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Dirty toilets. Creaking beds. Seeping walls.
This is what welcomed the new engineer to his workplace. He had to share his room with 2 other engineers. Cursing was common in the workplace. The seniors were rude. They smoked openly, chew on betel-nut.
5 years. He joined a consultancy firm. The pay was good. They had separate rooms. Attached toilets. Privacy, at last! Good food. Clean talk. Work-load was there definitely but the basic hygiene conditions were present.
All differences apart, he wondered about that one distinct difference!
The gender ratio. In the former, they ratio was somewhere around 5% (women in the entire workforce). In the latter, the firm touched somewhere around 35%. He wondered if the working conditions of male employees would better in an organization that had more women than the ones that did not.
He knew about all the benefits of diversity. He knew how leadership qualities that organizations need in this age are feminine in nature. But now he saw how a good gender ratio not only benefits an organization but the male employee too.
This is no paradox. This is a new perspective.
Bottomline: If you wish that your working condition improves, pray that your organization employs more women.
Amartya Dey, India
Post Script: Many would argue how in the garment industry of Bangladesh, the working conditions are horrible although most of the workers are women. But this article is not about Bangladesh or sweat shops. This is about regulated industries in countries like India where unions exist and exercise power, where there is a platform already for workers to voice their opinion, where the talented youth cannot be taken for granted and can switch companies if they do not like the job. This is for them.
Other Articles by the Author:
- The First Rule of Negotiation
- Human Aspect: Beware of the Exceptional Employee
- Human Aspect: Importance of Precedent
- Two Levers: Potential & Tacit Knowledge (Part I)
- Breaking Organizational Silos (Part I)
- Breaking Organizational Silos (Part II)
- Working More than 12 Hours?
- The Abuse of the 360º Feedback System
- Human Aspect: The Context of Power
- Wikimedia Commons
Redundancy is a necessity for creating fail-safe, fool-proof systems. And it has become a necessity even in modern-day organization structures. With the ongoing war for talent, with organizations ready to out-spend the other, leaders have to create people redundancies. But let us look at what we mean by redundancy here first:
“In engineering, redundancy is the duplication of critical components or functions of a system with the intention of increasing reliability of the system, usually in the form of a backup or fail-safe, or to improve actual system performance, such as in the case of GNSS receivers, or multi-threaded computer processing.”
NOTE: In this blog post, redundancy does not refer to the negative situation when an employer lets go off an employee because the organization does not require that organizational position anymore. It is being used in the positive way engineering solutions provider use it.
Damon is a top performer working in a construction company. He joined the organization as a trainee. He was groomed to be an exceptional site engineer, and he is a senior site engineer now with immense knowledge about project and construction management in the field. His level of expertise and rapport with the workmen is such that he can work even from his home now by giving instruction over the phone.
It has been 5 years now and he wants to get into the planning and strategy side of the business. His bosses do not want to lose an exceptional site engineer because there are so few technically sound people willing to work in the site these days. They turn a deaf ear to his career expectations.
Damon starts hunting for a job soon and gets an offer from a civil engineering consultancy firm. He gets a salary hike of 80% and the profile he wanted. His previous organization loses a great talent, finds it hard to replace him and their leadership pipeline is weakened. So, we see a stark contrast here: Damon’s win-win versus the organization’s lose-lose.
Who is to blame?
Damon’s bosses blamed it on Damon and justified why he left the organization. They blamed it on Damon’s replacement when she could not perform as well as Damon. Of course, they avoided the entire topic of succession planning, transfer of responsibilities and tacit knowledge.
Damon reviewed his previous organization on GlassDoor. He said that it was a great place to start your career in but not one where one should ideally stagnate in. His review was not the only one. It was one of the many. This discouraged the best from applying or even if they applied and became a part of the organization, they came with a time frame of 2-3 years in mind – learn and exit.
Damon’s previous organization had become a training ground where they prepared talent for their competitors to poach. They also poached talent from their competitors but every one of them was sure not to spend more than 5 years there, because there was zero job-rotation and pure stagnation after a few years. No doubt the solid citizens remained.
But was that enough!