Recent Trends in Human Resource Management

Thursday, August 28, 2008


International HRM places greater emphasis on a number of responsibilities and functions such as relocation, orientation and translation services to help employees adapt to a new and different environment outside their own country.

. Selection of employees requires careful evaluation of the personal characteristics of the candidate and his/her spouse.

. Training and development extends beyond information and orientation training to include sensitivity training and field experiences that will enable the manager to understand cultural differences better. Managers need to be protected from career development risks, re-entry problems and culture shock.

. To balance the pros and cons of home country and host country evaluations, performance evaluations should combine the two sources of appraisal information.

. Compensation systems should support the overall strategic intent of the organization but should be customized for local conditions.

. In many European countries - Germany for one, law establishes representation. Organizations typically negotiate the agreement with the unions at a national level. In Europe it is more likely for salaried employees and managers to be unionized.

HR Managers should do the following things to ensure success-

. Use workforce skills and abilities in order to exploit environmental opportunities and neutralize threats.

. Employ innovative reward plans that recognize employee contributions and grant enhancements.

. Indulge in continuous quality improvement through TQM and HR contributions like training, development, counseling, etc.

. Utilize people with distinctive capabilities to create unsurpassed competence in an area, e.g. Xerox in photocopiers, 3M in adhesives, Telco in trucks etc.

. Decentralize operations and rely on self-managed teams to deliver goods in difficult times e.g. Motorola is famous for short product development cycles. It has quickly commercialized ideas from its research labs.

. Lay off workers in a smooth way explaining facts to unions, workers and other affected groups e.g. IBM , Kodak, Xerox, etc.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Emerging Trends in Managing Human Resources

If we trace back the history of business environment, in the early years, trading patterns and markets were stable, technology was static, customers were passive, speed in getting to market was secondary, competition was limited to sectors and regions, and hierarchies were generally accepted in all walks of life. No more, since 1960’s, America and much of the rest of the world has been almost continually buffeted by change. Customers demand that businesses do it better, faster, cheaper; employees want to control more than the “Stop” button on the assembly line. The twentieth century saw nations around the world become part of the global village, with trade barriers between them reduced or removed completely. Globalization of trade and economy are taking deep roots in India. The holistic paradigm shift to a single global company has opened up new economic opportunities. Events of the last five years of the previous century have focused our attention on knowledge industries. Quality human resources have therefore become an important base with which to respond to the emerging environment. The knowledge workforce in particular has a vital role to play in the emergence of the digital economy.

A look at the trends in managing people in this dynamic industry reflects that Attracting, Managing, Nurturing talent and Retaining people has emerged to be the single most critical issue in lieu of the enormous opportunities spun off by the market. The new avatar of talent is the knowledge professional who is innovative, business savvy, quick on the uptake, has an instinctive ability to network, and possessing unbridled ambition. They are propelled by an urge to experiment, scan new avenues that can spur their creativity. The knowledge professional will gravitate to an organization that is flexible, has strong values, a robust performance ethic and provides challenging work on latest technology. This has led to companies proactively taking measures on three fronts. First, companies create an organizational ambience where talent can bloom. Second, they put in place systems that help unleash their potential and third, they build a reward and recognition mechanism that provides value for people.

Profound systemic changes have been seen in the way companies are structured. The concepts of leadership and managing people gave undergone a radical rethink. Cubicles, hierarchies and rigid organization structures of the past, have now given way to open work environment, flat structure with informality being a general rule and empowerment of individuals. Today work itself is centered around projects, which have virtual teams working on them. This work structure has led to a culture of flexi time, round the clock accessibility to the workplace. Also catching up fast is the trend of workstations at home, remote access, video-conferencing and reporting by exception. To stay one step ahead of the aspirations of their people, companies are continuously striving to provide an intellectually stimulating environment. Few examples being, in-house libraries, continuous up gradation of knowledge and skills, knowledge sharing, building relationships with academia thus enabling knowledge workers to pursue multiple careers within a single company. Coming times will see sabbaticals forming part of the organization culture, corporate universities dotting the new horizon, competing companies bunching together to setup knowledge networks.

