific way to quickly change your beliefs so that they support you in the attainment of your most desired goals. Many people are passionate, but because of their limiting beliefs about who they are and what they can do, they never take the actions that could make their dream a reality. People who succeed know what they want and believe that they can get it. We will learn about what beliefs are and how to use them.

Passion and belief help to provide the fuel, the propulsion toward excellence. But propulsion is not enough. If it were, it would be enough to fuel a rocket and send it flying blindly toward the heavens. Besides that power, we need a path, an intelligent sense of logical progression. To succeed in hitting our target, we need Trait Number three: Strategy! A strategy is a way of organizing resources. When Steven Spielberg decided to become a film maker, he mapped out a course that would lead to the world he wanted to conquer. He figured out what he wanted to learn, whom he needed to know, and what he needed to do. He had passion, and he had belief, but he also had the strategy that made those things work to their greatest potential. Ronald Reagan has developed certain communication strategies that he uses on a consistent basis to produce the results he desires. Every great entertainer, politician, parent, or employer knows it’s not enough to have the resources to succeed. One must use those resources in the most effective way. A strategy is recognition that the best talents and ambitions also need to find the right avenue. You can open a door by breaking it down, or you can find the key that opens it intact.

Trait Number Four: Clarity of Values!

When we think of the things that made America great, we think of things like patriotism and pride, a sense of tolerance, and a love of freedom. These things are values, the fundamental, ethical, moral, and practical judgments we make about what’s important, what really matters. Values are specific belief systems we have about what is right and wrong for our lives. They are the judgments we make about what makes life worth living. Many people do not have a clear idea of what is important to them. Often individuals do things that afterward they are unhappy with themselves about simply because they are not clear about what they unconsciously believe is right for them and others. When we look at great successes, they are almost always people with a clear fundamental sense about what really matters. Think of Ronald Reagan, John F Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., John Wayne, Jane Fonda. They all have had different visions, but what they have in common is a fundamental moral grounding, a sense of who they are and why they do what they do. An understanding of values is one of the most rewarding and challenging keys to achieving excellence.

As you have probably noticed, all these traits feed on and interact with one another. Is passion affected by beliefs? Of course it is. The more we believe we can accomplish something, the more we’re usually willing to invest in its achievement. Is belief by itself enough to achieve excellence? It’s a good start, but if you believe you’re going to see a sunrise and your strategy for achieving that goal is to begin running west, you may have some difficulty. Are our strategies for success affected by our values? You bet. If your strategy for success requires you to do things that do not fit your unconscious beliefs about what is right or wrong for your life, then even the best strategy will not work. This is often seen in individuals who begin to succeed only to end up sabotaging their own success. The problem is there is an internal conflict between the individual’s values and strategy for achievement.

Trait Number Five: Energy!

People of excellence take opportunities and shape them. They live as if obsessed with the wondrous opportunities of each day and the recognition that the one thing no one enough of is time. There are many people in this world who have a passion they believe in. Great success is inseparable from the physical, intellectual, and spiritual energy that allows us to make the most of what we have.

Trait Number Six: Bonding Power!

Nearly all successful people have in common an extraordinary ability to bond with others, the ability to connect with and develop rapport with people from a variety of backgrounds and beliefs. The greatest success is not on the stage of the world. It is in the deepest recesses of your own heart. Deep down, everyone needs to form lasting, loving bonds with others. Without that, any success, any excellence, is hollow indeed.

Trait Number Seven: Mastery of Communication!

This is the essence of what this article about. The way we communicate with others and the way we communicate with ourselves ultimately determine the quality of our lives. People who succeed in life are those who have learned how to take any challenge that life gives them and communicate that experience to themselves in a way that causes them to successfully change things.

Power of ‘Nothing can go wrong’

Have you ever had the experience of being on a roll, the feelings that you could do no wrong? A time when everything seemed to go right? May be it was a tennis match when every shot hit the line or a business meeting where you had all the answers. Maybe it was a time when you amazed yourself by doing something heroic or dramatic you never thought you could do. You’ve probably had the opposite experience too – a day when nothing went right. You can probably remember times you messed up things you usually do easily, when every step was wrong, every door was locked, everything you tried turned out wrong.

What’s the difference? You’re the same person. You should have the same resources at your disposal. So, why do you produce dismal results one time and fabulous results the next? Why do even the best athletes have days when they do everything right and follow them with days when they can’t buy a basket or a base hit?

The difference is the neuro-physiological state you’re in. There are enabling states – confidence, love, inner strength, joy, ecstasy, belief that tap great wellsprings of personal power. There are paralyzing states – confusion, depression, fear, anxiety, sadness, frustration that leave us powerless. We all go in and out of good and bad states. Have you ever gone into a restaurant and had a waitress snarl “What do you want?” Do you think she always communicates like that? It is possible that she had such a difficult life that she is always like that. But it is more likely that she had a bad day handling too many tables, may be stiffed by a few customers. She’s not a bad person; she’s just in a terribly un-resourceful state. If you can change her state, you can change her behavior.

Understanding state is the key to understanding change and achieving excellence. Our behavior is the result of the state we are in. We always do the best we can with the resources available to us, but sometimes we find ourselves in un-resourceful states. There have been times in one’s life when while in a particular state, one did or said things that later he or she had to regret or was embarrassed about. May be you have to. It is important to remember these times when someone treats you poorly. Thus, you create a sense of compassion instead of anger. After all, those who live in glass houses should not throw stones. Remember the waitress and other people are not their behaviors. The key then is to take charge of our states and thus our behaviors. What if you could snap your fingers and go into the most dynamic, resourceful state at will – a state in which you are excited, you are sure of success, your body is crackling with energy.

Remember, the key to power is taking action. The goal is to share how to use the states that lead to decisive congruent, committed action.

A state can be defined as the sum of the millions of neurological processes happening within us, in other words, the sum total of our experience at any moment in time. Most of our states happen without any conscious direction on our part. We see something and we respond to it by going into a state. It may be a resourceful and useful state or an un-resourceful and limiting state, but there is not much that most of us do to control it. The differences between those who fail to achieve their goals in life and those who succeed is the difference between those who cannot put themselves in a supportive state and those who can consistently put themselves in a state that supports them in their achievements.

Almost everything people want is some possible state. Make a list of the things you want in life. Love is a state, a feeling or emotion we signal to ourselves and feel within ourselves based on certain stimuli from the environment. Confidence? Respect? They are all things that we create. We produce these states within ourselves. May be you want money. You do not care about having little pieces of green paper adorned with the faces of assorted deceased notables. You want what money represents to you; the love, confidence, freedom, or whatever states you think it can help provide. So the key to love, the key to joy, the key to the power that man has sought for years the ability to direct his life – is the ability to know how to direct and manage your states.

Human Relations and Job Evaluation

Job evaluation is technically not simple but rather a complicated system because of the involvement of human beings. The emergence of job evaluation is directly referred to the grievances and differences about existing wage rates among the employees. High degree of reliability is necessary and can be determined but validity of the process can be determined only through employee satisfaction. Job evaluation is not only a scientific process but it is analytical and systematic approach. Consequently, we must be concerned with employee and labor union reactions.

The second problem which comes from job evaluation is that lessens the grievance more rapidly. It is argued on this point that there is always some confused conditions in the organization which become more clear and distinct, as job evaluation gives clear definition of wage structure.

And finally, the most common platform for the conflict between management and workers is in relations to skill, responsibility, efforts, working conditions and the compensation for these factors. The solution to this problem is that management has to be flexible.

To conclude, we can say that though the conflict between employer and the employee cannot be totally eliminated, it is possible to minimize it if both employer and employees agree to the usefulness of job evaluation methods in fixing the worth of a particular job.

Concept of Wage:

A very common terminology ‘wage’ does not demand an explanation. A need to define ‘wage’ hardly arises. The term wage has been defined under the Minimum Wages Act, 1948. According to it, ‘wages’ means all remuneration capable of being expressed in terms of money, which would, if the terms of the contract of employment , express or implied, were fulfilled, be payable to a person employed in respect of this employment or of work done in such employment. It includes house rent allowance but does not include:

1. the value of (1) any house accommodation, supply of light, water, medical attendance or (2) any other amenity or any service excluded by general or special order of the appropriate government.
2. any contribution paid by the employer to any pension fund or provident fund or under any scheme of social insurance.
3. any traveling allowance or the value of any traveling concession.
4. Any sum paid to the person employed to defray special expenses entailed on him by the nature of his employment or
5. any gratuity payable on discharge.

