Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Motivation mantra for tough times

‘When the going gets tough, the tough get going’. This realisation is dawning upon India Inc as many firms go whole hog in boosting the morale of employees during tough times

How much does it take to say a few words of appreciation or simply saying ‘You Care’? Not much, isn’t it? Motivation lessons, personalised letters from the CEO, advisory sessions, learning workshops etc are an entirely new chapter which India Inc is incorporating to boost the morale of employees in the slowdown scenario.
Companies across sectors are leaving no stone unturned in motivating their employees and keeping up productivity levels. In today's context, it is absolutely imperative to create an atmosphere of trust, understanding and cooperation between various groups within an organisation to sufficiently motivate the employees. It is also necessary to provide a platform for them to discuss the impediments, both subjective and objective, to maximise team performance. Such an approach in organisations will help motivate the employees to develop action plans to circumvent the obstacles and focus on business propositions.

“Motivated employees have a very high degree of desire to excel and take great pride in their performance. In short, a group of highly motivated employees make the difference between success and excellence,” notes VT Gopinath, executive vice president, Actis Biologics, a Mumbai-based biotech firm.

SumTotal Systems, a global provider of talent development solutions recently celebrated its annual event called ‘Synergy ‘08’ which allowed employees to come in direct contact with the CEO. The event saw a gamut of one-on-one discussions taking place between them. “Employee engagement is the core focus at this point. Simply giving employees a feeling that everything is perfect is half the race won,” says Lekha Sishta, VP - HR & talent management, SumTotal Systems – India.

“What added value to the event was that we had one-third of the company involved in it. Such factors not only help in keeping up productivity levels of employees but also keep them engaged,” adds Sishta.

Adding further to this, Shekhar Aggarwal, MD, Surya Food & Agro says, “In the present scenario where companies across sectors are retrenching their employees, we conduct regular motivation workshops for them. These workshops have far reaching ramifications on the employees that further tend to boost their morale and productivity.”

Ambience Group, a Delhi-based realty firm believes in standing by its workforce during tough times. “During this slowdown, the management understands how difficult it is for the marketing people to meet the targets. Keeping this in mind, the company sends out personalised emails from the MD stating the good contribution by the employees,” notes Ramesh Shah, strategic advisor, Ambience Group.

“We also hold motivation workshops as it helps build the spirit of the team,” adds Shah.
In order to build confidence among employees and battle with the economic slowdown, Dr. Verma, director, HR & Management Support, LG believes that the manager should be a rational thinker. “Boom and recession are both the features of an economy and hence follow each other,” adds Dr. Verma.

The company has initiated ‘Ask the MD’ where an employee is free to post a suggestion which is directly addressed by the MD himself. “We conduct standing meeting where the MD addresses the entire staff and asks for suggestions etc.,” adds Dr. Verma.

We cannot deny the fact that an organisation’s greatest asset is its employees. Keeping the workforce intact during tough times is the biggest challenge companies are facing these days. Pats on the back, showing concern, giving personal attention etc are some of the methods that firms are adopting to beat the blues.

Ref: Sheetal Srivastava

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