I am working as an HR Manager in service industry.
The strength of the company is around 40 employees excluding the management. In the management, we have our MD, Director & Operations Manager.
Our staff is very good. They are very dedicated towards their work. But if after completing the work, they even speak for few minutes or go to their colleague's seat for two minutes; this becomes an intolerable thing for the management. They want the staff to keep sitting from morning till evening. Don't speak to other staff members. As they think that this is indiscipline.
I being an HR try to maintain a light and healthy atmosphere in the office while not compromising with the work & quality. But fail to do so. Can anyone please give any suggestions as this behavior of the management is pressurising me and is giving a very negative message within our staff. I have spoken about the same to the management already; but they don't pay any heed to the same.
Can anybody please suggest me what should be done in this scenario on my part as I am thinking to resign. It has been more than 1.3 years working here.

From India, Ghaziabad
Dear Anjali,
Not allowing staff members to speak among themselves even for two minutes is height of close and tight supervision. This type of management style was prevalent Europe and USA when industrialisation begun.
Now a days lot of talk is going on whether robotisation will impact the work. However, your management has converted humans into robots. Possibly yours could be only the company where robotisation will have no impact!
Now coming to solution. You have written that you work in service industry. What type of services your company provides? What type of customers do you have? Do customers visit your company premises? In the service companies, interaction with the customers is ongoing process. How the interaction takes place? Is it face to face or through email or through telephone? Because of the 2-minute breaks, will the customer service impact?
Interaction or no interaction amongst the staff members, a service company needs to measure the various ratios to measure the business performance or customer satisfaction. How do you measure the customer satisfaction? What are the parameters? How the business performance is measured?
In all types of companies, teamwork is needed. To foster the teamwork, if not emotional, at least professional connection is essential. Why your management is so rigid about the interaction among the staff members? A workplace of 21st century is different. Companies invest heavily in employee engagement activities. As a part of these activities, some games are also conducted at the workplace. From the discussion that follows after the games, exchange of views takes place. Contrary to this, why your management has taken a inflexible stand that can be compared with the management style of 19th century or first half of the 20th century?
Yes, working under very close supervision is difficult. It will be unbearable if the person is outgoing, sociable or lively. However, what about the other team members? Is this diktat of the management acceptable to other members? Have they expressed their dissatisfaction?
One of the solutions could be to organise the town hall meeting and employees express their reservation about this forced quietness. If inflexibleness of the management continues, then quitting the job is always the solution!
Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore
Dear Dinesh Sir, Thank You Very Much for your response. But I am resigining today from this company as I am not able to take the misbehaviour of the management. But thanks a lot Sir.
From India, Ghaziabad
Out of academic curiosity, I would like to know what is the managements actual view on this. When you have brought this matter up to them and have asked them to relax the rules, what is the reason they have given to you as to why they would not be agreeable to a change.
The other thing I would like to know, is whether there is an actual complaint from the employees in this regard

From India, Mumbai
Now a days Management has to understand that the work flow will be better if the employees are in good relation. Relations happens with communication only. The people who are in good relations by talking every day only can co-operate within them selves and produce good results for the company. However, the communication should not cross the time limit and work should receive preference. OK Anjali all the best. Try to convince the Management the above, where ever u join.
From India, Mysore

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