My Boss doesn’t want me to WORK..

Hi Amit,

This is my first mail to you and I would like to share that I’m really liking the stuff you send on a regular basis. I am honored to be part of your mailing list.

My purpose of writing to you is to share about my new job in HR and I seek some solution on the same. I hope that you will help me out.

Presently I am working in a Hospital as an Executive – HR (Training and Development) and I want to really work hard but somehow my Sr. Manager – HR (female) is not giving me enough work from the last one month after I joined them as a full time employee post completion of my training period. Its really frustrating for me to sit idle the entire day.

To develop a better understanding, let me explain in a little detail to you. Before joining this hospital on-rolls, I was with them for a probation period of 3 months as a Trainee – HR. During this time, I used to make presentations (visit entire office/hospital) by taking pictures of misconduct (if any) in the hospital as well as gathering training requirement from the various other departments. I completed my job as a Trainee and since April, I am on their rolls as an Executive HR in the hospital. Now the problem is that since I have joined them as a full time employee, my Manager is not giving me any work to do. I asked her to clear my role and assign work so that I can be engaged but she is not willing to give any independent responsibility to me.

Daily I am asking her to allocate some work to me but nothing is happening. There are only 7 people in the entire HR department including me and my Senior Manager HR. There are around 1000 employees in the hospital hence work is there but I am been kept out of it. All the current HR team members with me have less than a year of experience and I have in total 5 years of experience but unfortunately I had to discontinue my job after getting married on account of some unavoidable circumstances. So there is a gap of one year in my present job and my last job.


I am not getting the correct way to handle my manager who was appreciating my work during my Training period and I really don’t know what went wrong that she is not asking or even giving any responsibility to me. This is sometimes becoming very frustrating for me.

Can you please suggest some solution or approach which I should adopt as I am not in a situation to leave my  job and sit at home doing nothing. 

And also can you please suggest me the work which I can do which can help me make my own place in the HR department. Culture is good here …no politics…no unfair treatment to people…….. ALL IS WELL and good here

Please suggest me what should I do.



First of all understand that the organizational dynamics changes when you join them as a full time working professional. As a trainee your work was appreciated, but that doesn’t mean you will get a similar recognition after you are employed with them. The quantum and quality of work suddenly changes. 

The organization starts expecting a lot once you join them as an employee. When they are paying you, they expect jobs to be finished in a more professional manner. The level of expectations from a Trainee and that of a paid employee is quite high and you would have to work harder to prove your worth.

In our company, when we hire trainees, we assign projects and expect them to learn and work sincerely. Some take their training period seriously while majority just want a Training Certificate. We appreciate if they perform as per our expectations however, in case they don’t deliver, it does not hamper our mainstream work as we have already given them non critical tasks. How much keen they are in taking up vital tasks forms the basis of giving them important and critical assignment from our end. Otherwise training becomes just a mere formality for both of us. 

You mentioned that as a trainee you performed well and got an offer from them to work full time. Its an achievement and you should feel good about it. After all you must have done a good job in your training period. Happiness is a great motivator and one should celebrate small victories to keep the spirits high and flying. 

There is a bigger responsibility on your shoulders now. You need to take your calibre and performance to the next level.

Ambition is the DESIRE to get what you deserve. Reckless ambition is the desire to get what you deserve whether you deserve it or not.

As an HR professional I can say that communication resolves many issues.  However, this medium must be used effectively as over usage can turn relations bitter.

None of us like people banging our doors again and again, when we don’t want them to come in.

Your constant follow up with your manager to assign work, can irritate her. You never know she might have some different plans for you. May be she wants to observe initially before giving critical assignments to you. I think learn the organizational dynamics and wait for some more time before asking quality work from her.

The management needs to build trust in you and ensure that you settle down first. May be they are testing your patience (which is an important quality required in HR) and are waiting to see how you react.

Keeping an individual idle is the biggest test of patience.

My advice to you that since you have recently joined on rolls from April, don’t be restless and give some more time to them and to yourself.

Few suggestions from my end. Hope they help you.

  • Give yourself and the organization time to understand each other.

  • To get yourself acquainted with the organizational procedures by reading their manuals, policies etc. Meet more people in  the company and understand their job profile.

  • There is this thing called Job Description (JD) for any role in an organization. You can ask your manager to share the JD for your role. In case there is no JD, you can create one by taking support of your boss.

  • Do whatever work (even small) assigned to you with full sincerity and loyalty.

