Make your employees feel ‘At Home’!
“Home is where the heart is”.
How often have we heard this quote? Most of us will agree that home is where we were raised, where we played, laughed, cried, and learnt. It is where we grew and became what we are today-strong, independent and confident. This may be why we do not see it as a structure with only four walls and a roof-It is much more than that. Home is a place filled with stories, a place where memories are made and a place where we interact with a very important group of people; our family. And it is here that we get unconditional support and guidance. This might be the secret of the positive energy that the home exudes.
Yes, this article is about happiness at the workplace and, not at home. However, there are a few things that organizations and people leaders can do to make their employees feel ‘at home’ at their workplace. For it is undeniable that most people today spend far more number of hours at office than at home. Read on, as I demystify the term ‘Happiness at the Workplace’ for, your employees are your extended family!!
My journey-from ‘being’ happy to ‘giving’ happiness!
In my 2 decades of experience, I have played various roles-that of an employee, a people leader and an entrepreneur. I strongly believe that a healthy and bonded relationship between the employer and employee is the essence of any business success. When the relationship is nurturing, happiness will blossom and bear fruit. A deep rooted employer confidence in his employee is visible in the face of the employee and needless to say that this is a reality and not merely a philosophy.
Though the above is true, I also understand that not all the employees of an organization can be equally happy with their employers. The reason for their unhappiness could vary, but the disturbing fact is that people managers do not make attempts to address or understand the cause of their unhappiness. I strongly believe that the manager is an important interface between the management and the employees and he/she has a major role to play in ensuring a conducive working environment. As they say, ‘People Leave Managers not organizations!’.
While listing down points that managers should take to ensure employee happiness, I would like to add that making employee’s feel ‘at home’ is not the sole responsibility of the manager in question, but an integral business need of an organization. I would like to share with our readers, a few points that can be kept in mind while trying to ensure that their ‘family’ is happy. Some of these are oft repeated but there is no harm introspecting on them, isn’t it?
1) Build an appetite for what you do:
Just go back and think about the enthusiasm you have, while playing a game. Think of the adrenalin rush and the flurry of emotions when you won a game. The reason why we look forward towards victory and are excited to play is because we enjoy every bit of it.
Similarly, unless you are happy with the nature of your work, you cannot be happy in your workplace. This is also true while you try to instill motivation down the line. It is important for the people manager to understand and savor every bit of his work. He needs to take proactive steps to ensure that the team is one, while trying to motivate each of them to victory and also ensuring the journey is a fruitful and nurturing one. Sometimes, managers need to ensure that team members see the value addition of the job rather than focusing on the monthly paycheck. Any work without proper meaning and satisfaction can never be given 100%. This may be a reason why everyone is not successful in their professional work. And this is definitely something that the manager can influence!
2) Change, Growth and Mental Stimulation:
In most cases, the work nature seldom changes. The same routine job does not seem to be interesting to everybody, especially Gen Y. Even today, service sectors and government employment seems to be most sought after. However, in the long run, most of these employees are not really happy with their work or workplace. This happens because a majority of them are doing a routine job for years or decades without much variation. Inefficiency of our government sector employees are a result of this unhappiness in their work place or with the nature of their work. Change or growth here does not just mean moving up the ladder, but techniques like job rotation, enlargement etc. are something that managers and organizations must proactively do. This also ensures that in spite of having to spend more time in their work place to meet deadlines, a majority of the employees will be enthused and motivated with their work and workplace.
3) Looking Inward and Moving Forward:
It is advisable that companies design a program to create a happier workplace for their employees. One of the important questions every manager as well as his team member must ask themselves is, “What can I do to make my workplace a happier one?”.
The first step is determining what actually makes your employees and the organization happy; no two organizations are the same. Two key techniques are: directly asking employees and developing an employee suggestion system. Once you have feedback or the response from the suggestion system, you or the management can take appropriate steps to improve or implement the suggestions received.
4) Surprise People Pleasantly!
