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Spring edition 2012

Unplugged Revival of industrial relations in India

Kaleidoscope Practices of Andragogy in the Workplace

Experts Speak Challenges to Change Agents

Volume 1, Issue 1


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This story can fit 150-200 Foreword words. One benefit of using your newsletter as a promotional tool is that you can reuse content from other marketing materials, such as press releases, market studies, and reports.

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Bonding over Unions: A case for the revival of

Much of the content you put in harmonious Industrial Relations your newsletter can also be used for your Web site. Microsoft Publisher a simple are creating Industrial Howoffers politicians way to convert your newsletter uncertainty to a Web publication. So, when you’re finished writing your newsletter, convert it to a Web Role Of Women In Trade Unions site and post it.


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Challenges to Change Agents- Identifying If the newsletter is distributed employees or top customers or Human Perspectives internally, you might comment vendors. upon new procedures or improvements to the business. Graphology a tool for Human Resource Sales figures or earnings will Manager show how your business is growing. Some newsletters include a column that is updated every issue, for instance, an advice column, a book review, a letter Interview With from the president, or an editorial. You can also profile new

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Message from the HOD

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Dr. K.B.L Srivatsava Head, Department Of Humanities and Social Sciences IIT Kharagpur

Dear All, I am pleased to state that the team members of “The People Tree� have continued their sincere efforts in bringing out the second edition of this magazine. The previous issue had a number of insightful articles from our students as well as the students of other management institutes in the country. This student magazine has been well received by our alumni and also by industry and business readers. I hope that their support will continue. I take this opportunity to congratulate once again all those who have contributed to this edition. With Best Wishes,

Dr.K.B.L Srivastava Head, Department Of Humanities And Social Sciences IIT Kharagpur

From The Tree’s Roots

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Dear Readers, Industrial Relations (IR) is one of the most important aspects of Human Resource Management. However, it is a well known fact that IR profiles are least sought after by HR students. The recent happenings in our country such as the strike at Maruti‟s Manesar plant have made us rethink IR and its importance. In this edition we have tried bring out some of the prominent issues related to IR specifically in the Indian context. Along with this we have other interesting articles as well that will certainly strike a chord with you. We express our heartfelt gratitude to Ms. Shruti Singh, expert graphologist, Mr.Akshaya Kashyap,Manager HR,Coromandel International Ltd. and Mr. P.Murali Krishna, Senior Officer HR,Coromandel International Ltd. for their valuable contributions. This edition also features the interview with Mr.Anshuman Kumar, Associate Director, Employee Engagement and Internal Communication,HCL Technologies. We are thankful to all the students from various colleges for the effort and time they put in towards “The People Tree Article Writing Competition” and we take this opportunity to congratulate all the winners. Happy Reading!!! Team ‘The People Tree’

Arunv Sahay

Supraja Rajagopalan

Neha Agarwal

Prashasti Shankar

Ashish Kumar

Dilip Jha


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Bonding over Unions: A case for the revival of harmonious Non-recognition of a new trade union

Sheldon Carvalho XIMR, Mumbai

One of the burning issues discussed in 2011 was the strike at Maruti Suzuki's plant at Manesar, Haryana. The strike began on 4th June, 2011 with the striking workers, estimated to be around 2000, demanding the recognition of a labour union at the site, a demand not accepted by the company‟s management. Maruti's management had not provided recognition to the labour union at Manesar as it had already given recognition to another workers‟ union under the name „Maruti Suzuki Kamgar Union‟ (MSKU) at Gurgaon. The company didn‟t see the need for another union. Hence, as certain workers stated, the company wanted the Manesar staff to sign documents agreeing to affiliate themselves with the union at the Gurgaon plant (BHATTACHARYA, 2011). The workers weren‟t ready to do this and refused to go back on their demand. Their resolve only grew stronger when support poured in from various quarters. Workers in up to 65 factories at the Gurgaon-Manesar industrial belt held a twohour tool-down strike along with the outside support of the All-India Trade Union Congress in coordination with unions such as the Centre of Indian Trade Unions, Hind Mazdoor Sabha, Indian National Trade Union Congress and United Trade Union Congress. With the movement against the company having gathered momentum, tripartite negotiations between the Haryana Government, MSI management and the workers began. The negotiations ended successfully and the strike was eventually called off on 17th June after the Haryana Chief Minister, Mr. Bhupinder Singh Hooda, mediated between the workers and the management of Maruti Suzuki India's Manesar plant (Business line bureau, 2011). An agreement was signed with the management agreeing to re-instate all the sacked 11 employees who took part in the agitation, with no mention of the demand for formation of the new union. But Mr. Sonu Kumar, President of the proposed union, claimed that the application, which was submitted on 3rd June for the formation of the new union, to the Haryana Labour Department will get the necessary approval (Business line bureau, 2011). But this application was later rejected by the Haryana Government, a sign of victory for the company .


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Source: Business Line ‘Good-conduct bond’- the entry barrier On 29th August, production at the Manesar plant of Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL) came to a halt as workers refused to sign a „good-conduct bond‟. The bond sought an assurance from workers that they will not resort to go-slow, sabotage production or indulge in any activities that hampers normal production at the plant. The company observed serious quality problems to have arisen during quality checks at the company, something the company believed to have come out due to the „deliberate negligence on part of the workers‟ (Dhawan, 2011). The company terminated the services of certain workers and also suspended certain others on charges of indiscipline and deliberate sabotage of the quality of its cars. The workers, however, said the management was taking these steps in “revenge” for their 13-day strike in June. Rather than resolving the issue with the striking workers, Maruti defiantly planned to recruit new permanent employees to replace the existing ones who refused to sign the bond (PTI, 2011). The Haryana Labor Commission stood behind the company insisting that the good -conduct bond is as per the rules and termed it a „certified code of conduct‟ of the company. Later, workers of Suzuki Powertrain India Ltd. and Suzuki Motorcycle India Pvt. Ltd. went on an indefinite strike to express solidarity with their protesting colleagues at Maruti Suzuki India's (MSI) Manesar plant (Bureau, 2011). The strike ended on 1 st October with an agreement brokered by the Haryana Government in which MSIL agreed conditionally to take back suspended trainees, while the workers agreed to sign the „good- conduct bond' as desired by the management (PTI, 2011).


