Do Your Company Values Mean Anything?
From website slogans to interview mantras, values are everywhere. They are woven into the fabric of onboarding programs as new recruits take their first steps into the organisation. They are repeated ad nauseum in meetings and in townhalls. They permeate our work lives, making their way into recruitment, assessments, performance evaluations and recognition programs. Have you found yourself drowning in a sea of words splashed across the “who we are” section of the company website? Have you seen or heard of these words and phrases more times than you have had coffee today?! Painting company values on the walls certainly makes for great social media posts, but what are the tangible implications of values in our everyday work?
The rise of the fractional CXO
This is not the gig economy, where independent workers join platforms to compete with each other for customers who pay by task. With a wealth of skills and experience to rely on, these CXOs start unbundling their career, deliberately, with the ultimate goal to maximize autonomy, flexibility, income, career satisfaction and personal growth.
Lived Experiences of Casteism at Work
The toxic influence of casteism tends to begin right from the initial step of recruitment, where individuals are evaluated, screened based on the surnames on their resume. The candidates are evaluated not solely on their qualifications, abilities or years of experience but also on their caste affiliations. These pre-screening techniques based on caste are not explicit or done consciously, but these are veiled in implicit biases and are part of systemic caste discrimination.
Quiet Hiring - When Your Responsibilities Increase, But Your Pay Doesn’t
You may have heard of quiet quitting, but have you heard of quiet hiring? It is a new term for a practice that has been around for years. Joy Pittman, creator of HR for the Culture - an HR Outsource & Staffing Firm for black women-owned businesses, defines it as follows. "Quiet Hiring is when companies expand people’s jobs, not their pay."
Beyond Societal Norms - The Definition of Success is ‘Personal’
I’ve thought about what “success” means to me at various points in my life and the only thing I’m sure about, is that there is no one, easy-to-fit-in-a-box answer. My definition has changed and evolved over various points in my life and the more I speak with people about this casually thrown about, loaded word, the more I realise that this is true for a lot of people.
Sailing West: Why I Quit at My Peak, Thrice...
This is in the scenario of me quitting the startup (Buidler’s Tribe) that I built from zero to $40 million in valuation for the last two years. Before that, I was part of the WazirX marketing team where we grew our community from 50,000 users to 1 million users. Before that I had a hostel for artists in a quiet little Goan town. And a backpackers' hostel prior. About nine years ago, I was building a profitable SaaS product and a software services company that was making good money with labour arbitrage.
Age vs. Experience: The Workplace Conundrum
My resume has always been a source of pride for me. My biggest accomplishment as a woman in STEM lies in the fact that I have remained in the workforce despite a series of changes that involved marriage, motherhood and moving countries, some of which happened more than once. Yet, now as I look at my CV, I feel a bit conflicted. My educational credentials are stellar and my work experience extends across companies, geographies and cultures, but explicitly drawing attention to my age, the least favourable of my attributes, in today’s competitive work environment, doesn’t seem like a good idea.
Clash of the Titans: How Millennials and GenZs are reshaping the workplace (in their own ways)
Monica Pillai, Heads People Operations at Obvious. She has had a ringside seat watching corporate India evolve for over 20 years. In this piece she reflects how Millennials and GenZs have impacted the workplace and added deep nuance to multiple conversations, in their own ways.
Humanising work: the Impact Sector edition
My own involvement with this sector has been very illuminating. Before joining my current full-time stint at Rang De, I have been consulting for NGOs in the impact sector over the last three years. For me, work in the impact sector has been all heart. You push through the challenges because you can see the direct impact of the work.
Why Does Self-expression Belong in the Workplace?
The term “self-expression” is commonly understood as the ways in which we physically express our inner selves and communicate our individuality to the outside world. Self-expression is a basic human right, but in our workplaces, it still remains a privilege. According to a survey conducted by Be Yourself At Work, only 16% of the global workforce feels like their authentic selves while at work. This suggests that, for the sake of employment, 84% of working professionals have to hide parts of themselves. For a major part of their adult lives, they are forced to fit into moulds of people they simply do not identify with.
