Mental Health: A luxury or a norm ?

Yesterday a thought crossed my mind and I tweeted this !

And today my mentor shares this on LinkedIn

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Mental health should have been a course we must learn since Standard 1 ! Behaviours are based on how we deal with what happens to us. God knows when would any one stop considering ‘therapy’ as a luxury and not a life-skill that everyone needs to learn.

Years back I had enrolled for a course called ‘Positive Psychology’ by Talk Shop, delivered  by Dr. Mathai Fenn.

Interestingly the course wasn’t Tal Ben Shahar’s version , but an entirely new option to understand the tools that can make our choices broader.  Here’s what I learnt from the course. Go learn it for your self now 🙂

What I learnt from Positive Psychology Course

Imagine yourself, stepping inside your brain. Let it be like a large bright control room with a super computer, many monitors and speakers. There are cameras, mic and other receptors, that are constantly capturing information. Every single sound gets stored with a picture in your frame. There is a meaning which you may draw from each frame. The super computer stores this and encodes that meaning into a definite trigger. For instance when you think of Santa Claus, you may instantly think of Christmas, fun and happiness.  You may even hear the jingling of bells or carols. You may not revisit this frame, yet this affects you sub consciously. You may notice that, when you are giving gifts or you happen to in a benevolent mood. You might even end up referring to yourself as Santa Claus! You may not say ‘Ho, Ho Ho’, yet you would be able to refer to that same happy feeling or that euphoric state.

We have repeatedly realized that we are the result of our convictions. We may create positive statements, use possibility thinking, yet fail to achieve the result the way we wanted it. What goes wrong is, we move too fast from one step of processing information to another. Chalking out major information into firm steps holds the key. Suppose you join a course for Leadership development. You may have set goals for yourself such as, being able to explain the vision to your fellow members and bring them along with you. We understand you have a huge pressure to perform. In addition to it, you keep running out of time. You may constantly want to know, how soon can you get back to your office and start working. This is where your development process would stagger. In spite of having clear goals, the inability to chalk out and navigate from one step to another, forces you to jump into the result. This is how in spite of the repeated time management training program that your team attended, there was no unambiguous conditioning of their behaviour.  They continued to miss the deadlines.•

The brain’s programming screens, even the most minuscule syntax, identifying the correlation between the information and its trigger. This entails how even a minuscule change in this coding, if made, can create a multiplier’s effect. Recently, I attended a training session on Nuero Linguistic Programming – Strategies. This session was facilitated by Dr. Dorris Greenwood. It focused on identifying these strategies. A little background to Neuro Linguistic programming, it helps identifying the neurological processes that necessitate our response thereby behavioral patterns. This includes in detail the study of each reflex our brain transcends. A systematic application of strategies as discussed here can help in identifying those reflexes, hence fine tune them towards a desired outcome in the future. It was designed to identify a negative trigger. There were two situations, which were taken, one was about learning curve correction, and the second was enhancing the emotional intelligence. On a similar note, let’s itemize this, with situations, that you come across at your work.•

  • Learning Curve: NLP strategies could be used to enhance the learning curve towards any concern. The issue that was brainstormed entailed, how to attune our responses to create a better learning curve and get the result we want. This interests me as each time I take up a new concept, it takes a long time to decipher them, correlate them and finally implement them. Mostly there are a series of trial and errors which I require before, I can get the concept right. I have been reading about thin slicing. This helps, you to identify each section of what you want to learn. Thereby, correlate them to what comes easily to you. Ultimately use this acquired intelligence to implement the new learning. In a competitive environment, the result often gets measured by comparative rankings and ratings. This robs the leeway to learn. Furthermore, it may completely circumvent, learning many new concepts in a shorter period of time. In the worst case scenario, the learning curve transforms into a loop of relearning and practicing endlessly.
  • Emotional intelligence: This was identified as those points where we are just about to lose a winning game. For e.g.: You have allocated work for the next one month. A day into the new workflow and two of your employees go absconding. You discuss leave plans and a change in the workflow management, with your team members. Just as you have explained every limitation to them, they end up opposing you. They reject the workflow management as undo-able due to resource crunch with unavoidable reason for leaves. Your first reaction would reason it out. After a prolonged discussion, when you have shared logic to validate your point, you suddenly find your team members just shoving off your suggestions. You may not want it to run out of your hand, consequently, force it on them. This kills the entire process which you had envisioned in the first place. You end up being autocratic rather than a smart leader. Your work may get delivered, but you live in a constant fear of losing more employees due to such stringent circumstances.