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Later, workers of Suzuki Powertrain India Ltd. and Suzuki Motorcycle India Pvt. Ltd. went on an indefinite strike to express solidarity with their protesting colleagues at Maruti Suzuki India's (MSI) Manesar plant (Bureau, 2011). The strike ended on 1st October with an agreement brokered by the Haryana Government in which MSIL agreed conditionally to take back suspended trainees, while the workers agreed to sign the „good- conduct bond' as desired by the management (PTI, 2011). IR- An escape route for avoiding Manesar 2.0 There were losses for all parties involved in the two issues. The company suffered losses due to loss of production. The employees lost wages for striking work. The Haryana government could see future investments directed outside the state. The united trade union movement lost its relevance when the workers argued for a non-political interference in the stand-off. In fact these losses could have been avoided or at best reduced, if the parties collaborated to resolve the two issues. It was the responsibility of the management to understand why the employees wanted a new union. Usually a conflict arises when employees perceive (correctly or incorrectly) theyâ€&#x;re getting a raw deal. Once this is perceived, it should be promptly dealt with. In this case, probably the employees wanted a separate union as they felt that the existing machinery was inadequate in handling their grievances. So one of the steps the management could have taken was to call for a joint consultation immediately after the employees raised the issue of the new union. This meeting would have brought out the hidden issues. Each issue could then have been discussed and then resolved amicably, without the need of an external party or a new trade union. Companies should create a systematic database of all aspects concerning quality to ensure transparency when arriving at certain important policy decisions. Such information should be shared on a monthly basis with the employees to ensure that smooth production goes unabated. Education and training on the quality tools and techniques is a must for proper interpretation of the information. The Personnel department has a huge stake in creating and maintaining a harmonious Industrial Relations environment. Personnel activities such as recruitment, wage revision, humane work conditions and welfare activities concern the worker directly and hence a well-defined, precise personnel policy goes a long way in maintaining a positive work environment. Finally we need to recognise that an agreement doesnâ€&#x;t end at the negotiation stage with the signing of the agreement. Companies should ensure that it is implemented in true spirit and revised at various stages to see if expectations and aspirations of all the parties are being fulfilled. The importance of harmonious IR to avoid another Manesar cannot be emphasized enough.


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How politicians are creating IR uncertainty Since the evolution of Industrial Relations, there have been several issues associated with it. Be it union bargaining power, problems related to recognition and rights or political influence. But the political influence on Industrial Relations and labor unions has put forth a number of examples before us to understand how political parties play a crucial role -as influencer, supporter or a destroyer!

Vidhi Parmar HL Centre for Professional Education, Ahmadabad

The ideal reason why political parties should support the unions is to facilitate the unions to voice their concerns and participate in collective bargaining and negotiation with management. But, seeing many of the cases, it looks like the interference of political parties extends much beyond this. The recent issue was the Union Railway budget. Mr. Dinesh Trivedi wanted to increase the ticket fares to make the railways profitable and to increase the standard of living of its employees. But, his party chief was completely against the proposed price rise. Now, against this political backdrop, everyone would think that if there was no price rise, people would be in favor of that political party! So, any politician would try to maintain the low rates of fare. But, the leaders of railway employees union argued that if the prices were not increased, then it would be bad for the employees. This is why they threatened to go on a strike. Here, the problem seems to be of IR, but the real picture gets clearer when we look at the political aspect. Another issue is the Manesar plant of Maruti Suzuki. The real issue lost focus once the political parties came into picture. Maruti wanted to implement a code of conduct as per the guidance of Suzuki (Japan), but the cultural differences, lack of infrastructure and the lack of facilities to the employees made it highly difficult to have any additional code of conduct. Haryana‟s politicians came into picture. They decided to support union so that they can have political gains out of the whole scenario. Now, the reason for strike was no more important. Conflicts between the politicians with the management increased rather than that between the unions and management. Thus, certain political factors work for selfish motives rather than supportive intentions. The TATA plant (Singur to Sanand case) is probably the best example of how politicians can engineer labour problems in order to further their political ambitions. IR is an inevitable part of HRM, and if practiced properly, can create a competitive edge with harmonious relationship. As we are focusing on the Indian context here, the best example of IR practices in 2010-2011 would be Coal India. Coal India Limited received the “Best Practices in Industrial Relations Award (IR)” for 2010-11 in an Annual Awards function organized recently by Hooghly Chamber of Commerce & Industry. CIL bagged the award in recognition of its commendable efforts in managing its IR functions.


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Talking about the political affiliation and recognition of labor unions of any organization, it depends on the culture and employment conditions of the country. For example, Indian labor, at many parts, are not much educated or literate. Thus, it is comparatively easier to influence and direct them as they do not know about their rights. Many times political parties take advantage of such situations. They try to gain votes and become popular in the name of supporting and giving recognition to the union. When we talk about sound relationship and labour relations, it does not depend only on the management system and the workersâ€&#x; attitude. It also depends on the extent of political influence and the intention of political parties in supporting the labour unions. Some of the organizational leaders argue that the political support and recognition of the unions should not be there, as it acts as a hindrance to the peaceful relations between the management and workers. But it depends on the other factors like, the culture, mindset and intentions. All these things having been said, we canâ€&#x;t deny the fact that we will never be able to do away with political interference and an IR manager has to always walk on a very tight rope and deal with all issues with utmost caution.


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ROLE OF WOMEN IN TRADE UNIONS Clare Boothe Luce once said, „Because I am a woman, I must make unusual efforts to succeed. If I fail, no one will say, "She doesn't have what it takes." They will say, "Women don't have what it takes." „ However unfortunate this might sound, this is one of the hardest realities our society is still living with. Shubhra Singh Student MHRM, IIT Kharagpur

Despite the progress we have made in each and every facet of life, certain things, like our attitude towards working women have not changed much. And this harsh fact stares us in the face especially in occupational segregation suffered by women in union structures. The situation is grimmer in India. Statistics show that less than 8 percent of the 380 million workforce in India are unionized and women account for a very small fraction of trade union membership. Taking a sneak peek into the history of the world, we can see that in improving the condition of the proletariat, the women have made almost equal contributions as the male workers, be it the great sacrifices and struggles of the working class of Chicago or the magnificent revolution of 1905, the Bolshevik revolution of 1917 or any other political upheavals. There is no denying the fact that a number of women, particularly after the Second World War, have been employed for various jobs and are made to work in unfavorable environment at shamefully low wages. They are employed on contract basis and are made to work for longer durations. The situation is even worse for those women who have to take care of their family as well as kids. If we take a bird's eye view of trade union movements, not many women can be seen in the important decision making positions. In the past it might have been because of their being fewer in number as workers, but now the situation is quite different. Some of the main causes of women not being involved in trade unions have been the improper attitude of trade union leaders, social and economic strangulation and the general profligacy of the trade union movement. We can enunciate some of the reasons which exist for the extremely low participation of women in trade unions in India. (1) In our patriarchal society family responsibilities such as child care and all household duties are left mainly to women. Involvement in trade union activities after this implies triple burden: family responsibilities, her job, and innumerable trade union activities which are definitely time and energy consuming. (2) Unfortunately most of the women, even today, lack confidence when it comes to assuming public and leadership roles.


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The traditional roles which they are expected to play and stereotypes with respect to religion, taboos and cultural inhibitions act as hindrances to women for entering the male dominated environments. (3) In most of the workplaces there is job segregation where women are mostly employed in subordinate positions under the supervision of men. The Trade union structures can also create barriers to the entry and advancement of women. (4) Trade unions have become primarily male dominated because of a number of reasons. Some of them are:  The false notion that working in the union is a 24x7 job.  Conducting meetings at odd hours of the day, generally late at night which is not suitable for women.  The union jargon and sexist language which makes the presence of women tough in such environment.  Very little encouragement for women, rather non-acceptance of women in the strategic positions in the union. Improper working conditions for women which make their working as well as involvement in the union almost impossible. 

