Firing? 5 things you should know!

In every HR professional’s life there comes a moment where he has to fire someone. Let the guilt seep in and remain in the heart for a long time. Whereas, on the other hand firing is a part and parcel of the profession and one has to take it like that, like conducting performance appraisals or processing payroll or publishing MIS. Right?

Wrong. Firing comes around to be the toughest task and no matter how many times has one done, the next time always hurts. For being the one to relay the bad news, to wear those horns of demon and being a non-human in the whole process.

Like it or not, firing comes under HR’s periphery and we have to do it. So how to extenuate the damage and to control the heat of that moment? How to do it wisely and with calmness? Here’s how:

  1. Know the reasons well of why you are taking this action-the reason to fire should be crystal clear to the personnel involved in this. Lot of times the senior management or delivery heads or project heads take the decisions and HR is puny memo re-layer which makes it a little messy when it actually happens. Knowing the background and the real reason of firing will make your ground strong and will let you handle the situation neatly.
  2. Know the employee’s background well, of that moment especially. You never know the employee whom you are going to fire must be having a tough time already at personal end or maybe it’s her daughter’s b’day or he just battled with a grave situation at family’s end like his father’s illness or so. You just never know if and when the employee is already down in dumps or sprightly all the more, at that point. Be considerate and do a thorough check, if need be postpone the firing for a day or two or plan it differently. It will certainly make it less burdening for you and a little governable for the employee.
  3. Keep your offerings ready. Many Companies offer a salary of the stipulated notice period to the employee, as per the offer conditions mentioned in the offer letter, and asks her to not report to the office with immediate effect. There are Companies who ask employee to write down a resignation letter in which case he is not issued a termination letter so that his career is not tarnished and he will be able to land up a job further. So whatever you decide, according to your Company’s policy and legal alignment, keep all the documents and offers ready.
  4. Be ready for handling the tumultuous situation at employee’s end.Of course, being asked to resign or being terminated is not easy for anyone. Especially, when one doesn’t see it coming. It acts like a blow and the employee with low emotional intelligence would possibly over react to the situation. Be prepared for that and it would be not wrong to say, be well armed! Have your team ready for taking actions based on the situation. There are employees who are problem makers,they would want to damage the atmosphere while leaving the premises.
  5. Think about outplacement. Give that option to the employee in coordination with your hiring team. This will not only make the employee feel hopeful but he/she may actually land up in a job within a decent time.

What are your strategies to handle firing? What are your take aways from your experience of firing exercise?

 

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New Mums @ Work : How to retain them?

No matter how loud and clear we talk about gender equality, one thing that the almighty has not given us the freedom and will to change is delivering a baby. This still remains with the women and she remains the only source, out of the two partners, to bring life in the world. (No, I’m not complaining, I feel dignified to have been bestowed with this ability).

So what happens when a female professional goes on a maternity period? The onlookers maybe can only imagine what she must be going through. But its only her who can feel the emotional & physical changes-all good and bad experiences. It doesn’t really matter if she has already experienced her first child or not, there are some changes ought to take place every time she delivers, thanks to hormonal imbalances and circumstances around her.

What Organizations can do in order to help this transition easier for women, going on a break as long as 3 months or so and then coming back to the grind after such a long break? There are several basics that we need to keep in mind while dealing with new mums on the block, to begin with :

  1. Before she is about to proceed on her maternity leave, ensure she is not pressurized to finish all her tasks and the handover. She’ll be anyway in the anxious mode of getting closer to having her heart walk out of her body so help her chalking out a transition plan with her make-shift-take-over colleague. This will help her relax and not worry about the work that she is going to leave behind and the organization will also not have to be impaired in her absence.
  2. Don’t let her cut out. Stay connected with her via phone and/or visits while she is at home. Don’t let her get lost in that ‘stay away’ period. Lot of times the emotional changes make your priorities change and majority of the times it is temporary. There are females who have taken decisions of quitting their jobs in this period, which most of the times have turned out to be a purely emotional decision in haste. Later, they regret having kicked a job which presented them their sanity! On the other hand, there are females who look for the maternity period to be over sooner, not that those are any less motherly but let’s just say those are simply wired like that only! In any case, completely cutting out can have a wrong impression on her which may affect her decisions big time. That said, don’t over do it by constantly calling her, remember she’s on maternity leave to nurse and nurture her child and recover from her latest birth! (yes,delivering a child is like a new birth for the woman herself)
  3. Many a times females would want (have) to extend their maternity leaves. Don’t renounce out rightly, consider this option and work it out. In fact HR and her reporting manager/s can (should) work this option in advance and keep the gratifying solutions ready, just in case!
  4. Once the time comes for her to recommence work,have options of working half time from office and rest from home as need be. This will provide her a cushion to work out her new routine and settle down agilely with ease and will let her bounce back to the role and performance.
  5. Have facilities like DayCare at the workplace. Nothing beats this feature, which is like a divine sanction for new mums.Being able to bring the baby at work will have her undivided attention on work since she is aware she can take small breaks to see her child, nurse it and not feel guilty about anything at all.

