Thursday, 28 April 2016

How to be in-sync with your Human Capital


In today's marketplace, opportunities and job openings are aplenty as the requirement for skilled and experienced workforce is on the rise. The “employed” too, suffering from lack of inspiration, have taken to resigning and rotating from one organization to another, in the search for something new. So, it would appear that there is an equilibrium between the demand and supply of personnel right? Wrong!

Higher attrition rates and frequent job changes result in a negative impact, both for the individual and the entity, leaving a bitter taste to the employment marketplace. Sometimes, “new blood” won’t do it all for an organization, whereas active contribution by seasoned employees could work wonders!

So WHY do people leave?

There is always a reason behind an individual handing in their papers, but the distressing fact of the matter is that employers are ignorant of this reason.

Some of the typical causes for resignation are:
1.    The job and/or workplace do not meet their expectations,
2.    Lack of clarity in reporting & delegation of authority,
3.    Improper channels of communication,
4.    Absence of feedback & coaching mechanism,
5.    Dearth of recognition and career advancement opportunities,
6.    Stressful environment and disparity in workload.

Manager’s or their second-in-command need to listen to employees’ needs, ensuring there is no ambiguity in tasks and roles. The blending of engagement and retention methods will have a significantly positive impact on an organization’s turnover rate.


The key to organic growth and congruent development is attracting, retaining and developing human capital oriented towards business goals, by way of Employee Engagement.

There are umpteen ways to engage employees, by either adopting one or a combination of the strategies listed below, being:
(a)  Rewards and recognition,
(b) Training and development,
(c)  Career advancement programs,
(d) Work/Life and wellness initiatives,
(e)  Conducive leadership and managerial behaviour,
(f)   Community involvement,
(g) Employee events / outings / activities etc.

HOW to retain people?

Retention is the process of re-recruiting your workforce. Motives for a candidate to apply for a particular job and the reasons to stay there are often different. Apart from compensation, the various other aspects that encourage an individual to stay, range from conducive work culture and environment to diversity of responsibilities and work-life balance.

The following are some proven methods which employers use to keep employees happy. This increases the odds that people would carry on and remain an active part of their current organization instead of looking for employment opportunities elsewhere.

1.  Training provides a sense of direction with structured guidance. Through this exercise, employers help employees achieve goals and certify their understanding of job requirements. In turn, this provides staff with growth opportunities to enhance their understanding what they want from their careers.

2.    Mentoring Program integrated with a goal-oriented feedback system provides a structured mechanism for developing strong relationships within an organization. This serves as a solid foundation for employee retention and growth.

Through this program, an organization pairs someone more experienced in a discipline, with someone less experienced in a similar area, with the goal to develop specific competencies, provide performance feedback, and design an individualized career development plan.

3.  Instil a positive culture, comprising of a series of values such as honesty, excellence, attitude, respect, and teamwork. Employees will go the extra mile if they feel responsible for the results of their work, have a sense of worth in their jobs, believe their jobs make good use of their skills, and receive recognition for their contributions.

4.  Display appreciation by offering competitive salaries, profit sharing, bonus programs, pension and health plans, paid time off, and tuition reimbursement. These send a powerful message to employees about their importance. Moreover, the rewards given must be meaningful so as to impact their perception of the organization and have a marked influence on retention efforts.

Go ahead and stir up the dormant interests of employees lying low in your organisation. The success of your company will boil down to the efficiency of your human resources. Get going to create the conditions in which employees offer more of their capability and potential. It’s sure to transform the face of your business!

(This blog post is authored by Kokila Sree, HR Consultant at SansPareil -  

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Does your Company have a fitness trainer?

If you are a Business Owner who seems to be making all the right moves, but are striking “out” more often than not, have you stopped to evaluate what is going wrong? As the founder of an enterprise, nobody would know better than you how to run the show. Be it technical expertise, logistical acumen or staff management, your forte lies in mobilizing vital resources and “making it happen”. 

Once you break into the industry, it’s only a matter of time before restlessness sets it and you’re on the lookout for bigger opportunities. Either expanding geographically, scaling up operations, establishing new tie-ups, or improvising existing offerings, the ingenuity never sleeps! Invariably, you would have your eye on tomorrow, and on future prospects. So how could you know if something is going wrong with your business today?

When riding on the tidal business wave, getting busier and growing fast, the nitty gritty operational details might be overlooked, and process controls may slide every once in a while. 

As isolated incidents, these lapses have no impact. Yet frequented occurrences and a laidback attitude could cause a lot of trouble. In the course of juggling an array of copious tasks, you might want to consider including a self-assessment tool to the loop.

A self-assessment / evaluation suite aims to tell you how healthy your business is right now. Bringing together aspects from core functional and non-functional divisions, it reveals what financial statements never can. 

The questions it poses to you will address areas such as IT security risks, threats from competitors, effectiveness of Organizational controls, influence of statutory compliance etc. Individually these answers speak only for one department, but collectively they paint a vivid image for the enterprise as a whole.

This appraisal of your venture in totality can provide ground-breaking findings and revelations. Practising regular “check-up’s” and “follow-up’s” will ensure your business remains robust and in shape. 

The diagnostic suite, like a personal fitness trainer, will monitor your vitals intermittently, supervise your workouts, suggest modified exercises and pursue you to stick to the meticulously chalked out diet. So stay fit, adhere to the regime and be ready for action!

(This blog post is authored by Netra Prakash, Business Analyst at SansPareil -

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Who will bear the "Brent" of the crude oil fiasco!

