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Dear Seniors,

We are into IT; central office is at Pune and regional office at Kolkata and Nagpur. We are facing following issues-

1) Employees‘s Dress sense-Not Professional.

2) Personal cleanliness /grooming are not acceptable.

3) Lack of Professionalism .Very casual behavior at work place is seen.

4) Telephonic conversation with Clients is very poor.

5) Professional E-mail drafting is very marginal.

6) We got guest house privilege at above mentioned cities. Even those are not kept clean.

7) Responsibility towards both Work and Office infrastructure/utilities is nil. Project work is abandons giving personal reasons. How should we reply to our Clients?

We are responsible to our Clients too for work completion.

As far as office infrastructure/utilities are concerned less accountability is seen.

My challenge is to make them more professional and also more morally responsible towards work and Office infrastructure/utilities, but not through punishment or humiliation, but through process of Reward. How this can achieved?

Please help.



From India, Pune
Dinesh Divekar

Dear Sapana,

Most of the entrepreneurs, when they start their company, are obsessed with their vision. For them, financial investment is of paramount importance. However, in day today life, what is of importance is giving specific shape to the organisation's culture. How to work, how to deal with colleagues and how to deal with customers is very important. Your problems have arisen because no conscious efforts have been made to define the company's culture.

You have given list of the points that you feel odd. However, what about your MD? Why is he silent on the odd behaviour of his employees? Why is he turning his cold shoulder to all this? Does it mean that this behaviour is acceptable to him? In that case you cannot do anything.

At this stage, I can say that you may propose conducting the training on business etiquettes to all the employees. Secondly, make a SOP on workplace etiquettes. Thirdly, whenever newcomer comes on board, you include this training as a part of induction training. There will be some change. If there is support from top management, then there will be lasting change.

One of the important factor of organisation's culture is discipline. You cannot have culture of discipline without imposing discipline. Be it your children or employees, if you wish to bring uniformity in their behaviour then you cannot do it by mollycoddling them. Positive and negative discipline both have to go hand in hand and you cannot be wary of either.

The points that you have mentioned, are frankly of common sense. No formal training is required to educated persons on these points. But there lies the catch with your industry.

IT industry gloats on the education of the employees. Nevertheless, your post has uncovered the underbelly of the SMEs of the IT industry. Not that yours is the first post of this kind. In this forum, similar posts have come up earlier also. However, what matters is acceptance of the fact that you are as similar as any other industry. Putting up with uncouthness of the employees on the one hand and maintaining mental segregation for being different from others is nothing but paradox. Leadership of your MD lies in eradication of this paradox and not living with it.

My views are straight forward. But objective was not to rumple your feathers.


Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore

Hi Sapana,
I hope HR systems and processes are set in your company.
Suggest you to have some behavioural training conducted for all of them so that they all are aware of what is expected from them.
Once training is completed you can start monitoring the same and point out if something is going wrong.
In this case someone need to be strong to drive the same else it will go worst day by day.
Hope this will help you to manage it.

From India, Pune

This is a classical case where people with high qualifications and IQ do not conduct themselves properly as a group.

The leader has to set an example.

Is your MD convinced that there is sloppiness in the organisation?

Sometimes perception varies among people or people do not care about clean environment etc but look at bottom line only.

Assuming that the top management wants change-I would suggest that your MD drafts an example email highlighting the need for Swach office.

The mail can serve two purposes-demonstration as to how an email is to be written and conveying the need for cleanliness.

Secondly the top brass can set an example of dressing-while no dress code should be enforced-at least show that the clothes make the man.

Test the communication by ringing up from outside as if you are a vendor or client to understand the attitude of employees.

Once that is seen,take clear steps to improve communication by example,by monitoring communications and making the HODs/project heads responsible for better and business like communications with clients/stakeholders.

As far as project completion is concerned,clear fixing of responsibility for timely delivery,quality should be first step.

Frequent briefing by project head on status of project vis a vis delivery dates and QRs should be introduced.

No compromise on vital QRs/KRAs should be permitted.

The higher officials should clearly interact with all staff and imbue a sense of customer orientation and make it clear that customer delight is our aim.

Management needs to convey a seriousness and professionalism in all dealings.

While it is not suggested to take harsh action for failure,the employee should be made to understand that he is employed for a purpose and has to adhere to basic etiquette and produce results for which he/she is hired.

Example,interaction,social interaction,get togethers can be used to iron out problem areas and bring about a purposeful office environment.

From India, Pune
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