  • You mentioned that the culture is good and favourable. Try and become a custodian of the organization values and heritage.

  • Give your 100% in the training and development initiatives. Sit with people and interact with them and identify gaps in skills and how can you cater to their training needs. Prepare a summary report and present it to your boss.

  •  Looking at your work history an association for at least 2-3 years with a company is good as continuity is maintained and you have a pretty decent resume. Recruiters don’t consider you a frequent job hopper.

  • Try to be more pally with your boss. Don’t irritate her by asking for work again and again. Instead try and find out what she likes doing and how she spends time when she is not working. This way you can establish a connection and discuss on topics that are of interest to her as well.

Last but not the least, stay calm and composed and don’t let small obstacles shake you in any way.

Let me know what you think and how things changed after implementing my suggestions. Do you think they will work or not. Let me hear your frank feedback in the comments.


Are your Fun-at-Work activities a flop?

When do you know that it’s time to PAUSE and RE-think?

Well, when things are not working your way or maybe when they are not working the GOOD WAY.

You have a dress-up day at office and there are just few employees in the dress code.

You announced a contest and there is no employee ENTHUSIASM to participate.

You distributed company’s T-shirts and no one wears them to work.

Now that’s the time you, as HR, must think what you are doing wrong with your fun at work activities.

Studies prove that not just MONEY and RECOGNITION, it is also the social and psychological fulfillment that keeps employees MOTIVATED and ENGAGED at work. Fun at work activities are a simple yet effective way to make employees feel connected with each other and with the organization. These activities help to ease the pressure of deadlines and commitments (though for some time) and let employees relax at work.

Then why is it that employees at times avoid to be part of activities organized in their best interest?

If you are concerned about why your Fun-at-work activities do not work out well with employees, these might be some of the reasons:-

You make it too FORMAL

If you appear out of HR glass doors on Fridays and expect employees to join you in fun activities, you will face disappointment. Unless employees feel involved they won’t participate. They must first trust you and know you in order to join you into anything. Fun-at-work must be part of your company’s culture for employees to understand and enjoy it.

Your employees are UPSET

Think again, is there anything that your employees are not happy about, maybe appraisal, bonus or benefits. Any promises that have been broken in the past. If yes, probably it is their way of showing that displeasure. Ofcourse, they do not want to give you an opportunity to compensate this way.

Managers do not PARTICIPATE

A great boost to employee morale and enthusiasm comes from their managers. If managers do not participate for any reason (best known to them) it is most obvious that their team also feel hesitant or disinterested to join.

Employees do not have TIME

Work load (for any reason) is also a possibility why employees miss to join any activity that requires them to stay late to meet deadlines. If activities are scheduled during work hours, anticipate some no shows already.

Is there anything that you as HR can do about it?


Change your approach to Employee Engagement activities. Try to understand what really matters to employees. REDESIGN your employee engagement model; make it more stimulating for employees.

Change Fun-at-work attitude to Fun-in-work

“We will never—and I mean never—turn our backs on our employees” – Howard Schultz, Starbucks

Starbucks is ruling on sales and customer loyalty because of its highly committed employees. The company has strategically focused engagement activities that involves employee at all level with its mission, vision and performance. It provides every opportunity for collaboration and innovation to its employees. It has an incredible culture of thanking, appreciating employees and seeking employee feedback in every matter possible.

This is how best organizations do it. They make employee engagement an ongoing activity.

Organizations and HR pros everywhere are getting experimental with their engagement practices to keep low on employee turnover and promote better work culture. Approach engagement through Fun-at-work activities with a more open mindset to make it part of your workplace culture.

When planning Fun-at-work activities keep employees involved. Invite suggestions, create polls, ask for volunteers, and let them feel a part of it.

– Promote social connections at work through internal networking groups, knowledge communities that encourage cross team interaction.

HR behavior influences employee behavior. Encourage them by looking and behaving enthusiastic yourself.

A reward/prize might do the trick. Recognize and appreciate employee participation.

Encourage open and honest communication at work.

Promote team collaboration by organizing out of office events.

If you are starting afresh, things might move slowly initially. And yet again, organizing parties, events and giveaways is just one aspect of Fun-at-work. The real fun happens when employees seem to enjoy their work and the workplace. Though it is not always possible to make work a fun business (it is meant to be a serious affair), connecting employees with the organization is the real idea.

