Recent Trends in Human Resource Management

Sunday, December 27, 2009

7 Ways to Make a Good Impressions

7 Ways to Make a Good Impressions

Impressions are important: They leave an initial taste in people's mouths that can remain prevalent for the entire relationship. If you are paranoid about what kind of impression you make, run through these seven list items and see if you are consistent with them; if you are, then you will probably expose the best of yourself. If not, then work to meet these standards.

1. Dress: The absolute first impression you will make on someone will be through your clothing, because that is what is seen from a distance, and cannot change throughout your meeting. Make sure to dress according to the situation-don't over or under dress-and maintain within the limits of good taste. If you aren't sure if what you're wearing looks good, ask people for an honest opinion. One last thought: always, and I mean always, pull up your pants.

2. Hygiene: Take a shower! Shave! Brush your teeth! You must be fully bathed and groomed before you meet with someone for the first time, because scruffy looking people generally don't seem as neat and mature. Pay attention to the little elements like breath: keep a pack of mint gum with you wherever you go, and periodically check to make sure you aren't killing bugs every time you breathe out. If you sweat heavily, keep a small stick of deodorant/anti-perspirant close, and if you notice you're stinking you can freshen up. People notice the minutiae!

3. Manners: At the table and with other people be civilized, polite and respectful: keep your elbows off of the table, open doors for people and address everyone-initially, at least-by their formal title. This will make an especially good impression on senior citizens, because you will prove that you aren't one of those "new fangled punks."

4. Speech: Have clean, clear diction and speak sans "like" or "you know." It is important to be articulate because that inspires a feeling of intelligence and education in the person you are meeting with. Always leave out profanity, and whatever you do, make sure to speak loud enough for all to hear, because conversationalists are easily agitated if you force them say "excuse me?" more than a few times.

5. Discretion: Choose what to share about yourself: forget to tell everyone about that time you went camping and ruptured your appendix, then fell face first into a pile of bug infested leaves-it is rude and will alienate you from the group. Try to withhold from conversations on personal subjects like religion or more disgusting topics like personal medical care. Before you speak, think about the possible impact of what you might say, then imagine its implications in the long run.

6. Humor: Humor can be your most powerful tool or your doom, because everyone has a slightly different sense of humor. What might be hilarious to you might seem disgusting to another, or vice versa. Try to withhold from any jokes that aren't family or dinner table friendly; you can tell those later.

7. Start and End with a Bang: Whoever you are meeting with will remember how you greet them, and then in what manner you left them. If you feel you have trouble with this, practice a few different phrases in the mirror, and introduce elements like: "pleased to meet you," or "honored to make your acquaintance." Ignore the antiquity of these phrases; it often makes them more memorable.

Making a good impression will set any relationship off on a good foot. If you are in a situation where you need to be judged at face value-such as a job interview or date-then make sure to go through this list and make sure you are within bounds of reason and good taste on all of your decisions.


Saturday, December 26, 2009

16 Habbits of Highly Creative People

16 Habbits of Highly Creative People
Many people believe that creativity is inborn and only a chosen few are creative. While it is true that creativity is inborn, it is not true that only a chosen few are creative. Everyone is born creative. In the process of growing up, educating yourself and adapting yourself to your environment, you slowly add blocks to your creativity and forget that you had it in the first place.

The difference between a creative person and a person who is not so creative is not in the creativity that they were born with but in the creativity that they have lost.How can you enhance your creative ability? One possible way is to observe the habits of creative people, identify the ones that you feel will work for you and then make a plan to cultivate them.

Here are 16 habits of creative people. If you cultivate some of them, you will feel an increase in your level of creativity. In the process, you will also feel tickled by life!

1. Creative people are full of curiosity.

Creative people are wonderstruck. They are tickled by the newness of every moment. They have lots of questions. They keep asking what, why, when, where and how. A questioning mind is an open mind. It is not a knowing mind. Only an open mind can be creative. A knowing mind can never be creative. A questioning stance sensitizes the mind in a very special way and it is able to sense what would have been missed otherwise.

2. Creative people are problem-friendly.

When there is a problem, some people can be seen wringing up their hands. Their first reaction is to look for someone to blame. Being faced with a problem becomes a problem. Such people can be called problem-averse. Creative people, on the other hand, are problem-friendly. They just roll up their sleeves when faced with a problem. They see problems as opportunities to improve the quality of life. Being faced with a problem is never a problem.

You get dirty and take a bath every day. You get tired and relax every day. Similarly, you have problems that need to be solved every day. Life is a fascinating rhythm of problems and solutions. To be problem-averse is to be life-averse. To be problem-friendly is to be life-friendly. Problems come into your life to convey some message. If you run away from them, you miss the message.

3. Creative people value their ideas.

Creative people realize the value of an idea. They do not take any chance with something so important. They carry a small notepad to note down ideas whenever they occur. Many times, just because they have a notepad and are looking for ideas to jot down, they can spot ideas which they would have otherwise missed.

4. Creative people embrace challenges.

Creative people thrive on challenges. They have a gleam in their eyes as soon as they sniff one. Challenges bring the best out of them – reason enough to welcome them.

5. Creative people are full of enthusiasm.

Creative people are enthusiastic about their goals. This enthusiasm works as fuel for their journey, propelling them to their goals.

6. Creative people are persistent.

Creative people know it well that people may initially respond to their new ideas like the immune system responds to a virus. They’ll try to reject the idea in a number of ways.Creative people are not surprised or frustrated because of this. Nor do they take it personally. They understand it takes time for a new idea to be accepted. In fact, the more creative the idea, the longer it takes for it to be appreciated.

7. Creative people are perennially dissatisfied.

Creative people are acutely aware of their dissatisfactions and unfulfilled desires. However, this awareness does not frustrate them. As a matter of fact, they use this awareness as a stimulus to realize their dreams.

8. Creative people are optimists.

Creative people generally have a deeply held belief that most, if not all, problems can be solved. No challenge is too big to be overcome.This doesn’t mean they are always happy and never depressed. They do have their bad moments but they don’t generally get stumped by a challenge.

9. Creative people make positive Judgment.

A new idea is delicate. It can be killed by a sneer or a yawn. It can be stabbed to death by a quip and worried to death by a right man’s brow – a businessman Charles Brower

The ability to hold off on judging or critiquing an idea is important in the process of creativity. Often great ideas start as crazy ones - if critique is applied too early the idea will be killed and never developed into something useful and useable.

This doesn’t mean there is no room for critique or judgment in the creative process but there is a time and place for it and creative people recognize that.

10. Creative people go for the big kill.

Creative people realize that the first idea is just the starting point. It is in the process of fleshing it out that some magical cross-connections happen and the original ‘normal’ idea turns into a killer idea.

11. Creative people are prepared to stick it out.

Creative people who actually see their ideas come to fruition have the ability to stick with their ideas and see them through - even when the going gets tough. This is what sets them apart from others. Stick-ability is the key.

12. Creative people do not fall in love with an idea.

Creative people recognize how dangerous it is to fall in love with an idea. Falling in love with an idea means stopping more ideas from coming to their mind. They love the process of coming up with ideas, not necessarily the idea.

13. Creative people recognize the environment in which they are most creative.

Creative people do most of their thinking in an environment which is most conducive to their creativity. If they are unable to influence their physical environment, they recreate their ‘favourite’ creative environment in their minds.

14. Creative people are good at reframing any situation.

Reframes are a different way of looking at things. Being able to reframe experiences and situations is a very powerful skill.

Reframing allows you to look at a situation from a different angle. It is like another camera angle in a football match. And a different view has the power to change your entire perception of the situation.

Reframing can breathe new life into dead situations. It can motivate demoralized teams. It helps you to spot opportunities that you would have otherwise missed.

15. Creative people are friends with the unexpected.

Creative people have the knack of expecting the unexpected and finding connections between unrelated things. It is this special quality of mind that evokes serendipitous events in their lives. Having honed the art of making happy discoveries, they are able to evoke serendipity more often than others.