But this definition created more confusion than simplifying meaning. Thus for our purpose, we can say that ‘wage’ is a reward to the employees for services rendered. It is necessarily that reward which is in monetary terms plus any extra benefits. The wage normally consists of basic wage, dearness allowance, bonus and other incentives. Basic wage directly depends upon the internal economic conditions, whereas the other two components namely, the dearness allowance and bonus are affected by external factors. Financial incentive which is a major constituent of any wage plan is worked out in accordance with the wage incentive system which the enterprise may decide to adopt. The type of wage incentive system that the enterprise chooses to operate depends upon the company’s wage policy. Here it is important to emphasize that basic wage is not generally amenable to change and therefore, is kept more or less constant. The increase in wage is therefore, effectuated through changes in the dearness allowance and other incentives.

Wage Policy:

The Bhootalingam Committee (India) report on Wage, Income and Prices had once again revived the question of the need and the importance of a sound wage policy. How far has the government been successful in this direction in the past? Have we ever had a rational and sound wage policy? To answer these questions, one will have to look at the attempts made in the past and the achievements accrued thereof. After independence the Government of India in its economic policy emphasized on twin goals of achieving economic growth and social justice. In practice, however, these two goals are found to be inherently conflicting. Though time and again attempts have been made to strike a balance between two inherently conflicting goals, little could be achieved.

Work Force Management in Recession

Temping, also known as contractual staffing has been a significantly big trend in the west across sectors be it IT, pharma, education etc. In India the story however, is different.

It’s only in the past few years that tempting as a concept is being looked at and explored by India Inc. More so now since firms are realizing that not only is this tool a cost effective tool but also a strategic technique for getting the best talent from the market and removing the under performers from the lot. It’s like taking people on Test drive basis. Temping gives you the option of weeding bad performers and retaining the good ones.

Temping as a practice should be limited roles that require extensive manpower and sectors that are labor intensive. At Lupin, various roles in HR and IT have been handled by contractual staffers. These activities are recurring but not on-going and temping in these functions ensures an infusion of fresh ideas and a better ROI.

Apart from this, highly labor intensive activities like the sales force management have been an infusion of contractual staffers. These activities are primarily service / marketing oriented and often area specific. Employing contractual staffers as medical representatives in the chosen area helps us better reach out to our TA and address them specifically.

For Lupin, a pharmaceutical major, contractual staffing is not a recent phenomenon and has been practiced for over two decades now. It is one of the HR tools and practices that we leverage to improve operational efficiencies.

Through this, systems and procedures are more tuned in and help in improving overall productivity levels within the organization.

Of course, the financial advantage it gives to the organizations is another big boon of contractual staffing. An organization can easily achieve 10-30 percent cost saving through temp staffing, but more than that it’s the value that the firm gets since the infrastructure cost goes down significantly.

Given the recent recession, this is just the kind of booster any company need at this hour. Employers have done the rationalism of their headcount and weeded out the non-performers. Most have over the last 6-8 months frozen recruitment too.

Employers don’t want to create permanent manpower costs. Moreover, they are looking at temp staffers and thinking of converting them to permanent staffers once the market bounces back.

Elaborating on the sectors that could possibly increase their focus on temp staffing, Insurance manufacturing telecom and banking would look at this. It is not just a flash in the pan but a trend that’s here to stay. At a time when most organizations are concerned about various means to curb operational costs, work force management tool comes as a shot in the arm.

Work force management means managing an employee effectively by putting him/her at the right work in right place, at right time and getting the right output. An employee is the most important asset of an organization and managing the asset effectively reduces the operational costs of a firm automatically. Cost compliance, productivity is the key in workforce management and managing these things is crucial for the growth of any organization.

But many organizations in India have not adopted automation and still go by the manual systems which leads to lot of translation and intentional errors in pay rules attendance, leaves etc., which ends up in unwanted expenses for the firm.

Increasing productivity and saving costs:

Workforce management tools help firms to control labor costs, minimize compliance risk, and improve workforce productivity. Tools used for recruitment process applicant tracking systems, assessments career tracking and surveys etc. help n organization to identify and develop best people for the jobs. This goes a long way in increasing productivity and saving costs.

Tools for time and attendance management leave and absence management etc helps an organization to identify things like unaccounted absence and half day leaves and to manage such leakages effectively. Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc improved the productivity of its workforce by using Workforce Central Suite a workforce management tool developed by Kronos. The solution had the ability to deliver real time labor data to its operating departments while pay transactions. By comparing actual labor information with real time data from the budgeting system, managers of MMNA were able to identify excess headcount in various areas through out the plant and made sure that they have the right number of associates. This improved the plant’s hours per vehicle output and MMNA did a $1.3 million savings.

Skill at the interview

A job interview is indeed a place where even a small slip can go a long way. Candidates need to be alert and well prepared before a job interview, so that they can project a complete holistic picture of their qualifications, as well as strike a chord with the interviewer. In some instances, a candidate may be otherwise, well suited for the job role, but small character traits and behavioral glitches may land him/her in a tough spot, and the offer may, in turn be withdrawn. Here are some of the common mistakes candidates make and ways in which you can avoid them:

Bad mouthing past employers is a strict no-no. Sometimes when asked to relate an experience of having dealt with a difficult colleague and how they have handled it. Such questions have sometimes been responded to by criticizing the current employer, boss or colleagues. The question on handling a difficult colleague or subordinates has sometimes revealed an insightful saga of bitterness, pettiness or poor interpersonal abilities of the candidates.

Suggestion: Respect for employer, a balanced perspective on reasons for leaving and interpersonal abilities are all important considerations while hiring a new employee and must be handled with care and sensitivity. Cite career enhancing reasons to explain the purpose of leaving your last job. Never badmouth your current employer.

The candidate does not respond to the specific question asked and instead wanders to respond to some other question that is in his/her mind or uses the opportunity to deflect the interviewer’s attention to some other part of his/her CV is a common practice these days. A candidate asked a specific question such as “tell me about the employee engagement initiatives that you are driving in your current assignment” and the candidate has gone to talk about a high point experience in his career, where he designed an assessment center and how all his senior managers appreciated him and was commended by the CEO for his outstanding work!

Listening is an important attribute. Listening keenly and responding accurately to the question, specifically asked, is an indication of the focus and attention, more importantly, the comprehension of the candidate. Besides, if the candidate is doing this to deliberately distract the interviewer this could be a good reason for disqualification. Also, the interviewer may wonder about the credibility of the facts stated on the CV if these are not addressed or substantial during an interview.

The candidate has the tendency to give the impression that he/she knows/has done it all:

This kind of a tendency can be due to over confidence or just with the objective top impress the interviewer. They need to understand that interviewers do have a sound understanding of the job requirements and they are able to understand if the candidate is genuine or if he/she is giving a false impression.

It’s okay to admit and say they know or have done and what they have not done, as this makes the employer understand his/her strengths and weaknesses, the gap areas of the person, as this would help the company to take a fair call in terms of finalizing the selection.

Candidates are unable to clearly articulate their portfolio of transferable skills:

In today’s dynamic business environment, it is vital for candidates to be able to succinctly talk about their unique portfolio of transferable skills and how they have developed skills over a period of time, in undertaking various assignments where these skills were used and tested. Some candidates get too bogged down into the operational details while explaining about their past or present job responsibilities that they are unable to express their value addition, transferable skills or their roles and responsibilities in an effective manner.

Role of Interviewers and potential employees

The candidates must give thought to the general management skills that they have used in their current and previous jobs and be able to list them.

The candidates have no questions to ask of the interviewer:

Candidates who do not have any questions for the interviewer come across as being uninterested and may be merely shopping for a job that probably pays them more than what they are currently earning. A job interview is not just for the employer to gauge a potential employee’s suitability but also for the candidate to learn more about the organization, his/her role and the organization’s expectations from him/her.

Ask the right questions. Questions that seem to be solely related to the candidate’s benefits, entitlements, etc. are worse than asking no question at all. Good questions to ask would relate to the organization’s value system, management style of the candidate’s potential reporting manager, ways to contribute meaningfully business plans and challenges etc.

Do not attempt to be what you are not:

As human beings we have our individual traits. When you try to curb these inherent aspects, you put yourself under pressure. For example, interviewing a young 25 year old, who seemed to be on the serious side. While talking about his experience, he tried quite desperately to by funny and humorous and in the process seemed to get all muddled.

Do not treat the interview as a Q& A session

For example, two recent instances diametrically opposite, both with about three years experience. One was really conscious sitting absolutely upright and tense and the other while sitting upright was at ease. The first responded almost in monosyllables; his responses were abrupt. He left in a hurry when the interview was done. The other while answering questions weaved in his queries about the organization.

He mentioned about an initiative he had taken in the team he was part of. He enquired about what happens in the Company where he is being interviewed and there would be scope to be a part of the organization’s initiatives outside regular responsibilities. This young man’s responses were to the point, not long winding and it is that he spoke too much or made tall claims.

