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Middle Earth HR Blog by Administrator - 2M ago

Sheena TV

Learning & Development specialist

Wipro Limited 

To LEAD is to Leader

This year, Maria and Jane were the 2 lucky ones who had been shortlisted for best leader’s award. Both the nominated ones were bright employees and had been handling teams for years. Jane was highly disciplined and was considered a gifted specialist across. Maria was equally disciplined and was known to stick her neck out for the team’s issue and was also visible to everybody across the floor.

Tensions were high. Both Maria and Jane were excited about the award and were silently egging their friends to vote for them… After a fortnight passed, the winner was finally declared! Maria had a dead win! And surprisingly with barely any competition from Jane. Jane was slightly disappointed, but still feigned happiness for Maria. She noticed all her team members hooting and cheering for Maria. She couldn’t understand what was wrong? Why did they not vote for her?

Let’s say, you had to pick an ideal leader amongst the Captains of Indian Cricket team. Who would it be? And Why?

We all know that Indian crickethas seena lot of great captains leading the team. However,one person who created fireworks on the field andhas been known for his shrewd captaincy is Mahendra Singh Dhoni. He is the most successful cricket captain with 27 wins in test matches, 110 wins in one day internationals and 41 wins in twenty – twenty matches.Heis never seen agitated and mostly remains calm under pressure. He has been able to LEAD the Indian team and get the desired result,hence known as one of the mostsuccessful leader India has ever had in Cricket.

Similarly, Jane was known for her proficiency and was always considered an awesome employee. However, there were few leadership qualities that Maria incurred over a period of years that made her LEAD the show. Some of the elements that qualifies to be a good leader are:

  • Lead from the Front:

This is one of the most crucial element expected out of a leader. We all have heard it quite often ‘Best leaders lead from the front’. It is all about playing an active role to accomplish tough things and set an example. It is not about ‘Do what I have asked you to’ it is about ‘I am equally willing to do whatever I have asked all of you to do’.

We all know, Dhoni always faced challenges heads on. The way he pushed himself up the batting order in 2011 final is the best example to prove the point. Chasing 275 in the final against Sri Lankans, after losing early wickets, he decided to promote himself up the batting order and scored a match winning 91 which helped India retrieve the moment of lifting the trophy after decades.

  • Empathy

Have you ever had misunderstanding at work? We cannot agree to all the points all the time. There would be disagreements and difference of opinion at work. However, empathy implies building connection, understanding subordinate’s problems, other’s experience and perspectives. It does not require us to agree to their point of view, however it is important that we are willing to understand and appreciate their point. Lack of empathy can have a terrible downfall. Now the question is, Can empathy be learned? Well, according to me it is an innate trait that can be acquired to some extent. Some people naturally have it and some don’t, it is important for a leader to realize if he/she is empathetic or not.

Dhoni has demonstrated his empathetic side on the field and off the field quite often. He letting Ganguly captain the side for a short while during his last test match was highly appreciated. Who can forget the moment when he chose to completely move aside, as team India took Tendulkar on their shoulders after winning the World Cup in the year 2011, this act of Dhoni still remains ever green in millions of heart.

  • Adaptability

Are you ready to change?Adaptability is not about embracing change, it is about exhibiting extra ordinary resilience.

You may have an end goal and well planned strategy to reach it, but a good leader is the one who is ready to adapt to the demands of the moment. While doing that, a lot of unforeseen or unpredictable situations might creep in, however a great leader is the one who welcome’s and views it as an opportunity and takes it to his/her advantage.

Dhoni gives his best in all the formats. The ability to adapt to various forms of the games and perform better every time shows how open he is to learn new things and adjust to the changing needs. He is a clear reader of his games, he knows exactly which player to pick and drop. He is also known to experiment by shifting his players up and down the batting and bowling orders to his team’s advantage.

  • Decision Making Capability

A good leader needs to be inclusive, when the moment of truth comes into light, he/she shouldn’t hesitate to make bold decisions. A leader needs to maintain calm all times and understand his/her business well and take appropriate decisions in the changing context. If anything goes wrong, it’s important to promptly admit the mistake as well. Sometimes,challenging strategy and standing by instincts to take bold decisions can be a game changer.

Dhoni is known to follow his instinct than a well thought out strategy most of the times, he has been proved right in many occasions. In the Champions Trophy Final against England, the data dictated him to ideally choose Umesh Yadav to bowl the crucial over however he decided to send Ishant Sharma which ultimately turned the match for India.