Companies today are constantly striving towards enhancing the quality of work life and also the personal life of its employees and this does not stop with the employee buts gets extended to his / her family as well. In-house health clubs, yoga and meditation centers to relieve stress, sports and cultural activities, employee get-togethers with invitations to come over with families, day care centers and many of the like are being provided by companies.

With the increasing size of the companies, the top down communication model of yesteryears has been replaced by bottom up, cross level communication thereby encouraging people to voice their opinions and feelings. Open house sessions, mentoring, online chats on the intranet have emerged to be the communication enablers.

The new economy has given rise to a culture of working in teams. Today no job in the knowledge industry can be performed in isolation. Since working in teams is not a passing fad, companies are now designing compensation structures, which rewards team performance in addition to individual performance.

To conclude, change is here to stay, and we need to understand that all the practices that are working today may not necessarily work tomorrow. Customers’ expectations, market changes and strategic decisions will derive the tools to managing the human assets.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Effective Leadership to Influence Motivation

A person's motivation is combination of desire and energy directed at achieving a goal. Influencing someone's motivation means getting him or her to want to do what you know must be done.
People can be motivated by beliefs, values, interests, fear, worthy causes, and other such forces. Some of these forces are internal, such as needs, interests, and beliefs. Others are external, such as danger, the environment, or pressure from a loved one. There is no simple formula for motivation -- you must keep an open viewpoint on human nature. There is a complex array of forces steering the direction of each person and these forces cannot always be seen or studied. Also, if the same forces are steering two different people, each on will act differently. Knowing that different people react to different needs will guide your decisions and actions in certain situations.
As a leader you have the power to influence motivation. The following guidelines form the basic view of motivation. They will guide you in your decision making process towards influencing motivation.
. Allow the needs of your people to coincide with the needs of your organization.
Nearly all people are influenced by the need for job security, promotion, raises, and approval of their peers, and leaders. Internal forces such as value, morals, and ethics also influence them. Likewise, the organization needs good people in a wide variety of jobs. Ensure that your people are trained, encouraged, and provided the opportunity to grow. Ensure that the way you conduct business has the same values, moral, and ethic principles that you seek in your people. If you conduct business in a dishonest manner, your people will be dishonest to you.
. Reward good behavior. Although a certificate, letter, or a thank you may seem small, they can be powerful motivators. The reward should be specific and prompt. Do not say, "for doing a good job." Cite the specific action that made you believed it was a good job. In addition, help your people who are good. We all make mistakes or need help to achieve a particular goal.
. Set the example. You must be the role model by setting examples that you want your people to grow into.
. Develop moral and esprit. Moral is the mental, emotional, and spiritual state of a person. Almost everything you do will have some impact on the moral of your organization.1of 2 You should always be aware how your actions and decisions affect it. Esprit means team spirit - it is defined as the spirit or the soul of the organization. It is the consciousness of the organization that you and your people identify with and feel a part of. Is your workplace a place where people cannot wait to get away from, or is it a place that people enjoy spending a part of their lives?
. Let your people be part of the planning and problem solving process. There are several reasons for this. First, it teaches them and allows you to coach them. Second, it motivates them. People who are part of the decision making process become the owners of it. It gives them a personal interest in seeing the plan succeed. Third, communication is clearer. Everyone has a better understanding of what role they must play as part of the team. Next, it creates an open trusting communication bond. They are no longer just the doers for the organization. Now they are part of it. And finally, it shows that you recognize and appreciate them. Recognition and appreciation from a respected leader are powerful motivators.
. Look out for your people. Although you do not have control over their personal lives, you must show concern for them. Things that seem to no importance to you, might seem extremely critical to them. You must be able to empathize with them. This is from the German word, einfuhling, which means "to feel with." This is the ability to perceive another person's view of the world as though that view were your own. Empathy differs from sympathy in that sympathy connotes spontaneous emotion rather than a conscious, reasoned response. Sympathizing with others may be less useful to another person if we are limited by the strong feelings of the moment.
. Make their jobs challenging, exciting, and meaningful. Make them feel that they are individuals in a great team. People need meaningful work, even if it is tiring and unpleasant; they need to know that it is important and necessary for the survival of the organization.
. Counsel people who behave in a way that are counter to the company's goals. You must let people know when they are not performing to acceptable standards for further improvement. Some time you need to protect your performer. For example, if someone in your department is always late arriving for work and it is causing disruptions, and then you must take action. On the other hand, if you have an extremely good performer and once in a while he is few minutes late, then do the right thing...protect him from the bureaucracy!