Implementation of strategies

Cues are clubbed under different groups, including the visual, audio and kinesthetic. Kinesthetic includes the motor skills, which paces up the information processing. Each information stored as syntax coupled with the cues, creating positive and negative response. The loop is made by repeating this syntax. This results in a trigger. It is either positive or negative which saps the energy making you un-resourceful. The key to implement the strategy is to identify this negative trigger and replace it with a positive one. It proceeds with each visual, audio and kinesthetic concerning level for each cue. This means even the smallest information that you have probably ignored has been coded by your brain in such a way, that it attenuates a bull-whip effect on your learning cycle. The steps to implement the strategies include the following:

  • Test – Set your strategies into a script and test them.
  • Operate – In case the strategies set doesn’t show the result, creating a new metaphor and anchoring them to the script is essential. This includes re framing to an extent.
  • Test – Rehearsing the new script to find the perfect fit.
  • Exit – The goal to the process needs to be seen clearly. Dissociating at the point where the goal is achieved is essential to mark an end to the process.

Winning script for learning curve

  • Suppose you are learning something very difficult. What is the first thing that happens to you?
  • Most of the time it is nervousness and thoughts of when did you do something like this.
  • Now take a minute and try to hear or see when you are nervous.
  • Let’s take a case, where you don’t see or hear anything, you just get the feeling.
  • Just take another minute and step into a situation where you are about to learn something challenging.
  • Let yourself feel nervous. Just concentrate on what you see or hear.
  • You might hear a noise may be a constant noise and see objects such as stars.
  • Listen deeply, to what the noise is all about. Does the noise scare you?
  • Listen intently, how does it sound? Let’s assume it’s a constant beep.
  • Change that beep sound with chirping of birds or music- it could even be your favorite song
  • Listen to it for a while. If you need a positive statement, include it.
  • Just as you see the stars replace it with flowers- daisy and lilies
  • What is your favorite flower? If its rose, choose to replace the stars with roses
  • Now take a minute and move ahead, through each step to the end of the learning cycle. See yourself going through every chapter with confidence and added intelligence. Finally see yourself at the end of the course, with the desired outcome. It can be the merit grades you wanted or even an implementation of what you have learnt.
  • Picture yourself there, with the knowledge and wisdom you set for yourself.
  • See that you have gained and learnt all you could and are rightly capable of implementing it.
  • Look at the values that you are generating from what you have learnt take a minute and let this feeling completely seep into you, revisit this feeling, each time you decide to learn something.   Now choose anything, in the recent future that you will have to learn.
  • Repeat the process all over again.

Winning script for higher emotional intelligence

Similarly, use this script with a variation to increase your emotional intelligence. Step into a situation where your best intentions are being drawn out of proportion. Suppose you have just distributed appraisal letters. You distributed the best raise judiciously among the value creator and productive team members. However, just as they see their new salaries, they are indifferent. Their expectation was way more than what has been offered to them. They come to you and share their dissent.

  • Now take a breath and pause for a while. Picture yourself as Santa Claus or any other visual where you are happy with your employees. It can be the last team party you had or the sudden pizza party you declared. Visualize this. Add your favorite music and see yourself smiling. If you need a positive statement , include it.
  • Now return to your present state, where you have your employees speaking angrily. Look at them and see them as the human beings you have always valued. When you do this, observe what you say. The chances are that, you would remain calm and finally share the reason. They may or may not buy what you say, yet they would calm down as they listen to you.
  • Remember you cannot change other’s behavior. You can fine-tune yours. They may have situations forcing them to take up a role with a higher pay or move into their preferred location. Even if, the reasons are beyond your control, you will establish yourself as a leader of repute in their minds. If they see it more often, they would realize the benefits of working with a leader as smart as you
  • Try this now, in your mind. Imagine a future challenge and see yourself responding intelligently to it. Repeat the process until, every feeling of letting situations run out of your hands vanish. This practice, e.g. mindfulness would build your natural capabilities to respond in those situations.

Let us know, did it work for you? We are waiting, we have a mind to hear your experience!

