Mga Archive ng Tag,,en,Swami Vivekananda,,en,Ang Pride at Prejudice,,en,Nagbigay si Swami Vivekananda ng ilang mga talumpati sa World Parliament of Religionions sa,,en,Ang mga talumpating ito ay pinupuno pa rin tayo ng mga Indiano na may magandang pagmamalaki,,en,Nagawa kong hanapin ang isang lumang pagrekord ng mga ito sa Internet at malinis ito nang kaunti,,en,Narito ito para sa iyong kasiyahan sa pakikinig,,en,Ang may pag-aalinlangan sa akin,,en,hindi papayagan itong umalis nang walang isang kritikal na pagsusuri sa sarili,,en,Ano ba talaga ang ipinagmamalaki ko,,en,Gusto kong sabihin ang kanyang malalim na pag-iisip sa pilosopong Hindu at ang kanyang masidhing paglantad dito,,en,Ngunit ang katotohanan ng bagay ay,,en,Ipinagmamalaki ko kahit na bago ko narinig o nabasa ang mga talumpati,,en,Kung proud ka rin,,en,hayaan mo akong tanungin ito,,en,talagang nakinig ka ba sa buong pagsasalita,,en,Kung wala ka,,en,ano ba talagang ipinagmamalaki mo,,en,Siya nga pala,,en,Mayroon akong huling bahagi ng pagsasalita,,en: work life balance

When the Going Gets Tough, Turn Around!

Elton John is right, sorry is the hardest word. It is hard to admit that one has been wrong. Harder still is to find a way forward, a way to correct one’s past mistakes. It often involves backtracking.

But when it comes to hard-headed business decisions, backtracking may often be the only thing to do. It makes sense to cut further losses when there is little point in throwing good money after bad. Such containment efforts are routine events in most establishments.

The biggest loss containment effort that I had a personal stake in happened in the US in the early nineties. I began noticing its worrying escalation in a hotel room in Washington DC. I was student delegate in the annual conference of the American Physical Society (APS). Despite the happy APS atmosphere (where many graduate students find their future placements) and the beautiful pre-cherry-blossom weather, I was a worried man because I had just seen a TV commercial that said, “Ten billion dollars for a particle accelerator??!! What the heck is it any way?”

The ten billion dollar project under attack was the so-called Superconducting Super Collider (SSC) in Texas, which was eventually shut down in 1993. The cancellation came in spite of a massive initial investment of about two billion dollars.

To me, this cancellation meant that more than two thousand bright and experienced physicists would be looking for jobs right around the time I entered the job market. This concern represented my personal stake in the project; but the human impact of this mammoth backtracking was much deeper. It precipitated a minor recession in the parts of Dallas to the south of the Trinity River.

Similar backtracking, though at a much smaller scale, may happen in your organization as well. Let’s say you decided to invest two million dollars in a software system to solve a particular business problem. Half a million dollars into the project, you realize that it was a wrong solution. What do you do?

It may look obvious that you should save the company a million and a half by stopping the project. This decision is exactly what the collective wisdom of the US Congress arrived at in 1993 regarding the SSC. But it is not that simple. Nothing in real life is that simple.

Corporate backtracking is a complex process. It has multiple, often interconnected, aspects that have to be managed with skill.

If you decide to backtrack, what does it say about your business acumen? Will it trigger a backlash from the top management accusing you of poor judgment? In other words, will your name be so much in the mud that you would find it impossible to secure a job and support your family?

Let’s say it really wasn’t your fault and you had valid arguments to convince everybody of your innocence. Would that make it simple enough to pull the plug on the project? In all probability, it would not, because all big projects involve other people, for no man is an island. Stopping a project half-way through would probably mean sacking the whole project team.

This human cost is something we have to be aware of. It is not always about dollars and cents. If you are kind soul, you would have to move the team to some other (potentially unproductive) project, thereby eroding the savings that would’ve accrued from stopping the project. Wouldn’t it have been better to have continued with the original project, doomed though it was?

In most corporate cases, it will turn out to be wise to shutdown doomed projects. But don’t underestimate the costs involved. They are not always counted in monitory terms, but have human dimensions as well.

It is far wiser never to embark on dubious projects. When you must get involved in uncertain projects, review your exit options carefully. For instance, would it be possible to reshape the project in a different but still salvageable direction?

And if and when you do have to shut them down, do it with decisiveness. Do it with skill. But most importantly, do it with decency and compassion.

Rumour Mills

Employees seek insights into their organization’s heading. And they should, because what their organization does has a direct impact on their well-being. If your organization is planning to retrench 50% of its staff, for instance, you’d better start looking for new job right away.

Who do you turn to when you pine for information? Your management would have you listen to them. From the employee’s perspective, this may not be the smartest move. But fret not, there is an alternative.

There is a city underground. Parallel to the world of corporate memos and communication meetings, this rumour city trades information, often generating it as needed.

Employees flock to the rumour mills, not out of their inherent malevolence for their employers, but because of a well-founded and mutual mistrust. Management tends to be cautious (and therefore less than candid) with their announcements, while over 80% of office rumours turn out to be accurate, as some studies show.

Let’s take a hypothetical situation. Suppose five years ago, your CEO took to the podium and declared that there would be absolutely no retrenchments. How many of you would have believed it? Those who believed would almost certainly wish they had listened to the grapevine instead.

This credibility gap that a typical management team suffers from can be addressed only though open and candid communication. Therein lies the rub. The management cannot always be as candid as they would like to be. And, they certainly cannot afford to be as candid as the employees would like them to be.

Lack of candour in an atmosphere of uncertainty breeds rumour. Rumours, as defined in psychology, are hypotheses with widespread impact. They abound when the management refuses to trust the employees with strategic information. This lack of trust and information leaves them with no choice but to interpret the developments themselves. In such interpretations lie the origins of office rumours.

Rumours are not to be confused with gossip. While rumours are based on conjecture and are presented as future, corporate-wide eventualities, gossip can be idle or with malicious intent directed at individuals. And gossip is usually presented as fact. In highly competitive settings, gossip can inflict irreparable damage on unsuspecting victims.

Once a rumour attains a high level of credibility, the top brass will be forced to talk. But the talk has to be candid and serious. And it has to be timely. If they wait for too long, their attempts at a tête-à -tête would resemble feeble attempts at damage control. And if the talk is a mere torrent of clichés and rhetoric, it will be taken as an effort to gloss over potentially catastrophic changes. In fact, such weak communication fuels more rumour than it quells.

Given that critical job-related information usually flows down the grapevine, the employees are going to talk. The only sure-fire strategy for any management is to make use of the underground rumour millthe classicif you can’t beat’em, join’em paradigm.

If you are a part of the top brass, here is what you can do. Circulate as much accurate and timely information as you possibly can. If you cannot do it officially through formal channels, try informal ones, such as lunches and pantries. This way, you can turn the rumour mills to serve your purpose rather than let them run amok.

Do not underestimate the power of the grapevine, lest all your corporate communication efforts should come to naught.

Stress and a Sense of Proportion

How can we manage stress, given that it is unavoidable in our corporate existence? Common tactics against stress include exercise, yoga, meditation, breathing techniques, reprioritizing family etc. To add to this list, I have my own secret weapons to battle stress that I would like to share with you. These weapons may be too potent; so use them with care.

