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!

Health of HR Personnel | Why is it important

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




Background Screening: New Hires and Other Way Round Too?

Last week while talking to my colleague we stumbled upon the topic of background checks of new hires. While getting a little deeper in his thought process I realized that before joining me, he had done a little background check on me !

I was stunned to hear that, well not in a negative manner though! Just that I’d never thought that someone would do a check on me before taking me his/her boss. This is not much “trending” as they say! Or maybe I had not heard about it.

The thought of getting a background check done on your future boss is a little exciting and a little weird idea. Now exciting why, I need not explain, I think 😉 But weird I think because of the below reasons:

-If the feedback is not good:

Just in case the feedback is not good, and in some cases the joinee has no choice but to still join the organization, he/she will carry that assumption to work of the boss and react keeping that in mind. As they say, assumptions are dangerous!

-If the feedback is good:

But just in case the feedback turns out to be wrong, the joinee’s expectations will be shattered seeing the opposite behavior and treatment of the boss!

As it is, boss and subordinate relationship is very tactical and delicate, if not handled properly it can break (hearts too) ! And on top of that if the feedback is added to the expectations or assumptions and in reality the things turn out to be different, then I see a huge problem!

All I can say is, finding out about the person that you’re going to work with is not a bad idea at all, it is certainly a good idea to get a pre-hand information, just that one must follow the basic rule of life which I thoroughly believe in

Never react on things that you’ve not heard or seen by your own self. Keep it as an information and but only react when you experience them on your own!

What is your thought on this? Have you been background checked anytime as a boss?

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?

Each One Reach One

How important it is to meet employees, face to face, apart from answering / responding to their emails or phone calls? For HR personnel it is highly important to reach out to employees, know them, create that difference and bond with them.

Trust me bonding with employees gets easier when you talk to them face to face. There might be disgruntled employees around, you might not be able to solve their problems right away or maybe never be able to offer a solution to some of their problems, but even after that, talking to them one on one and lending your ears and time to them, will make a difference.

Sharing one of my recent experiences with you all:

One of our senior Technical Architect (TA) level employees, newly joined, emailed the network team to allow him to change his system’s wallpaper to his choice. A little background here: our company follows a common wallpaper policy, which means on any and every machine in the company, you’ll find same wallpaper with company logo. To break the monotony HR selects wallpapers every few days, sometime suiting to the festivals, months and days of the year and other times general. Overall, this policy has its own pros and cons. Anyway, so back to the case in point: Network team directed the TA to HR asking for my permission. The TA asked me to allow him to use his own wallpaper; he mentioned he wants to use his family photos, which keeps him happy and motivated the entire day!

What a noble & genuine thought. But I could not have decided to change the policy right away, without giving it a proper thought, because the very fact this policy was brought into the picture was due to some very strong reason. So, I had this little problem at hand to solve.

At first I replied to the TA, via email, explaining him whys and why nots of the policy. He wrote back with (self- explanatory) logic and still asked for the permission. I realized this is not reaching anywhere if I continued to play email-email with him. This will only irritate him and make him think that HR is adamant!

I decided to walk up to his desk. I met him, generally shared my honest view of how even I do understand the importance of having family pictures around, and subtly told him a no for that moment. He was more than willing to accept that ‘no’ and smiled and said “I understand what you’re saying, and it is important for you to guard the policies, it’s okay, I’ll manage pinning the photos to pin board at my desk”. All of this, with a humble smile.

What did I gain in this? His trust, that I saved being an employee getting disgruntled for a small thing and I saved him from creating an image of HR in his mind that we care least of employees’ feelings. I also became happy in turn, because the more you’re able to give happiness, the happier you yourself get!!!

In this case I could have carried on the conversation on the email chain and let him be, after all I was just saying no to him for a change in organizational policy, was I doing anything wrong? Nope! So I could have saved myself a round to his desk and would have done some of my other email writing work instead, right? 🙂 Wrong!

Employee connect is so very important. I know we’re in such an age where twitter, FB, blogs and the works, work. But even after these social media tools, I think face to face discussions win hands down.

We follow an internal policy of “EORO” which means each of the HR team members will touch base with targeted number of employees each month. Not with an intention and a list in hand, ticking off the names once the meeting is done, but with compassion, a little dash of casual meeting and with open ears: to listen, understand and reach out to employees to know the pulse of the organization!

Image Courtesy: HERE

Now tell me can an email or a virtual shout out do this magic?