Balancing Judgment and Discernment

The frugality of the situation and their inter-changeability remains the driving force to strategy. Even though, it is defined, as a set of planned actions over a period, to achieve the desired result.  Organization mirrors this, as the business target to reap the profit. The business goal percolates to every function, over arching with one organization goal. HR functions identify the people factors in this goal. The strategy set for the year drills down to individual functions connecting the business units. Connecting different requirements put the functions on the same page. For instance, the broad-banding of a strategy, such as building agility, would echo for recruitment with greater in-house expertise, where as payroll may require errors free, as its prime target.A case as shared as below in ‘Concern’, surfaces the tip of an Ice berg, with the challenges in Strategic HRM. This is a part and a parcel of talent management. Every organization aims to hire the best talent and retain them with best compensation. Hitherto, the gap between perception and reality edges employee dissatisfaction.

Concern: Recently we have hiked the salary of one of our employee after reviewing her overall performance. However, she is not happy with it.  She is been expecting more. Every day she reminds to negotiate an increase in her salary. Please help on how to handle this situation.

The case facts:

  • The compensation planning allocated hikes to each grade and rank, attenuated by the performance standards.
  • The employee is presented with the hike , which do not match the expectations.
  • Ordeal of negotiations for another hike lengthens decision making.

Looking glass

Logical thinking coupled with practical situations brings in the solution.  Three dimensions that attributes to strategy are as discussed below:

  • Goal Setting: The objective may be defined, as being the market leader by the next financial year. This is calculated in terms of business target. Mostly it’s an increase in the market share through either takeovers or increase in the production. This configures the goal setting for each function. HR functions for such a growing firm would strategise to designate responsibilities, to facilitate the expansion.
  • Budget Allocation: The sum total of the spending is divided into investment in terms of benefits and other operational expenses. Compensation is identified as the value returns on the services received from the talents. This is chiefly governed by the business requirement such as higher spending on research, leading to planning for larger markets share, amid higher supply chain. The HR budge would impact with an alignment to the market is weighed to offer a competitive compensation.
  • Leadership alignment: The backbone of the success to planning lies in the hands that delivers it. The leadership team designated to set the strategy and prepare budget are accountable for the business units.  The talent planning may be chaired by a CHRO , however the insinuations are contributed by the business leaders. Communication overarching the environment balances the transparency, strengthening trust.

Balancing Act

Judging a situation with logical findings would require a non-attached discernment. In our member’s case, different implications from three dimensions as discussed had lead to the dissonance. The disbursement of the hike matched the top-down judgement, but missed on the discernment.

Future of work
Future of Work
  • Individual perception of performance and result: A contribution by an employee is valued. It results with rewards when they were aligned to the organizational goals. Dashboards and performance scorecards actualise with grades for each contribution, to ensure the alignment. However, the gap of expectations widen when the employee in question weighs every contribution for a material reward. A pat on the back received for managing an expert escalation would culminate to incentive, if that escalation results with client retention and revenue returns. The excellence of the employee would be best utilized by an higher level responsibility, when appropriate.
  • Communication: The guidance to an employee reverberates intently, with the shared views and thoughts from it leader with appropriate feedback. Transparency calls for its price. It pushes the leadership to share the confidential often sensitive information. This rings the choice to jump the boat or follow the captain.

Pen-ultimately, the priorities of choosing and aligning will glue the individual to the entity. Solution to the decision maker remains in acknowledging the human concerns with judicial treatment through strategies and communication. Employee championship is intertwined with business partnering through change management and administrative expertise.

If you have any HR Query or any query on Future of Work, Employee Engagement, Talent management, Women Empowerment, Retention or Business Strategy please write to me in here. Looking forward to learn more while finding solutions for you.

Nabomita is the Founder to Nabomita.com. She is the Top 100 Women Achiever Awardee, awarded by Government of India , TEDx Speaker, Quoted on ForbesUS, one of the Top 20 HR Influencer in Social Media as declared by SHRM India and one among the Top 100 Technology Influencer in India. Connect with her on @nabomita_smiles , Facebook Page and Google+

This article have been published on Businiess manager , October issue. This issue covers different areas of Strategic Managment. This article is listed under the experts view as shared in the link Business Manager – October Issue2015

Being an Entrepreneur

Have you ever build a company entirely on your own, right from the scratch ? Does your story includes restarting , yet carrying your strengths from one venture to another?