One of my secret tactics is to develop a sense of proportion, harmless as it may sound. Proportion can be in terms of numbers. Let’s start with the number of individuals, for instance. Every morning, when we come to work, we see thousands of faces floating by, almost all going to their respective jobs. Sandali upang tumingin sa kanila,,en,bawat isa ay may sariling mga sariling pag-iisip at nagmamalasakit,,en,mga alala at stress,,en,Sa bawat isa sa kanila,,en,ang totoong stress lang ang kanilang sarili,,en,Kapag alam na natin iyon,,en,bakit natin mahahalagahan ang ating sariling stress kaysa sa ibang tao,,en,Ang pagpapahalaga sa manipis na bilang ng mga personal na stress sa lahat sa paligid natin,,en,kung titigil tayo sa pag-iisip tungkol dito,,en,ilalagay ang ating mga alalahanin sa pananaw,,en,Ang proporsyon sa mga tuntunin ng aming sukat ay isang bagay na dapat ding pag-isipan muli,,en,Nasakop namin ang isang maliit na maliit na bahagi ng isang malaking gusali na aming lugar ng trabaho,,en,Pagsasalita ng istatistika,,en,ang mambabasa ng haligi na ito ay hindi malamang na sumakop sa isang malaking sulok ng tanggapan,,en,Sinasakop ng gusali ang isang maliit na bahagi ng puwang na aming minamahal na lungsod,,en,Ang lahat ng mga lungsod ay napakaliit na ang isang tuldok sa mapa ng mundo ay karaniwang isang overstatement ng kanilang sukat,,en — each with their own personal thoughts and cares, worries and stresses.

To each of them, the only real stress is their own. Once we know that, why would we hold our own stress any more important than anybody else’s? The appreciation of the sheer number of personal stresses all around us, if we stop to think about it, will put our worries in perspective.

Proportion in terms of our size also is something to ponder over. We occupy a tiny fraction of a large building that is our workplace. (Statistically speaking, the reader of this column is not likely to occupy a large corner office!) The building occupies a tiny fraction of the space that is our beloved city. All cities are so tiny that a dot on the world map is usually an overstatement of their size.

Ang ating mundo,,en,ang mundo,,en,ay isang maliit na butil lamang ng alikabok ng ilang milya mula sa isang fireball,,en,kung iisipin natin ang araw bilang isang fireball ng anumang naiisip na laki,,en,Ang araw at ang solar system nito ay napakaliit na kung nais mong ilagay ang larawan ng aming kalawakan bilang wallpaper sa iyong PC,,en,magbabahagi sila ng isang pixel sa ilang libong lokal na bituin,,en,At ang ating kalawakan,,en,wag mo ako pasimulan,,en,Marami tayong bilyun-bilyon sa kanila,,en,Ang ating pag-iral,,en,sa lahat ng aming mga pagkabahala at stress,,en,halos hindi gaanong maliit,,en,Ang kakulangan ng ating pag-iral ay hindi limitado sa espasyo,,en,umaabot din ito sa oras,,en,Ang oras ay nakakalito pagdating sa isang pakiramdam ng proporsyon,,en,Isipin natin ang uniberso bilang,,en,taong gulang,,en,Gaano katagal sa tingin mo ang aming pag-iral ay nasa scale na iyon,,en,Mga ilang segundo,,en,Nilikha tayo mula sa dust ng bituin,,en, the earth, is a mere speck of dust a few miles from a fireball, if we think of the sun as a fireball of any conceivable size. The sun and its solar system are so tiny that if you were to put the picture of our galaxy as the wallpaper on your PC, they would be sharing a pixel with a few thousand local stars! And our galaxy — don’t get me started on that! We have countless billions of them. Our existence (with all our worries and stresses) is almost inconceivably small.

The insignificance of our existence is not limited to space; it extends to time as well. Time is tricky when it comes to a sense of proportion. Let’s think of the universe as 45 years old. How long do you think our existence is in that scale? A few seconds!

We are created out of star dust, huling para sa isang lamang kosmolohikal na instant,,en,at pagkatapos ay bumalik sa alabok ng bituin,,en,Ang mga makina ng DNA sa oras na ito,,en,nagpapatakbo kami ng hindi kilalang mga genetic algorithm,,en,na nagkakamali tayo sa ating mga hangarin at nakamit,,en,o stress at pagkabigo,,en,Mamahinga,,en,Huwag kang mag-alala,,en,maging masaya,,en,Oo naman,,en,maaari kang makakuha ng reprimanded kung ang ulat na iyon ay hindi lalabas bukas,,en,O,,en,maaaring magalit ang iyong tagapagtustos na maantala ang iyong pagbabayad,,en,maaaring ipadala ng iyong kasamahan ang backstabbing email na iyon,,en,at Bcc ang iyong boss,,en,kung hindi mo magagawang ang mga ito,,en,Ngunit,,en,hindi mo ba nakikita,,en,sa kaisipang humahous na uniberso na ito,,en,hindi mahalaga ang isang iota,,en,Sa malaking pamamaraan ng mga bagay,,en,ang iyong pagkapagod ay hindi kahit na static na ingay,,en,Ang mga pangangatwiran para sa pagpapanatili ng isang antas ng stress ang lahat ng bisagra sa isang hindi sinasadya na iniisip na tumutulong sa pagiging produktibo ng stress,,en,Hindi,,en, and then turn back into star dust. DNA machines during this time, we run unknown genetic algorithms, which we mistake for our aspirations and achievements, or stresses and frustrations. Relax! Don’t worry, be happy!

Sure, you may get reprimanded if that report doesn’t go out tomorrow. Or, your supplier may get upset that your payment is delayed again. Or, your colleague may send out that backstabbing email (and Bcc your boss) if you displease them. But, don’t you see, in this mind-numbingly humongous universe, it doesn’t matter an iota. In the big scheme of things, your stress is not even static noise!

Arguments for maintaining a level of stress all hinge on an ill-conceived notion that stress aids productivity. It does not. Ang susi sa pagiging produktibo ay isang saloobin ng kagalakan sa trabaho,,en,Kapag tumigil ka sa pagkabalisa tungkol sa mga reprimand at backstabs at accolades,,en,at simulan ang kasiyahan sa iyong ginagawa,,en,nangyayari lang ang produktibo,,en,Alam kong ito ay medyo may pagka-idealista,,en,ngunit ang aking pinaka-produktibong piraso ng trabaho ay nangyari sa ganoong paraan,,en,Ang kasiyahan sa ginagawa ko ay isang perpektong kukunan ko ng shoot kahit anong araw,,en,balanse sa buhay sa trabaho,,en,Pagbasa sa Internet,,en,Ang mga pangunahing pagbabago ay walang kadahilanan,,en,Sila ay naging daan sa huling dalawampung taon,,en,Pinag-uusapan ko kung paano natin nalaman ang mga bagay,,en,kung paano natin mabasa,,en,kung paano namin ginagawa ang pangunahing aritmetika at iba pa,,en,Sa high school,,en,Gumamit ako ng mga talahanayan ng logarithm upang mag-ehersisyo ang mga resulta sa mga eksperimento sa pisika at kimika,,en,Hindi pinapayagan ang mga calculator,,en,Kahit na abala,,en,ang kasanayang ito ay pinarangalan ang aking mga kasanayan sa aritmetika,,en,ang mga kasanayan na ang mga calculator at mga spreadsheet ay nawala sa ngayon,,en. When you stop worrying about reprimands and backstabs and accolades, and start enjoying what you do, productivity just happens. I know it sounds a bit idealistic, but my most productive pieces of work happened that way. Enjoying what I do is an ideal I will shoot for any day.

Knowledge Silos

We know a lot. By “we,” I mean humanity as a whole. We know so much that it is impossible for any one of us to know more than a fraction of our total knowledge. This is why we specialize.

Specialization is good. It lets us cut deep into a specific field of endeavor; but at the expense of a broad overview of everything, naturally. Specialization is expected of professionals. You wouldn’t be happy if you found out that your dentist is, in fact, a well-known philosopher as well. Or that your child’s ENT surgeon secretly teaches astrophysics in the local university.