 Very little or no scope for women to improve their knowledge or skills due to lack of education and training for women. The women who take up this extra responsibility of working in union need some basic incentives or supporting conditions so that they can work efficiently. Lack of basic infrastructure where their kids can be taken care of, health and hygiene facilities and safe, convenient and affordable transportation facilities at union offices are some of the major discouraging factors. International Initiatives: A number of steps and initiatives have been taken at the international level to reduce the disparity in the male-female representation ratio: 1. The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) adopted at Amsterdam Congress in 1965 and revised in 1975 and 1985 the ICFTU Charter of Rights of Working Women as following: 

Equal rights and opportunities at work.

Maternity protection for all working women.

Unplugged  

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A place for women in grass roots and at the top of the union. Actions wider in the world to respond to women‟s needs.

2. The Asian Pacific Regional Organization of ICFTU (ICFTU-APRO, 2000) adopted a Social Charter for Democratic Development at its 64th Executive Board Meeting held in Seoul, Korea. It called upon the unions to work for ensuring:   

Positive action of empowerment of women. Gender perspective in all union work Equality in law and practice.

3. The Beijing Platform for Action (1995) identified 12 common areas of concern for particular attention: poverty, education and training, health, violence against women, armed conflict, economy, power and decision-making, institutional mechanisms for gender equality, human rights, media, environment, and the girl child. It invited trade unions as one of the key social partners in achieving gender equality. Involving women in trade unions not only improves the situation of the working women but also helps the trade unions in gaining recognition at the international platform. Unfortunately not many women join or participate actively in trade union matters. In programmes organized by the ILO and international trade union organizations (like ICFTU, WFTU, ITSs), usually the sponsors ask for proper gender representation in the nominations. But, very rarely, if ever, Indian trade unions are known to have sent women members/leaders for participation. The situation of trade unions is in a great need of improvement. The faith which they need to garner not just from the workers but also from the management can easily be achieved by giving a better representation to women. And even when they have to make their voices heard, it‟ll be best to send a woman representative to the management. After all, who can bargain better than an Indian woman!!

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Experts Speak

Challenges to Change Agents- Identifying Human Perspectives By Akshaya Kashyap and P Murali Krishna

What ever businesses we are into, we need to know that the only inevitable change is change as we need to change to grow, face competition, adapt to new strategies and the list goes on and on. But to manage change is a very challenging process as we will face a huge number of problems while trying to implement it.

Akshaya Kashyap HR Manager Coromandel Interna tional Ltd.

The most famous scientist in the area of study of stimulus response was Pavlov. He noticed the association that his dogs made between the ringing of the bell and their arrival of their food. He realized that the dogs would continue to respond with salivating even if the food is not offered. In human beings, we also are exposed to stimulus. In some cases we also have a knee-jerk, automatic reaction, such as we link when something is thrown near our eyes. However in most cases we have the ability to choose our response to stimuli. This is true for change as well. We don‟t have to allow change to happen to us and let the results to just fall where they may Instead we can recognize the stimuli for change and then choose our response to it by determining what the change means to us and our business. Know that all significant change throughout history has occurred not because of nations, armies, governments and certainly not committees. They happened as a result of the courage and commitment of individuals. People like Joan of Ark, Albert Einstein, Clara Barton, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Edison and Rosa Parks might not have done it alone, without courage & commitment. - Mahatma Gandhi

The various reasons why organizations go for change could be: Restructuring, Mergers and Acquisitions, Integration to achieve economic gains, downsizing or rightsizing, Rationalization

or cost cutting, Efficiency or effectives, Decentralization or centralization, Flattening of the hierarchy, Change in strategy, New product or service, Internal market re-alignment, Change of a senior manager, Internal or external crisis etc.

P.Murali Krishna HR Sr.Officer Coromandel Inter national Ltd.

Some of the main problems we will face from the Human Resources when try to change trying to change are Anxiety, Happiness, Fear, Threat, Guilt, Depression, Denial, Disillusionment and Hostility. Refer to Fig 1 which is from Fisher‟s process of transition. To be the change you want to see in the world, you don‟t have to be loud. You don‟t have to be eloquent. You don‟t have to be elected. You don‟t even have to be particularly smart or well educated. You do, however, have to be committed - Mahatma Gandhi

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Experts Speak

Fig 1: The transition to change The above figure is a general view of how the process of change could be in the human resources. But in an organization we cannot take it for granted that all the employees are of the same mentality which is an obvious behaviour of mankind. Based on the different kinds of behaviours employees in an organization can be categorized generally into 4 types, viz, confrontive (C), adaptive (A), follower (F) and sullen (S). However, there is a new category of people, known as Hideous (H) as shown in fig 2. The general characteristics of the 5 types of people are tabulated as below:

Experts Speak

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For a change agent, it is easiest to identify employees who are expressive, i.e. type C & type A. The employees who are of type F or type S are relatively difficult to identify. However, the Hideous are the most difficult to be tracked (refer fig 2). The focus of the change agent has to hence focus on type A or type F employees. Now, if we look into this situation in simile to the Johariâ€&#x;s window, we would have the perspective of the Change Agent on the Y axis and the individual self on the Y axis. This leads to a 4 X 4 matrix as shown in figure below (fig 3):

Experts Speak

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Hideous type of people have to be identified as these people show positive signs of accepting the change process but it is only an outward nod. However, in the real scenario they actually show resistance and negativity which cannot be seen. Hence this is one of the toughest parts as identifying such people is a challenge due to the camouflage they adapt to. We need to keep a continuous watch out for these kinds of employees by monitoring their Daily performance records and look into the one cheating on the work. They are generally good in communication or generation of reports and win the sympathy of people which is their biggest strength. nce such people are identified the management can avoid them from being in the dark by reducing the belief and dependence on such hideous natured people. Organizations need to realize that the employees that work together are influenced by many factors like their family, teachers, friends, experience, their surrounding environment & society. This is how the people are formed into different types as the factors that influence them (refer fig 4)

So an individual is a representative of all the above factors of influence dealt in totality. In order to influence type F (high pot) employees, the change agent has to move beyond just probing into his/ her self but has to extend further to his family/ friends and society. The easiest target amongst all could be the family (as injecting from within). By taking corporate level initiatives for benefit of the society, through CSR, individuals could be influenced by society to accept to change (failing which the society itself may look at him/ her with dishonor). Hence, an organizationsâ€&#x; responsibility extends beyond Its employees too.

Experts Speak

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Involving employees‟ families is not only welfare means, but by openly inviting ideas and feedback from family and society on company policies, change processes and initiatives would ensure a smoother transition path for change agent to effect in change. Employees are to be counseled, the individuals‟ families need to be met and neighbors influenced. · Through neighbor counseling & CSR initiatives, the external societal influencing was done. · Through family interactions and counseling, the internal influence was generated. Thus, Change management lets you communicate fully to your employees why the change is necessary, what the benefits will be, and how it will impact the organization as a whole. Sharing this information with employees can help them buy-in to the change and support the leadership in taking the actions that are necessary to achieve the milestone goals of the change. It can help limit resistance, and help manage any resistance that does occur. This is even more the case when employees are given a role in determining the solutions to problems, the change poses and are given reason and opportunity to personally commit to the change process. Change management also allows those in leadership positions to lead by example. The leadership can model the change and communicate their commitment to the „new vision‟ that the change represents. Using audience-focused communication styles, the leadership can target their communications so that they are addressing what each group of employees or stakeholders cares about. This will lead to increased momentum across the organization in moving towards the result that the change is intended to create.

