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October 20, 2016

Yes, it’s that time of the year again! There is festivity and excitement all around, so why leave your work place out? Here are some sparkling Diwali celebration ideas to light up your office mood!

Deck it up: Diwali is all about lights and brightness, so deck up your office space with all things red and yellow. Traditional diyas, sparkling lights, and a grand rangoli would be a great facelift for otherwise, dull office corners.

If you want to do things differently, consider decorating workspaces with bright dupattas and Rajasthani hangings to give it a traditional feel. If your folks love spunk, add jazzy party gears like super-size goggles, party poppers, and some cut outs of crackers and sweets.

Place colorful candles and small danglers at each workstation to give them a bright, festive look.

colorful candles

Diwali Delicacies:  No Indian festival is complete without food. So how about a week long Diwali Special Food Fiesta at work? Provide traditional food from different regions in the cafeteria all through the week and see how the excitement soars up! To make it even more interactive, you can ask employees to volunteer and set up food stalls for their peers. Award the “best-selling” dish and voila, you would have all happy smiles and (tummies) at your workplace. To do the team building bit, you can also ask different teams to come up with a Diwali special menu every day and then award the best team.

 On the gala day, add some touch of tradition to the food. From menu to serving, make sure that everything celebrates the spirit of Diwali. From using ethnic table covers in cafeteria to adding meetha paan, you can play on with the menu to make the Diwali gala at your office a memorable one!

Meetha Paan

Team Activities:  The main purpose behind office celebrations is to break ice and being people together. You can organize different activities on Diwali to make people interact with each other. Traditional attire is a must on Diwali. Make sure your employees dress their best. Make them do an impromptu ramp walk and give out exciting prizes to some of the best dressed ones.

Set up a “Family wali Diwali” board and ask your employees to stick pictures of Diwali celebrations with their family on it. Award the best pics.  You can also conduct quick 10 min rangoli and bay decoration competitions for your teams. Bring on some great music and your Diwali gala would be a super hit!

Team Activities

Bright decore, good food and some interesting games make up for a perfect Diwali celebration recipe. You can mix and match these three per your office rules and make the best of this occasion. Do share with us your Diwali celebration ideas and pics. Here’s wishing all of you a happy and prosperous Diwali!

Sparkling Ideas for Diwali Celebrations at Work


By HR-One Team
October 13, 2016

Happiness of the employees is the core of everything that an HR does. From engagement activities to rewards & recognition, there is a lot that goes into keeping people happy at work. HRs constantly need new ideas around creating a conducive and productive work environment. Here are our tested 10 ways to ensure that your employees return home satisfied after work hours:

  1. Interact with Employees

This involves literally keeping your cabin door open, so that an employee can approach you with ease. Spend time with your staff during lunch hours and engage in light conversations to build a sense of loyalty amongst your employees.

  1. Thank, Praise & Reward Employees

Your staff will obviously operate better if they are appreciated enough. Simply thank them for working overtime, appreciate their good work and reward them (with an extra day off or movie ticket) for their out-of-the-box ideas.

  1. Show employees compassion

Listen, understand and support your staff members. Instead of being task-focused be people-focused, and look out for the needs of your employees. This compassion will ignite trust and make them work more effectively.

  1. Establish a Career Path

Provide training events and career workshops for employees who feel dissatisfied with their career and want to leave. With timely career interactions, the employees will be enlightened about the various job opportunities within the organization itself.

  1. Social Retreats

Unite your employees with quarterly social retreats, or offsite events. Get them together for fun team building activities and competitions. This will spark a sense of closeness and make your individual employees a complete team, thus keeping them interested in the work place.

  1. Create Transparency

Your employees want to know about the situation of the organization, be direct and clear. By this you will create loyalty, and maybe even at the worsening conditions your staff will strive to uplift the company. To improve transparency, there needs to be continuous communication.

  1. Provide Added Benefits

Offer various perks such as; medical benefits, disability insurance, life insurance or gym memberships. By showing concern about your staff’s health and family, you will really connect with them on a personal level.

  1. Take care of your body language

As a HR team, are you giving of positive or negative vibes? You need to be approachable by all employees in the company. Set a friendly, yet firm tone in the way you talk. And be poised while listening to your employees.

  1. Consider Employee Input

The ideas of your staff could be the more effective and smarter alternative, thus creating a positive path for both the company and the employee. Support the ideas with constructive criticism, to encourage your staff to perform better.