16. Creative people are not afraid of failures.

Creative people realize that the energy that creates great ideas also creates errors. They know that failure is not really the opposite of success. In fact, both failure and success are on the same side of the spectrum because both are the result of an attempt made. Creative people look at failure as a stopover on way to success, just a step away from it.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

How to Detect Lies

How to Detect Lies

Introduction to Detecting Lies:

The following techniques to telling if someone is lying are often used by police and security experts. This knowledge is also useful for managers, employers, and for anyone to use in everyday situations where telling the truth from a lie can help prevent you from being a victim of fraud/scams and other deceptions.

Warning: Sometimes Ignorance is bliss; after gaining this knowledge, you may be hurt when it is obvious that someone is lying to you.

Signs of Deception:

Body Language of Lies:

• Physical expression will be limited and stiff, with few arm and hand movements. Hand, arm and leg movement are toward their own body the liar takes up less space.
• A person who is lying to you will avoid making eye contact.
• Hands touching their face, throat & mouth. Touching or scratching the nose or behind their ear. Not likely to touch his chest/heart with an open hand.

Emotional Gestures & Contradiction

• Timing and duration of emotional gestures and emotions are off a normal pace. The display of emotion is delayed, stays longer it would naturally, then stops suddenly.
• Timing is off between emotions gestures/expressions and words. Example: Someone says "I love it!" when receiving a gift, and then smile after making that statement, rather then at the same time the statement is made.
• Gestures/expressions don’t match the verbal statement, such as frowning when saying “I love you.”
• Expressions are limited to mouth movements when someone is faking emotions (like happy, surprised, sad, awe, )instead of the whole face. For example; when someone smiles naturally their whole face is involved: jaw/cheek movement, eyes and forehead push down, etc.

Interactions and Reactions

• A guilty person gets defensive. An innocent person will often go on the offensive.
• A liar is uncomfortable facing his questioner/accuser and may turn his head or body away.
• A liar might unconsciously place objects (book, coffee cup, etc.) between themselves and you.
Verbal Context and Content
• A liar will use your words to make answer a question. When asked, “Did you eat the last cookie?” The liar answers, “No, I did not eat the last cookie.”
•A statement with a contraction is more likely to be truthful: “ I didn't do it” instead of “I did not do it”
• Liars sometimes avoid "lying" by not making direct statements. They imply answers instead of denying something directly.
• The guilty person may speak more than natural, adding unnecessary details to convince you... they are not comfortable with silence or pauses in the conversation.
• A liar may leave out pronouns and speak in a monotonous tone. When a truthful statement is made the pronoun is emphasized as much or more than the rest of the words in a statement.
• Words may be garbled and spoken softly, and syntax and grammar may be off. In other
words, his sentences will likely be muddled rather than emphasized.
• The use of distancing language.

Other signs of a lie:

• If you believe someone is lying, then change subject of a conversation quickly, a liar follows along willingly and becomes more relaxed. The guilty wants the subject changed; an innocent person may be confused by the sudden change in topics and will want to back to the previous subject.
• Using humor or sarcasm to avoid a subject.

Final Notes:

Obviously, just because someone exhibits one or more of these signs does not make them a liar. The above behaviors should be compared to a persons base (normal) behavior whenever possible.

Most lie detecting experts agree that a combination of body language and other cues must be used to make an educated guess on whether someone is telling the truth or a lie.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Traits of A High-Performance Organisation

Traits of A High-Performance Organisation

Seven important traits of High Performance Culture

A compelling vision
The vision statement of what the company wishes to be in non-financial terms reflects in the employee behaviour of the organisation.

A true-believer psyche
Employees are not concerned with their individual success alone but they believe in their company's vision and its success. Each employee strongly believes that he is part of the organisation and owns it too.

Basic values
At least two to four basic values are observed in high-performing organisations. These simple and down-to-earth values are either implicit or stated.

Dissatisfaction with current performance
Although employees are proud of their organisation, they are not complacent about their current ways functioning. There is a certain degree of restlessness and they try to improve their performance by learning from mistakes.

Respect for peers

Respect of peers through their performance and the desire to be the best is the biggest motivator amongst executives in high-performing organisations.

Committed employees
The idea of a long-term association with the organisation and their colleagues causes employees to behave well with them. They do not exhibit any other behaviour with a short-term association in mind.


High performing organisations believe in working and playing hard. Success is celebrated almost everyday.

The Employees

High-performing companies invariably attract outstanding performers, they do not settle for anything less. Employees' exhibit a "Can-do" attitude and are Highly Competitive

The system aims at developing employees and maintaining transparency in business transactions, and having clear expectation/evaluation/frequent feedback.

Reference: The Manage Mentor

Friday, November 27, 2009

What Kind of Employee are You?

What Kind of Employee are You?

Aries Employee Profile (march 21 - april 19) Aries employees make excellent troubleshooters.They'll usually want to be out in the field at a variety of different work sites fixing things. They certainly won't be happy for very long behind a desk in a 9 to 5 schedule. The bored Aries employee who has been forced into a square hole will typically be restless, angry, and careless with details. No amount of money would compensate for being stuck in a routine job. Money in fact isn't why they are working at all. They do want to be paid fairly and need a status position to satisfy their competitive tendencies--but even more importantly, they'll want challenging new projects They typically like to have a sense of responsibility and need to feel needed. In return, they'll give their all and provide detailed, consistent work. They will literally work themselves to exhaustion to prove themselves. If you want to keep your Aries co-worker productive and happy, you'll want to give them the opportunity to work independently or let them help and lead less experienced workers.

Taurus Employee Profile (april 20 - may 20) Taureans make some of the best employees. They are loyal, hardworking, and no-nonsense. They work methodically and follow projects through until they are complete. Some may appear to work a little too slowly-usually because they are so careful-but they will always finish what they start. They thrive on structure, schedules, and routine. You'll find them doing the same exact thing at the same time every day. Taureans, however, are not exactly the malleable workers that they often appear to be. If they have to work in a chaotic environment, they won't be happy and will be prone to child-like temper tantrums and stubbornness. They might react similarly if they have to work around ignorant people or at a job where there is no obvious potential for advancement. Taureans will be very unhappy if there isn't a ladder for them to climb. Even in the worst situations, they will find a way to advance slowly, winning over the most difficult people who may stand in their way of progress. Taurus employees will only take so much patiently and happily before they feel they are being taken advantage of. They will gladly accept orders and do whatever dirty work needs to get done, but they expect rewards. They want material gain, salary increases, and the potential for more power. To make your Taurus employees happy, be sure to give them projects through which they will see tangible results-hopefully something that will allow them to express their unique creativity in addition to their practical side. They don't want to feel mired in details for long periods of time. Make sure to schedule regular performance and salary reviews. This show of respect should keep them loyal to the company.

Gemini Employee Profile (may 21 - june 21) Gemini employees can have difficulty concentrating on one thing for long periods of time. They have quick-moving minds and love to talk and communicate their ideas with others. They thrive on social interaction -- even if their jobs don't particularly support it. You'll be able to find them wandering from desk to desk gossiping about all the sordid news in the office. They can be powerful persuaders in their speech and make ideal salespeople and mediators. They love to negotiate and can work out the best Deal for everyone involved. When properly stimulated, they can manage to keep their wandering mind focused and actually be quite productive. When they are bored, bogged down with mundane detail-work, or forced to work with people who they consider droll, they can become mean-spirited and gossipy. Their moods can fluctuate vastly day to day, as well as their productivity. It is really against their nature to be forced into an average workday schedule and environment. They are happier travelling. lf they are in an office they will need constant new stimulation. Most will be wanting advancement if they see this as a way to escape the limitations of their jobs. This can motivate them to put extra effort into their job. If you work with a Gemini, try to avoid getting into any debates with them - they will surely win and it could end in some hard feelings on your part. They will need an accepting environment-one that supports their need for multi-tasking.