Is there a definite way to be the desired boss your team members want you to be? Sure, there are several ‘how-tos’ and ‘know-hows’ as well as ‘dos and dont’s’ available at your fingertips now to read through and try and inculcate it in your habit but the question still remains, is there a particular way to do it ?

Let me ask it differently here. Are subordinates ever going to like their bosses 100% ? Is the relationship fool proof where in there would be no disagreements and only positive waves running throughout? Are the bosses going to be always right ?

I’m very vague in my thoughts right now on this and using this blog as my sounding board.

There are certain things that come to my mind when I think / hear ‘best boss’:

^ Someone best for one team member might not be the best for the others- all human being react differently to different people.

^A boss might be overtly good to one team member and maybe a little less to others- bosses can have soft corners.

^A boss can have good days and bad days when he would react in a different manner-well sometimes this may happen, after all the boss is a human being!

^One technique can be applicable to one team member and the same can be a failure on other- no team member is same.

Considering all the above, the thought comes to my mind, how can there be a particular tool or technique where in we can learn how to be the best bosses or the one whom our team wants us to be?

IMO, A boss needs to be a human being first and foremost, compassionate, empathetic and a good listener.

Having these basic attributes in personality itself makes you win half the battle. The rest remains in how you stabilize the working system by setting rules of trust, respect and coordination. These all are closely knitted i.e. if there is trust there is respect and if there is trust and respect there bound to be coordination, whatsoever!

What is your view?

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 ?

Friendships in corporate world-A yes or A no ?

Friendships are bound to happen in any organizational set-up. No matter how much you tell yourself right from the start that ‘this is the professional set-up and no getting emotionally entangled here’ you are bound to make friends and not only that but get emotionally involved too. I won’t blame anyone here. Since this is a tendency of human nature. We human beings are bound to get into relationships at every corner or our life journey. Where we fail is to draw the line and keep things separate. If one is able to do that perfectly than nothing like it.
Point in case here is: Two college best buddies land up in the same organization and one is into HR and other is into specialized domain of the company from ‘finance’ as PG specialization. Both the friends are talented and equally good in their respective fields.
Over a period of time they both make a mistake. They fail to draw that ‘thin’ line between personal and professional and that’s where the process of drifting away started.
If you haven’t guessed it already let me tell you. It all goes around the promotions which take place in the organization one ‘appraisal cycle’. The HR friend obviously gets involved into the matter with a personal touch and the other friend doesn’t trust the HR friend totally! The case is spoiled. The results are clear. The other friend has to leave the company and go. Though the HR friend survives in the company due to the sincerity and the hard work but had put the reputation on stake for getting the ‘finance’ friend a promotion!
Two things that I think went wrong in this case:
One- HR friend should have not crossed the professional line to reach to the personal side and put her image at stake (which fortunately was saved due to the goodwill she had earned)
Two-Finance friend should have trusted her HR friend and should have taken the process as guided by the HR friend-After all if HR is involved-it knows the process best!
There is one more angle to this case which I don’t put as a reason why this chaos happened but could be the reason of all this rut starting actually. Both friends were girls! I hope I don’t have to explain further what I want to say here.
Since we are on friendships within the organization I would want to quote one more case and a discussion point here.
It’s about two colleagues-working in the same team- who turn out to be best friends over a period of time working together. Let’s call them N and S. They have the finest co-ordination and can work together for hours and efficiently. Also these friends are the best performers of the team. Both of them kept together are equal to 4 people in a team. So this is the chemistry they share work wise and personally too.
N leaves the organization for good and without disputes. Of course there is this insecure feeling for S in the organization and also the desire to excel and work like earlier times is slowly fading. Also both of them being together were much stronger a team than singlet. So one fine day, soon after N’s departure, S decides that she too wants to quit get into a new work place and environment. Not only because N is no more in the team but due to some team problems also creeping in slowly. May be these problems were always there but S never noticed them or may be never had time to pay a heed to them!
Okay so S decides to leave and wants her resume to be revamped. She approaches N for the same-they being buddies it was obvious!  They both work together on S’s resume.
Now the points to ponder and question are:
One-Do you think one should totally ignore the other team members and stick to only one of the friends always?
Two-Is right to make a resume of another person? (I mean not saying guiding in making the resume but actually making the resume) Shouldn’t it be the persons’ task, to make the resume, which is going to face the interview?
Three- Is changing job just because your friend is not working anymore with your in the team a right decision? Or leaving the organization because there are some problems creeping in the team?