When you look back at your journey, do you too find the dots connecting? Yes, you have a long way to go and that’s what the dots are guiding you to?

How were you as a child and how did that shape you? Were you an extrovert or an introvert? Will, I guess I was an ambivert and still remain so! Did the small incidences from your life shape your behaviour, choices and your life?

Did your lows and highs have a similar story that can match many around you? If you have taken the road less travelled, did it feel different or obvious for you?

If you had to summarise in three points what would it be? For me, its

  1. Curiosity
  2. Being ever-amazed
  3. Hard work, of course !

I was honoured to have been invited by Sampath Iyengar, Chief Visibility Officer at The Indian Networker, talking about who I am, my journey as a professional and few lessons that I picked on the way.

It was great fun as Sam kept asking witty question I was least expecting, putting me to my wit’s end!

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Interestingly few areas of my life that probably even I ignored, came up while talking to Sam. I must add, loved reflecting, in such a witty and a joyous way!

Let me know if your story sounds similar ! I am waiting to hear that.

Raise a cause !

Do you wish to be heard on issues that are close to your heart ? How about raising a cause to the highest authority in your country? Ministry of Women and Child Development invites you to be an Agent of Change and raise a cause. Wondering how would this work? Here’s more on this :

Union Minister Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi has been the using the power of Social Media to reach out to citizens, both to resolve the issues related to women & children as well as to get new ideas from them as to how to make lives of women & children better. In its latest citizen-driven campaign, Ministry of Women & Child Development, has solicited volunteers to raise ‘causes’, which they want the Government to take up.
Citizens are invited to be Change Makers in promoting the interests of Women and Children in India. Let’s unlock the unique power of social crusaders among the people of India.
Ministry will collate the issues raised by people over a month-long Social Media Campaign. All the causes will then be screened by an expert panel comprising the concerned stakeholders and the Union Minister herself. The selected issues will be taken up by the Ministry of Women & Child Development to be addressed at policy level. Not only this, the ‘Top Agents of Change’ will also be duly acknowledged and rewarded by the Ministry.
The campaign can be followed on Facebook & Twitter of @MinistryWCD under the hashtag #WCDAgentsofChange. How to Raise a Cause?
1. Follow us on Facebook & Twitter at @MinistryWCD
2. Look for our Daily #WCDAgentsofChange Post on Facebook/Twitter
3. Post an issue that you want to raise in Comments/Reply on the #WCDAgentsofChange Post on Facebook/Twitter
4. If you want to post a lengthy matter, send an email at wcdagentsofchange@gmail.com
So what are you waiting for ? Join the discussion in here

Women as driver to growth in the age of driverless cars !

Where does women stand, in the age financial meltdowns, geo-political differences and AI? 1 robot out of 4 factory workers in Maruti. The numbers looks even more interesting in totality with 2400 robots at Manesarand 5000 facility. Are we still competing with men for jobs and seats at Premier Institutes? Where does this lands us especially when women have lesser access to education and finances?

India ranks 87th in Global Gender Report 2016 with highest participation of women in education and health sector. Does this set any target for us?  The report further showed that the highest level of penetration remains in the Education and Health sector with fewer women in Technology and Policy making !

With equal participation we can add upto 28 trillion by 2025 which is equal to a combination of US & China’s economy . So what do we need to build this equality ? What are the building blocks that can affect growth ? Law and order , financial independence and education?

These are few laws worldwide that instils sexism so deep that imagining equality remains light years away! When we restrict women legally how does it impact her participation socially rather financially?

 

World Economic Forum reports women remain unpaid for 50% of her productive time at work. How does this add up to her pay?

Global gender index shows Iceland, Finland and Norway tops the chart and not the leading economies! Why is it so? Is it the access to education and policies at work that makes it happen? Few days back when Maternity Benefit act was amended in India, we had people worrying about women no longer being hired. Norway offers 44 weeks of maternity leave. No wonder they have 47% of women participation in Public sector and 26% in the private sector! When we have family friendly policies at work, we are no longer forcing a women to choose between family and work

This tweet sums up the support , policies, access to education and finances that we need! Here we have an young woman as a pilot to Air India taking the same official commute with her mother who works as an air hostess! This organisation isn’t a nimble-foot startup. It is not a super funded private company with loads of money to spend. Yet, that’s how strongly they have been balancing diversity.