Isn’t there a danger lurking behind our habit of demanding super specialized silos of knowledge? One obvious danger is the loss of synergy and potential innovation. A case in pointa particle physicist at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) faces the problem of accessing various files on different computers and networks. Being conversant in computing issues, the physicist devices a nice way of describing the file (or, as it is known now, the resource) and suddenly the first URL (Universal Resource Locator) is born. The rest is historywe have the World Wide Web, the Internet. Fifteen years later, you have e-commerce and YouTube!

If CERN had insisted that their physicists do only physics and leave their computing problems to the IT department, the Internet may not have materialized at all. Or, it may have taken a lot longer to materialize.

The need for specialization is not limited to individuals. It permeates into the modern workplace in the form of a typical division of labor such as HR, Finance, IT and Business. This division has worked well for ages. But every once in a while, the expertise in such silos becomes so split and scattered that the organization loses sight of its basic objective. People in the silos begin work against each other, competing for resources and recognition, rather than collaborating for common success.

The most common pariah in a typical organization is the IT department. These poor folks always get shouted at if anything at all goes wrong in the system. But when everything is working fine, nobody even notices them. In today’s age of ubiquitous computer literacy, why not assume a bit of system responsibility so that the turnaround time in PC troubleshooting (and consequently productivity) can be improved?

In fact, we know why. When it comes to computers, there is no limit to how bad things can get. As the IT proverb says, to err is human, but to completely foul up things requires a computer. End users may screw up the system so completely that even a competent IT department (a rare commodity) may find it impossible to restore normalcy. But, in order to fight this self-destructive (though well-intentioned) tendency, IT departments have gone to the other extreme of making it so bureaucratic and practically impossible to get their help in anything at all!

Another group that gets a bad rap in a highly regulated organization is the auditors. Their thankless job is to look over everybody’s shoulder and make sure that they are following the rules of the game (or rather, complying with policies and regulations). Auditorsnoble intentions get eclipsed by one fatal flaw: they seem to measure their success by how many violations they can find. Instead of working hand in hand with those being audited, the auditors come across as though they are conspiring against the rest.

There is productivity to be gained by blurring the edges of rigid silos in organizations. When silos talk to each other, teamwork happens and those in the silos realize that they all work toward a common goal.

Internet Reading

Major changes are afoot. They have been afoot for the last twenty years. I’m talking about how we learn things, how we read, how we do basic arithmetic and so on.

In high school, I used logarithm tables to work out results in physics and chemistry experiments. Calculators were not allowed. Though inconvenient, this practice honed my arithmetic skills — skills that calculators and spreadsheets have eroded by now.

Ang katulad na pagguho ay nagaganap din sa aming mga kasanayan sa pagbasa,,en,Hindi namin basahin upang mapanatili ang impormasyon o kaalaman,,en,Naghanap kami,,en,scan,,en,hanapin ang mga keyword,,en,browse at bookmark,,en,Ginagawa ng Internet sa aming mga gawi sa pagbabasa kung ano ang ginawa ng calculator sa aming mga kakayahan sa aritmetika,,en,Ang madaling pag-access sa impormasyon ay nagbabago sa aming paniwala ng,,en,matapang na sabi ko,,en,paggalang sa,,en,kaalaman sa isang pangunahing paraan,,en,Sa isang ekonomiya ng kaalaman,,en,ang kaalaman ay mabilis na nagiging isang murang kalakal,,en,Hindi na namin kailangang malaman ang anumang bagay,,en,kailangan lang nating malaman kung paano hanapin ito,,en,Kinakausap ko ang isang lektor sa ibang araw,,en,Ayon sa kanya,,en,ang isang mahusay na lektor ay hindi ang pinaka nakakaalam at may malalim na pag-unawa sa paksa,,en,ngunit ang isa na maaaring mahanap ang sagot ang pinakamabilis,,en,Ang lakas ng instant na impormasyon ay dumating sa Internet,,en. We don’t read to retain information or knowledge any more. We search, scan, locate keywords, browse and bookmark. The Internet is doing to our reading habits what the calculator did to our arithmetic abilities.

Easy access to information is transforming our notion of (dare I say, respect for?) knowledge in a fundamental way. In a knowledge economy, knowledge is fast becoming a cheap commodity. We don’t need to know stuff any more; we just need to know how to find it.

I was talking to a lecturer the other day. According to him, a good lecturer is not the one who knows most and has a deep understanding of the subject, but the one that can locate the answer the fastest.

The power of instant information came with the Internet, na gumawa ng mga dalubhasa sa ating lahat,,en,Makakagawa kami ngayon ng mga intelihente na komento at may alam na mga pagpapasya sa anumang bagay,,en,Ipagpalagay,,en,inirerekomenda ng doktor ng iyong anak ang pamamaraan,,en,myringotomy,,en,marahil ay isang bagay na hindi mo pa naririnig dati,,en,Ngunit maaari mo itong Google,,en,basahin,,en,sorry,,en,mag-browse,,en,ang unang ilang mga resulta ng paghahanap,,en,at malalaman mo ang katuwiran sa likod ng payo ng doktor,,en,ang eksaktong pamamaraan,,en,ang mga kadahilanan ng panganib at benepisyo nito,,en,at iba pa,,en,Sa sampung minuto,,en,malalaman mo kung ano ang tumagal ng mga taon ng pagsisikap ng doktor upang malaman,,en,Ang madaling pag-access sa kaalaman ay maaaring,,en,medyo nagkakamali,,en,bawasan ang iyong paggalang sa medikal na degree,,en,Ang hindi mabuting paggalang sa kaalaman ay hindi matalino,,en,isang maliit na kaalaman ay isang mapanganib na bagay,,en,Ang kadalubhasaan ng isang doktor ay hindi gaanong kabisaduhin sa isang halaga ng impormasyon sa webpage,,en. We can now make intelligent comments and informed decisions on anything.

Suppose, for instance, your child’s doctor recommends the procedure “myringotomy,” quite possibly something you have never heard of before. But you can Google it, read (sorry, browse) the first couple of search results, and you will know the rationale behind the doctor’s advice, the exact procedure, its risk factors and benefits, and so on. In ten minutes, you will know what took the doctor years of hard work to learn.

This easy access to knowledge may, quite mistakenly, diminish your respect for the medical degree. This diminished reverence for knowledge is unwise; a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. A doctor’s expertise is not so much in memorizing a webpage worth of information, ngunit din sa pag-alam ng lahat ng mga espesyal na pangyayari kung saan hindi nalalapat ang impormasyong iyon,,en,Bukod sa,,en,ang webpage na iyong nabasa ay maaaring basahin lamang,,en,Dapat tayong mag-ingat na huwag magkamali ng madaling impormasyon para sa malalim na kaalaman,,en,Bantayan natin ang ating paggalang sa totoong kaalaman at karunungan sa kabila ng aming pag-access sa handa na impormasyon,,en,Ang nasabing maling maling kawalan ng paggalang ay nakikita rin sa lugar ng trabaho,,en,kung saan iniisip ng mga tagapamahala na maaari silang laging umupa ng dalubhasang kaalaman sa kalooban,,en,Mayroon akong isang kaibigan na nagbabalak na gumulong ng isang produkto gamit ang Bluetooth,,en,pabalik kapag ito ay isang umuusbong na teknolohiya,,en,Itinuro ko ang halata na kapintasan sa kanyang panukala,,en,hindi niya alam ang tungkol sa Bluetooth,,en,Ang sagot niya ay,,en,Walang malaking deal,,en,Mag-upa lang ako ng isang tao,,en,Ang aking pag-aalala ay,,en. Besides, the webpage you happened to read may be just plain wrong. We should be careful not to mistake easy information for deep knowledge. Let’s guard our respect for true knowledge and wisdom despite our access to ready information.

Such misguided lack of respect is evident in the workplace as well, where managers think they can always hire specialized knowledge at will. I had a friend who was planning to roll out a product using Bluetooth, back when it was an emerging technology. I pointed out the obvious flaw in his proposal — he didn’t know much about Bluetooth. His reply was, “No big deal! I’ll just hire somebody who does!”

