Friday, November 03, 2006

Friday Dressing policy !!!

Someone sent this to me. I wouldn't be surprised if this actually happened in an organisation.... I know of a few organisation where something close to this happened.

What Do You Wear As Casuals On Fridays???

Week 1 - Memo No. 1
Effective this week, the Company is adopting Fridays as Casual Day. Employees are free to dress in the Casual attire of their choice.

Week 3 - Memo No. 2
Spandex or leather clothing are not appropriate attire for Casual Day. Neither are string ties, ornate belt buckles or moccasins.

Week 6 - Memo No. 3
Casual Day refers to dress only, not attitude. When planning Friday's wardrobe, remember image is a key to our success.

Week 8 - Memo No. 4
A seminar on how to dress for Casual Day will be held at 4 p.m. Friday in the cafeteria. A fashion show will follow. Attendance is mandatory.

Week 9 - Memo No. 5
As an outgrowth of Friday's seminar, a 14-member Casual Day Task Force has been appointed to prepare guidelines for proper Casual Day dress.

Week 14 - Memo No. 6
The Casual Day Task Force has now completed a 30-page manual entitled "Relaxing Dress Without Relaxing Company Standards". A copy has been distributed to every employee. Please review the chapter "You Are What You Wear" and consult the "home casual" versus "business Casual" checklist before leaving for work each Friday.
If you have doubts about the appropriateness of an item of clothing, contact your CDTF representative before 7 a.m. on Friday.

Week 18 - Memo No. 7
Our Employee Assistant Plan (EAP) has now been expanded to provide support for psychological counseling for employees who may be having difficulty adjusting to Casual Day.

Week 20 - Memo No. 8
Due to budget cuts in the HR Department, we are no longer able to effectively support or manage Casual Day. Casual Day will be discontinued, effective immediately.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Happy Diwali !!!

Wishing all of you a very Happy Diwali and a Prosperous New Year ahead!!!


Thursday, August 03, 2006

People !! I am loving it !!

Its been a long time I wrote something and the usual excuse applies to me, just been too swamped with work.

During all this hectic time, I ended up meeting a lot of young, bright, exciting people and interview them for a new team that we were setting up.

My favorite question in the interview used to be so why do you want to join HR or why did you choose HR as your calling. I guess I do this to get some sadistic pleasure out of their responses and my own experiences of being HR as well as of getting services from HR.

Most of the time the first response is "I love people hence HR". I always wondered do these guys even know what they are getting into, HR is not about loving people at all in the way its delivered in todays day and world.

Would you do the following if you really loved these people unless you were one of the animal lovers who say "I love animals, they are tasty" -

- Fire people to improve the profitability of the company
- Force managers to reduce the ratings of people to meet the bell curve even if they have done a good job
- Make policies to stop 2% of the population from doing wrong things inconveniencing all others
- Make life miserable for anybody who quits
- Get people to work harder even if they do not like it (without paying overtime)

I can go on and on on this and I guess you get the drift.

I also assume that most people who joined HR did so because they love people. If the state of affairs on HR is as pathetic as it is today, I sometimes wonder how it would be if HR did not love people.

One just needs to go and ask the people HR folks love about how much they love HR in return and I am sure that if it was not illegal they would love to throw the HR folks out of the 20th storey window.

So my simple advice to anybody joining HR because they love people is to just become a social worker.

Else you may have to find some really good organisation, sorry I am not aware or any, where HR actually does things out of their love for people.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Being connected with business

Recently we went for a meeting with an organisation which wanted us to help them with their HR programs. The top management of the organisation felt that the HR programs were not helping their organisation achieve what the organisation wanted to. We met up with a few people in the organisation and finally people from the HR department.

The HR folks gave us an impression that everything was on track and things were completely all right. They did not think there was much that needed improvement while agreeing that there was always scope for improvement. From our earlier discussions with the other folks in the organisation we were thinking "scope for improvement - WOW". The HR folks had no clue about what the business leaders wanted from the department. They were happy that they had put policies in place, done compensation review and created new forms for performance appraisals.

I can only explain the thoughts going on in my mind by using an example I had read somewhere else. To me it was like the case of Fardeen Khan believing that he was acting fine. Innumerable times I have been in situations where the HR department is completely not in sync with what people in the organisation or the business leaders are thinking about their services. They keep coming up with new fads and believe that since they have designed the new Performance appraisal form using some new jargon they are doing a great job.

My simple thought for HR folks is to reach out to the various stakeholders and first understand what they are expecting out of the department. Also try and understand the business and what the organisation is going thru because of the changing realities of business. If they can understand that then I am sure they can provide better services.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Main, meri naukri aur WOH

One of my HR friend's reaction when I told him I work in the outsourcing space was 'so you are the guys who are after our jobs'. This friend did not mean it seriously but one gets this reaction many a times. My friend asked me to write about how HR guys can ensure that their jobs don't get outsourced. I only want to tell you my friend that you have already begun the journey of outsouring by asking me to do this thinking on your behalf :)).

I made a promise that I am going to put my thoughts around how HR guys can ensure that their jobs don't get outsourced, now its a bad business decision, but a promise is a promise.

In one simple sentence how an HR guy can ensure that his / her job does not get outsourced is by doing what HR is supposed to do. Now one can argue that this is just a play of words. So let me explain my thinking behind this statement.

HR is supposed to help attract the right talent, motivate them to give their best and help retain the right kind of skills in the organisation. HR is supposed to ensure that there is alignment between the business requirements and how people deliver against the requirements. HR is supposed to help nurture current talent and build future capabilities to ensure the organisation can continuously meet ever changing business realities. HR is suppposed to understand the everchanging needs of the employees in the organisation and bringing about an alignment between these needs and organisation needs. If you are in the space of doing any of these or similar kind of things, then in my opinion your jobs are not getting outsourced in the near future.

But if your work is in the area of liasoning with recruiting agencies, shortlisting bio-ds, co-ordinating interview schedules, ensuring people attend training, organising training schedules, ensure people comply to policies, ensuring performance forms are filled by everyone and so on, then in the first place you need to realise that you are involved not in an HR job but an admin job. Administrative and repetitive and in consoolt-speak 'non-value adding activities' are best managed either by technology or by processes.

So here I rest my case and hope that my dear fellow HR friends will live in peace that their jobs are not getting outsourced in the near future at least.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Outsourcing basics

I got involved in a conversation to outsource a few of the HR processes for a large client. The client listened to our team for about an hour and agreed to look at the option of outsourcing. We went back saying we need to understand more about you organisation before we can provide you with a quote. The client is in a tremendous hurry to outsource so they wanted something quick. We sent in a template asking for some basic information. The client refused to provide any information due to lack of time on their part.

I got into a call with the HR head who could not understand why we wanted all this information when no other company which was in the process was asking for. In his opinion since we were doing this for lot of clients we should be able to provide a quote from our experience. I went into the process of explaining why we needed each bit of information and the role it played in our framing the proposal. The conversation ended kind off with the client saying since we were the only ones asking for such information and also the fact that they did not have time to do any data collection hence it was deduced that we were probably not interested in their business. Now you may probably not see a logical way of arriving at that conclusion but thats how it was.

The most important lesson that I have learnt all these years is that if you want to get into a successful outsourcing relationship do your homework first. Wherever we have got into situations where the client was not prepared, we have burnt our fingers badly. Once you have got a client who is unprepared and you have a committment to deliver the client most often only wants to talk about your committment not their part of the deal.

My simple thought hence for all outsourcers is look for clients who have thought thru their decision of outsourcing you will have a easier life.