Wednesday, May 15, 2019

1,2,3 Lets Roll the Dice!

It was a Sunday Afternoon and a lazy one... I wanted to sleep and actually just sleep.
But then ... you will be woken by a soft nudge and a few soft "momma are you sleeping?" whispers.
It then dawns, that you are a mom, a really tired one who waits for Sundays to just fill up the Sleep o' Meter.
And then you have a kid - a 7 year old who waits for this 'Sunday' to find avenues to engage with his mother.
I happen to be in the domain of HR, and devise strategies to engage employees at workplace and did I just miss out on my kid's engagement.
I have to think of various techniques to keep him engaged lest he moves to the Screen Monster waiting to gobble down all kids through their not so unique shows.
" Lets Play, Mumma", came a timid request and drove me back from my slumber.
Hey! Lets Play ... Should we try Ludo...
Momma that's just a roll of dice and you don't decide, you just go like a remote controlled piece. Don't you have something better? Something which I choose.
The conversations with a 7 year old was turning to be meaningful when I realised, that's what engagement initiatives are. Something where people choose and apply and get engaged.
That's when I decided to start up my Board Games Cafe!
A Cafe where families ,  friends, teams get together and engage with each other.
Games which actually help you converse with each other , understand the different perspectives and in the process, you spend time , real quality time with each other, which today's menacing schedules have turned you into a Gadget controlled Dodo.

The Games that I love to play with my kid are few typical ones like Scotland Yard, Cluedo, Chess but the really unique ones are the Mountaineering Challenge, Stratego, Search for the Lost Dutch Man's Gold Mine, Junkyard Games... the list goes on forever.

It was in one of the family ( read customer) get togethers, I noticed two kids talking to each other in between their slurps of Maggi ( we serve Maggi too ).
"I never knew Mom's a Whacko- She's superb in the game."" So is Daddy but could do better."
"Never knew they could take out time for this session, but am just loving it."

I loved this eaves dropping on the kids and an overwhelming calm swept over me...
I picked up my phone, my kid would be back from School I guess...
Hey! Want to come over in the evening to the Cafe with Dad! I just got a new game.
"1,2,3 Lets Roll the Dice"

Monday, August 6, 2018

La Measure-The Secret of Metrics

La mesure- The Secret of Metrics

The Business world believes in the principle of measurement. And we can't deny to the core that Deming and Drucker were true to an extent when they stated, " what can't be measured can't be managed".
It may or may not apply to many issues around but ROI is the essence of business and interventions around.
But... what made me think was the applicability of metrics to HR, Training, People and Policies. How do you actually measure the people based initiatives or training interventions.
Millions of literature has been written , presented and thesis being circulated.
I kept playing with the thought till I started believing in the postulate of measurement.

Till that time, Training was a session for me where, engagement, participation was a criteria for success. Feedback forms were the yardstick of measuring the effectiveness of trainings. And yes, at times there were these pre and post tests to validate the learning levels.

However, these were more of audit points for the internal HR to meet rather than real, yes real metric of impact.

Its then that our team pondered and struck the goldmine- the secret of Gabriel Mouton, Simon Stevin and John Wilkins, the originators of the metric system.

And yes our discovery was not French.

As I reiterate, the Goldmine was there all throughout and many trails have been routed to this mine but what we did was a little more practical and applicable.
We just gave shape to the metric system to the behavioural interventions.

Lets start with basics:
The first step what we did was to define the objectives in more measurable and quantifiable terms.
So if we were training on Time Management, how would it impact the performance of employees?
We had to actually brainstorm various attributes of performance dependent on Time Management.

Once, the metrics were in place, it was getting simpler. Huh... we thought so but will those metrics be only dependent on Time Management or there would be many other factors which could manipulate the performance objectives.
So we were back to square one to filter out those factors only dependent on Time Management.

It felt like the "Lost Treasure OF THE SAN MIGUEL"

The factors impacted by the Time Management were brainstormed to include but not limited to:
Too Much to do
Missing Deadlines
Busy but not available for core functions
Gap in Deliverables - reason attributed to lack of time
Sitting in late
Really LOOONG Lunch breaks
The list felt unending...
Then came the cumbersome task of linking measures to the factors which could avoid interference by other factors other than Time Management.
Some Key metrics Identified Were ( With limited interference from other factors):
1. Number of Tasks Processed
2. Average Time to Complete the Projects/ Tasks
3. Number of Escalations Resolved within time frame

The measurable indices were set for each Metric to enhance  monitoring the effectiveness. Here we took into account the usual time taken and added a +/- 10% to other exigency.