My worry is, kapag nais ng lahat na umarkila ng isang eksperto sa Bluetooth at walang nais na malaman kung paano ito gumagana,,en,hindi na magiging dalubhasa,,en,Ang kaalaman ay hindi mura,,en,kahit na ang aming madaling pag-access dito sa pamamagitan ng Internet ay maaaring magpahiwatig kung hindi man,,en,Kapag lahat tayo ay gumagamit ng impormasyon,,en,titigil ang ating kaalaman sa kasalukuyang antas,,en,dahil wala nang lalilikha pa,,en,Wala pa kami,,en,ngunit nag-aalala ako na pupunta kami sa ganoong paraan,,en,Nag-aalala ako tungkol sa istruktura ng suporta ng aming base ng kaalaman,,en,Paano tatayo ang ating kaalaman sa emperyo kapag nawala ang lahat ng mga pundasyon nito,,en,Malaman o Hindi Malaman,,en,Ang kaalaman sa teknikal ay hindi palaging magandang para sa iyo sa modernong lugar ng trabaho,,en,Maliban kung ikaw ay maingat,,en,ang iba ay sasamantalahin ang iyong kadalubhasaan at ibagsak ang kanilang mga responsibilidad sa iyo,,en, there won’t be an expert any longer.

Knowledge is not cheap, although our easy access to it through the Internet may indicate otherwise. When we all become users of information, our knowledge will stop at its current level, because nobody will be creating it any more.

We are not there yet, but I worry that we are heading that way. I worry about the support structure of our knowledge base. How will our knowledge empire stand when all its foundations are gone?

Married to the Job — Till Death Do Us Part?

Stress is as much a part of our corporate careers as death is a fact of life. Still, it is best to keep the two (career and death) separate. This is the message that was lost on some hardworking young souls here who literally worked themselves to death. So do a lot of Japanese, if we are to believe the media.

Ang dahilan para sa kamatayan sa mga nakakalungkot na trabaho ay ang nakamamatay na kondisyon na tinatawag na malalim na trombosis ng ugat,,en,Ang kondisyon na ito ay bubuo dahil sa pinalawak na oras na ginugol sa pag-upo,,en,kapag bumubuo ang isang clot ng dugo sa mas mababang mga paa,,en,Ang clot pagkatapos ay naglalakbay sa mga mahahalagang organo sa itaas na katawan,,en,kung saan ito ay nagwawasak kabilang ang kamatayan,,en,Ang trick sa pag-iwas sa tulad ng isang untimely demise,,en,syempre,,en,ay hindi umupo nang matagal,,en,Ngunit mas madaling sabihin kaysa sa tapos na,,en,kapag naka-mount ang pressure sa trabaho,,en,at deadlines na lang,,en,Narito kung saan kailangan mong makuha ang iyong mga priyoridad nang diretso,,en,Ano ang higit mong pahalagahan,,en,Ang kalidad ng tagumpay sa buhay o korporasyon,,en,Ang pahiwatig sa pagpili na ito ay hindi ka maaaring pareho,,en,tulad ng inilarawan sa biro sa pamumuhunan sa pamumuhunan na tulad ng,,en,Kung hindi ka makakapasok sa Sabado,,en,wag kang abala sa darating sa Linggo,,en,Kaya mo,,en,gayunpaman,,en. This condition develops because of extended hours spent sitting, when a blood clot forms in the lower limbs. The clot then travels to the vital organs in the upper body, where it wreaks havoc including death.

The trick in avoiding such an untimely demise, of course, is not to sit for long. But that is easier said than done, when job pressure mounts, and deadlines loom.

Here is where you have to get your priorities straight. What do you value more? Quality of life or corporate success? The implication in this choice is that you can’t have both, as illustrated in the joke in investment banking that goes like: “If you can’t come in on Saturday, don’t bother coming in on Sunday!”

You can, however, gumawa ng kompromiso,,en,Posible na bitawan ang kaunting mga adhikain sa karera at pagbutihin ang kalidad ng buhay nang napakalaking,,en,Ang pagkilos na ito sa pagbabalanse ay hindi gaanong simple,,en,wala sa buhay,,en,Ang pag-undermining ng balanse sa buhay-trabaho ay ilang mga kadahilanan,,en,Ang isa ay ang materyalistikong kultura na ating nakatira,,en,Mahirap labanan ang kalakaran na iyon,,en,Pangalawa ay isang maling akala na maaari mong,,en,gawin mo,,en,una,,en,pagkatapos ay umupo at magsaya sa buhay,,en,Ang puntong iyon sa oras kung ikaw ay malaya sa makamundong alalahanin bihirang maging materialize,,en,Pangatlo,,en,maaari kang magkaroon ng isang kasosyo na nakatuon sa karera,,en,Kahit na handa kang gumawa ng isang balanseng diskarte,,en,ang iyong kasosyo ay maaaring hindi,,en,sa gayon nababawasan ang halaga ng pagsasagawa nito,,en,Ito ang mga kadahilanan na dapat mong patuloy na labanan laban,,en,At maaari kang manalo sa labanan,,en,may lohika,,en,disiplina at pagpapasiya,,en,Gayunpaman,,en,may pang-apat,,en. It is possible to let go a little bit of career aspirations and improve the quality of life tremendously. This balancing act is not so simple though; nothing in life is.

Undermining work-life balance are a few factors. One is the materialistic culture we live in. It is hard to fight that trend. Second is a misguided notion that you can “make it” first, then sit back and enjoy life. That point in time when you are free from worldly worries rarely materializes. Thirdly, you may have a career-oriented partner. Even when you are ready to take a balanced approach, your partner may not be, thereby diminishing the value of putting it in practice.

These are factors you have to constantly battle against. And you can win the battle, with logic, discipline and determination. However, there is a fourth, mas makasalanan,,en,kadahilanan,,en,na ang mito na ang isang matagumpay na karera ay isang panukala na lahat o walang anuman,,en,tulad ng ipinahiwatig sa naunang biro sa banking banking,,en,Ito ay isang mito,,en,marahil ay sinasadya na pinalaganap ng mga bosses,,en,na nakabitin sa aming mga ulo ng korporasyon tulad ng tabak ng Damocles,,en,Dahil sa mito,,en,ang mga tao ay nagtatapos sa huli,,en,sinusubukan na gumawa ng isang impression,,en,Ngunit isang impression ang ginawa,,en,hindi sa dami ng trabaho,,en,ngunit sa pamamagitan ng kalidad nito,,en,Lumiko sa kalidad,,en,nakakaapekto sa trabaho,,en,at gagantimpalaan ka,,en,hindi alintana kung gaano katagal upang maisakatuparan ito,,en,Mahabang oras,,en,sa aking pananaw,,en,gawin ang posibilidad ng remote na kalidad ng trabaho,,en,Ang nasabing mapanglaw na mahabang oras ay pinakamahusay na naiwan sa workaholics,,en,patuloy silang nagtatrabaho dahil hindi nila ito matutulungan,,en,Hindi ito gaanong hangarin sa karera,,en,ngunit isang puwersa ng ugali kasama ang isang takot sa buhay panlipunan,,en, factor, which is the myth that a successful career is an all-or-nothing proposition, as implied in the preceding investment banking joke. It is a myth (perhaps knowingly propagated by the bosses) that hangs over our corporate heads like the sword of Damocles.

Because of this myth, people end up working late, trying to make an impression. But an impression is made, not by the quantity of work, but by its quality. Turn in quality, impactful work, and you will be rewarded, regardless of how long it takes to accomplish it. Long hours, in my view, make the possibility of quality work remote.

Such melancholy long hours are best left to workaholics; they keep working because they cannot help it. It is not so much a career aspiration, but a force of habit coupled with a fear of social life.

