Article (September-2019)


First, ED should develop people management skills

Pramod Kumar Tripathi

Designation : -   AGM - HR

Organization : -  Bajaj Energy Limited


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Before scrutinize the leadership and functioning style of new Executive Director (ED), it would be significant to understand some reflections of the case. The acts of predecessor of Executive Director had shaped a sense of insecurity of job and distrust amongst the all work force from workers to managers. Sacking employees, on its own geared up criteria of like and dislike leading to trust erosion. It gives the impression that the newly appointed Executive Director has not carried out home work or gathered some breed of information regarding the prevailing work culture, expectation of existing work force, their sense of belongingness and working style of predecessor, which lead to create unconstructive chapter in whole episode. The Executive Director (ED) has even not tried to identify the DNA of workforce nor conducted any in house/external party employee satisfaction survey to assess to pinpoint and initiate remedial actions as per survey report. The Executive Director had started relying straight way on people, since his past experience was in another country where the workforce is more matured and more productive unsurprisingly. The Executive Director's Leadership and functioning style is not suitable for Indian workforce mind set, where the job security is the prime concern.

Mr. Nirav who is associated with organization since last 12 yrs, had tried to convince and apprise the ED about the said work force wits set and their way of protest escalating systems but unsuccessful. ED has to imbibe and adopt compassion, reliability, conviction, visions, encouragement, moral values etc. In such atmosphere, no one will have to set out the periphery beyond the structured policies & procedures. Being a plant head, he should have to take into confidence person like Mr. Nirav (who had a long association in organization) and all shop floor managers. Assess the causes of poor quality products with motivational message to instil sense of job security and incentive plan for best quality of product. They should also try creating a healthy and gracious atmosphere in work place and would also have to announce few profit sharing production schemes. Building a good organization does not happen overnight. It's a collective effort of employees, workers and vendors for a sustained period.

In the light of aspects mentioned in the case, the place and the circumstances was not suitable for ED to direct Mr. Nirav. The   Executive Director should not have asked Nirav in front of workers to improve his relations with them. He should have called him personally and could discuss in length the issues and stumble on the solution of concern. Needless to say, if Executive Director would consult with Nirav keeping in mind his long association with Organization, he may be able to easily explore the positive actions required for management, to overcome the situation in favour of organization.

Nirav had better visualised the situation and attempted to respond it in time but lack of supports from senior management had restrained him to become more active. Mr. Nirav was willing to inject discipline among the naughty workers. The direction of ED not to take any punitive action against the errant workers was not a good sign for organizational health. Here, I would say, empowerment and authorization was the key to build a high performance environment, team bonding & customer centric environment. Mr Nirav is having the traits of managing conflict between the Management & workers and he attempted to foster trust in workers. He understands the culture and can adopt a collaborative approach to arrive at a solution in a translucent manner. He possesses an eye for facet and pays concentration to behaviour of decision makers and easily assess workers stress level & also the impact of strain on their decision and accordingly, he intervened. Poorly managed conflicts at the top level lead to eroding of employees and workers trust, as evident in this case. Mr. Nirav had played a proactive role but non-influential collaboration with seniors leads to make this issue more stirring. This all occurrence made Nirav more helpless and an issue was not addressed at right time.

Global president shooting the direct email to Mr. Nirav, for preparing presentation to scrutinize the derivation of quality deterioration is debatable. At this juncture, obviously, Mr Nirav is in countenance and feeling a sense of confront. He is in dilemma to convey the central cause of quality deterioration i.e. feeling of in-security of job, reasons of sacking middle managers and humiliation in public forum by Executive Directors too. Probably, he has to pass on the visible reasons in presentation, by incorporating the well known aspects and own efforts on concern & also, convey the concern in a very polite manner during the discussion with him, it should not be presented in way of complaints. Organization needs to inspire rather than manage people and performance.

It is rightly said by Charles K. Poole "You cannot categorise diversity based on what a person looks like. It's what the person can do for the organization"