Cancer Employee Profile (june 22 - july 21) The Cancer employee isn't at work to feed their ego -- their job is just a job and a means to get paid. They work steadily and are usually very reliable. You'll be able to depend on them to show up on time and do what is necessary. They won't get involved in power struggles or get upset when someone advances before them. They are able to accept the situation because they see it simply as a rung on the ladder up. Their motivation is security. They'll want more money the longer they've stayed at a job. They don't want to have to worry about how they'll make ends meet tomorrow so they'll need a stable position without much risk. Cancerian workers can slip into some dark moods on occasion. During these periods productivity tends to drop-as well as everyone else's in the office. Their moods can be so strong everyone becomes affected. To avoid the frequency of these occurrences, managers and co-workers should try to make the work environment as homey as possible-keep it well heated, cozy, and friendly. Don't press them to reveal their true inner thoughts-their tendency is to be secretive and protective, and they could see prying as an attempt to disturb their security.

Leo Employee Profile (july 22 - august 21) Leo workers want to be first and at the center of the office. Even if they can't lead, they'll look for every opportunity to increase their own status - and if someone else seems ahead of them, look out. They will make it clear that they aren't happy by pouting and complaining. They want advancement so much that they'll take on more responsibility and carry a heavier load than anyone else does in the office. And they are self-promoters. It is likely that they are telling everyone in the office what a great job they are doing as well as giving everyone unwanted advice. They know they are superior and want everyone to know it as well. This arrogance can sometimes cause problems when working with management. But typically, they are just hard workers out to demonstrate just how good they really are. They thrive in sales positions - they can promote a product or company just as well as they promote themselves. Their strength and arrogance isn't just show either. In a crisis situation, Leos really demonstrate their true courage. Leos want to lead and will be pushing for more responsibility and rewards. They are happy to train and mentor new co- workers as they enjoy giving advice and being in positions of authority. If you are trying to manage a Leo employee, you'll need to give them plenty of praise, responsibility, and independence. They will certainly want to help lighten your load of management responsibilities. Just be careful- the next thing you know they could be taking over your job.

Virgo Employee Profile (august 22 - september 22) In the right situations Virgos love to work. They make ideal employees, happily working late into the night to make sure everything is perfect and in order. If you are looking for an employee who doesn't mind starting from rock bottom in the most entry-level position at the company, hire a Virgo. They'll have no complaints about the position being beneath them. They are CONTENT with basic, honest hard work. Their contentment isn't always apparent, however. They love to complain and worry. They are quick to criticize the way things are done around the office and are the first ones to grumble disapprovingly at what they consider to be extravagance or laziness. They are blunt and honest and don't mince words over what they feel just isn't right. Usually, this will be brought on by someone doing a half-baked job or not being considerate of other co-workers. You'll want to constantly reassure them, but this will do little to quell their anxieties. They actually enjoy worrying, and there is little you can do about it. Just give them a detail - oriented project and let them work alone on it. You won't have to supervise a Virgo worker. They'll check all the facts before getting started and catch their own errors when they are done. To keep a Virgo employee happy, you should also make sure their environment is orderly and calm. You should also provide small gestures of appreciation. They don't need extravagance, just let them know you appreciate them in small ways that won't embarrass them. They will probably just shrug their shoulders and say, "It's no big deal." But deep down inside they need these little reassurances.

Libra Employee Profile (september 23 - october 22) Libra employees are detailed, dedicated workers with sensitive natures. Managers and co-workers sometimes find them difficult to get a handle on. They pick up the energy of the office and are unable to prevent it from affecting them. Loud noise,flashy colors, and discordant vibrations will put them off so much that they will have difficulty fulfilling their obligations at work. One day they may seem like the most bright, hardworking, ambitious employee around. The next day they might be down, irritated, and unable to produce. Co-workers shouldn't fret when Libra employees are in a dark mood. It really won't last, as a happy state of mind can come over them just as quickly. When Libra employees are in a balanced frame of mind, they can be a powerful presence at work-they have a way of gracing everything they touch. Underneath that mess of moods, they really are basically happy and stable people. They are capable of profound logical thought and evaluate all sides of a situation before acting. They are one of the most intelligent Signs around. They are expert researchers and mediators. And their sensitivity to their environment makes them naturals at keeping things looking great. They will easily help others resolve conflicts and can act as a go-between with workers and management so that everyone ends up happy. If you want to keep your Libran worker smiling, give them the respect they are due and put them in a position where they can project their great charm and diplomacy. They won't be CONTENT to take orders for very long, either- make sure they are given increased responsibility.

Scorpio Employee Profile (october 23 - november 21) Scorpio employees usually exude a quiet self-confidence. They are self-sufficient and do not depend on others for a sense of self-worth. They keep their private life separate from work and take complete responsibility for their actions and their situation. They don't make excuses; they just take care of business and expect everyone else to do the same. Those who don't, co- workers and managers- will have to endure the Scorpio wrath. They don't mind being completely vocal about what they feel is wrong with any given situation. And if you tread on their fire be sure to expect retaliation. They won't take insults or opposition lying down. If you manage a Scorpio employee, be sure to follow through with your word and don't break any promises-Scorpio is keeping track and building up some heavy resentments against you if you do. You may not even be aware of it until too late-but when Scorpio gets too much, you'll be sure to know. Scorpio employees will react towards those around them exactly as they are treated. When they get what they want, they will be very accepting. If you are trying to work with or motivate a Scorpio co-worker, be sure to treat them respectfully and act professionally. Give them challenging work that allows them to utilize their awesome self-confidence and courage.

Sagittarius Employee Profile (november 22 - december 21) The Sagittarian employee is head strong, cheerful, and willing to help. They exude self-confidence and take on tasks like there's no tomorrow. They are willing to tackle even the toughest of projects as long as it is challenging and gets them out of the routine. Lucky for them, their shining personalities and honest enthusiasm seem like a bright spot in the office- otherwise co-workers might begin to build animosity towards someone so arrogant and extravagant. Their tendency to exaggerate and take on more then they can handle usually results in missed deadlines and dropping the ball-not because they are lazy of procrastinate, but because their enthusiasm just gets the better of them sometimes. Don't let their nonchalance fool you-they really do care about what they are doing. They just have an easy-going attitude that allows them to keep on smiling even when they just messed up big time. Just because they are flexible and easy-going doesn't mean they won't tell you exactly how they feel-what is working for them and what isn't. And they won't just blindly take orders - they need to understand the method and reason behind the process. If you are trying to motivate your Sagittarian employee, be sure to feed them plenty of challenging new projects and hint that some business trips might be on the horizon once deadlines are met. And whatever you do, try not to question their intentions - it is the quickest way to make them upset. They aren't capable of deceit.

Capricorn Employee Profile (december 22 - january 20) A Capricorn employee with too much to do is a happy worker. They need plenty of projects and responsibility. There is no sadder sight than a Capricorn worker without a sense of responsibility. They need to be needed. They are covertly ambitious - usually not flashy or obvious about it-but you will usually know that they are serious and determined about advancing themselves. They are completely scrupulous, so much so that they can be self-disparaging. But they are no pushovers. They can wear down even the toughest customers. Their persistence is incredible. Once they set their sights on a goal, they work away at it until the bitter end-whether the goal be that hard sell or the new hardware release. Capricorns don't work for free, however. They expect to be paid handsomely and be given more and more responsibility. They need to come out ahead of the pack in the end, and they see the work environment as their primary vehicle. They won't go in for the typical office gossip and politics, though. They want to get down to business at work and see it as no place for fooling around. With a strong sense of duty and respect towards their superiors, it is rare they will join in on boss-bashing or knocking the system. They can get frustrated, however, with blue sky management schemes that lack common sense, and they will interject their dry sense of humor in the most critical ways. If they want change, they will be unyielding. If all their effort leads to naught the result will be deep moods of darkness and depression with a sense of hopelessness. Keep your Capricorn employee happy by paying them fairly and giving them plenty of hard work. Arrange for a path of advancement within your organization for them. If you don't, you might find them looking for other opportunities.

