Archive for the ‘General HR’ Category

Managing a Temination

January 6th, 2018 No comments

The most dreaded task for any HR professional is termination.  But when an employee’s performance doesn’t improve after months of counseling, coaching, and documenting, you’ve got to face it.

Firing for substandard performance means one of two things : either the employee can’t do the job even

Image result for termination

after substantial training, or he/she can’t get along with others even after considerable counseling.

If you’ve been doing your job, you’ve spoken to him/her informally and formally, and you two have agreed on improvement plans that the employee hasn’t carried out. Throughout the disciplinary process, you’ve kept written records of conversations, agreements, and your observations. In short, you’ve seen no positive change. At this point, termination w


ill not only be a shock to the employee, it may almost be a relief.

Don’t just do it unmercifully. even when he or she knows what’s coming, rejection and humiliation still hurt.

Use this handout as your guide to handling a difficult situation. These tips will not only make all parties more comfortable with a termination but may well keep you from legal complications!

  1. Make sure you’re on solid ground in discharging the employee.
  2. If you do have grounds to discharge, write a termination letter to present to the employee.
  3. Plan the meeting..
  4. When the employee arrives, don’t beat around the bush or launch into mindless chitchat.
  5. Be prepared for a reaction of shock and denial, pleading and tears, or anger.
  6. If possible, ask the employee if he’d prefer to resign rather than being fired.
  7. Give the employee the letter you’ve prepared.
  8. Finish the meeting.

Organisation Structure and Design

September 23rd, 2017 No comments



Organisational Design is the formal process for integrating the direction, information, people, and technology of an organisation to ensure alignment with business strategy. It is used to match the form of the organisation as closely as possible to the outcomes that the organisation seeks to achieve.


Organisation structure – formal framework for jobs, tasks to be divided, grouped and coordinated Organisation design – process that involves decisions about

  • work specialization
  • departmentalization
  • chain of command
  • span of control
  • centralization and decentralization
  • formalization




  1. Divides work to be done into specific jobs and departments
  2. Assigns task & responsibilities associated with indv. jobs
  3. Coordinates diverse organizational tasks
  4. Clusters job into units
  5. Establishes relationships among individuals, groups & departments
  6. Establishes formal lines of authority
  7. Allocates and deploys org. resources




  • Early in 20th century, Henry Ford – division of labor concept in his assembly line, workers assigned specific, repetitive task-helped increase productivity
  • Today Work specialization means degree to which tasks in an organization are divided into separate jobs
  • By 1960’s human diseconomies form being too specialized offset the advantages – boredom, fatigue, stress, poor quality
  • Managers see it as important organizing mechanism but not source of ever-increasing productivity
  • Broaden job scope, teamwork and reduced work specialization




  • Process of grouping together jobs and people into separate units to accomplish Organisational goals.

5 common forms


Functional departmentalization (group by functions performed)

Geographic departmentalization (basis of territorial area)

Product departmentalization  (groups jobs by product line)

Customer departmentalization  (on the basis of common customers)

Process departmentalization  (group on basis of product process or customer flow)

Customer departmentalization – used to better monitor customer needs cross functional Teams – flexible interdisciplinary teams replaced traditional functional groupings




  • Continous line of authority that extends from upper organizational levels to lowest
  • Who reports to whom. “Who do I go if I have a problem?” “To whom am I responsible?”

3 Elements involved – authority, responsibility, unity of command



Rights inherent in a managerial position to tell people what to do and to expect them to do it


The obligation or expectation to perform any assigned duties

Unity of Command

The principle that a person report only to one superior



  • Authority, responsibility, chain of command less relevant because of IT and employee empowerment
  • Employees can access info that used to be available to managers
  • Also using computers employees can communicate directly without going through chain of command
  • Employees empowered to make decisions – management use self-managed teams,
  • New organization designs with multiple bosses continue to be implemented, therefore traditional concepts of authority, responsibility and chain of command becoming irrelevant




  • Number of employees a manager can supervise effectively and efficiently.
  • Classical view – not more than 6 (small span)
  • Helps determine no. of levels and managers
  • New (contemporary) viewpoint span of control increasing
  • Flatter organization
  • Less direct supervision, well trained and experienced staff




  • How much decision making authority has been delegated lower levels
  • Classical – centralised decision-making
  • As organisation become more complex and dynamic – decentralize decision making
  • Decisions should be made by those the who have best information to make those decisions
  • Empowerment is a managerial approach in which employees are given substantial authority and say to make decisions on their own
  • Involve business decisions
  • Design & prod. Of products
  • Front line/desk service counters




Degree to which jobs within org. are standardized

Extent to which employed behavior guided by rules and procedures

Explicit job descriptions, clearly defined procedures covering work processes



Mechanistic org.- rigid, tightly controlled organic – highly adaptive and flexible


Mechanistic Organic
High specialization Cross-functional Teams
Rigid Departmentalization Cross-Hierarchical Teams
Clear Chain of Command Free Flow of Info.
Narrow Spans of Control Wide Spans of Control
Centralization Decentralization
High Formalization Low Formalization

Strategy and Structure – innovators need flexibility, cost minimizers seek efficiency, tight controls of mechanistic structure

Size and Structure – large (2000 employees) – more specialize, departments > mechanistic whereas Small co. – organic, loose, flexible Technology and Structure – Batch (or unit) production – organic, Mass production – mechanistic, and Continuous process production – organic


Environmental Uncertainty and Structure – mechanistic structure suitable for stable simple environment. Global competition, accelerated product innovation by competitors, increased demands for high quality and fast delivery are dynamic environmental forces. Need lean, fast flexible.