It is important for an organization that its employees are cared for and given special attention. It can make them happy in their workplace. They get the feeling that the company really cares for them. Take your team out for lunch and have crazy talks, celebrate birthdays, arrange short trips to resorts, gift free passes for concerts etc. Many companies conduct various events in the office like family day, mother’s day etc. which usually give employees a chance to take their family to office. This in turn makes the family feel as an integral part of the employee workplace. These are minor perks that can cheer up an employee and help in building a bond. Compliment people freely, publicly and never neglect to give credit where it is due. In creating a happier workplace, keep in mind that workers thrive when they sense that they are being listened to, that their suggestions are valued, that the organization cares about their welfare and the welfare of their families.
5) Practice-don’t just preach:
It is important for managers to also do what they expect their employees to do. People do not do what you ask them to do; they always do what they see. It may be simple things like being on time, attending meetings on time etc. but it does matter. A manager of a team must lead by example and lead from the front.
6) Break the wall:
An open communication is the entrance to a happier organization. It may be a small matter, but people are happiest when they feel heard. Be a listening manager and a listening organization. Simple acts like saying hello, enquiring about one’s well being and sincerely caring about the answers are great starters. Equally important is maintaining transparency. Frequent communication of the goals and values of the company, the expectations you have from your employees would help. Acknowledge their ideas, suggestions and opinions. Let them have a say. However, it is also important to implement their suggestions when possible.
In conclusion, the management needs to set the tone to ensure that the workplace represents the drive, hopes and dreams of its workers. This could be a protection against the scourge of “presenteeism”-a condition where people show up for work but operate at subpar levels.
Satisfaction should be cornerstone of the office, happiness the aspiration!
Technology is changing at the speed of our eye blink. Therefore it is becoming necessary to be awake round the clock. If you become even slightly negligent in your vigilance towards this changing scenario, there are chances that you may be backtracked in your activities. This is a lesson I am learning and practicing in my day to day life.
To survive and succeed in today’s competitive business front, businesses must embrace the new emerging technologies, new operating models and IT platforms that move beyond cost-cutting and enhance business performance.
I have noticed, many of today’s companies are built on business models and structures daring back to decades, that are dealing with big operational problems because they are simply unfit for the competitive exigencies of today’s requirements. But to my surprised, many of these organizations are not ready for a change. We can’t out rightly blame them, because old habits die hard. Many of these companies still apply old physical value chain thinking to the emerging digital value chain, and this attitude is severely undermining the competitiveness of many companies.
Anyway, being a consultant, we must approach our clients on a positive note. Their reluctant attitude can make our job little tough but not impossible. It takes little more time to convince them the benefit of emerging technologies and the need for embracing the change. You can succeed in your effort if your intention is genuine which the decision-makers will recognize and accept. The decision-makers also realizing that many entrenched organizational strategies, principles, methodologies, processes and systems are decreasing in relevance therefore a change is a must to manage this fundamental shift in how business will be conducted in the coming years.
When I talk of structural changes in organization, it is not a common solution or formula. As every organization has its own operational methods and methodologies the structural changes also must be carried out at looking at the most elemental processes of a company. Every company can rethink how they can best align with new opportunities.
Emerging technologies also enables companies to maximize the utilization of both human and financial resources, better track vendor managed inventory and other off-site or remote stock, and significantly improve workflow management by better planning, mapping, and executing key processes across the business.
I don’t think I won’t be doing justice to myself if I don’t mention anything particular about our ERP system before ending this note. What is my advise to every growing organization is that they must realize that ERP systems have become the most significant IT investment for most companies in their capital budgeting. It is the business strategy that plays a very important role in choosing the right ERP and the successful implementation. Because of the specific features of resource ERP system, it is expected to go well with majority of the business process. eresource is being implemented successfully in major industrial segments and there is no concern about its functionality and module compatibility. Numerous case studies conducted successfully proves eresource ERP is one of the best enterprise software solution available in Indian market today. I can bet on it.
What we bring into table is much more than a just a ERP Service Provider..
There is a reason to say this.