Upang hampasin ang balanse sa buhay sa trabaho sa aso ng aso na aso ngayon,,en,maaaring kailanganin mong isakripisyo ang ilang mga itaas na rungs ng kawikaan na hagdan ng korporasyon,,en,Nagngangalit laban sa makina ng korporasyon nang walang pagsasaalang-alang sa mga kahihinatnan sa huli ay kumulo sa isang simpleng pagsasakatuparan,,en,na ang paggawa ng isang buhay na halaga sa wala kung ang iyong buhay ay nawala sa proseso,,en,Pagpapakilala sa Spousal,,en,Nagbibigay ba tayo ng isang Pinsala,,en,Pagkatapos ng isang mahabang araw sa trabaho,,en,nais mong pahinga ang iyong pagod na pag-iisip,,en,baka gusto mong gloat ng kaunti tungkol sa iyong maliit na tagumpay,,en,o bumulong nang kaunti tungkol sa iyong maliit na mga pag-iingat sa araw,,en,Ang mainam na biktima para sa katoliko ng kaisipan na ito ay iyong asawa,,en,Ngunit ang asawa,,en,sa dobleng pamilya ng kita ngayon,,en,nagdurusa din sa isang pagod na pag-iisip sa pagtatapos ng araw,,en, you may have to sacrifice a few upper rungs of the proverbial corporate ladder. Raging against the corporate machine with no regard to the consequences ultimately boils down to one simple realization — that making a living amounts to nothing if your life is lost in the process.

Spousal Indifference — Do We Give a Damn?

After a long day at work, you want to rest your exhausted mind; may be you want to gloat a bit about your little victories, or whine a bit about your little setbacks of the day. The ideal victim for this mental catharsis is your spouse. But the spouse, in today’s double income families, is also suffering from a tired mind at the end of the day.

Ang pag-uusap sa pagitan ng dalawang pagod na pag-iisip ay karaniwang wala ng isang mahalagang sangkap,,en,ang tagapakinig,,en,At ang isang pag-uusap na walang tagapakinig ay hindi halos lahat ng pag-uusap,,en,Ito ay lamang ng dalawang mga monologue na magtatapos sa pagbuo ng isa pang kahihinatnan sa pag-iingat tungkol sa,,en,pagwawalang-bahala sa spousal,,en,Ang pagwawalang-bahala ay walang maliit na bagay upang maiinis,,en,Ito ay kabaligtaran ng pag-ibig,,en,kung maniniwala tayo kay Elie Weisel,,en,Kaya kailangan nating bantayan laban sa kawalang-interes kung nais nating magkaroon ng isang shot sa kaligayahan,,en,para sa isang walang buhay na buhay ay bihirang isang masaya,,en,Kung saan nakakuha ng oras,,en,tanungin namin ang mga Singaporean,,en,masyadong abala upang makabuo ng isang kumpletong pangungusap,,en,Ah,,en,oras,,en,Sa puso ng lahat ng ating makamundong pagkabahala,,en,Kami lang,,en,oras nito sa isang araw bago bukas ay sumingil,,en,natatanggal ang lahat ng ating marangal na hangarin sa araw,,en,At nagsisimula ang isa pang siklo,,en — the listener. And a conversation without a listener is not much of a conversation at all. It is merely two monologues that will end up generating one more setback to whine about — spousal indifference.

Indifference is no small matter to scoff at. It is the opposite of love, if we are to believe Elie Weisel. So we do have to guard against indifference if we want to have a shot at happiness, for a loveless life is seldom a happy one.

“Where got time?” ask we Singaporeans, too busy to form a complete sentence. Ah… time! At the heart of all our worldly worries. We only have 24 hours of it in a day before tomorrow comes charging in, obliterating all our noble intentions of the day. And another cycle begins, isa pang hindi maipalabas na rebolusyon ng malaking gulong,,en,at nagpapatuloy ang lahi ng daga,,en,Ang problema sa lahi ng daga ay iyon,,en,sa dulo nito,,en,kahit manalo ka,,en,ikaw pa rin ang daga,,en,Paano natin masisira ang bisyo na ito,,en,Maaari tayong magsimula sa pamamagitan ng pakikinig kaysa sa pakikipag-usap,,en,Ang pakikinig ay hindi kasing dali,,en,Karaniwan kaming nakikinig nang may isang buong bungkos ng mga mental na filter na naka-on,,en,patuloy na paghusga at pagproseso ng lahat ng ating naririnig,,en,Pinangalanan namin ang papasok na mga pahayag bilang mahalaga,,en,kapaki-pakinabang,,en,walang halaga,,en,kalunus-lunos,,en,atbp,,en,At iniimbak namin ang mga ito ng naaangkop na timbang sa aming pagod na utak,,en,hindi papansin ang isang importanteng katotohanan,,en,na ang mga label ng speaker ay maaaring,,en,at madalas ay,,en,ganap na naiiba,,en,Dahil sa ganitong potensyal na maling pag-aalinlangan,,en, and the rat race goes on.

The trouble with the rat race is that, at the end of it, even if you win, you are still a rat!

How do we break this vicious cycle? We can start by listening rather than talking. Listening is not as easy as it sounds. We usually listen with a whole bunch of mental filters turned on, constantly judging and processing everything we hear. We label the incoming statements as important, useful, trivial, pathetic, etc. And we store them away with appropriate weights in our tired brain, ignoring one crucial fact — that the speaker’s labels may be, and often are, completely different.

Due to this potential mislabeling, ano ang maaaring pinakamahalagang tagumpay o sakit sa puso ng araw para sa iyong asawa o kapareha ay maaaring hindi sinasadyang mai-drag at ibagsak sa recycle bin ng iyong isip,,en,Iwasan ang hindi sinasadyang kalupitan,,en,patayin ang iyong mga filter at makinig sa iyong puso,,en,Tulad ng pinapayuhan ni Wesley Snipes na Woody Herrelson sa,,en,Hindi Tumalon ang White Men,,en,pakinggan mo sya,,en,o siya,,en,tulad ng kaso.,,en,Nagbabayad ito upang magsagawa ng tulad ng isang walang pinapanigan at walang kondisyon na pakikinig na istilo,,en,Pinagkasundo nito ang iyong mga priyoridad sa iyong asawa at hinila ka mula sa kailaliman ng spousal apathy,,en,Ngunit walang bagay tulad ng isang libreng tanghalian,,en,Tumatagal ng mga taon ng pagsasanay upang mabuo ang wastong pamamaraan sa pakikinig,,en,at ipinagpatuloy ang pasensya at sinasadyang pagsisikap na mailapat ito,,en,baka magtanong tayo,,en,Kumbaga,,en,hayaan ang oras,,en,o gawing pinakamahusay ang kung anong kaunting oras na nakuha namin,,en. Avoid this unintentional cruelty; turn off your filters and listen with your heart. As Wesley Snipes advises Woody Herrelson in White Men Can’t Jump, listen to her (or him, as the case may be.)

It pays to practice such an unbiased and unconditional listening style. It harmonizes your priorities with those your spouse and pulls you away from the abyss of spousal apathy. But there is no such thing as a free lunch. It takes years of practice to develop the proper listening technique, and continued patience and deliberate effort to apply it.

