Designations Define You
Following is an extract from a Business Line ( 28 July ) report titled :
“ Flat response : Tata Motors brings back designations “
Tata Motors has decided to do away with the ‘no designations’ policy that was implemented early last month.
As a result, all the original hierarchical tags, such as ‘manager’, ‘general manager’, ‘vice-president’ etc., will be back again within six weeks of change.
In an emailed response, a company spokesperson said: “…it was earlier decided to do away with the designations of the employees, across the five management levels.
By removing hierarchical barriers, it was also widely believed that performance would be enhanced.
Gajendra S Chandel, Chief Human Resources Officer, had then admitted that this was a challenging task and there was a lot of debate on how people within would react to the move.
Yet, it is now pretty clear that not everyone was happy with the move and for a senior employee who wore his designation on his sleeve, the abrupt scaling down would have been quite disheartening.
In the Indian context, hierarchy is a big thing even though it may not be such a big deal in the West.
It is quite likely that employees were concerned about external perception and how other associates in the supply chain, such as dealers and suppliers, would gauge their standing in the new ‘designation-less’ regime.
This is not a “ surprising “ reversal of a decision
In any case , TATA MOTORS management must be congratulated that they were ready to admit ( – although , Sotto Voce ! ) , that they had goofed up and made the reversal
Of course , HR managers / Recruiters and Head-hunters , have known all along , the fact that , in the Indian context , “ Designations Define “ who you are and what is your “ worth “ in the job market
Some 25 years ago , I managed to persuade the “ General Manager ( Operations ) “ of a large , nationalized bank to meet me
I wanted to persuade him to consider the position of “ Vice President ( Treasury ) “ with one of my client , a very big , diversified Indian Conglomerate – salary no consideration !
After he talked for 30 minutes re the “ CONTENT “ of his current job , I mustered the courage to say :
“ Sir , Can I have a copy of your resume ? “ ( – this happened before arrival of E mails ! )
He pulled out from his wallet and handed me , his BUSINESS CARD , saying :
“ My designation and the Company that I currently work for , is all that your client need to know , to consider whether I can do that job they are offering “
In the 25 years since this incidence , designations have not only multiplied manifold but also got imaginative to the extent that , after looking up the Business Card of an executive , you have to ask :
Sir , what is your job ? What do you ( really ) DO in your company ?
28 July 2017
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