Generally, Enterprise product companies or technology consultants provide lots of rich functionalities to their customers so that the interaction between their organization and its customers can be made easier, which ultimately help their customers address issues faced in their business process. Most of the time the consultants provide technology with loads of functionality that appears to them very useful for the customer. However, the question is the Consultants really provide what the customer wants or what the customer really looking for? In my opinion customers must be provided with what they need, which will help them in their business process instead of forcing them to have what you have in your shelf.
Today’s customers are very enlightened lot. They must be provided with tools that could be used to overcome the challenges they may encounter in their everyday business process. Today no businessman will go for any technology unless that provides him adequate return on investment. They have their own reason to implement a technology. And if that purpose is not served there is no point in going for a technology, however advanced it may be. They have learned this lesson much thoroughly than most of today’s technology consultants.
Given my interaction with customers in the last 18 years, I understand that all manufacturers believe that they have designed their processes and practice which is unique. Simply put every manufacturers need something that is specific to them and will bring efficiency in their work and processes. They want something that will work seamlessly as per their business operation strategy and something that would simplify their work and processes.
What I would like to remind all my potential customers is please do not view eresource as just a technology enterprise product company because technology does not live in a vacuum. What we bring into the table is much bigger than just the enterprise product. Our style of working method and understanding process of our customers business are unique. We do a thorough study of the operational processes. We map the customer’s requirement with our software and configure the same for our customers. We talk to our customers in their own language so that they understand us clearly and loudly. We are the advocate of our customers to lead them and we make them believe in their ability to succeed.
We understand their culture, the leadership, the matrix, and the processes that are in place, the goals and the strategies. We then align the technology to get them results. We alert our customers in time and know them what is going wrong when everything has the appearance of being right. We explain them how the gap of wrong can be corrected through our software so that they can obtain result. We make sure that our customers get fast returns on the investment they make by investing in technology. We align things and think from the systemic view, so that our customers become much more successful in implementing technology and grow their business faster.
That’s our focus and our core goal.
In a gathering of some long lost friends last week, I was introduced to a gentleman by one of my friends who I am meeting after 20 years. When the gentleman realized I was the CEO of eresource ERP, he started showing little more interest and wanted to have a more details on ERP. As he also owns a not-so-small company, he has a good reason for his interest. He was keen to implement a system that will give some breathing space in his hectic business schedule. As of now his business process are managed by different software applications, lack of coordination between different section is making his job tough.
I was telling him eresource ERP system is going to make his life easier. He wanted to know the right time to implement an ERP system. I emphasized the important of this period. As the end of financial year is fast approaching, I suggested him to implement the ERP system without losing further time. The reason why I say this is, when the system is implemented now and the staff is trained to handle them effectively, the company is going to have a full-fledged ERP system running in the coming financial year that will make his company operational excellence.
I have recommended all our potential customers to go for implementation during this time. When I say this to people they realize the importance and they also have the same opinion that this is the ideal time to implement an ERP system.
I hear people say how it is unimaginable to run a business without an ERP system. They also thank me for giving them an ideal Web-based ERP system. It makes their job easier. A key to growth for any corporation is to have visibility of information so that the decision can be taken faster. I tell them now that you can in work without being in your office room in front of your desktop PC. With a laptop and Internet connection you can be in touch with your business activities. Data from every department will be flowing in front of you. I myself having a system for our business process, I can get in touch with anyone — my colleagues, customers or any department — to review the latest updates of my business process.
I want to tell all our potential customers that to march ahead in your businesses you have to have a solid backing of an effective ERP system which will not only make your work easier but also will help you to stay ahead of your competitor in the field. Once again I would like remind all of you that time is ripe for ERP implementation. I and my colleagues can go all out to help you in any matter in this regard.
We are waiting to hear from you on any issues that will be related to an ERP system.
I also wish all my customer season’s greetings and all the very best.
This was the first time we organized Family day party/function. Everyone had great time and I am so glad.