  1. Allow Employees to Celebrate One Another

Give your staff chances to appreciate and applause one another for their work, by arranging end-of-the-month parties etc. This will ignite a spirit of achievement and attachment amongst the employees.

Try out these tips and you will see your employees always put that extra bit of effort in to improve their work quality.

10 things every HR should do to keep people happy!


By HR-One Team
October 10, 2016

Over the years we have imbibed the learnings from Ramayana in different aspects of life. Workplace culture is not different. Here are 3 simple lessons that you could learn from the life of Ravana that set examples of how (and how not) you should manage your people.

Leadership: Even if you have the best of the resources in terms of people and technology, but do not manage them well, failure is guaranteed. Ravana had a lavishing empire, best of men and ammunition, but still lost the war. Why? He operated on assumptions, did not pay heed to his best men’s advice and went on with the rampage that eventually cost him his life. Leaders should be humble, analytical and should learn from their short-comings. Being technically talented does not guarantee success, one needs to be humble, accommodative and inspiring.

People Management: People keep switching workplaces – this will not change. However, you can make your best people stay with you longer if you nurture them well and value their contribution. Take Vibhishan for example. He was the dearest brother, yet left Ravana and eventually lead to his death too. What made this leave? What makes people leave your organization? An HR should always analyze the undercurrents. Do your best people get the attention they need? Are there enough opportunities for people to grow? Keep a tab on these things and your best people would linger on for longer.

 Decision Making: At a closer scrutiny of Ravana’s life, one finds that he was an abrupt decision maker. He kept on sending his best people to war, one after the another, but never really analyzed why they lost. Moreover, their defeat did not deter him from setting up more people for the same failure. The same applies to your workplace too. Just eyeing the goal will not help you get there. For the success of each project, you must assess your people, efforts, time and milestones. Analyzing strategies time to time, and implementing necessary changes ensures that you get to your goal in the right way.

There are great lessons that one can learn from mythology about managing people and workplaces. Reminding ourselves of these lessons and following them will ensure that we continue to make our workplaces better, year on year.

Wishing you all a very happy festive season.

3 Workplace Lessons from the life of Ravana


By HR-One Team
October 7, 2016

The future HR needs to be bold and move away from the operational role. They need to be the agent of change that can reform future workplaces. But, what is that most critical skill that can bring a change at workplace?

We recently conducted a #HRChat of Twitter and threw this question to our HR twitterati. We were swarmed with many interesting and inspiring responses. Here is a quick summary of what the HR influencers think:

  • Lead by the front: Being proactive and predictive is what the HRs need. The need of the hour is to move away from following mechanical instructions to being bold and responsive.


  • High on emotions: EQ or Emotional Quotient is what the HRs would need to be the successful agents of change.


  • Culture Builder: HRs would need to be the drivers of work cultures. This is one skill that will also determine their strength as a successful people’s manager. If you can build and drive a conducive and transparent work culture, half the battle is won!


  • Make the business meet the culture: Be able to develop HR strategies and work culture that are in sync with the business objectives would play a great role in making workplaces better. Be the perfect business partner and people’s champ in one go!



  • Collaborator: HRs can no longer afford to be passive. They must enable clear communication and collaboration across different functions. This will help people across departments to connect with each other as well as with the organization.


#HRChat: What is the most critical HR skill that can bring about a change at workplace?


By HR-One Team
October 5, 2016

A bold event for the bold HRs of tomorrow – that was SHRMi 16. Here is a quick tweetcap of the key takeaways from the event.

tweetcap shrm

Tweetcap #SHRMi16


By HR-One Team
September 21, 2016

An HR that dares to change. An HR that is Bold. An HR that is transformational. Any discussion in the HR fraternity is not complete without these statements. If you are ready to take the plunge and be that all new bold HR, here are 6 things that you need, like NOW!