Strategic Human Resource Management

In today’s intensely competitive and global marketplace, maintaining a competitive advantage by becoming a low cost leader or a differentiator puts a heavy premium on having a highly committed or competent workforce. Competitive advantage lies not just in differentiating a product or service or in becoming the low cost leader but in also being able to tap the company’s special skills or core competencies and rapidly respond to customer’s needs and competitor’s moves. In other words competitive advantage lies in management’s ability to consolidate corporate-wide technologies and production skills into competencies that empower individual businesses to adapt quickly to changing opportunities.

In a growing number of organizations human resources are now viewed as a source of competitive advantage. There is greater recognition that distinctive competencies are obtained through highly developed employee skills, distinctive organizational cultures, management processes and systems. This is in contrast to the traditional emphasis on transferable resources such as equipment. Increasingly it is being recognized that competitive advantage can be obtained with a high quality workforce that enables organizations to compete on the basis of market responsiveness, product and service quality, differentiated products and technological innovation.

Strategic human resource management has been defined as ‘ the linking of human resources with strategic goals and objectives in order to improve business performance and develop organizational culture that foster innovation and flexibility ‘. Strategic HR means accepting the HR function as a strategic partner in the formulation of the company’s strategies as well as in the implementation of those strategies through HR activities such as recruiting, selecting, training and rewarding personnel. Whereas strategic HR recognizes HR’s partnership role in the strategizing process, the term HR Strategies refers to specific HR courses of action the company plans to pursue to achieve it’s aims.

HR management can play a role in environmental scanning i.e. identifying and analyzing external opportunities and threats that may be crucial to the company’s success. Similarly HR management is in a unique position to supply competitive intelligence that may be useful in the strategic planning process. HR also participates in the strategy formulation process by supplying information regarding the company’s internal strengths and weaknesses. The strengths and weaknesses of a company’s human resources can have a determining effect on the viability of the firm’s strategic options.

By design the perspective demands that HR managers become strategic partners in business operations playing prospective roles rather than being passive administrators reacting to the requirements of other business functions. Strategic HR managers need a change in their mindset from seeing themselves as relationship managers to resource managers knowing how to utilize the full potential of their human resources.

The new breed of HR managers need to understand and know how to measure the monetary impact of their actions, so as to be able to demonstrate the value added contributions of their functions. HR professionals become strategic partners when they participate in the process of defining business strategy, when they ask questions that move strategy to action and when they design HR practices that align with the business strategy. By fulfilling this role, HR professionals increase the capacity of a business to execute its strategies.

The primary actions of the strategic human resource manager translate business strategies into HR priorities. In any business setting, whether corporate, functional, business unit or product line a strategy exists either explicitly in the formal process or document or implicitly through a shared agenda on priorities. As strategic partners, HR professionals should be to identify the HR practices that make the strategy happen. The process of identifying these HR priorities is called organizational diagnosis, a process through which an organization is audited to determine its strengths and weaknesses.

Translating business strategies into HR practices helps a business in three ways. First, the business can adapt to change because the time from the conception to the execution of a strategy is shortened. Second, the business can better meet customer demands because its customer service strategies have been translated into specific policies and practices. Third, the business can achieve financial performance through its more effective execution of strategy.

In brief, a strategic perspective of HRM that requires simultaneous consideration of both external (business strategy) and internal (consistency) requirement leads to superior performance of the firm. This performance advantage is achieved by:

. Marshalling resources that support the business strategy and implementing the chosen strategy, efficiently and effectively.

