Training programs at successful organizations are focussed on improving all the four aspects of the employees and fine tuning them to enable the employees develop a healthy attitude and get habituated with desirable traits by the use of various forms of motivation and reward systems, apart from a periodic assessment and up-gradation of knowledge and skills.
When the older companies were set up, the workforce – both “labour” and “management” were from similar socio economic backgrounds. An employee is slotted as manager or managed based on his/her education/knowledge and skills alone as the attitude and habits were more similar than diverse. Hence culture got built more easily in older companies in the yester years. It is more difficult today.
Attitude and Habits differ based on the socio economic backgrounds of people.
Habits are usually very difficult to break and a smart organisation leverages on the habits of effective people to make it an organisation habit and later on, it becomes the culture of an organisation. A great example can be seen in Asian Paints, one of the top 10 paint companies in the world and it is totally Indian. It is Asian Paints culture to take detailed notes in all meetings whether with dealers or otherwise. The action points are clearly highlighted and the same is reviewed in the next meeting. This is a habit and now is a part of the culture of the company. The culture is one of being mindful of even the smallest detail and hence the company is just and plain efficient and therefore dominant in its operations!!
Attitude is a more individualised trait and is even more difficult to leverage on for creating a successful organisation. Asian Paints recruits over 200 fresh graduates from top management and engineering schools as trainees every year. To ensure that the individual’s attitude “gels” with the overall company’s culture without affecting his individuality, Asian Paints has a training program for a year whereby every trainee starts off at the lowest level in the function he is assigned to. For example, a sales management trainee starts off as a salesman in one territory where he is an under study to the regular sales officer. He travels by the same conveyance and eats the same food and stays at the same hotel as the sales officer. This as is generally meant to “grinds all inflated egos to the ground” and generates an attitude to help others and understand the real “market”. Later on when the trainee manages the sales teams, he knows their issues and problems and is able to take effective decisions without any “false” attitude. Anybody who does not make the “cut” is clearly reassigned or eased out after the first round of promotions. This has created a culture of friendliness, apolitical approach that has made Asian Paints what it is today.
Written by Srinivas M (firstname.lastname@example.org) with inputs from Vembu Shivkumar