  1. A LOT of “people” focus: When HRs talk to people, they can guide them about career growth and improvement opportunities, not just at work, but outside as well. Better interaction also leads to higher trust and regard for the HR. Moreover, when the HRs are deeply involved with people, it becomes easy for them to analyze behavioral changes, attrition etc. If you want to be that bold HR, leave your desk, and mingle with people.
  1. Set the culture: HRs need to become the brand ambassadors for their organizations, know the mission and vision by heart, and re-iterate them enough. Communicating organizational vision and aspirations helps in reinforcing cultural and behavioral standards that you wish the HRs to follow. If you want to be that bold HR, know what your organization means by heart and shout it out, enough.
  1. Get rid of the boring reviews: The “one size fits all” sort of flat review processes does not work anymore. Break the annual review cycle in to smaller chunks, make it more interactive and “cool” for the employees. Let go of the never ending paper work and build avenues for real time performance feedback. If you want to be that bold HR, encourage genuine conversations around performance improvement and growth.
  1. Train and nurture: Your organization will stop growing if your employees do not upgrade to the new. Drive training programs that help your people learn new things and implement them at work. Ask your people about what new they want to learn and do, facilitate it, and see the change! If you want to be that bold HR, help your people identify the right career progression, supported by training and learning opportunities.
  1. Start your search at home: At times you will find the best of talents, right under your nose, only if you looked there! Putting systems in place that actually help you know your employees better will help you know who can contribute where. If you want to be that bold HR, know the strengths of your employees, beyond their defined KRAs.
  1. Let your employees talk: Strong and clear internal networking goes a long way in building happy employee-employer relationships. Interaction between people from different departments helps in knowledge sharing. When people know about strengths and challenges of other departments, you may get best practices and solutions coming in, right from your own teams! If you want to be that bold HR, get your people talking over food, and see the new ideas buzz around.

Want to be a “Bold” HR? Here are 6 things you need!


By HR-One Team
September 16, 2016

After the great recession in 2008, salary in India has inched up only by a meagre 0.2%. No wonder, we have high rates of salary dissatisfaction!

A new report by the Hay Group division of Korn Ferry has found that India is a unique case if low salary growth and high unequal wages.

Pay packets grew just 0.2% since 2008:

While the pay packets in India grew just by 0.2%, China recorded the highest real salary growth of 10.6%, followed by Indonesia (9.5%) and Mexico (8.9%). “Most emerging G20 markets stood at either one end of the scale or the other either amongst the highest for wage growth, or amongst the lowest. However, India stood right in the middle, with all the mature markets,” the report said.

Going by these stats, there is a large section of the Indian employees who are “dissatisfied” with their salary and increments. Here are 4 things that HRs can do to make up and keep the employee morale boosted!

  1. Instant Recognition: Keep telling them how important they are. Appreciate their work as much as possible. From quick personal notes, to pat on the back cards, little gestures go a long way in keeping employees happy.
  1. Enable Them: Help them in getting out to the daily mundane manual work. Empower them with technology that simplifies their work. This will not only make them more productive, but will also result in higher job satisfaction and self-achievement.
  1. Give Ownership: Make them feel responsible for the work they do. This makes them feel important. Let them take decisions and take their opinion in matters beyond work.
  1. Be Reachable: It is very important for the employees to feel connected with their workplace and the top management. Make sure that there is an open communication channel and that the employees get to talk to the top bosses.

Economics and social factors are not always favorable and there is little that we can do to amend them. However, a right mix of people management strategies, will help you keep your employees happy and engaged.

If Salary grows by only 0.2% in India, what can HRs do to (Still) keep people happy?


By HR-One Team
September 14, 2016

We all have been through the tough times of sitting in front of the hiring managers and being judged for our behavior and charisma. Grilling interview sessions can be nerve-wrecking and panicking, but does that justify brining in pets for an interview? Sounds bizarre no?

Here is our collection of some of the most bizarre things that candidates have done during the interviews, which almost costed them the job!   Have you had any such experience too?

  1. A candidate brought his pet bird in his shirt.
    His bird wanted the job, maybe.
  2. A candidate opened her brief-case, took out a large bag and started to re-apply her make-up; that too in the interview room in front of the managers.
    Maybe, she wanted all the attention, but didn’t she already have it all?
  3. A candidate applied lotion to her feet during the interview.
    What was it? Some sort of cracked feet emergency!
  4. When asked about his current employer, the candidate started using cuss words; “My manager is a jerk. All managers are jerks.”
    Wasn’t the interviewer a manager? Fingers crossed…
  5. When being complimented on the choice of college and the GPA achieved, the candidate replied “I am glad it received your attention, I didn’t really go there.”
    That is not lying; It’s called seeking attention.
  6. A candidate took a telephonic interview in the toilet­‑ and flushed, in between.
    Very well done, but, asking to call in a few minutes wouldn’t have hurt much.
  7. A company employee went to receive a prospective candidate on the airport, where the candidate said “it is way too cold to live and work in this city” and took a flight way back home without even meting the hiring manager.
    Priorities. Priorities.
  8. When asked about their current salary, the candidate replied “I really don’t see, how this is your business.”
    He was clearly uncomfortable with the manager, after-all all managers are jerks.
  9. A candidate started to Google an answer to a question.
    Now, that is called a smart move.
  10. A candidate started feeling the heartbeat of the interviewer so that they could have a heart-to-heart connection.
    That shouldn’t have been weird; at least they tried to have a good start.

