Raising the Bar – Through Attitudinal Change

Dr Amol Deshmukh, MD HERD Group of Companies arranged through HR, a learning workshop entitled “Udaan”,  conducted by Dr. Ramesh Sangare of Human Resources Development Corporation, on August 10-11, 2017. The training program was specifically for HERD Pharmacy supervisory and managerial staff along with affiliated office staff. The two day training sessions were to focus on Raising Bar of Performance through Attitudinal Change. The aim of the program was to help staff achieve certain core attitudinal approaches to make their contributions more efficient and effective.

A total of 35 front line supervisors along with managers participated in the program to help gain organizational objectives by learning to understand the need to bring about changes in attitude. The training imparted thought-provoking motivational talk in order to stimulate self-motivation in them. Participants were made aware of their inherent strengths and weaknesses through psychometric tools to aid them to understand how they could use the information derived to best advantage.

After the formal inaugural introductions, Day 1 took on a brief introduction of the program. The trainer gradually introduced the importance of attitude that usually marks the altitude one was capable of reaching. Inputs in the session focused on participant’s role in the organization and understanding role stresses and to know how to deal with them. Learning sessions took on issues around earmarked achievements, failure in reaching them and the importance of goal setting. Through games and presentations the concept of conscious goal setting was defined in order to work for self-survival and growth of company. The role of communication, cooperation and co-ordination was paramount in success of achieving set targets.

Day 2 began with a brief recapitulation of the previous days learning followed by listing down the gray areas that affect productivity and smooth run of operations. The FIRO-B instrument was tackled to understand the changing world of work, society and family. Also participants were facilitated to see their inner selves and their interpersonal relationship building potential through the Johari Window. The Johari Window is a technique that helps people better understand their relationship with themselves and others. It was created by psychologists Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham and is commonly used in corporate training modules.

Dr Sangare further stated the important role of communication, commanding, cooperation, collaboration and coordination – these five Cs that gear up overall performance in a company. A case study was also undertaken during the course of the program for the benefit of the participants to help them understand the role of managers in building and managing their teams. A brief abridged version of Hindi film ‘Lagaan’ was presented to make clear role of leadership as also to understand nuances in situational and functional leadership areas.

The two day training program concluded with an explanation of the psychometric instruments used as well as a written feedback from participants. Dr Amol Deshmukh conducted a verbal feedback to gauge how well the concepts had been understood by the participants. This proved to be useful since as an entity HERD Pharmacy needed to identify the existing problems, challenges, weaknesses, strengths and skills of the sales team were. It was also essential to know what further investment in time and resources were to be made to create a sustained sales force that could also share this training knowledge to maintain learned proficiencies.

Dr Amol Deshmukh specified that the need was to identify right persons in the sales team to don effective trainer roles in the near future. This would be critical in developing the full potential of the entire sales team cutting across the different stores. Since sales managers and sales staff work closely together it would be beneficial to stay focused on consistent, accessible and interested people to take on such roles. Raising the bar on in-house coaching would be the key to increasing the beliefs of the sales managers to lead effective teams, thereby creating successful sales teams.

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HERD Group Attends Vivek Bindra Motivation Training

 

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The collective concern of the MD’s of HERD Group (having imbibed the best academic learning from books, seminars, affiliations) is to be on the watch out for every opportunity to facilitate inception of new ideas and means to motivate team members. So also, HERD HR Department is forever on the lookout for providing incentives and motivation to employees to spur their contribution.

Motivational trainings are really very important for business success today. It is critical to develop leadership through training programs and talks from motivational speakers. So when the opportunity presented itself, sixteen staff members from the different units were identified to attend Mr. Vivek Bindra’s live seminar on Extreme Motivation & Peak Performance!

Mr Bindra is a motivational speaker of international repute who is also an established CEO coach. So when Nagpur city became the venue for his training program on strategic execution and performance maximization, HERD Group grabbed the opportunity to make the most of it. The company directors and senior managers had already attended Mr Bindra’s seminar earlier, and were keen that staff too be exposed to the speakers influential training.