Close the interview well:

Once the interview is done, it is not only about a handshake and saying general niceties. For example, a case where the Company had head hunted a candidate and at the end of the interview, he checked if they (interviewer) wanted a second meeting with him. It is important to show interest and be positive even when you close the interview.

There is no rule book that can guarantee a smooth interview session. However, the above pit falls that are usually, very common, can be easily avoided. The economic downturn is bringing in significant changes in the corporate world. And these transformations can be seen within every vertical of the organization. So, what are the changes happening especially in the role and responsibility of HR?

The current economic situation has actually enhanced the role of HR to effectively manage growing business pressures. There is a renewed, yet a realistic focus on engaging employees, in order to maintain high morale enhance retention and create a culture where everyone, irrespective of their role pulls together and delivers on business expectations.

During times like these, HR has to take up the foremost responsibility towards creating better workforce utilization. They need to draw out the entrepreneurial ability in each employee to make them function as business managers. They are responsible for not only managing the work environment but also employee expectations and working towards nurturing innovative ideas and solution, which will lead to stronger organizational culture.

Some important points on Job Description

The following points should be kept in mind for job description:

1. While doing job description special care should be taken towards language or wording used. The reader must understand everything. He may misunderstand something if the language is ambiguous. For the same reason, technical jargon should not be used in job description.
2. No exaggerations should be made while listing job requirements. For example, if the education up to SSC is sufficient for the performance of the job, it should not be mentioned that the education up to graduate level is required for the job.
3. If the job description is designed for the purpose of division of work, special care should be taken so that there is no conflict between the employees regarding their areas of duties. It should be clearly mentioned in the job specification that the duties of each job can be expanded, when felt necessary. Thus, no employee will be able to say that he is not required to do certain work.

Differences between job analysis and job description:

1. In job analysis all the information regarding the job is collected. Whereas in case of job description the collected information is clearly, concisely and systematically stated.
2. Job description is meant for some special purpose. When a part of the detailed information gathered by job analysis is systematically presented for some purpose, it becomes a job description.
3. The above discussion clearly explains that job analysis is in a detailed form; whereas job description is in a condensed form.

Utility of Job Description:

1. Job description helps in getting the idea of the nature of the job and its functions. Particularly it enables the new employees to understand their duties and responsibilities.
2. Job description makes the work of personnel department easier. It helps a lot in matters like recruitment, training, transfers etc.

Job Specification:

Job specifications describe the job, the minimum requirements in relation to the workers’ qualifications and abilities to perform the job, and the working conditions.
The Job Specification, a product of job analysis and a refined form of job description may contain the duties of the job and the type of employee required, in terms of skill, education, experience and special aptitude.

Details: Generally job specification should contain the personnel requirements of job. But, sometimes description of the job is also given to give an idea of the job to the employee.

1. First of all, the nature of the job is explained in the job specification.
2. The required skills for the performance of the job re mentioned, particularly the following information is given.
(i) Intellectual requirements
(ii) Educational qualifications
(iii) Physical requirements – like height, weight, sight, age, etc
(iv) Necessary skills and the amount and type of training necessary.
3. The working conditions of the job are also mentioned. However, the greater emphasis is put on the required skills from the employees.

The main objective of job specification is to help in personnel management. It is particularly helpful in recruitment of right person at the right place. It is also useful for promotions and transfers.

Differences between job descriptions and job specifications

1. Job description describes the job, while job specification specifies the skills expected of the employee for the performance of the job.
2. The aim of the job description is to get brief information about the job; whereas the objective of job specification is to determine the qualities of the employees
3. Job description is concerned with the job and with the employees; while the job specification is concerned with employee and not with the job.

Standardization in India:

The Indian national standards body is BIS. It has formulated more than 15,000 standards. It operates BIS Certification Marks Scheme., It is operated under the Bureau of Indian Standards Act. Those manufacturers who meet these standards on verification get license to use Standards Mark. There are periodic inspections of the factory and testing of samples drawn. BIS has adopted ISO 9000 series of standards on quality.

Reward Systems

Rewards and incentives contribute to strategy implementation by shaping individual and group behavior. Well designed incentive plans are consistent with an organization’s objectives and structures. They motivate employees to direct their performance toward the organization’s goals. Sega’s reward system must be compatible with the risk of their strategy.

In setting up an incentive plan, the organization is faced with a series of choices: Should bonuses be in cash or stock? Current or deferred? How will performance be measured? How much discretion will managers have in awarding bonuses? How large will the bonuses be? The idea is to tailor the program to the organization’s objectives. Incentive plans can encourage short term or long term decision making greater or lesser risk taking more or less cooperation with other managers and the like. Table below reviews established practice in incentive plans for top management.

Short run vs. long run:

Mix of current bonus awards and stock options should reflect time horizon for policy level executives. Deferred instruments are weak reinforcers of short term performance.

Mix of quantitative measures of performance and more qualitative measures should reflect the relevant time horizon for executives. Qualitative measures usually reflect long run consideration more effectively than quantitative measures.

* Non-discretionary formula based bonuses tend to encourage a short run point of view.

* Frequent bonus awards encourage concentration on short term performance.

Risk aversion vs. Risk taking:

Current bonus awards, in cash or stock, can reinforce risk taking behavior.

Qualitative measures of performance can reinforce initiative by assuring executives that total performance will be evaluated for purposes of bonus awards.

Completely discretionary, highly personalized bonuses do not clarify the “rules of the game” and as a result can discourage risk taking behavior.

The size of both salary and incentive awards should be commensurate with the business and personal risks involved.

Interdivisional relationships:

Bonus pools can be based on divisional performance, total corporate performance, or mix of the two. Each arrangement sends different signals in terms of interdivisional co-operation.

Nondiscretionary formula based bonuses for division managers are most practical in companies where little cooperation among divisions is required Discretionary bonuses are practical when top management wants to encourage cooperation among divisions.

Company division relation ships:

Stock options can effectively link the interests of division personnel to the interests of the corporation.

Use of objective measures of performance of managers is more meaningful where the primary role of headquarters is to allocate capital than it is in instances where the head office plays an important role in ‘managing the businesses’ of the divisions.

Non-discretionary formula based bonuses are most practical in companies where headquarters does not interfere in management of the profit centers. Discretionary bonuses are most useful when top management wants to exert a direct influence on decisions in the divisions.

Many companies depend on their reward systems to help them implement strategy. From the multimillions awarded to some senior managers in stock options to vacations at resorts for winning sales people rewards and incentives play dominant part in an organization. Rewards and incentives play an equally important role in the broader society. Teachers use gold stars and merits for school children. Religious organizations reward perfect attendance and contribution. Political parties, have complex systems of rewards and incentives.

Imagine what your classes would be like if there were no rewards and punishments. What would motivate students to learn? Would classes be better or worse? More fun or less? What would take of rewards and punishments such as grades?

The basic idea is that people engage in behavior because it will lead to rewards. And as the concept of strategy implementation has evolved, many have argued that it is necessary to tie the achievement and achievement and implementation of strategic goals and plans to a specific system of rewards. To implement some long range strategic plans managers receive rewards years after the implementation actually took place.

Collective Strategy

There is a trend in strategic management toward more collaborative efforts between people at different organizations. One variation on this theme is called collective strategy, which occurs when people at different organizations with common concerns collaborate to determine how they will approach certain issues. The idea here is that strategic managers have reason to worry not only about their own company strategy but also a sense of direction for some collection of companies that have common concerns.

Managers at WordPerfect Corporation have developed a new strategy partnering with an array of hardware manufacturers and software developers to encourage high quality integration with WordPerfect products. Managers at the company believe that such partnerships will combine a partner’s technology with in-house development, which will lead to better product solutions and, hence, better products for WordPerfect’s customers. If strategic managers at these other companies plan with the same ideas in mind, then a collective strategy can informally (or tacitly) emerge among the companies.

Collective strategies can also be explicit agreements. A vivid example involves the seven Regional Bell Holding Companies created at the AT&T divestiture – NYNEX, Bell Atlantic, Bell South, Ameritech, Southwestern Bell, US West, and Pacific Telesis. Mangers at all of these companies have a common interest in ensuring that the quality and pace of improvements in the nationwide telecommunications network be comparable across the United States. To meet this common need, Bellcore was formed as a vehicle for conducing research and development in the area of telecommunications technologies. Results can be used in each of the seven regions by these companies’ networks.

Collective strategy making has one significant constraint in the United States. Federal antitrust laws prohibit laws prohibit price fixing, combinations among rivals to restrain trade, and other acts that might be agreed upon by managers at a collective of companies. Here is one more example of how webs of relationships, and potential spillover effects from a given business relationship, can make a major difference in managers’ decisions and actions. The future course of collective strategy is an open question.