Aquarius Employee Profile (january 21 - february 19) The Aquarius employee can't tolerate unfairness in the office. Hair brained schemes will get the positive attention they deserve if an Aquarian has anything to do with it. They'll try to help everyone see the good side of a bad situation if it's the last thing that they do. They are so smart-they can't help but hold management in disdain if they feel that they are being unfair and unintelligent. It isn't that they are overly ambitious and think they could be doing a better job- just that they think people in power should know better. Most Aquarius workers are still looking for themselves and will want to try their hand at a variety of jobs in the workplace. Whatever they are doing, they will do conscientiously. They usually have strict personal codes that include a strong work ethic. Their bright, off-beat intelligence, and trustworthi- ness will typically gain them many friends-in and out of work. Beneath that sometimes odd-ball behavior is solid, concrete thinking and sensitivity to co-workers. Keep your smart Aquarius co-worker happy by giving them plenty of opportunity to learn news kills. Raises are less important to them. No amount of money will make it worth their while to stay in a stagnant position. Don't let them get too bored or they will simply find another job as easily as they found this one-their genius is easy to spot.

Pisces Employee Profile (february 20 - march 20) The Pisces employee can be a loyal and hard-working, if unconventional, worker. In the right position, they are able to keep their daydreams in check and buckle down on the detail work-giving their all to the boss and corporation whom they feel are worthy of devotion. On the flip side, there is no image of extreme misery like that of an ill-placed Pisces worker. They will act as though their cubicle were a prison cell as they daydream of their own business or next vacation. Unhappy Pisces workers usually won't stick around too long. Often Pisceans will drift from one job to another looking for that ideal environment to which they will be able to commit and feel a sense of purpose. And if things are going in a bad direction at the office, Pisces will be the first to sense it. They'd rather pick up and leave then wait until the problem reaches a head. Pisces are often misunderstood by their co-workers. Typically timid and introspective, they usually keep their true nature hidden, for fear it wouldn't fit with the corporate culture. What motivates a Pisces employee to not only stick around but also excel? Try compliments. And show them how their work impacts the entire organization. They need to know that what they are doing is worth something on a grander scale. Acceptance of their unconventional organization and planning will be necessary. Just because their sales report isn't in the typical format doesn't mean it is any less effective. Keep their environment bright and upbeat; and an after-work cocktail wouldn't hurt.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

ICICI, Infosys among top firms for nourishing talent

ICICI, Infosys among Top Firms for Nourishing Talent

Five Indian companies, including ICICI Bank and Infosys Technologies, have made it to the list of top 12 companies in the Asia Pacific region for being instrumental in nurturing talent within their organization.

According to the list compiled by HR consulting firm Hewitt in partnership with RBL Group and U.S. magazine Fortune, ICICI Bank emerged at the top, followed by China Mobile Communications Corp and TCL Corp, a China-based electronics goods maker.

The Indian arm of global FMCG major Unilever, Hindustan Unilever, was ranked at the fourth spot, Aditya Birla Group was at the sixth spot, Infosys Tech was ranked eighth and another IT major Wipro cornered the 10th slot. Among others on the list, agricultural products firm Olam International was positioned in the fifth place, beer and wine products producer Lion Nathan was at the seventh position. The New Zealand Refining Company was ranked ninth and TrustPower and British American Tobacco Berhad stood at the 11th and 12th positions, respectively.

In the global top 25 firms list, there were three Indian companies -- ICICI Bank, Hindustan Unilever and Infosys Technologies. Regarding the decent presence of Indian firms, Ajay Soni, Hewitt Associates Talent and Organisation Consulting (Business Leader) said, "It comes as no surprise that Indian firms have a good presence in these lists. These companies are well-positioned for growth despite the economic challenges."

In the global list, ICICI Bank was on the fifth spot, Hindustan Unilever stood at the 10th spot, while Infosys have made a space for itself on the 24th slot. The global top 25 list was topped by technology giant IBM, followed by Proctor & Gamble, while General Mills and McKinsey cornered the third and fourth positions, respectively.

The others in the list include fast-food chain McDonald's (sixth), US-based conglomerate General Electric (seventh), Titan Cement (eighth) and China Mobile (ninth), Colgate Palmolive (12th), Whirlpool Corporation (15th), Pepsico (20th), American Express (21st), Intel Corporation (23rd) and FedEx Corporation (25th).

The survey said that ICICI Bank doesn't just have recruiters trolling for talent outside the company; it also has 600 employees who act as talent scouts internally, identifying coworkers with leadership potential.

Hindustan Unilever, which has 15,000 employees, calls it a '70-20-10' model for developing its workforce that is 70 percent of learning happens on the job, 20 percent through mentoring, and 10 percent through training and coursework.

"Indian companies come with a mix of cutting edge leadership practices, innovative procedures and the zest to create a robust leadersh
Ref: siliconindia news bureau

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sailing Through Senior-Level Interviews

Sailing Through Senior-Level Interviews

A candidate for a mid-level executive position visits the organisation a couple of times before the job is finally offered. The interview focuses on his skills and abilities. Hiring decisions are primarily based on past performance.

When screening candidates for top-level jobs, the interview protocol changes. The atmosphere is friendlier and the candidate socialises extensively with the senior executives. Under this congenial façade is the fact that candidates are being assessed for their potential compatibility with the job, cultural fit and their ability to represent the organisation in public. Hiring managers focus on what the candidate can do for the organisation and his ability to support organisational goals. As Terry Harlow, a corporate vice-president says, “They’re looking for a person who can create and communicate the vision for the organisation.”

Skip Fiordalis conducts senior level searches for various organisations. He ensures that the candidates are ‘good fits’ especially with the administrative management team. Skip attributes his selection success to his interviewing skills. He tests the candidate’s flexibility in dealing with a new environment, pragmatism in approaching problems and excellence in managing various relationships. With so much at stake it is imperative that candidates master senior-level interviews.

The set-up

The initial interview for top level posts usually spans a couple of days. The candidate meets other senior employees in groups and could be invited to dinner. Subsequently, the invitation may extend to his spouse. Some organisations headquartered in other states/countries fly the candidates to tour the area and meet would-be colleagues. Often such meetings are breakfast to dinner affairs involving lengthy negotiations over salaries and perks.

Interviewing candidates is a stressful job-full of interactions with a large number of people and involves extensive travel. An exhausted interviewer has little patience with an ill-prepared candidate. For instance, just as the interview began one candidate forced his resume and recommendation letters onto the interviewer. A rookie mistake! “People who begin the interview with a resume, portfolio, deal sheets or financial statements don’t understand that the interview is already over,” says Andrea Eisenberg, a consultant in a placement firm.


An organisation has high expectations from interviewees appearing for senior posts. Janet Jones-Parker, managing director of a recruiting firm insists that interviewees should exude confidence. Janet advices, “You (interviewee) have to go to an interview as though you’re already there. Everything you do must speak of that. If you act as though you’re stepping up, that’s how you’re perceived.” Dave Opton, CEO of ExecuNet Inc., selects interviewees who carry themselves as leaders.

An interviewee can gain confidence with some basic research into the organisation both, cultural and financial. It also helps to learn more about the other employees, traditions, organisational values and defining historical moments.

Fitting in

“As part of every senior-level interview there’s a high level of social interaction.” The way a candidate speaks, writes thank-you notes, even his spouse’s behaviour all are important. Poor etiquette is the biggest stumbling block. A Philadelphia recruiting firm bought books and videos to educate an interviewee on good table manners! As senior-level executives socialise at high-levels they need impeccable social skills.

A post interview meal with the hiring officials shouldn’t be misconstrued as a confirmation dinner! Dave Opton knows of interviewees who light up cigars after dinner without seeking permission. One such interviewee was rejected after he blew smoke into the eyes of the CEO’s wife!

The better half

Surprisingly, a candidate’s spouse affects hiring decisions. ‘Spouses should seem eager, excited, flexible and positive.’ Quite often candidates need to relocate. The candidate’s spouse should view any career move as a family investment. This should be reflected in conversations with other employees. Spouses need to be cautious. Any negative comments could mar job negotiations.

What is the interviewer looking for?

Interviewees who anticipate the job requirements instantly figure out changes necessary to accomplish a task. An interviewer discovers such an interviewee by asking ‘fact-finding’ questions.

A great way to start a senior-level interview is to ask the single best question: “Can you describe your most significant accomplishment?” The interviewer gains insights into the individual’s accomplishments and how they relate to specific job needs.