This was a good chance for the company to facilitate employees to focus on personal aspirations aligned to business prospects that would work in conjunction for positive outcomes.  Mr Bindra is a well-known motivational trainer who can really inspire people to pull themselves together and feel reenergized to perform better. Since the speaker was in town, management went all out to make the most of his inspirational influence for the benefit of staff.

Mr Bindra’s pep talk was sprinkled with true to life examples and accounts of success stories that can work wonders on people’s psyche and boost their morale. The exercise could prove to be valuable to get the group together to help identify and resolve roadblocks that perhaps hold them back. The talk was of course very well enjoyed and would definitely add to the unlocking of latent potential. HERD Group decidedly felt that such exposure will be supportive in enhancing performances.

Mr Bindra’s talk illustrated how motivational speakers can offer huge enthusiasm and drive so as to enable participants eager to offer their best. The motivational speaker assisted in enabling employees to comprehend their inner power, that sometimes we lose sight of in the face of regular routine work life. It was a great evening with staff experiencing stimulating ideas.

Attending this training had staff going through their individual mental morale building workout.  The speaker offered fresh perspectives on roles and responsibilities, thereby rebuilding confidence and passion. Breaking the complacency of everyday routine life, employees were made to comprehend fresh insights that will surely empower them to explore possibilities.

The speaker’s vigorous training helped in sharing his expertise that would in time spring them back into action and spur them on to their goals. Such interactions also help in easing out internal personal issues that often take precedence and obstruct team work. Mr Bindra certainly came to the rescue to provide guidance on a number of issues that prevent people from giving their hundred percent.

HERD Group of Companies is keen to achieve success and that is only possible with a committed team. The speaker’s expertise and ability to transform mindsets will go a long way in helping the team to dream big and perform well. Mr Bindra did wield a magic spell that provided the needed impetus for participants get set on the road to achieving their objectives that will ensure future growth. This was a well spent investment in terms of time, money and sensibilities.

Recording Biometric Attendance

There was naturally some trepidation when six months back biometric attendance recording system was introduced at HERD Group. Introduction of any new process changes at any workplace is bound to create a flutter among employees. TecSol Private Limited, the in-house IT unit became instrumental in sharing accurate, clear information about recording of biometric attendance to assuage qualms of an initially nervous staff. Changes were definitely going to involve the stragglers. It was certainly going to create unease regarding usage of the newfangled attendance system.

For starters, Jigar Joshi, IT Manager with HERD TecSol worked on focusing on the facts, since he realized that misinformation would probably do more harm by breeding resistance. HR too apprehended that sharing usage norms could play a calming role in raising morale. Since staff was already used to signing the muster-roll it would hardly be problem to facilitate them to adapt to the biometric time clocking system. All one needed to do was touch the screen of the biometric machine to record and clock their attendance.  HERD Group started the biometric time recording system because it wanted to avoid negative fall-outs of muster recording and at the same time deploy biometric time-clock technologies cutting across several establishments in order to support organizational culture and business needs.

However we do continue with signing the muster along with jabbing the finger on the machine. This is because HR department needs to double verify employee attendance data. The biometric/fingerprint or facilitates automation of salary calculations with up to date leave, late-comings or overtime records. Having grown from a small office of handful of employees to our present multi-location stores and offices we no longer have single point attendance record keeping. Admin and HR managers need to know details of all locations to track the hours worked by the employees.

We noticed that initially employees were a bit hesitant about the biometric systems. But this was mainly due to their unfamiliarity with the machine. Soon with ease of practice their distress generally disappeared after simply being given a brief introduction as to its use. We now have biometric attendance data at all our locations. After close follow up and clear instruction of usage the biometric verification has been working for us. Initially there were some teething troubles but after demystifying it all everyone uses the machines habitually now.

