Professional Lessons to learn from Diwali Festivities

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As many of us know, Diwali is not just about a day. The festivities and the rituals begin right from Dhanteras, and go on for days till Bhai Dooj.

Now, here are some professional lessons to be learnt from the five days. Don’t worry, we are not asking you to work during the holiday season, but the following lessons can always be implemented after you come refreshed from a Diwali break.

 Dhanteras:

This day, the thirteenth day of the dark fortnight of the month Kartik, is associated with cleansing and purchasing.

The day gives us lessons about the importance of getting rid of chaos and old clutter , and thus make space for order, novelty and freshness.

In the office space, it is similarly necessary to get rid of old, obsolete technology, and be up to date with the emerging trends. Plus, it is a great idea to keep the work station clean, tidy and ordered. There is known to be a positive correlation between work efficiency and a well-lithygienicpeaceful work environment with minimal disturbances.

 

 Chhoti Diwali:

The fourteenth day of the fortnight is associated with preparation of sweets using various ingredients like flour, semolina, dry fruits, milk solids, etc.

Remember how the various sweets are not simply “sweet”, but the taste of the main ingredient always lingers? Be it milk, cashews, almonds, pistachios, there is an instant recognition.

It would do us good if we keep this in mind: it is necessary to retain one’s essence to gain recognition.

For example, an HR manager of any company, would much prefer a candidate who is honest  and transparent as opposed to someone who is showy (flamboyant) and ingratiating.

Sooner or later, the inner qualities of that candidate would be recognised, like the main ingredient of the “sweet.”

 

Diwali:

Here comes the festival of lights! There is sound, there is colour, there are feasts, there are Pujas performed, there is celebration everywhere! The young people visit and take blessing from the elders. Oh, and there are diyas, rangolis!

In the professional lingo, this teaches us the importance of good networkingbonding, the importance of mentors. It tells a lot about the power of one small diya. About the power of one single colour to add that missing touch in a rangoli. Sometimes, a rangoli remains incomplete without that one colour. Team work is the Key.

A line of diyas has the capability to light up an entire place. Collaboration, not competition is the way to go.

 

Govardhan Puja and Bhai Dooj:

Govardhan Puja is celebrated to mark the feat of Shri Krishna when he lifted up a mountain to save cowherds and farmers from incessant rains. Some regions celebrate this day as a New Year, and some as the Annakut, literally mountain of sweets. Some celebrate the bond between husband and wife.

Bhai Dooj celebrates the bond between brothers and sisters, here, the sister acting as a protector of the brother.

Anyhow, the two days teach us a lot about the importance of being supportive to our colleagues, especially in the time of crisis.

Taking responsibility, having empathy, handling interpersonal relationships effectively are some of the lessons we can take with us. It tells us about the importance to have Emotional Intelligence. In short, the importance of taking leadership in little things.

Emotional Intelligence could be used in handling meetings, negative feedback or appraisal, client relations, empowering your colleagues, etc.

Diwali festivities not only give us good times, but good lessons which could be applied in a professional setting.

Delving into meanings of festivals and traditions, could help us a great deal to understand the values and their timelessness.

Happy Diwali!

 

Recruitment Story: Sleeping, Smelling, Dreaming Generators

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Some of us would be familiar with our parents and grandparents telling us stories about the struggles they had to go through when they were younger. Anecdotes about walking long distances to go to school, when all we have to worry about now is whether we will be able to catch the bus on time. About how one had to actually spend hours in the library to look for one tiny snippet of information, when all we have to do is one Google search.

Looking at these incidents with humour is all very well, but the thing is, all of this is true. We have to admit that our parents and grandparents did some pioneering acts which might daunt us if we think about it now.

Here we present one such story about our initial years.

Flashback to almost thirty years back. The India we know today was different then. The world as we know now was different then.

There was a requirement of an “Operator” for an 11,000 kva, 40 feet tall generator at a Textile mill in Nigeria.

The only brief given was the person should:

“Sleep with Generator

Smell of Generator and

Dream Generator.”

 What?

This was no era of KRAs.

This was no era of specifications of degrees or specialisations.

This was no era of interconnected email networks which now ensure that there is an almost instant spotting and filtering of potential candidates. Headhunting was the only way.

Add to the mix, although generators were a norm in industries in India as well as Nigeria and electricity not as widespread as it is now, a machine this big was still a rarity.

How would one cope with a “Brief” like this in the present day?