MS Dhoni has proved himself to be a great leader a Leader  who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way’Now the question isDo you want to be MS Dhoni at your level? If yes, LEAD elements will aid you climb the ladder to be a successful LEADer.

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Bajeesh Balakrishnan

Artificial Intelligence in Recruiting

This is from an era of human transition wherein, it says that years ago hominids turned people developed the art of fire. Richard Wrangham, an anthropologist from Harvard stated that the hominids have had this so-called master brain and small jaws, and they mastered the fire, which was primarily for cooking and meet the hunger. Later, several archeologist came forward to present his or her own versions of human transition and invention of fire. As the time progressed and the human life continued to exist and developed their existence from a traditional way of doing a work or a business to a much more advance way of performing the work or business. Technology has played a crucial role in revamping the businesses, and from a traditional way of performing a job manually (skilled worker job) to a moderate way of performing the business through analog devices and computers to a very advance way performing job through advance computers and robotics.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a boom in this digital world. There seem to be a complexity in the society that we live in, which says that all the jobs done by human, will be taken over by the so called Robots in coming years, which in turn is causing an uncertainty in the minds of people. As the job market revolves on the skill sets and technology there seem to be either a scarcity of work force in the areas of business or there is a significant raise in the salaries of people performing the skilled jobs, which is creating a negative impact on the business.

Recruiter’s job is proving to be highly challenging, as there seem to be a dearth of quality candidates versus the amount of open positions that are available to close. Artificial intelligence in recruiting has the potential to boost the recruiting experience from a recruiter and a candidate point of view. Imagine how Amazon’s Alexa uses AI to understand the voice commands to answer the basics of customer queries or an Otto, the self-driving truck that drove miles to deliver beer through Denver.

The growing challenges in recruiting and with the scarcity of getting the right people for the right job there is always an element of whether or not a recruiter is able to give enough time to shortlist and select a right candidate. Here, Artificial Intelligence can come in to the picture by performing few basic checks that often a recruiter misses to validate thoroughly and push the candidates to the next round of interviews. At times, a recruiter cannot even validate certain credentials of the candidates, which is because there is a large pool of candidates attending interviews and affecting his or her workload or simply does not have the right access control to get in depth of a candidate profile and validate. For example: A machine-learning algorithm has the potential to judge the communication of candidates and the job fitment by giving a far better output and in addition to this, the question is how many candidates are actually receiving feedback on the interviews that they attended with a company in recent times. The recruiters or the HR literally falls short of the feedback chain mechanism to fulfill and close the loop during a complete hiring cycle.

There seems to be questions on what are all the top recruiting skills that AI is less likely to replace in comparison with a human involvement. Some of them could be candidate relationship, measuring the interpersonal skills of the candidates, negotiate the offers with candidates, and convince them to join the Company, analyzing the candidates potential and know-how beyond credentials, and analyzing the fitment of a candidate from a company’s cultural point of view.

With the introduction and implementation of Artificial Intelligence in recruiting, it is certain that the role and responsibilities of a recruiter is going to change from typical profile/bio-data pushers to a much more responsible role as Talent Advisors or Talent Consultants. Artificial Intelligence will come into existence as a medium to interact and help the recruiters to their job better. It can take up certain challenges to improve on the overall experience of a recruitment in terms of sourcing, screening applications etc. and recruiters can take up more challenges in terms of building relationships, talent mapping and act more like a strategic partner in the hiring process.

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Deepa Gramopadhye

One Connect Business Solutions

Intricate Path of a Successful Entrepreneur

There is a theory that says leaders are born. To take the same quote forward, I say, entrepreneurs are born. But that is not the end of the story. First of all, understanding that trait within yourself is the first step of preparing yourself to become an entrepreneur. You would see people around who can see business opportunities everywhere right from movie theatre to their own work place.

It is not only that trait or that instinct which would make you successful. There are numerous factors equally important. First one to quote is your networking ability. If it is a start up who would give you the business and why… If you have the network to support, a group of people who know you and trust your capabilities, you can have your initial client base ready and that would help you during initial phase of struggle. Again, getting couple of clients is still easy than keeping the same clients over the period of time. Having repeated customers is more difficult that getting a new one. But once you have the customer base of loyal customers, you have walked a step ahead.

