Is Influencing People That Difficult???

We come across 1000’s of new and familiar faces every day. They may be in the form of strangers, in the form of colleagues, in the form of lift-men and various other forms but at the end of the day they are human beings .Do we really make any effort to make them remember us? Probably the answer is a “NO”. Here are a few instances that may be helpful in influencing people. These instances are taken from well known books which when compiled together give a meaningful message.

Instance 1:

Mr. X is a safety coordinator for an engineering company. One of his responsibilities is to see that employees wear their hard hats whenever they are on the field. He reported that whenever he came across workers who were not wearing hard hats, he would instruct them with a lot of authority and expected the employees to comply with. As a result he would get sullen acceptance, and often after he left, the workers would remove the hats. He decided to try a different approach. The next time he found some of the workers not wearing their hard hat, he asked if the hats were uncomfortable or did not fit properly. Then he reminded the men in a pleasant tone of voice that the hat was designed to protect them from injury and suggested that it should always be worn on the job. This resulted in increased compliance with no resentment or any one being emotionally upset.


Instead of condemning people, let’s try to understand them. Let’s try to figure out what they do and why they do so. That’s a lot better than criticism; and it breeds sympathy, tolerance and kindness. “To know all is to forgive all.”  Dr. Johnson has rightly said: “God himself, sir, does not propose to judge a man until the end of his days.” Then why should you or I?


Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.

do not criticise



Instance 2:


One of my friend’s friend told me of a request made by his wife. She and a group of other women in her church were involved in a self-improvement program. She asked her husband to help her by listing six things he believed she could do to help her become a better wife.  My friend’s friend said, “I was surprised by such a request. Frankly, it would have been easy for me to list six things I would like to change about her – my heavens, she could have listed a thousand things she would like to change about me – but I didn’t. I told her, ‘Let me think about it and give you an answer in the morning.’ The next morning I got up early and called the florist and had them send six red roses to my wife with a note saying, ‘I can’t think of six things I would like to change about you. I love you the way you are. ‘When I arrived at home that evening, who do you think greeted me at the door. That’s right. My wife! She was almost in tears. Needless to say, I was extremely glad I had not criticized her as she had requested.”

This was a  honest appreciation given by a husband.


Give honest and sincere appreciation.


give honest appreciation

Instance 3:

Actions speak louder than words, and a smile says, “I like you, you make me happy. I am glad to see you.” That is why dogs make such a hit. They are so glad to see us that they almost jump out of their skins. So, naturally, we are glad to see them.


A baby’s smile has the same effect. Have you ever been to a doctor’s waiting room and looked around at all the glum faces waiting impatiently to be seen? Dry Stephen K .Sproul, a veterinarian in Raytown, Missouri, told of a typical spring day when his waiting room was full of clients waiting to have their pets inoculated. No one was talking to anyone else, and all were probably thinking of a dozen other things they would rather be doing than “wasting time” sitting in that office. He told: “There were six or seven clients waiting when a young woman came in with a nine-month-old baby and a kitten. As luck would have it, she sat down next to a gentleman who was more than a little distraught about the long wait for service. The next thing he knew, the baby just looked up at him with that big smile which is a characteristic of babies. What did that gentleman do? Just what you and I would do, of course, he-smiled back at the baby. Soon he struck up a conversation with the woman about her baby and his grandchildren, and soon the entire reception room joined in, and the boredom and tension converted into a pleasant and enjoyable experience.”



new baby


Practicing these in your daily lives will not only make people remember you but also helps in networking, building good relationships and to build loyal clients and customers. Small instances but big impact, practicing these is not going to cost you anything nor does going to affect your status instead it add on to your personality. How many of us take the pain of asking the name of the lift operators who help us on daily basis? How many of us take the pain of asking the name of the cooks who serve us the food? Rarely anyone does. Three small actions…big impact…

And yeah, influencing people is not that difficult.



Feedback – an integral part of Employee Engagement

Feedback – an integral part of Employee Engagement

Feedback is as important as any of the other responsibilities that are carried out in an organization, whether it is given or taken. However, when it comes to the organization in taking feedback from its employees, it becomes even more crucial. It is a powerful source of building up ideas around employee engagement. By being active in this process, the company can strengthen the relationship with the employee, align the employee goals with that of the organization and grow.


