Article (November-2019)


Hurdle with hurried hit

Pramod Kumar Tripathi

Designation : -   AGM - HR

Organization : -  Bajaj Energy Limited


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The need of the hour for each and every organisation is to craft an ambience that exhibits a workplace of comprehensibility, correspondence, creativity and collectiveness. The attempt to imbibe the culture of diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the organization is the widespread phenomena and the company The Top leaders of hierarchy in Writemore should be briefed about fundamental concepts of the Sexual Harassment Policy and believing of D&I its significance with pros and cons before applying as company policy. A mass awareness program on prevention of Sexual Harassment Policy (POSH) should be organised in at frequent intervals. The Writemore Company has rightly enforced the said policy but its essence must be spread in a mass level workforce by striking a balance which is probably lacking in this case.

In this factory, every time the Management has taken a unilateral & to some extent, biased decision. In this case study Writemore company has sacked few male employees in recent past only on a complaint of some female employee without enquiring the whole episode of sexual harassment. This kind of happening has compelled male work force to get distracted with female employees and swallow a unreceptive approach which leads to a hostile environment in the Organisation. The company policy of diversity & inclusion and female workforce mindset for the company reflection    as most safe, secure and dignified place to work would have become more apparent, if management of Writemore had tackled the issue of Prayag wisely. The female in this case has abused the belief of management towards women dignity, ethics and value and probably they used its theme as weapons against male worker which resulted into disintegration of collective efforts, mutual respect, business sagacity and apprehension. The sense of in- security in male workforce must be addressed. Nivedita, Unit HR Head had tried several times to overcome the situation. The company has not formulated any mechanism for venting the grievances caused due to complaint of sexual harassment. Only drafting the POSH policy is not enough.

Before analysing the action taken by Prayag (refusing to resign and lodging FIR against female employee), the circumstances should be scrutinized. The former incident has coerce the Prayag to fight with action of Management since the uni- lateral decision of management, gets the state of affairs more shoddier. Prayag was firm believer, smart worker getting recognition of seniors. His way of working and focussing on target has evacuated the leisure mode of female trainee engineer. Probably this was be the major concern for working women and accordingly the Trainee engineer (the complainant) had lodged a complaint against Prayag.

Prayag should not have directly approached to Police station instead could have approached corporate management and make the efforts to get it solved internally and if the request for justice not heard, thereafter, he could have escalated the matter with external agency. Meanwhile, the Management should forward this incident to Internal Complaint Committee (ICC) for fair inquiry.

The Role of Nivedita in this case is noticeable. She shared her foresightedness in each and every confrontation and tried to create a transparent communication system whether its awareness on POSH or the feeling of discomfort and sense of insecurity by male employees because of management's knee jerk reaction on past incident of Sexual harassment. She always gave her input on every issue, conversed intelligently with COO Mr. Chibber and other corporate Leaders. She utilised her past education and learning at workplace. She is not in favour of sacking the male employee without conducting a enquiry or investigation of complaint. Several instances occurred when she attempted to resolve the issue by convincing the senior but in vain.

As far as the role of Mr. Chibber, COO, is concerned in this case, he was firm believer of company's zero tolerance policy  or harassing environment, be it having sexual undertone or otherwise towards women. Being a Leader of the unit, he should have taken multi directional feedback including shop floor manager/supervisor about each and every aspect including the sense of feelings of workforce. Mr. Chibber has not shown any interest in stimulating the right ethnicity within the company nor attempted to keep motivating diverse workforce, that leads to a imbalance in gender diversity. He never tried to promote a feedback culture which largely impacts the decision on the issue.

Mr Chibber has to widen his vision to analyse, understand and influence (AUI) other people by delivering a right decision in a right time for a right situational impact. He needs to take efforts to minimise the insecurity feelings among male workforce and call open sessions with all Heads of department immediately.

In a gender diverse workplace, good morale always leads to a healthy work culture where employees motivate each other to perform at high level.