It is true when it comes to biometrics at first there are certain myths like concerns regarding potential invasion of privacy (fingerprinting) and hygiene to be reckoned with. However biometric attendance data allows HR department to gain official records of hours of employee work which they then calculate to pay employees accordingly. Barring a few slackers in most cases we did not encounter resistance. Most concerns were eliminated as soon as the employees were educated on usage. Once they learned how to operate the biometric reader and in time realized how easy it was, there has been little resistance.

Sourcing Candidates

 

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Images – Courtesy Google

A small but potent HR team within HERD Group keeps track of manpower needs and undertakes planning for the same. HERD Group follows established recruitment planning process by regularly estimating and projecting requirements of staffing needs for the different projects running presently. Some units, like for instance the pharmacy division, experience regular requirements for which an ongoing database is maintained.

Our manpower planning takes in factors like how and when we have to keep adding new employees, as and when required. The entire procedure is accomplished while keeping the vision, mission and goals of HERD Group in mind. We also bear in mind the future prospects of the particular business as well as by tracking industry trends. This helps in keeping systems in place and for us to be better prepared for future staffing needs.

Today, we stand at a point where we are definitely aiming for the top. In line with the projected targets for business prosperity we are keen to band together a strong team. It is for this purpose that we need to ensure that inbound incumbents be high achievers and disciplined. As much as their intelligence and skills, it would be their personality and attitude that would be helpful in moving forward successfully.

It is for this reason that the HR department is watchful about escalating experiences of newly inducted employees. HERD Group is moving ahead with confidence having adopted the best business practices. Recently every single staff member was apprised of the regulatory compliances to be followed in line with stipulated policies. Staff is also periodically provided with the motivational trainings by recognized motivational gurus. This helps instill a fervor in them to excel in their aspirations, at both the personal and work-life spheres.

In line with planned projections for spearheading the varied business dynamics, we know for sure that there will be increasing requirement of staff with focused skill-sets. HR department therefore regularly anticipates expected manpower needs for the company. Other than this they have devised processes for staff development in order to keep new as well as existing workforce in a stimulated state.

HR diligently examines the background, skill-set, qualification, attitude, aptitude etc., of existing and incoming work force so that they can take care of the pool of talent to nurture for the company. In line with the business needs of the units they understand the type of employees that would be best suited in the organization. Their competency has them examining and evaluating the types of employee workforce that they can build up.

Selection of candidates has them culling out and identifying appropriate shortlisted aspirants for required openings. Obviously they pick candidates who are better qualified, have needed skill-set, and experience to invite them for interviews. It is in the direct interactions that they usually assess suitability and long-term feasibility prospects. Once on board they are then trained as per organizational needs.

With such planned moves it is possible to groom work force to become prepared to adapt to the company culture and business practices. We follow an established system to induct employees and extend on-the-job-training that is an essential process.  Now that we are gradually growing, our workforce is also expanding likewise. With businesses at different locations and in different domains we cannot afford to be lax in our human resource management.

HERD Group welcomes the interested to join in for excellent career opportunities. It’s your personality that would play the most critical role. How you communicate with others, how well you handle interpersonal relationships in a team and social environment, and how emotionally intelligent are you, are factors to determine career growth. In fact, if one demonstrates excellent soft skills and get the quantum of tasks done to satisfaction – who knows you could be our operations head!

 

The Rigors of Recruiting

 

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Image Courtesy Google 

Recruiting the right person for an opening in the company is a tough job. You have to go through the entire tiered process because you just can’t afford to select the wrong candidate. Experience tells us that often after interviewing candidates whom we have hired, we come to realize they don’t fit in. This is when you start doubting the interviews and candidates!! And so now we make sure that we add all the recommended steps in our evaluation process to achieve the best outcome.

HERD Group is now all set to follow the challenging selection process that we have designed for our purposes. HR has set up an exacting process that will hopefully help eliminate uncommitted candidates. Therefore we start the hiring process with a test of commitment. Commitment is never a secondary option. It is either there or it is not. And it shows up eventually. Our recruitment process builds up the commitment building recruiting approach. Therefore we rigorously screen candidates prior to formal interviews. It is essential to weed out fibbers in the first round.