I will wait to hear your views and thoughts on encouraging employees to join fun-at work activities?

About the Author:

Meetu Khanduja is an HR professional with extensive experience of working with IT/ITES industry. She holds an MBA (HR) and PDG in IPR (Intellectual Property Rights). She shares her experience and views on HR on her blog – www.hrdictionaryblog.com


Rocking the HR Carnival Of April 2014

I am happy to be back. And this time with a BANG!!!

I hosted the December 2013 HR Carnival last year. Things have really changed so far. I thought of coming out with some theme for this Carnival of HR, but then didn’t wanted to restrict on any submission.

So, for the HR carnival fans out there, here is what April Carnival has in store for you.

This time the list is pretty long but I am sure by following the links, you will get loads of useful information for sure. 

How To Get Into Human Resource Management?

Ben Eubanks from the Upstart HR answers one of the questions which even I thought of asking many senior HR professionals at the start of my career in Human Resources. He writes an elaborate and a detailed post on helping people on how to get into human resources without experience. This post is a treasure on the subject backed by some data from a recent survey Ben developed, and insights from other HR professionals which makes this post worth reading and bookmarking for future. Its pretty long, but it’s going to be good. Mark my words. 

Training and Development

Do you think that training is a form of LUXURY? Do you see the investment made on training and development as an EXPENSE? Dan McCarthy talks about the “70-20-10” model of leadership development. Let’s stop pushing “development” as a cheap replacement for training, if it’s really just an excuse to cut costs, and let’s get smarter as to how we invest our limited training budgets. Do check out the complete post on his blog on “Great Leadership

Shawna Berthold on Technomedia’s blog tackles an interesting leadership development topic in “Filling the Leadership Gap through Performance Management.” Berthold’s post uncovers that while employers realize the importance of developing the next generation of leaders, they have not been executing on the necessary steps to develop them.  Berthold shares some best practices, tying development to performance management, as a food for thought.

Sylvia Vorhauser-Smith latest blog post on Forbes.com, Defining the Six Tiger Countries of Southeast Asia: Workforce Characteristics and Talent Management Implications, uncovers the significant differences between countries with regard to talent management and changing workforce demographics. Do check it out.

HR Reconciliation

Reconciliation is a critical HR concept, but we rarely talk about it.   We talk a lot about engagement, harmony, trust and tolerance but not so much about the reconciliation needed to be successful. Ian Welsh tries to break the ice by answering Is Reconciliation With Reality a Major HR Challenge

In business, mistakes can lead to higher expenses, lost revenues, greater risk, and diminished market share. Some mistakes are obvious – a poorly performing product, obsolete design, poor customer service. These and similar errors are easy to spot with good quality control and by keeping an eye on key performance indicators, such as number of units returned as defective. Alex Raymond shares with us the top five problems and resulting costs associated with a company that lacks effective alignment. 

Employee Engagement – HR Practices

According to a survey from Monster, nearly 60 percent of respondents said they experience work-related stress. The survey also indicates that workplace stress can be caused by any part of a job and is different for everyone. So what to do? Check out this awesome post by Kate Achille on which she shares tips for improving productivity and reducing stress with her 4 Ways To Be Happier At Work

Blake McCammon from Blogging 4 Jobs comes up with their 5 Truths To Gaining Employment and Living Life. They also come up with the 4 steps in creating a employee friendly workplace. Don’t get scared of Big Data. Check out to know What’s the Big Deal with Big Data in HR & Recruiting” 

The recent blog post from Hogan Assessment Systems, workplace assessment expert, Jocelyn Hays reflects on her educational background and experience to detail how employers select new hires in the real world.  She discusses hiring trends around determining fit, applying for multiple jobs at once, references and hiring technologies.

Karin Hurt explores in the blog post on the 9 Ways to Be a Positive Force in a Negative Workplace. The world needs people who dive deeper to change a negative workforce. It’s far easier to run away. Do read it.

John Hunter from the Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog shared one of the practices called Pay to Quit followed at Amazon wherein once a year, they offer to pay their associates to quit. The first year the offer is made for $2,000. Then it goes up one thousand dollars a year until it reaches $5,000. Go check out this post Innovative Thinking at Amazon: Paying Employees $5,000 to Quit

Taking cue from what happened in Toronto last week, when a Ceridian employee went on a rampage, stabbing several of his colleagues after apparently learning that his employment has been terminated, Stuart Rudner from Rudner Macdonald.com shares some valuable tips for employers and employees on how to handle dismissals and Planning for the Unthinkable

Ageism” has been talked about frequently in the news, especially in the recent years following the recession. It has gotten a lot of press recently with reports of workers in their 30s in Silicon Valley getting Botox injections in order to appear younger in an attempt to compete against “younger” workers. Mike Haberman in his latest blog post explores on the Seven Signs of Age Harassment.