. Utilizing the full potential of the human resources to the firm’s advantage.

. Leveraging other resources such as physical assets and capital to complement and augment the human resources based advantage.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Recent Trends in Recruitment

The following trends are being seen in recruitment:

In India, the HR processes are being outsourced from more than a decade now. A company may draw required personnel from outsourcing firms. The outsourcing firms help the organisation by the initial screening of the candidates according to the needs of the organisation and creating a suitable pool of talent for the final selection by the organisation. Outsourcing firms develop their human resource pool by employing people for them and make available personnel to various companies as per their needs. In turn, the outsourcing firms or the intermediaries charge the organisations for their services.

Advantages of outsourcing are:

1. Company need not plan for human resources much in advance.
2. Value creation, operational flexibility and competitive advantage
3. turning the management's focus to strategic level processes of HRM
4. Company is free from salary negotiations, weeding the unsuitable resumes/candidates.
5. Company can save a lot of its resources and time


“Buying talent” (rather than developing it) is the latest mantra being followed by the organisations today. Poaching means employing a competent and experienced person already working with another reputed company in the same or different industry; the organisation might be a competitor in the industry. A company can attract talent from another firm by offering attractive pay packages and other terms and conditions, better than the current employer of the candidate. But it is seen as an unethical practice and not openly talked about. Indian software and the retail sector are the sectors facing the most severe brunt of poaching today. It has become a challenge for human resource managers to face and tackle poaching, as it weakens the competitive strength of the firm.


Many big organizations use Internet as a source of recruitment. E- recruitment is the use of technology to assist the recruitment process. They advertise job vacancies through worldwide web. The job seekers send their applications or curriculum vitae i.e. CV through e mail using the Internet. Alternatively job seekers place their CV’s in worldwide web, which can be drawn by prospective employees depending upon their requirements.

Advantages of recruitment are:

Low cost.
No intermediaries
Reduction in time for recruitment.
Recruitment of right type of people.
Efficiency of recruitment process.

Monday, August 18, 2008

10 Steps to Use Workplace Conflict to Your Advantage

Is there such a thing as a good fight? The willingness to embrace conflict and turn a bad fight into a good one is a hallmark of a great leader. And if you want to learn, there are steps you can take to help turn negative conflicts into creative opportunities.

1) Don’t Despair, Prepare!

First, and most importantly, know that sometimes it’s best to walk away from conflict. Know your ‘exit point’ -– the point at which it makes more sense to walk away from a conflict than it does to work to manage the issue. There are times that it will be your best option.

Everyone has their own style of dealing with conflict. Understand the different styles, identify yours and the styles of your team. Learn to appreciate the diverse styles of others, assume leadership when conflicts arise, and value the creative spark that conflicts can kindle.

2) Follow the Yellow Brick Road

What is your goal? If you can agree on a common goal – to creatively solve a problem, to generate a new idea or to sell more products -– you’ll have a better chance of harnessing the conflict. Sometimes the root of a conflict is that you don’t even agree on what the problem is -– or that you’re struggling to address different issues.

3) Reveal, Don’t Conceal

You must agree -– at least some extent -– to be vulnerable, to reveal why you want something, and to declare what’s really important to you about an issue. When we’re in conflict, we always have a story – usually one that justifies our proposed solution. Listen and try to understand the other person’s story. If the other person won’t reveal their needs or interests, ask open-ended questions and look for clues.

4) Tackle the Problem , Not the Person

Focus on the problem and persuade the other person to join you in solving the problem. Make the problem your common enemy rather than blaming the other person for causing the problem. Try and discourage conflicts from becoming personal.

5) Play Within Bounds

Sometimes conflicts are caused by process problems rather than substantive issues. If the other person remains difficult, start talking more about standards and procedures than about the problem. This can help you creatively manage a conflict that seems like an unmovable object.

6) Stir Up a Storm

Brainstorm -- welcoming all suggestions -- then sort through them all and determine which ones merit further study. Many of us fall in love with our solutions and decide that our idea is the only possibility. The best resolution for all concerned may not be the one we had previously discussed.