Another question that reveals an interviewee’s problem solving abilities, leadership qualities, intelligence and vision is: “If you were to get this job how would you go about solving this (major/typical) problem? “How would you” questions focus on the planning and visualisation aspects. Lack of either skill can disqualify an interviewee.

Think before you speak!

To gauge an interviewee’s problem solving abilities, organisations often show them negative financial information. Organisations expect them to use their leadership skills to wriggle out of complex situations rather than bank on experience and background. Buster Houchins, managing director of an executive search company says, “It’s all about getting people excited about a vision that’s bigger than your own personal goal or vision.”

Organisations typically hire candidates willing to take calculated risks. Hence, the interviewee should freely express his views when asked to comment, even if they are contrary to the interviewer’s viewpoint. He should evaluate the consequences of his remarks. Patronising comments and critical remarks are taboo.

More questions

The interviewer should allow interviewees to ask questions too. In an interview for the position of a vice president Ms.Kenny asked her employers questions that gave insights into the organisation’s strategies. The question, “What’s important to you?” helped her to determine if her perception matched the organisation’s and whether she could support it. Jean-Claude Noel, COO of Christie’s too believes that interviewees should ask a lot of questions.

Channel ‘ WE’

An interviewee did well but on his way to the airport in the company car yelled at his subordinate on the cell phone. The driver promptly reported the interviewee’s attitude to the higher-ups. Needless to say, he wasn’t selected.

Interviewees aspiring to make it to the top echelons should adopt the ‘we’ attitude. They should consider themselves part of a team and be unbiased. Those who lack humility don’t make it to the higher ranks. As Ms. Eisenberg says, “It’s dangerous to assume that the person you’re meeting with matters a lot and others don’t matter. That’s the landmine. Be certain to engage every person at his or her level.”

On guard!

Interviewees naturally feel comfortable with hiring officials after dining and spending time with them. But as Paul Villella, CEO of an executive hiring firm warns, “You have to be most cautious with the most casual, you don’t want to treat them as though you have known them for years.” The interviewee should learn how to manage his relationships.

The computer savvy era encourages informality; most techies are used to ‘winging in’ and come ill prepared for interviews. However, it is important to be conservative and professional in dress and style, during an interview. One CEO recommends making bullet point notes for the interview.

Cultural changes

With recruitment going global, senior level executives are required to travel, and at times relocate to different countries. Hence, the interviewee should have the ability to adapt to different cultures. For instance, German companies are more formal than American companies. Interviewees would have to address people as Mr., Ms. or Mrs., and never by a first name. “Ability to adapt makes a good leader.”

‘Interviewee’ skills are critical for a smooth and successful transition into the higher slots. An interview is a ticket to the job!

Ref: Manage Mentor

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Performance Management: Poor Ratings

Is rating better than ranking?

. Organisations believe that rating employees is a better way of evaluating their performance

. However, experts reckon that rating is just a euphemism for ranking

Ranking employees makes performance evaluation easy. It is also a simple way of identifying how an employee is performing in comparison with his peers. But this method of evaluating performance is not very popular with employees. Though employees do not mind comparisons, trouble starts when they lose out on assignments and promotions based on such comparisons. Since the consequences of such comparisons or ranking can be damaging, most organisations have discontinued the practice, and instead, opted for rating their employees. But, is rating any different? Although the popularity of rating systems indicates everything is hunky-dory, all is not well in paradise actually. This week’s mailer takes another peek into rating systems to determine their true worth as performance management tools.
The difference
Unlike rankings, where an employee’s performance is graded in relation to the performance of others, in rating systems, performance is compared to a set of pre-determined criteria, where the employee scores a letter or a number that represents his level of performance. In ranking, since an employee is pitted against his colleagues, not everyone gets to be a top performer, or number one. In the rating system, everyone can get high grades if they deserve them. With a rubric dictating how employees should be graded, rating is said to have evolved into an objective and reliable performance measurement tool, which explains its popularity.
Truly worthy?

Are rating systems really worth their popularity among both employees and organisations? Here is an evaluation:Objectivity: It is necessary to grade employee performance in an objective manner. Do rating systems allow for true objectivity? For instance, an organisation has the following criteria and employees are graded on each parameter on a scale of 1 to 5, the best being 5:

1. Job knowledge: The ability to assimilate and evaluate job-related information.
2. Planning: Adapting to changing work demands, using efficient measures to address work concerns.
3. Quality: Maintaining high standards of accuracy and completeness.
4. Initiative: Resourcefulness, innovation and the ability to be a go-getter.
Even though the parameters are pre-determined, its components such as high standards and ability to be a go-getter are open to interpretation. If achieving 80 percent is a high standard for one manager, it can be 90 percent for another. Thus, a better performer and a lesser performer will find themselves in the same bracket. Although employees do not complain about it, organisations stand to lose when they fail to identify their top performers.
Development: A primary function of performance appraisals is to identify an employee’s improvement needs. Learning professionals are of the opinion that rating systems are least indicative of developmental areas. For employees to learn and develop, they need to know the areas in which they fall short, by how much, and what they can do to improve themselves. Managers might argue that rating an employee low in an area indicates his improvement need. However, it does not work that way. For instance, an employee scores 2 on the ability to evaluate information. Although, an area of improvement has been identified, how can one convert a score of 2 into learning requirements? Moreover, to an employee, all that the score conveys is that his manager is dissatisfied with his performance in that area. It does not answer the following questions:

. What should I do to improve my score?
. Is the score truly indicative of my inability to evaluate information, or is it just that my manager thinks that way?

Moreover, an employee, who has been given a score of 4 for the same ability by another manager earlier, will not take the score of 2 seriously. Employees who sense even a bit of bias are unlikely to give any importance to low scores.
A performance management tool must act as a true talent advocate. Additionally, employees must benefit from its assessments. But rating systems only appear to be objective. With the parameters for ratings defined loosely, a low score may not be the correct assessment always. For employees who have received top ratings in the past, a sudden low score will result in disgruntlement. Also, to some employees, a score of 3 on a scale of 1 to 5 is nothing to worry about. This, however, may not be the way the manager interprets the score. For instance, an employee is given a 3 for his ability to be a self-starter. The employee may think of this score as satisfactory. However, to his manager, nothing below 4 is acceptable. Now, when this employee is not given an opportunity to work on an upcoming project, he will be wondering why. He will question the manager’s ability to assess objectively and constructively.
Is there an alternative?
Ratings may not be a great improvement over rankings. They only expose the weaknesses in such performance evaluations. The following are some of the recommended approaches to improve things:

. Use incident reports where an employee’s reaction or response, in a simulated or a real-life situation, is reported
. Define measurement criteria strictly, leaving no scope for interpretation
If rating systems are subjective, and least indicative of an employee’s areas of improvement, how can they help in performance management? Asking questions like this is important to be able to choose the right performance management tools.
Reference:The ManageMentor

The Grim Reapers!- Handling Multiple Lay-offs

The Grim Reapers

HR specialists are experiencing extreme burnout as they carry out multiple lay-offs ...

Key learnings:

1. HR professionals need support to manage lay-offs induced stress and anxiety
2. Emotional distancing is one of the key fallouts of lay-offs
3. Training and HR support networks can help ease the pain associated with conducting lay-offs

HR professionals are living their worst nightmare! Their worst fears suddenly have come true, with lay-offs and job cuts becoming more frequent than one would have ever imagined. .HR professionals are feeling the heat from the emotional outbursts of people being laid-off and the stress caused because of overseeing continuous rounds of lay-offs. The most disturbing part of lay-off related stress is that more than thirty percent of HR professionals are considering a job shift! The reactions seem graver than one would have bargained for, Organisations thus need to take notice of the not-so-welcome trend that is beginning to unfold. Understanding the reasons for anxiety, stress and depression and providing help to overcome these negative feelings is thus pressing for organisations that wish to preserve their HR asset.

The weathered and wilted

HR professionals surely are gaining experience of a different kind by engaging in lay-offs round after round. The experience is extraordinary and faraway from normal. While the experience can be enriching as human resources professionals, getting weathered by the storm is terrible. Some would argue that excessive weathering is causing them to wilt under pressure and stress is leading them to disillusionment. .

