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!

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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’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?

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 !