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Dear All,
I have recently joined a co which is family run organisation and now moving on to professional . It is manufacturing co having its office in Mumbai and factory in Gujrat total employee strength approx 70- 80 including blue collared .
I am the only HR and have given the responsibility to start from the stratch.
Their is no policy in place and is running the way family wants it. Now have started incorporating changes in its policies.
I would request all seniors to pls guide me.
Also they want to know about the employee grievances and have asked me to let them know after having one to one session with the 20 office staff.
Pls help me with your inputs on the key points to discuss with the employees.

Dinesh Divekar

Dear Deeba,

If all along the management had run the organisation the way they wanted and now they wanted to run it professionally then they need to recast their priorities. Yes, you need to have "Policy on Employee Grievance". It is important tool to redress the grievance and thereby creating an atmosphere of justice also. Nevertheless, in terms of priorities, what you need is establishment of measures of performance for each department. Once you focus on the performance, the inter-departmental or intra-departmental friction will reduce as it will bring the focus in their work.

In Indian Standing Orders Act, sufficient information is given on how to handle the employee grievances. However, following these legal means is passe and we have moved far ahead. When disputes come up, these need to be resolved through counseling rather than through bureaucratic grievance handling machinery. By creating these bureaucratic means, you may follow the procedure to handle the grievance but the disgruntlement may remain. How will you remove that? Secondly, what about those who do not bring their grievances? Can we construe in that case that these employees are quite happy and well-motivated?

While taking initiative to run the company professionally, if you deem fit to give priority to the employee grievances then it goes on to show that your company has degraded interpersonal environment. You need to fix that problem first rather than patching grievances. Are these grievances resulting out of rude behaviour of the managers? If yes, then they need to be taught interpersonal skills, listening skills, questioning skills, feedback giving skills etc.

What about your top boss? Does he/she rubs the employees or managers wrong way? If yes, then unless he/she changes his/her behaviour, no positive change will come in any way. First let them master interpersonal skills, everything else is secondary!

All the best!

Dinesh V Divekar

From India, Bangalore

Hi Deeba,
I would first advise to understand the business thoroughly, including product lines, costs involved, and customer segments. Once you know this, the suggestions you make should show positive impact on the above areas or just revenue, as the case may be.
For employee grieviances, I would suggest that you become friends with the employees and go talk to them informally rather than formally. You are not likely to learn much from group meetings, since people don't like to speak out in front of others for fear of reprisal. If this is difficult for you, suggest you do an employee satisfaction survey and analyse the findings. Then you can provide proper recommendations to the management. I could assist you here.
Wish you all the best.

From India, Mumbai

dear deeba
dont get confused with employee grievance when u want to start a new HR system
it is a very minor issue now. pay attention to it after you have set up a system.
secondly family run system switching to a professional system is a great joy and desired step
but dont junk all what they have done so far.
1. absorb the existing system
2. study the gaps
3. develop systems for filling the gaps
4. introduce hr forcasting
hr audit
recruitment policies
selection policies
induction policies
trining policies
apprisal system
thanking policy
hr salary systems
increment policies
joint committee
feed back systems
awards and punishments
many more ....
dr ram

From India, Indore

Dear Deeba,

I have faced the similar issues in last 3 organizations, including the current one. One of it was an IT company and the other are hospitals. As replied by my able friends before me, you need to understand if the management is really "serious" about the whole HR fanfare. My past experience shows that the management is launching it as a "fanfare" rather than being more serious about it. I have always treated this kind of situation both as a challenge and a hindrance. Challenge because it is a barren land for an HR, where (s)he has to slog for years to cultivate a good crop (and in turn amass a wealth of knowledge and experience). Hindrance because if it is a fanfare then in spite of slogging there are no results and the HR is discouraged as both the management and the people look down on an HR.

Mr. Rhinoramanan has also put it descriptively. You will have to get "under the skin of the organization", understand it processes and policies, if any. Talk to the management and people and understand their point of view, jot down the gaps, work on it, get it approved by the management, explain to the people and set sailing.

Whatever the matter, you can look at it as an "Employee Development Life Cycle (EDLC)" . With all the jargon of HR, I have laid down an EDLC which I feel can work in any domain - necessarily in that order.

1. Job Descriptions/ Job Profile

2. Compensation and Benefits

3. Recruitment and Retention

4. Induction/ Orientation

5. Performance Management

6. Performance Appraisals

6a. Increments/ Promotions

6b. Rewards/ Recognitions

6c. TNA (Training Need Analysis)

7. Resignations/ Terminations

8. Exit Interviews

9. Feedback to Management.

The points 5, 6, 6a and 6b are cyclic till such time the employee leaves the organization. Most of the other activities are part of the the above cycle.

Best Luck!!

From India, Nagpur
gopinath varahamurthi

Dear Respected Deepa,
In the first note is the organisation of manufacturing, service, ad industry or what is the nature of business?.. Secondly, as they have operated as family owned with or without professionalism or rules and regulations/systematic the phase of change will take time to change. The employee`s might have their own kind of operation. In the instant case it may be a process of slow development, yet, the guidance and direction by Dr Brigadier V. Ramanan and Deepak Kanade are more helpful and give you the fruit. However, first under stand the organisation and spend each minute as valuable as breathing for better performance and systematic change will certainly possible. Also, implement the requisite system rather than hunting in/on all sides that will become a bommerang at the later time.
best of luck...

From India, Arcot
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