New Business Services at Federal Express:

Recently Federal Express managers have been able to employ the company’s worldwide distribution advantages along with its information management and technology strengths to enter another market: logistics planning for global companies. Logistics involves managing the movement and storage of materials, parts, and finished goods from suppliers through the firm, to the customer. Federal Express’ new Business Logistics Services unit offers customers an array of business services such as purchase ordering, receipt of goods, order entry and warehousing inventory accounting shipping accounts receivable and invoice reporting.

For instance, national Semiconductor management recently awarded Federal Express its finished goods delivery business from Southeast Asia to customers worldwide. Federal Express guarantees 2 day delivery, a reduction from the manufacturer’s previous 5-18 day. Under the new contract, Federal Express will use its own Singapore warehouse to store finished goods from National semiconductor’s Southeast Asia assembly points, ship the goods, clear them through customs, and deliver them to customers. National Semiconductor will enter orders directly into Federal Express’s database and will be able to track them as they moved from inventory, packed, shipped and signed for by the customer.

This new service is a culminating example of how strategic planning and strategy implementation – the components of strategic management are not only the products of what managers envision for a given company such as Federal Express but also a product of converging pursuits. Strategic management is moving into a hopeful future with others.

Planning at an organization involves setting goals and choosing the means for people to carry out those goals for the organization. Goals are important because (1) they provide a sense of direction, (2) they focus our efforts, (3) they guide our plans and decisions, and (4) they help us evaluate our progress. Although planning is normally shown as just one of the four management functions, it is more appropriate to think of planning as a locomotive that drives a train of organizing leading and controlling activities.

Effect of HRM department on Organization

The HRM department can have a significant effect on an organization in a number of ways, depending on what goals a company chooses to focus on. For instance, Sun Microsystems in Mountain View, California, has actively used human resource planning to build a multicultural workforce. Traditionally companies involved in good faith affirmative action advertising buy banquet tickets at minority functions, pointed out Deborah Yarborough, diversity program manager at Sun. But we don’t think this is a good policy because the money goes into paying for the banquets and not in getting minorities into the work force. Sun has instead created focus groups consisting of minorities, women, homosexuals, and disabled people who are encouraged to coordinate with friends and outside support organizations and take a proactive role in bringing multicultural applicants to hiring managers. Among the numerous other measures Sun has taken the company has totally changed its corporate advertising campaign, which now conveys the message: Diversity at Sun is not a destination, but a journey. If anything though, Sun’s efforts are understate. They would let more people know what they’re doing, asserted Rigo Chacon South Bay bureau chief, KGO Television News, San Francisco. It’s too much of a well-kept secret. If they could get themselves better recognized corporately, they would do themselves good.

Improving quality was the goal of a human resources effort at Finley Hospital in Dubuque, Iowa. Recognizing the relationship between high quality employees and high quality care, the board and management decided to develop a strategic human resources plan. First, the board’s human resources committee and the director of human resources together created a values statement, titled Partnership for Quality and then agreed on six elements necessary to ensure continuously improving quality. Then the strategic plan was developed and implemented.

At Texas Instruments, based in Dallas, Texas management worked to tailor human resources policies to the needs of the individual business units by including operations managers in the development and implementation process. In this way they overcame a mindset perception among operations managers that HR policies somehow were not a main stream item. The fact is, the only thing that differentiates us from our competition is our people. The equipment, the building – they’re all the same. It’s the people who make the difference. Effective management of HR becomes an issue for everyone.

Planning Procedures:

Human resources planning has four basic aspects: (1) planning for future needs by deciding how many people with what skills the organization will need, (2) planning for future balance by comparing the number of needed employees to the number of present employees who can be expected to stay with the organization, which leads to (3) planning for recruiting or laying off employees and (4) planning for the development of employees, to be sure the organization part of planning, because, as we will discuss later, internal recruitment has a number of advantages.

To be effective, the managers of a human resource program must consider two major factors. The primary is the organization’s human resource needs. For example, a strategy of internal growth means that additional employees must be hired. Acquisitions or mergers, on the other hand, probably mean the organization will need to plan for layoffs, since mergers tend to create duplicate or overlapping positions that can be handled more efficiently with fewer employees.

The second factor to consider is the economic environment of the future. A booming economy might encourage expansion, which would increase the demand for employees. However, the same booming economy would result in low unemployment, making it harder and more expensive to attract qualified employees. Organizations that want to expand overseas confront similar problems.

More and more companies today are going through downsizing or restructuring have taken extraordinary measures to help their former employees find new jobs. AT&T took out ads in newspaper advertising their excess employees and their skills to other businesses.

Motivational Job Design

As the limits of the mechanistic approach became clear, researchers began to seek out ways of making jobs more varied and challenging. J Richard Hackman and others identified five core job dimensions: skills variety task identify, task significance autonomy and feedback able below describes these dimension and gives examples of each.

Hackman argues that employees who have responsible jobs that they understand are more motivated and satisfied with their positions. People whose jobs involve high levels of skill variety, task identity, and task significance experience work as very meaningful. A high level of autonomy makes workers more responsible and accountable for their acts. Feedback gives them a useful understanding of their specific roles and functions. The closer a job comes to having all five characteristics, the more likely it is that the person who holds it will be highly motivated and satisfied.

The Medical University of South Carolina Medical Center in Charleston attempted to enhance the care environment as perceived by patients and their families by redesigning jobs and empowering workers. This was a project that included the creation of patient care associates, which entailed the collapsing of several work roles into one. The new patient care associate has 10 to 14 skills and handles a diverse array of tasks. The worker gets to see more of the fruits of his [or her] contribution, noted Thomas P Keating, director of general services and co-director of the patient focused care project. During its first year, the project appeared to satisfy expectations.

Much effort in recent years has gone into making routine jobs more rewarding by redefining such jobs to include greater legitimate and expert authority. The term empowerment, as practiced at Nordstrom and in numerous other companies we have profiled, clearly indicates what managers are trying to do in these job redesign decision. Job enlargement and job enrichment are two empowering ways to redesign jobs.

Task Characteristics in Motivational Job Design:

Skill variety the extent to which a variety of skills and talents are required to complete tasks: Perform different tasks that challenge the intellect and develop skills in coordination

* High degree: Dress designer
* Low Degree: Messenger

Task identity the extent to which the job involves completion of an identifiable unit, project, or other piece of work: Handle an entire job function from start to finish and be able to show a tangible piece of work as the outcome.

* Software designer
* Assembly worker

Task significance the extent to which the task affects the work or lives of others, inside or outside the organization: Be involved in a job function that is important for the well being, safety, and perhaps survival of others.

* Air traffic controller
* House painter

Autonomy the extent of the individual’s freedom on the job and discretion to schedule tasks and determine tasks and determine procedures for carrying them out: Be responsible for the success or failure of a job function and be able to plan work schedule, control quality etc.

* Project manager
* Cashier in a department store

Feedback the extent to which the individual receives specific information (praise, blame etc) about the effectiveness with which his or her tasks are performed: Learn about the effectiveness of one’s job performance through clear and direct evaluation from a supervisor or colleagues or the results of the work itself.

* Professional athlete
* Security guard

Self Growth

It is rather significant to note that Indian wisdom, like all other traditional wisdoms, has always emphasized self-mastery. Self Growth is a phrase coined in the contemporary knowledge milieu. Its origin may have something to do with the notion that self-mastery is nothing but repression of natural impulses, leading to neuroses and other mental disturbances. But self-mastery in fact essentially implies cutting our little, unruly, unregenerate, turbulent egos to size. As an Indian man of wisdom aptly remarked a century ago, our egos, as they are, are ‘unripe’ egos. We have to de-egoize this ‘unripe’ ego, so that the ‘ripe ego’ – the Self shines forth. Our egos not only carry chips on their shoulders; often enough they carry spikes too. Conflict in organizations, no matter what rational outer form it is given, almost always is rooted in the spikeful egos of the actors. It is common observation that self growth processes and methods boil down in no time to personal ambition, power play, and so on in pursuance of ‘hard’ objectives of promotion, foreign trips, tangible perquisites etc. The important point is missed that self growth in the real sense rests squarely and solely on self-mastery. And that is a life long process of inner scrutiny, confession and atonement which alone can expand the puny egos to their destined potential of the ripe ego or Self.

Let us give an example of how incapacity to de-egoize leads to the rejection of steps which could improve organizational effectiveness.

