Your Potential, Assess It & En-Cash It !

Mostly by this time of the year Performance Appraisals are done in all organizations, especially IT sector. As an HR professional I’ve seen flurry of resignations flowing in post-appraisals. The moment the results are out, employees, disgruntled employees, exercise their option B- resigning from their current posts. Across the world, employees have the same tendency : To wait and see the result of appraisals and then decide whether to quit or stay another year.

To actually resign and move ahead is not the solution to the dissatisfaction caused by the appraisal. I think one should have more scientific approach towards evaluating one’s performance with an honest heart. I hear employees stating that “I have worked laboriously round the clock throughout the year”. “I’m always ready to stay back late and complete the given tasks”. “I never said no to any task allotted to me” and the likes. Whereas I would listen to these arguments empathetically, I would also want to ask them if they really really think that performance appraisals should be done (only) on these qualities of an employee?

If in an organization, appraisals  are conducted systematically, I’m sure there will be criteria clearly defining the need of the employee to state his/her experience, skills and knowledge put to right use in the year gone by. Late nights, always ready to work, come on weekends and holidays are like icing on the cake. What about the base efficiency that an employee needs to showcase, the perquisites that an employee needs to posses to hold the job and excel at it?

Before one argues or asks for re-evaluating one’s appraisal case, I think one should ask below questions to oneself and answer them honestly :

-Do I have the basic qualification to fulfil the job’s requirement?

-Did I work on the improvement areas that were explained to me in my last appraisal and in the interim ?

-Will I rate myself 5/5 on communication, team and time management skills that are required at workplace?

I would urge the workforce to assess themselves before they set out to get assessed by the reporting authorities. Once there is clarity about oneself, one’s abilities and capabilities, there would be less dissatisfaction and more positivism towards improvising oneself. That said, not all employees who are unhappy with the appraisals done for them are inadequate in their performance. There certainly are genuine cases and I’m sure Organizations cater to them in required manner.

Advertisements

All In A Day, In One Life!

Read one of the tweets today which said “Constantly awed by women who manage kids, a job, workout, travel, parties, books and social media. Even listing all that tired me out” 

 

 

It made me think for a while, for the very reason that I kind of fall in this category. I work full time, a mother to a 4 years old with whom I craft & paint & read, I write blogs, attend tweets chats, have friends in life with whom I party and plan holidays, have a husband, of course, who apparently has no complaints of me not able to give him time 😉 , and I keep time for myself for reading books, reviewing them on my blog and well, that majorly sums my whole life.

The point is not that I’m doing so much. The point here is, yes there are people who manage their life, as they want to, in an easy manner and are mostly successful at it.

So how do people manage having everything, when we’ve been brought up on the ideology that you can’t have everything ?

I think the magic lies in keeping a goal of balancing everything and not to have everything! Some things that come to my mind, that I follow to achieve things that I want from my life are these:

Prioritize: I know, this is very commonly spoken about and must have umpteen articles and how-tos  about it on the Internet. But the problem is we all know, but we don’t really prioritize. There will always be 10 things expected out of you at the workplace in a day. There will be 5 things every day on your mind to be done in your personal life. And the fact remains, not all days it would be possible to achieve all those 15 things. So, the first thing we need to be really clear about is acceptance. Acceptance of the fact that there is only limited you can do, not because you are incapable of it but because not all tasks are under your control. Lot of tasks at workplace will have dependency on others, lot of commitments in personal life will have importance of other person’s availability. So, we need to accept that out of 10 only those which hold top priority of being done the same day should appear in your to-do list for that day. Also, you might as well be a great multi-tasker, but don’t over do it. Pay attention to each task likewise. This will save your time, I’m sure.

Plan: I think planning well and in advance really really plays an important role. Of course for impromptu tasks/events you can’t do much but if your other tasks are well planned, you are still better of of the sudden situation coming your way! Keep space for these uncalled for events in personal life or meetings in professional. And please make sure your planned activities should be timed, breaking the timeliness creates spillage of tasks and that’s where the mess begins!

