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As I expected, Dipal Shaw has not clarified the scenario, yet; Questions raised by Nathrao have not been answered.
However, people have started to respond to each other based on assumptions. I wonder whether we are moving away from the topic.

From United Kingdom
Dear Shri Dhingra,
I defer to your vast experience and knowledge but if you read my first reply,posted in italics then I would say while human touch is very important,then any decision to accord additional facility to lady employee would be fraught with danger of others claiming such facilities.
I have specifically sought to know any specific medical condition which necessitates this additional facility.
""How many women staff do you have?
How many days does she want this one hour concession??
Is there any medical condition necessitating this ?
Such concessions will become a precedent and so take greatest of care balancing employee need and future demands.
I would accept this request only if it is for short period and totally unavoidable.
Posted 3rd December 2015""

From India, Pune
Dear Querist,
Sorry I saw your post only this morning.
Think of your near female relative, in similar condition. What would you do ? Irrespective of law, what would you do for say wife / sister / daughter any other near female relative or friend? what would you want the HR manager to do?
You will get the answer...If it is your management that you are afraid of, go and convince them.
A S Bhat

From India, Pune
I am Head of Administration in my company, in situation like this, the pregnant employee should discuss with her Head of department with a signed medical letter or report from the company's doctor. This is to avoid abuse by other female employees in the future.
From Nigeria, Lagos
It was indeed very interesting to read all replies to the original post.Even if diagonally opposite each reply had its own merit.This is the beauty of management (especially HR) that there are no readymade solutions available. To come back to the problem I suggest that Dipal can explore the possibility of 'give and take' with the concerned lady.Tell her that although laid down rules do not permit , AS A VERY SPECIAL CASE you can consider her request if she agrees to forego half day salary every week.If she is in real need then obviously giving paramount importance to her baby to be born,she would agree.Thereafter , for record purpose only you can mark her half day leave every Friday and actually allow her to go one hour earlier every day.Being in 7+ months this arrangement shall be required for a few days only, and shall not create any precedence.

Finally to add to Mr Dhingra's views on PSU , I would like to add an interesting incident when one of the members of a parliamentary committee visiting our PSU had to be provided with a car to take his puppy on a ride !

From India, New Delhi
Dear Shri Nathrao,

My views are based on my purely practical experience, which was based on my own tested methods of management that were quite distinct from the theoretical concepts laid down in management books mostly by theoretical authors/ professors of management having nil or negligible HR experience/practice. You cannot find instances of practical experience in any management book.

With my views/ opinion, I am not putting any compulsion on any one to accept my opinion. So, it is up to the individual managers to agree with my views or not or to adopt the same in full or partially or apply their own methods to look for the results. In the case of pregnant employees, they are quite free to put several conditions before thinking to extend or denying any concession. However, as per my own experience, I have observed that even in normal circumstances, the HR people try to base their actions merely on letters and jotted lines, but not on the spirit of the rules and procedures, as if the employee is always wrong, and thereafter with negative productivity they squarely blame the employees for their non-cooperation terming them as indisciplined workers, when in turn they also adopt negative attitude towards the management with rigid attitudes. To be frank, my belief is that HR policies are responsible for making an employee a good or bad worker. No freshly appointed employee is bad worker, rather he/she becomes a bad worker by observing the attitudes of the management and their seniors in line.

Contrarily, during my whole service with various organisations, none of my employee gave me any chance to think, as if he/she is non-cooperative or bad worker, what to think of treating them as indisciplined. I can very proudly claim that I got maximum cooperation and respect from not only my subordinates in one and all the organisations I worked for, but also from other employees, who were not directly related to my units. That happened only due to my rational policies and humanly attitudes towards the employees. Rather, my superior authories used to complain why most of the employees even from other units/zones used to prefer working under my control.

I can count one one instance of my experience relating to year 1986 during the period of teething problems of a newly formed PSU after its conversion of a part of one Government organisation, where even a lady employee, although being wife of an SHO of police, cooperated me in working even late hours beyond 8.00 PM without any extra remuneration or favour just to help me complete my day's job, contrary to my caution to her that she being a lady must leave office in time to reach her home. Even on having talk with her husband, the reponse of the SHO was quite positive saying that he believed that her wife was not sitting with any wrong person. When she was to leave the office I had to entrust responsibility to the Asstt. Private Secretary of the MD to pick her up and leave her safely at her residence and let her confirm her safe reaching.

