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5 Leanings from the Ganeshotsav (Ganesh Festival )

Ganpati Bappa Morya!! Ganesh Utsav (festival) is celebrated in India every year. It is said that during these days Lord Ganesh visits earth to meet his devotees. During this time, the devotees worship Ganesha Idol by offering prayers, Prasad, and following certain rituals. Yesterday we welcomed Lord Ganesha in our family. This year due to covid19  in most of the cases, the celebrations will be restricted to small groups only.

In today’s article, I have shared my key learning derived from the rituals of these celebrations.

The preparation for this festival starts much before the actual festival begins. It starts with cleaning the entire house, shopping for the puja, booking the eco-friendly idol, etc. I realized there are a lot of things we can learn from these celebrations. Following are some of my takeaways from the festival.

  1. Follow the Rules: As mythology says, Lord Shiva made a rule that before anything auspicious people will pray Lord Ganesha (his son) first. Today also in India, every new project whether it’s entering a new house, office, factory, the job begins with a Ganesh Puja(Worship). As the story goes, Lord Shiva set the rule and in rush forgot his own rule and went for war. He started losing the battle which was very unlikely. While thinking about it, he realized that he forgot to worship Ganesh, his son before the war. He soon completed the ritual and as expected won the war against the demons.
    Learning: The rules are meant to be followed by everyone including leaders, Lead by example.
  1. Processes are for people: Most of the families follow a strict process for welcoming and worshiping Lord Ganesha in their houses. The prayers (Aarti) are offered at a fixed time every morning & evening. This process remains the same from generation to generation, except for some minor changes required based on the situation at times.
    Learning: The processes are not designed for people to follow, but they are designed to bring people together, so they can work together in sync towards a common goal of the organization. Thus leading to greater bonding among the team and achieving optimum use of time and other resources.
  1. Team Work: As mentioned earlier the preparation begins much before the actual festival begins. The entire family right from the youngest member of the family to the oldest member of the family is engaged. In activities of their choice, expertise, or activities assigned to them like decoration, Prasad, sending invitations, prayers, etc. Project Managers being our mothers/grandmothers.
    Learning: This is a classic example of driving teamwork, team engagement, and team bonding and aligns it with the mission of the organization.
  1. Humility & Modesty: We set our ego aside and work as a part of a team. No one of superior or inferior. Learning: Always respect fellow team members, never leave humility & modesty. You never know when circumstances will throw a curveball. Stay Humble always.
  2. Journey is as important as the destination: After the festival is over, it is the time to bid farewell to the Lord. This is a very painful moment and we wait for the festival next year to we can repeat the whole journey again.
    Learning: The people we meet and learning we acquire are equally important as reaching the destination. While evaluating the performance/ allocating a project, along with the goals accomplished/missed, it is also important to consider the learning/network employee has achieved on the way.

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5 team rituals during economic downturn.

Covid19, most of the business are facing a high level uncertainty as leaders having very less visibility about the future. This causes employee anxiety related to their job security. It becomes important for both to empathize with each other and work together, in order to come out of this crisis successfully.

“A team is not a group of people that work together, it is a group of people that trust each other. “- Simon Sinek.

This article is about top 5 team rituals, if followed consistently, can help companies fight and come out of this crisis.

  1. Challenge the status quo: In the situation of crisis, both teams and managers must, work hard to get rid of inertia of older ways of working. Leaving aside ego, perfectionism and old ways of working, think from customer’s perspective. What value we can offer as a team to the customer.
  1. Daily Communication: Communication has become even more vital in current scenario. Communicate with the team on regular basis to understand the new challenges they are facing. Explain the challenges the business is facing and make sure everyone is on the same page. It is very important for ever.
  1. Test & Measure: Try different new customer offerings that emerge out of the brainstorming sessions. Monitor the results and keep improvising.
  1. Do not micro manage: While the employees are working from home, do not micro manage. Manage the project and not the people. If the project is progressing and results are visible, why micro manage.
  1. Mutual Appreciation/Empathy: Don’t forget to thank your team or manager for their support. A genuine appreciation/thank you goes a long way to create a sense of responsibility and motivation.