Calculation of Break even of Change Agent (CA) A typical organizational has 4 stages in its life cycle, viz. initial (I), developmental (D), maturity (M) and decline (A) stage (Ref. fig 5). Many organizations do not realize when they reach the maturity stage and hence lead to decline (A). Some organizations remain stable (B) in their maturity level for some extended period of time by taking corrective actions and strategic decisions in favor of their existence. Few organizations, however, realize the alarm and take small incremental initiatives like product diversification, new product launch, etc. or take leap strategic initiatives like disinvestment, collaborations or M&A etc. Any such initiative is supplemented with change in existing methodologies, systems and working culture. The role of change agent becomes extremely crucial then. The curve MC is the path that an organization would generally go in case an organization undergoes large organizational changes due to M&A, divestment, disinvestment etc.

Experts Speak

Recording that the productivity per unit time at the time of initiation of change begins, it may be assumed that it is from point M (Ref fig 6). Hence, dp/dT=Constant (before inceptionof change agent) Sometimes, P stabilizes or falls with the inception of change agent because of churn-around of business processes and scenarios or because of type C, S & M people. This is depicted as dp/dT in fig.7 Slowly, there is an increase in productivity with time which is further depicted as d‟p/d‟t and d‟‟p /d‟pin fig. 7 After some time, d‟‟t, when situation stabilizes, there is a phenomenal increase in productivity (d‟‟p) against time d‟‟t. Therefore, d‟‟p /dP>>d‟‟t /dT

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Experts Speak After some time, d‟‟t, when situation stabilizes, there is a phenomenal increase in productivity (d‟‟p) against time d‟‟t. Therefore,

In general, if investment over the change agent is „xn‟ (annually), the time when the breakeven on investment on change agent and ROI on the change agent is arrived is when,

then it can be said as the breakeven period of change agent and hence ROI achieved. Hence, Break even for change agent =

When dT = d‟t = d‟‟t, i.e., if the change in productivity is recorded over a constant time, this can be referred as n (i.e. difference in time of new productivity and productivity at the time of initiation of change process, which is also equal to no. of years of investment on change agent), then,

Experts Speak

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where, n = no. of years or Break even time xn = investment made on change agent in the xn th year dP = productivity before inception of change agent dâ€&#x;â€&#x;p = productivity after inception of change agent In general, as a normal process is driven by some responsible agent, so does Change a process need a Change Agent to drive the process to success. Driving conclusion as a result of change management is not an easy task. There are a lot of things to take into consideration that will lead to the eventual creation of conclusions that transpired during the change process. There are 3 Ps to take into account. These are the people, policies and processes. These key ingredients determine how change management can directly impact the organization. (a) People It is indeed given that this is the most important aspect of the change process. It is because people working on a certain project are considered the front liners, making decisions and plans to ensure success on every phase of the change process. Though it is hard at times to unlearn old behaviors and techniques, it is still a must to embrace changes happening in the organization to focus more on what can be contributed rather than resisting team efforts on what needs to be done. (b) Policies If we are talking about changes in an organization, this means that there are certain policies that need to be revisited to determine if these still apply to the new goals and objectives of the company. Though policies are governed by company rules and regulations, there are still some exceptions that should be taken into consideration to decide if these hinder the change process from successfully implemented. (c) Processes As mentioned, old habits are hard to break and so are old processes. But then again, with the introduction of a vance tools and equipment, new processes can easily be carried out. Though there are some previous processes that should be kept, change is still inevitable as finding simpler means of doing work is still a top priority.

Experts Speak

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Graphology - a tool for Humane Resource Manager Shruti Singh is an expert graphologist with over 14 years of experience in this field.She has been mentored by some of the world’s best graphologists. Today she is one of the very few Indians to be a certified Handwriting Analysts from USA. To date she has successfully executed many corporate and individual consulting projects in her ever growing list. Shuruti Singh Graphology Expert

Using her analysis, several corporate houses have hired the best, built winning teams and also resolved conflicts. Shruti is one of the first Indians to give an academic dimension to Graphology in India. For the same she has also started a library & research centre “The Handwriting Research Library of India” based in Banglaore, making available books and other rare manuscripts pertaining to Graphology to interested masses. She co-owns a global information site on the subject known as “Graphology Information Center”. She has done her management course from IIM- Bangalore and is an active alumni. She was also covered by IIM-B Women Entrepreneur’s book on women who have started their own set-up and are doing things differently. My article is intended to share how a small skill of Graphology can help you as a person to gain relationships in life and it is a little more for HRs -upcoming and seasoned. As a person I am sure you are well aware of the importance of relationships in your life and in fact if not wrong we may correctly say that Human life is all about being humane while dealing with all the relationships it has in its life! We understand our value by the number of relationships we have in our lives good or bad, they all come with a name and some experiences. But what is the first thing that a relationship gives you or takes from you? Ever thought? Answer- Expectation; you expect some things when you have a relation, and you have to share or deliver some things when you have or when you share a relation. For example- you are a brother to two sisters younger to you. You have to protect your sisters from bad boys at school and you expect your sisters to be respectful to you when they are fighting with you!

Experts Speak

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I may be working as Corporate Trainer but to me in my life I am nothing but a relationship manager. Nothing beyond that, and I am happy! When you grow up to be an Human Resource Manager or you are a seasoned Human Resource Manager you know your major role/ department includes – 

  

Setting up the organization, define rules and regulations or say policies; abiding by government standards etc- PUBLIC & GOVERNMENT RELATIONS SECTION Defining an organization culture- EMPLOYEE RELATION & WELFARE SECTION Hiring right fit for the organization both skill wise and type wiseRECRUITMENT SECTION And then ensure that the entire system works with harmony ( employee engagement programs, performance appraisal system, promotions etc)WORKFORCE MANAGEMENT Under workforce management we may include- PAYROLL, BENEFITS etc.

All these need to be in synchronization with company profitability, goals and vision. In business language we may say that HUMAN RESOURCE TEAM deals with the management and organization of employees, in an organization. We all know to make it all happen within the organization we all work towards maintaining a good relationship with all the resources within our organization. So again the key is relationship with people. At a seminar to HR students in Bangalore someone had asked me this question: But this „relationship management‟ what you are talking about is true for all human beings, so why US? Answer: Within an organization you do not go to finance department for your miscalculated payroll issues, you go to HR and they are suppose to be taking care of the miscalculation and roll-out. And to me what I have understood after working for close to a decade in industry is that the moment you join Human Resource Department of an organization, no matter even if you are into process management or just the number management, you are expected to be „humane‟ first. Often you would have seen employees coming to you sharing their unhappiness over performance system, biased appraisals, underpaid increments, some policy issues etc. What do you do?