The New Rules of Interviewing
Ria Shroff Desai tell us how interviews and hiring are a matchmaking process - if done right, can be a win-win for both, the candidate and the company. Ria came to the world of Indian startups and venture capital with stopovers across the US, Latin America, nonprofits and SMBs. She's passionate about (re)building great workplaces and breaking the mould when it comes to harnessing the power of people and culture for business.
From Coffee Runs to Running Cafes: Living the Eternal Corp Fantasy
Who among us hasn’t thought of starting our own café? Twitter user @_waabi_saabi_, who writes on food & culture, tells us why so many of us share this dream. She also speaks to her F&B friends who've made the leap from the corporate to the culinary world. They talk about their motivations, challenges, and share tips.
Putting on the captain’s hat: Finding your Zone of Genius
Finding your Zone of Genius is a pilgrimage, which means there will be many mountains to climb and U-turns to take. But patience pays off, and so does a steady trust that by taking small steps each day, you will eventually assume agency and captaincy over the life you want to live. One of the greatest accomplishments in life is to firmly believe that the work we do is both personally fulfilling and beneficial for the world around us. And that conviction is a true triumph of human existence!
Notes from a First-Time Employee. No Judgement, please.
Building confidence in yourself as a professional takes time and the transition from being a young naive student, to a working adult will be difficult but we’re not alone in that journey. Dealing with self-doubt will always be a work in progress, but there are people around, who you can always rely on and I think we tend to forget that.
Are you Facing Microaggressions at Work? Here’s What You Should Know.
Or maybe you’re thinking: ‘what the hell are microaggressions?’ Microaggressions are subtle but harmful forms of discrimination that are often experienced by marginalised individuals in the workplace, on the basis of their identity.
Paper plans: The Intersection Where Life Meets Tough Career Choices
Tough career decisions are not as simple as a one-size-fits-all framework where the only rule is hustling. Career decisions are often a function of privilege, and it obviously takes a level of self-awareness to realise that. Something that a one-size-fits-all always misses.
Womaning in India - Stories of Women in The Workplace
Someone suggested I write my first piece for Humanise about how women can prepare before joining a new workplace to ensure that their gender does not affect their experience. Here is why this is not that piece. And why I will probably never write that piece.
Humanising the Workplace: 2050
It is hard to distinguish between a human and a machine. Humans come with plugins that can capture their memories and dreams and implants that monitor their health and imagination. Humans can work from anywhere and since they are their own workplace, they can also work from Mars, which they mostly do. In 2050, humanising the workplace is a redundant concept. Humanising is almost derogatory. The preference is to be quasi-humanoid and even workplace policies no longer look the same.
Power of the Panopticon: Why You Should Stay Anon Online
I choose to be anonymous on Twitter. Often, this perplexes people. Don’t I know that there are several pros to putting a name to a face on Twitter? Having a personal brand on Twitter is a serendipity vehicle. Despite the pros, in this post, I highlight 5 reasons why I choose to stay anonymous as a professional.
Is your identity as enmeshed with work as mine is?
Psychologists use the term “enmeshment” to describe a situation where the boundaries between people become blurred, and individual identities lose importance. Enmeshment prevents the development of a stable, independent sense of self. We are a generation enmeshed with our careers.
Acknowledging ‘Emotional Labour’ and helping employees deal with it
Four decades ago, American Sociologist Arlie Russel Hochschild coined and defined the term ‘emotional labour’ in her award-winning book, ‘The Managed Heart: Commercialization of Human Feeling’, as the act of having to regulate or manage one’s emotions to fulfil a professional purpose. Hochschild argued that a third of American men and half of American women held jobs that involved emotional management to serve a commercial purpose.
Adverse Life Situations and ‘Invisible Grief’ in the Workplace
Divorce and infertility are just two examples of a larger phenomenon called ‘invisible grief’, whereby a person grieves the loss of a future scenario they dreamt of. While this kind of grief doesn’t fall into the traditional grief that comes with mourning the death of a loved one, it may be even harder to navigate, because it is often isolating and not acknowledged by others.