7) Take a Time Out

Classic advocates of creative conflict management have used this move throughout history. Martin Luther King Jr. suggested we “go to the mountain” during conflict to gain the higher ground and a better perspective on the problem. Gandhi retreated to meditation and fasting during the most intense periods of his struggle to free the Indian people. When things get heated or stalled consider taking a time out to regroup.

8) Talk Until You Drop

People don’t allow enough time for creative conflict management. In our modern, instantaneous world we have lost our patience. If you have decided the conflict is worth your time and energy, make sure you allow sufficient time for management. It usually takes longer than we think to produce good fights instead of bad ones.

9) Circle the Wagons

When you reach an agreement or a creative solution, you need to go through some sort of closure process. Arrange a time in the future to review how the solution is working. Agree upon an action plan to accomplish the goals of an agreement and decide who does what, when and where.

10) Write to Avoid New Fights

Write down what you think you’ve agreed upon at various stages. The process helps clarify your own thinking as well as the agreement. We all tend to assume the meaning we ascribe to a certain word or discussion is the same for everyone. This one act will save you a world of hurt down the road.

These ten steps can provide a roadmap to lead you skillfully through using conflict to generate creativity. While you may not need to use all ten for every situation, it’s good to review them before you try to resolve an issue. Then, you’ll be able to see where you’re stuck and what you need to do to move forward. For complex disputes, you may very well need to work your way through all the steps with all the parties.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Changing Strategies in HR Technology and Outsourcing

In many companies today, benefit plans and compensation are in transition. Employers are no longer providing one-size-fits-all health care and retirement benefits, and they’re increasingly linking compensation to performance goals. Employees are being asked to play a more active role in defining their reward package and in managing their benefits.

But the success of this new reward system depends on more than a change in employee mindset — it means that employers must provide the information and tools necessary for employees to make the right decisions for themselves and their families. This new focus is driving many companies to reconsider the way they deliver human resource services,with a strong emphasis on improving administration and engaging employees.

Watson Wyatt’s 2007 HR Technology Trends Survey finds that companies are turning to technology to give employees access to pertinent information and tools. From portals to software solutions to call centers, HR technologies are providing a bridge to the information that employees need to understand their changing workplace.

Key Findings :

. One in five companies expects to change its HR delivery structure in the coming year. This signals a significant shift in an area that companies have historically preferred to keep stable.
. Employee engagement and information delivery are paramount, due to the growing complexity in plans and the need for decision-support tools.
. Many companies plan to use HR portals to communicate health care and total rewards information to employees.
. HR looks to use internal or enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems whenever possible. Less than 25 percent of companies direct their HR function to outsource whenever possible.
. While companies cite internal process improvement as the primary goal for their sourcing strategy, 31 percent report missing that goal.
. Most companies are satisfied with HR delivery in the retirement and health and welfare areas but are not as satisfied with HR delivery in the talent management area.
. Many companies are looking to implement technology solutions for their talent management programs.
. Retirement plan administration is a key focus for many companies, with one in four planning to change defined benefit administration and delivery in the next two years.
. Most companies have HR call centers and strongly prefer that employee inquiries be handled in the United States.
. Satisfaction with call centers is tied to the use of case management systems.
. The majority of self-service transactions on the Web are in the health and welfare area. Most transactions related to compensation/payroll decisions and retirement plans do not take place over the Web.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Key Steps to an effective recruitment process

Is there a need to recruit?

. The need for any recruitment activities should be evaluations in the context to the business overall resource requirements;

. This should include both short, mid and long term plans and requirements for your business and consider both likely resource level requirements (numbers of staff) and business skill requirements (capability of staff) in order to best decide first if recruitment is required at all, and if so what skills and experience you need to bring into the business.

Carefully defining the vacancy pays dividends
. Start with a description of the job - its responsibilities and deliverables;
. the necessary skills, experience and competencies required by the job holder to fulfill the required responsibilities;
. Plus the ideal qualities to be a successful contribution to the business.