Experts Speak

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We have had these questions in and out, daily within any organization, in most of the meetings over these issues do we hear “We can‟t keep everyone happy.” “As per the policy guidelines, the best we could do is …., so we cannot help you with ….” “As per the system we are not allowed to make such changes, so……” “I am sorry for these issues we may not be able to extend our support as an organization” And many more such answers. We all know that it is an expectation mismatch, but a not so humane approach results in unhappy employee, disgruntled or I may humbly say we just scarred our face with one more excuse, in the name of either policy, or limitation or something else. Whenever being part of such discussions I always feel or ask myself and at times to my managers- where is the humanity ground? Where is our own sense of right or wrong? Where are our senses of responsibility as a human being? These questions are left unanswered most of the time, stating- we can‟t do it for all, there are so many! To that unhappy employee- we are a face of regret; they often say these HRs are plastic face, plastic heart people. But I have a different approach; often I ask such employees to write their problem over a piece of paper and share it with me. I often sit with that paper and discuss things. I also do a small homework, if the discussion is for a problem involving another person, I try and grab a meeting with those before this meeting and always try to grab their handwriting too. It has helped me many times and I have received feedback “Thanks your approach is different. You give us time and the issue is now clearer to me. It‟s now making sense to me” and I keep my records open with a smile. What did I do? I tried to understand the problem differently. I try and understand the person first and then the issue so that while taking I am not carrying only the company‟s logo on my face and voice but also my name with it! I am a task focused person and I am very particular about it. We know very often the issues are not just about the processes but about people. We know an employee does not leave an organization but he leaves his „Boss‟.

Experts Speak

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Let me share what I do with peopleâ€&#x;s handwriting. I read people through their handwriting, not their horoscope or something but their personality through their handwriting- which is their mirror to their personality. This is known as Graphology or Handwriting Analysis; I often say handwriting assessment for an analysis. A little more about Graphology for you and then I shall share how it can help being better „usâ€&#x; at our jobs. By Definition: Graphology is the study and analysis of handwriting especially in relation to human psychology. In the medical field, it is used to refer to the study of handwriting as an aid in diagnosis and tracking of diseases of the brain and nervous system. It is based on following basic assertions: 1. When we write, the ego is active but it is not always active to the same degree. Its activity waxes and wanes; being at its highest level when an effort has to be made by the writer and at its lowest level when the motion of the writing organ has gained momentum and is driven by it. 2. When the action of writing is comparatively difficult, the writer uses those forms of letters which are simpler or more familiar. 3. The muscular movements involved in writing are controlled by the central nervous system. The form of the resultant writing movement is modified further by the flexibly assembled coordinative structures in the hand, arm, and shoulder; which follow the principles of dynamical systems. The specific writing organ (mouth, foot, hand, crook of elbow) is irrelevant if it functions normally and is sufficiently adapted to its function. 4. The neurophysiologic mechanisms which contribute to the written movement are related to conditions within the central nervous system and vary in accordance with them. The written strokes, therefore, reflect both transitory and long term changes in the central nervous system such as Parkinson's disease, or alcohol usage. 5. The movements and corresponding levels of muscular tension in writing are mostly outside of conscious control and subject to the ideomotor effect. Emotion, mental state, and biomechanical factors such as muscle stiffness and elasticity are reflected in a person's handwriting.

Experts Speak

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6. One must examine the handwriting or drawing movements by considering them as movements organized by the central nervous system and produced under biomechanical and dynamical constraints. Given these considerations, graphologists proceed to evaluate the pattern, form, movement, rhythm, quality, and consistency of the graphic stroke in terms of psychological interpretations. Such interpretations vary according to the graphological theory applied by the analyst. 7. Most schools of thought in graphology concur that a single graphological element can be a component of many different clusters, with each cluster having a different psychological interpretation. The significance of the cluster can be assessed accurately by tracing each component of the cluster back to their origins and adapting the meaning of the latter to the conditions of the milieu in which the form appears. The major areas where this science is making its mark are: Education - The system we follow in India is not up to the date, it‟s been seen that our current educational system does not promote thinking patterns that can give potential gurus and leaders to the world. Graphology has that potential to make this happen if used in the correct way. It can help cure stress and also help the special children in a great way. Forensic document examination- Handwriting analysis helps the examiner to find forgeries, diplomatic, psychological problems a culprit may be facing. Crime & Investigation – It‟s a popular science among these departments globally to investigate upon criminal‟s mind and in detection of forgeries. Marital compatibility – Graphology can help understand a person better and hence look for better relationship. Knowing self: I bid on this nothing better can tell you your current state of mind and what potential you have and what success factors you can have! What would interest us would be: Employment profiling & Business relationship compatibility: A company takes a writing sample provided by an applicant, and proceeds to do a personality profile, matching the congruency of the applicant with the ideal psychological profile of employees in the position. Graphology supporters state that it can complement but not replace traditional hiring tools.

Experts Speak

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There are various tools and techniques that are used in the selection procedure in any organization. The most famous being the interview, which is extensively used while selecting prospective employees by the employers. Various other tools like psychological tests etc are also used. No doubt these tools are effective and have been in constant use. When used separately, each of these tools yields only a portion of information necessary to your decision. In combination, employers may find out important information about applicants. However, unless each process is carried out in such a way to totally eliminate bias on the part of the employer and the applicant, then it is impossible to ascertain the most important factor in hiring correctly i.e is the personality traits of the applicant. In the following points, light is thrown on the drawbacks of the various tools of selection. 1. Resume / Self-report or Questionnaire:  Can be faked by job candidates.  Designed to evaluate only a portion of one‟s personality.  May ask invasive questions ( insulting or illegal)  Does not evaluate one‟s behavior, just their reactions to questions.  Requires their co-operation, honesty, and self-awareness.  Most resumes are falsified, particularly previous earnings,education etc.  Often not prepared by applicant; therefore, quality is not reflective of applicant.  Doesn‟t demonstrate performance or personality of applicant. In the recent past, Bangalore based IT companies have faced an exponential increase in the rotation of fake resumes. In many companies there is a preventive measure as to not to process of the CV belonging to certain geography or from a few mentioned colleges. Let's see where we can add value. 2. Background Check:  Employers are reluctant to disclose information for fear of lawsuit.  Unknown credibility of person disclosing information. Nothing found (maybe applicant‟s first employment or new to the industry). 3. Interviewing:     

Subjective interpretations by interviewer, low validity. Applicant may not perform well in the interview. ( anxiety, modesty) Applicant‟s appearance affects interviewer, discrimination inevitable. Overburdens interviewer, time consuming. You interview poor applicants as well as good.

Experts Speak

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4. Skill Check:  Nothing is learned of personality of applicant. Requires appointment time to “test” applicants. Handwriting as a Hiring / Assessment Tool: Immense information can be gathered about the person through his handwriting sample. This information about the person can be used to determine the right person for the right job, answering such questions as:    

What‟s this applicant‟s intelligence level? Is he honest? Is he hard working? Should he work alone or with others?

