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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Tell the truth - It ain't too bad

Here's something for all you budding HR folks out there. I hope this amuses you enough to effect some changes in whichever organization you are in.

I hate to break this to you but its immaculately true - 'We discuss our packages within the team'. Yes our network is so strong and so fool proof. So, I don't know what one really tries to accomplish by treating the salary information as a 'Holy grail'.

My contention is this - If one is so confident about one's processes and the outcome, if one is so sure that the CTC actually reflects the value gained from the employee's job description, if one is so sure that there is little subjectivity in the system and all actual outcomes actually mirror the complex algorithms written to decide the quota, hike % etc, then there is NO reason to hide it. Unfortunately all the mathematics is just meant for the documentation whereas the actual scenario is completely different.

Why should compensation be hidden from other people. By hiding it, one creates more suspicion than faith. By hiding it, it becomes all the more clear that the remuneration is not based on the factors that are sung along in every god damn ppt by the management but some other adhoc scenarios. I understand there are pressures. I understand you work with some unreasonable expectations in terms of lead times and numbers when it comes to sourcing. So say it. Make it known to people that your salary structure is not meant to appease people and display the illusion of equality. It's market based. Whats wrong in admitting that. Unfortunately this comes up only in one to one discussions with HR managers where they put their case. Why this hypocrisy? Why this display of people caring when all you are concerned with is the least cost to company.
You know it, employees know it, even your CEO knows it!!

Here's some thing your senior management will never say - Being concerned with least cost to company is not wrong if you are getting the same talent. Get up today and CHANGE! Make it a honest place!

Rather, I would suggest a novel approach. Reach out to people really interested in the job profile. Make work interesting not by having Friday dressing (do tat by all means) but seek out people who love the work they do. And you will elevate.

Disclaimer : I know it happens in other areas as well. But HR is a good place to start

Appraisal of Life!!!!!!

APPRAISAL : The classification of someone or something with respect to its worth (As defined by WordWeb)

Appraisal is one word which raises lots of inquisitveness in our industry. "Hey dude, whats up man.... By the way what ratings you got". This is a greeting you can expect from your peers even when you are roaming around with one ear. Nobody notices your missing ear or enquires about it. All people care about at that time is whats your rating. Other irrelevant matters can wait until next month. People are ready to talk to some one they abhor just to know his/her performance rating. Thats true !!! people care so much about your performance that it wont be weird if a girl who had slapped you two days earlier comes up to you and talks all sweety.... cutey to get to know your appraisal ratings. Man .... People are curious to know how you perfomed in your professional life.I wonder about this peculiar nature sometimes and its origin but when I see m myself going nowhere, I attribute this to an aspect of human nature. :)

But there is another thing which troubles me a lot and that is how do I perform in life? Who is the one who will be doing the appraisal of my LIFE. Who will decide my worth. Who has the credibility of becoming my PDM(one who appraises). And as you all know before the appraisal we all set objectives. Lets say now if I am being appraised on my performance in life and I want to set my objectives. Obviously I will want them to be relevant and the way to make them relevant is to find out my purpose in life. This is the toughest part to figure out and hence this will take the largest amount of words in this article will be spent to finding the purpose.

After investing time in one of my most favorite activity i.e. SLEEP I am not left with much time for breaking my head on worldly matters of truth and reason or attaining that all important "critical attitude" towards every thing and anything which is oblivious to me. But some times (when I cross all limits of sleep and even my body refuses to relent to my desires) I give credence to the question raised above- "Whats the purpose of man's stint on this earth?". Is it just as simple as to mate with a woman and help producing more men and women so that they produce even more men and women? Or is it to do with mythological angle of man's curse of facing troubles for some thing he does not even know he did some time back? Or is it about earning lotsa money and fame and respect and go back satisfied without anything you earned? Perplexed with all these unconvincing Reasons to live I am nowdays trying to unfold the mystery. Guys dont think otherwise I am not joining any Ashram...... just pandering to my inquisitiveness.

