A Curious Case of Corporate Flirting

August 10, 2018 Business , OTHER

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Siddhartha Rastogi



The dictionary meaning of ‘Flirting’ is “to engage in or become interested in (something) briefly or superficially or to deal playfully, triflingly, or superficially with.


Organizations the world over also get involved in flirting.


But with whom? …………………..Of course, who else but with their employees!!



In this fast changing world where business cycles have shortened from 7 years to 5 years to 3 years to currently 1 year, the need to hire quality individuals quickly has become a challenge and is surely the key for business success. With more entrepreneurs joining the online startup bandwagon, self-driven, motivated high performing employees are even rarer to find.


But what happens when a Chinese bank writes off bad loans of 50 billion USD or a European bank goes bust. Global ripples run down the corporate hiring process, with the fear of world economy collapsing. The same corporate tries to cut down employee strength at double the speed that it hired them.


Are those employees not needed any more?


Have those high performing employees delivered poorly?


It’s all thanks to fast changing technology which is available at a cheap price. For a large organization, due to the change in guard and economic slowdown, decisions are taken to replace people with technology. Whilst for younger companies, technology cost, which was not affordable, comes within entrepreneurs’ reach due to equity funding.


When the economic environment turns around, corporates will again start cajoling prospective employees to hire and existing employees to be retained by giving family trips abroad, company car, family dinners, ESOPs, bonuses, corner office, etc.


During downturns, business heads, along with admin and human resources, play a key role in making employees feel totally unwanted in the organization. Removing tea coffee vending machines, stopping basic travel reimbursements, capping phone usage, switching on air-conditioning only for specific hours, etc. Employees would know by the end of it that he or she is about get dumped from an employer-employee courtship or relationship.


To fire or sack somebody from an organization is taboo in our society and hence the best way is to ensure the employee himself or herself resigns. Firing also creates a problem with the brand image of the company, and at the time of market upswing, past acts of such corporates projects that the company is unstable.


Some employees don’t get the hint and message and they are put under PIP and SIP


Performance Improvement Plan and Skill Improvement plan. These act as notice periods and by the end of it the employee is out of the company.


But during these dumping periods, what should the employee do?



Apply DEC technique



D – Dedication – During slack periods, compromise on family life and dedicate yourself fully to the job. Even artificial posturing would help. Arrive thirty minutes before everyone else in the office and leave fifteen minutes after everybody leaves. Use these extra 45 minutes to update yourself about the industry and changes happening and attain knowledge and information. Try and assist in areas beyond your work. Help in routine affairs, coordination, calling, follow-ups, etc. Learn and think and propose new ideas which the business can implement without deploying much capital or diluting its brand.


E – Engagement  Engage effectively not only with your immediate superior and peers but all those who matter in the organization. This is not for sucking up. This is to ensure that you get a first-hand perspective from the steering group of the organization on what they think and what kind of human skills they need in the organization for the future. Engage people in other verticals of the organization and see how you can benefit and aid them without getting anything in return apart from goodwill.


C – Commitment – Commitment to the organization during tough periods is obvious. Take a step forward and commit yourself to the next level. If you are in a client facing role, deliver unblemished service, advice, etc. If you are in the back office, your immediate client is your front office staff, who should vouch for your swiftness and impeccable service. Try and make a difference in the life of the producer, for the organization. If you are in purchase, treat your vendors with dignity and respect and extract good deals for the organization. Add value at every level so that you become synonymous with knowledge and high quality.



Spirited Siddhartha says, “Then cycles would come and go but you would continue to grow and be loved in the organization.”





Siddhartha Rastogi

Siddhartha Rastogi

Siddhartha was born to a learned middle class educated family in Semi Urban India. His father was an extremely honest man who because of his honesty had to pay the price in corporate world. Mother is a determined woman who ensured that children are being well taken care off. After a few years of birth, doctors called Siddhartha, a slow child having flat foot. He would fall more than he could walk. Determined mother ensured all therapies for her son to come out strong to fight the world. Siddhartha joined swimming when he was in 6th standard. Seeing other children of his class, he jumped in 10 feet deep pool and learnt swimming on his own, the very same day.

From that day there was no looking back. He topped his city in 12th and went to score highest in his B school exams. During his profession as banker, he became youngest branch manager of a MNC bank managing their biggest wealth branch in the country. There he found love of his life and got married. His love of his life emerged in the form of his daughter who completely changed him for good.

Siddhartha Rastogi is Director for a boutique Investment bank in India.

Siddhartha is a forward looking thinker & writer who has written a book on decision making. 8 Simple steps to effective decision making.

He writes on various social and current issues via his blog and can also be found on twitter.

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