Creating a talent pool by attracting the right candidates

. Think carefully about your internal sources of candidates: seek candidates from inside the business via internal job boards, succession plans etc; identify staff for whom it would be a sensible career development move;

. Think about the different sources of external sources of candidates: Advertise the vacancy (online or print); your internet career page; search generalist and specialist job boards; speak to the local job centre; encourage existing employees to make contacts for you; make contact with universities and colleges; use a recruitment agency or head hunter;

Focus on collecting all relevant information on candidates
Collect the information necessary to make a selection decision
. Applications form;
. CVs;
. Interview data (including behavioral interviews);
. psychometrics;
. references.

Create a short list and then arrange interviews and other selection processes

. Review applications and short list;
. your shortlist down to a small number for interview;
. Consider telephone interviews as an effective way to screen applicants;

Making the decision to appoint

. Consider relative importance of the different requirements before trying to evaluate the candidates so that you do not get caught up in the moment;
. When judging the importance of a shortfall in the candidate think about what can be learned as opposed to what comes more naturally or key competencies;
. Consider both the risks and the benefits of appointing a particular candidate;
. Make simple notes of your decisions in terms of why you selected and why you did not select � these will not only help you remember but can be useful for giving feedback;
. Agree terms and conditions of employment;
. Make the offer.

Giving feedback
This needs to be considered for three groups:

. successful candidates;
. unsuccessful internal candidates;
. unsuccessful external candidates.

Producing an induction plan
This is a critical step and should include both induction and early development needs. It can make the difference between a successful hire and an unsuccessful one.

. the new recruit quickly getting up to speed and making a valued contribution;
. reducing the disruption to the work of the other members of the team;
. ensuring a safe working environment;
. demonstration to the new recruit that they are valued;
. increasing your ability to keep the employee.

And finally, you need to review the recruitment process

. A review of the process itself should be undertaken - this will lead to process improvement and greater efficiency;
. A review of the hiring decision should also be undertaken - this will lead to greater recruitment effectiveness;
. The recruiters corner on gives some great feedback to employers on what to do and what not to do when recruiting..

Effective And Ineffective Recruiters


If recruiters are so helpful in finding a person a job, why do they get such a bad rap sometimes? We’ve all heard the stories: a candidate’s resume ended up on his boss’s desk, or the current company was called for a reference without the person’s permission. The recruiter misrepresented the candidate to the company or vice versa and wasted everyone’s time.

Too often candidates aren’t any more selective about the recruiters with whom they work than they are about the companies with which they interview. That’s understandable considering candidates often buy into the myth that all recruiters are omniscient and omnipotent. When you don’t know how a recruiter works, it’s easy to assume they know what they’re doing.

So how do you tell if a recruiter is adept at their profession? Here’s a hint: don’t bother asking them how long they’ve been a recruiter. It’s irrelevant. Instead ask them a few questions about the position they’ve brought to you. If the only thing they know is the salary range - and they tell it to you – proceed at your own risk.

If a recruiter fails to take an in-depth search assignment from a client, how does the recruiter know what the client is looking for? More than that, how will the recruiter know if they come across that person? Without a detailed profile of the position, the company, and the hiring authority, all the recruiter is doing is faxing resumes and hoping something will work. It’s tantamount to shooting arrows at a target in a dark closet.

You can expect a multitude of questions as well, and a lot of them are very personal. If they’re to present you to a client, they need a total picture of you: career, family, salary history, job search strategy, what you’ve done, what skills you have, what you want, and where you envision your career going.So when one approaches you with a position and you show some interest, do they dig deeper to learn who you are? Or do they just get your resume and pass it on to the employer? Do they grasp over time what you’re suited for? Or do they continue to run things by you that have no appeal at all? Is it about your career or their commission?

There are subtleties to the business that too many recruiters miss. The most basic is that every company is unique, and every individual is unique. The good ones understand this. The others think that if they just throw out enough lines, they’ll eventually catch a fish, They’ve completely missed the point of why a recruiter exists. They rarely make a placement, except by accident. They function more as a resume service and less as a recruiter. They’ve likely been beaten down on their fees.