It was the brief where we had to understand that there was a need of someone who knew all about dismantling and assembling generators like the back of his hand.

They needed someone who could work hands on with a generator. Or more specifically work hands on with an 11,000 kva, 40 feet tall generator.

We found the perfect candidate for this position. Yes, with no KRAs and just this brief. Yes, in that era.

This was all done, under the able guidance of our CEO, Dr.O.P Pahuja, who is a hands on Engineer himself. This tells us so much about his visionary nature.

Dr. O P Pahuja
Dr. O P Pahuja

This recruitment story is of the time when industriousness, problem-solving skills, perseverance, awareness, risk-taking, courage were the qualities that were necessities. They were needed to thrive and keep companies running successfully.

This recruitment story is a testimonial to the pioneering and industrious nature of Team United HR. It aligns perfectly with one of our mission statements: “Putting right People in Right Places”

 

Lives of Happy Candidates: Mr. Rashmi Ranjan Swain

Success story_Rashmi Ranjan - Copy

Success is not just about glitz and glamour. Success is also about being level-headed and calm. It is talking about your success with a keen sense of awareness about your environment.

The thing with the perception of many Asian and African countries is it lies in two extremes. Sometimes, only the negative stereotypical things are highlighted, and sometimes, like many travel shows, a very exotic, but nevertheless stereotypical side gets portrayed. It is important that a balanced, real experience gets reported.

Mr. Rashmi Ranjan Swain, who works at African Industries Limited in Nigeria has some wise and happy words to say about the place.

“First and foremost I would like to highlight the kind of phobia we had before arriving at Nigeria. In reality, I can say it’s all our imagination and perception.

“There is no need to fear for anything life threatening here. Of course it’s always advisable to go along with your friends or colleagues. I can say the way foreigners live their lives in India, we can expect to live in a similar way. The city is quite good and developed, with advanced infrastructure.

“You will find people from various nations. There are people mostly from China, India, Philippines, UK. I can say night life also very amazing. ”
He shared a picture of a temple in Nigeria with us. Indeed, it is a multicultural place.

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He goes on to talk about his experience at a professional level.

“It’s a very renowned company in Nigeria with diversified business in different sectors. Some of the employees have served here for more than ten to twenty years.”

A long tenure is a great indicator of reliability, and success of the company. And it is a great testimonial to the success of our candidate himself for working in such a company. He further talks about the experience.

“The management is concerned about the employees as well and the payments are made on time. The facilities provided here are according to the commitments they make at the time of selection. ”

With this straightforward testimonial, Mr. Swain gives a very realistic and balanced view about his overall experience in Nigeria. We give kudos to him for taking the leap of faith.

The photos he sent us are great visual testimonials to the balance, diversity of the place, and Mr. Rashmi Ranjan Swain’s success and happiness.

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Degrees Of Knowledge

 

That is the question.
That is the question.

 

There was a time when a degree was the most important thing in the world. The image was common: a newly graduated student, dressed up in freshly-ironed formals, sitting in a line of similar-looking youngsters outside the cabin of the boss, as the receptionist called them out, telling them it was their turn for the interview. Hundreds of Hindi movies must have these kind of scenes.

However, voices in the present environment point to something else. Increasingly, the narrative that is most widely heard is that a degree is not important anymore. Your skills matter. Your knowledge matters. Your experience matters.

One website goes on to take a look at the mindsets of people in India, and how much importance they give to a degree. Accordingly, in the 1980s, “Bachelor’s degree felt like a God-like paper.” Cue the interview scenes mentioned in the opening of this article. Then came the 90s, and apparently, “the Bachelor’s degree lost its charm and you needed a Master’s degree to be recognised.” The 2000s saw the importance of degree sharing its space with “experience and pay-scale.” 2016 onwards, in the current scenario, “college degrees are barely considered when it comes to job and career opportunities.”

This is true in a way. All of us have heard about famous people who dropped out of prestigious institutions, and went on to become extremely successful. In fact, these people and their lives are often used as testimonials to the narrative: you don’t need a degree to be successful.
Forget about these famous examples, many of us know people, within our close circles who have made their lives well, and they don’t happen to possess a degree.

There is another scenario that is getting increasingly common: people who do jobs which are completely different from the subject they hold their degrees in. Engineers becoming film-makers, businessmen and -women, writers is not a shocking story. Or perhaps not pursuing a Master’s in the subject you did your Bachelor’s in is no big deal. So many people around us have done it.

