Beyond The Call Of Duty
I received a mail which in all probability you must have received too. It is titled ‘Why Tatas are a respected name’ and talks about, among other things, the heroic acts of the employees at Taj on 26/11.
It points out that Thomas George, a captain, escorted 54 guests from a backdoor staircase and when he was going down last he was shot by the terrorists; people who exhibited courage included janitors, waiters, directors, artisans and captains – people at all levels. It is well known that Ratan Tata broke down in full public view and sobbed saying the company belongs to these people.
What makes people go beyond the call of their duty in industry? They were not part of army or police who are trained for such jobs or from whom such behaviour is expected, yet the Taj employees did it almost without exception. In some cases they put their lives in danger, which undoubtedly is the highest level of commitment.
The problem of HR managers is that they cannot promote this behaviour by ‘reward’ policies and mechanisms. In fact if they attempt to do it, they will make complete mess of it. If you are asked to donate blood for a noble cause, such as saving life of people injured in an accident, you will readily agree. But if you are told that whenever you donate blood you will receive a certain amount of money, will you do it?
In building an organisation like The Taj Hotel, we should encourage the making of a certain personal choice by an employee; and we have no control over it! If an employee does not make that choice he cannot be ‘punished’. So the carrot and stick technique will not work. And that pretty much complicates the matter us.
The way to encourage OCB [Organisational Citizenship Behaviour], the name given by research scientists, is to take care of ‘Organisational Justice’ or in simpler words, people’s perception of fairness within organisation. In other words, people must be heard, allowed to express themselves, they must be spoken to, and in a nutshell, they must be treated as valued human beings. Appears simple and easy! But in organisations which define ‘performance’ wrongly, and promote actively fierce competition within, and where ‘I am better than you’ is promoted and excessive emphasis is placed on monetary rewards, promoting OCB will remain an uphill task.
Tough job being HR manager, but whoever believed it was easy?
Reading and re-reading the story of Taj has always been overwhelming. I wonder how this sense of belongingness is felt by the employees. It is certainly something more than the usual rituals of rewards and punishment that drive them. It needs more than an explicit contract and a conditional relationship that exists between companies and its employees. I am told that Taj has several employee related problems such as high employee stress, moderate work related dissatisfaction, relatively low pay, strife between subordinate and manager relationships. However, it is at such times of crises where the organization and its culture overrules the individual temporal problems. Its magical to see this.
this is not a story
way of life in TATA s
Hi glad to read a post on OCB…I have done a project on this during my MBA course 🙂 Got a report on it…
I had linked OCB with Job Satisfaction by taking a small company for sample work
You are absolutely on the point. The task of developing OCB is herculian. It is poosible if only each one of us do our own bit towards creating the work environment conducive for OCB to grow.
@Anonymous:I think it's just not because each one of us would contribute for creating the work environment..I think its flows downwards…OCB should be an important part of the entire organisation as a whole and it should be taken seriously by the top layer in the company…Usually you will find that the top layer is totally after increasing the revenues and grabbing opportunities..which is their job anyways but if they follow the OCB-of stepping out of their responsibility area and contribute to the organisation-it will trickle down to the employees and that's how it will get developed..
Here in the example if Ratan Tata is not empathetical towards his employees other than seeing what contribution they are making to the revenue-the employees at some point of time will give it a damn to stretch that extra bit for the org..
getting me ?
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