Generally every year we have eresource Traditional Day, which is a day before Dashera. Traditional Day is a day designated for people to come in traditional attire from their home state, or specific culture of their choice. On Traditional Day in eresource, the Bengali may wear a kurta and dhoti in Bangla style, a Maharashtrian might wear a saree and accessories in a particular Maharashtrian style, a Malayalee might wear a white shirt and mundu with gold borders. And so on. Traditional Day in eresource is observed as a celebration of eresource’s diverse culture, and is usually relax day with dance and games program.
This year we also celebrated “eresource Family Day” on 10th November 2012, a day before Deepavali.
We held the event at J K Auditorium, TMA House, Wagle Industrial Estate. We started off at 3.30 pm with lamp lighting ceremony performed by Mrs. Saudhamini Nair.
The event started with Welcome Song by eresource Team. Then the real fun came with Interactive game session. Software professionals of eresource participated in many cultural programs, Duet song, Solo Song, Group Songs, Group dance, Drama, Modern Bollywood style Ramayana and many other other activities. I am glad all Software Developers, Testers, ERP Implementors, Functional Consultants and Other IT Managers participated in the events and carried away the sweet memories with them.
I am glad all Software Developers, Testers, ERP Implementors, Functional Consultants and Other IT Managers participated in the events and carried away the sweet memories with them.
Few of our customers also attended the Program.
When it was all done at 7pm, we had a buffet dinner. Although a rather small gesture, I saw the recognition of its importance on the face of many folks.
Everyone sure seemed had good time.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish all our Employees, Customers, Vendor Partners a wonderful & prosperous Deepavali. May all your dreams come true and long life with good health and wealth.
Your business must grow to survive. But to grow and compete effectively in today’s rapidly changing marketplace you must have a strong foundation that allows for quick, insightful decisions. ERP provides access to the data needed to gain that insight. A fully integrated ERP platform designed to grow with your business can increase efficiency, reduce costs and provide better information for quicker reaction to changing market conditions. It’s the solid base on which to build an agile organization.
Let me give you a case study of a leading Manufacturing company who wanted eresource to perform OPERATIONAL audit, they wanted eresource to know, what was going wrong when everything had the appearance of being right !. The audit was performed by the consultancy division of eresource Infotech.
Here is an example of a company which suffered heavily due to an outdated legacy system. Some time back the management of one of the Manufacturing Company in India has assigned eresource to perform an operation audit. Though everything seems to be working for the company the management knew it wasn’t fine with everything inside the company. But they couldn’t figure out where the problem was and who could be blamed. The company’s technology operations were running on a legacy system. The company had 5 branches in different places across the country, out of which 3 where manufacturing units. The company manufacturing 800 products and each product carrying close to 30 Bill of Materials (BOM).
Like I said earlier, though work moved smoothly they were faced with lot of service difficulties. Despite of high business potential deliverables were always late, which resulted in payment of huge penalties. High Level of inventory made a further hole in the pocket of the company. Too much inventory not only eats up the working capital of a company and creates cash flow problems but it also needs additional space and people to manage it. Poor and inefficient production planning added further financial woes. Dispatches were not happening on time, Supply chain where always delayed, managing resources were difficult, but were managed. Despite of high demands, the supply was low.
First what we did was a detailed assessment of how they have worked. We spoke to everyone right from the Vice President to production operators. They were all carrying out their work satisfactorily and within the acceptable tolerance. After going through a thorough study of their legacy system it was found that it the legacy system lacked in providing transparent strategic information.
Every department worked in isolation and has its own systems of data collection and analysis. So the information that is created or generated by the various departments, in most cases is available only to the top management (that too summary reports) and not to the other departments. So the end result was that instead of taking the organization towards the common goal the various departments end up pulling it in different direction. This is because one department does not know what the other does. So unless and until all the departments know what the others are doing and for what purpose, these kinds of conflicts are bound to arise which ultimately will affect the normal functioning of the organization.
Our presentation of enterprise way of functioning enabled them to understand how an ERP solution will be useful for an organization and how the enterprise solution considers the entire organization as a single system and all the departments as its sub-systems. They have also been fully convinced of how information about all the aspects of the organization is stored centrally and is available to all departments.
