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!

#WomenAtWork*

I participated in a very interesting chat conducted by @PeopleMatters2 & @Ester_Matters with @anuranjita today on Twitter. The topic being “women at work”. This one is very close to my heart, of course for the part that I’m a working woman myself and have been exercising the tight-rope-walking drill etc. and for the fact that this topic is vast, spread up and is debatable in every which way.

Now why vast, we all know.Debatable? Yes debatable in the sense of all the angles : Men at work, Women’s expectations from self, Expectations from women by the society, women not at work etc. You get the drift?

I’m jotting down my two cents here on the very-much-talked-about-and-never-ever ended-discussion, women at work aka work life balance of working women!

  1. First and foremost, women should stop expecting from themselves to become a super human. We are simple human beings like men,period. The more we stretch the glass ceiling of expectations of our roles in our personal and professional lives, the more we tend to stand at the crossroads of making the right choice. Most of the things in life come in simple format, we tend to mess a little with them and then sit and blame them to be complicated. That said, not everything is sorted out already or not everyone has a fairy tale life. But that’s the whole point here, everyone’s life is different and so our ropes ought to be different and hence our expectations from ourselves should be bare minimum. Applying that age old concept of ‘aim for 90% so that you’ll at least score 60%’ is not to be applied here, please!
  2. Know your potential. This, in terms of professional life first. Do what you are able to do and excel at that, excel according to your standards and not generic ones! Know your potential of being capable of handling things and how many at one time. Just do that much. Don’t try to exceed your potential, really why would you want to do that? If you’ve enough time AND energy left on your hand, please do some good to yourself like getting pampered at a spa, or buying yourself stuff or picking up a good book and get yourself launched in a bean bag and sip your poison and relax! Or simple: just do nothing! Trust me doing nothing is a huge task and not of everyone’s capacity, I’m telling you.
  3. Live your life. A must to learn,seriously. Why do we work? To support the family, to realize our dreams, to make use of our knowledge and education, to stay sane (that one is so me!), to be in the know etc. etc. etc. Amidst all this, we tend to forget to live our lives.How? Because we being the women, we think we are the only one’s to take care of the house as well. This actually is the fact even today when many men are supportive of the fact that family is of both, house chores are to be taken care by both-equally! And we totally are to be blamed for this. Not. This is our society and conditioning which we need to overcome. After all charity begins at home and so does change! Learn to delegate, it is okay to let people take up your responsibilities, take time to see children smile, catch butterflies(okay this is a little bookish since butterflies are scarce), watch movies, go out with girl friends, sit back and watch your husband take the lead. All this for good and with good intentions.
  4. The very fact that we are talking about women at work and the balance etc, points at our societal DNA. We are so strongly wired, no make that twisted on this concept that it is going to take a little while to iron out the creases, come out clean.That said, it has begun. The movement has begun and results are visible, however watermark-y they are but they are there and we have to keep going ahead!
  5. Organizations too need to step into this.It is important that we need to realize that any movement or change has to be partnered and pursued in unison. One can’t do it all alone, for the very reason like I mentioned above-we are human beings not super humans. So one piece of this pan pizza is organizations. They have a strong part to play here. They have to be supportive of their men at work too so that their (men’s) women can balance their “tight rope walk”. Flexi hours for men-women both, day care facility at work, bring your kids at work etc. are few bricks that are being laid in the foundation of a gender neutral work culture where in opportunities are given to men and women both to climb the ladder and women are not questioned “how would you take up that CEO’s role, it means travel.Who will take care of your personal responsibilities?” etc.
  6. Set your priorities right.For this know your priorities. Know what is really really important for you and not what looks important for you.Once this is achieved, I’m sure the time management automatically sets in right. If you know what is unimportant, you’ll certainly not allocate time to those things/activities.And this is true for men too, why only women. Anyone, who has loads to do in life will appreciate the fact that having that tact of sorting out important and unimportant is a boon.
  7. Never cross boundaries.Boundaries set for each task and preference in your life. If you spill over that’s where the mess takes place. Set time for things and stick to it. You’ll see you’ll be happier lot if you stop spilling over and/or procrastinating.
  8. Give yourself credit for doing so much already instead of blaming yourself for not doing so much else.

All the above is something that we have to do / should do in life to feel good. But there are circumstances and people in our lives, sometimes which are not avoidable, and hence to be dealt with any which way. Good people are very important in everyone’s life and play an important role in what you decide and choose for. If one lacks such support there is a problem, I agree but every thing has a way out and there is no dead end, I believe.

So women at work need to be brought down, as in, like we don’t discuss men at work we need to reach that stage where we are not discussing this topic. That would be the day we are truly speaking of equality. And other factors need to gel well in this initiative for sure but the change shall start from us, within us! So women, chin up and head high 🙂

#HappyWorking #HappyLiving #HappyParenting

*This hashtag was used in the chat, storify of which can be viewed on twitter by clicking here

Health of HR Personnel | Why is it important

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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

 

 

 

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!

DIY Happiness Project : Bye Bye Stress!

Life’s short, we all have heard of this and know it very well! We’ve lots to do in this ‘short’ life and the time is always running out. It brings frowns on our faces, gathers on our foreheads and shoots up our blood pressure at times. In the recent past there have been many cases in corporate world, typically in IT industry, where in people have given up due to work pressures, some succumb to ill health and some to the extent of heart failures or brain haemorrhage

When I go through such news / statistics, I feel dejected, sad. There are pretty simple things that we as human beings need to do for our own peace of mind and happiness.

Work pressures will always be there, targets will always try to get you, bosses will always hover on your head and you’ll always run short of time! So, in this rush all you’ve to do is to just follow basic steps:

 

 

Smile: Smiling, is the least you can do to help yourself stay light and happy! Believe it or not, term it clichéd, but smiling makes things better if not right! Smile, it is free of cost!

 

 

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Music: Listen to your fav music, every day! You can do it while on your commute, when you’re at home after work. Even if it is for 15-20 mins, do it! The lyrical waves touch your senses and make you feel good from within, quite like alcohol 😉 but way better option than that! Music is the healer!

Deactivate: A yet another simple step towards happiness and attaining “nirvana” (pun intended) !! Deactivate that office email from your pretty expensive smart device, phone! It is very simple: You leave office, you should leave your work behind. If there is a dire need, people will dial your number. So, why do you need to carry your office to home and then give space for family/friends to complain? Your phone can be used for booking movie tickets or reading a book, explore that!

Detach: When in office, you are your designation. Like Manager, Supervisor, Team Lead, Executive etc. Once you step out, you become you, the person. Like Nupur or Ankit or Divya or Amit etc. The moment you detach your personality from your designation, you are out of the internal conflict within you and your life is simplified! Don’t take your ego to work and don’t bring your conflicts home!

Neither work is life nor life is work! It is a means of living but not the only thing to live by! We work for earning money, maintain our sanity and use & enhance our knowledge and experience. Let’s not change the purpose of working as ‘calling for ill health or losing mental peace’ !!!!

Follow these religiously for one month and see the difference, you’ll love yourself for making time for your family & friends and more importantly keeping yourself happy 🙂

 

Happy Working!!!