Archive for March, 2010

Let us observe an eMail Day

March 27, 2010
E-mail spam relayed by country in Q2/2007, sou...
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On this day, observed throughout the world as Earth Hour, I feel there is a necessity for all professionals to observe an eMail Day. Why?

All those who have an email must have definitely noticed spam in their email. This is usually mails from individuals who want to try and inject harm (in any way possible) to you or your email-account.

But, what I am trying to highlight here are the mails sent by those whom we work with in our organizations. Those who might be reporting to us or those whom we need to work with for a common purpose.

What I have noticed and I am sure this is your experience also – mails keep coming at a fast pace (the higher you are in the organization and the larger team you lead, the more you receive) – in the eight hours (or more) that you spend in the office, you will spend almost 60% reading & responding to mails. I am sure most of these emails are in fact not required to be resolved by you, if the person responsible for the task explained in the mail has done his job properly.

Agreed that there cannot be a perfect environment – people differ and their performances vary. But, what is required is the simple execution of one’s responsibility. If each individual takes it upon himself to ensure that he carries out his role (especially the tasks in his control) to the best possible extent, the number of emails that officers at higher levels receive will automatically decrease.

In fact, this article talks about including Email Audits in one’s appraisal. Wonderful idea!!! This is a must for all office-going people. The number of emails increase and the storage requirements increase and thereby the number of administrators to maintain the systems.

If we do not control our usage, I am sure in the next 1-2 years we will be soon conducting an eMail Day the very way we are doing the Earth Hour today.

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Barter System to be revisited in IT

March 21, 2010
Coins and banknotes, two of the most common ph...
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The Wikipedia entry for Barter system says about it as:

Bartering is a medium in which goods or services are directly exchanged for other goods and/or services without a medium of exchange, such as money

This used to be the system in yester-years very widely but not so much in the recent years. It is quite possible that this system will make a comeback in the Information Technology arena.

Very soon, we will see a system where IT services (software, hardware, services, BPO) could be given by a System Integrator (+ Software Vendor) to a customer in exchange for services that the customer can offer.

For example, an IT services organization can modernize the IT systems for an engineering firm, who can construct a couple of offices for the IT firm in exchange. This way, it is a win-win situation for both the firms concerned.

Similarly, a firm that builds products specializing in employee recognition programs can get their software built by an organization that needs such a program to boost the employee morale. In addition, license contracts (+ Maintenance charges) can be waived off in exchange.

An organization like CISCO, for example, can get software built by services firms in exchange for networking products that CISCO is famous for. In the same way, a firm can build portals for a mobile giant and get handsets for their employees as a fee.

The advantage this model will bring is to get invaluable user-input from the initial users of the products. Using these inputs, the products can then be refined further. Such an agreement makes the business model much more involved – both firms will be very much interested to make this endeavor a success.

This could be very well the business model that might come into existence very soon. Do share your inputs on why you think this model may not work? What are the hindrances.

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Effective Retention policies

March 9, 2010

The economy has rebounded and hence, it is very difficult to retain employees in an organization. The HR team has to work overtime to come up with innovative strategies to retain them.

In such a context, what are the various motivational techniques that one can come up with? Incentives (financial) is something that comes to everyone’s mind but obviously, it does not work always with everyone. Of course, it is not possible to provide everyone with financial rewards.

What would be better would be to come up with alternatives that reach out to the emotional sense of the employees. For example, the following schemes could be thought of:

  • A weekend stay in a posh hotel in the same location. The organization can tie-up with the hotel to come up with a good deal so that they can give the experience to the deserving candidates
  • A tie-up with a photography joint can help in giving a reward of a set of high-quality family photographs
  • A super-market chain can be pulled in to give a set of coupons (valid for 3 months)
  • An one-day rental of a chaffeur-driven luxury car will work wonders
  • A personally-signed letter from the Group-head to the spouse/parents of the associate praising the work done – I have noticed it personally the great sense of achievement one gets

As you notice, the cost of each of this option is not high but just imagine the binding that the employees will have – it will be phenomenal.

What is your thoughts on the HR practices that I suggested above?

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