The Pre Training Data was captured for each metric and the Post Training Data was gathered post a period of 1,2 and 3 months to derive a correlation.

Statistics plays an imperative role in deriving correlation and proving the hypothesis of Effectiveness being directly correlated to the Training. However, the data has to corroborated by the self and supervisor's inputs on their observations on the change in job effectiveness and the probability of attributing it to the Training Effectiveness.

We have made it a point to make Training  Measurable and Impactful through our metric designs and criteria for success.

" I am not Telling you, its going to be Easy, I am telling you, its going to be worth it."

And Above all, Let Your Employees Feel Training is just not a ' Happy Lunch'!

Happy Learning!

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Training Dilemma

Its not a panacea for all ills. Its not an analgesic which gives you a temporary respite. We cannot prescribe it as an antibiotic which is taken for a period and then discontinued.

It is a recurrent process and a systemic dosage which helps in the development of people and is intrinsic to their motivation and performance.

Yes, I am writing in the context of Training & Development in organisations.

Well, it happened so that I had a meeting with an esteemed client and the issues were manifold.
The HR Manager had an entire list of programs and made me take a note of all the programs they wanted to get delivered for the entire year.

However, modest you might try to be, you can't hide your enthusiasm and secret elation of meeting your business development targets.

The other modalities were taken care of and the project began. It happened to be a Stress Management Workshop and the participants were nominated from various departments.

The trainer began the day with a highly energising icebreaker and a bang to the introductory session.

As soon as the expectations mapping began, Lo Behold  " Why me?",  " I am only 6 months old in the organisation", " I am fresh out of college", " I know how to handle stress" etc took charge of the candid confessions.

The trainer controlled the hijacking and moved ahead. Well! Not to say the least, the program turned out to be an average one with particpants' feedback stating the program to be highly interactive and participative.

Participants felt that the program was highly engaging and interactive. It had a 'WOW' effect.

Yet, I felt something was amiss.So what went wrong?

What I didn't realise then, I realised after all these years of training for corporates and understanding the basic premise of any training debacle- A Systematic Training Needs Analysis based on Performance Consulting.

If a training doesn't measure the impact it brings about, the performance improvement, the same 'WOW' Training is reduced to just a feel good.

What I would like you to ponder is on making behavioural training measurable! It is becoming common to propagate the fancy terminologies in training and effectiveness but designing the quantifiable metrics in training should be the Mantra of all Trainings.

How to design metrics is the next point of discussion in my blog!

Till Then... Happy Training!!!


Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Human Side to managing change

Well, we all talk about change... OD (Organisation Development)is the beautiful nomenclature given to it.
But after my change mangement interventions, I prefer to call it CM- Communication Management .
Communication is the key to any change management intervention.
Case Study

An ITES company was planning an HR Intervention for quite sometime. The management had constant problems of employee issues and attrition.A consultant was hired and asked to design the HR policies etal.
To begin with an employee satisfaction survey was conducted , the issues analysed and shared with the management.Next was the onus of designing competitive pay grading and well defined HR policies. Everything went according to plans and then the showcase of the final HR department happened.
The day, the policies were announced, 3 employees put in their papers and did the disappearing act.
The Management was perplexed and played the blame game well ( the consultant was deprived of its final payment).

However, the consultant wanted to analyse what went wrong and so started the hunt of the lost employees. The cat was finally out of the bag... the problems uncovered and the lost confidence of the Consultant resurfaced.

What had gone wrong
1. Before the consultant was engaged, the management had promised things to the employees to offer them temporary relief- the analgesic effect.
2. This went on for 2 years and the older employees showed patience and faith in the management.
3. The employees had high hopes on the management and knew things would take better shape after the HR Consultant was hired.
4. The Consultant did everything best possible to discover the best practices and designed an A Class HR Intervention.
5.The day the policies were announced, the consultant did the job well, spoke to the employees in the group and counselled individuals.

But things failed... and it was due to one major factor - Lack of Communication.
The management didnot face its employees and left it to the consultant to explain things to the employees. The newly appointed HR Director was present in the sessions but did a quick disappearing act once things started getting heated.The Consultant thought he had convinced the employees beautifully but the employees had come to face the reality. They knew that the management was playing a nasty game on them.
They now knew that the organisation would not deliver on all the promises that had been hoping for. The only thing they could do was leave the organisation without putting up a bad show. And they did...

Would invite your comments on how things could have changed.
Wait for my next post on the Model Of Change