HR Guru Mayank Rautela offers practical advice.
Dear Reader, are you just starting out in your career and want to know the right steps you need to take?
Not sure how to prepare for your first interview? Or your first online interview?
Struggling with office politics? Or with working from home?
Have a bad boss? Or a colleague who is undermining you?
Nobody seems to listen to you at meetings?
Have you hit a dead-end at work and see no way out?
Please send in your concerns to our HR guru Mayank Rautela at email@example.com. (Subject: Mayank, can you help?).
I am faced with a terrible situation. Next month, I will have to sack my friend who is also my colleague.
He is not bad at his work. There are others who are worse than them.
But he has the problem of calling a spade a spade and he does not butter up the bosses.
The decision has been made and nothing will change it.
Also, though I tried to get out of it, I am going to be the person who has to do it.
How do I handle this?
You are in a tricky situation but, unfortunately, this is the reality of the corporate world where allocation and realignment are a way of work.
I would suggest you have this discussion in an informal setting. Explain the situation to your friend and make him understand that this is not personal. Tell him this is a management decision and help him get another job.
All the best.
Dear Mayank Sir,
I am a college student and my summer vacations are currently going on.
Last year, I had applied for a few internships through a popular internship website and got selected for three. Of these, I chose one which promised to teach marketing skills but I got ripped off. It was a con job where we had to spend our own money making phone calls and eventually didn’t even get reimbursed, forget getting paid.
How does one directly approach companies for internships so that they take you seriously, especially when you don’t have experience?
Today, contacts of the concerned company and its hiring managers are easily available on networking sites like LinkedIn.
You can target the companies and then reach out to them through networking and job sites.
Most companies have their own web sites so you can apply through them as well.
Companies always prefer a direct candidate rather than through a consultant or another site (in your case, it turned out to be con).
All the best!
Is it mandatory for HR to organise transport home if you are leaving work after 10 pm or 11 pm.
Our office is a fairly isolated area and though we are compensated for travel when we work late, it’s difficult to get an Ola or an Uber.
We have raised this issue but to no avail.
How do we sort this out with the company since it is an issue of our safety?
It is mandatory to provide transport only for women employees.
But to hire and retain employees, your company must consider providing this facility.
We are a young, niche fashion company, in the sense that much of our staff is young and very active on social media.
We are also fairly new.
We make some unique fashion products and social media is a big part of our marketing strategy.
At the same time, our company does not have a clear social media policy.
We sent out feelers to get a sense of how the staff would feel about having one and they felt it would be an infringement on their freedom.
But you must have seen how things get unnecessarily blown out on social media so we do want to have some dos and don’ts as part of our company policy.
At the same time, we don’t want the staff to feel that we are muzzling them. We don’t want to kill their creativity.
At the same time, we are a bit worried about how what they say in their personal accounts may reflect on the company.
Could you guide us about how we could go about creating a good policy and implementing it?
Companies do have social media policies to ensure employee productivity and also protect the image of the company on social media.
I would suggest you research online to find out more about the clauses of such a policy. Also look for a benchmark with competitive companies.
The challenge will be to strike a balance between creativity and some amount of discipline.
Not using personal social media during office hours could be one broad guideline. Ensuring that personal information is not shared on company social media handles could be another.
But, for you, the main objective would be to share clear communication with your employees about the intent of the policy.
After COVID, we have taken the decision as a company to have mandatory health check-ups and fitness checks for our staff.
We are seriously considering making this part of the salary incentive in the sense that if they comply, they will get a financial benefit.
At the same time, we are considering a penalty if they don’t comply by withholding certain benefits.
We have been told that this latter bit might cause us legal trouble.
Can you guide us in this matter?
Thank you for your time.
I would suggest that you motivate and recognise staff who do medical check-ups rather than penalise the ones who don't.
Also, don't link it to monetary benefit but to overall recognition.
Publish the names of the staff who complete the check-ups and share the names of the ones who don't with their managers.
Have a department/function-wise tracker that you can share with all.
Start some health/fitness programmes to encourage the employees.
- You can read all of Mayank Rautela's columns here.
Mayank Rautela is the chief human resources officer at Care Hospitals.
He is a management graduate from the Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies and holds a master's degree in labour laws from Pune University.
He has over two decades of experience in the field of general management, strategic human resources, global mergers and integrations and change management.
He has held various leadership positions across marquee companies, including the Piramal Group, the Tata Group and multinational healthcare organisations like CR Bard and Becton & Dickinson.
Please send in your workplace concerns to Mayank Rautela at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Subject: Mayank, can you help?), along with your name, age, where you work (eg, Mumbai, Lucknow, Agartala) and job profile. Do let us know if you wish to keep your question anonymous.
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