The following can be considered when conducting the feedback sessions.


React or not to react

It is very important to know what to do because if there are traces of defense or anger on the receiver’s end, then the whole purpose of taking feedback ends. While conducting the feedback sessions, the receiver should be very patient. But, to make the feedback session constructive, there should be a dialogue where logic should be put, instances and examples should be quoted and solutions/suggestions should be looked forward to. It can be a session where people want to vent out, and that is ok, but the focus should not shift

Emotional quotient:

When listening to feedback, you have to try to be in their shoes in order to understand them better. Whether the grievance is small or big, relevant or irrelevant, every concern or grievance should be treated as a piece of information from a resource of the company. The employees should feel that there is someone to hear them out.

Unbiased Approach:

 We tend to be biased at times while receiving the feedback, on the basis of personal traits, position, past interactions, etc which is totally an unfair approach.

Take Actions:

Think of an action plan and you can segregate the actionable as “Quick wins”, “Can be done in 2 months”, “need some time” and “far-fetched concerns”.

Focus on quick wins as it gives certainty to the employees that their concerns are not just heard but actions are also taken to cater to their needs. This also helps reduce the negativity. Even if all the concerns are not taken care of immediately, the ones which can be acted upon immediately should not be ignored.



When the feedback tends to be negative at large, it becomes all the more important to discuss it out with the employees which makes them feel that the company acknowledges their concerns and views and admits that there is a scope for  improvement.

Conduct Regular Feedback Sessions:

Have platforms where employees can open up and write.  For example, surveys, one on one meeting, feedback link etc. Also, make sure that these platforms are functional and are tracked/ conducted regularly.


Small tip: To start off, the first thing that has to be in mind that feedbacks are not sweet-coated talks and they may come out to be rough and stingy. But, the positive side that could be taken is that they open up and discuss their problems which show that they have faith in the company and believe that something will be done. Start taking actions before the grievances turn into exhibition of dissonant behavior.


Engaged organizations have strong and authentic values, with trust and fairness based on mutual respect, where promises and commitments- between employers and employees- are understood and fulfilled.

By Varsha Debnath- Sr. HR Executive.

Language – A Common barrier?

Like any other day, I was greeted by the young security lad at the elevator. Being just two weeks into office, he was familiar with my face, routine and time. He asked me “Hindi?” At the back of my head ,I knew where this was going . I replied “Thodasa malum hai”. (The one dialogue l know properly in Hindi ,even in my sleep!) Then he asked again “ Kannada?”. I replied “ Kannada gothila”. Finally he asked “ Malayalam?”. I nodded at him with a smile saying “ achae thera se malum hai” and he laughed. Being South Indian, language is one barrier that I commonly come across when interacting with people from different regions. Fortunately, being in Bangalore, especially at my workplace, all of them converse with me in English and I respond back in English. Although they speak in Hindi amongst friends , because of my “thodasa Hindi malum hai” I can understand Hindi quite well. Sadly ,this isn’t the case in many corporates ! Just to quote an example, my friend was working with this firm in Delhi for her internship, ( He who shall not be named!). She told me that despite being professionals in senior positions they all spoke to her in Hindi and asked her if she was born and brought up in the South, just because she replied back in English. Truth be told, she’s a Delhi-ite herself and speaks Hindi fluently. When she came down to Bangalore, most of us spoke in English to her and it was difficult for her to converse back in Hindi at a fast pace. Kuch Kuch hota hai, na! Similarly, my elder brother works in a large corporate and he tells me that many of the times they make him speak to their foreign clients as it becomes difficult for his seniors to continue a conversation with them. I am not saying my brother is the “William Shakespeare” of his time, but it’s because he continuously speaks the language which makes it easier for him. (He also speaks fluent Hindi and does an excellent job in arguing with auto drivers in Hindi!) What I’m trying to say is it’s important to develop a common language such that it would be easier for everyone to converse and feel comfortable. Yes, I know- being Indian, I should know my “Rashtriya Basha” Hindi- but I’d like to just highlight the fact that English is an international language and that’s one language we should know how to speak and also converse even at our work place. If it wasn’t that important , we wouldn’t have textbooks printed in English and taught to kids! Many might have different opinions on this, but this is I, as an individual have to say. At the end of this, you can have three inferences a) this article makes no sense b) this article makes perfect sense c) this article makes sense for those who have sense. You are the judge of what you make of the situation.

