Monday, 25 June 2012

REST takes care of rest

A famous handheld phone brand “Blackberry” flaunts the tagline "Love what you Do, Do what you Love". It made me wonder is there really someone who loves what he does. In my childhood I used to watch a series called Lonely Planet on Discovery channel and I used to think that’s the job one should have. The guy (Ian Wright) use to wander round the globe and explore the culture, tradition, lifestyle etc. of various part of the world. But perhaps after certain time even he might have got bored of travelling, and would have wished he had a job of sitting and gazing at a computer screen all day long, what many of our IT colleagues do. So the ultimate question is “Do we love what we do?” Well, per Gallup survey 71% of employees are "not engaged" or "actively disengaged", in simple words 71% people hate their jobs. So now we are quite certain that not many love what they do, and the reason behind it is still a mystery many companies are trying hard to crack.
A Greek philosopher rightly said "Change is the only permanent thing in this world". No one hates his job right from the beginning. We all love when we are learning something new. Doing those little goof-ups is fun, and getting first pass yield is an ultimate achievement. Gradually as the days pass by, disinterest creeps in, and that’s when change is required. Changing your organization is definitely not the solution but unfortunately that’s the only way many of us, especially Gen Y folks, adopt.
I would like to share my story here, I recall the days when I started working, the work was interesting the first couple of months, but I started to lose interest in it gradually, though it was not really monotonous. Thankfully, I did not do the mistake of changing my company; instead I started to invest my time in something I loved. I started reading about quality and process improvements, there were many online modules in our organization and that kept me occupied for next couple of months. Soon I was Lean certified and it was great to learn that something that I started just to keep myself occupied has made its mark on my resume now. I have a belief that your organization should not police you all the time, as long as you are diligent and punctual in what you do. They should not have any problems in the activities; you do in your spare time, and whether you are up skilling yourself by reading some work related stuff or simply playing a game.
Talking about games, I recall a game we use to play every Friday, Pirates. The game is about catching a pirate in a group of villagers by voting them out. The game was a practical implementation of reading someone’s body language and we developed a tremendous knack of catching the pirates in few attempts. Back then our bosses felt we were wasting our time but today when I look back and try to connect the dots, if I would not have played that game back in my early days life would have been different, as it amplified my ability to analyze people, which as a HR person one should definitely have :). Jack Welch, the founder of GE, said that "The 3 most important things an organization should be measuring about its performance are Employee engagement, Customer Satisfaction and Cash flow”. Yet most of the companies miss on the first point, which eventually costs them.
If an organization wants its employees to be engaged it has to ensure that these four things are in place. This may sound funny but the concept is called R.E.S.T (Recognition, Expectations setting, Sense of belonging, and Trek-towards-Goal). Recognition of the people who have gone beyond the call of duty is one of the most important aspects in keeping someone engaged; it also encourages others to strive harder next time around. Organization should ensure that correct expectations settings are done with employees, which should include topics like work commitment, work environment and stability. Sense of belonging comes when people see office as a home away from home and coworkers as their family. Initiatives like Potlucks, Team outings and other team activities helps people turn colleagues in to comrades. A very vital part of keeping an employee engaged is showing them the right growth path. Organization should always drive short term and long term goals for an employee, and the supervisors should coach employees on how to trek toward goals.
REST is the most important concept in employee engagement and automatically takes care of rest.


  1. well well well... Look who has started writing... This is awesome Samit.. Looking forward for a few more from you... xo

  2. felt like if u run ur own company...ur employees would love to follow u :) quite impressive writing