We all accept importance of customer service but the question remains how do we achieve the same.  Entrepreneurship is nothing but association of many people wherein they all start working to achieve your dream and that too so genuinely as if it was their own dream. It is converting a bunch of people into a team. It is understanding their strengths and areas of improvement too and to know precisely whom to give which responsibility. In short, managing your human capital effectively and efficiently.

Uniqueness of your product and knowing the customers is another critical aspect. If there are n number of other companies/firms offering similar product/service what is the uniqueness of your product. What is special about it that the customer would get attracted. Marketing plays important role here. Quality of the product/service is the soul and that is undoubtedly important. More challenging is conveying the same to your clients/customers. Passion of the entrepreneur should be conveyed to the customer only then can a customer can get connected to your business.

All in all, you should have a clear vision and a specific business plan (which would cover your operational details, HR strategy, Marketing management and Finance management). All these can be taught in a management school. There is one more factor, that X factor which can not be imparted and that is “PASSION”. If you have it for the business, start preparing and keep going. All The Best.

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Billy Paul Ebenezer

Consultant – Center for Behavioural Excellence

Wipro Limited

Be assertive to get what you want, effortlessly!!!

“I need an ice-cream, Daddy”

“Buddy, I felt hurt by what you said yesterday”

“Darling, can you please make love slowly, it is quite painful”

“I am afraid I won’t have time today to work on this project”

“I believe your idea may not be accepted by the client”

“I think I am long overdue for a promotion”

Do you find yourself at ease to express all you wish to say? Do you always get what you want without raising your blood pressure? Whether it is a teenager or a seasoned professional, everyone struggles from time to time to express their thoughts and feelings in an appropriate manner. Either we express too much and deny the rights of others, or we express little to nothing and deny our own rights. Either way, the outcome of these interactions leads only to stress and unproductive work.

The key to leading a meaningful and productive life, where you effortlessly get what you want is to be assertive, and not aggressive or passive. Assertiveness is expressing your thoughts and feelings openly and honestly without denying the rights of others. Oftentimes, we are not assertive because we assume communicating the truth will inconvenience the other person. However, what we don’t realize is speaking anything other than the truth, even by remaining silent, will have far-reaching consequences.

To communicate assertively, one must have a healthy view about themselves and the other person(s) involved in the communication. Assertive communicators aren’t afraid to express themselves because they aim for a win-win solution in every encounter and interaction. Besides, assertive communicators get what they want due to the enormous respect they command by being open,honest, and respectful in their communication.

Do you want to be treated like a doormat? Do you wish to be ignored? If not, then stop being passive where you cede to every demand; and stop being aggressive by forcing things your way. Instead, speak your mind loudly yet softly. Who knows, perhaps, your boss was just waiting for you to become assertive before awarding you that long-awaited promotion!

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Middle Earth HR Blog by Administrator - 4M ago

Mr. Nitin Sanker

The Director

Middle Earth HR

CEO Message

The first quarter of 2018 sees a lot of positives for Middle Earth. Some of the highlights for me were

  1. The Tie up with SP Jain Dubai to launch the Global General Management program for senior professionals. After the successful launch of the Advanced Strategic Management Program with IIM Indore, this was the second of our long term programs for senior management.
  2. We started our fourth office setup in Hyderabad. This was a 14 seater office space in the same building where we had our other three office setups. This gives some space for us to expand
  3. Our consulting practice seems to be going apace. The Business Development team led by Supriya did get multiple consulting orders in coaching, employee engagement and HR auditing. This includes major orders from Collabera, Abbott labs etc.
  4. The major Initiatives in HR including building a new Employee Value Proposition focusing on development of Middlearthians

We also had Vandana as our long term HR specialist leaving us to get married and we have recruited a Manager HR – Pritam who joined us this quarter with a full time IIM qualification and a three year stint with TCS, his joining will enhance our strength in the HRM team and also our consulting team.

We also had successful programs in Nepal and Qatar with our new franchisees so that also extends our geographic spread into the Asian regions

Also our new initiative in E-learning is moving fast and also our new website would be coming up soon so watch this space to see the new developments

Traditions are important in organizations just as they are in families. We celebrated Ugadhi with lots of fun activities . Festival committee played a vital role in making sure that all the activities take place as per plan during the celebration.

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Pankaj Narayan, 

Manager  – HR 

J K Files India Ltd

Analyzing Performance Management

The ability to manage employee performance well is a critical part of any successful organisation. Yet, too often, performance management is misunderstood or executed in a clumsy way that can actually harm employee engagement, motivation and, ultimately, performance.

