Over last almost 20 years, it has been a huge learning experience for the HR professional in me, who made transition from a very regimented and disciplined life of almost 6 years in the Armed forces. Right from my first brush with HR and Industrial relations, way back in 1997, till now, I picked up some nuggets of learning from various leaders I worked alongside. Some of these learnings act as a beacon of light for me in various situations. These learnings did not come to me from my Management education and rather came thru by seeing them being practiced on ground. Let me briefly explain
1. Today’s solution should not be tomorrow’s problem:
This happens at various points in time when you are trying to handle a situation in hand, most of the time related and interpreted as ‘precedence creation’. Quite apt in handling and working with pressure groups at work place. Important to be kept in mind specially by IR professionals.
2. No two situations are same; some variables do change:
It may be relevant to draw learning from a past incident or situation. However, blindly following a solution based on what was done in a similar incident in the past can prove to be disastrous.
3. Exercising ‘Executive Decision’ warrants larger buy in:
These decisions are based on gut and needs courage. However, in an organizational context, people would ask questions if summary decisions are taken unilaterally and have failed to deliver result. If decision is big and can have larger impacts, worthwhile to align people and create a larger buy in rather than committing uncalled for bravado.
4. Understand lawyers mind, they need to be told what you want:
This is apt for professionals who handle employment laws related work. Don’t leave everything on your legal advisors, important is to have a point of view and see how they provide solution which are governed by your line of thinking.
5. Abundant caution holds you in good stead:
In case terms and conditions stipulate 2 months’ notice in case of a disciplinary separation give 3 months. If principal of natural justice warrants 2 more opportunities to be given for response, give 2 additional. It is important to demonstrate intentions of fairness and not to do lip service.
6. Three things to read about every employment law / statute
It is not always possible to read and understand the whole Act in short span of time. However, clarity on three golden clauses can solve lot of ambiguity. These three are Applicability or extent, Definitions, Penalties.
7. Choose between brevity and descriptive:
People who speak more have a tendency to commit errors, similarly ‘to write more’ or ‘to write less’ is a choice to be made. E.g. Don’t be brief when you are drafting a charge sheet for an offence because all relevant details are needed to be captured however while drafting a termination letter, one need not be extremely elaborate and can be better off by being brief and to the point.
8. Form your own opinion and dont take secondary data on people on the face value:
Important when you move into a new role or meet newer people. While taking a new role, lots of time people carry impressions about others based on the predecessor’s feedback or inputs. While feedbacks are kept at the back of the mind, its equally or rather more critical to form your opinions about people based on first-hand experience.
Above insights are based on personal experiences and some of you may have a counter view and that’s absolutely fair. I would have loved to site examples of all the above for further clarity, but I think it was important to be brief here. Do write to me separately if you need me to clarify any specific point J
About Yuvaraj Srivastava
Yuvaraj Srivastava has over 25 years of experience and has worked with organizations like MakeMyTrip.com, PepsiCo India, PepsiCo India – Snacks Division, The Oberoi New Delhi, Asian Paints, Asian paints india limited, Kasna, Noida, Indian Armed Forces, Regiment of Artillery & Indian Army. Yuvaraj holds a MBA Field Of Study Human Resources from Institute of Managment Technology, Ghaziabad.