Turning Conventional Management wisdom upside down Employees First Turning Conventional Management wisdom upside down A passionate and disruptive thinker, Vineet has introduced the world to a unique brand of energetic and inspirational leadership. Nayar continues to share his knowledge and build his thought leadership through numerous articles, speaking engagements, and intellectual partnerships. He remains a restless and relentless innovator in both his professional and social capacities, one who believes that even the most successful management approaches must constantly be evaluated, refined, adapted and rethought, and, when necessary, scrapped altogether. You can read more about his management philosophies at his own scrapbook and a blog at Harvard Business Review website.
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Nayar, the CEO of HCL Technologies in India, knew there was something wrong within his organization, and realized that the once profitable industry was dwindling in profitability compared to its peers. As a result the tortoise won the race because it continued to run. HCLT started the race as the hare in the tale, as the leader of its industry housing the best and brightest employees of its field. However the company began gradually fall short between the years of Vineet Nayar was wise enough to recognize the need for change, when he realized the company was growing annually, but the competitors were doing better.
As a result Nayar took the initiative to try something unconventional; change the 20th century management perspectives by allowing HCLT employees to assist in forming the success of the company.
He saw the value in the innovative ideas of the employees on all levels and simply invited their ideas to be explored and implemented by management. He understood that putting the employee first, was making the customer a priority. Front line employees interact with the customers the most; they hear the customer concerns and can communicate customer perspective to upper management for improvements.
It also broadened the pool of brain power and creativity by allowing a democratic environment throughout the organization; in which management would not be solely responsible for the ideals implemented in the organization. It also improved employee relations because subordinate employees were given the opportunity to communicate their work related issues so management can put things in place to improve the overall work environment.
First the mirror, mirror chapter describes the moment of truth. In this chapter Nayar describes how the HCLT identified the problem and discussed opportunities for possible improvements. Openness and honesty were key factors in finding the ugly truths within the organization.
Guessing, or pretending to know the problem was not an option, but finding the problem and solution would allow the organization to have better opportunity in finding the solution. In order to do this, Nayar had to create an environment that allowed the employee to feel comfortable with management. Using Transparency to Build Trust, describes the methods used to make the employees of HCL comfortable with management. One method described in the book was the sharing of company financial information to all levels of the employee base.
By doing so, all levels of the company could see the success and failures of the industry by evaluating the financial status. By allowing transparency between management and employee, employee-initiated action began to bloom. Nayar describes the degree performance review as one method in accomplishing this company goal.
In the degree performance process, the value zone employee would provide performance grades of their managers. Once the results of the performance review were calculated, the employees were made aware of how their immediate managers were graded. The grades would be used for development opportunities for the managers. By allowing this input from the subordinate staff, Nayar allowed employees to gain the feeling of empowerment within the organization.
The last concept described in the book is recasting the office of the CEO. With this concept, the senior management team allows the organization to be self-governed by all employees, not just the management team. The responsibility of change was left opened to all employees in which the employee is empowered to question and resolve as many questions as the CEO would.
As a result speed in production and enhanced quality were resurrected. One example of the Value Portal is the Smart Service Desk created by HCL Technologies used by employees to report trouble tickets and assign them to managers in charge of the trouble issues department.
The ticket must be closed out by the initiating employee, so that they can hold the manager accountable if the trouble issue is not resolved by the designated manager. With these new tools in place Nayar was able to provide long term solutions to existing problems in his organization. As with other theories and assumption on organizational landscape, testing for trial and error is encouraged. Nayar indicated in the narrative that other methods were tested in HCL Technologies before they were able to find the best concept for their organization.
While Nayar advocates for his concept, and encourages others to try it, he does encourage testing others and choose the practices that work better with the organizations goals.
Reference Nayar, V. Employees first customers second: Turning conventional management upside down. Where to Purchase the book:.
Employees First, Customers Second: Turning Conventional Management Upside Down