 

List: You should list down your tomorrow’s task prior. If today you list down the things you need to do tomorrow in office, you’ll be in better shape to judge and commit for your personal things for tomorrow, vice versa too. Once the list is made, it gets glued to your mind, so you are aware that you can’t over commit or fit some extra tasks or maybe just take a break from office, nice feast right? 🙂

 

Image result for youYou: Never ever forget, in all this drill of managing home & office, it is  you who is important. Don’t let the YOU get lost in this whirlwind of life. Things will take place, time will run at its own pace, don’t miss to pay attention to what your YOU needs. Communicate with yourself, listen to your needs, there will be times when you’ll need a break from everything, give that to yourself, your deserve it! Your hobbies & interests are very important and should get listed in your life, as one of the priorities!

Feel: Finally, anything and everything can be done only if you really really feel passionate for it! If you are not passionate about it, you don’t want it. Its that simple !! So feel passionate for your work, your life, your kids and your spouse. All these complete you as a person. They are important ingredients that will help you live your life to the fullest! And most importantly, know your passion 🙂

I think it is very easy to balance, just that we need to know the knack of it all. Don’t challenge yourself, there is no competition of who is doing how much in their lives. It is about you as an individual, and as much you can do, is good for you. And if you cannot, don’t feel bad just because someone else can do greater than you 🙂

Live Lively, Feel Happy!

What’s your morning energy?

Every one of us is either a morning or an afternoon or a night person. Which means our energies are majorly focused at a particular time of the day as compared to the entire day.

I’m a night person if I’ve to consider 24 hours. At work I’m a morning person. I like reaching office as early as possible, when very few, or almost none is present. I like to have an hour or so for myself, to organize my day’s plan, prioritize my lists and look at the golden morning sun which is directly visible from my window.

<digression>By window I recall that so far, in my 9 years of work experience, I’ve been always lucky to have a seat near a window. Never asked for it, just got it 🙂 and have been thankful ! I love nature around while at work, which in concrete jungle is quiet unrealistic to wish for, which induces creative juices and positivity in my system!</digression>

I’ve not one but many times also found that in morning hours, I can accomplish 4 tasks in 2 hours as compared to 2 tasks in 4 hours (approximation) in the hustle of the peak hours.

Apart from the ‘silent me’ time at office at start of the day, I also want some energizing drink (don’t get me wrong peeps 😉 ) to accompany my fresh thoughts and pump ideas for the day. (To actually prove that I don’t mean anything else by ‘drink’ ,look at the picture below 🙂 )

Morning Cuppa Green Tea 🙂

So, here is my list of what I want at the start of the day:

-Nature

-Clear Desk

-Me Time

-Morning Cuppa

What energizes you in the morning,at work? Who / What are your sources of energies?

Exercising the Exercising Option

Exercising! What does the word ring in your head? Weight loss? Staying fit? Size Zero for that matter? Well, look at it in a different way, it is a stress buster too along with the above mentioned advantages!

Before that, what is exercising, IMO…..It could be in any form: dancing, sports, swimming, gyming, walking, jogging, whatever includes your entire body to take part in it 🙂

I feel exercising is important for everyone, especially working professionals. Why this ‘especially’, you may ask, because most of us are in a sedentary jobs which doesn’t give us much scope to move around a lot in the day. The reasons I exercise regularly (apart from trying to lose on that tough flab which is so loyal to me, gah!) are as below :

-Motivated, Energetic and Relaxed- the entire day!

-I get more ideas, the grey matter gets oiled 🙂

-It breaks the monotony of my daily routine, adds some vigor!

-Let’s me meet those friends who are not work friends, not colony friends and not relatives! (I think this is the biggest advantage!!!!!)

-Changes my perspective towards things in life.

-Gives me very own ‘me’ time… (I love this one!!!)

-Let’s me be more efficient in whatever I do the entire day.

-Helps me keep away from attracting negative energies.

Image Courtesy: HERE

Technically, exercising increases your body’s metabolism, blood flow, purifies your blood and pumps in a lot of energy to keep you rocking for entire day!

Interestingly, looking at the growing importance of exercising among employees, organizations are now providing in-house gym areas for employees’ convenience and flexibility to take a break from work and rock that treadmill ! I heard recently that there are treadmill conference rooms also, which allows executives to exercise while having a meeting, it is indeed a kewl sounding thought but I have a little problem at that. By providing treadmills in conference rooms, we are not letting employees disconnect from work and let them set their minds free… the sole purpose of exercising gets diluted here, me thinks!

Because, I feel exercising releases your stress, work stress at that which is harmful if not taken out. One has to “learn” (note that, I’m saying learn) to not take the work stress home with oneself. Often we tend to take the stress home to our families who deserve better than this, trust me!