Unfortunately, because of the internet, the number of these recruiters is increasing. Any contingency recruiter can call an employer and join the race in the first resume to the finish line. They find your paperwork posted on a job board, and you – who are more likely passive than active in your search and haven’t carefully thought out your requirements for your perfect job – are easy picking. Off to the interview you go, most likely with unsatisfying results for everyone involved. The internet means a recruiter doesn’t actually have to work at recruiting.

An effective recruiter can make a difference in your search by fully understanding the depth of what’s involved in bringing a company and an individual together long-term. These recruiters are in it for the long haul. Their rewards are repeat business with client companies, referrals from relationships they’ve developed with individuals, and the joy of a candidate who’s ecstatic about the new opportunity.

It’s your career. When you’re looking to further it, shrewd discernment will always bring you closer to what you want, while universal optimism will often result in discouragement..


Friday, August 8, 2008

8 Ways to Kill Employee Morale

There are countless articles and books that promise to tell employers how to boost employee morale. They may or may not be right, but there is something we all can be certain about. There are easy ways to kill employee morale. Thoroughly. Some of them are simple; some take time. But they all work.

So with some levity and a lot of truth, here are 8 great ways to destroy the spirit of even the most dedicated of employees:
8) Start new hires with promises of raises, promotions and other perks, and then “forget.”
One of the best ways to destroy morale from the start is to make promises to your new hires, and then never mention them again. Truly creative morale-smashers may want to extend this technique to existing employees, so even seasoned workers can share in the disappointment.
7) Make rules that defy logic and then enforce them – harshly.
If your employees don’t come within miles of a customer, ban jeans and make them dress up for work. Prohibit personal decorations on desks. Send out a memo limiting the time in the restroom to five minutes. Whatever it is, make sure the consequences of these performance-related violations are severe – letters of reprimand, docked pay – anything to make them fear for their jobs.
6) Play favorites.
Everyone remembers the teacher’s pet – bring that dynamic into the workplace. A great way to destroy employee morale is to make it clear that a few people can get away with anything, while the rest must toe the line. Or consider the reverse scenario… selectively enforce the rules with a few employees while letting the rest off the hook. Morale is certain to take a nose dive.
5) Skimp on necessary tools, equipment or technology.
Invite employee discontent by maintaining a tight hold on the purse strings when it comes to the tools employees need to do their jobs well. Dole out pens, paper and other office supplies like they were the items about to tip the company over the financial edge. Create a make-do attitude, and then hold employees to standards unachievable given the lack of good tools and equipment.
4) Maintain an atmosphere of fear in the workplace.
This technique can take many forms, but one of the most effective is to keep employees wondering whether their jobs will exist tomorrow. Dwell on declining sales, especially if you can do so in several contexts. Ask them casual questions about their spouse’s job security. Drop small but favored perks such as water bottles, good coffee or the annual company picnic. Productivity and employee attitude will fall simultaneously.
3) Show employees you don’t trust them.
Make sure employees know they are not at all trusted. Double and triple check their paperwork, logs and products. Listen in on conversations. Hide behind cubicle walls and eavesdrop on employee discussions. Search them as they leave, even if they have no access to anything of value. The impact on morale and work quality will be noticeable almost instantly.
2) Make it an us and them atmosphere.
Demand that staff- level employees take cuts in pay, hours or benefits. Postpone or cancel promotions. Delay replacement of worn-out but needed equipment and furnishing. Then give the executive staff new 22” flat panel computers. Talk about how hot it was on your trip to Italy. Complain about how your Porsche is always in the shop. After all, they should be happy to have a job, any job. Right?
1) Wherever possible, reinforce the idea that they are replaceable.
This is the number one way to kill employee morale. For every person employed in your company, there are at least a dozen applicants eager to take their position. Let your current employees know that, whether through words, deeds or environment, that they could be replaced tomorrow.
Ref: Training Time