Ask why think why not



Words matter. Names matter. Terms matter

3 Ms are man, machine and material. These three are treated as categories of resources for any work. Then there are terms like FTE (full term employee), contract employee, agents, all to categorise them as employees. Once, I heard an announcement to a team, “Agents with 2 years and below experience will be having a meeting at 3 o clock with the process head. For other agents, it will be  tomorrow , same time.”  Employees reporting to supervisors are called agents,  in BPOs .

The human being is missing. Like Raj Khandekar commented in my post of “Tim triggers a change”, people should not be treated as “things” or “objects”. You can decorate the work place as much as you want to keep your employees motivated, you can have the “we care” programs; they are all good but not good enough to make someone have a sense of belonging and loyalty to the company. Stop treating them as a “mercantile product”. For a start, you can change the term agent to associate. Any suggestions ?

You do not have to say we care, if you really care. If somebody cannot sense your care, never mind how much you say it, it’s a waste of time. No amount of management degrees will help you, if it is not there inside you. How many companies took care of their employees, when the chips were down? Well, they will know, now that things are looking up.

Another area where the company should change it’s behaviour is when some body puts his papers – usually he is seen as an out law. Take care not to burn the bridge. Treat them like ambassadors who will be helping you build or improve your brand name. They should be able to say- may be I did not enjoy my work but the company is great, they helped me to have a smooth exit. Last impression is the right impression. As an exercise, look back and see how many of you had a painful severance, never mind who was at fault.

Attrition has no cure with the present style of  materialistic treatment. .  There is an emotion behind every action. Know how you want somebody to act, then identify what emotion it is that will drive it, and work on that. You cannot beat some one unless you are angry. Try beating someone without anger. You need an emotion to act. Similarly, see whether you can create a ‘feel good’ emotion. Well , not very “ professional!!!”

The care taker’s role has to be played by the leaders and managers whom people trust and respect. These people must be the ones directly  working with the production team for a common goal and does the appraisal.

HR team , is a different entity. They have no control on anybody’s learning opportunity or career. People like them only  when you have to understand the company policy,  pay revision news, promotion lists and some picnic programs. In most of the companies, HR appears in the hate list , after  finance , though it is not responsible for any of the ills.

A visitor, very impressed with our team, asked us ‘how do you manage”. We said we do not manage, just enable. We enable them and they manage themselves. The freedom and responsibility helps them to be creative and perform well. Well, again very “non-professional”!

Sandeep Dhar, CEO Tesco, was showing me around his company. He said the production team sits here and there..and before he could complete I asked, “the support team?”. He said, “We don’t say support, we call  them enablers.” I loved that term. The enablers,(Administration, HR, system support, finance) are involved in thankless jobs. Without them the production team will never be able to achieve their targets. But when recognitions and rewards are considered, they are placed at a lower level.

HR stands for human RESOURCE. Should we not  have a more humane term so we can be human.

You can ask me why, but think why not.


“ ASK  WHY ? THINK..WHY NOT ?” is the title of a book by Jothish Kumar, a very easy and nice read. I have taken, only the title, without his permission:-)

Value & Budget Housing by Jerry Rao –

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Grateful for the love and respect received so far. Inspire, motivate and enable anybody to achieve their limitless limits-that is my goal for the rest of my life. Worked in MECON, Mphasis, Cofounder KelpHR,

Categories Uncategorized10 Comments

10 thoughts on “Ask why think why not”

  1. In case the image was not clear I am reproducing Macaulay’s address
    Macaulay ‘s address to the British Parliament 2 February, 1835
    I have travelled across the length and breadth of India and I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief, such wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values, people of such calibre, that I do not think we would ever conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage and therefore I propose that we replace her old and ancient education system, her culture, for if the Indians think that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will lose their self esteem, their native culture and they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation

  2. You said it all…..Change in behavior of the leadership is very critical to build the culture of “Enabling” organization….

    It is not only the support functions….Leaders themselves should become “Enablers”…

    Our responsibility to Enable the organization so the cuture is set, Empowerment is enabled and people take decisions only in the best interest of the organization and not for themselves…

    1. You said IT. Leaders are the major enablers. Leadership is creating leaders. Thanks Milind for coming in. I was hoping a leader like you would add something to this post and there you are.

  3. I hope people start feeling like enablers rather than supporters. The main aim of the enablers should be positive assistance to production department to increase productivity.
    I agree cent percent with you that no amount of promotion can help you if your team is not motivated. They should feel as part of the organisation. This will come only when we treat them well.

  4. “Truly inspiring 🙂 I am sure most of us can relate to it and especially the 4 para … I have pretty much experienced it every time … Even recently when I took up an opportunity in a different area but in the same company!!! The only exception so far has been ADC which went out of the way and helped us succeed 🙂
    A small change in attitude can go a long way

  5. Everything should begin from the top rung of the organisation and seep into every aspect of the organisation. Yes, the people and their emotions should be the on the top priority for any success.

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