40 economies that participated in Global Entrepreneurship monitor reports women Entrepreneurship rate rose by 13% whereas it was 5% for males. However in India , the perceived opportunity for women is 41% compared to their male counterparts. Anusha, who celebrated her 25th Birthday recently pitched her second startup to me. And she is not in Bangalore or Mumbai but in Vishakhapatnam. Her first startup is running successfully in association with Andhra Pradesh Government. According Deloitte report, Millennial women are bridging the gender pay gap. Are we planning anything to bridge the financial gap for the ageing women workforce too?

Where does the empowerment needs to happen? Anuja Shukla, head of Google for entrepreneur runs a project on her on own where she gets girls from age 8-15 to code. Revathy Roy , founder Hey Didi , formerly Vira Cabs, have trained more than 10000 women from socially backward classes to drive. She created employment for them through her startup. She empowered them to own their vehicles and earn out it, offering loans from banks with no collateral. Urvashi Neogi runs her profitable Event Management firm, Biz Integration with her Geographically based team. She doesn’t need a 9-to-5 at an office with face time from her team members.

Here’s a research by Adobe on Future of Work which says, future lies in collaboration and diversity of skills. So what does this imply? In the age where commitment to the work and the speed of delivery remain the only measure at work, do we still need the archaical work design? Would the jobs of tomorrow offer women more potential to deliver? Will the organisations of tomorrow have the bandwidth to build the leaders of tomorrow irrespective of gender?

If you have any HR Query or any query on Future of Work, Employee Engagement, Talent management, Women Empowerment, Retention or Business Strategy please write to me in here. Looking forward to learn more while finding solutions for you. This have been re-blogged from nabomita.com

Nabomita is the Founder to Nabomita.com. She is the Top 100 Women Achiever Awardee, awarded by Government of India , TEDx Speaker, Quoted on ForbesUS, one of the Top 20 HR Influencer in Social Media as declared by SHRM India and one among the Top 100 Technology Influencer in India. Connect with her on @nabomita_smiles , Facebook Page and Google+

‘Brand You’ works: My journey through building my own startup

Almost a decade back, at XLRI , Dr. Mathai Fenn taught us ‘Brand You’. When he said employers will hire you for who you are , we heard it as a theory. He defined , that the services you deliver and the value you create, is your brand. And that alone can get you around the world!

Today, I write this to share how this worked for me inspite of all the Financial Slowdown, Geo-Political changes and Robots taking away our jobs!

It’s been a great year ! And I am writing this to thank everyone who have been contributing to my success. It’s still feels as if it was just yesterday when I started on my own! A dream that I wanted to live but never knew would happen to me.

Almost an year back, I started working for me. Yes, I was finally the boss I wanted to be and work for 🙂

Initially, I had no plan for what I would want to deliver. There were many options to explore and I believed things would shape up as I would go along. It will remain one of the best decision I ever made!

I never knew what I did had any monetary value to it. I love building communities, connecting businesses, identifying solutions and delivering them. I feel strongly for causes I have been working for. And, I loved speaking about them. Initially, I couldn’t imagine it to be a profitable venture, till I had companies actually looking for it! It has been an exhilarating moment, each time I found a business house quoting a monetary value. The magic of getting paid to speak is immeasurable to me!

Evangelism arrived for me professionally! I had never imagined it would. I never knew the impact of what I did, till I started doing it for me!

Few of the most cherished moment have been speaking at the Think Tank by Adobe, and researching on Future of Work and presenting it in San Francisco, addressing World Forum for Responsible Economy by RESPCO Institute in association with French Government, delivering my first TEDx Talk at TEDx Bocconi U Mumbai, delivering Faculty Management Program at Rajagiri Business School, delivering the Keynote to more than 5000 delegates at E-Summit in Hyderabad, Inaugurating India HR Summit 2016, Inaugurating and delivering the Keynote at International Convention at SVIMS and many more!