By: Crystal George- Business Development Executive.

Keep them Happy



Keeping your Employees Happy and Motivated? 🙂

For employees workload is increasing and workplaces are becoming more stressful. Given this situation it is more important than ever to keep your employees happy and motivated. A happy employee is a more productive employee.

Here are some simple steps to keep your employees happy in the workplace:

  1. Feed them

Food is essential! Have a snack point with biscuits and coffee at least. Food gives energy which in turn leads to productivity. So go ahead and invest in that coffee machine

  1. Customize office Space

Use office wall space to post motivational pictures, birthday cards or group photos. This gives a personalized feel and keeps the workplace fun and not boring or drab. Encourage employees to customize their workstations as well

  1. Employee Outings

Take out the employees for dinner or a movie. A day’s trip to the nearest theme park would work wonders. This could be valuable employee bonding time and be a good memory for them.

  1. Stress Buster Kits

Keep clay balls and color books with color pencils and watch your employees slip back into their kindergarten days. Add some bubble wrap and you’ll just make your employees love you. We know because at Peepal Consulting this is precisely what our HR did 🙂

  1. Celebrate Milestones

Birthdays, anniversaries and personal achievements can be celebrated. Just a simple Congrats message or a personalized chart would boost morale.

  1. Acknowledge Achievements

Big or small all achievements should be acknowledged. A certificate or any simple incentive will also make the employee feel acknowledged.

  1. Fun Activity Days

Screen a movie or a sports match. The HR team can come up with other fun activities for the employees to let their hair down and start their weekend on a fun note!

  1. Just say Thank You

One of senior employees suggests this tip. Sometimes just thanking someone and really meaning it goes a long way.

These are some tips to keep your employees happy and motivated.

What practices do you follow in your workplace?

By: Padhy Sanathana Krishnan- Management Trainee.



‘Hue’-man Resource Management: Exploring the colorful nature and trends in Psychology in the spectrum of Human Resources

Psychology puts the ‘human’ in human resources. It would be inhuman without the touch of Psychology. Be it employee engagement, training and development, learning and development, psychometric testing, research methods, grievance handling, employee counselling,employee/employer branding or employee loyalty, there is a huge spectrum of human resource activities under the influence of psychology.


Employee loyalty is one such color of psychology that influences human resource management to a large extent. It is one of the best methods that can be adopted in order to attract and retain the best talent in the industry. Organizational Citizenship Behavior(OCB) is one of the trending ‘man-tras’ in the context of employee loyalty. According to Wikipedia, it can be defined as, “a concept that describes a person’s voluntary commitment within an organization or company that is not part of his or her contractual tasks”


Organizations are now focusing on increasing the value congruence of the employees, in order to match employees beliefs, values, goals and needs with that of the organization. With a comprehensive understanding of employee needs, satisfaction and career aspirations, recurrent and extensive job hopping can be reduced. Once the intrinsic and extrinsic motivators for employees of the company are identified, the company can work towards satisfaction of employees needs and wants. Intrinsic motivators refer to activities such as appreciation, empowerment and recognition of employees. Extrinsic motivators refer to increase in salary, incentives, bonus, fringe benefits, etc.


With the onset of head hunting, body shopping and other strategies tactics of competitors, organizations are dynamically changing their cultures in order to be unique and customized to stand out from the rest. Bureaucracy and authoritarianism belong to the yester years. Informality and personalization is the new cool. Organizations are working on making their climate more employee-friendly and healthy in order to win over the allegiance of their employees.


Employee counseling is another colorful aspect of psychology at the workplace. With the onset of increased work related stress, decreased work-life balance and an imbalanced emotional stability of employees, employee counseling seeks to provide development and growth to employees. Counseling can be either in-house or out-house. Out-house counseling was initially preferred by employers; however the extensive use of in-house counseling has come to light in the recent past. Organizations are now equipping and training employers and supervisors to be counselors in order to possess dual role capacities.