Instance of another employee relates to his constant sitting with me for up to 2.30 AM in the morning to help me complete the folders for the selection committee for interview of candidates to start at 10.00 AM for the posts of managers in that newly formed PSU, while I used to tell him that his family members would be worrying for not reaching home, as he was not having telephone facility to inform his family members of his being in the office by such late hours.

The third instance I cannot forget when the MD asked me that for the newly recruited GMs and Managers arrangement was to be done within 2 days. Not only I, but also the MD knew very well that in any Government/PSU recruitment was quite a long process and taking candidates from open market was not possible without notification to employment exchanges and waiting for their negative response. I was compelled to make interim arrangement on daily wage basis, but the question was where was the list of job candidates with me? I had to manage list of trained candidates from the YWCA. But another question arose, where was the arrangement to make the candidates appear for test and interview within 2 days. At that time an employee, who was considered to be the most arrogant and indisciplined worker by all of his previous bosses came to my help Out of thirty two (32) test cum interview letters that too addressed to lady candidates, he personally delivered 31 such call letters at their home addresses spread through the whole of the Delhi/ New Delhi areas on the very first day between 5.00 PM to 11.30 , while he was not resident of Delhi. The only discretion I gave to him was to use the most convenient transport. bus, auto or taxi, whichever he could get easily without losing any time in wait of his entitled mode of transport. He left for his home town in Haryana by night bus service only after accomplishing that task. The next day, without my asking, he came saying sorry for being late, as he had to deliver the last letter in Rajouri Garden Area, which he could do only after alighting at nearby station and thereafter reached office on account of which he was late. So, where was any reson for me to treat him an arrogant or indisciplined employee, like others? In reward, without caring for constantly worse remarks in his Annual Performance Appraisals of past years, I had to give him outstanding entries, which helped him getting his promotion, which ws not otherwise possible.

So, not a matter of boasting, but that accounts for a few instances of having taken open challenges of my career by posing trust on my workers and in turn getting their unstinted and unconditional cooperation to help me face with such challenging situations.

In one organisation, I observed that a very senior executive approached his boss how to tackle a difficult situation in short time, the pat reply was ,"I don't know, do in whatever manner, I want the job to be accomplished by the evening." Actually the job was not such to be expected to be completed within even 3-4 days. So, with all my frankness, I had to ask that boss, when you don't know what to do and how to do, how he was expecting the job to be accomplished by the evening?

So, at the time of challenges in your career, no superior authority would come to your rescue. You have to take some bold & spot decisions at your own level. Once you fail to rise to the occasion, you are lost and can be treated as inefficient and incapable wxwxutive to tackle the situations. A manager, if he is a real manager, must be able to manage the things efficiently, not to feel handicapped or dependant on others. Others would help, when in turn you help others.

Rest depends upon the wisdom of individual to individual how and what he/ she thinks fit.

Anyway, in my opinion, the management must give its workers chance to show results at their own, even if some concession is required to be extended. At places, I have observed some managers complaining that the employee went on leave on medical ground when the most important and urgent task was left unfinished on his part. So, do they believe that one or half an hour's concession in late coming or going will do more harm than his absenting on medical grounds for days together. If an employee needs half or one day's casual leave, if refused, he will try to go on leave on medical grounds for 3 to 7 days to get all his unfinished personal tasks accomplished in comparison to his official duty with the result of maximum harm to the office work. Needless to point out for unfinished or late finished jobs, only his boss can be treated as inefficient and incapable to handle the situation, not his subordinate. Contrarily, if the employee is already on leave and his personal task is already finished, he/she would try to come to office even during his/her remaining part of leave of a day and would try to help his/ her colleagues or the boss in accomplishing their official tasks in time.