I have been working with amazing business leaders, who have not just added on to my experience but even mentored me! I can not thank enough to those people who went beyond commercials to Special thanks to Ministry of Women and Child Development, Dr. Nanu Bhasin, Dr. Jessy Fenn, Mandar Joshi Executive Director TiE Pune, Vishwas Mahajan Trustee TiE Global, Urvashi Neogi Founder Biz Integration, Chitra Narayanan and

I can’t thank enough SHRM India for naming me in their Top 20 Influencer in the country and Indian HR Convention for celebrating my work. It was a joy beyond measure seeing Nabomita.com mentioned in the Ecosystem Partner to TiECon Pune!

Building a firm is all sweat and blood. But then its all worth it, when the world celebrates it with you ! The pain and challenges I went through seems small when I am acknowledged for my efforts. Thank you and cheers to every such moment !

If you have any HR Query or any query on Future of Work, please write to me in here. Looking forward to learn more while finding solutions for you.

Nabomita is the Founder to Nabomita.com. She is the Top 100 Women Achiever Awardee, awarded by Government of India , TEDx Speaker, Quoted on ForbesUS, one of the Top 20 HR Influencer in Social Media as declared by SHRM India and one among the Top 100 Technology Influencer in India. Connect with her on @nabomita_smiles , Facebook Page and Google+

How long would you wait for that job offer?

“So I applied for a job in late November and had three interviews throughout the month of December. They all went really well and I was even referred to by a well respected employee of the company. I was in contact with the HR coordinator throughout the process and said she will have more information for me before the holidays (Christmas and New Years). Unfortunately I never heard back. So I emailed her after the first week in January and she apologized and said she was out of the office…fine, no big deal. But then she said she will have something for me at the end of the week. So about two hours went by and she then tells me she got off the phone with corporate and she won’t have anything until the end of the month, but if I can wait they will have “good news” for me. I was a little disappointed because I now have to wait another 3 weeks, but I really want the job so I told her that I’m very interested in the position and I’m willing to wait. 

So the end of the month comes and still no response. I emailed her again kindly asking if there is an update and she emailed back saying they will have more information later in the week or early next week. It’s now early next week and I still haven’t heard from the company.

Are they stringing me along or should I just keep being patient?”

The answer looks straight into our eyes! When you are being communicated and yet not offered the role, it says more about the decision making capabilities of the firm. Every Job Opening have a closing date mentioned on it. The Hiring Manager are well aware of it. No job remains opens endlessly. Any requirement is supposed to be closed within 45-60 working days, at the most.

Gone are those days when companies could hire for to build the internal resource pool. No talent in the current economy can remain unbilled for long. Hence, every requirement have a monetary return mentioned on it. Any delay in closing the Job Offer can extend the monetary impact, leading to a loss. The preference remains on getting the talent billable as early as possible.

The disparity in views among the hiring managers can lead to an absence of clarity in communication. It can arise from various situations right from being able to decide on which candidate to hire to when to close the offer. Ideally, Business Managers prefer interviewing newer candidates till the final week, whereas HR Managers tend to close it early.

Last but not the least reason for holding a role is the Business Manager back-trackking on the role, even after informing the candidate to resign from their existing jobs. This is the worst phase where no Hiring Manager wants to be. However, uncertain Business Units tend to raise a job requirement and close it abruptly without hiring any candidate. This kind of experience affects the brand of the employer. Few firms may extend an offer with different role to retain the candidate. But then, thats the prerogative of few!

As a candidate, it’s hard when you have been waiting for a role and it never reaches you. That’s the risk you need to mitigate while switching jobs. Don’t place all your eggs in one basket. Explore few options before you resign and then zero down on the role. Eliminate employers with fuzzy communication, no matter how much you may want the role or how good it may sound initially! A strong job requirement gets closed as early as possible. This says a lot of about the company culture too. Any employer who creates a ‘Candidate Experience’ during hiring would care for their careers too! Money remains the highest motivator, till you realise the need for values. The deal breaker gets crystal clear when you know whom to trust your career with!

Wishing you a great career ahead!

If you have any HR Query or any query on Future of Work, please write to me in here. Looking forward to learn more while finding solutions for you.