To enhance the selection process we give due attention and exert energies on the highest norms of recruitment. We spend good time on identified people so that they begin to understand our expected standards. And in this circumlocutory fashion we offer more of our time with candidates. We know that such rigorous selection processes will help us find suitably fitting employees. However, as to what degree the skills that have been adjudged may be put to good use for the ascribed role would be ascertained only later. Also it will take some time for candidates to fit into existing company culture and this too we may know only later.

However, it is safe to assume that most candidates who clear the interview rounds, allow us to form some distinct impression as to their suitability to don the desired role. It is only subsequently that we wonder how well and how soon would the candidates fine-tune into the cultural environment and work ethos of the company. No matter how rigorous may have been the interview process ultimately, it is only later that we would be able to sense the candidate’s consistency and objectivity.

Existing recruiting technologies make it easier to use innovative candidate screening and assessment processes. Also it is possible to tailor solutions to make decisions informed by experiences, particular needs, and organizational culture. HERD Group now makes use of these new standards for candidate screening and assessment. We hope to follow this rigorous and holistic approach to ensure that the hiring process is valid, consistent, and objective. And finally the most critical fact is that processes may bring out scales and numbers of high achievers but we will be guided by human decision-making to arrive at a consensus verdict in choosing the most suitable candidate.

For most top positions HERD Group’s HR department involves other sectional unit heads to offer their time and intervention in the selection of the most appropriate candidate. The final round of decisive talks and face-to-face interview is undertaken by the Managing Director. Thus the three guiding principles for HERD Group after the rigorous screening and assessment process remain validity, consistency and objectivity. This results in the applicant’s complete understanding to assimilate and provide solid indicators of potential performance. We try always to make this rigorous procedure as engaging and comprehensive for the candidates so that it becomes a learning experience for them too.

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GENDER APPROACHES – HERD GROUP PHARMACY DIVISION

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Pharmacists, more commonly known as chemists in our country, are healthcare professionals who practice in a pharmacy. It is a field of health sciences that focuses exclusively on the safe and effective usage of medications. As health care team members they are directly involved with patient care. To be able to do this they have to undergo university-level education to understand all about biochemical drugs, drug uses, therapeutic roles, side effects, potential drug interactions as well as be cognizant of monitoring factors for using medications.

It appears to be a good idea to staff pharmacies with women team members, particularly at the store counters. This would be especially useful to interact and respond to women customers walking into the medical store. It has been seen observed that women customers are generally more comfortable to talk to women on the workforce team. Such suggestions have been going around in the sector, emanating from several quarters. It’s been given to understand that the presence of a lady makes female customers (already be troubled by disease and patients back home) instantly comfortable.

Aside from it being a great idea to increase the sales process, it would also work for enhancing the much needed gender equity in the pharmacy sector. In our country very often advice is sought from pharmacists regarding medications to be taken for general ill- health conditions. The best of us may have done so at some point. Since most medical stores are run by men there are hardly any women present to quell doubts arising for women customers. So it’s a good idea to have women pharmacists to tackle issues faced by female visitors.

More often than not in case of mild ill-disposition like common fevers, cold, coughs, and headaches, it is quite common for pharmacists to be quizzed for suitable remedies. If a pharmacy is closer at hand than a doctor many people simply walk up to the medical store and seek guidance as to what medicine should be taken. In the case of women customers having female pharmacists across the counter may be a sound idea to counsel such women as to the best course forward.

By and large, although sizeable numbers of females pass out of pharmacy education each year, a pharmacist’s job is not yet considered as an ideal job for women. Such conservative thinking and traditional opinions continue to plague the sector that keeps women largely out of it. HERD Pharmacy plans to recruit women with the aim to induct willing female pharmacy staff to enhance their diverse roles and to make the best use of their skills. We are keen to make our pharmacies women-friendly so that women customers may approach comfortably and be able to share whats on their mind.

“The feminisation of pharmacy is a fascinating insight into the overall make up of the pharmacist workforce…” ~~ Anas Hasan