If Organizations keep such options ready and define policies which are reciprocally friendly, there will be less of attrition in terms of new mums. This is a very effective retention tool which should be certainly considered.

All she needs is consideration and secondment that she is the same performer who scored high before going on her long breaks. Many organizations are coming up with such bills and there is a way to look forward to have happy new mums at the organizations, happy guilt free mums, resulting into developed and growing Organizations!

Health of HR Personnel | Why is it important

http://www.healthcarehrconsultants.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/satethoscop-img1.png

Image Source: Health Care HR Consultants

 

Health is very important for any human being, we all agree. However, when it comes to corporate world, health of Human Resource becomes very important for the organization, for so many reasons. And when I say health, here I mean mental and physical, both. An Human Resource professional should be mentally & physically fit to function as the HR personnel. Here’s why:

Mental Health : Happiness Quotient

If an HR personnel is not happy himself/herself, it would be difficult for the person to manage grumpy employees, which by the way are always found around you anyway! Now happiness is a sate of mind, we all have heard of this. Practically speaking, happiness depends on lot of things and people around us. Family, friends, unknown people on the road, that security guard at the office gate, annoying office boy, colleagues and bosses! Adding to it, the things like a problematic shower nozzle in the bathroom, distasteful breakfast or no breakfast, the boring radio stations while on way to work, honking horns, irritating traffic, no parking slot, unclean desk etc. Any of these things and people qualify for a person to switch off instantly.

On top of it, imagine, if the person is already upset because of something that happened at home and he is running late to reach office and then something very silly happens while on the way or upon reaching office, tada, that is enough to set the person on fire!

Physical Health : Fitness Quotient

Now, when I say fitness, it does not only mean being slim trim and having cellulite free body. Fitness means, the real sense fitness, of mind and soul and eventually the body. If you have adopted an exercise regime, nothing like it, stick to it! If you haven’t but you are able to score better on fitness quotient, you’re still doing great.

Fitness, also means that your entire body is in right shape right from your hair, skin, teeth and the likes. Imagine, what does a bad hair day, like literally, does to you? What does a bad tooth ache do to you? What effect does that silly tiny zit on your nose has on you? These things might sound very normal in a person’s life but are significant enough to pull you down with your confidence and mood in a jiffy!

So mental and physical health of HR matters and makes a huge difference in his/her behavior at work. It affects the way he/she deals with the employees. It is as simple as that, if your life is set, if you are happy, you see the problems from a different perspective, based on which the solutions you would think of,would differ, your actions will emit positive energy and your decisions will bring in collaboration.

And it is not surprising to know that how these two quotients are closely connected to each other. If you’re eating healthy, sleeping well and smiling adequately, your brain is getting exercised inescapably. And if your brain is oiled everyday, the benefits you will reap out of it are profuse, you will enjoy your day, your work, engaging in discussions, meeting people, resolving their issues, finding out right ways, and more importantly fret less or not at all.

The below info-graphic sums it up accurately:

Image Source: Telugu One

 

So brace yourselves up, get up and get going. Eat healthy, catch good habits, stay fit and be merry. Once you are all that, you’ll never forget to spread the cheer, positivism and peace around you! The most needed for an HR personnel to do so, right?

Image Source: Pinterest

 

 

 

What is HR ?

I was in conversation with an Intern recently and this how it went:

Me: Which area have you chosen for your intern-ship?

Her: Recruitment.

Me: Why?

Her: Because I like it!

Me: What’s so great about recruitment? Doesn’t it get monotonous after a while?

Her: Yes, then I can shift in HR.

Me: What is HR according to you?

Her: Motivating employees by Performance Management, providing them incentives, perks, salaries etc.

Me: What else?

Her: Training.

Me: Any non monetary ways to motivate employees you know of?

Her: *blank*

Me: You can take a minute to think.

Her: *still blank*; Don’t know!

Me: That’s HR!

Her: *surprised* !!!!!

Image Source : Dilbert Website

Human Resource is a tough job, no doubts about that. You’ve to cater to so many employees at the same time. Moreover, the management thinks you are siding with employees and the employees tag you as management’s advocate! It is a very difficult situation to handle and you can spend your entire life proving that you want employee friendly policies which will not affect organization’s bottom line!