Leadership Development

It’s time to evaluate leaders by the most crucial output for which they’re responsible: the quality of their followers. Julie Winkle Giulioni talks about How Well-Populated is Your Pipeline

According to an upcoming i4cp study on organizational agility, more than 64% of large organizations experience disruptive change in the past 24 months. Markets are changing rapidly, often unpredictably, and winners can unexpectedly become losers. Erik Samdahl digs more in Building Agile Workforce Planning and Analytics Capability. Do check out the post on his blog.

HR Technology

Anita Lettink questions on the influx of technology into HR. The general idea is that technology dehumanizes the personal touch that HR leaders are keen to have. Somewhere along the line, we’ve become so obsessed to make HR service delivery as cost-efficient as possible that we’ve overlooked the employee experience. And that means we’re missing out on something important. Read more on How HR is not About Technology.

The challenge of Big Data and analytics is to do new and better things, including better leadership development. The promise of technology doesn’t lie in doing the things we’ve always done only faster. The big payoff is when we invent knew things that deliver results we never dreamed were possible. Wally Bock shares views on Developing Leaders with Analytics

Strategic HR Orientation

Chris Fields investigates on why HR is not made part of any strategic decision making process. In his blogpost, he shares two interesting examples on the industry leaders who brought HR into the boardroom as strategic partners and how it added value to the entire discussion.

Other Interesting Reads

Danielle Weinblatt shares tips to help employers attract, screen, and leave a positive impression with creative thinkers using diverse and cutting edge talent acquisition practices.  The post, To Hire Innovators, Be Innovative covers areas including employment brand, social media, hackathons and more.

Naomi Bloom in the interests of raising money for the nationally-reviewed professional theater pulled out her hidden talent and let ‘er rip.  And that got her thinking about what other hidden talents lay forgotten or simply not uncovered and never recorded because, at the time, they don’t seem job-related to her. After reading her post, I throw this question for you. “Will you ever update your Linkedin profile with a list of your hidden talents?”

Why are You After Passive Job Seekers,” a blog post from Russell Miyaki on recruiting top performers, rather than “passive candidates.” Russell’s posts asks recruiters to think about the process a little differently to catch the attention and make an impact with these individuals.

Mervyn Dinnen congratulates the budding job seekers upon joining the corporate world. He shares with us the 3 Things Millennials Need to Know About Their Bosses.

Technology has impacted our life to the core. The moment you wake up in the morning till the time you sleep, you are hooked to the tiny device the so called your “mobile phone“. I can’t imagine a life without it today. But Doug Shaw in his recent post asks all the readers this question “What did you do before you had a mobile phone?” Head over to his blog to join in this interesting conversation.

Thats all I can share for this Carnival of HR. I am thankful to all the contributors for sharing their recent posts with us and enlightening us with their valuable thoughts. Do drop in your comments and let us know your learning from this HR carnival. 


Romance @ Workplace – Cupid Strikes

What will happen if your boyfriend/spouse joins your organization and becomes your co-worker?

Hi Amit,

Since last 2 years I am working in the sales department of a reputed organization in the advertising sector. Sometime back my organization advertised a vacancy in the operations department. Looking at the role and the qualifications, I am pretty sure that my boyfriend is suitable for this job and will get selected if he applies for the same. If he clears the hiring process, he would join my organization in mid July and as a result we will end up working together on the same floor. He will be helping me with all the back up support I need for closing any client call. That ways we will be in constant touch with one another on the job.

What are your views on this arrangement? I know he is capable and will be selected, however in case I recommend his name to the hiring manager will it impact me in any sense? I want people to perceive that my recommendation is purely on requirement basis and not on account of he being my boyfriend. 

What actions I must take to assure my employer that we will both maintain a professional relationship at workplace? 


I am not sure whether your current organization ALLOW couples to work together.

If they have a policy of not hiring relatives, friends etc, REFRAIN from recommending him to your current employer.

