Getting A Manager Who Can Understand Me -A Case Study

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Arindam was very happy to receive an offer letter for a Business Analyst position in an IT Product company at Noida at a 40% hike in his gross salary. It was a dream come true situation; as he would be moving back to his home in NCR from Bangalore where he was working for a very large software company. He got hired there through campus placement about 5 years back.

Arindam had done his MBA from IIM Kolkata after his B.Tech in computer science. During the days when campus interviews were happening at IIM, his father’s friend who was an HR professional advised him that he should focus only on applying at known organizations; as that would set the tone for his future career prospects; later in his life. So, taking this piece of advice seriously, he concentrated on it only and he was finally able to crack accordingly. He had to move to Bangalore for his first job where the first one year seemed too good and he always felt proud for achieving one important goal. However, after 2 years he realized that his role was very limited and hence could learn too much. Also, at the time of appraisals, the increment amount was too meagre to enhance his quality of life since he was living away from home that too in an expensive city. He was hardly able to save much to think of acquiring desired assets like a mid-segment car or help his parents in buying a flat, where he could contribute to paying the EMIs.

So, he started looking out for a change in a job which may fetch him a better salary package. Somehow, his reporting manager got to know about it and he sat with to understand his issue. At the end of the so-called counseling session, he promised to give him some extra workload in terms of helping the Analytics Team.

This gave him some learning opportunity and he tried to learn & interpret things faster. He did perform in the tasks assigned to him and was able to get a promotion as well. However, again at the appraisal time, he did not get enough hike on the pretext that overall the company had not registered profits and hence the annual budget for increments was drastically cut down. This prompted Arindam to move on to any other job where he would get a handsome rise in his salary package.

Luck finally knocked on his door and he was interviewed by a fairly new IT Product SME company at Noida, who really liked his skills, confidence & fast learning attitude. After good negotiation, he finally got an offer which excited him too much. He skipped the notice period clause and left to join at Noida in great haste. Though the company was smaller in turnover & size, he was happy with the designation & salary.

His happiness was again short-lived as few months after his joining this new company, he started facing conflicts with his reporting manager who had a very autocratic style of working where no new ideas were welcome. Arindam tried his best to see how could he manage his boss who came from the old school of management. The situation started worsening as months passed by and going to office became frustrating. He tried to approach the HRBP and share his dilemma and problems but to his surprise, she has already received an adverse report on his performance & high headed attitude by his manager. She tried to counsel on the contrary; instead of speaking to his manager and bringing into the notice of higher management.

Arindam now got very frustrated as he has not even completed a year in this role and company, to go and find yet another job for him. Also, the other employers were offering a salary package lower than his current one. He had no choice in hand now and all his dreams got shattered. So, he wrote an email to his CEO sharing his situation on the confidential id. However, he realized that his manager’s behavior became even worse after this. In fact, now his team members also started giving him cold vibes. He suddenly felt that he is alone & things have turned totally adverse and difficult. All his excellent academics, his skills, his abilities, his confidence to deliver just became so worthless suddenly……!

He finally decided to resign from this company without even having any new job this time. Now…… sitting at home and applying for the next job…. simply wondering what is going to be in for him this time!!

The biggest challenge he has now is “Will he get a Manager who will understand his capabilities and not perceive it as an attitude problem, which he never had or intends to have…!”

Suggestions for Employers/Managers

  • The zeal & enthusiasm with which we hire high potential employee, should not fade away in his later journey in the organization.
  • Any mismatch between the aspirations of the employee and the actual role assigned should be clearly bridged at the time of hiring & job offer i.e. proper expectation setting.
  • High potential employees need to be engaged & motivated all the time so that they feel enriched with knowledge and should look forward to the next exciting project.
  • There should be an open communication & redressal process and sincere efforts to be taken to address employee issues-both by the Reporting Manager & the HR (which has to display an assertive stand here, passion & being humane works!!)

Suggestions for the Employees

  • Always emphasize clarity over the KPIs & job responsibilities before accepting a job offer, do proper reference checks on the work culture and HR policies.
  • A high salary package should not be the sole consideration to accept a job offer in the initial phase of one’s career.
  • Try to get into the shoes of the Reporting manager to understand the hidden challenges at work, extend some support to win over his/her confidence.
  • Either think twice while making a switch from a big brand to a small start-up company or be mentally prepared to take on the challenges involved, carrying baggage with you can be painful anyways; when you move from one culture to another.

Ultimately it is the HUMAN SPIRIT which is the key to a successful association between the Employer & the Employee, between the Manager and his Team member!!! There are many organizations that have cracked the code…..just pick that!!!

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Ashish Kumar is an astute HR professional with more than 27 years experience in Human Resources working with companies like Convergys, Aon Hewitt, Stryker and etc. And as a freelancer Consultant, he has provided knowledge to companies like Maruti Suzuki, HUDCO, Nagata, Burger King, Times Business Solutions, Luminous Inverters, Sleepwell Mattress, Swatch Watches, Cambridge University Press, Rainbow Children’s Hospital, etc. Ashish is an ICF certified Coach from Erickson International and a certified NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) Practitioner. He is also a visiting faculty in some premier business schools of our country, which include Delhi School of Economics, ISBM-Pune, FMS-Delhi, Amity University, Noida, etc.

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