But the beauty of the thing is, if you conquer the above, that, for me is an HR. A brilliant Core HR ! There are several ways to deal with retention of employees, non monetary ways. As good as retention is a challenge, it is a beautiful thing to handle. Yes, I’m calling it beautiful, where most of the HR professionals might dread stepping into.

Although, there is no fixed formula to the above, but being available, listening to employees and letting them vent out makes a difference. HR is not only PMS or Perks or Policies but empathy and trust!

Tips to boost your confidence on first day at new job

My friend HR Dictionary has written an excellent post here, all newbies must read:

HRdictionary

new job tips image

Congratulations! It’s your first day at job, time for celebrations but Hey, are you nervous? Thinking about how to behave your best all day and impress everyone at new workplace? Here are some tips that will help

Dress your professional best

Looking your best always help. It’s an important part of non-verbal communication. The way you look makes an impression even before you speak. It also lifts self-confidence that will help you sail through rest of the day easily and effectively.

It’s still not time to be You

First day on job is really not the time present who you are. You should be careful about how you behave and talk when interacting with your new colleagues, Manager or team. Being too open and cracking jokes might be part of your personality but you might appear too casual to others. Likewise, being too serious and reserved might distant you from…

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Manager: Don’t Mingle, Only Rule?

When it comes to being a Manager, a team leader, there are lot of dos and don’ts one is being told to follow.

A manager is a “person”, let us start from here. A person, who is a given a team to handle and to get the work done. The manager is responsible for enabling conducive environment in the team and maintaining the productive levels of the team members. The manager is a person the team members look up to for learning new things and practicing the existing.

Now in between all these roles, there is one more role a manager has to play and that is of being a mid hanger between the management and the team members as well as employees, yes I’m talking about an HR Manager here!

How does a manager motivate the team members? How does a manager bond well with the team members? Does a manager need to bond well with the team members at all? This could be a very subjective question as well as situation and persona dependent. Because behind every manager there is a personality which is functional. This personality has a great effect on how a manager conducts himself/herself and manages the team.

If one has to ask me, how I handle my team, I would say this:

-I balance: I pamper and I reprimand.

-I believe in giving freedom & space: Lining up the tasks and checking back on the deadline.

-I trust: To certain extent where team members know they cannot lie to me, in fact they need not lie to me!

-I mingle: I become like my team offline, on trips, on small vacations and on eat outs.

All this with a pinch of professionalism and boundaries. There is a very thin boundary line between a mingling manager and a professional strict manager. I do not believe in being only manager to my team. I want to connect at human level, know the person behind the role which helps me in understanding their potential and limitations. For me being a soft manager works well where in I don’t have to reprimand often and the work is done within stipulated deadlines.

There are times when I’ve been pointed out as the one who spoils the team rotten by pampering and being too soft. But as long as my team is working on my words and delivers on deadlines without fail and yet feel light and happy, my job is done! So be it because I’m a soft manager or whatever! The bottom line is met.

That said, there is no fixed formula by which one can manage the team all the time. There is some tweaking needs to be done in the way one handles the team, depending on the team members and the situation.

What is your idea of a good manager? Do you advocate maintaining distance and not mingling with the team offline? How do you get the team to trust you and follow?

Can HR have bad hair days?

We all know one of the greatest jobs for an HR professional at hand is ’employee grievance handling’. Addressing employee’s grievances is something that falls invariably under all the HR professionals umbrella and is an important task.

For any HR there are around, on an average, 200-300 employees (in a mid size organization) to handle directly. A huge team at hand and everyone has some or the other tiny / silly / serious / huge problem to share with HR. Also, with an expectation that HR will provide a solution and that too right away.

I enjoy being that ‘agony aunt’ for the employees around and I feel, from the bottom of my heart, that I was born to do this job. I’m happy most of the times I’m able to give satisfactory answers and doable solutions to the employees. I’m able to bring a smile on their faces and also make them feel comfortable and help them bounce back to their perky moods, feel motivated and get active and productive on job!!

But on the other hand, there are days and then there are days. An HR being a human being too, must go through bad hair days themselves, no? Has anyone thought of this? When in trouble, while feeling low, while feeling let down, whom does the HR approach? Where does the HR vent out? Who addresses HR’s grievances?

These questions cross my mind when once in a while I feel out of place. I feel where should I go and pour my heart out? Do you feel the same? Or do you always manage to be bubbly and have no bad hair days at work?

When I face the bad hair day, I usually prefer reading, listening to light music, shutting down work for a brief while, talking to employees around about them, calling mom 🙂 , eating chocolate!

On the contrary, do you even think the HR has the right to feel low, sad or demotivated?