Should he be in sales, or is he better suited to working with small details over long periods of time? The data overwhelmingly support graphology‟s usefulness on the front end; it saves dollars for everybody. You can tell more about an applicant in a few minutes of looking at his handwriting than you can after administering a psychology test, running a credit check, giving a medical examination, giving a battery of aptitude tests, and interviewing him for an hour in person. Assessment: People are fired from their jobs for many reasons, including incompetence, frequent tardiness, insubordination, lack of productivity, and difficulty in getting along with others. A graphologist can often be instrumental in pointing out the guilty party when a crime has been committed within the company. This often leads to the firing of the “bad guy.” This use of graphology overlaps the area of criminology, or investigative work, in several instances. Many companies sustain substantial losses due to employee theft. Actually, employee theft is one of the leading reasons for companies going out of business. The U.S. Department of Commerce estimates that in 1988 $182 billion was lost by U.S. businesses due to crimes committed by their employees. Nearly $100 billion is spent annually on security measures designed to prevent these internal crimes. Obviously, the thieves are being hired in first place ( the companies didn‟t use graphology to start!), so the problem is that someone in the department is stealing, or embezzling, or coming in late at night and emptying out the warehouse. Who‟s doing it? A skilled graphologist can take statements written by the suspects and know when they‟re lying, when they‟re feeling stressed or anxious. Very often, without costly investigation, a quick screening of the suspect‟s handwriting will alert the investigators to the probable suspects in the case. The investigators can then narrow their focus and zero in on the people most likely to have perpetrated the crime.

Experts Speak

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Let me share some more business data which will help us understand a little more on why graphologyIn Europe, up to 93% of companies screen job applicants based on handwriting traits. ( Four out of 5 people are wrong for the job, and 85% of sales people are wrong for the job. Handwriting analysis is helping! (Princeton study) In the U.K and U.S. about 5-10% of companies screen job applicants based on handwriting traits and that percentage is rising steadily. (, 12/21/2005: “And one major international company, which prefers not to be named, routinely uses handwriting analysis .� Statistics and anecdotal evidence and various conservative estimates put the number of U.S. companies using graphology somewhere between 5,000-10,000. Experts agree the number is probably higher but explain that many companies do not want it to be publicly known that they use graphology as a screening tool. Graphology has a huge potential to be explored and a lot is happening all over the world. No great promises but if used genuinely it has contributed to the success of many and with many I may say HRs as well. I know some of these many who have used this as tool to climb their success ladder. In fact my first project much before my first certification was for analysis of 200 employees of an IT company. In a meeting with the HR over coffee, he said he has been using graphology since 7 years and it does work, and I got my work! My friends running HR firms are my full time, long term, permanent clients.

Coffee with Corporate

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Interview With Mr. Anshuman Kumar -By Neha Agarwal , Supraja Rajagopalan And Arunav Sahay

Mr. Anshuman Kumar is a marketing, communications and human resource professional with over 12 years of industry experience. He has handled leadership roles for some of the most visible organizations and brands including The Times of India, Infosys Technologies and HCL Technologies. Mr.Anshuman Kumar Associate Director Employee Engagement & internal communication HCL,Technologies

Through his various generalist and specialist roles, his key focus area has been Employee / Internal Communication for the last few years. At present he heads both the internal communication and employee engagement functions at HCL Technologies where he is responsible for augmenting the HCL brand with a global, internal audience. Here are the excerpts from the interview with Mr.Anshuman Kumar Q1. What according to you is Internal Communication? AK: Internal Communication is the process by which employees are communicated the happenings in the organization. As organizations grow and expand their operations in various parts of the globe, it is important that they invest in developing communication strategies for the employees who are their greatest asset. The Internal Communications team acts as a medium between the management and the employees to enable a two-way communication. It is an important function in any organization because its role is to engage employees. Its significance is even more in organizations that are spread across the globe and have a diverse workforce. HCL is considered to be a great place to work at, because here we encourage clear and open communication between the management and employees. It leads to less hierarchy and establishes trust and transparency. Our employees are not simply content absorbers but also content creators because we encourage feedback from them on various communication initiatives. Q2.Could you tell us more about Employee Engagement at HCL? AK: Employee engagement is crucial in any organization to make employees feel committed towards the organization. Engaged employees feel that they are an integral part of the organization and believe that they can make a meaningful contribution to the organization‟s success. An organization therefore must ensure that employees are engaged and feel passionate about coming to work. At HCL, we ensure that our employees have avenues to excel at work and beyond. We have the “Employee First Council (EFC)” which is a platform that encourages every employee to pursue his/her passion. EFC focuses on collaborative leadership where the onus lies on the members of a particular council to take up an initiative and make it a success across the organization.

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We have various such councils which have grown into powerful and participative forums where employees develop their talents, lead from the front, make meaningful contributions to causes close to their hearts, and connect with likeminded individuals in the HCL family. These councils give an opportunity to employees to contribute in areas such as sports, community service, talent enhancement and lots more. Thus, through this forum, we provide an enriching experience to employees and help them develop their leadership and team building skills. Q3. What is your philosophy about HR? AK: It is very important for a HR professional to understand the business and align all HR activities and initiatives with organizational strategies and objectives. An organization must always be prepared to respond quickly to the changing market needs in order to maintain its position. There are times when an organization is required to undergo a total change in order to keep up with the changing business scenario. HR has to ensure that such changes in trends are accepted by the employees in a positive way. Q4. According to you, which is a better way of communication at workplace, informal or formal? AK: The type of communication depends on the situation, the message and the audience. Informal interaction is usually the best way for HR Managers to interact with the employees as it encourages them to share their thoughts, views and opinions freely. It helps to get a closer insight into an employeeâ€&#x;s perspective on organizational practices and culture. For instance, an informal interaction could be in the form of a one-to-one conversation with an employee or even with a group sitting in a cafeteria. People tend to be more comfortable and candid in an informal setting. However, any policy rollout or important announcements have to be made only through formal channels so that there is clarity and transparency. The message needs to reach all the employees and hence a formal medium such as mailer, works the best for such communication. Whether formal or informal – the important thing is that communication should be transparent. Q5. What is your take on Social Media and Human Resource? AK:As companies grow and expand their footprints across geographies, it becomes imperative for them to maintain and evolve new channels of communication to engage with employees, especially the Gen Y workforce. Social media, these days is practically a way of life with the youngsters brought up in the age of Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. And so it is vital to leverage these tools internally so that they can connect with their universe at work. Social media not only helps connect with the Gen Y, but also makes dissemination of information quicker and more informal; even receiving feedback is instantaneous through this medium.

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Social media has also lent a helping hand in reaching out to some of the talented prospective employees. More and more companies are realizing this and are beginning to channelize social media platforms for internal communication and employee engagement. Q6. What is your message for the younger generation or your expectation from young HR professionals? AK: Like every other aspect or field of business, HR too demands continuous innovation and improvements. An employee working in a company for an extended period of time develops a mindset or culture which is prevalent in the organization and thus finds it difficult to provide a fresh perspective that would help bring about change or innovation. HR representatives must view the organization from an outsiderâ€&#x;s perspective to bring about real and needed changes in the organization. I feel that Generation Y employees are the ones with the most dynamic, versatile and flexible personalities and thus their participation and contribution is signification for an organization seeking innovation.


