Surviving the Corporate Jungle
Managing the workplace and the home is now becoming one of the most difficult balancing acts not only in India but in abroad as well, which in turn leads to extra pressures on an individual leading to mental and physical stress.
Senior Assistant Professor, Mrs. Deep Umamahesh talks to four different people who have faced different kinds of problems at the work place and discusses how one can find a solution. Mrs. Umamahesh firmly believes that the top management wants your best, but there are times when certain aspects of the day to day work life go unnoticed and what can the employees and the management do to strike the balance and reduce stress at work.
Mala Verma, a freelancer, narrated her first encounter with a senior executive in one of the leading newspapers in New Delhi where she had been for her course training. “When I met this executive, she did not appeal to both my co-trainee and me as she was keen on creating differences amongst us. We presented a report combining our efforts but she appreciated my friend and showed signs of disgust to me. This would make me very nervous.”
In the first case, the executive demanded individual perfection by wrongfully creating a rift between the two employees so that each compete with the other and deliver the desirable goods, required for the growth of the agency. Unfortunately, his approach was incorrect as it gave a different picture of being partial. He could have encouraged both the employees and asked them to work as a team and help each other in the given task.
Bangalore based Jaya Lodhaya claimed that as far as women were concerned, her company provided a friendly atmosphere. She and her women-colleagues hardly faced any problems at the workplace but the case was very different for their male counterparts. They often complained of biased attitude of the firm. She recollects that if any male member went up to their boss with any problem, he would be told to deal with the problem himself. He was told that as a corporate man, he is expected to take charge of issues that he faced. This was also the case with other male employees and this resulted in the male-counterparts confirming the biased attitude of the firm.
In order to get the best out of their employees, any healthy company should provide comfortable and safe working conditions for both men and women employees with facilities such as canteen, crèche, subsidized retail store in the premise, pick up and drop, a prompt Human Resource team to address the grievances at work, an in-house gym, counsellor etc. Usually no healthy company would create such a divide between their employees by providing more benefits to any one gender.
Ruby Mathew who is working as a senior grade Professor in a college has a different story to share, “My boss was never happy with whatever I did to boost up the morale of my colleagues. He would often use negative and discouraging remarks against all of us and this led to a very poor performance of my department both academically and individually.” However, later she found that the reason why her boss was always unhappy with her was due to her religious background.
In this case, the boss should not micro-manage and not let his/her per personal opinion based on religious preferences come in the way of the workings of his company. He should ideally encourage a healthy atmosphere by celebrating all festivals possible with equal fervour and deal with people only on the basis of merit.
Most of us desire to work abroad and the reason obviously is a good pay-package and state of the art office scenario. However Praveen and his wife Lata have a different view. “We came to Manchester three years ago to work in a finance company but the racial issues are very strong here and it pains that a small mistake in my work drives me back to my origin through the hurting comments of my superior.”
There are times when a company sends their employee abroad to work on a project. In most cases, multi-nationals conduct a cross-cultural workshop to educate the host country employees about the do’s and don’ts of the guest country employee. Such workshops help the foreign country to sensitize themselves towards the guest employee and accept them as a part of their team. If you are visiting a foreign country, read up and some research about the cultures, social norms and tradition so that you don’t have a great difficulty in settling in. If you go well prepared, chances are you will be better accepted in the foreign land and vice versa.