Friday, 17 February 2012


I was recently going through some articles and found something very interesting... I have heard people always tell me be optimistic, don't be a pessimist.. Seldom do they tell us why they want us to be optimistic. Well, I have understood and felt for myself a few good things of being optimistic myself. So, i thought why not share it with you guys...
According to the article published by Mr V Chako Jacob on Trainer's forum he says that research has found that optimists do a lot better than pessimists in terms of 

  1. Health
  2. Wealth 
  3. Career Success
  • Health: I have experienced this myself, since I began thinking better of myself and stopped worrying unnecessarily my health improved dramatically. Like they say, there's no point in worrying about something that has happened and no point in worrying about something we cant do anything about. That just wastes our time and energy and spoils our health. Optimists also get well sooner than the pessimists.( You must have seen people who keep smiling in hospital beds get out of them sooner than the one's crying in it)
  • Wealth: Optimists unlike the pessimists don't worry about what they have earned and make use of it wisely to make more progress where the pessimists would still be thinking of all the negative aspects of their actions they haven't taken.
  • Career Success: In a certain company to identify a distinguishing factor of the high achievers from the low achievers they made them take a test where a certain section tested and weighed their optimism. The results of the optimism test scale revealed that all the high achievers scored the highest in that section and low achievers invariably scored low.
Now the article also tells about how to boost our optimism. Some of the interesting techniques I got from the article and from my own research are as follows:
  1. Use positive affirmations: Nothing brings out optimism than positive affirmations. Use them whenever you want a boost of positivity. These words and statements would bring an optimistic energy into your present.
  2. Straight posture and big steps: Before you straighten your head straighten your body. When you see a person walking tall with sturdy steps you see confidence and when you do that yourself you feel confident. 
  3. Use cheerful voice: Have you ever noticed your mood changing from sad or worried to cheerful when your kid or pet running to you with enthusiasm or when someone you love or you need to impress comes up to you and talks to you? This is the most fastest way to become positive, act cheerful and you will feel cheerful.
  4. Have Upbeat Attitudes: When you have a problem immediately think of a solution rather than ponder on the problem. Think of the way to overcome in than dissect the reason it happened. Concentrate on the strengths all the time rather than on the weaknesses. 
  5. Use Upbeat words:  Use positive words in speech even when talking of once problems, think of them as situations that let you be better next time. Talk positively about others.
  6. Become a role model yourself- Let your colleagues, peers, superiors and employees see you WALKING TALL, SPEAKING CHEERFULLY, USING UPBEAT WORDS AND CONCENTRATING ON SOLUTIONS.
Just remember, even a positive life has its own ups and downs else life will be very boring...

Hope you guys liked the post, Don't forget to share your views and comments...

Friday, 30 December 2011

Hostile and Uninterested Co-worker.

Have you ever come across a co-worker who is hostile towards you and others? Or are you one such person who gets agitated by your co-workers, who doesn't like the various activities that happen in your office or who tries to stay away from any such activities??
I have been rather shy than being hostile and have wondered how such an attitude can be changed. Because, indulging in such office activities will not only bring us closer to our colleagues but also increase our work satisfaction. I have some findings which can help you bring you and your colleagues out of their shell.

I remember a friend once telling me that someone opined to her that I was negative and people wanted to stay away from me.
This has been haunting me since then. I didn't know that people think of me that way. And often wondered how to get rid of that tag.
Similarly wanted to find out ways to identify such people and lend a helping hand to them. Here's what I found.

  • Listen to the employee or the co worker's complaints till you feel that he/she feels heard out or listened to. Because most of the times negative statements are repeated over and over when they feel that its not been conveyed. Make sure you have actively listened to them by convincing them with clarification questions.
  • If you believe an employee has legitimate reasons for negativity, offer to help them solve their issue. Advise them and provide them with coherent ideas.
  • At times people just want to speak out to friendly ears and may not want an advice or idea. In such situations listen, but set limits and make them understand that such consistent negativity would not only affect you but also the person creating it. And it would affect not only their productivity but also their reputation among peers and associates. This would not only warn them of their over doing might also enhance their trust in you thus even drop in a positiveness through your concern.
  • If you believe the negativity is unwanted do not spend time listening it will only encourage long term negative feelings.
  • Making them feel more comfortable and less challenged will also help them reduce the negative attitude.
  • Informing the HR department or the superior, so that they can understand the root cause of the negativity and help the person solve the issue.
These are some of the simple things I could come across. Please feel free to express your comments and share more ideas to this.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