From India, Delhi
--------------

I had worked in state govt, central govt., central PSUs, autonomous organisations under central govt, private firms under proprietorship, partnership, co. etc for the last about 42 yrs. And my experience with PSUs at no measure like what has been described by Mr. Dhingra. If I put it plainly, my experience with many of the pvt. co. with which I worked and associated with I found pvt. sector is worse than many PSUs in terms of dedication, honesty and sincerity. Have ever heard of a full team working 24 x7 continuously for 45 days without going home and remained in office to complete a project. Ever heard of PSUs teams called in to rescue in men and material trapped and saved hundreds of lives, dead bodies and severely wounded in calamities happened in a pvt. firms. These were my experience with PSUs and never in pvt firms. In contrast, I found many of pvt. firms worse than many PSUs in terms of work ethics, sincerity. I have not had the opportunity to work with top pvt. firms. But I did found in many of the top pvt.firms including MNCs the corruption is rampant, inefficiency & unwillingness to handle sensitive matters etc. I cannot agree to comments generalising any sector so badly like this. Agreed there are inefficiency etc. in PSUs. But at the same time don't you know govt. employees are far superior than anybody else like police, defence, revenue, transport, railways, shipping etc. who are always found to be on duty 24 x 7 x (365). Personnel posted on election duty in remote places & villages, where no where to sleep, with no toilet facilities, trekking the distance by foot carrying election materials on their heads ?. Have you heard of these personnel had the privileges of celebrating festivals & holidays ? Have not you seen gang men patrolling railway tracks day & night in difficult terrains like ghat sections ? Are they not of PSUs.? Not able to be by the side of own wife in labour pains due to compulsions of duty ? Could you dare to say that these cadres short of sincerity & dedication compared to other sectors ? These PSUs are unparalleled, these will remain as temples of India. Profit or loss of these PSUs depend on various issues which has to be analysed individually taking into consideration of specifics. These are not issues here. Will you say there is no politics, hand of politics in pvt.sector ? At the same time, one cannot say pvt. firms also all are not good on these footing. Every sector has it's own weaknesses and short comings. I won't agree to views generalising like this Mr.Dhingra. The subject matter is different let's confine only on the issues.

From India, Bangalore
Mr. Kumar,

It seemed, you have not carefully gone through my post, as your post suggests that you have not noticed that I made mention of three instances of staunch support and cooperation of workers that related only to the PSU, not of private sector companies. What you mentioned is about workers, not the top or middle management. I also talked about the contribution and support that I got from my workers, not the top brass of the PSU. What the querist asked was also about a lady employee belonging to worker class, not of the top or middle management category. My views were about how managers can enhance their productivity with the sincerity and cooperation of their workers by extending a few ignorable concessions. You can expect only commands and orders from the top management, not help or support. Only workers extend cooperation and support to the higher ups, provided they are properly taken care of.

So, I wonder, how you have treated my post as comparison between the PSUs and private companies or the corruption. My examples related only to the workers class, as you stated about railways, police, transport, shipping, etc.!

I must request you to re-read my post to find that my views are about how we can extract the maximum from the workers by extending just a very few concessions and timely reliefs to them. I have not gone astray from the main issue, rather your comparison between the PSUs and private companies with a pinch of corruption also makes the issue side-tracked, as goodness or badness of the companies or corruption was not at all the subject matter or the issue raised by the querist.

Anyway, you may or may not agree with my views that does not matter much to me or to the followers of my management principles and practices.

From India, Delhi
Dear All,
Thank you for your inputs.
the Employee has asked for a concession as travel in the evening rush is becoming difficult for her. I am planning to give her an option to come half-n-hour early in the morning and then leave one hour early.
This will solve her issue of travelling in crowded trains and I guess the work / timings also wont get affected at large (half an hr instead of one hour). This concession will be going to her with a note that in case of work demands, she may have to wait and complete the same irrespective of concession given.
I hope, I have tried to balance.

From India, Pune
Dipal, tthanks for the deed back. That's how the discretion needs to be exercised to achieve a win-win situation for the parties concerned. You do not find it in rule books.You need to fall back on your experience and wisdom to deal with them.
B.Saikumar

From India, Mumbai

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