Traditionally, it has been the human resources department that has provided counselling to stressed and anxious employees, however, today HR professionals need support of the same kind more than anybody else. Statistics provided in the report presented by workforce management would enable better understanding of its gravity. The HR anxiety survey reveals that:

1. Out of the 370 respondents surveyed more than sixty-five percent had started drinking more while others lit up when they felt unduly stressed
2. More than thirty percent HR professionals are thinking about a job change
3. Sixty-six percent of HR professionals are worried about losing their jobs
4. Seven percent HR professionals have already lost their jobs
5. Fifty percent of the surveyed professionals have conducted three or more rounds of lay-offs in a time span of 16-18 months
6. Majority feel distressed as people call them names like “grim reaper” and “the axe man”
7. Seventy percent have reported with complaints of sleeplessness and stress-induced depression

The foregoing statistics are alarming and suggest the need to take preventive measures for containing the negative impact of today’s uncertain economic times as it is resonating deep and far within the corporate fold.

According to corporate psychologists, HR professionals have been corporate caretakers. They have played a key role in hiring people to ensure better organisational productivity. Removing them for ushering cuts in corporate outlays and containing loss because of poor economic conditions is a bizarre experience for HR professionals. Such conflicting experiences are taking a toll on the mental and physical health of HR professionals. The implications can be worrying for both employers and HR professionals. While HR workers would have to battle out ill-health and a poor mental state, the employers would have to worry about the morale of HR workers and the resulting medical costs that the company would have to bear.

The most worrying fact about the whole lay-off caused stress and anxiety is that, most employers are oblivious to the implications of lay-offs on people who conduct them. All remedial measures are directed to those being laid-off and none towards HR professionals who have been sitting for lay-offs round after round. For instance, the employer providing laid-off employees with outplacement services, however, there is no counselling or aid provided to HR professionals to help them cope with the pressures of axing jobs.

Emotional distancing

Apart from the health issues, emotional distancing is the most obvious fallout of excessive lay-offs. HR professionals are increasingly distancing themselves from their colleagues. According to Laura Rhode, HR director of Bonita Springs, Florida-based hardware giant, “as HR professionals we do not want to get too close with other colleagues as it would really hurt if they were asked to leave”. Where HR professionals are not emotionally distancing themselves we find employees distancing themselves from their “HR friends”, as they believe that they are “sorrow makers”. According to a survey, twenty-five percent of HR professionals believed there has been a dramatic change in their relationship with their colleagues ever since they carried-out lay-offs.

HR professionals thus need help. The criticism, self-induced stress, anxiety, tagging by friends and depression are reasons enough to take professional help. Most HR professionals are fighting the ailments at their personal level without much success. The need to get some professional counselling that can make them feel better about their work is important to spread cheer and gaiety among the HR fraternity. Apart from professional counselling HR professionals can set up formal support networks that work towards providing common comfort. However, the disadvantages of a formal network would be that it could lead to a “HR” versus “us” idea..

This apart, HR professionals can enrol for training on how to conduct lay-offs and deal with issues related to lay-offs. Most HR professionals surveyed believed the training they received helped them cope with stress and therefore recommend it with great conviction. However, experts believe that while training surely helps HR professionals get a grip on conducting lay-offs, explaining the strategy behind lay-offs can highlight the impact of training.

While the survey brought out some real grim facts about conducting lay-offs, it also has given hope and a reason to cheer. According to the survey only nineteen percent respondents believed the stress and anxiety would have a long-term impact on their health and adversely impact their attitude towards HR function. The rest sounded upbeat and positive and believed that this phase too shall pass and the “grim” reapers would soon become “grin” reapers!

Ref: TheManageMentor.

Recruitment & Retention- Mistaken Identity

Recruitment & Retention- Mistaken Identity

Poor hiring is not always about what one does, it’s also about what one doesn’t!

Key learnings:

1. A mistake-free hiring process is a rarity
2. This however does not mean organisations do little to prevent typical hiring mistakes

It is surprising how many organisations rave and rant about showing the importance of ROI of recruiting while indulging in actions that eat into the returns. But let’s cut them some slack. Most are ignorant of how they damage their recruiting efforts. This week’s mailer reveals a few common damaging activities that ail most recruiting processes. The hope is that once aware, organisations will tread the recruiting path with more caution than before.

What really happens?
In a recent finger-pointing research, analysts confirmed how the high-handedness of hiring managers and supervisors affect most recruiting functions. The objective to improve the recruiting returns is to target the hiring managers and supervisors since final hiring decisions lie in their kitty.

Here are a few mistakes that can easily be avoided with little awareness and effort.

Mistake: Rebuking recruiters about candidate quality only to reject the qualified based on gut feelings or resume information

Complaints on how only a few candidates match are rampant. But what hiring managers and supervisors overlook is the number of qualified candidates they reject citing reasons such as, “I don’t think he’ll like the job”, “I’m sure he’ll get bored with the job profile soon” and “He is overqualified for what we have to offer”. Maybe these reasons are not flippant but how many organisations ask their hiring managers to confirm their reasons for rejecting a candidate. Once this stipulation is in place, hiring managers and supervisors will be wary of rejecting candidates for unjustified reasons.

Mistake: Failing to make it to the interview

There have been instances when critical positions have been vacant for long and when ‘right’ candidates finally show up, hiring managers have done the disappearing act on the day of the interview. Good fits are always a rarity and competition for them is always on. Therefore, not showing up for scheduled interviews is the biggest mistake some hiring managers make. Most candidates are unwilling to reschedule their interviews or make reappearances. While their unwillingness has all to do with their market worth, hiring managers are quick to say, “The fact that he cannot reschedule or come on another day shows his reluctance to work for us”. It may not be true. Start pulling up hiring managers and supervisors for not showing up on scheduled interviews.

Mistake: Turning up ill-prepared for interviews

There have been instances when recruiters have had to resend candidates details while the candidate is seated across the interview table. Recruiters have not only resent resumes but have also attended those urgent; “Hey, quick tell me something about this guy” calls. A hiring manager or supervisor’s lack of interview readiness speaks volumes of how serious he is about hiring the best. Getting hiring managers and supervisors to share their interviewing schedules a week in advance and asking them to clarify their concerns about shortlisted candidates in advance should help hiring managers and supervisors get serious about their roles.

Mistake: Turning up late for interviews

Asking candidates to wait beyond their scheduled time gives them the impression the organisation is unorganised, ill-prepared or could not careless about them. Though most candidates would wait for the interview, only the desperate would wait to accept an offer. Typically, the desperate are not always the best. Hold hiring managers and supervisors accountable for sticking to their interviewing timetable.

Mistake: Getting to the interview only to ask dimwitted questions!

Asking interviewing questions is not akin to being a quizmaster! Questions asked should help hiring managers and supervisors make the right hiring decisions. However, most hiring managers and supervisors ask irrelevant, inappropriate and wrong questions. Interviewing questions have to be to-the-point and information generating. Blaming those in-charges of interviewing is unfair when they have had no formal interviewing skills training. Here is where more organisations falter. All organizations do not make artists out of their interviewers, interviewing skills is a recognized art. Hiring managers and supervisors must be trained with the dos and don’ts of interviewing and exposed to questioning skills.

Mistake: Delaying decision making Delayed decision is refuted decision.

Although not yet recognised as an idiom, it holds true in recruiting circles. Hiring managers and supervisors who delay hiring decisions stating, “We are yet to hear from our team” or “I am waiting for the green from my boss” are doing a disservice to recruiting. Although some have the courtesy to tell candidates about the delay, undue time lags between interviewing and hiring are the banes of recruiting. Most top candidates are lost during this time. Justifying their time lags is a must for hiring managers and supervisors. Also, penalising them for keeping critical positions unfulfilled even after interviewing.

As some experts rightly say, the success of most actions lie in not what is being done but what is not, in hiring too, success lies in avoiding the preceding mistakes. Hoping this week’s mailer will enable organisations to indulge in a mistake-free hiring process - happy hiring.

Ref: TheManageMentor.

