Second Innings @ Ex-Employer? What should be your strategy?

Second Innings! Not an unfamiliar tag these days in corporate world. There are many professionals who tend to go back to their previous employer and start their second innings. Sometimes, even a third one! Why they leave is a separate story in itself but when they decide to rejoin, that’s when some things become very important and should be paid attention to. It certainly feels nice to re-join an organization where one worked earlier and enjoyed the stint. I’m saying enjoyed, since that should be the major deciding point where in one decides to come back to the same organization, unless of course there is a dire need to without being mentally prepared!

So while you may bask in the glory of rejoining your old employer and feel at home, once again, there are few things you should keep a tab on and always bear in your mind to have a successful journey the second time as well!

1. Never show-off. That you’ve been here, so you know anything and everything about the organization. You must be right that you know lot of things, but since you left there were others who took over and there sure are changes taken place, howsoever tiny those are. Never keep bragging about your times in the organization, you may mention some things here and there, aptly fitting the conversation but the tone and intention should not be to show-off!

2. Respect the changes. Don’t say it was better earlier or don’t give an expression as if the changes are good for nothing. People who made the changes, certainly have some reasons behind it, try and understand them. Soak the new environment, be happy that you are back to your  organization and the only purpose you should carry is to take it to the next level, not go back to where it was!

3. Keep a collaborative approach. Never try to show an one-upmanship just because you’ve been there earlier and you are a know-all. You might be wrong in assuming that you are well aware of all things taking place under the roof, there might be things which exist now that you are not aware of. After all processes change, people change and the relationships change too!

4. Be ready to unlearn and re-learn. Don’t think that you need nothing to learn in the organization like policies, processes etc. Show the readiness to unlearn and relearn. This will show a positive side of yours and people will be more than welcoming to have you in their team. Collaborative approach always wins hearts and makes it easy for everyone to gel well and work together.

5. Be humble. Don’t use big names and say they know you so well that it will be easy for you to get through the maze of processes. Respect processes. It is about respecting your organization. Let those big names also respect your humbleness!

So get set to re-join your ex-employer. Have a fruitful and lovely stay, yet again! Good Luck!


Office Politics!!

What is that one ingredient which makes your a survivor in your career, your office? You’d say talent, knowledge, skills, attitude, education yada yada yada!

I would take a little different take and say “How to avoid / How to tackle office politics”. If you’ve inhibited this skill, you’ll survive. Now what does office politics mean? How is it different from Kitchen politics? For a very technical definition you must read this: Work Place Politics.

OP can be found very commonly at workplaces. Although, the percentage varies from office to office i.e. the culture in the organizations. Some say it is healthy to have some level of OP at workplaces, it keeps the environment healthy and competitive. But who draws the line where is the is it healthy and where it becomes harmful?

I’ve a different view towards OP. I’m not sure why one has to indulge in this activity? Because I feel while indulging in this activity, one may not realize that he/she is crossing the line, erasing the lines of communication and misguiding the team members / other employees towards a different goal. And all this to achieve one’s own success or to turn around things for one own self? How fair is that?

Image Courtesy: Office Politics

There are times when because of such culture, good resources are forced to leave the organizations because they think they cannot fit in and sustain the OP. Lot of times the culture gets contaminated due to some strong leaders of OP.

Sometimes OP becomes inevitable in offices: there are fights for positions, resources, self dignity and also personal vendetta. OP can emerge from any stem and lead to any string.

If you Google this word, OP, you’ll find stuff like ‘how to survive OP’; ‘how to handle OP’ etc. There are how-to tutorials available, from this you can imagine how severe things can get at work places with OP.

Some people are very much experienced in handling OP and they can carve their way out of this muddle.  Also, such people also know how to use OP positively to climb the ladder and stay ahead of all.

In the organizations that I’ve worked so far, I’ve experienced that if you’re not handy with the how-to stuff, it can get onto your nerves! One has to be mentally conditioned to face OP and also to avoid getting involved in it to the level where it starts affecting.