1. Not ensuring your people understand the big picture

Too many companies fail to make their employees aware of the bigger picture around performance management, specifically how their individual performance relates to the company’s wider strategy and goals. To feel empowered and invested in a common purpose, employees need to understand what direction the company is moving in, and what goals it is working towards. That’s why the most successful companies are ones that clearly articulate shared goals and foster a sense of working towards a common mission. It’s therefore vital that leaders regularly communicate key messages about the company’s future, and connect the work of individuals, teams and departments to that future.

2. Not getting employees’ buy-in

Leaders must get buy-in right across the company if they are to effectively execute performance management processes. Transparency is critical here. When employees feel that a set of benchmarks or a new review system is handed down without dialogue, without understanding what the process is about, they are far less likely to be engaged with the process. But, by making sure your teams understand the bigger picture, and how that picture is relevant to their jobs and performance, you create a sense of buy-in, trust and inclusivity.

3. Having no regular (and meaningful) two-way conversations about performance

Many companies think performance management is about holding an annual performance review, where various metrics are reviewed and targets set for the following year. Annuals reviews are certainly one part of the picture. However, good performance management involves reviewing performance more regularly, and in an open, meaningful way. This means not just giving feedback on individual performance, but also receiving feedback from your people, for example, on leadership performance and system management.

4. Having no indicators at all, or the wrong indicators

If you aren’t measuring indicators, you have no way of knowing how the business is performing and whether it is on the right track to achieve its strategic goals. So, it’s crucial you set up the systems to measure key performance indicators. However, some companies go to the other extreme and measure everything that can possibly be measured. But, having too much information, or the wrong information, can be as harmful as having none at all, because it wastes precious time and resources.

5. Setting vague goals

Most leaders know that the best goals are SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. Yet, all too often, goals can be incredibly woolly. It’s no use charging individuals in a team with a goal to improve customer service, without pinning down exactly what that means and how it will contribute to the organisation’s overall performance. It is far better, for example, to set specific goals like reducing the average time customers spend on hold in a call centre queue from three minutes to 90 seconds.

6. Not dealing with under-performance

Managing under-performance is tricky and no manager enjoys it. This means it’s often swept under the rug and ignored. Sometimes metrics are even manipulated to give the impression that everything is fine. This doesn’t do anyone any favours – not the individual in question, who is deprived of the opportunity to learn and grow, not the manager, who may face resentment from other team members who have to “pick up the slack”, and certainly not the organisation as a whole, which needs every area of the business to be performing at its best. It’s therefore important to identify low performers and have those difficult conversations where necessary.

7. Not recognising, celebrating and rewarding good performance

Just as low performance is often overlooked or ignored, sadly, good performance often goes unrecognised. This can leave employees feeling unmotivated and disconnected from the business’s common purpose. That’s why every company should develop appropriate ways to recognise and celebrate high-performing individuals and teams. And, although financial rewards are commonplace, they aren’t the only kind of recognition. Employees often value praise, opportunities for development, and flexibility as much as (and oten more than) financial compensation.

8. Focusing too much on tools and tick-boxes

A lot of business leader think that, because they have various performance improvement systems and tools in place, that they have everything covered. This can be a dangerous way of thinking, as it can encourage stagnation. The best kind of performance management isn’t about fancy tools, rigid systems and tick-boxes – it’s about creating a culture of continual improvement.

9. Chasing targets rather than improved performance

Building a system of targets and incentives can be dangerous in business. When individuals and teams become so focused on hitting targets, they can become pretty creative in how they manipulate information so it looks like they’re bang on track. However, while there is a place for setting targets and benchmarks, it should always be within the wider scope of creating a high-performance culture. Focus should therefore always be on how well the company or team is performing in relation to the company’s wider goals.

10. Using performance management tools to micro-manage and control

Done well, performance management should empower your people, not be used as a system to control and micro-manage them. Employees who are invested in the performance management process, and who understand the bigger picture, feel a greater sense of trust, authority and accountability. This means they are far better equipped to manage their own performance, make good decisions that benefit the company, and respond to the organisation’s needs appropriately. When they feel like performance management is a one-way dictatorship, motivation – and performance – plummets.

By avoiding these mistakes and making proper use of performance management tools and techniques, business leaders can lay the foundation for an organisation that is built on trust, transparency and a sense of working together to achieve common goals. This creates the perfect conditions for a high-performance culture and business success.

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