The global price benchmark index, which is used for around two-thirds of internationally traded crude oil supplies, is on the verge of collapse. Some would say it’s already as low as it can get yet other’s would say the worst it yet to come. Whatever the opinion, Market Analysts never fail to remind us, with incessant news articles and reports, pinging away to glory on our app-overloaded smartphones.  

The reason behind the fall of Brent Crude are actually one too many. From the boom of the US Fracking Industry, to the delayed response of OPEC to freeze oil output. Russia’s adamant refusal to cut output for fear of losing market share. The economic mismanagement of Venezuela along with the sadistic greed of the Middle-East to remain an oil superpower. All of this read in light of the revelation at Davos, where it was evident that “the global economy seems to be hanging in balance”, sounds like a recipe for disaster, which is fast materializing.  

America’s determination to achieve self-sustenance in the energy industry is proving counter-productive. So much so that they have ended up exporting oil to countries which already have abundant reserves!  What could be more indicative of excess supply than that? Brent Crude has settled for now at $ 35 / Barrel range, after dilly dallying between $ 29 and $ 35 throughout the week.


So why does any of this matter for you? You as a consumer, or a manufacturer, or service provider. What difference does this make? 
A consumer would be elated since less expenditure on fuel implies greater income available to expend in different ways. This emotion percolates to our manufacturer’s / business organizations / service providers as well. Fuel is an unavoidable cost across sectors, and its drop serves as a welcome relief for the overburdened cost centres which characterize our economy.   

From the short term perspective, it appears that fluctuating Brent Crude is favourable, facilitative and a harbinger of all good things to come. Higher disposable incomes (minus the fuel) result in higher sales (from the business angle), increasing profits and cash flow (hypothetically) spreading joy all around. Yet as Isaac Newton once said, “what goes up must come down”.  

On the other side of the world, big players like Royal Dutch Shell and Schlumberger have at present cut an additional 30,000 jobs in 2016. Put together, more than 2,00,000 layoffs have taken place this financial year across allied verticals, with an imminent threat that it’s not the end.  

Firms feeling the pressure of Black Gold, down-sizing of operations, further retrenchment and all that follows. We may be looking at the crumble of our economy, without even realizing its enormity.  

The only way to weather this storm is to wait it out. Keep an eye and ear out for cross border verdicts. Be aware of market trends. Strategize business processes and outlay to at best maintain profits, or delay losses (depending on how well you are doing as of now). It is not wrong to take advantage of the price swings, as long as you have a contingency plan for the times when they start working against you.

(This blog post is authored by Netra Prakash, Business Analyst at SansPareil -

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Make a Dash for it!

In this Information-driven world of business, the question often arises as to what information and how much of it is really relevant. When the CEO of a Manufacturing group needs to know which stock are fast-moving and which are blocking funds, a long list of inventory positions spanning a couple hundred sheets would prove useless. Similarly, the CFO of a suffering Retail-Chain would require segment-wise analysis of position. Handing that gentleman the bare Financial Statements and leaving it to his best judgment to fish out reasons for the loss would be counterproductive!

What these People really need is a bird’s eye view of what’s going on with their Enterprise. They require basic statistics, key ratios and financial metrics which facilitate quick as-is-where-is outline of where they stand.

The era of our user-friendly internet has seen the arrival of abundant templates, software’s and various other un-pronounceable sorts of gizmos and widgets. All of these are for the so-called purpose of managing accounts, financial statements, and managerial reporting. Yet, how do you decide which one of these is right for your organization? 

Is it possible to customize the program in such a manner to suit only your unique business requirements? How can you ensure that you make the right business moves? How can you tap your entity’s intrinsic growth potential?

The magic word is “Dashboard”. Truth be told, there isn’t much of magic involved, yet the idea of fantasy always stirs up a bit of interest. This mechanism commonly referred to as an Information Management Tool, will give an Executive / Director / Owner etc. (by whatever name called) prompt data. 

Granted that it is also what any odd accounting software does. Yet, this data is analyzed, highlighted, illustrated and can be used to chart out comparisons with any period of the user’s choice. This is not another routine MIS, which pumps out numbers and more numbers. Specific to said venture in question, a Dashboard will depict Sales / Service targets achieved, major Costs (if relevant), Profits / Losses, Liquidity / Solvency ratios, Turnover ratios, Industry / Company specific metrics, and the list goes on.

As Aladdin’s genie said “Your wish is my command”, so is the wish of a business owner the command for the Dashboard. It matches his pace or style of working. It is a constant companion in the face of strategic or operational decision-making. It keeps him in the loop of what is really going on, even at the grass-root levels. With the use of dynamic gauges, speedometers, bar graphs, pie charts and all else that the ever-updated Microsoft Excel has to offer, the Dashboard becomes his new best friend.

The foundation being our trustworthy Financial Statements, (Balance Sheet, Statement of Profit & Loss and Cash Flow Statement), a Dashboard is molded out of those reported figures, further evolving to permit modification by the maker and user in line with market conditions, revised budgets, etc. 

A picture is worth a thousand words, and the weight of this sentence can be appreciated with just a glance at the harmonious integration of statistics with design, conferring meaning on often overlooked basic financial ideas.

At the end of the day, the Dashboard can be whatever you want it to be. At home, at work or on the move, it will travel with you and inspire you, jolting you out of the conventional ways of running a business.

Interested in developing customized dashboards for your business...we have a knack for that.

(This blog post is authored by Netra Prakash, Business Analyst at SansPareil -