We have undertaken a study of the organization structure of a profitable public enterprise. It was poised for a quantum jump in size. To the Chairman Managing Director reported eleven people, amongst whom four were Board level: Executive Directors. Two of them were heading the two manufacturing plants, and the other two were functional Directors (Personal and Finance) in the Head Office. The company was going to add two or three new plants in other locations in the course of the next few years, which first of all, implied that the CMD was likely to end up by having about fourteen to fifteen people reporting to him. This issue on the basis of the principle that the CMD’s role should be prevented from being swamped with information, overload, as it was essentially a long range perspective providing role,. Besides with competition from private enterprise expected to be stiff, the marketing scenario would also change considerably, calling perhaps for a new Marketing Director, which would further widen the span of reporting to the CMD. It can be suggested here that the creation of two posts of Deputy Managing Directors – one for operations and the other for Services. The two functional directors (Personnel and Finance) would report to the DMD (Services), while the plant heads and the Marketing Director to the DMD (Operations). In addition, there would be a few General Managers in other areas who would also be reporting to either of the DMD’s.

At a presentation seminar, the above proposal was discussed threadbare. It was finally rejected on the ground that none of the existing Directors could accept a situation where they would be reporting not to the CMD, but to a DMD. We asked what their decision would be if they were to join the Company afresh and there was already a structure with a CMD and two DMD’s? The reply was that in that case perhaps it would not have been so difficult to accept the arrangement. We also got the indication that had the proposal suggested, say, four DMD posts so that each one of the existing Directors could be slotted into one of them, then too the new design might; have been acceptable. All this showed that although they realized that the proposed design was probably better for the future of the enterprise yet their ‘unripe’ egos could not be softened to elicit assent to it for a bigger cause. They apparently read demotion for themselves in the proposal.

In this very study it was also discovered another stubborn ego-centered problem. By a quirk of history the head Office was created rather late in the day in this enterprise. The plant level heads had by and large been their own masters. With the creation of the Head Office, centralization of policy matters was inevitable. But the first reaction from unit heads to almost any step taken by the Head Office was to declare that they were also Board level Directors and equal to the Functional Directors. Thus, unripe egos have constantly interfered with the process of conceding the Head Office its due role.

Such stands may not be in the interests of the Company and the CMD must take a stern decision in restructuring the organization. He can adopt any legal means like obtaining share and stake holders consent and make the necessary changes.

Decision-making disciplines & process – A Survey

Companies get a lot of advice on the subject. Which decision-making disciplines really make a difference?
Do strong decision-making processes lead to good decisions? This McKinsey survey highlights several process steps that are strongly associated with good financial and operational outcomes. In the survey, executives were asked from around the world about a specific capital or human resources decision their companies made in the course of normal business. We learned who was involved, what drove the decisions, how deep the analysis was, how unfettered the discussions, and how and where politics were involved. Respondents also described the financial and operational outcomes of the decisions.
The results highlight the hard business benefits such as increased profits and rapid implementation of several decision-making disciplines. These disciplines include ensuring that people with the right skills and experience are included in decision making, making decisions based on transparent criteria and a robust fact base, and ensuring that the person who will be responsible for implementing a decision is involved in making that decision. Finally, although corporate politics sometimes seems to undermine strong decision making, some types of consensus-building and alliances apparently can help create good outcomes.
The survey covered the gamut of typical corporate decisions, from expanding into new products or services to maintaining infrastructure. More than three-quarters of investments were aimed at revenue growth, and among decisions related to human resources, the majority aimed to improve efficiency or productivity.
A majority of decisions were undertaken at the behest of the CEO or the executive committee with only a minority (23 per cent) driven by some sort of immediate threat. More decisions were made outside an annual planning process. And nearly two-thirds of respondents say they expected their decision to pay off within two years of implementation. Operations executives had significant influence on only about a third of the most financially unsuccessful decisions, reinforcing findings from other surveys that companies frequently overlook execution when making decisions.
Overall, outcomes for these decisions were good. Among decisions for which the outcome was known, about two-thirds met or exceeded executives’ expectations for revenue growth and cost savings. Furthermore, strong majorities of respondents say the results of their initiatives met their expectations for speed, implementation cost, and gains in market share or efficiency.
For starters, the survey emphasizes that good decision making involves avoiding some basic mistakes. Decisions initiated and approved by the same person generate the worst financial results indicating the value of good discussion. And decisions made at companies without any strategic planning process are twice as likely to have generated extremely poor results as extremely good ones more than a fifth of them generated revenue 75 per cent or more below expectations. This may indicate an overall lack of rigor at these companies.
Furthermore, this survey highlights several elements of decision-making processes that are associated with good financial and operational outcomes, whether the goal is revenue growth or cost savings. One relatively straightforward finding is of strong relationships linking financial success, clarity about who is responsible for implementation and the involvement of that individual in the decision-making process. Other important findings concern the types of analysis, discussion, and corporate politics that are associated with successful decision making.
We asked about 11 aspects of analysis. Four are associated with financial success, speed of project completion, cost to implement, and improved efficiency or productivity:
* Performing sensitivity analysis and creating financial-risk models.
* Including comparable situations from one’s own or the firm’s experience.
* Examining the risks of this pro¬j¬ect combined with the risks of other projects in the firm’s portfolio.
* Creating a detailed financial model of the decision.
The survey also indicates that including analogous situations from outside the organisation improves some outcomes, notably expected profitability and revenue growth.
Respondents also describe the discussions surrounding their decisions. Of the eight potential discussion types we asked about three are associated with financial success and with completion of the project in less time than expected:
* Encouragement of participation on the basis of individuals’ skills or experiences.
* Reliance upon transparent approval criteria for the decision.
* Discussion of this decision as part of the firm’s whole portfolio of decisions.
Corporate politics has a bad name, but respondents suggest that the effect of politics depends on the nature of the tactics used. When executives involved in a decision were primarily concerned with its effect on their business unit rather than the overall organisation, for example, financial results and all other measures of success were much likelier to fall far below expectations. Simply put, a silo mind-set hurts performance. In addition, slow project completion times are associated with selective information reporting.
However, the survey results suggest some types of informal alliance-building and horse-trading among executives may help companies make good decisions. We asked about six ways that politics can affect decisions. Better-than-expected completion speed is associated with executives forming alliances to craft consensus for action across business units and with executives making exchanges across alliances to build support for different projects.
Finally, a word about CEO involvement: Respondents say CEOs tended to have a large role in instigating both the most and the least successful decisions. Perhaps this indicates CEOs are more likely than other executives to place or be able to secure approval of risky bets with big upsides and downsides. This result also suggests that thorough examination and devil’s advocacy will be particularly valuable when CEOs champion pet projects.
Unlike the external risks that accompany most strategic initiatives, the analysis of a project its discussion, and the management of the internal politics lie entirely within the control of the top leadership team. Companies not using the best practices identified here should be able to improve their decisions simply by following these guidelines:
* Pay particular attention to the risks of the project, examined through a detailed financial model, sensitivity analysis, and the relationship of those risks to the risks of other projects in the firm’s portfolio. Learning from past comparable situations also is beneficial.
* Ensure that participants in the discussion about any decision are included on the basis of skills and experience, that decision criteria are transparent, and that the decision is discussed in relation to the organisation’s other strategic decisions.
* Put organisational goals ahead of business unit goals, and encourage efforts to build consensus across business units.

Client Centered therapy - Personality development

Carl Rogers, a pioneer in the field of a client centered therapy for personality development, has used the term ‘organism’ for the individual. Reading between the lines, it seems that this organism is no more than the body mind intellect senses quartet. Limited to this framework, his findings and insights may have a lot to offer. But the crux of the problems arises when Rogers states that, as a part of the process of development of the self actualization manifests through differentiation which gradually evolves into a concept of self feeding itself on positive regard. We feel that this kind of theory is relevant largely for mentally abnormal, sub-normal or dilapidated persons in the clinical sense either temporarily or for prolonged spells. This clinical line of demarcation probably assumes that those who do not themselves feel the personal help, or if others do not think that they need such help, they are normal and mentally healthy. Apparently client centered therapy is not then directed towards this assumed healthy group which constitutes the vast majority of humanity. But when the theory and actualization via differentiation, self regard etc., is extended in real life to this healthy group we seem to quickly run all sorts of difficulties. For, years of regular observation of organizational phenomena suggests to us that it is this process of actualization, predominantly via differentiation and its correlates which is at the root of organizational conflict, brittle teamwork fleeting collaboration and cooperation and so on. It fact, the practice of such a theory seems to lead to a deterioration in the health of the healthy group.

Indian thought categorically tells us that this large majority of humans who are clinically grouped as healthy are practically not so. They all need help whether this is so perceived by themselves or others or not. Indian psycho-philosophy therefore offers a therapy all of us in universal, absolute terms, centering on the concept of Self which is altogether more virile, more enriching and super ordinate than what Rogers and others have been able to develop. The keynote of this therapy is the opposite of the differentiation amongst selves. It is the process of discovering unity among all selves and stabilizing oneself in that consciousness. If one goes by the theory of gurus and that of samskaras, none of us really to strive for differentiation. It is an inherent, inbuilt endemic. The real imperative in human development is to consciously strive for the common, integral unified ground amongst ourselves so that the all too frequent rough and sharp edges of differentiation are polished off for the sake of the common good. It is the operationalization of such theory which can effectively resolve conflicts and prolong teamwork in the long run. In Indian thought, the real integration or re-integration of personality for persons in the healthy group too is impossible without resolutely working towards the discovery of the same true Self amongst all with whom they interact. The job at hand is not just to enhance creative thinking but to enhance creative experience too.