Human resource management seems to have started with the application of psychological concepts- with the introduction and application of various theories such as Herzberg’s theory two factor theory, Hawthorne studies, Maslow’s hierarchy of motivational needs, ERG theory, etc. But somewhere down the line, human resources seems to have become mechanistic and static in nature, lacking personalization. However, with the onset of the latest trends in the market, psychology seems to have taken a great deal of importance in the domain of human resources, infusing fresh blood into is lifeline in the organization.


There is still a huge undiscovered potential and portion of psychology in HR that is waiting to be explored. We just have to wait for it’s ‘man-i-fold’ nature to unfold!

By: Stinabelle Stimitasini Paulson- Management Trainee.














Gone are the days when women were hired only for administrative work or were thought that they were best suited for teaching profession. We find more and more women working in all sectors. In the recent times we see a sudden paradigm shift. Organisations are looking for more number of female employees now and also, ways to retain this talent pool. The question is, why now? The organisations have started becoming conscious of the attrition among female employees and are planning various methods to retain employees. This phenomena is heading towards what we can call “closing the gender gap”. Many organisations like HCL technologies, MTS India, Tech Mahindra, SAP India etc. have put various strategies in place to hire and retain women employees.

Sought after roles for women

Research indicates that diversity has a positive impact on innovation. One of the reasons for hiring of women employees is the growing demand in the market for a balanced healthy gender mix and many in-demand roles that need to be fulfilled. The most sought after function for women candidates includes HR/PM/IR/Training/T&D, Front Office/Administration, Accounting & Finance, BFSI and Marketing & Advertising. Indian employers still don’t prefer women employees for labor intensive/field jobs such as Sales/Business Development and Engineering. An article on the Economic Times “Corporate India goes full steam to improve gender diversity” states that “India Inc has aggressively pushed to close the gender gap and improve diversity this year, not because it is the thing to do, but because having women across management levels makes business sense.”

Why the rush towards hiring more women?

Previously India had no law mandating organisations to have women on the higher posts, but now corporate law and Sebi mandate the employers to have at least one woman on the board.This regulation could also be one of the reasons for the increase in hiring women and also for the decrease in Glass-ceiling effect. The deadline for this was on March 31st 2015. An article on IBN Live on April 1st 2015 stated that “over 250 companies including from Adani and Essar Groups, appointed women directors to meet the Sebi deadline of Tuesday midnight for having at least one female board member, even as some PSUs were seen lagging behind.

The companies have, however, mostly appointed wives or daughters of their promoters or top executives, while some have also replaced their independent directors with their female family members, mainly wives, daughters or sisters.” The initial deadline set by Sebi was on October 1,2014, then a six month extension was put in place. Hence, the deadline changing to March , 2015

The current trends on hiring women

A recent Grant Thornton International Business Report indicates that contrary to the international trends where the number of women in senior management positions have been stagnating, in India these numbers have been slowly climbing up. In fact, while the North American and European companies are showing trends of reduction in the incidence of women attaining senior positions, in India the percentage of women in senior positions has risen to 14 percent. These results have been revealed by an extensive study conducted by Grant Thornton that surveyed 7,200 businesses in 32 countries that account for 81 percent of the global GDP.

Indian business organizations and even multi-national companies who have a substantial presence in India have become increasingly conscious about bringing gender diversity into their senior management and decision making structures. Towards this end, some of the leading Indian companies have consciously directed their Human Resource departments to look for talented women to fill their senior management slots wherever appropriate. In fact, some organizations are giving a clear direction to their head hunting partners to fill middle and senior management positions with women candidates. MNCs such as the American Express and leading Indian companies such as Bharti Enterprises have mandated their recruiting agency partners to have sufficient women representation at the interview stage, so that the chances of promoting diversity at the top should improve.

Vodafone India has made conscious efforts in the past two years to move towards gender balance and have progressed from 14% women workforce to 20%. Similarly other organisations too are preparing to move towards a more gender balanced environment. There are many organisations that are even aiming at putting gender-neutral policies in place.

Few initiatives taken by organisations to hire/retain female employees

Sapient Technologies is giving higher referral bonuses to employees who refer a potential woman candidate. Recently, MTS India made it mandatory to give first preference to suitable women candidates for all its openings.