“Where got time?” we may ask. Well, let’s make time, or make the best of what little time we got. Kung hindi man,,en,kapag ang mga araw ay nagdaragdag ng mga buwan at taon,,en,baka lumingon tayo at magtaka,,en,nasaan ang buhay na nawala sa buhay natin,,en,Kung magkano ang Talent Worth,,en,Ang Singapore ay nangangailangan ng dayuhang talento,,en,Ang pangangailangan na ito ay walang masamang pakiramdam,,en,Ito ay isang istatistika na katotohanan ng buhay,,en,Para sa bawat nangungunang Singaporean sa anumang larangan,,en,maging science ito,,en,gamot,,en,pananalapi,,en,sports o kung ano man,,en,malalaman natin ang tungkol sa,,en,mga propesyonal ng pantay na kalibre sa China at India,,en,Hindi dahil tayo,,en,beses mas mababa talented,,en,lamang na mayroon sila,,en,maraming beses na mga tao,,en,Kaisa sa labis na istatistika na kataas-taasang,,en,ang ilang mga bansa ay may espesyal na kahalagahan sa kanilang napili o hindi sinasadyang mga espesyalista,,en,Inaasahan naming makahanap ng mas maraming mga eksperto sa hardware sa China,,en,higit pang mga gurus ng software sa India,,en,higit pang mga manlalaro ng badminton sa Indonesia,,en,higit pang diwa sa pangnegosyo at kadalubhasaan sa pamamahala sa kanluran,,en,Kailangan namin ng ganitong mga eksperto,,en, when days add up to months and years, we may look back and wonder, where is the life that we lost in living?

How Much is Talent Worth?

Singapore needs foreign talent. This need is nothing to feel bad about. It is a statistical fact of life. For every top Singaporean in any field — be it science, medicine, finance, sports or whatever — we will find about 500 professionals of equal caliber in China and India. Not because we are 500 times less talented, just that they have 500 times more people.

Coupled with overwhelming statistical supremacy, certain countries have special superiority in their chosen or accidental specializations. We expect to find more hardware experts in China, more software gurus in India, more badminton players in Indonesia, more entrepreneurial spirit and managerial expertise in the west.

We need such experts, kaya inuupahan namin sila,,en,Ngunit kung ano ang dapat nating bayaran sa kanila,,en,Iyon ay kung saan pumapasok ang ekonomiya,,en,demand at supply,,en,Nag-aalok kami ng pinakamababang posibleng pakete na kagat ng talent,,en,Nasa isang expatriate package ako nang dumating ako sa Singapore bilang isang foreign talent,,en,Ito ay isang medyo mapagbigay na package,,en,ngunit matalinong salita na kung ako ay naging isang,,en,lokal,,en,talento,,en,Mawawala ako ng kaunti,,en,Naging lokal ako makalipas ang ilang taon,,en,at nabawasan ang aking kabayaran bilang kinahinatnan,,en,Hindi nagbago ang talento ko,,en,ang label lamang mula sa,,en,dayuhan,,en,sa,,en,lokal.,,en,Ang karanasan na ito ay nagparamdam sa akin ng kaunti tungkol sa halaga ng talento at ang halaga ng mga label,,en,Ang mga halagang ito ay isinalin sa mga pakete ng kabayaran na maaaring mag-utos,,en,mula mataas hanggang mababa,,en,bilang,,en,Kanluranin,,en,Caucasian,,en,ng pinanggalingan ng Asya,,en,Singaporean,,en,Asyano,,en,Intsik,,en,Indian,,en,atbp.,,en. But how much should we pay them? That’s where economics comes in — demand and supply. We offer the lowest possible package that the talent would bite.

I was on an expatriate package when I came to Singapore as a foreign talent. It was a fairly generous package, but cleverly worded so that if I became a “local” talent, I would lose out quite a bit. I did become local a few years later, and my compensation diminished as a consequence. My talent did not change, just the label from “foreign” to “local.”

This experience made me think a bit about the value of talent and the value of labels. These values translate to compensation packages that can be ordered, from high to low, as: Western (Caucasians), Western (of Asian origin), Singaporean, Asian (Chinese, Indian, etc.).

Hindi ko sinasabi na ang lahat ng mga Caucasian sa Singapore ay mas mahusay kaysa sa lahat ng mga Indiano at Intsik sa mga tuntunin ng kita,,en,ngunit ang takbo ay para sa parehong talento,,en,Ang mga Caucasian ay may posibilidad na maging mas mahusay na mabayaran na ang kanilang mga katapat na Asyano,,en,Walang masama diyan,,en,ito ay tungkol sa demand at supply,,en,at ang pang-unawa ng halaga at tulad ng mga pang-ekonomiyang batayan,,en,ang scheme ng kompensasyon na ito ay nagtrabaho nang maayos para sa amin hanggang ngayon,,en,ang mga lokal ay nagsisimula na tandaan ang istratehiyang kabayaran sa simetrya,,en,Nang isasaalang-alang ko ang pag-upa ng isang Caucasian,,en,puna ng ex-boss ko,,en,Ang Ang-Mos,,ceb,malaki ang pinag-uusapan nila sa mga pagpupulong at gamit,,en,ngunit huwag gumawa ng anumang gawain,,en,Maaaring masulit niya,,en,Marami akong alam,,en,Ang Mos,,ceb,na lubos na may talento at ganap na karapat-dapat sa mas mataas na kumpara sa lokal na tinatamasa nila,,en; but the trend is that for the same talent, Caucasians tend to be better compensated that their Asian counterparts. Nothing wrong with that — it’s all about demand and supply, and the perception of value and such economic fundamentals. Besides, this compensation scheme has worked well for us so far.

However, the locals are beginning to take note of this asymmetric compensation structure. When I was considering hiring a Caucasian, my ex-boss commented, “These Ang-Mos, they talk big in meetings and stuff, but don’t do any work!” He may have oversimplified; I know many “Ang-Mos” who are extremely talented and fully deserve the higher-than-local compensation they enjoy. Ngunit ang napansin na pagkakaiba sa pagitan ng kung ano ang halaga ng talento at kung magkano ang gastos nito,,en,tulad ng inilalarawan sa pelikulang I Not Stupid,,en,ay nagsisimula na saktan ang katapatan ng empleyado sa isang lawak na ang mga kumpanya ay nakakaranas ng mga isyu sa pagpapanatili ng kawani pagdating sa mga lokal na talento,,en,Ang solusyon sa problemang ito ay hindi isang mas mahigpit na pagpapatupad ng pagiging kumpidensyal ng suweldo,,en,ngunit ang isang mas malinaw na pamamaraan ng kabayaran na walang anomalya na maaaring maipahulugan bilang hindi makatarungang mga kasanayan,,en,maaari nating makita ang isang pagtaas ng bilang ng mga Asyano na mamamayan na gumagamit ng Singapore bilang isang hakbang sa pagbubukod ng mga halaman,,en,Pinakasama,,en,maaari naming makita ang mga lokal na naghahanap ng antas ng paglalaro ng mga patlang sa ibang lugar,,en,Hayaan ang upahan ang mas kailangan na talento kahit anong gastos,,en,ngunit huwag nating mali ang mga label para sa talento,,en,Pagpapahalaga sa Pagganap,,en,Sino ang Kailangan Ito,,en (as depicted in the movie I Not Stupid) is beginning to hurt employee loyalty to such an extent that firms are experiencing staff retention issues when it comes to local talents.

The solution to this problem is not a stricter enforcement of the confidentiality of salaries, but a more transparent compensation scheme free of anomalies that can be misconstrued as unfair practices. Kung hindi man,,en,kapag ang mga araw ay nagdaragdag ng mga buwan at taon,,en,baka lumingon tayo at magtaka,,en,nasaan ang buhay na nawala sa buhay natin,,en,Kung magkano ang Talent Worth,,en,Ang Singapore ay nangangailangan ng dayuhang talento,,en,Ang pangangailangan na ito ay walang masamang pakiramdam,,en,Ito ay isang istatistika na katotohanan ng buhay,,en,Para sa bawat nangungunang Singaporean sa anumang larangan,,en,maging science ito,,en,gamot,,en,pananalapi,,en,sports o kung ano man,,en,malalaman natin ang tungkol sa,,en,mga propesyonal ng pantay na kalibre sa China at India,,en,Hindi dahil tayo,,en,beses mas mababa talented,,en,lamang na mayroon sila,,en,maraming beses na mga tao,,en,Kaisa sa labis na istatistika na kataas-taasang,,en,ang ilang mga bansa ay may espesyal na kahalagahan sa kanilang napili o hindi sinasadyang mga espesyalista,,en,Inaasahan naming makahanap ng mas maraming mga eksperto sa hardware sa China,,en,higit pang mga gurus ng software sa India,,en,higit pang mga manlalaro ng badminton sa Indonesia,,en,higit pang diwa sa pangnegosyo at kadalubhasaan sa pamamahala sa kanluran,,en,Kailangan namin ng ganitong mga eksperto,,en, we may see an increasing number of Asian nationals using Singapore as a stepping stone to greener pastures. Worse, we may see locals seeking level playing fields elsewhere.

