Shivani P. thaker

Dear Seniors,

I need your help to come out of this trouble at my work place. The story goes like this,

I have joined this company before 2 months as an HR executive. its a small IT company of 20 people. and I M THE ONLY FEMALE in the company. all other staff members are very traditional and cannot communicate even properly. All of them are very unprofessional and from villages. Somehow i m not matching with them. Now after joining this company i have set the whole process, Documentation, implemented different policies, did some required improvements, started employee engagement activities...

So I m getting good learning over here. but some how i m not able to gel up with these employees. I m trying to behave in very professional and mature way. but these guys often make fun of me.

Many times in a day , without reason, they just laugh or make fun of me. I have ignored it initially but now i m really feeling uncomfortable and insulted.

Now, if i leave this job than i m escaping, i don't wanna do that. So please tell me how to solve this issue.


From India, Ahmedabad
Labour Law & Hr Consultant
Lalitha Ginjupalli
Hr-executive (ap Region)
Harsh Shukla
Ceo And Md Of 3 Uk Based Mnc's
Agile Solutionist
Retired From Air India
Human Resources
+4 Others

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The following statement making me feel that you are biased "all other staff members are very traditional and cannot communicate even properly. All of them are very unprofessional and from villages".
May be this belief in your inner self reflecting indirectly in your employee engagement activities also.I am not denying the other side also - employees are not finding the relevance of HR and as you are the only woman member, they could be trying to make fun of you.
Being a HR Professional, you definitely require the skill of getting along with people. You have the skill, i.e why you were able to do good amount of HR work there. However you may need to further enhance the skill with continuous learning, listening, practice, giving credit, showing respect/concern, empathizing etc.
Have you ever discussed this with your boss or management? If not, probably that could also help - if the team is not finding any value in HR Executive Role.

From India, Bangalore
Shivani P. thaker

first of all Thank you for your views.
I m totally agree with you that i need to show patience. I m open for learning and i know that i need to deal with such type of situations. So i m trying to be nice with them, doing more welfare activities, and trying to support them. But still not getting any positive response, due to that feeling like victimized.
Yes, I have talked with the management, they have given me the right to address this issue among employees to maintain discipline. but I don't want to solve it in harsh way or negatively. I really want to create a good HR image among them.

From India, Ahmedabad
Lalitha Ginjupalli

Dear Shivani,

There is lots of difference between being nice towards employees and making them to feel that ur nice to them. So currently your will come under second category. Here are few tips for you to overcome the situation that you are facing.

1. Try to get grip/ Command on Employees: First of all don’t give lenience to any employee to crack a joke or comment on you in front of you. You say no to them directly, because in order to be friendly with employees you should not lose your self respect.

2. Get good image Management: Be smart with them, so that you will get good support from them and employees will think a while, while commenting you.

3. Take them to outing for Resorts, so that they can see employees of other companies, so that at least they will try to learn from them.

4. HR is not friend to anyone but should be friendly with everyone. Please note this point and mingle with them accordingly.

5. Don’t approach them unnecessarily, let them approach you even for a small thing, then they will understand your value and you can see change in them….


From India, Hyderabad
Harsh Shukla

Hi Shivani,

Lalitha’s post excellent, particularly her point number 4.

I would just add:

1). As the company is small with 20 people the HR function is not being understood by the staff, who I presume were all there before you joined.

2). As the only female you are not being taken seriously by the male dominated staff. Therefore, your authority is not being recognized.

To correct the situation, I think, you need to ask management to hold a staff meeting; to explain why you were appointed; what is to be achieved; and the remit of your authority.

You should then find that you are able to function effectively.

Do not allow anyone to make fun you of, if an incident occurs, take the individual to one side and privately tell him their behaviour is unacceptable. By doing this the individual will not feel belittled in front of others, and you will gain a little more respect. Do this every time an incident occurs and you will soon notice the difference.

I hope this helps.



P.S. Please do share the results with the community.

From United Kingdom, Barrow

Dear Shivani,

Very long back, may be around 45 yrs from now, somewhere I came across an anecdote in former American President Mr.Kennedy's life.It goes like this:Reading his name in the News paper for the first time soon after Mr.Kennedy's election as President, the then three powerful leaders of Congo namely Mobhutu, Kassavabhu and Lumumba were said to have burst into laughter exclaiming " what's this funny name, Kennedy!" So, people are always like this.Rather failing to look at their own short-comings,mostly in work places,majority of people, particularly thought to be seniors because of their age n experience, resort to covert negative criticism of a young new comer by indulging in acts like u mentioned.Just learn to laugh with them n forget.Remember the points of advice given by Ms.Lalitha. Basically a HR executive is a change-agent.Always fully conscious of the primary purpose of his/her role in the organisation, he/she should bring about the changes patiently n gradually rather than shrinking into self-mockery n artificial disillusionment.Since u have got the back-up of the management, try to respond to this kind of trivial obstacles in stead of reacting.

Cheer up and go ahead!

From India, Salem
Shivani P. thaker

Thank you Harsh and Umakanthan.M.
I m trying to do the same. I understand that i m taking this problem in an emotional way which is not correct. it is all because there is no other female member and i feel like victimized. but now i will follow your suggestions and will solve it very wisely and will share the results too.
Thanks a lot all of you.

From India, Ahmedabad

Hi Shivani :
I am sure the inputs shared in this forum will certainly help you to handle the situation and respond appropriately.
My personal advice do not take anything that is said or done by your colleagues personally. Stay calm and interact smartly & professionally. Lalitha rightly said "HR is not friend to anyone but should be friendly with everyone" Last but not the least it is always better to command respect rather than demand respect only then it will last for ever.
- Gia

From India, Pune
Sharmila Das

Dear Ms. Shivani P. Thaker,

It is such a ignominy on passing any derogatory comments by colleagues especially to the FEMALES. Since you are the only one lady and have the HR rights in documenting & implementing policies there may be some of them in a group who feel covetous.

- Don't see things in view of personal demographics. Remember they are not your friends or foe.

- SMILE as much as you can even if they pass any comments. -- Those comments will never let your success down. Deal with them later once you catch them at work not-performing.

- As questions as if you were ignored of anything but you want to know from them -- this increases initiative to conversation.

- KEEP AVOIDING SMALL TALKS -- Do you think a person making small talks on you will continue talking for days together?

- Eye contact is one type of positive association. Socialize your moves purticular to work- related issues.

- Final, yet CRUCIAL is BE CONFIDENT to what you talk or express -- Many go by words not deeds.

Check with these coz as far I know, I do things this way which makes me feel BIG at the end of the day.

From India, Visakhapatnam
yogita mehta

Dear Shivani,
I have also worked in an org. which was a manufacturing concern, corporate office of 150 Employees and i was the only female there.
What helped me was the guidance of my senior which i would like to share with you
Firstly always behave like a true professional with immense maturity in every single matter (be it your dressing sense, behave with them, greeting in the morning etc.)
Secondly, in small companies there come a issue like people think hr has no work to do or they are non-productive, so try your best to perform that well like your performance should be recognized
Last but not the least as earlier discussed in the thread ,become friendly but not their Friend.Always remember dignity is what you should always take care of be it of profile or as an individual
I hope you will come out of the situation soon
Good Luck!!!

From India, Delhi

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