Appearing for a job interview is more than preparing answers to some questions but also putting a good impression of your innate personality. Maybe, these candidates literally took it to another level, but having a solid understanding of the role and the company and knowing the exact way of delivering your thoughts is the key to crack any job interview.



10 Bizarre Things Candidates Did in Job Interviews!


By HR-One Team
September 8, 2016

HR Technology is going beyond managing attendance and performance. Imagine the next level to be in the form of a smart app that not only gives time management tips to the employees, but also tells them what to eat at work! With the technology becoming more “consumerish” in nature, here are 10 disruptive trends that the HRs need to prepare for:

  1. Mobile is the new cool: The world is getting on to the mobile, and so is HR technology. Most of the HRMS softwares now come with a mobile app function that can be accessed anywhere, anytime.  When looking to upgrade existing HRMS software or buying a new one, companies must consider vendors that have mobile app as a core offering.
  1. HRMS says hello ERP: In the coming years, companies would need HRMS systems that integrate well with their existing ERPs. With functions like payroll, attendance etc., it is important that your HRMS is synced with other functions and data flow is smooth.
  1. Take to the cloud: Cloud technology has totally redefined HR systems, not just for the vendors, but for the users too. Making it a lot more cost effective, easy and scalable, cloud based systems have made HRMS accessible for startups and SMEs. With no upfront investments in infrastructure, companies can pick what they want to use on cloud based HRMS softwares. The best part? Most cloud based HRMS softwares come with a ready mobile app!
  1. Engagement a Key factor: Moving ahead of the run of the mill functions, companies are increasingly focusing on technology that helps them in keeping employees engaged. Features like real time employee feedback, internal chats, peer appreciation etc. are in hot demand and the HRMS softwares are rapidly becoming an important platform for keeping employees engaged and informed.
  1. Performance management is changing: Traditional performance review methods are now being replaced with short cycle reviews driven by real time monitoring and feedback. HRMS softwares are being used to define goals and track progress in real time. Employees can also give feedback and escalate challenges in a very transparent way. This is helping the HRs in reducing performance related grievances and is empowering the employees to have a clear, statistical view of their own progress.
  1. Learning Platforms: More and more companies are integrating training and skill upgrade programs with their HRMS systems. More companies are likely to run it like a 360-degree cycle that covers employee KRAs, identifies the trainings that employees need in sync with the KRAs, track training calendars and record as well. One challenge here is to bring in all the learning content into one place. HRMS vendors are now working to integrate performance and training in a more comprehensive way. 
  1. Stronger Predictive Analysis: Forecasting and analytics of attrition, hiring, budget etc, will become a core KRA for the HRs in near future. HRs will need these tools to come with very strong analytics. Things like identifying good and bad employees, training recommendations, succession planning etc. will be in great demand and tools with good analytics and prediction capabilities will get preference.

HR technology is a great enabler for the HRs. It is helping them to move to become a transformational HR from a transactional HR with ease. The future belongs to the strategic HR and HR technology will drive it.

7 Disruptive HR Technology Trends HRs need to Watch


By HR-One Team
September 5, 2016

In the present day workplaces, employee engagement has a direct impact on productivity. The more engaged an employee is with the company, more likely they are to be sincere and dedicated towards their work. Therefore, employee engagement has become a critical activity for the HRs. But should the buck stop there?

If you really want to make your employees productive, HRs need to go beyond employee engagement. You have to inspire the employees too. A study by Bain and Co. revealed that inspired employees are 125% more productive than satisfied employees and 56% more productive than engaged employees.

So how do we make our employees “truly inspired”?

Connect the dots: Each individual has aspirations and goals. If you can connect their goals to the mission of your organization, and celebrate their milestones, employees will feel inspired to do more, achieve more.