"My Quest has taken me to the physical, metaphysical, delusional and back" - John Nash - Nobel Prize Speech. The line fits here exquisitely. I have tried desperately to know the reason for all this commotion in my mind. But all efforts have gone in vain. All I know is that life is some thing which is a cloak under which are hidden things which you are not aware. Nobody knows "Whats right or wrong for him/her". People think --- "Oh my god, Was this decision good for me or I would have been better off taking the alternative." This opens a totally new angle of destiny and fate but I will better not delve into it for the time being. They say every man's life has a reason. I dont know from where they got such an Enlightenment, but I really face a hard time figuring out my life's reason.

One of the major theory* which is largely endorsed(in India) is that GOD decides what we are supposed to face in life depending on our deeds. It is as if he is appraising all of us depending on his own parameters. In a world where God himself is fighting for few yards of land in court, i wonder from where he gets the time to check out deeds of 6 billion people (and counting). I mean we all know how messy the court fights can become.

So if I go by this theory atleast one of my queries is solved and that is who will appraise me? -- GOD of course. But here in company we have a meeting with our PDM(one who appraises) to decide upon the objectives. With GOD, such a meeting is not possible thats a glitch. But atleast GOD should tell us parameters on which he will appraise me.
I was just wondering as to how the processes which help our HR decide our appraisals can help GOD decide. It will be a sea of good if People Function Team (HR) can help GOD with a trick or two for this. I have some suggestions though:
Just imagine - Wouldnt it be better if we were sent along with a "birth-epitah" on which the reason for our lifes is engraved and we can work towards fulfilling that like we do for our Annual objectives?. May be GOD can bring some sort of accountability and predictability in this process by adopting the above mentioned method.
And after that based on the extent of our achievement, he can decide and give ratings "AE- Above expectations, ME- Met Expectations, BE- Below Expectations SBE- Significantly Below Expectations". Those can then be mapped to each of our graves, burials and pasted there. Guess Nandan's UID will help GOD in this regard (tat is if and when its successfully implemented).

Well another angle to this is that GOD has given us the freedom to choose our own reason and work towards it. But this shows GOD's denial of assigning task and just procrastinating. Well the jobs not easy but after all you are GOD!! you can just flick a finger and get the ink to write the epitah of all the people.

Anyways - my sanity has taken me back to the point I started. Not to ponder in unknown waters unless you wanna really drown.

For now Appraisal @ my company is all I can handle.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

My Dadaji - Late Mr. B.P.Singh

They say with great people, there is no difference between the person and principles. This aptly defined my Grandfather. The keystone of our family, my Grandfather, breathed his last on 2nd Dec 2009 after 3 months of intense illness. He was 82. He will always be remembered as a person who stood for integrity and truth. Known for his honesty and revered by all, he left a deep imprint on anyone he met. Its an honour to be associated with his name for life and to proudly say, I am the grandson of Mr.B.P.Singh.

I spent most of my childhood learning from him, playing with him and towards the later part of my life discussing with him some silly and some complex facets of life. For the fact that he was from pre-independence generation, his ideologies were amazingly modern and rational. He always taught me the importance of being true to oneself, living with dignity and fighting for truth. I still remember how he would share with me little space on his side of the bed just to make me comfortable, how he would quote 'slokas' to give me examples of ideal behaviour, how he taught me the complex intransitive verb concept and tenses in English grammar, how he would test my mathematics with creating complex problems from daily chores of life. Well I could go on and on in terms of what all I learned from him and what all he achieved professionally and otherwise, but it would never be all.

It is been exactly two months since he passed away and as I write this, I understand what my friend Umang said - They have left their bodies, their deeds still remain, their memories still remain and their influence still remains. This is how my Grandpa lives along with me - In every thing I do, in everything I think and in everything I will be. Thank you Dadaji!