To survive and thrive, persistence and consistency is the key. Persistence will get you there and Consistency will keep you there. Hope your found today’s article useful.

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5 Essentials to achieve workforce diversity

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Diversity & inclusion, has many dimensions. It can be diversity & inclusion of different thought processes, inclusion of more women in the workforce or D&I of employees  from diverse cultures, race, geography, country etc. etc. There are many organizations talking about it. However when it comes to implementation, very few who are genuinely doing it. Reason because it’s not easy to develop a D&I culture.  

In today’s article, I’ve listed out 5 steps to follow, in order to  to hire and retain diversity workforce.

“Diversity is mix, Inclusion is making the mix work” – Andres Tapia

  1. Create Organizational Awareness about D&I: Hiring new employees from diverse background without creating acceptance among existing employees can lead to discrimination. Hence it is very important to create awareness about the advantages of D&I among the existing employees. To let this idea sink in across all levels, conduct D&I awareness training by hiring a Diversity & Inclusion Manager/engaging an External Consultant.

 

  1. Revisit the existing HR policy: Sometimes unknowingly an HR policy may have some elements which create bias. Review the existing HR Policy thoroughly to make sure there is no bias in interviewing process, on-boarding process and so on.

 

  1. Include it in your Employer Branding: Let the prospect candidates know that you are an equal opportunity employer that believes in diverse & inclusive culture by including it in employer branding message on all platforms.

 

  1. Create job descriptions that invite applicants from diverse background: A company wishes to hire employees from diverse background. However, the Job Descriptions are designed around technical skills and some generic soft skills. This fails to attract applicants from diverse backgrounds. Modify the JD and eliminate words/points which are unknowingly introducing a bias and preventing applicants from diverse backgrounds.

 

  1. Continuous Improvement: Developing a diverse & inclusive culture is not a quick fix. Like all other good skills in life, its an ongoing process of learning from past mistakes and improving.

 

To survive and thrive in this crisis situation, diversity & collaboration is the key. Companies need diverse clients, diverse products/services, an agile society  and diverse & inclusive workforce. Hope your found today’s article useful.
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Gap in the CV-Should I hide it?

The is the most common thought job seekers come across, “I have a break in my career, should I disclose it on CV or  hide it ”

Last week while hiring for one of our clients, two candidates made it to the final round of interview. One with consistent experience and other on a career break due to valid reasons.  They made an offer to the candidate who was currently on career break. Thus, hiding a break on CV is a short term fix, but it can cost you dearly in long term. Today we will look at some common career breaks in India and what can be done about it.

  • Maternity Break/Break after Marriage: Most women employees are required to take this break at some stage of their career. Reason can be geographical move due to marriage or maternity break. 
  • Layoffs/ Made redundant: Layoffs due to change in external or internal changes in the business environment. This is a common reason for a forced career break.
  • Further Education: Employees take a break and pursue higher education mostly a Master’s Degree or some specialization in the current domain/acquire a new skill.
  • Family Reasons: Sometimes employees are required to take a break to nurse a sick family member/ spend some time with family / improve or mend a broken relation.
  • To recover from illness: Taken a break to recover from illness and improve health.


The biggest apprehension of the interviewer while hiring someone who is currently on a career break is that whether the candidate is not updated with the skill/technology. Will the candidate be able to contribute as productively as before? In the following ways we can help them overcome this barrier in decision making.

  • Be Genuine and Honest: Be as genuine and honest as possible. Explain the reason of taking the break in brief, in CV as well as during the in person interview. Presenting supporting documents in some cases wherever applicable.
  • Duration of Break: Just make sure the duration of the break is optimum, not very long, of course based on the reason of taking the break.
  • Acquire new skills & Stay updated: Stay updated with the skills and technologies during the break, by working on consulting projects, freelancing, attending industry events or reading industry magazines.
  • Network: Keep in touch and network with your old colleagues and people who can help you make a comeback.

 

There is no need to hide the career break or feel uncomfortable talking about it during the interview. Answer honestly & confidently with concrete examples how you proactively made most of the time outside office, by acquiring new skills/contributing to the community .Most important why you are excited about the position you are applying for and what value you can offer.

 

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