Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Organisational Endurance - People Management

Survival in today's tough economic times needs meticulous planning to build better talent muscle... .....

Key learnings:

  • Today's employees needs to hone evelhe surviskills'" for bettr crisis management
  • The changing staff fabric calls for a total shift in the process of work execution as the new generation has an entirely different take on job satisfaction

Global economy is undergoing a drastic change. While it is glaring in some aspects, it is latent in others. Irrespective of its visibility, change is here to stay. Organisations which commanded talent at will earlier are now finding it difficult to hook it. This is partly because of increasing job insecurity among employees and partly the employer's own limitations. From the worker's perspective too, there is a significant shift in the employability of skills. The skills that were valued in times of economic upswing are now becoming redundant as employers are looking at more 'specialist' profiles, unlike before when 'generalist' profiles were in demand.

Employers today are looking beyond employee pedigree and seeking skills that look more promising in this hour of uncertainty. Survival skills, as employers see them, are exactly what they need among the staff to combat present-day challenges. These skills are very broad and do not belong to a particular functional group.

Staying alive!

The following survival skills among staff and leaders are critical for organisations to stay afloat:

Critical thinking:

Working though old assumptions has rarely provided answers to new problems. Hence, workers need to think more critically and offer solutions that are fresh and innovative. Playing the loyalist to the old school of thought and looking for solutions with a closed mind may not help them find their way forward. Hence, today's challenges require workers to develop critical thinking abilities that would enable them take a more proactive stance.

Leading by influence:

Leadership could find its way by coercion and force before. Today, leaders have little choice but to work through influence. Workers tend to be more cooperative if they see their leader demonstrating strong, positive behaviour that inspires them to emulate. Thus, the new mantra for organisational success is leading by influence, and not by force.


The changing corporate landscape is exerting pressure on all quarters of business. The pace of change is set to increase as time goes. It is therefore necessary for leaders and managers to understand the need to build on adaptability skills that enable workers change with the requirements of changing situations. In addition, workers have to be agile in responding to changing work environment. Rigidity and lack of versatility can take a toll on both individual as well as business performance.


The need for self-motivated people is more now than ever before. Organisations want employees who are self-driven and proactive. The concept of 'intrapreneurship' is becoming popular, with employers seeking better initiative among workers. Today, business problems need a creative approach since they are more dynamic as well as multi-dimensional. Hence, the need for creativity and initiative cannot be undermined.

Communication abilities:

With internet and intranet dominating the communication space, the oral and written communication skills are getting eroded. Employers are feeling deprived as the new generation of workers is dependent totally on the web-based mailing system for communicating with colleagues and the outside world. While it has its own advantages, formal communication cannot be replaced. Therefore, the need to develop oral and written communication skills continues to confront today's worker population.

Analytical abilities:

Employees today is are expencing an information explosion of sorts. much information on the counter, workers need to develop skills that would help theer, process and assimilate relevant informatioowledge.


Gone are the days when employees were expected to follow employer instructions on a job. Now, employees are expected to use their imagination to make suggestions for doing a job well. Employees are also encouraged to question and express their doubts over executing the assigned job.

Work in the new age

Faced with a serious lack of these survival skills, organisations are finding it difficult to accomplish their recruitment objectives. However, with appropriate measures, organisations can provide the right conditions for nurturing these skills.

Recruiting the right talent is only a part of the problem. There are other more important issues resulting from the changing staff fabric. These include creating challenges for employees, giving them better learning opportunities, and motivating the Gen X and Y workers to give their best.
Organisations that are willing to work from the employee's perspective will surge ahead of others who stay in the denial mode. For employees, developing survival skills will prove to be beneficial as it will not only make them more employable but also helps organisations fight the crisis better.

Ref: TheManageMentor

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