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Positive Writing and Well Being

Papri Nath Senior Research Fellow Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Kharagpur

Since long, writing about negative experiences has been considered as having healing effects. Simply writing about negative experiences helps to express out all the negative emotions repressed inside resulting in emotional catharsis. But recently a number of findings have contradicted this catharsis view. This new view talks about positive growth or well being (King, 2001). In this direction Penne baker and Sea gal (1999) findings are important. They suggested that the pattern of writing they found most effective included relatively high levels of positive emotion words (happy, laugh), a moderate level of negative emotion words (angry, sad), and increasing insight words over the course of writing. The potential role of positive writing is also reflected in the famous study on catholic nuns. Their autobiographies written during young age demonstrated that more positive emotional content in writing was more likely to relate with longevity (Danner, Snowdon, & Friesen, 2001). King (2001) found that individualsâ€&#x; who wrote about their best possible future selves showed physical health benefits as well as enhanced psychological well-being after writing. So in line with these evidences we can say that positive and negative writing have their own distinct functions and effects. On one side negative writings undo the negative effects whereas positive writing results in long term growth and well being. Now the question might arise that how does positive writing leads to well being? Few studies have discovered that writing about positive life experiences provides a platform to relive the pleasant moments and generates positive emotions. These positive emotions contrary to negative emotions broaden oneâ€&#x;s thinking ability (Fredrickson, 1998) and make it flexible (Baumann & Kuhl, 2005; Biss, Hasher & Thomas, 2010). Such broad and flexible thinking ability facilitates an individual to see both positive and negative aspects of an adverse life situation and thus, find positive meaning out of it. The ability to find positive meaning helps to appraise a situation in a balanced way and deal with it effectively, resulting in greater amount of positive emotional experience. With this, an upward spiral of positive emotions is formed and with every spiral, the amount of positive emotions is greater than the initial levels. Such an upward spiral of positive emotions results in psychological and emotional well being (Fredrickson & Joiner, 2002). Therefore, a regular habit of systematic writing is expected to generate more positive emotions in our life which enhances our ability of positive meaning finding and increases the probability to be happy in future and ultimately leads towards well being in long run.


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Practices of Andragogy in the Workplace Introduction

Sourabh Sahu PGPM,2011-13 Indian Institute of Management, Indore

As nations face a dramatic shortage in the number of skilled workers, organizations are spending billions of dollars to secure a competitive advantage through training and development programs. Creating a learning culture is imperative in today‟s economy; however, organizations continuously struggle with achieving such a culture. As organizational structures become flatter, individuals must become more self-sufficient in solving problems on their own and taking the initiative to acquire skills and knowledge to perform effectively What’s Andragogy all about?

Adult learning theory provides the basis for understanding the way adults learn and the factors influencing the learning process. The basic assumption of adult learning theory is that adults engage in learning for personal reasons and that learning adds value to their life in some way. Malcolm Knowles‟ use of the term andragogy, meaning to teach adults, was the genesis for contemporary research in adult learning. Adult learning in the workplace is far different from children learning in a classroom and therefore, requires a more in depth understanding of both adult learning motivators and the learning process in the context of organizations. A closer look! The premise of Knowles‟ learning theory centered originally on four principles or assumptions and later expanded to six. The learning assumptions include the concepts of self, experience, readiness and orientation. The concept of self defines the adult by roles or identities taken on throughout life. Experience defines one‟s history, which forms the foundation for self, and accumulates over time. Readiness derives from the need to acquire new knowledge based on changes in or the variety of adult roles one must assume. Orientation centers on performance and problem solving with immediate application to real life situations


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In 1984 Knowles expanded the theory with two additional assumptions regarding: Adults engage in learning when they can define the reason for learning and motivation drives adults to learn. The added assumptions are the basis for research surrounding the notion of individual contextual factors such as learning motivations and goal orientation. In the years that followed Knowlesâ€&#x; adult learning assumptions, numerous researchers expanded on and challenged the assumptions regarding adult learning. Contemporary adult learning research in the context of the workplace puts the learner center stage and recognizes people as the primary agent for change and organizational performance outcomes. The adult experience creates the backdrop for learning and the learning process becomes one of inquiry rather than a set of known truths. Workplace learning must involve learning from experience and engagement in a group form of learning. Sharing knowledge and solving complex problems requires personal interaction and application of new information What does all this theory and research mean for organizations investing in training and development? We know that changes in the modern workplace pose challenges for all workers. The knowledge-based economy creates the need for continuous learning and updating of competencies and skills. As the requirement for worker competence and expertise changes, the need for organizations to establish an environment of continuous professional growth and for the individual to assume a larger role in their own learning process becomes paramount to leveraging a competitive advantage. Therefore, there appears to be a need for organizations to expand from traditional approaches to learning such as formal, classroom, and off the job, to approaches that use technology, communities of learning, and continuous on-thejob learning challenges. Organizations must also create a workplace environment that offers and encourages engagement in varied learning opportunities on a continuous and long-term basis. As a point of departure, seven suggestions are offered as critical factors for organizations to consider when creating a positive learning climate. 1. Make time for workplace learning and celebrate time spent on learning. 2. Make learning personal by tying it to performance, career advancement, and recognition. 3. Develop a work environment that facilitates challenging and meaningful experiences in order to facilitate positive effects on competence development


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1. Make learning available to all employees 2. Make learning challenging and applicable. Challenging the learner to solve real organizational problems makes learning relevant to both the employee and the organization 3. Create opportunities for group forms of learning 4. Learning is a continuous process, not a single event. Learning over time requires a long-term commitment by both the organization and the employee. The final words!

As organizations continue to seek new methods and approaches to learning in the workplace, the employee as an adult learner must not be overlooked. Adult learners need a reason for engaging in learning and motivation to learn. Organizations need to define the reasons and provide the appropriate motivation.


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What is Leadership? – Mystery resolved (Partly)

Arun Taneja Student MHRM, IIT Kharagpur

I first came across this word called „Leadership‟ when I was in class five. My class teacher remarked in a parent teacher meeting that I lacked leadership skill. Starting that day I was in search of the meaning of leadership and guess what my search still goes on. Having said that, I have a few insights on what leadership is how to be a leader and the things you can do to be a leader. Believe me, all those who say, “Leaders are born not made” are bummers. They do not realise the fact that learning is possible and human mind is capable of achieving everything. TRUST


Leadership is a state of the mind. First and foremost thing one needs to believe is he/she is a leader. It all starts here my friend that is in the mind. You also need to understand that mistakes do happen. Failure is definite on the path to success. As Swami Vivekananda said, (and I‟ll quote) “If you are walking on the path and not facing any troubles, you are certainly travelling on wrong path”. The idea is to learn and learn as quickly as possible. A leader is the one who learns from his mistakes and makes sure the same does not occur again. Ask Sourav Ganguly (one of the great Indian captains), how many mistakes has he done and how quickly he learnt and corrected.