I think the idea is to know it all and still stay away from it all ! It not only sounds tough but it is tough to balance it out.

What has been your experience of OP? Do you know the how-to of OP? Have you faced any situation where in you found yourself stuck in a difficult situation? Do Share!

Circles & Patches

Go wherever, you have to come back to the point zero to complete one full circle. Life is all about circles. I have just realized. And we must complete one in order to start the next. What we get out of each circle is totally dependent on us. We are our own guides,our own leaders. There is no one but we ourselves to appraise our performance in each circle.

So when it’s all about me,then I need to set my target and bench mark myself. And if this is the case then there is nothing I should be fearful about. Nothing I should be worried about.It’s my world,my performance and my circles. Typically this is what anyone would think right ?

This is where we tend to forget that life is full of circles but what is the nature of these circles ? If we really have to plot them on a paper they would appear something like this:
seven equal circles

These are called Apollonian Circles. [remember there is a stencil available to create these circles just by fixing the tip of the pen / pencil in the stencil and moving it on a paper to create these circles as well as other designs ?]

So why this ‘circles and patches’ post here at HR blog,right ? Why not ? We are talking about relationships and they exist in bulk at work place.

So if we are to work in a team we have to understand our team members thoroughly to the extent that we are in sync with them while at work. The moods may go up and down-which is normal about any human being. But if we are clear about the person at the basics then it’s not difficult to work together keeping our ego aside.

While forming a new team,where people are meeting for the first time,there is a process time that has to be allowed for the employees to know each other well. Psychologist Bruce Tuckman first came up with the memorable words “forming, storming, norming and performing” back in 1965. This theory has been included in various HR subjects,applied into corporate HR and also related to other theories.

Tuckman Model

I want to add a little bit to this theory. If at all at this ‘circles & patches’ theory is added as an extension at the stage of ‘Storming’-that is after shifting from box 1 and before entering box 2– there are chances of less friction and more understanding developing amongst the team members.

What do you think ? Will it make sense in any way ?

Organisational Commitment-Test in downturn !

Organizational Commitment: What do we really think when we hear /read this title? The first reaction we might give is-A HR topic. A new HR jargon. etc etc… Theoretically- It’s performing beyond yourjob responsibilities in the organization.

Practically-Do we check with ourselves about the organizational commitment?So guys when especially in this time, we are talking about the Job loss and salary cut, can we think about organizational commitment as well?

These are the best time for any HR personnel to figure out who is really committed to the work and the company. Post appraisals people come and ask for -“what is in it for me? I did so well. I did late sittings. I did that…I did this…” does this all sound familiar?

When the top layer in the company is being fair and honest with the employees below, its employees’ duty to trust them and support them in the bad times. Help the organization sail through even in the rough weather. Its time for employees to get up and stand together for their organization. Isn’t it?

For those who did get their bonus pay and are not sacked (sorry for being harsh) should really thank god and see how they can perform better to enhance the company’s productivity. Employees could try any or all of these and more to fight the current scenario:

Enhance / Upgrade your own skills

Train your team members

Learn new skills in other areas / functions

Design a new business model, applying creativity, to sell you product / project

Help form a Green Team in your organization who would device methods to reduce extra expenses in the organizations.

Form a Motivators’ Group-To motivate the employees within team as well beyond.

… And there could be many such. In turn organizations could also take few steps to help employees come out of the setback and motivate them to look forward to better times.

All in all both the shores-employees and Management-need to come together to stand strong and fight through with the current times. Remember we learnt long back in school- Together we stand, divided we fall!

HR comes into picture to balance the act at both the ends. It functions as the mid-hanger between Management and Employees. In these times HR plays a very critical role. It has to be alert and Active!

So what are we saying? That HR plays an important role in motivating employees, increasing their organizational commitment and helping management take right decisions pertaining to employees.

Employees on the other hand need to be more understanding and careful about their steps. Cautious and open for change.

Management needs to Listen and Think. Act cautiously and be open and honest!