More on Secure Workplaces and Employer Responsibility

In my last post I mentioned of a certain retail industry "heavy weight" and their safety measures regarding women working till late shifts. When such offers are rejected they come up with accusations like "independent women shouldn't have such a stand", does that mean women who consider themselves independent should also think they are not harm-able? That was the most absurd allegation I have ever heard from people occupying high corporate positions.
Well, now coming to the real crux of this post: I what ways can HR take responsibility of the employees safety and thus increase their effectiveness and work satisfaction. When an employee feels he / she is not safe physically this does create pressure from family and in turn tensions. The most important aim of workplace safety is to protect the most valuable assets of an organisation "THE HUMAN RESOURCE".
The HR department can take care of this aspect and make employees fear-free and risk free in terms of providing them a safe work place and safer transportation during wee hours.

  • Providing reliable and safe accommodation- if not provided at least information on such available near the company location.
  • Providing transportation with security personnel appointed after thorough background check along with continuous and vigilant followup.
  • Proper communication channels in case of any security related issues- Employees should be alerted on the contact numbers and persons who are responsible for safety and security so that they can be reached in emergencies.
  • Regular and strict monitoring of the safety measures undertaken.
  • Proper education of all employees in terms of safety and security measures.
  • Surveillance- proper surveillance and vigilant monitoring can also keep a lot of safety problems at bay.
  •  And most of all abiding by the rules and regulations put forth by the central and state governments in terms of employee safety. ( I've heard many companies utilizing fire-exits as storage spaces, hiring private vehicles for employee transportation- a little more effort can actually avoid big tragedies)

Please write in what are the various safety measures that your organizations follow or if you have any new ideas please do share it so that all of us can broaden our knowledge in this matter.


Saturday, 3 December 2011

Does your employer comply to this...?

Equal opportunity to all- when people cry out this slogan for equal rights for women can they also ensure safe working conditions for them in the same work environment and work timings as men. I have heard some people mention that in states like Maharashtra the government has brought in laws to safeguard the women employees.
And I found these regulations which I thought should be known by both men and women.
On 16th August 2005, The Factories (Amendment) Act 2005 was introduced in the Loksabha. The Bill proposed to amend section 66 of the Factories Act 1948 so as to provide flexibility in the matter of employment of women during night shift with adequate safeguards, dignity, honor and transportation.
  • No women is required or allowed to work in any establishment after 9.30pm.
  • Special arrangement should be made for protection of female employees working before 6 am and after 8.30 pm including transportation.
  • Female employees should be provided job jointly or in a group.
  • Arrangement of rest rooms and lockers should be made for all women employees.
  • No women employee should be asked to come for night shifts for more than 15 days.
  • Under clause 9.1 of IT and ITES policy 2003 of Govt of Maharashtra it is proposed that every vehicle transporting women employees be issued special pass.
  • Every company should provide a security guard with the vehicle for the women employee.
The reason I chose to write this topic is because, I recently was interviewed by a company and I even decided to join them. But neither did they provide any accommodation or help in finding one nor were they ready to provide any security or protection for night travel. Now even though the job doesn't go beyond 9, don't you think they should at least have a security to escort the person to the public transport?
Please share your views and comments, and please correct me if I am wrong regarding the regulation.


Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Motivation and mistakes...

Recently I've written a about motivation, retention, retention during financial crisis and so on.. And the techniques and exercises mentioned there were tried and tested ones. Now will there be any techniques that can go wrong? Some motivational techniques can go wrong as well.
  • When we think of motivating employees the first thing that comes to mind is 'money'. More money is the best incentive. Money does usually get the work done, but studies have proven that giving more money makes it a mere transaction whereas gifts build a relationship.
  • Finding the mistakes is good but always concentrating on the negatives will only pull down the confidence of the employees. So rather than mistakes the strengths should be highlighted.
I would like to add something here from experience- my superior used to find our faults and let us all know about it in the team meeting, but he always fell short on highlighting each of our strengths. We began our day with the negatives being marked in the brightest colors which never motivated us.
  • Following other companies practices, this is because those companies have formulated a motivation plan by streamlining their processes, cultures, management practices and benefits. This may not be the right plan for another company as they might have different practices, benefit plans and the rest.
  • Not having the trained managers or not training the managers to manage the employees and be accountable for the results of the team as a whole.
Another interesting note I read is a good manager removes the obstacles in the path of his employee making his work easier, and thought wow!. Wish we had managers like that who work with the employees, understand their mistakes and guide them than just dictate.