Nabomita is the Founder to Nabomita.com. She is the Top 100 Women Achiever Awardee, awarded by Government of India , TEDx Speaker, Quoted on ForbesUS, one of the Top 20 HR Influencer in Social Media as declared by SHRM India and one among the Top 100 Technology Influencer in India. Connect with her on @nabomita_smiles , Facebook Page and Google+

How would you deal with Substance Abuse by your Co-Founder

I run a small, IT Firm, rather a startup. We do not have an official HR department. Just me and one other person in the office. I hired a friend of mine about a year ago. I know this was a bad idea. Things have been going fine until she relapsed. This was first time in 2 years, she had been on the up and up. She almost died from a heroine overdose, and they were able to bring her back. My question is, what do I do. Obviously we are a drug free work place. To be honest she didn’t tell her boss about the overdose, but the friend in me, she had known for over a decade. Plus, would this fall under the Substance abuse at work? I don’t want to make her life harder than it needs to be, but I also know that I have a duty to my clients. So confused!

First and foremost kudos to you for taking care of the person involved and getting her the right kind of medical support. Please ensure she gets every care and counselling that she may need to claim her strength back .

How much of a work have you allocated to her? Is that crucial ? Would you be able to manage it on your own ? Would it be possible to train someone to manage her area of work till she is recuperating?

Please mitigate every risk at work and ensure you leave no thread open. Do calculate the cost you may have to incur during this. The more you prepare meticulously, the better you would be able to deal with it.

Now let’s focus on the issue at your startup. It needs an HR Department as early as possible. Please hire an HR consultant and design a Code of Conduct along with every policy manual. Clearly define every defect and its repercussions. Point out the steps to be followed in case there is any non-adherence. Please maintain a zero tolerance to every non-adherence. It doesn’t need you a big team to put Code of Conduct in place. You can start framing it, even if you continue to remain a small startup. Please include guidelines such as the one mentioned in here!

“To work effectively, all of us need a healthy and safe work environment. All forms of substance abuse as well as the use or distribution of drugs and alcohol while at work is prohibited. Unless required as part of your role (for instance for security personnel where deemed necessary), possession and / or use of weapons / firearms or ammunition while on business of the Company is prohibited. All of us should be safe at our place of work. Should you observe any unsafe situations at work, please reach out to the Helpline. “

You work with clients who might be trusting you now, but can ask for an audit at any point of time. Hence, tie up with any back ground verification firm and get every detail checked and validated, including Police and Medical clearance. The more you keep yourself closer to the rules, the better you will sleep at night!

As for your friend, please let her regain strength and wait till she is free of every substance abuse. Please remember it is not about you or your company, but she and her entire career. If you have been her friend for a decade, you are the best person to help her out. In case she is ready for a rehab, please consider one. Every addiction have a treatment. Please consider signing her up for one. Explain a strict action now will save her life. I am sure, you are the best judge on how to convince her. Wish you all the best!

If you have any HR Query or any query on Future of Work, please write to me in here. Looking forward to learn more while finding solutions for you.

Nabomita is the Founder to Nabomita.com. She is the Top 100 Women Achiever Awardee, awarded by Government of India , TEDx Speaker, Quoted on ForbesUS, one of the Top 20 HR Influencer in Social Media as declared by SHRM India and one among the Top 100 Technology Influencer in India. Connect with her on @nabomita_smiles , Facebook Page and Google+

Out of these 3 Job offers, which one should I choose?

“I’m currently at a crossroads between 3 job options and don’t know what to do! I’m working as an HR Coordinator in a top pharmaceutical company making pretty decent money for the role. However the role is a temp position and I want a permanent role with benefits. There will be a recruitment opening up within the next two months and I’m thinking of applying but I’m not too interested in recruitment, I have done it before and I would do it again but I would prefer something more diverse. The only reason I am considering applying is because I love the company I currently work for and would probably get a small bump in compensation. A full time role at my current company would also come with X amount, a year in tuition reimbursement which I want since I want to do my master’s degree. 

My second option is Employee Relations Analyst which would pay what I’m currently making but it’s 30 minutes longer of a commute and X/2 amount a year max in tuition reimbuirsement. This position seems interesting since I am very interested in ER but I don’t know if analysing data all day is what I would enjoy doing.

Lastly, the third option is an HR Associate role at a Forbes 10 company which pays 9,000 less than what I’m currently making but they pay 100% for your health insurance, comes with bonus and has unlimited tuition reimbursement. However the role would be supporting one other person in HR, it would only be 2 people in that particular office which seems ok but I’m concerned about future room for advancement. However, this would include ER, benefit administration, and more of a generalist role since I would be dealing with many aspects of HR which I like.

