Month: November 2016

#HR Word: #Iceberg (Change Management)

The change management iceberg suggested by Wilfried Kruger emphasizes that manager mainly consider the hard issues for change i.e. cost, quality and time. These issues represent only the tip of iceberg i.e. only about 10% of the total issues.

Most of the issues – soft issues – are below the surface.

Change affects 4 types of people in the organization:

  • Promoters – People those who support the change
  • Potential promoters – People who may support change when fully convinced
  • Opponents – People against change
  • Hidden opponents – People who appear to support change but secretly are against it.

Therefore attitudes – perceptions and beliefs, and behavior – power and politics, need to be managed.



#HR Word : #Change Agent

A change agent is a person from within the organization or brought in as an outside consultant who helps bring about organizational transformation through focus on organizational effectiveness, improvement, and development. 

A change agent is entrusted with the responsibility of managing changes in processes, structures, technologies and interpersonal and group relationships in the organization. The ultimate goal is to create a renewed organization.

Change agents help derailed organizations get back on track by redesigning processes to adapt to the rapidly changing environment.


A change agent plays multiple roles on the basis of organizational requirements. An organization unable to adapt to new technology needs a change agent who will play the role of a trainer or a teacher. 

An organization in search of new breakthroughs will need a change agent who is a researcher. A change agent can also serve as a line manager. The agent need not specialize in a single role; some cases would need change agents who can play multiple roles.

Core competencies

a) Broad Knowledge – Knowledge about the industry as well as knowledge about multiple domains. Conceptual knowledge, diagnostic knowledge, evaluative knowledge, knowledge about change methods, and ethical knowledge is extremely important for a change agent.

b) Relationship orientation – Having knowledge is not the only requirement for a change agent. It is also important for an agent to have a relationship orientation because he would need to listen to, trust, observe, identify, and report his findings to the people in the organization.

c) Sensitivity and Maturity

d) Authenticity – Practice what you preach. A change agent should inspire people in the organization to become an active part of the change.

It is necessary for a change agent to have a clear vision and be able to communicate the vision clearly with others. A change agent is not a ‘one man army’. He needs the support and knowledge of the people and he directs this support and knowledge towards achieving a common purpose. For this, it is extremely important for a change agent to be patient yet persistent. Change does not happen overnight and it is crucial that all the people stay connected and confident about their endeavor to achieve the change. Asking the right questions to get the right answers is a characteristic of a change agent.


Since Marissa Mayer became the CEO of Yahoo, Yahoo’s business has improved dramatically and stocks have increased. Employees are feeling buoyant about working at Yahoo and employees who had previously left Yahoo are coming back. Marissa directed her efforts towards managing talent in the company and making employees understand how important they are to the organization. The rise in the number of employee-focused initiatives bolstered their morale and increased their productivity.

#HR Word : Central Tendency

Central tendency is the inclination of managers to rate all their subordinates with an “average” score during performance appraisal. For instance, if the rating scale was from 1-7, the managers would leave out the extremes i.e. 1,2,6,7 and rate all the employees with a score between 3-5.

This behaviour leads to the distortion of the purpose of evaluations as it does not reflect the employees’ true performance. 

Furtherore deserving candidates can be overlooked upon and underperforming candidates may be rated higher than their true potential. Consequently the subordinates will not get a clear view of their strengths and weaknesses and may remain stagnant.

Central tendency bias can be avoided by providing the rater with a shorter scale such as 1-3 or by using the ranking method since all employees cannot be given the same rank.

Due to central tendency, sometimes an error occurs which is known as the central tendency error. The impact of the central tendency error increases with increase in rating scale size 

#HR Word : #Cell Production 

Cell production is a form of team work where the entire process of production is split into small groups called cells. Each cell is responsible for a complete unit of work.

 In production or manufacturing process, the work is done in teams. There are many such teams. One of them is known as production cells. They are grouping of workers who produce components or entire products. 

Cell production is where work is organised into teams

• Each Teams is given responsibility of a part of production process , and they handle it as product moves through assembly line.

• Cell production often leads to improved productivity

#HR Word: #Casualization

Casualization is basically defined as the change of the workplace, having predominantly temporary workers rather than the permanent workers.

It is predominantly caused by the forces of supply & demand. Further, people are opting for casual labor in absence of full time permanent employment. Many social implications as a result of casualization have impact on the society & employees.


1. Flexibility in case of the labor is high, with the chances of increasing & decreasing workforce as per necessity

2. Efficient usage of the budget & cost.

3. It may sometimes be seen as a scope for “transition to permanent employment” for the casual employee.


1. Casualization has left a lot of workers with the risk of losing their jobs, as they were recruited on a temporary basis.

2. Chances of the business going nowhere are high, without a stable workforce in place.

3. There may be a chance of low employee for the casual employee, due to lack of access to professional development, internal promotions, etc.

Thus we see that a casualised workforce have benefits for a certain class of enterprise, where the demands change from time to time, and workforce needed to be reduced.

#HR Word : #CaseStudy Method

The case study is a method used as a part of, off-the-job managerial training and development. It includes a detailed written description of a stimulated or real life decision making scenario. Trainees are expected to solve the problems stated in the case using their decision making ability complemented with teamwork skills.

The aim of the case study method is to develop managerial competency, problem solving and decision making skills. The trainer will only act as a facilitator to guide the discussion but will not provide any input in order to encourage the trainees to participate and master their KSAs.

An advantage of the case study method is that it exposes the trainees to a wide range of situations, which they otherwise may not have face and thereby allows them test their skills and develop their strengths. 

Furthermore this method provokes real life behaviour to help trainees understand and improve their behaviour in a crisis situation. Another advantage is that case studies stimulate innovation and ideas which can be further implemented on the job.

However, many times case studies are considered as unrealistic and therefore irrelevant by trainees. As a consequence trainees may not put enough effort to generate viable solutions. 

Furthermore, in real life the problems are not laid out in paper as it is in the case study, therefore it does not develop problem identification skills. Lastly, case studies have no right or wrong answer therefore validation of the solution is difficult

#HR Word: Cascade #Communication Model

Definition: Cascade Communication

Cascade communication means passing of messages or information from senior executives to junior executives to managers. Those managers then pass on this message to other employees directly or indirectly reporting to them. It is a most important tool for spreading information throughout the organization. It is a more personal way of passing on the information.

There are alternative tools for this such as attractive mailers, posters on mail, passing message through videos but all these methods require intranet and could be expansive. 

Choosing cascade communication or these methods, it depends upon organizations and decision could vary depending upon the size of the organization, type of industry etc.

There are pros and cons also for choosing this method whichsoever have been stated below:

Pros of Cascade Communication:

1.This method provides clear information and leaves no scope of doubt as whenever the information is forwarded, the receiver can clarify doubt if there is any at that time only. 

2.It makes the employees feel trusted as this is a more personalized way of forwarding information. 

3.This helps organizations to implement changes more quickly. It also provide confidence to employees as they become aware of what is going on with management above them.

Cons of Cascade Communication:

1.Along with benefits there are some major drawbacks also. First one is communication barriers. If the receivers are not welcoming or attentive at that point, it can lead to information loss.

2. There is scope of misinterpretation of the information. In cascade communication, sometimes it becomes difficult to back trace where the information got disrupted.

3. Another important drawback is the cascading has to be done quickly. Otherwise, the information can become meaningless or can get lost.

These drawbacks can be overcome by few ways like training managers to pass on information quickly and without loss. Information should be passed through one or two messages as more number of messages can lead to confusion.