Since we are right now dwelling on this vital point, we may as well anticipate the guna theory. Geeta describe the sattwic, rajasic and tamasic understanding of performers. The sattwic worker sees the one Imperishable. Being in all existences, the one indivisible whole in all these divisions. The rajasic worker sees the multiplicity of beings in different existences only in their separateness and variety of operations. And the tamasic worker sees things in a small and narrow way, with no eye for the real. Thus, it is clear that differentiation as the basis for individual identity is the reflection of rajasic or tamastic guna in Indian psychology. This cannot be a sufficient or enduring foundation for individuals, group or organizational effectiveness. Education in and inculcation of sattwic substance attributes can alone prove to be the true anchor.

A good interview at the very first instance

Everyone faces a time in their life when they miserably fail in a job interview. But rather than feeling sad about it and feeling like a looser, it’s important to know how to handle such situations. Read on to find out how to recover from a bad interview and get your job search right back on track:

Never let anxiety cloud your judgment. If you want to recover from a bad interview, you need to evaluate the situation objective. Write down everything that you think went wrong during the interview. This includes questions that were misunderstood important points you forgot to mention, etc. Once your list is complete, think of solutions for your mistakes. This way you will even get to know whether or not you’re responsible for your poor performance. If you have contacts within the company, ask them to take out details including the extent of the damage. You never know, they may even be in a position to put in a good word for you.

Depending on the urgency of the situation, you may want to call the interviewer to clarify some of your blunders. But we suggest you wait for at least two days before doing so to avoid coming off as a neurotic. When you call, casually discuss about the interview, follow up with interviewer. Find out if the interview was fine and if not, make sure you ask where did you go wrong? There are chances that the interviewer might say, “I am busy right now, if you are getting the job, we will contact you”. In this case wait for a day or two.

If nothing is working out in your case or you feel the situation demands drastic measures, your only chance to recover from a bad interview now is to call your employer and ask for a second chance. Try for second interview. But please avoid making this request via mail. Also, keep in mind that by asking for a second interview, you run the risk of flagging up problems the interviewer may not have even noticed. While some employers can be surprisingly accommodating about meeting you again, many view such requests as signs of weakness. So, be very careful and think twice before you ask for a second interview.

Sometimes the damage is just beyond repair. If the employer rejects all your attempts to recover from a bad interview, you have no option but to focus on your next job prospect. Do not dwell on this lost opportunity or let the negative experience shake your confidence. Remember that you already surpassed a number of candidates by actually making it to the interview room at least. Now you need to ensure that your interview with the next company is more successful, and the best way to do this is to learn from your mistakes.

In India it may not be usually possible to seek a second interview for any level position if one has done badly in the first interview. For senior positions the potential employers may seek clarifications themselves from the interviewees if they feel the need for it. Seeking another interview and getting it depends up on how good the interviewee’s professionalism in experience, qualification and present employer.

It is advisable for any potential job seeker to get prepared properly at the very first instance itself rather than go unprepared perform badly and creating the unfortunate necessity of seeking another interview. This it self is viewed by the potential employer as a negative factor.

Managerial effectiveness and Quality of Work life

Identification, there will be little room in our psychic space for either laterally or vertically related organizational members. Extension motivation will continue to remain only an exhortation, and never achieve a real take off. Identification with the woes and worries of others is positively correlated with mis-identification from one’s own self-oriented concerns. One of the best historical working models of this principle is the life of Buddha. True leadership depends, in a large measure, on one’s capacity for such mis-identification.

After repeating this set of affirmations, consisting of four identifications and a final identification a number of times, one should try to concentrate on a steady, luminous spherical core in the psychic heart center. Or it could be imagined as a steady, effulgent flame. Alternately, for some it could be a luminous personality like the Christ or the Buddha or any chosen deity depending on one’s mental affinity. In each case it is not the object or individual which is the real purpose of concentration – but the pure consciousness which it symbolizes. Through practice (and, of course, supported by regular reading of and reflection on relevant literature), when our ability to visualize and rally around this inner core of pure consciousness i.e. the true Self, undistributed by the turmoils of the body-mind-senses-intellect quartet, becomes fairly stable, we may strive to see the same core in others – our colleagues, or friends and even our foes. This progress can be achieved because the theory behind the exercise offered above is that the manager is de-egoizing from his small, unripe, executive self and re-Egoizing in the bigger, ripe, witness Self. Such a balancing effort is the key to the reduction of pettiness in organizations, and to the restoration of dignity in work life.

Usually, in the early phases of our efforts, we shall fail to do this when we are in physical proximity to our colleagues. So we may try the process repeat again that the fallacy imbedded in such in conclusion is that we mistake the ultimate end state achieved only by a few great souls in world history for the prolonged actual process. The true import for an organizational member, if he or she were to embark on this exercise for liberation founded on the true Self, is that the member should slowly begin to be liberated from the burning effects of jealousy, the gnawing effects of pride, the choking effect of intrigue, the stifling effects of attempts to outbid others, the debasing effects of greed, the intoxicating effects of power, the demoralizing effects of a cherished reward not received, and the like. His or her higher Self stands far above these turbid waters of the empirical or lower self. It is unfortunate that professional literature scarcely acknowledges these musky aspects of so called self-awareness. But who should not wish to liberate himself from these processes of inner destruction once it is appreciated that it is not sufficient to accept these features as only natural for humans to exhibit. Viewed in this way, the working implications of the concept of true Self are entirely practical and vital.

Conclusion: Disidentification and Re-identification

It is psychological truth that we are enslaved or dominated by that with which we identify ourselves. We as parents normally feel disinclined to eat our food if our children go hungry even or a day. But our throats are not choked by the sight or thought of so many naked children on the streets of our cities who go hungry day after day. We lose sleep awaiting the news of a promotion, but the plight of numberless unemployed individuals does not cause even a flutter in our hearts. Thus, though unaware, we are continually and overwhelmingly identifying ourselves with certain aspects of our existence while, conversely, dis-identifying from others. The line drawn between the two sets self evident and we need not dwell on it here.

Recruiters must have clear ideas what they want

The purpose of recruitment is to provide a group of candidates that is large enough to let managers select the qualified employees they need. Sony is constantly looking for the very best engineering talent in general, and it seeks people to fill specific openings in the organization as well.

Job and position Descriptions:

Before employees can be recruited, recruiters must have some clears ideas regarding the activities and responsibilities required in the job being filed. Jon analysis is therefore an early step in the recruitment process. Once a specific job has been analyzed, a written statement of its content and location is incorporated into the organization chart. This statement is called either a job description or a position description. Each box on the organization chart is linked to a description that lists the title, duties, and responsibilities for that position. For example, a brief position description might read as follows: Sales Manager: Duties included hiring, training and supervising small sales staff and administration of sales department; responsible for performance of department; reports to Division manager.

Once the position description has been determined, an accompanying hiring or job specification is developed. The hiring specification defines the education, experience and skills an individual must have in order to perform effectively in the position. The hiring specification for sales manager might read: Position requires BBA degree; five years’ experience in sales and two years’ supervisory experience; energetic motivated individual with well developed interpersonal skills.

Sources for Recruitment:

Recruitment takes place within a labor market – that is, the pool of available people who have the skills to fill open positions. The labor market changes over time in response to environmental factors. As Sony became a more global company it had to learn to recruit in many different labor markets.

Sources for recruitment depend on the availability of the right kinds of people in the local labor pool as well as on the nature of the positions to be filed. An organization’s ability to recruit employees often hinges as much on the organization’s reputation and the attractiveness of its location as on the attractiveness of the specific job offer. If people with the appropriate skills are not available within the organization or in the local pool, they may have to be recruited from some distance away or perhaps from competing organizations.

Outside recruitment for managers and professionals:

Large companies use various outside recruitment sources to fill vacancies at different level of management. For many large companies, college and graduate school campuses are a major source of entry level and new managerial help. Campus recruiting however has some disadvantages: The recruitment process can be quite expensive and it is not uncommon for hired graduates to leave an organization after two or three years. When recruiting to fill middle management and top level positions many large companies resort to even costlier and more competitive hiring strategies.