Training and Development - Conjured Learning

Training and Development - Conjured Learning

Simulations as more than learning tools

Key learnings:

Gaming simulations have carved a niche in training

But they also have the potential to move a little beyond that

Gaming will enable learning professionals to reinforce key learning ideas, deliver more attractive, engaging sessions and ensure higher retention levels is an irrefutable fact. Organisations are so satisfied with just this much that only few have exploited the true potential of gaming.

“Simulation games have more potential than what is currently being harnessed,” says an expert in gaming technology. The biggest discovery is using games to bolster business performance. In fact, once organisations understand the correlation between gaming and business performance, the final word in the learning world will be games!

Simulation games allow learning professionals to reproduce complex market, organisational and customer-service systems and conditions. As a result, learning interventions are better poised to support business performances. Read on to understand the link between simulation games as a learning tool and improved business performance.

The question, “Why simulations?” though answered a hundred times before, todayt in answering the same question, the objectives are to highlight:

1. Using simulation games is relevant in present times
2. How simulations boost business performance

The joys of simulation

Besides their high entertainment value, using simulation games can create knowledge. By modelling work-life conditions, they enable learners to understand:

1. Complex market functioning
2. Tactics that support improved business performance
3. Competencies and skills needed to achieve high performance

In short, simulation games, when well leveraged, give organisations a unique business advantage. Detailing reasons why simulation games should become a hot favourite, especially when increasing business performance is the key learning objective.

Generational preference:
With gamers representing an increasing chunk of the employees, short, intermittent online learning exposures will leave learners dissatisfied and disillusioned Simulation games offer modern learners what they expect - a wholesome online learning experience.

Equally important is for organisations to understand the importance that modern generations place on technology. To them, technologically non-savvy organisations have no future. As the head of a telecommunications company reiterates, “With the younger generation in particular, it is important to attract such employees with the kinds of technology they have come to expect, including simulation games and Web 2.0 capabilities” .

As well as to helping organisations cater to the learning needs of newer work generations, simulation games help attract and keep the young crowd! But these benefits are just the beginning.

Built-in learning:
Simulation games place learners in practical performance management situations. Here, learners play a central role in managing and controlling and gain practice in making the right moves. Learners also enjoy the luxury of making errors without suffering its outcomes. With rapidly changing trends, having learners return to classrooms or online sessions often is not possible. With this limitation, simulations provide a great learning platform and what is best is that learners are not getting short-changed in the bargain. On the contrary, they benefit more from the experience of being-in-the- moment. “Compared with traditional classroom learning, simulations help learners master content and new behaviours forty – seventy percent faster,” says an expert. Speeding learners to new learning competencies translates into quicker business results.

The differentiator
There are market simulations that allow learners to perform ‘what if’ analyses. By modelling cause and effect associations that exist in a particular market environment, these simulations allow learners to get a first-hand feel of complex market functions and human interactions. Simulations also make learners better assessors of real-life situations. Known as the ‘déjà vu factor’, a learner who has experienced something in a simulated meeting will immediately link it to what he is going through in real-time.

Simulations can also help business plans and organisational structures to enable employees to understand the complex web of their operations and functioning. Organisations have used such simulations to identify actions and interactions that act as obstacles or hamper functioning. Simulations have also helped them test the solutions. In fact, an emerging practice is using simulations for corrective and preventive measures. Customising all these simulations to the‘t’ will have the desirable impact.

As mentioned above, simulations can help gain critical skills and competencies even when individuals have had no prior experience in it. A railway company employed a cost-centre simulation solution to help their employees, who were engineers with no exposure to finance, gain financial management skills. By engaging those in complex role-playing and allowing them to plan and perform operational activities, the engineers felt as comfortable as their finance counterparts by the end of their training.
The benefits of simulation continue to charm organisations. But thinking of them as learning tools alone will prevent organisations from using them as part of performance management. Given the increasing complexities of the business world, speeding employees’ knowledge and competency gaming is a definite way to ensure better and quicker business results.
Ref: TheManageMentor.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Difference among CV Resume and Bio Data

Difference among CV Resume and Bio Data

People use the words RESUME, C.V., and BIO-DATA interchangeably for the document highlighting skills, education, and experience that a candidate submits when applying for a job. On the surface level, all the three mean the same. However, there are intricate differences.


Resume Is a French word meaning "summary", and true to the word meaning, signifies a summary of one's employment, education, and other skills, used in applying for a new position. A resume seldom exceeds one side of an A4 sheet, and at the most two sides. They do not list out all the education and qualifications, but only highlight specific skills customized to target the job profile in question.

A resume is usually broken into bullets and written in the third person to appear objective and formal. A good resume starts with a brief Summary of Qualifications, followed by Areas of Strength or Industry Expertise in keywords, followed by Professional Experience in reverse chronological order. Focus is on the most recent experiences, and prior experiences summarized. The content aims at providing the reader a balance of responsibilities and accomplishments for each position. After Work experience come Professional Affiliations, Computer Skills, and Education


C.V Is a Latin word meaning "course of life". Curriculum Vitae (C.V.) is therefore a regular or particular course of study pertaining to education and life. A C.V. is more detailed than a resume, usually 2 to 3 pages, but can run even longer as per the requirement. A C.V. generally lists out every skills, jobs, degrees, and professional affiliations the applicant has acquired, usually in chronological order. A C.V. displays general talent rather than specific skills for any specific positions.


Bio Data the short form for Biographical Data, is the old-fashioned terminology for Resume or C.V. The emphasis in a bio data is on personal particulars like date of birth, religion, sex, race, nationality, residence, martial status, and the like. Next comes a chronological listing of education and experience. The things normally found in a resume, that is specific skills for the job in question comes last, and are seldom included. Bio-data also includes applications made in specified formats as required by the company.

A resume is ideally suited when applying for middle and senior level positions, where experience and specific skills rather than education is important. A C.V., on the other hand is the preferred option for fresh graduates, people looking for a career change, and those applying for academic positions. The term bio-data is mostly used in India while applying to government jobs, or when applying for research grants and other situations where one has to submit descriptive essays.

Resumes present a summary of highlights and allow the prospective employer to scan through the document visually or electronically, to see if your skills match their available positions. A good resume can do that very effectively, while a C.V. cannot. A bio-data could still perform this role, especially if the format happens to be the one recommended by the employer. Personal information such as age, sex, religion and others, and hobbies are never mentioned in a resume. Many people include such particulars in the C.V. However, this is neither required nor considered in the US market. A Bio-data, on the other hand always include such personal particulars.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Culture Management:

Culture Management:

Culture programmes’ a tool for organisational development .....

‘Cultural Management’ is crucial for HR professionals. Nevertheless, most ignored it till recently. An important perspective of change, cultural management deals with developing new patterns of behaviour and mindsets among employees. Having realised this some organisations have initiated several culture awareness programmes.

Changes at workplace like economy drives and other cost cutting measures may or may not be acceptable to employees. Any reengineering process must thus consider employees’ apprehensions and opinions.

‘Culture programmes’

Gideon Haigh, author “Bad Company: The cult of CEO”, rightly defines culture as “ something that registers in routines and rituals, lore and legend.

”Today’s corporate culture mirrors an organisation’s beliefs, practices and people. It aims to instill shared values, openness and impartial decision-making fostering creativity and cultivating trust.

Culture programmes are a step forward in this direction. They aim at unifying and incorporating a belief system in the organisation developing a unique behavioural code. This eases anticipation of the outcome of employees’ behaviour. Managements that conduct these programmes create ideal internal environments preparing employees for emergencies.

The goal is to create an organisational environment where behaviour and employees’ value systems together enhance organisational productivity. Employee buy-in is critical for these cultural programmes to succeed.

Diversity and creativity

Organisations with employees sharing a common vision, goals and channelised workforce working in a preset environment boast of rich culture. These qualities alone may not reflect culture. Thus, organisations should initiate a proactive culture that encourages diversity, creativity and knowledge sharing.

Implications and benefits

Changes in the organisational structure or processes bring a change in employee relations. In consequence workplace attitudes too change. Organisations are now creating “designer employees” to foster better relations. These employees understand market requirements and the organisation’s business needs better.