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One very important trait of a leader is that he/she accepts his/her mistakes. Yes, for starter, such as in early part of your career or in school you may lose ground on other people but in the long run accepting your mistakes will enable you to improve considerably. Accepting your mistakes portrays the fact that you understand where you went wrong and how you will overcome the problem now. One very important trait of a leader is that he/she accepts his/her mistakes. Yes, for starter, such as in early part of your career or in school you may lose ground on other people but in the long run accepting your mistakes will enable you to improve considerably. Accepting your mistakes portrays the fact that you understand where you went wrong and how you will overcome the problem now. LEADERSHIP = SHARING In management parlance, this type of leadership is called leadership by delegation. It is quintessential for a leader to share his/her responsibilities. One cannot do everything alone. Mr Murthy (founder of Infosys) could not have made Infosys a huge success all alone. He had Mr Nilekani, Mr. Shibulal, Mr. Gopalakrishnan and others to start the venture. Later, he had many more exceptional people on board who took the company to greater heights. In early days at school, a person who is a monitor is considered to be a leader but he is not because at such an early age one is only learning. Yes, it is true that few people learn quickly and few take time. At the end of the term a monitor may or may not be successful but he sure is successful in learning.


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This is a cliché. Most if not all of you would have heard of the above statement. What we do not understand is leader may also be required to get to the bottom and clean the system. Mahatma Gandhi literally cleaned toilets. He showed people that he is not only there to talk and advice but also there to do it. So get dirty and get down to business and start to lead as early as possible. LEADERS


One may not be the face of everything be it running a political party, leading a cricket team, CEO of a fortune 500 etc. All of you must have seen the movie called „Rajneeti‟ and I will give no prizes for guessing who the real leader. Yes, it correct, Nana Patekar was running the show and everyone else was just a puppet in his hand. The point I want to make is, do not strive to be the face of the task just put your brains into completing the same to best of your abilities. Eventually you will be recognised. Before I end this article, I would like to tell you about a few characteristics (you all must have heard these, but just to corroborate) of a leader via a leadership model. L - Loyal; Learned; Logical; E – Energetic, Eloquent; Enthusiastic A – Ambitious; Articulate; Accessible D – Determined; Dependable; Decisive E – Earnest; Eternal; R – Responsible, Reliable; Righteous S – Skill full; Savant; Spiritual H – Honest; Humane; Humble I - Intelligent; Inspiring; Imaginative P – Patient; Persuasive; Powerful AS





Get Inspired!

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Passion, Perseverance and Performance “If u have to survive, you have to establish your own identity “ And Sonu Nigam has proved the above written words in entirety!! A singer whose voice can energize a million souls…. A performer who can make audience of any age group dance to his tunes... Divya Chaddha Student MHRM, IIT Kharagpur

A person who can motivate various people…. Above all a genuine artist and a self made man who craves for learning from all walks of life…. But is there any success story of such magnitude without its share of hardships and effort? Certainly not!! The beauty lies in not to be affected by hardships and taking them in your stride while establishing an identity of your own. Let us get to know Sonu Nigam a little better and a few lessons of life which we can learn from his success story. He lives by the motto “Your tomorrow has no right to complain about your today, as long as your today gives you bliss, unknown and incomprehensible to your yesterday, and tomorrow.” He has tried to complete the unfulfilled dream of his father who could not be a successful artist like his son, nevertheless a stage artiste who entertained people. It was during one of his performances, Sonu got a chance to sing at the age of three, one of Mohammad Rafi‟s hit song “Kya Hua tera vaada”. Sonu recognizes Rafi as his musical father and his style of singing was compared time and again to that of “Rafi Saab‟s” in his initial days. Later he realized that it is quite important to build an identity of one‟s own or be out of the race. And that is when he changed his way of practicing, started listening to a different genres of music and performers, trying to imbibe whatever best possible he could from all of them. He came back with a bang with the song “Ye Dil Deewana” in the movie Pardes which he considers to be a turning point of his career. With International collaborations, he has converted himself from an Indian artiste to a true global icon. He admires Michael Jackson to a great extent and along with Jermaine Jackson, he paid a tribute to Michael through the song “This is it “which he composed himself. This does not mean that he left his roots; he is known for perfect singing be it rock, pop, Hindustani, sad, patriotic, classical – he has always done full justice with every song he sings. He has sung not only in Hindi or English but also in Kannada, Tamil, Bengali, Marathi and Telegu as well.

Get Inspired!

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An important learning from this is “Change is the only thing constant in life” and if one cannot adapt to the changes, then survival becomes near to impossible in this competitive world. He had his share of hardships before reaching the stage where he is today – dialing phone numbers of every possible person in the industry who can give a break, riding a two wheeler and waiting in queues outside their offices only to be rejected, recording songs with full vigor and then seeing them being dubbed by someone else or the songs never being released!!! But determination and belief in himself was what that kept him going as it is rightly said “when the going gets tough, the tough gets going“ His voice first became public with the help of Gulshan Kumar of the TSeries fame through the song “Acha Sila Diya”. Even that was not a hallmark in his career but yes definitely something through which people started knowing him. He hosted a show “Sa re Ga Ma “on Zee TV , has been a RJ for “Life ki Dhun with Sonu Nigam” on Radio City , has been the judge for reality shows like Indian Idol and X-Factor. He has also acted in a few movies but his first love always remains music. He is a great mimicker which he has showcased at various events and interviews. He has been the composer of many of his albums. Today, every coveted award lies with him. Every bit of it is hard earned and the amount of effort and perseverance which has gone into it is an inspiration in itself A very important aspect of his career is the live performances he has been giving all round the globe, through which he has enthralled audience and still continues to do so, I myself being a witness to one of them. The kind of effort he puts in while performing cannot be expressed in words. He plays almost all the instruments and the energy and vigor in his live performances are infectious. He considers live performances to be the litmus test for any artist. You can fake in the studio room while recording, record in tits and bits, but when you perform live, that is when the true test happens. And such is the voice quality that it becomes difficult to differentiate that whether he is performing live or recording in a studio. He plays around with his own songs while performing. He often says that he always knew that he was made for the stage. With live performances of such cadre, he has definitely changed the face of a playback singer in India. This can only be expected when one understands the nuances of the job and is completely dedicated to work. He cites that it is important to stay humble and remember that fame isn‟t everything. Family and friends need to be kept close to help you through the difficult times. Enjoy every moment that you sing, and sing from the heart – that is what will make you successful. The learning from this is to stay focused, pay attention to detail putting one‟s heart and soul into whatever one does. Passion is what drives the world!!! Learning is a continual process. One is taught in different ways and modes – it can be from experiences of life, from the experiences of other people. One meets a variety of people in the daily life.

Get Inspired!

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With some we get personally related, with some we share a professional relationship; with some we have quite a casual relationship and there are some whom we have not even met once but their acts and deeds inspire us. But out of all of them, we tend to identify a few whom we admire or look up to. Some whom we start treating as our role models and crave to be like them in some respect or other. It is important to identify what can be imbibed from any such person in one‟s own life. My attempt has been to introduce one such person who had a similar effect on my life. Sonu is a genuine artist and a student of life! With his velvety and mellifluous voice he has established a connection with people of different genres. A performer par excellence and a multi-talented personality!! And as he says “Success is not having money and fame; it is doing what you love and being happy with who you are and how your life is going”.

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