When top quality ability is in short supply, middle management recruitment often requires the services of placement agencies or the purchase of expensive ads in newspapers and national publications. And when recruiting is done to fill top level positions, many corporate managements turn to executive search firms. These firms generally locate there or four carefully considered prospects who are highly qualified and can be enticed from their present positions by the right offer.

Federal Express has 25 recruitment centers around the country where candidates are screened. Often a peer recruiter is used – someone with actual experience in the type of work for which applicants are being recruited. Thus system offers dual benefits: the recruit sees first hand the type of person who would be suited for the position, and at the same time, the recruiter can offer an experience based, realistic image of what the position is like.

The purpose of recruitment is to provide a group of candidates that is large enough to let managers select the qualified employees they need. Sony is constantly looking for the very best engineering talent in general, and it seeks people to fill specific openings in the organization as well.

Job and position Descriptions:

Before employees can be recruited, recruiters must have some clears ideas regarding the activities and responsibilities required in the job being filed. Jon analysis is therefore an early step in the recruitment process. Once a specific job has been analyzed, a written statement of its content and location is incorporated into the organization chart. This statement is called either a job description or a position description. Each box on the organization chart is linked to a description that lists the title, duties, and responsibilities for that position. For example, a brief position description might read as follows: Sales Manager: Duties included hiring, training and supervising small sales staff and administration of sales department; responsible for performance of department; reports to Division manager.

Once the position description has been determined, an accompanying hiring or job specification is developed. The hiring specification defines the education, experience and skills an individual must have in order to perform effectively in the position. The hiring specification for sales manager might read: Position requires BBA degree; five years’ experience in sales and two years’ supervisory experience; energetic motivated individual with well developed interpersonal skills.

Sources for Recruitment:

Recruitment takes place within a labor market – that is, the pool of available people who have the skills to fill open positions. The labor market changes over time in response to environmental factors. As Sony became a more global company it had to learn to recruit in many different labor markets.

Sources for recruitment depend on the availability of the right kinds of people in the local labor pool as well as on the nature of the positions to be filed. An organization’s ability to recruit employees often hinges as much on the organization’s reputation and the attractiveness of its location as on the attractiveness of the specific job offer. If people with the appropriate skills are not available within the organization or in the local pool, they may have to be recruited from some distance away or perhaps from competing organizations.

Outside recruitment for managers and professionals:

Large companies use various outside recruitment sources to fill vacancies at different level of management. For many large companies, college and graduate school campuses are a major source of entry level and new managerial help. Campus recruiting however has some disadvantages: The recruitment process can be quite expensive and it is not uncommon for hired graduates to leave an organization after two or three years. When recruiting to fill middle management and top level positions many large companies resort to even costlier and more competitive hiring strategies.

When top quality ability is in short supply, middle management recruitment often requires the services of placement agencies or the purchase of expensive ads in newspapers and national publications. And when recruiting is done to fill top level positions, many corporate managements turn to executive search firms. These firms generally locate there or four carefully considered prospects who are highly qualified and can be enticed from their present positions by the right offer.

Federal Express has 25 recruitment centers around the country where candidates are screened. Often a peer recruiter is used – someone with actual experience in the type of work for which applicants are being recruited. Thus system offers dual benefits: the recruit sees first hand the type of person who would be suited for the position, and at the same time, the recruiter can offer an experience based, realistic image of what the position is like.

“Selection” is not recruitment

The selection process ideally involves mutual decision. The organization decides whether to make a job offer how attractive it should be, and the job candidate decides whether the organization and the job offer fit his or her needs and goals. In reality, the selection process is often more one sided. In situations when the job market is extremely tight several candidates will be applying for each position, and managers at the organizations will use a series of screening devices to identify the most suitable candidate. On the other hand, when there is a shortage of qualified workers, or when the candidate is a highly qualified executive of professional being courted by several organizations, managers at the organization will have to sweeten the offer and come to a quicker decision.

Steps in the Selection Process:

In practice, however, the actual selection process varies with different organizations and between levels in the same organization. For example, the selection interview for lower level employees may be quite perfunctory. Heavy emphasis may be placed instead on the initial screening interview or on tests. Although written tests designed to define a candidate’s interests, aptitudes, and intelligence were long a staple of employment screening, their use has declined over the past 25 years. Many tests have proved to be discriminatory in their design and results, and it has been difficult to establish their job relatedness when they have been subjected to judicial review.

In selecting middle or upper level managers, the interviewing may be extensive and there may be little or no formal testing. Instead of initially filling out an application, the candidate may submit a resume. Completion of the formal application may be delayed until after the job offer has been accepted. Some organizations omit the physical examination for managers hired at this level.

For many positions, particularly in management the in depth interview is an important factor in management’s decision to make a job offer and in the individual’s decision to accept or decline the offer. The most effective interviews those that are best able to predict the eventual performance of applicants are usually planned carefully. Ideally, all candidates for the same position are asked the same questions. Most interviewers however, tend to be far less structured and deliberate.

The reliability of the interview may be affected by the differing objectives of the interviewer and interviewee. The prospective employer wants to sell the organization as a good place to work and may therefore exaggerate its strengths; the prospective employee wants to be hired and may therefore exaggerate his or her qualities. Some managers have attempted to reduce this problem through the realistic job preview (RJD), in which candidates are exposed to the unattractive as well as the attractive aspects of the job, and by using structured, focused interviews to acquire a more accurate picture of each interviewee’s likely job performance.

Managers at the British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC) have developed a new strategy for job assessment. When the program was introduced, an independent consultant carried out job analyses through structured interviews to determine what each job entails. Now, when a position opens, ads run that invite inquiries. When people inquire, the BBC responds with detailed information about the job and a self selection guide. The emphasis now is on giving information to the applicant. Before, without much information aside from the initial ad, the applicant would merely complete forms, which were then used to screen applicants for interviews. Now, not only is the list of suitable candidates narrowed down by self selection, but the interviews themselves are more detailed than in the past, often involving a visit to the workplace, a group exercise, a written expression test, and a panel interview.

Formal Systematic Appraisals

Formal systematic appraisal usually occurs semiannually or annually. Formal appraisal has four major purposes: (1) to let employees know formally how their current performance is being rated; (2) to identify employees who deserve merit raises; (3) to locate employees who need additional training, and (4) to identify candidates for promotion.

It is important for managers to differentiate between the current performance and the potential performance of employees. Managers in many organizations fail to make this distinction because they assume that a person with the skills and ability to perform well in one job will automatically perform well in a different or more responsible position. This is why people are often promoted to positions in which they cannot perform adequately.

Who is responsible for formal performance appraisals? In answer to this question, four basic appraisal approaches have evolved in organizations. The first approach, a manager’s rating of an employee, is by far the most common. However, other approaches are becoming more popular and can be a valuable supplement to appraisal by a single person.

A group of managers rating an employee is the second most frequently used appraisal approach. Employees are rated by a managerial committee or by a series of managers who fill out separate rating forms. Because it relies on a number of views, this approach is often more effective than appraisal by a single manager. However, it is time consuming and often dilutes employees’ feelings of accountability to their immediate supervisor.

The third appraisal approach is a group of peers rating a colleague. The individual is rated separately and on paper by co-workers on the same organizational level.

The fourth approach is employees’ rating of bosses. This approach is used in some colleges where faculty are asked to evaluate their dean on a number of performance measures. But it is increasingly used at businesses that are responding to the furor of dynamic engagement. At AT&T and other companies many employees rate their bosses in what is called “3600 Feedback.” Even the chairman gets a review from his direct subordinates.

Compensation:

Compensation has traditionally been linked to a particular job or job description. The general idea is that the more responsibility a manager has, the more compensation he or she should earn. Oftentimes jobs are rated by a job evaluation system which measures such variables as the number of subordinates, level in the organizational hierarchy, and the complexity and importance of the job function. In such a traditional or bureaucratic approach, senior organizational executives tend to be paid very well. Lower level employees may be well paid, especially in the United States and Europe, but they have been increasingly under utilized. When competition from other countries with lower pay scales emerges, companies find they are no longer competitive. Compensation systems that make organizations more productive must therefore be devised.

Compensation should be linked to the process of setting and achieving organizational objectives. Many organizations have adopted a new approach to compensation that avoids the sometimes bureaucratic and hierarchical linkage to job descriptions and spans of control. This new approach dubbed ‘the new way’ or it is sometimes called strategic pay. The new pay approach is based on responses to the world of dynamic engagement that organizations face. New global competition and a changing labor force spell the need for creative human resources strategies, especially with regard to compensation.

The new pay consists of strategic approach to total compensation. Total compensation involves base pay, variable pay (often called “inventive pay”) and indirect pay (often called benefits). Organizations attempt to match base pay with labor market conditions in order to have competitively priced labor forces at their disposal. Incentive or variable pay is used to reward performance improvements. In addition, it gives management and employees the idea that they are partners in the competitive success of their organizations. Indirect pay or benefits have changed dramatically during the last few years as many organizations have moved toward flexible benefits packages that allow employees to tailor packages to their particular situations. On issues such as health care benefits, many organizations are experimenting with cost sharing techniques.

