Article (April-2021)

Articles

Better late than never

Editorial Team

Designation : -   Editorial

Organization : -  Business Manager HR Magazine

01-Apr-2021

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The organisation run by a trust involved in social and philanthropic activities, employ around 400 people. The facility is engaged in manufacturing of papad, pickles and detergents commanding a good rural market penetration. During covid the unit got a slowdown in sales orders because of certain restrictions and fear spread among masses.

While Mohit was looking after marketing/advertising, Tejinder was steering the sales of products of this unit. Both were on same wave length when it comes to prefer packaging over product quality. During slow down, the products team brought innovative ideas to start production of masks, sanitizers and sanitary pads. Within no time they were able to develop the cost efficient products and introduced in the markets. With attractive packaging in competition with other brands, Mohit and Tejinder could bring back the life to the organisation. All the three products fetched bumper sales. Both firmly believed that packaging was the best marketing strategy that could be used to glamorize a product and attract the attention of large customer base.

Mohit and Tejinder were close to one of the trustees who were having ultimate control over the affairs of the manufacturing facility. This made the bonding stronger between Trustees and both Mohit and Tejinder got further free hand to manage the affairs of the unit.

However, product manager Anant waglekar and HR manager Rohitash Rana were not in full agreement with their philosophy of giving more importance to packaging rather than product quality. On several occasions, Product manager Anant expressed his disagreement over the idea of neglecting the product quality and paying much attention to packaging. His arguments would be that the attractive packaging may bring customer once to the product but when he experiences the quality, his disillusionment from the product will be capable of spoiling many other potential customers thus bringing bad name to product. His argument would be what ultimately lasts is the quality and not the packaging.

During this time HR manager Rohitash Rana on account of growing disagreement with Mohit on many HR issues resigned and moved on. Mohit was given additional responsibility to head the HR function also.

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Mohit under influence of Tejinder applied this philosophy in recruitment and people issues also. All recruitments done by the were based on strong CV language, jargons, fluent English and presentation skills with less importance on subject understanding and knowledge required for the job specific.

Problem got multiplied when this philosophy of Mohit and Tejinder reflected in annual appraisals and salary increments and promotions. The discontentment rose when people appreciating the thought process of Tejinder and Mohit were awarded good increments and promotions while others were kept on second level who were though good in performance but not so liked by Mohit and Tejinder in terms of their communication and presentation skills. These were the people who burnt their nights during covid times to develop the products on call and proved successful.

Mohit, for the last few days, after he made the appraisals open to employees and issued increments and promotion letters, seemed to be more pensive than his usual self. Few of the employees who got more than what they deserved were jubilant while others who thought they deserved more but got less were discontented. As a result of this, Mohit started getting resignations of a few of his key people. These were the people who helped and supported Mohit in all respects since he joined. Perhaps somehow Mohit failed to realize and reflect his appreciation for the contribution in the organisation. Mohit realized that he got influenced by Tejinder much while finalizing the appraisals. When Mohit shared his concerns about the fall out of appraisals and leaving people organisation so abruptly, Tejinder also could not help much in containing this outflow.

Mohit was recollecting the past days how the teams would discuss and debate on product development while he and his team would assist them hand in glove on the marketing aspect of the product. Rohitash Rana would always have a word of encouragement and motivation to teams. He would not hesitate in spending time with them in the unit just to give them company and moral support even when he was not required to stay. Appraisals Rohitash did saw the least ruffle that indicated that all was well and people accepted that as fair and transparent exercise. Mohit realized that he failed to replicate the magic spell and people skills of Rohitash Rana.

It was last blow for Mohit when product manager Ananat Waglekar also put up his papers and he got complaints regarding not abiding by the product development compliance norms. He questioned himself sitting in his office alone - what could have possibly gone wrong. Why Rohitash left and why now Anant has also put up his papers. Why After recent appraisals even after getting increments people are not happy and an environment of low morale among employees could be felt.

Mohit saw his mobile ringing. It was from the executive search company head who he engaged to provide good candidates to fill the vacancies. Mohit picked up the call. She informed that few CVs were forwarded in his mail box and asked to further elaborate on what kind of candidates was he really looking for?

Mohit opened the mail box and went through the CVs of potential candidates who would be in roles of left out key persons. He was unable to decide the key parameters to evaluate the CVs. The only question and thought that kept him pre occupied is what is he going to look for in a candidate? Is the candidate soft skills or the subject knowledge? What should he prefer? The person who all through his career believed and relied on packaging concept than the real quality of product was finding himself in a dilemma. Is that the opportune time for him to change his beliefs or balance between the two? How would he find the real fit candidate in the world where maximum CVs are overpowered by jargons, fancy and fake achievements and boasting the qualities over the board etc? What does it take to judge the real quality and merit of a candidate?

Having decided not to rely on Tejinder, Mohit called his earlier HR Manager Rohitash Rana to help him out in selecting the right candidates for the vacant posts. It was a surprise call for Rohitash. It was still in his memory as to how he was treated by Mohit and Tejinder on his last day in the unit. But he agreed to help Mohit in selecting right candidates. During conversation over phone Rohitash said, "Better late than never Mohit. Change your thought process. People are not produced and sold in markets like products. They are full of possibilities. They can't be assessed on the basis of clothes, language, attire and family background solely. Look into the passion to work and desire to fulfill their dreams. Give them opportunity and an environment to grow. They can do wonders."

Mohit was quietly listening to him over phone. He said, "can we meet sometime. Would like to listen you more."