Let’s hire the much needed talent whatever it costs; but let’s not mistake labels for talent.

Performance Appraisal — Who Needs It?

Dumadaan kami sa paghihirap na ito sa bawat taon kapag ina-tasa ng aming mga boss ang aming pagganap,,en,Ang aming pag-unlad ng karera,,en,bonus at suweldo nakasalalay dito,,en,Kaya gumugol kami ng walang tulog na gabi na nagdurusa dito,,en,Bilang karagdagan sa tasa,,en,kumuha din tayo,,en,mga pangunahing tagapagpahiwatig ng pagganap,,en,o KPI para sa susunod na taon,,en,Ito ang mga utos na dapat nating mabuhay para sa natitirang taon,,en,Ang buong karanasan nito ay hindi kanais-nais na sinabi namin sa ating sarili na ang buhay bilang isang empleyado ay sumisigaw,,en,Ang mga bosses pamasahe bahagya mas mahusay,,en,Kailangan nilang mag-alala tungkol sa kanilang sariling mga talento sa pamamagitan ng mas malaking bosses,,en,Sa itaas niyan,,en,kailangan din nilang likhain ang mga utos ng KPI para sa amin,,en,isang trabaho na medyo darned mahirap upang mag-delegate,,en,Sa lahat ng posibilidad,,en,sabi nila sa kanilang sarili na ang kanilang buhay bilang isang boss ay sumusuka,,en. Our career progression, bonus and salary depend on it. So we spend sleepless nights agonizing over it.

In addition to the appraisal, we also get our “key performance indicators” or KPIs for next year. These are the commandments we have to live by for the rest of the year. The whole experience of it is so unpleasant that we say to ourselves that life as an employee sucks.

The bosses fare hardly better though. They have to worry about their own appraisals by bigger bosses. On top of that, they have to craft the KPI commandments for us as well — a job pretty darned difficult to delegate. In all likelihood, they say to themselves that their life as a boss sucks!

Dahil sa walang sinuman ay nasasabik tungkol sa ehersisyo ang pag-ehersisyo,,en,bakit natin ito ginagawa,,en,Sino ang nangangailangan nito,,en,Ang layunin sa likod ng pagpapahalaga sa pagganap ay marangal,,en,Nagsusumikap na gantimpalaan ang mahusay na pagganap at parusahan ang mga mahihirap na palabas,,en,ang matandang karot at stick management paradigm,,en,Ang layunin na ito ay madaling natutugunan sa isang maliit na samahan nang walang pangangailangan para sa isang pormal na proseso ng tasa,,en,Alam ng mga maliliit na may-ari ng negosyo kung sino ang dapat itago at kung sino ang magbalot,,en,Ngunit sa isang malaking katawan ng korporasyon na may libu-libong mga empleyado,,en,paano ka magdisenyo ng isang patas at pare-pareho na scheme ng kabayaran,,en,Ang solusyon,,en,ay magbayad ng isang malinis na kabuuan sa mga consultant na nagdidisenyo ng mga form ng tasa at tukuyin ang isang pare-parehong proseso,,en,masyadong uniporme,,en,marahil,,en,Ang nasabing mga form na pandiwa at hindi nababaluktot na proseso ay may mga likas na problema,,en,Ang isang problema ay ang pagtuon ay lumilipas mula sa orihinal na layunin,,en, why do we do it? Who needs it?

The objective behind performance appraisal is noble. It strives to reward good performance and punish poor shows — the old carrot and stick management paradigm. This objective is easily met in a small organization without the need for a formal appraisal process. Small business owners know who to keep and who to sack. But in a big corporate body with thousands of employees, how do you design a fair and consistent compensation scheme?

The solution, of course, is to pay a tidy sum to consultants who design appraisal forms and define a uniform process — too uniform, perhaps. Such verbose forms and inflexible processes come with inherent problems. One problem is that the focus shifts from the original objective (karot at stick,,en,sa pagiging patas at pare-pareho,,en,isang sukat para sa lahat,,en,Isip mo,,en,alam ng karamihan sa mga boss kung sino ang gagantimpalaan at kung sino ang magpayuhan,,en,Ngunit nais ng HR department na ang mga boss ay sumunod sa isang pantay na proseso,,en,sa gayon ang pagtaas ng karga sa lahat,,en,Isa pa,,en,higit pang nakakabaliw na problema sa diskarte na hinimok sa pagkonsulta na ito ay kinakailangan na nakatuon patungo sa mediocrity,,en,Kapag nagdidisenyo ka ng isang proseso ng pag-aalaga upang masilayan ang lahat,,en,ang pinakamahusay na maaari mong asahan upang makamit ay upang mapabuti ang average na antas ng pagganap nang kaunti,,en,Kasunod ng nasabing proseso,,en,ang siyentipiko ng CERN na nag-imbento ng World Wide Web ay malala nang masama,,en,sapagkat hindi siya nag-concentrate sa kanyang mga KPI at nasayang sa lahat ng oras niya na iniisip ang tungkol sa mga paglilipat ng file,,en,Ang CERN ay isang lugar na patuloy na gumagawa ng mga Nobel laure,,en) to fairness and consistency (one-size-fits-all). Mind you, most bosses know who to reward and who to admonish. But the HR department wants the bosses to follow a uniform process, thereby increasing everybody’s workload.

Another, more insidious problem with this consultancy driven approach is that it is necessarily geared towards mediocrity. When you design an appraisal process to cater to everybody, the best you can hope to achieve is to improve the average performance level by a bit. Following such a process, the CERN scientist who invented the World Wide Web would have fared badly, for he did not concentrate on his KPIs and wasted all his time thinking about file transfers!

CERN is a place that consistently produces Nobel laureates. (Minsan ko natagpuan ang aking sarili na may dalawang Nobel laureates sa isang CERN elevator,,en,Paano ito nagagawa,,en,Tiyak na hindi sa pamamagitan ng pagsunod sa mga proseso na idinisenyo upang makagawa ng mga pagtaas ng pagtaas sa average na antas,,en,Ang trick ay upang maging isang sentro para sa kahusayan na nakakaakit ng mga henyo,,en,hindi makatarungan na ihambing ang isang average na samahan sa CERN,,en,Ngunit dapat nating mapagtanto na ang mga form na pandiwa,,en,na nakatuon sa mga average at nagtataguyod ng mediocrity,,en,ay isang hindi magandang tool para sa pamamahala ng pagbabago,,en,Ang isang mabubuting alternatibo sa na-standardize at naaayos na mga proseso ng pagtasa ay upang ihanay ang mga layunin ng empleyado kasama ng mga samahan at iwanan ang pamamahala at pagganap ng gantimpala sa mga bosses,,en,Sa ilang swerte,,en,ang pamamaraang ito ay maaaring mapanatili ang mga henyo ng fringe at magsulong ng pagbabago,,en,Sa pinakadulo,,en,mapapawi nito ang pagkabalisa ng empleyado at walang tulog na gabi,,en!) How does it do it? Certainly not by following processes that are designed to make incremental improvements at the average level. The trick is to be a center for excellence which attracts geniuses.