Will get back with more, by then please share your ideas and what you think shouldn't be done in the name of motivation.


Friday, 25 November 2011

Financial crisis and Employee Retention

In the previous posts I had written about motivation and retention in normal circumstances. After reading it someone asked me How can employees be retained during financial crisis?. The first thing that came to my mind is that; if an employee has to stay with an employer at the time of need, it has to be because of their loyalty and a feeling of being a part of that organization. This can be created only in the long run by the superiors with the help and co-operation of the HR department. Some of the tried and tested methods are the following:
  1. They say- "keep the vibe alive" which is attained by open communication and making the employees feel that they are appreciated.
  2. Reduce the number of days of work and thus reducing the payroll costs along with it.
  3. Send employees (those who can afford) on offs without pay for education or otherwise- here subsidizing the cost of study will keep the employee with the organization at the same time will benefit the organization when the employee returns.
  4. Giving the staff the option of working full-time  on 3/4 pay for 3 years and giving an off of one year with the 3/4 pay.
  5. Cut down paid overtime giving employees a better work life balance and reduce the pay bill at the same time.
  6. Analyzing the key talents not just the top employees but people who can think strategically.
  7. Establishing retention plan for key employees by reviving the salaries with regard to market data to ensure the company is competitive.
  8. But the most important thing is communication- clear and certain communication that the employees are valued and needed.
These are the methods that can be used during the financial crisis. However some methods are such that  they create a loyalty in the employees and these methods have to be practiced on a continuous basis:
  1. Give the employees respect, kindness and dignity which will fetch loyalty of the employees.
  2. In addition to compensation people should be involved in decision making. This not only helps retain the key talent but also gives better ideas to improve organization's effectiveness and progress.
  3. Giving feedback on developing networks, maintaining work life balance, attaining skills training etc- this will build relationships, support groups and action groups.


Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Retaining Employees..

I had been to an organization in Chennai recently for an interview and they asked me if I would be comfortable giving my original certificates to them. This didn't matter to me much because I was badly in need of a job and this was a job that would have been a great learning experience. Recently I was discussing this incident with my brother and he mentioned that it is not a good practice. This got me thinking, what are the ways in which employees should be retained than by force or against their will, and the result is what follows:

Employee retention is the primary metrics that tells the health of the organization.
Some ways and methods that help retain employees are:
  1. Value and heed to the results from exit interviews: Almost all companies have exit interviews when an employee decides to leave them. The data they get form these people is the best source to understand their drawbacks as employers.
  2. The quality of the supervision helps retain employees: It is said that employees leave their managers or superiors rather than the company. This is very true, I had some similar reasons myself.
  3. Knowledge and skill utilization: Many employees like to offer their best at work and when they feel they are under utilizing their skills they tend to become dissatisfied and give up their employer.
  4. Fair and equal treatment: Employees should feel they are being treated the same as everyone else. At times trying to keep one employee can demotivate a number of others.
  5. Growth opportunities should be provided to employees to retain them, they should feel that they are growing in terms of their profession and not stagnating.
  6. Give respect and take respect: Employees should be treated with respect and should be rewarded and recognized at the right time.
  7. Encouraging employees to have good friends at work will help retain them as this would make work enjoyable and less tiring.
  8. Improve the relationship of the managers and subordinates.
  9. Always make the employee clear of what is expected out of him/her. Lack of clarity creates lack of security and then attrition.
  10. Employees should be given the right to express their views and ideas to improve the productivity.
These are some of the ways I found that would help retain employees. Does any of you have more interesting and innovative methods that can be or is used to retain the work force.
Looking forward to your valuable comments and ideas.