Since the implementation of eresource ERP the organization has started working successfully in co-ordination with all departments and sections, which produces a good end result. eresource helped company gain operational excellence.
My question to you is, is your business achieving Operational Excellence?
Watch this space to know more about Operational Excellence”
Like I said earlier, my work demands a lot of travelling and the latest addition to my travel list is Nashik. My last visit to Nashik has more reason to cheer with. This trip made me realize eresource is indeed the fastest growing ERP tool in India.
Being caught in the heavy traffic on Mumbai-Nashik highway, you are never sure that you will be able to make it on time for the appointment. But once you crawl out of traffic and start cutting through the Kasara Ghats, the mountain ranges in India’s west that also brings down the rains in Mumbai in middle of the year, it is an altered universe. As the land curves up and then plunges down into a valley, you are liberated. Almost three and half hours on the road and you’ve zipped into India’s Napa Valley—Nashik On route I could see kids playing jhattapatti. (I do not know an English name to refer that game.). it is a game played by kids in most part of Maharashtra. The game is like one of the players hits or touches another then that kid goes on to touch another kid, and so on. The game involves a lot of running barefoot, and sometimes you don’t know if the resounding slaps are coming from the feet on concrete, or from sweaty hands on skin. This reminded me of school days when we used to play Jhattapatti, dabaspice, Lagori. Don’t ask me what it means, because that’s all I know. Anyways, let me come back to where I started, Nashik trip.
I finally reached Nashik at 11:00am. , one hour late than the scheduled appointment time.
End of our meeting which lasted for more than an hour with detailed discussion and deliberations, I have realized that the customer was extremely unhappy with his previous ERP provider. He was very critical about not only the product but also the implementation methods also the other services. I would not name the vendor here because I honestly don’t remember the name of that vendor now. He named some ERP Vendor, to me that appeared like some local ERP vendor based out of Nashik. He was complaining in his usual tone; “Tumhala bolu ka? Teh log evun paishe gyun gele, pan ERP kadhi implement zala nahin.. (They came, took the money and left, but the ERP was never implemented).
,I asked the customer in whatever little Marathi I could speak “Bara, tar tumhi aata eresource la kasa bulavla?” (I can understand, but can u tell me what prompted you to call us? Customer said “eresource la log olaktoh aani sagalanya mahit aahe ke eresource chaan ERP product ahe.. Manoon tumhala bulavla.. (He said, everyone knows eresource, and everyone knows what a great product they make. That is the reason we called you.
An agreement to implement eresource ERP was signed at the end of the meeting.
In the last 8 years we hardly had any customer in Nashik, However, during the last five months we have succeeded in roping in three customers and for out of one of them the system already running live and work on others are in progress. I am glad eresource is delivering on time, on target and at the location.
After a lavish Maharashtrian thaali, courtesy the customer, I left Nashik and proceeded to Mumbai. In a normal day I would have felt very dull after a heavy meal like the one that he has offered. But not on that that day, I was fully energetic. I was pondering how important is one sentence, or one smile that can bring in your life? I have realized that how true it is that a word that can make your day. Yes. That day of mine was made by a word said by the customer – everybody knows about eresource Yes, I am proud to be associated with eresource. eresource is respected and recognized because of its experise, know-how and focus on quality.
Clouds were setting on the skyline of Nashik Mumbai highway. Western ghats looks beautiful in rains. As I was approaching igatpuri, I could see kids were playing lagori in the nearby fields near their homes. I too was picked up liking of lagori during my school days, Lagori is a game played with seven tiles and a ball. There will two teams. As the games starts one of the members from one team throws a soft ball at the tiles which is kept one up on one. As ball breaks the brick tower, the other team gets the ball and throws at one of the players from the other team. But the team that broke the tile tower must build the tower without getting hit by the ball.
The game needs good physical excise. Building the tower, brick by brick, without getting hit by the ball thrown by your opponents is a game we play not only in field but also in life. I was thinking life is also a big game like the one that I have witnessed a while ago. I feel happy and realize that challenges are faced in right manner when I hear someone say, eresource la sakale olakthath That makes my day.