Taking work to our home, our families is a very common trait and is fashionably called as being workaholic ! Some feel proud admitting that they are workaholic…. however, this is another story altogether and calls for another post 🙂

So coming back to exercising, how many days a week do you exercise? Do you feel the same that I’ve listed above as a result of exercising? What’s are your views? Do share, would love to hear !!

 

Late Hours Vs Efficiency

I often hear people compare time ‘spent’ in office with the productivity shown in that time. Higher the number of hours, greater the productivity.

However I disagree. I’ve a different idea of being productive. How you ask? Consider below cases and you’ll know:

Case A:

An employee comes in say around 9.30 am to the office, spends a little time organizing the day and starts working say around 10.00 am. Works with a break or two in between,which includes lunch break and sits through and finishes all the tasks of the day by approximately 5.30 pm. Now the office hours are from 9.30 to 6.30 and over and above as required by the role. This employee has diligently worked through the day and has been able to finish his work in less than designated time and is ready to leave office at 5.30 pm , draws stares from colleagues and raised eyebrows from the upper rungs.

Case B:

An employee comes in around 10.00 am in the office, spends a little time organizing the day and chit chatting with colleagues, works with a break or two in between,which includes lunch and tea, sits through and is still not able to finish the tasks for the day even at 6.30 pm. He puts in extra time and logs out only after finishing the work which is only at around 8.30 pm.While exiting from office, gets smiles from upper rungs and high fives from colleagues.

In both the above cases there are lot of ifs and buts attracted and I know I’ve taken two very generalized scenarios.

But frankly speaking, this ‘staying late and being called more productive’ syndrome irks me to no bounds. I’m all for staying late in the office when it is really required-project deadline, go live situations, bulk recruitment and customer demands. When the work is tight, one has to pull the socks up and not look at the clock at all. But when work is moderate and yet the employees leave office only after sitting late hours and ask others who leave on time as “taking half day?” gets my goat!

Points to ponder over ‘sitting late’ situations for all managers and HR personnel:

  • The one who comes late in the morning, goes late-So what’s the big deal in going late? You checked in late,didn’t you?
  • Even when the work is done for the day, employee loiter around in groups or stare blank at their screens just to complete the in-time out time cycle of the day-aren’t such employees wasting their time which they might as well spend with their family/friends and refresh themselves ? Also, they are wasting resources in the office!
  • Staying late gives you an edge over others in appraisals-really? since when did the log out time become so important a parameter to measure the performance and good work? Think about it!
  • We’re single hence we want to contribute more to the company since we don’t have anyone waiting at home-Exactly my point! Since there is no one waiting at home, such employees use office as their place to chill out, use the free Internet and pass the time as they like it! 

Again, pardon me for generalizing the categories, but if you really think through, you’ll agree to me that the above mentioned points are often the facts of every organization!

Any given day, I’d  prefer a team where in they are true to themselves, committed to their work and honest to me as their leader.

I personally never work by clock and I insist that none of my team member does that. You come in to the office on time / early and finish your work in the stipulated 8 hours or before and you log out, I’ll be more than glad. So be it that the log out time is not the ‘official’ log out time. But you have put in all your efforts to finish your tasks and that too efficiently, so I’ll be proud that I’ve an efficient team rather having a lousy later sitter team who is not only wasting resources but also wasting their personal time in office!

I also don’t mind if my team member for example has finished 6 important tasks out of 10 given to her and wanting a time out for half an hour,excluding lunch hour and tea time, before resuming work on the remaining 4 tasks. In this case I know my team member is not only efficient but also knows how to prioritize!

That said, there certainly lies a risk of employees working faster than others and claiming to finish the tasks way too early in the day and demand leaving! In such scenarios the manager needs to be ready with new engaging tasks for such energetic and fast employees! The manager then needs to know how to identify the capacity and capability of each team member and allot the tasks accordingly.

All I’m saying is it’s all about efficiency and choices. If one loves working late [and hence comes in late to the office], be it if the nature of tasks and the role permits. But then one shouldn’t crib when others go on time. Also, for managers who come pleading,to HR,advocating for their team members at the time of appraisals that their team member/s worked late nights most of the time in the year, then I would certainly want the manager to really check,why? Did the project/s really demand that? Because in my knowledge and logic only sitting late night doesn’t deserve any accolades, it has to be productivity too and where there is productivity there are results, which are measurable !