Citigroup offers two core programs, Women Leading Citi and the Women’s Leadership Development Program, along with other work focused around advancing women across their businesses, fostering a global network, and engaging clients in the effort.

Women Leading Citi is 18-month sponsorship program, launched in 2009, is designed to foster the mobility of high performing senior women. Managing Director- and Director-level women expressing an interest in advancing their careers through mobility are nominated by their business leadership. Participants gain opportunities to network and to broaden their leadership skills with a four-person support team-their manager, human resources partner, a talent professional and a senior advocate who serves as their sponsor. Participants receive in-depth assessments, personal coaching, and attend leadership workshops and webinars led by global industry experts. Fifty-nine women took part in the initial program, of whom 70% experienced career advancement over the 18 months. The program was re-launched in April 2012 with 54 women, of whom 36% had experienced career mobility through year-end 2012.

Women’s Leadership Development – Citi’s suite of leadership programs to support advancement to senior management includes a global leadership program for our high performing female Directors. The program, offered in conjunction with the UCLA Anderson School of Management, combines lectures, discussions, small-group work and personal assignments to help the talented female employees better manage their career development and mobility. Participants learn how to demonstrate executive readiness, become champions and role models for the organization, and grow their professional networks. The program, launched in April 2008, and as of April 2013 has been delivered 13 times to a total of 445 women.

Similarly, Goldman Sachs too have their program for hiring women employees. This is known as the returnship program.The Goldman Sachs Returnship program was specifically designed for those who left the workforce for two or more years and are ready to return. This paid, ten-week program offers opportunities in a variety of divisions and the chance to experience the vast network of resources at Goldman Sachs.In the same way that an internship offers a guided period of exploration, a “returnship” provides individuals with an opportunity to sharpen their skills in a work environment that may have changed significantly since their last experience as an employee. It also gives participants the ability to explore a new area of expertise and learn new skills.

Many major organisations have various programs to retain these women employees also to attract them to the organisation. Realizing the needs of working mothers, companies like Microsoft and HCL Technologies are about to roll out child day-care centres across India. Also, targeting issues around work-life balance, companies like HCL Technologies, Maruti and Ford India will be introducing counseling sessions only for women employees. Intel India has initiated a women protégé sponsorship program through which it plans to double the number of senior technical women by the end of 2016. Another initiative called ‘Home to Office’ has been launched, which facilitates women to resume their careers after a break. Currently, 90 per cent of its 5,000 employees are technical, of which 20 per cent are women.

Infosys has Infosys Women’s Inclusivity Network (IWIN) which defines women’s work environment. They provide seminars by gynecologists, health and nutrition specialists, pediatricians, and other specialists on an annual basis. Then there is pregnacare; This is a unique program offered for expecting mothers. A special yoga and fitness class is available in the Infosys campus. Besides, the physiotherapist provides ergonomics related counseling. They also have on site Doctors who can assist with ready prescriptions for mothers as well as over the counter prescriptions for their children.

Why women prefer to be in the lower strata of the organisation?

Most women prefer working in the middle and lower management due to lesser working hours. Being in a strategic role or leadership roles demands a minimum of 16-18 hours of work plus it is also a very challenging job. Women lose out on the home life while tending to their career demands. Work-life balance is an important area that women lose out on, if they take up the leadership roles. Adding to this, most members on the board are men. This makes it tough for women to penetrate the “old boys club” which in turn affects the decisions taken, as it tends to be skewed. Despite having the broad member or CEO as a part of the diversity counsel of the firm, they are hardly a part of the sessions or initiatives taken by the counsel. It is important for the company as a whole to work towards making their organisation women friendly, only then it will be able to progress towards effectively hiring and retaining women.

Fostering diversity helps an organization bring a fresh perspective to today’s problems or solutions and help shape new ways of working which enhance the ‘value zone’ in the interaction between people and customers. It is also found that women on the board gives scope for balanced decision making. Some of the organisations from which we can take inspiration are RPG Enterprises Ltd, Essar Group, Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd, for they have women as a part of the board of directors. With both the pros and cons of the current regulation in place to have at least one woman employee on board, one must ponder if the hiring of women in higher, strategic positions are only a means to get away from the penalty that would be put in place.

What are your thoughts on this? What is your company initiating to make the organisation women friendly?