By linking base pay to the labor to the labor market and variable pay to the success of the organization, managers can use the compensation system to foster teamwork and other organizational goals. At Johnsonville Sausage, for example hourly workers have a base pay rate determined by the labor market. Since the goals of Johnsonville Sausage include the self improvement of its employees and the encouragement of teamwork, the company has linked an increase in the base pay arte with the education and skill training of the employees and an annual bonus with overall organizational performance. Many consulting firms and investment banks adopt strategic pay. They compensate people at a base rate necessary to hire and keep the best people, and they offer bonuses based on firm or work group performance.

Depression is not a permanent Condition

No one is always depressed whether at work place or any where else. Depression isn’t a permanent condition like losing a leg. It’s a state that people can get in to and out of. In fact, most people who are experiencing depression have had many happy experiences in their lives may be even as many or more than the average person. They just don’t represent these experiences to themselves in a bright, large, associated way they may also represent happy times as far away instead of close. Take a moment now and remember an event that happened last week and push it far away. Does it seem as recent an experience to you any more? What if you bring it closer? Doesn’t it now seem more recent? Some people take their happy experiences of the moment and push them far away so they seem like long ago, and store their problems up close. Haven’t you ever heard a person say, “I just need to get a break from my work? You don’t have to fly to some distant land to do this. Just relax at home with family or go to nearest resort and push them far away from you in your mind and notice the difference. People who feel depressed often have their brains filled to capacity with big, loud, close, heavy, insistent images of the bad times and only thin, gray wafers for the good times. The way to change isn’t to wallow in the bad memories; it’s to change the sub-modalities the very structure of the memories themselves. Next, link what used to make you feel bad to new representations that make you feel like taking the challenges of life with vigor, humor, patience, and strength.

Some people say wait a second, you can’t change things so quickly. Why not? It’s often much easier to grasp something in a flash than over a long period of time. That’s how the brain learns to relax. Think of how you watch a movie. You view thousands of frames and put them together into a dynamic whole. What if you watched one frame and then an hour later looked at another and then a day or two later watched a third? Personal change can work the same way. If you do something, if you make a change in your mind right now, if you change your state and your behavior, you can show your self in the most impressive way at work. That’s more potent jolt than months of anguished thought. Quantum physics tell us that things do not change slowly over time they make quantum leaps. We jump from one level of experience to another. If you don’t like how you feel, change what you represent to yourself. It’s that simple.

Let’s look at another example – love. Love, for most of us, is a wonderful, ethereal, almost mystical experience. It’s also important, from a modeling point of view, to note that love is a state, and like all states, all results, it is produced by specific sets of actions or stimuli when they are perceived or represented in certain ways. How do you fall in love? One of the most important perceptual ingredients of falling in love is associating with all things you love about someone and disassociating from the things you don’t, falling in love can be such a heady, disorienting feeling because it’s not a balanced one. You’re not making a balance sheet of a person’s good and bad qualities, running it through a computer and seeing what comes out. You’re totally associated with a few elements of another person that you find intoxicating. You’re not even aware, in that moment, at least, of that person’s faults.

Learning to be happy at work

Every professional and an employee knows how bad the current economic condition is – no jobs, more pay cuts, layoffs, higher workload, no bonus, no appraisal and what is even worse is that every one’s living in the fear of loosing their job any minute. One can totally understand how stressful all this is for working professionals and employees. Buy you need to cope with all these issues or you’ll find it really hard to concentrate on your work and do a good job. Here is how you can divert your mind from this stressful situation and be happy at work.

When you are overloaded with personal issues, it’s really difficult to concentrate on work and be happy at your workplace. So, learn to share your problems with a close colleague. Do not keep your problems to yourself or you will end up feeling depressed. Follow one simple rule and you will always be happy in life. Leave your personal worries at home and your professional issues at work and then see the change in you. In fact this will help you stay focused and productive at work.

Make yourself comfortable at work: You must be spending at least eight hours a day at work, which obviously means that you spend more time in office than at home. So, make your space your own, do all that you like at your desk put pictures of you and you friends on your wall board. You could decorate your area as much your company policy permits, and make yourself as comfortable and relaxed as you can be in your office.

Have an office support system: Being good friends with a colleague who shares a similar kind of lifestyle can take a lot of pressure off you at work, trust us. When you are able to share your feelings with a colleague who understands you really well, it helps minimize stress to a great extent.

Maintaining a good diet and drinking loads of water can really make a huge difference in your energy level and attitude. When we say good diet, we mean avoid eating too much of refined food such as sugar and bread.

Once you reach office, do not stick to your seat and keep working the whole day. Move around a little. Go out for a cup of Tea or coffee with your colleagues, chat with your teammates or read something interesting but do not be a workaholic.

Don’t try to change others: You obviously can’t change any one you can only bring about changes in yourself. Just figure out a way to resolve conflicts and avert uncomfortable situations and you will be much happier at work.

Treat yourself once in a while: Think of something that will really make you happy. We mean reward your self once in a while. Whether it be dinner with family or friends, a movie, or even a manicure, but treat yourself once in a while. Just like how stress from home can interfere with work, the positive aspects of your life can greatly influence your mood at work as well.

Focus on the positive: Identify all those things you like at work. It can be chatting with your friends online from work in your free time or even a nice view from your office window. You create your own mind-set. If you stress the positives, you will make your job much more enjoyable but if you keep stressing on all your negatives, it may cause you to become overwhelmed.

Things you can do during your lay-off

Today many professionals have ample time on their hands as a result of lay-offs and forced holidays.

Many professionals saw their career graph also taking a downward turn as the markets came crashing down. Most people are today worried about their future, while those who have faced the brunt of lay offs are struggling to find their place in the market all over again, those who escaped the axe are dreading the pink slip.

While there is no denying the fact that the situation is grave and demands attention, there is no point tormenting your self all the time. So why not change your perspective and look at things in a positive light? Perhaps it’s time to give your life a positive turn.

Update yourself: This is the best time to hone your skills further. For example, let us consider the case of RB, who had enrolled for a Diploma in Training and Development conducted by Ministry of HRD a year back. Due to tremendous workload, RB was unable to balance work and academics. The recession has taken a toll on her work. But the brighter side is that now she has the time to study. Initially she was dejected; but the thought of completing things had put on hibernation. She is appearing for the exams this year. The cherry on the pie is that she will get the qualification. She is also exploring new avenues like developing content for training programs so that when the markets pick up she can be ready.

Pursuing a hobby is always an enriching activity. Creative satisfaction gives you positive energy which in turn activates your feel good hormones. So why not pursue a hobby?

Art is my big time stress buster states an International Sales Manager who has taken up painting. He always wanted to paint, but due to hectic working hours could not pursue it. Now he is a student of a well known artist and really enjoying it. He is at peace with him self and this also helped him cope up with the work related stress.

For TA, who used to work with one of the popular organizations in the country, writing was always his passion. But he never had the time in a 12 hour job, which included four hours of traveling. His job as GM – Training became a victim of recession. During the notice period, he had time to reinvent himself. He says he is utilizing this time constructively for writing a book on training. The project has taken off and he is in talks with publishers. He has even created a blog that has got readers from more than 35 countries. He feels strongly this is a time for pursuing his dreams.

Social service:

It is perhaps time to do whatever little you can to help society. Join a NGO and make a difference in others lives. Volunteer for a cause that is close to your heart. Try and teach underprivileged children or be a caregiver to needy patients. You can bring a smile on many faces.

If you have a knack of teaching, you can start teaching. It will not only keep you busy, but also help you gain expertise over the topic and boost your confidence.

Entrepreneurship and innovation increase during tough times. Although companies lay off full time employees to cut costs, they rope in independent contractors. Don’t let fear hold you back. As it is said, there is an opportunity in very problems.

This is the best time to get back in shape as the time factor is no longer an excuse. If you cannot afford to take a gym membership, start cycling, go for walks, jog or run on the beach. Meet your friends for a game of football. Remember staying fit will pay you back in dividends that go far beyond monetary gain.

When you work for endless hours, it becomes difficult to find time for your family. Now is your time to be with your family. Strengthen your bonds. Spend quality time with your spouse and children. You could also catch up with relatives or friends with whom you haven’t connected for a long time.

It is important to be optimistic and be in the company of positive people. Do not moan over your problems; it will leave you depressed. Keep looking out for a job, socialize and network. Meditation helps keep the mind calm.

Remember this phase is not going to last forever; soon the scenario will change. Always keep your head up and stay focused on the brighter future. Look at the silver lining.