I don’t know which to choose or proceed with, recruitment role which I’m not too excited about but good pay and good benefits at the company I’m with, the ER analyst role which I’m sort of excited about and make the same as I’m doing now but longer commute, or work for a REALLY good company making 9,000 less with amazing benefits and an HR Team of two??

I have been in HR for 3 years and want to be sure the next role will be a good stepping stone into my career.” 

The choices are clear. Every role offers an option that can be easily compared to the other. However, the choice made now will define the future. It’s not merely about the next few years of employment, but also funding the Post Graduate Degree.

Even though the first option offers you the greatest salary, it is evident from your words that you don’t wish to work in Recruitment. Hence it doesn’t make any sense to consider that.

It seems evident that you wish to take up the second option. The longer commute and half the salary offered in comparison to the first employer doesn’t pose a problem as you want to work as ER. However, if you fail to enjoy that role, this choice might completely backfire! On the top, any cap on the tuition reimbursement needs to be considered very strongly, as it would increase the monetary burden at your end!

Salary as a parameter can be considered only for a short term. In case of the long term, it’s all about the brand and the support for the education. The job offer accepted now, needs to be the stepping stone for a better job placement once you receive the Post Graduation Degree. Hence, the third option with the Forbes 10 Company remains the best option.

Every brand brings in a professional exposure along with a standard environment, which frames the maturity and efficiency. You have worked for last three years, you are in the right stage to groom and optimise your potential further. You will gain an access to a great work environment, the alumni, and live the joy of contributing to the company’s success!

Even though you are doubtful about your growth in this role, it still is a better offer as it will pay unlimited tuition reimbursement! The 9000 less in the pay won’t matter for long , as they offer a bonus, which might take care of the deficit! The growth factor might not pose a question after the Post Graduation, as you will have the choice to look for a change.

A strong brand with a Generalist Role, would offer you a sound experience to land the next best job that you apply for. On the top, you won’t have any Education loan. I guess this seals the deal offering the best of both the worlds.

Rest I leave it for you to decide ! May the best job find you. Good luck !

If you have any HR Query or any query on Future of Work, please write to me in here. Looking forward to learn more while finding solutions for you.

Nabomita is the Founder to Nabomita.com. She is the Top 100 Women Achiever Awardee, awarded by Government of India , TEDx Speaker, Quoted on ForbesUS, one of the Top 20 HR Influencer in Social Media as declared by SHRM India and one among the Top 100 Technology Influencer in India. Connect with her on @nabomita_smiles , Facebook Page and Google+

Maternity Bill Act Amendment 2017

On 28th March 2017, The Maternity Bill received an assent from the Honourable President of India. As published on Gazette of India, the two paged document shares every changes . Such as Substituting Twelve Weeks not more than six with twenty six weeks not more than eight weeks.

Terms such as ‘commissioning mother’ have been included which means biological mother who uses her egg to create an embryo implanting in any other woman.

The document clearly states that a woman who legally adopts a child below the age of three months, shall be entitled for a Maternity Benefit for a period of twelve weeks, from the date the child is adopted to the adopting mother or the commissioning mother as the case may be.

In case the nature of work assigned to the woman is such of a nature, that she may work from home, the employer may allow her to do so after availing the Maternity Benefit for such period on such conditions as the employer and the woman may mutually agree.

The Section 11 in the Principal Act, now have cleared instruction on the creche facility at the office.

11A. (1) Every establishment having fifty or more employees, shall have facility of creche within such a distance as may be prescribed, either separately or along with common facilities:

Provided that the employer shall allow four visits a day to the creche by the woman, which shall also include the interval for rest allowed to her.

Read the complete Amendment in here

Long live Mrs. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi who brought this landmark change.

Kudos to her leadership to Ministry of Women and Child Development. As the nation wakes up to a bright new day, a great era for working women dawns in India.

If you have any HR Query or any query on Future of Work, please write to me in here. Looking forward to learn more while finding solutions for you. This have been re-blogged from nabomita.com

Nabomita is the Founder to Nabomita.com. She is the Top 100 Women Achiever Awardee, awarded by Government of India , TEDx Speaker, Quoted on ForbesUS, one of the Top 20 HR Influencer in Social Media as declared by SHRM India and one among the Top 100 Technology Influencer in India. Connect with her on @nabomita_smiles , Facebook Page and Google+