All this leads us to a question which might actually be called a FAQ- a frequently asked question- is a degree important now?
And the answer, contrary to the popular narrative is not a simple YES or NO. In fact, the dreaded two words could be considered an answer: it depends.

Let us think about it.
Why are we starting to believe there will always be a disconnection between one’s degree and one’s skills and knowledge?
Can a person who has a Commerce degree suddenly get a job as an Architect?
Even if the person has a deep interest in the subject, and has studied a lot about Architecture in his free time, would he be able to match the level of an A-grade student of Architecture who has put in time and efforts in the degree? Many colleges and universities have made internships mandatory or at least they are encouraged so that one doesn’t fall behind in the experience aspect.

A person with a BSc in Microbiology might be very well-read and interested in Theoretical Physics. But does that mean she can simply become a Professor of Theoretical Physics based just on her interest as opposed to a person who possesses multiple degrees on the subject?

A graduate in English might be able to teach basic level Computers in primary schools. Should he teach at a college level, is the question.

The debate about the importance of a degree should not be reduced to simplistic answers.

Some ‘shifts’ or choices of professions are relatively easy. This might come across as a little unfair but it is something to think about. Avenues of writing, marketing, the fine arts, entrepreneurship require innate skills, or at the very least some sort of training. But you could train for them on your own. There are online and offline courses offered, books available. And you just need a portfolio in some cases to prove that you are indeed good at it, even though you might not hold an official degree in the subject.
Sometimes, the candidates are provided training by the company they will be working at.

There are countless scenarios in accordance to the profession one decides to go for.

One thing clear from all of this is that you need skills and education. Degree or no degree is a complex issue. Famous college dropouts like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, the late Steve Jobs did have a very deep understanding of what they excelled at. They were “educated” in a way a degree could not do it. How many of us have that vision and courage? More importantly, how many of us have that drive and self-motivation or the resources to be educated, with or without the pressure of a degree?

It is important to have a plan if you do decide to not go for a degree-based education. Skills and knowledge are important. The question is in what way the degree or the absence of it would or would not contribute.

Success And Productivity Are Closely Related

An organization’s culture is determined by its beliefs and comprises of everything it does. It not only affects the way in which the organization is managed but also the manner in which it processes the products and provides services to the customers. Work culture is continuously subject to change and is very fragile. When the culture of an organization is spoken of, the behaviour patterns of the employees and their standards that bind it together are usually referred. Actions speak louder than words and the behaviour patterns of employees are most strongly influenced by the leaders of the organization.

success-productivity

Productivity is closely related to the culture of an organization and the habits of the employees. There are more than 7 billion people on Earth, so there is no chance that a single model can suit everyone but there are methods that work for the majority of people. In the past, women would spend a lot of time in the kitchen trying to make dinner. They had to do everything manually while today a number of tools are used such as mixer, blender and dishwasher. These electrical appliances have decreased the time for cooking while the productivity has increased. This is a life hack which implies that it is better to benefit from the progress made and utilize the right tools to master the performance.

Productivity is the technique of getting the company’s products and services to the customer with the best quality and at the lowest possible cost. It involves customer needs and labour relations. Good management plays an important role in productivity which leads to the success of a company. If the management is to transform the work climate into an ever-lasting culture for success, it should focus on the various areas of improvement such as decision-making structure, organizational clarity, Human Resource development and relationship of the Management to culture.

The goals and plans of the organization should be perceived by the members in order to achieve success. The main purpose of the structure is to initiate decision making and facilitate the ideas into reality. Corporate culture emerges from the top and hence the top management’s responsibility is to recruit, train and teach managers well so that they, in turn, provide role models for the employees who are in their charge. The manner, in which these managers behave, the way they lead and think, sets a climate and eventually a culture for success.

If the combination of capital, values, beliefs, creativity, and human resource management of an organization is not success oriented, then the outcome will be a failure. The quality of products and quality service influence a company’s cultural values. The production practices and products reflect the creativeness and innovation. A successful company always treats its people with dignity and respect. Successful companies follow the basic values and beliefs. Providing top quality products or services virtually affects every function of these companies and they hold this belief that it is essential to achieve excellence. They are responsive to the customer needs and guidelines are established that provide regular feedback and coaching by the supervisors. These companies have frequent open communications and a feeling of informality. They emphasize on a go-with-the-flow attitude.