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Showing posts from January, 2013

“Corporate Confidential: 50 secrets your Company doesn't want you to know – and what to do about them” by Cynthia Shapiro

An increasingly regulated rights environment means HR departments have become more likely to resort to obtuse methods but critics say employees see through the ruses which staff are exposed to regularly through an increased frequency of redundancies while a surge in the publication of "HR revealed" books like Cynthia Shapiro's 'Corporate Confidential' have also made staff more suspicious of HR. Writers like Shapiro, herself a former HR manager, allege that some HR departments may be doing more damage than good for their employers.  "You must assume all your e-mails are being read. Companies regularly do it because it provides a window into the employee's world: personal e-mails to friends about how much you've slacked off today and can't wait till 5 pm, inside jokes about management, even angry complaints about management policy." All companies have blacklists One of an HR department's secret objectives is to remove unwanted emp

Pygmalion and Galatea: The power of 'BELIEF'!

Pygmalion was a very talented sculptor in ancient Greece who loved his work, and would spend hours carving beautiful ivory statues, immersing himself in his art. One day, he chose a large, beautiful piece of ivory, and worked diligently at it, chiseling and hammering until he finished. It was a statue of a beautiful lady. Pygmalion thought it was so beautiful, he clothed the figure, gave it jewels, and named it Galatea (sleeping love). Pygmalion went to the temple of 'Aphrodite ' (Venus), the goddess of love and beauty to pray for a wife just like the statue in his home. When Aphrodite heard him, she went to the home of he sculptor to see what all the fuss was about. She was delighted when she saw Galatea. She thought it looked a lot like herself, so she brought it to life. When the sculptor returned home, he found Galatea alive, and threw himself at her feet. Galatea smiled down at him. They soon got married, and Pygmalion didn't forget to thank Aphrodite for his good

Salary Survey De-mystified

There are many global and local companies who do salary surveys for companies, industry and country/region. I have used Hewitt, Mercer, Vencon and some others for surveys for companies I worked for. While all of these collect data from primary market, you will not find any difference in what they mention as P50/Median or range within a title. Reason is simple, they go to the same market, either directly or through third party companies "Outsourced-foot soldiers" and collect primary data. The other way is, they already have done that survey in past years and this year, they will do a few tweaking here and there. The other reason for finding similarity in data is , that they all read other survey company reports and do not want to be/ dare to be different or outrageous or simply insightful. They know simple recipes sell better. And if more insightful they make the report, how will the poor C&B guy or his old boss read that? The silliest thing that I have noticed is

Met lazy HR guys and got a job

I was reading an article in Financial Express, online, quite dated one, from 2005, in fact. R Satya Narayana is the chairman of Career Launcher India. (IIM-B,batch of 1993) talked about what they do not teach at an IIM. Though quite familiar euphemism, he mentioned, his words--- " Met lazy HR guys and got a job Placement is the singular value that a top B-school offers. I also met some HR guys who came from a top corporate, saw me and promptly offered me a princely sum, in 1993, of Rs 5,200 per month. I did not know a single reason why I should be paid that kind of money. My father was drawing Rs 4,750 at that time after having worked for over three decades!  "  Mind you, the word, 'lazy'! I wonder, the perception or understanding about HR folks has not changed in past 20 years (Read 2 decades, if that makes it appear  a sensational outrage:) Laziness in HR is such a dynast

Retain only the 'best'!

I have heard Pratik's lectures while I was doing MBA at SIBM, Pune.  I read about Pratik Kumar at Forbes website. You can check the same link as below- The link says- Pratik Kumar has served as our Executive Vice-President of Human Resources since April 2002, and has served with us in other positions since November 1991. Mr. Pratik Kumar holds a B.A. from Delhi University and an M.B.A. from Xavier Labour Relations Institute (XLRI), Jamshedpur, India. I was glad to see on the same page details of his 2011 compensation. It reads like this- Wipro, Ltd. Compensation for 2011 Salary $190,955 Bonus $139,129 All other compensation $43,854 Total Compensation $373,938 I wonder how many of XLRI graduates in 20 years of career (with Indian company) have reached to the level like this in terms of position, responsibilities and compensation. I believe, Pratik is based out of India and the compensation converted into rupee term

Do you believe in the "First Act"

As Managers or interviewers many a times, we get impressed by the 'first act' . Some call it "first impression". I consciously call it the 'first act' , as this makes a whole lot of difference, in building quick value, of what we got impressed by. Be it excellent introduction to that metaphoric quote or an intended pun!, we usually get swayed by the 'first act.' I remember a candidate talking too tall at his introduction session, on the New Hire Orientation day to bunch of joiners, where he mentioned that he has got 7 years of experience working in Mobile tech services sales, client engagement, huge experience in Employee Relations function and has his own plastic business running for past 7 years. Looks like very enterprising and to some accomplished and arrived in life. Come day -2 or at expanse , week-2 and you will be surprised to see how quickly that enigma of the "first act" fizzles! The same came true with the above mentioned &

Engineering Degree Limits HR thinking

All degree courses not just build your thought process, they also build you. That is what they are there for. Law degree should build lawyers and Medicine degree, a medic. And all that in true sense and not just to churn out a market ready "product". Degrees may be a "commodity" today, people are not! My question is, "Does engineering degree added by MBA in HR, make a complementing or condescending combination for an HR professional?" My understanding is, "HR is more an art than a science". Mind you, if not more,  there are equal amount research and analysis done on all subjects of human significance, not just in science and technology."  I am struggling with a thought for quite sometime and that is, "Does Engineering degree plus MBA in HR make a good combination, if one has chosen to work as an HR professional? I believe, this is non-aligned and non-synchronized combination as I see, technical insight, at one hand makes one a gr

HR is a funny profession

I am interviewing for Director HR for my company these days and meeting people form Bangalore and a few others from Chennai. A good mix of XLRI grads (yes, the PM&IR 2 years on-campus course) and other B-schools, known and unknown. I do not want to grade them as non-premier or low rung or C rung or non-ranked, etc as I am not a firm believer in grading system. 2004 pass out has done only recruiting and has only recruiting 'success story' to talk about. From Microsoft to Fidelity to O*** International. Now Heads HR. Great guy to talk to, good for coffee table discussion but hardly any tested competencies in L&D, C&B, OD, OE, change management or Succession planning. Draws 35L. Another Head HR from an unknown MBA college, Heads HR form a leading global Healthcare software product company, manages 12 member team, reports to Head-HR, Global. Again has done only recruiting and has some bit of brush with PMS, reading Salary surveys, and conducting Open House meetings

Is HR Strategic

Add caption Blessings-white 2011 employee engagement report says, the global engagement rate is 35% and within HR, it is 19%. We have more 'C' players in HR than in any other function. Reasons are obvious, it is not a profit center function, it is a parking place for lots of failed people, soft-launch for 'out of maternity employee', out of being thrown out of front-line business role, out of being wife or mother or girl-friend of the entrepreneur. What best can we expect from HR teams made out of losers like these. Global report says, CEO's presentation slides have just 5% talk on people. Why blame only HR. We all know 'the business of business is people', but remember for many CEOs, people are just resources, numbers that add up to gross margin. Why blame only HR? And why we are not asking the CEOs about making HR a board-room function and catalyst. How can a CEO lose site of HR function when people strategies build the DNA of the organisation a