A person elevated in responsibilities to manage all the function in any organization must possess people dealing as a pre-requisite competency/capability for such elevation. When a person grows in a ladder of an organization, his most of the time is devoted to handling the people related issues or how effectively he delegates the work, guide the team, uses his experience and expertise for developing others, maintaining balance between all the functions. He must be capable enough to assess the situation, respect the ideas of process owners and provide his inputs in handling people related issues, when it comes to dealing with any issue related to Human Resources/Industrial Relations.
In India most of the Organizations are having technical persons as a Head of the Plant and the most successful are those who gradually develop their competencies towards people dealing and maintaining the balance between getting things done and safeguarding the interests of employees as well.
The environment, prevailing at Nirav's organization was a result of bad leadership. The Organizations score more in their employee engagement survey who are having trust in their leadership team, where employees feel safe and secure while performing their day to day tasks and while initiating any new project or initiative with certain amount of risks for organizational benefit.
Under the culture, where trust and mutual respect among the employees and for Leadership is low, productivity of the organization is bound to go down. Understanding the human expectation and behavior is the first and foremost prerequisite for any leadership role in any organization, which were purely missing in both the leaders of Nirav's organization.
Most of the time, we see the incompetency at leadership level for dealing with the people related issues leads to major Industrial relations issues at organization.
In Nirav Case, it is quite evident that the earlier expat, who was there with the organization for six months, laid the culture of insecurity and mistrust among the workers and managers. Insecurity and mistrust in management has resulted in to the application for registration of union by the workers and high rejection of product.
If we compare the two personalities, both the expats lag behind at people dealing and failed at understanding the human behavior. Even when, they were having a competent person like Mr. Nirav, as a HR Head, who was having good rapport and was capable enough to understand the people's behavior. It is quite evident that Mr. Nirav was having a good relations and trust among workers, as they have shared the information regarding registration of Union with Nirav, although, hesitatingly. Nirav's advice to his expat ED was very much fair and transparent to remove the prevailing insecurity among the workers by a way of positive communication.
When ED asked Mr. Nirav to improve his relations with workers, in-front of them only, what he wanted to prove, by asking the same? it's more of a failure of management as a whole, not Nirav Individually. Nirav was having good rapport and relations with workers but when a HR/ER Head starts taking tough call against the indiscipline or for culture building activities, this type of comments or advice from senior management may automatically become the reason for complete demotivation for any of the HR/ ER professional.
Even after so vague advise by ED and we may call it clear humiliation in-front of all workers, Nirav has put his best efforts in getting the union registration application rejected and same was also not taken in to consideration for appreciation by ED.
Second meeting with workers went in a totally opposite direction and ED has cleared his intention for not to think about accepting any of the demand of workers, including salary increase and even communicated that salaries are already very high and this to be linked with productivity, was not a good signal from management to the workers.
Human beings are full of emotions and implementation of any change in existing practice needs proper homework and by taking all stakeholders in confidence. Any abrupt change or communication in organization may lead to adverse situation at organization and same has resulted in Nirav's organization by the way of increase in block rejection.
When asked by Global President for real reason behind high rejection, again ED has asked Nirav to show the presentation before sharing the same to Global President. Again an insecure approach is seen at ED's end.
If anybody faces the similar kind of situation in any organization one may follow the following approach:
1. One must present the actual condition to their higher ups, when organization starts suffering or productivity goes down due to one person's indifferent approach.
2. As a responsible HR Professional, one must come up with a time bound action plan for improving these kinds of conditions of insecure environment in organization.
3. One must be open to seek the support from top management, with clear roles and responsibilities, as soon as possible.
Losing the initiative drive at Nirav's end just because of one person in an organization is not justifiable. Professional integrity must be with the values and ethics of the organization and wherever someone feels like compromising situation within the organization, one must escalate the same to the higher level and seek timely support.