Designer employees are comfortable when trained for efficiency and allowed flexibility in the work environment.

Knowledge drain
Attrition rates and the resultant knowledge drain are major concerns of organisations today. To prevent knowledge drain, organisations need to codify knowledge. Codifying enables easy identification of knowledge resources and ensures replenishment of the same. Culture programmes aid in codifying this knowledge thereby bringing stability to the organisation.

Culture programmes propound transparent organisations and employee participation in the decision making process. Employees thereby become more responsible, committed and accountable to their work. Culture programmes thus empower employees.

Commercially essential
Culture programmes helped Allens Arthur Robinson, a law firm, accept change. Consequent to a merger, the company’s workforce increased by 1700 employees. Most of these employees had low tolerance levels.

The company conducted a series of meetings with the employees to come to a consensus on the organisation’s work environment and goals. Based on the information they developed a new set of values. The objective was to create a sense of bonding among the employees and the company.

‘Breakthrough’ at NAB
At NAB (National Australia Bank), the effect of cultural programmes was pervasive. The programme was called “Breakthrough”. The primary objective of the programme was to the change the bank’s operational style and the working style of the employees. Over 500 employees participated in the workshops. The workshops focused on:

. The scope of the employees’ jobs
. Their work procedures

These activities necessitated analysis of the resources available for employees’ use. The research concentrated more on areas related to customer service. It proved to be a process of knowledge capture.

Problem solving
Knowledge capture at NAB not only controlled knowledge drain but also aided efficient problem solving. The management is now equipped with information essential to resolve various issues and conflicts of the employees. This apart, it initiated employees to resolve their problems.

Changing minds
‘Breakthrough’ brought a change in employee mindsets and their behaviour. The organisational operations are transparent resulting in enhanced trust, accountability and ready acceptance of responsibility among employees.Employees’ regular use of phrases such as “getting on the balcony” and “staying above the line” widely used during programme illustrate employees acceptance and the programme’s success.

‘Breakout’ At ANZ
ANZ too insisted on the change of mindsets and created an empowered workforce through its programme called “Breakout”. The HR at ANZ initiated the task of redesigning the jobs and work processes. The employees actively participated in the discussions on redesigning. They welcomed the forums.

Perfect transformation
Woodside, the energy giant too has adopted culture programmes with Mckinsey’s help to enhance productivity. The company initially started with cost cutting measures and restructuring its processes. This did not fetch profits. A study into the causes revealed that the restructuring processes were not in line with the mission and vision of the company.
Another significant aspect of the culture change programmes was to boost the company’s performance to the next higher level. Woodside used opinion surveys as a key tool to manage culture and incorporate changes suitably. The company has partially accomplished its goals. Some of the outcomes are

. Regular performance reviews
. A performance based reward structure
. Decision-making processes in line with the organisational goals and values

The change
Woodside’s vision was to be ” A successful operator of oil and gas facilities”. Its vision statement now is to be “ In service to society in providing energy solutions.”

Changes in the attitude towards leadership are conspicuous. The employees are encouraged to be leaders and convey their point of view while adhering to their beliefs and not compromising.

The culture programmes at Woodside changed the interpersonal relationships at work. Integrity and respectability have become key to the relationships. Employees are no longer apprehensive about approaching their seniors and expressing their doubts and views. Thus, workplace bullying has been eliminated.

Though culture programmes were believed to be issue invading the privacy of employees, Woodside, efficiently tackled it. This was easy since the employees believed in devoting substantial time for completion of the tasks assigned.

In control
Woodside, also realised that to effect performance, employees had to rely on other resources which would create stress. Thenceforth, at Woodside the statement “ I need your help” is welcomed with gusto.

Towards effective delivery of culture programmes
HR must audit employee’s views and collate the feedback for a clear understanding of the prevalent culture. This helps structuring the new set of values.
Value statement: Audit of the opinions helps form a value statement representing the organisation’s image.
Workshops: Consultation workshops must be conducted in order to acquire the most favoured opinion across all functions of the organisation.

Be a role model
Organisations must emulate these Australian companies to change employee mindset and conform to their organisational requirements. By effectively managing employee differences, organisations can become role models.

Reference:The ManageMentor

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Recruiting With Finesse !

Recruiting With Finesse !

Recruitment agencies can boost an organisation’ s recruiting prowess by following performance- based methodology.

Key learnings:
Job descriptions restrict talent search, and therefore, should be used only as a reference template
Recruiters need to identify at least two accomplishments- -individual and team based--to help recruitment managers steer the interview in the right direction

The workloads of a recruitment manager and a recruiter are inter-linked. If a recruiter works hard, then the recruitment manager need not struggle as hard! Recruitment managers, with the help of recruiters, can create an equation that is mutually beneficial, while serving the organisational interests in the long run.

Most recruiters complain about how recruitment managers reject piles of resumes ruthlessly, while the latter crib over the poor quality of database that the recruiters give them to sieve through. However, experts believe that with performance- based recruiting, the scenario would change for the better. Performance- based recruiting is a tool that recruiters could use to tame the fussy recruitment managers. The strategy aims at providing the managers with better choices, thereby ensuring more hits than misses.

Feel the pulse

Performance- based recruiting underscores identifying candidates who fit the organisation’ s talent description, while analysing the personality type of the candidate and understanding how well it is suited to the existing organisational culture. It makes traditional templates and tools like job description redundant, and uses instinctive judgments to shortlist candidates. The idea behind it is to improve the quality of candidates sent to recruitment managers for screening, thereby enhancing the success ratio.

The concept is based on certain key guiding principles that need to be adhered to for maximising its impact. The guidelines include:

Discard ‘ideal’ job description

Most job descriptions that are handed over to recruiters are more surreal than real! If recruiters go by the job description, they would cut the chances of finding the ‘right fit’ drastically, and instead, line up resumes that are anything but close to the organisational requirements. Experts, therefore, recommend discarding the job description and focussing on a simple “what kind of a candidate will do the job well” criterion. Stating the requirements simply makes the job of identifying talent easy. A simply stated requirement projects the candidate as a normal professional who is equipped to do the job well. In addition, a job description limits the choice, as it binds recruiters in details like experience and skills that may be important only because the manager thinks so, but not because the job requires them. The decision to discard the job description, however, has to be taken with the consent of the recruitment manager. The job of convincing the manager about how he will get a better screening profile without a description lies with the recruiter!

Develop thorough understanding

As ‘job descriptions’ go out of the window, recruiters need to understand the job in totality. Without a clear understanding of the job, recruiters will end up making inappropriate profile selection, leading to a high rejection rate. A job can be understood well by indulging in a point-by-point discussion with the recruitment manager about the pre-requisites mentioned by him. For instance, if the recruitment manager says that the candidate should have at least two years of global work experience, then it would be worthwhile to ask how global experience helps perform the job better. Thus, converting job description into performance profile will help recruiters develop a thorough understanding of the job.

Identify accomplishments

In the process of screening candidates, identifying two accomplishments- -team-based and individual-- can help recruitment managers make the interview process quick. Recruiters asking candidates to list two defining moments of their careers and communicating them to the recruitment managers can set the pace for the interview process, giving managers an insight into the real worth of the achievements.

Drop preconceived notions

Most recruiters and recruitment managers make their decisions within the first 10-15 minutes of the interview. This happens partly because they give into certain preconceived notions, and therefore, their decisions are not necessarily the best and the most prudent. Staying wary of this tendency and making a deliberate attempt to fight ‘first impressions’ is important for making logical recruiting decisions.

Invest in candidate preparation

To ensure that candidates are at ease, recruiters must prepare them by sharing information that can help them answer job and industry-related questions. Providing them with a list of probable questions will help candidates cut on their nervousness and anxiety before the interview.

Use holistic assessment Most cases of underperformance are attributed to non-technical skills. Technical competence alone will not give a complete picture. Hence, using a multi-factor assessment tool is important to ascertain candidate competence.

Recruiters who incorporate these recommendations in their recruiting plans will benefit immensely. As for recruitment managers, screening will be easier and decision-making much faster.

Ref: TheManageMentor.