The Basic Needs: The report by Eric Garton and Michael C. Mankins, defines a pyramid of employee needs. Basic employee needs like safety, job security, recognition are the foundation layers of this pyramid. To transition your employees into inspired folks, HRs and the management need to ensure that the fundamental needs are taken care of. Once this is done, the employees would be satisfied and would rapidly move to being engaged and then inspired.

Engagement Footprint: Elements of employee engagement, as defined in the report, talk about empowerment of employees. Enable your employees do more strategic work, give them opportunities to learn and acknowledge their impact on the organizational growth.  No employee wants to be stuck in the same monotonous task on a daily basis. If they get good chances to learn and grow their roles, they will be more engaged with their work and the organization.

Take them to inspiration: Inspiration is the crux of success, not just in office, but in everyday life. If we do not feel inspired to achieve something, we will never move in that direction. Give individual attention, maintain transparency, give ownership, and let them take decisions. Making real success stories about employees who are doing well, will inspire them and others to do even better.

Everyone faces obstacles, but if your employees are engaged and inspired, they will find a way around it!

Engaging your employees is great, but should the HRs stop there?


By HR-One Team
August 23, 2016

It is time for the SMEs to shun the legacy systems and up their games with fast paced, dynamic and affordable HR management systems on the cloud.

Given the agile and flexible work environment of modern day offices, cloud based HRMS solutions have become a must have. Whether it is managing remote employees or processing error free payrolls in time, here why you should take your HR to the cloud, right now!

Affordable: That’s the bottom line for using any system, right? Cloud based HR solutions are easy on pocket. What’s more, you can scale them up as you need on a pay as you go model.

Easy and Engaging: Most of the cloud based HRMS solutions have an easy to use, interactive interface. You not only get customized dashboards to meet your daily requirements, but can also interact with your peers effectively though the system.

Stay Upgraded, always: When you run your HRMS on cloud, you do not have to worry about system upgrades. The vendor takes care of it and your system is always up to date. This also means that your ROI on cloud based HR softwares is quicker as compared on on-premises.

Social and Mobile, all in one: Most cloud based systems have predictive features and are well integrated with social and mobile tools. This means that you can use them 24X7, anywhere, anytime.

Glocalization: These tools are global and yet local. While they come with standard global cloud protocols, you can customize them to meet your specific HR policies and compliances.

Secure and integrated: Security is one of the big concerns that SMEs have about cloud based HR systems. However, most of the present day systems have robust security and backup solutions. Also, they can integrate with your legacy systems easily to ensure that none of your precious data is lost.

Our advice? Start small, but be quick.  There are tons of cloud based HRMS systems available today. The best approach is to identify your core need areas and challenges and then pick a system that not only meets your specific requirements but also scales up as your business grows.

Time to take HR to the Cloud


By HR-One Team
August 19, 2016

Payroll, or employee compensation management, is a multi-layered process. It is not just about disbursing salaries on time, but also includes a whole lot of tax management and statutory compliances. Come the last week of a month and you would see HRs deep down in files to process the payroll on time, and error free. Here are our three suggested steps that will help you to ease the workload and simplify payroll management.

  1. Get the Policies Right: Indian payroll system is complex as it comprises of multiple benefits and reimbursement sections. However, it is important that you define your policies clearly. Segregating employees into different groups and then aligning compensations for each group can help ease the load. The basic frame work needs to be clear and scalable. You can also use an excel sheet based payroll calculator to compound your data. Here is a template that you can refer.
  1. Automate Attendance: If your employees are still signing the registers, then there is no way that you can track attendance accurately. Attendance is the basis of payroll calculation, so if you need your payroll done right, attendance needs to be captured without any errors. Automating attendance using an attendance management software can handle this for you. There are systems that even allow people travelling for business meetings to key in their attendance in time. Moreover, you get quick reports on leave and attendance of all your employees.
  1. Efficiency is the key: If your policies are clear and your attendance is automated, the next best thing to do is integrate these two with your payroll. You can use a payroll software to integrate different input channels and then run the payroll per the processes defined. Using a system makes the whole process a lot of efficient and reduces error rate.

Payroll requirements may change as your business grows. The best is to have a plan that is scalable and accommodates changing laws and employee size easily. In one of our next posts we will talk about how to choose the right payroll software for your business. Till then, happy pay-rolling!

3 Smart Steps for HRs to Simplify Payroll


By HR-One Team