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What if my boss doesn’t like me

August 22nd, 2017 No comments

What if my boss doesn’t like me? Lessons from Vishal Sikka’s exit for job seekers with experience

Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka. Express archive photo.

Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka’s resignation throws up pertinent question for most of us: Can I afford to quit? Job searches get tougher with age, especially when hiring these days seems skewed towards younger folks or specifically those below 35.

It is probably the reason why most of us stick to our current jobs despite the pressures they bring along. Experience sometimes fails to tilt the scales in a constantly changing work environment.

However, there is hope. Devashish Chakravarty, director, executive search at, lists out few things you can do to optimise your job search, especially when you are older and experienced.

If you are in your 30s
The secret here is to plan not for the current job search but the one after that. You have tried different things, acquired a bunch of skills and a few lines on your resume. Now figure out how you will give direction to your career to position yourself well for the highest income earning decade ahead.
While you seek professional and personal stability, you can still afford take a few calculated risks if you haven’t found your calling yet. Build a few months’ savings for a rainy day, invest 6-8 hours every week in search and enjoy and learn from each new interview and interaction. Seek opportunities where you can make an impact so that you can create expertise and reputation for future roles
Volunteer for leadership roles in your current firm and invest in relationships with your coworkers, clients, ex-bosses and industry professionals. They will be your professional network for future jobs and especially in the next job search. Seek mentors and approach your current employer for a change in role
If you are in your 40s
For most professionals, this is the most productive decade of your career in both earnings and impact. The challenge during your job search is to convince your new employer that you are worth the cost. Identify opportunities based on the impact you want to make, the legacy you will build and the recognition and satisfaction you seek.
Now build a story of progression in your career till date. Invest in crafting a resume that justifies your subject matter expertise, your brand and worth and highlights your recent achievements while compressing your past into a few lines. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is an abridged version of your resume.
Now use all three modes of search— professional network, recruitment agencies and applying to openings advertised online. Make sure you look for a job while holding on to your current one. Do not rule out jobs based on description alone since that is rarely a true picture of what the hiring manager is looking for.


In an interview, focus on the numerical impact you have made in the past. For example, decreased production cost by 12% and how you plan to make a similar difference for the new employer.
If you are 50 or above
Employers fear that candidates in their 50s or 60s will not have the required energy, motivation, intellectual responsiveness and ability to work with younger people. Additionally, they may be too expensive. Your aim, therefore, is to change the misconception so that you get a fair chance at finding a new job. Learn to make a serious LinkedIn profile as well as a professional error-free CV that is no more than a page and focused on the last 10 years ..
Change your email id to a contemporary one. Stay physically fit and well-dressed to convey your energy and willingness to work. Work hard in practicing for the interview. Most senior professionals are sloppy in their approach to job search expecting opportunities to come to them and interviewers to respect their age.
They thus convey laziness and lack of need for a job. While you search for an opportunity, keep yourself involved in volunteer/unpaid roles, invest in gaining familiarity with workplace technology and take online classes to stay on top of your game. Reach out to age-friendly companies and in interviews, share stories of how you successfully worked with younger colleagues and bosses.
As you get older, be flexible about roles and compensation and demonstrate your wisdom, dependability and openness during interactions. Stay positive and do not display anxiety or desperation during a job search
Just follow these mantras when you feel age is not on your side

Think mindfully
Harvard psychology professor Ellen Langer’s experiments show mental agility and even physical health is a flexible number depending largely on how you chose to perceive the world. Think mindfully and notice daily changes and newness around you to improve your mental and psychological abilities.

Think profits
Figure out how you can create more cash for an entrepreneur or a business and seek a portion of the profits you generate. Any business will ignore your age if it can pay you from future cash you bring or free up. Both sales by commission and accounting by the hour are examples.
Think expertise
Age is not a handicap for a doctor or a lawyer. Expertise is highly valued and most expertise comes from experience. Identify your domain expertise that someone with lesser age or experience cannot provide. Crisis management and complex negotiations qualify here.
Think mentoring
When the job market focuses on hiring inexperienced youngsters, it creates opportunities for experienced people to train and bring teams up to speed. Even in your current job, a proactive teaching and mentoring role will make you more valuable for managerial and leadership positions.
Think results
Think and talk about outcomes instead of skills or experience. Can you turn around the sales performance of a region? Can you cut down procurement costs? When you offer yourself in the job market, discuss tangible results that you are willing to commit and link your compensation to.


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