Of course, it is not fair to compare an average organization with CERN. But we have to realize that the verbose forms, which focus on averages and promote mediocrity, are a poor tool for innovation management.

A viable alternative to standardized and regimented appraisal processes is to align employee objectives with those of the organization and leave performance and reward management to bosses. With some luck, this approach may retain fringe geniuses and promote innovation. At the very least, it will alleviate some employee anxiety and sleepless nights.

Paghahawak ng Goodbyes,,en,Kumapit sa iyong pantalon,,en,ang iyong pangunahing tauhan ay isinuko lamang ang kanyang pagbibitiw,,en,ang pinakapangit mong bangungot bilang isang manager,,en,Kapag ang alikabok ay tumatakbo at ang sindak ay humupa,,en,nagsisimula kang magtanong sa iyong sarili,,en,anong sunod,,en,Ang pagpapanatili ng kawani ay isang pangunahing problema sa kasalukuyang merkado ng trabaho sa Singapore,,en,Ang ating ekonomiya ay maayos,,en,ang aming trabaho sa merkado ay pula,,en,Ang resulta,,en,ang mga bagong alok sa trabaho ay lalong nagiging hindi mapaglabanan,,en,Sa ilang yugto,,en,isang taong nagtatrabaho ka nang malapit,,en,maging iyong kawani,,en,iyong boss o isang kapwa miyembro ng koponan,,en,ay isusumite sa nakamamanghang sulat na iyon sa HR,,en,Ang paghawak sa mga pagbibitiw na may taktika at biyaya ay hindi na isang kanais-nais na kalidad lamang,,en,ngunit isang mahalagang kasanayan sa korporasyon ngayon,,en,Mayroon kaming ilang mga pangkalahatang diskarte upang harapin ang mga pagbibitiw,,en,Ang unang hakbang ay upang masuri ang pagganyak sa likod ng pagpili ng karera,,en

Hold on to your pants, your key staff has just tendered his resignation — your worst nightmare as a manager! Once the dust settles and the panic subsides, you begin to ask yourself, what next?

Staff retention is a major problem in the current job market in Singapore. Our economy is doing well; our job market is red hot. As a result, new job offers are becoming increasingly more irresistible. At some stage, someone you work closely with — be it your staff, your boss or a fellow team member — is going to hand in that dreaded letter to HR. Handling resignations with tact and grace is no longer merely a desirable quality, but an essential corporate skill today.

We do have some general strategies to deal with resignations. The first step is to assess the motivation behind the career choice. Pera ba ito,,en,Kung gayon,,en,ang isang counter alok ay karaniwang matagumpay,,en,Nag-aalok ang counter,,en,kapwa ginagawa nila at kinukuha,,en,ay itinuturing na hindi epektibo at sa hindi magandang lasa,,en,Kahit na,,en,iginiit ng mga executive search firms na sila,,en,Ngunit pagkatapos,,en,sasabihin nila iyon,,en,hindi nila,,en,Kung ang pag-uudyok sa likod ng pagbibitiw ay ang katangian ng kasalukuyan o sa hinaharap na trabaho at mga hamon nito,,en,isang pag-ilid ng paggalaw o reassignment,,en,posibleng pinagsama sa counter counter,,en,maaaring maging epektibo,,en,Kung nabigo ang lahat,,en,pagkatapos ay oras na upang magpaalam,,en,amicably,,en,Mahalaga na mapanatili ang amicability na ito,,en,isang katotohanan na madalas na nawala sa mga boss at departamento ng HR,,en,Naiintindihan kaya dahil,,en,sa oras na nabigo ang pag-alok ng negosasyon,,en,may sapat na rancor sa magkabilang panig upang maasim ang relasyon,,en,Ihiwalay ang mga nasugatan na damdamin at ngumiti sa iyong sakit,,en? If so, a counter offer is usually successful. Counter offers (both making them and taking them) are considered ineffective and in poor taste. At least, executive search firms insist that they are. But then, they would say that, wouldn’t they?

If the motivation behind the resignation is the nature of the current or future job and its challenges, a lateral movement or reassignment (possibly combined with a counter offer) can be effective. If everything fails, then it is time to say goodbye — amicably.

It is vitally important to maintain this amicability — a fact often lost on bosses and HR departments. Understandably so because, by the time the counter offer negotiations fail, there is enough rancor on both sides to sour the relationship. Brush those wounded feelings aside and smile through your pain, para sa iyong mga landas ay maaaring tumawid muli,,en,Maaari mong i-rehire ang parehong tao,,en,maaari mong tapusin ang nagtatrabaho sa kanya / sa kabilang panig,,en,Isalin ang anumang maliit na maaari mong para sa kapakanan ng positibong networking,,en,Ang antas ng amicability ay nakasalalay sa kultura ng korporasyon,,en,Ang ilang mga organisasyon ay napakahusay sa mga empleyado na walang awa kaya't hinihikayat nila ang paglisan,,en,Ang iba ay tinatrato ang mga traydor tulad ng dati ng hukbo,,en,sa tulong ng isang nagpapaputok na pulutong,,en,Ang parehong mga labis na paghampas na ito ay kasama ng kanilang nauugnay na peligro,,en,Kung ikaw ay masyadong cordial,,en,maaaring ituring ng iyong mga empleyado ang iyong samahan bilang isang batong hakbang,,en,nakatuon sa pagkuha lamang ng mga kakayahang maililipat,,en,Sa iba pang matindi,,en,kung nagkakaroon ka ng isang reputasyon para sa malubhang mga hadlang sa exit sa isang pagtatangka upang mapabagabag ang mga potensyal na traydor,,en,maaari mo ring mahirapan itong mag-recruit ng nangungunang talento,,en. You may rehire the same person. Or, you may end up working with him/her on the other side. Salvage whatever little you can for the sake of positive networking.

The level of amicability depends on corporate culture. Some organizations are so cordial with deserting employees that they almost encourage desertion. Others treat the traitors as the army used to — with the help of a firing squad.

Both these extremes come with their associated perils. If you are too cordial, your employees may treat your organization as a stepping stone, concentrating on acquiring only transferable skills. On the other extreme, if you develop a reputation for severe exit barriers in an attempt to discourage potential traitors, you may also find it hard to recruit top talent.

Ang tamang diskarte ay namamalagi sa isang lugar sa pagitan,,en,tulad ng karamihan sa mga magagandang bagay sa buhay,,en,Ito ay isang kulturang pangkulturang dapat gawin ng isang samahan,,en,Ngunit anuman ang nahanap ang balanse,,en,ang pagbibitiw ay narito upang manatili,,en,at ang mga tao ay magpapalit ng mga trabaho,,en,habang inilalagay ito ng labis na sobrang cliche,,en,ay ang palaging pare-pareho,,en,Ang Mundo Mundo Malayalees,,ml,Agosto,,en,Kung ang isang average na Singaporean ay nakakarinig ng World Malayalee Conference,,en,ang una nilang sasabihin,,en,Mundo ano ngayon,,en,Ang mga Malayalees ay mga tao mula sa maliit na estado ng India ng Kerala,,en,Hindi sila dapat malito sa mga Malay,,en,bagaman ang ilan sa mga bagay na nauugnay natin sa Malay,,en,tulad ng pratas at biriyani,,hi,maaaring masubaybayan pabalik sa Kerala,,en,Ang nasabing cross exchange exchange ay tumutukoy sa isang mahalagang katangian ng Malayalees,,en,May posibilidad silang mag-fan out at,,en,sa kanilang sariling maliit na paraan,,en,lupigin ang mundo,,en, like most good things in life. It is a cultural choice that an organization has to make. But regardless of where the balance is found, resignation is here to stay, and people will change jobs. Change, as the much overused cliche puts it, is the only constant.