Yes! I know folks, you may want to start with a negative thought about this article, but trust me, it’s gonna be more fun than you think, remember my last article? about the layoff thingy, Well this is to put the context more clearly and possibly help people at both ends of the table to formulate their own strategies to avoid unwanted miseries in their life- given the times that we live in! So here we go!
Well, to begin with,let me make one point clear- Let’s stop blaming a microbe for everything and anything around us! Well, admit it, the world economy was stalling, faltering and failing it across nations around late 2019, even as the pandemic was manifesting itself- whether that was intentional or not, is a different story altogether, we will leave that for some other time, the point here is that the world was already on it’s way to a meltdown and there was just one trigger that was needed which could accelerate the fall- the pandemic came in as a surprise- although like always war would have been a favorite candidate to precipitate the economic slow down that we are witnessing today! So why did businesses fail because of a Virus? read on…
We need to understand, how geopolitics and collusion of business with politics and politicians runs deep behind the scenes and scrutiny of the public eye! All that the Virus was scientifically was asking one to do was – keep social distancing and stay away from vulnerable people (ill/aged/those who have weakened immunity) and avoid public places (basically places where it becomes difficult to stay away and trace who came from where , when, for how much time and why!) Given. this fact- see how nations reacted- Lockdown! Well, most of them did it and as this was unleashed- it ensured that business obituaries started to get written one sector after the other, one regions after the other and this whole event created a chain reaction which has now plunged the whole world into a severe economic crisis even as nations continue to battle out with the health emergency! You may now want to ask, what has all this got to do with hiring and firing of people? You may want to present a case, “Why should business continue to pay employees, if there is no business activity?” Well actually that is far from what the real problem is!
You see, when all was smooth sailing, businesses, their favorite bankers, their lovely political friends all of them came together to ensure that each and every business is magnified with an intention that every business seems to be bigger, better than the next competitor and so much so that, even the “I am Number 1” parameters begin to come up with different metrics and business bodies end up with “Award functions” all through the year, where every organisation gets awarded for the same reason by a different awarding agency! Well anyways- nothing to say bout this right or wrong- each person’s nectar is divine for that person! This is the point where the problem starts!
You see, humans all have egos, even I have a much earned one- where I refuse to speak with people with lower intelligence than myself!- The point here is the Business egos are far more dangerous and destructive especially when they collude with politics, the whole market place becomes one big rigged casino- no matter which machine you want to play at- you are already defeated even before the game starts!
Companies have been traditionally into the space of what I call Myopic resource management- whether that is people or other things. Myopic People Management is by far the most fatal of all the flaws that businesses can come up with and when these get operational, slow and painful death of an organisation is all but certain! Business always have had a tendency to keep hiring- at times for no real reason-Sometimes to fill up a large office space, do the cheap multiplier- get more for less dollars, just let there be a buzz, anticipating clients coming in- which is nothing but hallucination provided by the “close inner circle” who themselves have often no fucking clue of what they are upto! All these myopic dealings eventually end up being a case of ,”Too many cooks and nothing to cook”, situation for organisations every year – every few years; and you will notice, some companies do this with striking predictability- they will fire- than after a few months they will re-hire- and the cycle goes on and on! In all this happening place- big names get thrown around- some picked up, some left out and there will be multitudes on unnamed workers who will be left wondering- what did they do deserve what they are been given?! They worked the shifts, they took no leaves, they put in long hours- Why did the company not make any profits if they were working day in and day out? Who kept an eye out of the watch tower? Who was charting the course to ride the waves of business turbulence?
These firings that happen on account of business not doing well, are actually seeded into the very business plan when the business starts off in the first place! When not enough thought is applied and when no real projections and honest discussions happen in those long, polished boardrooms, this is how shot happens! Boardrooms when are not transparent and are hidden away- almost always translate into becoming the secret chambers where lotteries are picked up to name and shame the fall guys for the organization from time to time, season to season! So what can we do about this? is there anything that can be done?Well surely there is something that can be done, as long as we have the intent, the “we” here implies those blue eyed boys and girls who “own” the businesses. I mean “own” in the literal sense of “owning it” not “working to slog” because some investor has pumped billions from an Atlantic Ocean Island which happens to be a tax haven!
People have been and will always continue to be at the centre of all that we do, automation yes, but even to manage and drive that automation, people will be required! Once businesses and companies make an intent to pursue, “Mindful Hiring” and stop being reckless about themselves as firms and about the people that they cross paths with through their professional journey, the problem will start to solve itself even before it reached menacing proportions!
Mindful Hiring is not about, not making mistakes, it is more about learning on the way as mistakes happen and fixing them on an ongoing basis rather than ignoring them and allowing them to become eventually unmanageable! Once businesses hire people with an aim to provide livelihoods for a decent future timeline which could be anywhere from a 12 months period to a 60 months period depending upon the nature of the business, the planned growth strategies and than plotting the projected growth story for the individual through that time within the organisation, half the battle is won!The remaining half is achieved as the newcomer starts to get the value to the table and keeps growing and moving ahead along the plotted trajectory of growth for that individual within the organisation! Mindful hiring is more detailed, it is about knowing “who” you are hiring, “why” and “what” is the value that you are seeking from that individual and “how” all of that fits in and magnifies the business outcome in the given context of time and space during which the person is supposed to be working. It is as simple as this and doesn’t get any simpler than this!
So now you may want to ask, if this is so simple, why don’t organisations do it? Well two reasons, one because we deal with “people” and a lot of unplanned shit happens to them and keeps happening all the time- even if the business environments get sanitized and completely mindful- an individuals approach and the self-destruct button (which all of us have) is good enough to screw up everything either by accident or by design! Secondly because of this very reason”people being a little weird” having that kind of extensive team to simply keep track and measure attitudes and behavioral manifestations of individuals as they work on an ongoing basis becomes more difficult- easier said than done -as they say! So business do what they always have been doing- where they need 100, hire 160- they know eventually only 25-30 will remain- sure enough not all businesses thrive this way- you certainly don’t want the hospital you visit to have doctors being hired and fired this way! Don’t you? So what’ the way ahead?
Well, simple- Once businesses start “Mindful Hiring” with an intent and focus to provide growth and plotted trajectory for limited times for people- they will find even the people that approach are clear about what they can offer and what is that they wish for in return- so no baggage burned or carried and as the value exchange is done, each of them can shake hands and part ways without any bad blood! This step also automatically does away with the need of “Mindless Firing” because once you have the right nuts and bolts working the way they should, rest assured you have developed some formidable immunity to deal with business emergencies and financial challenge- because your machine is lean and mean and knows exactly what to do and how to ride over the turbulence – because you always knew “Who you hired” and “What value they bring”!
I will stop myself here, and urge you to make an effort to embrace “Mindful Hiring”, Whether you are hiring someone or you are the one who is being hired- take a pause and think about the plotted growth trajectory and the value exchange- if none of this is clear-walk away now and don’t do it- because a flight with no flight plan is surely not coming down easy! Embrace Mindful Hiring to avoid Mindless Firing!
Ciao for now, have your coffee, think! I will be back soon with another piece!