Do check from your HR on this one

While many organization these days ENCOURAGE employees to refer their spouses, friends, cousins etc for internal vacancies, they also ensure that they both work in different departments. This is done so that there is no conflict of interest between them. 

Hiring people from internal references can be seen as a STRATEGIC move as it helps in checking the growing attrition level in the organization. It is been observed that people who are hired by internal references, tend to stay more than a normal hire.

If there is a policy by which you can refer him internally, go ahead and forward your boyfriend’s application to the hiring manager putting a word or two supporting his candidature. 

In case he gets selected you both will get plenty of time to work together. :)

One important thing to keep in mind is that you should work within the boundaries of professionalism and not INDULGE in any act which may make others around you feel uncomfortable at the workplace (I hope you are understanding my point here).

Life is full of uncertainty and I am not aware about your future plans, whether you both wish to get married or not. God forbid in case you guys decide to separate or break up, you need to address such a situation without messing up things around you. I don’t know so I can’t comment on how much emotionally you guys are attached to each other however in such a situation, react maturely without bringing your personal problems to work.

Sit down and think from all perspectives before taking any decision.

Some of my inputs are mentioned below:-

a) Do you both actually want to work with each other? I mean to say whether you both are willing to share your professional space with each other. There are possibilities that after answering this question majority of your problem will get solved. Do an honest discussion and anticipate events that may occur if you both start working together.

b) Relationships are short lived these days. In case your relationship ends, who will be the one to leave the job to find another in case there are lot of differences and things turn worse between the two of you.  

c) I understand when love is in the air, certain things go beyond your control. You guys need to plan on your behavior and reaction at workplace. I know it may sound difficult but you need to conceal your emotions and feeling with a mask of professionalism. You both need to understand that at workplace you are first committed to your job and then to yourselves.

d) If you share a good rapport with your boss I would advise you to keep him in the loop and that your boyfriend will be working with you in case he gets selected. That ways you have taken him into confidence. 

e) Office romances sometimes become the topics discussed in tea breaks or on lunch table. Maintain your dignity so that you do not become the subject of entertainment for others. 

Folks in office love gossip. As one coworker said,”I know that’s a false rumor, but it’s just too juicy not to believe.”

Go forward and work out your way. I would request other people to also share their views and help our fellow member to come to some conclusion. Please drop your comments below :)


I’m Loving it – What makes me STICK with you till now?


  • Do you feel energised while going to work everyday? 
  • Does your current organization provides ample opportunities for you to learn and grow? 
  • Does your organization supports in maintaining a healthy work life balance?

Was your answer to any of the above questions a YES!!!

Then Read on….

Everyone of us likes to work in an organization which provides room for self development and professional growth.

People with high motivation PERFORM better.

Employees who are “engaged” and enabled” are more likely to OUTPERFORM.

For companies to ensure that their employees are empowered as well as motivated, it’s vital to have a “supportive leadership” with an effective employee “feedback” process coupled with a rewarding “performance management system“.

Hence, this brings up an interesting topic to explore as to what all things an employee expects from its employer?

Is it only salary?

Is it only growth or a mix of BOTH.

Let’s dig in further and know from each other…

Today in this post, I would like to know what motivates us to work in our current organization? What are the good things that we like about our current employer? Does it provide ample opportunities for us to perform? Are your concerns addressed appropriately? 

To start off, let me share few things that I like about my organization and the reason why I am still STICKing to it.

I joined my current company (SRF) in November 2008 and after spending more than 5 years with the organization, I still feel that the journey has just started and there so much to do and accomplish.

I  am actively involved in many employee engagement initiatives. I am part of the company’s core HR group and have been driving various HR projects at business level. There are around 45-50 HR professionals in the company which are working in plant and corporate HR roles. My complete profile snapshot can be viewed at my LinkedIn page here.

I was part of the team that implemented HRIS (Human Resource Information System) in the company in 2009. I was part of the team which revamped the employee rewards and recognition program in 2013. I was part of the business HR team which helped in establishing HR systems and processes in our 2 new overseas unit at Thailand and South Africa.

My objective of sharing my accomplishments should not be viewed as bragging but the point I want to make here is that I was able to contribute because my organization gave me opportunities to explore my capabilities.

Listed below are few of the qualities that I feel proud of my current organization:

  • Respect for every individual and freedom to share their views and perceptions.

  • Very good people policies and employee engagement activities.

  • Easy access and free interaction with senior management.

  • Flexible working environment.

  • Cooperative and understanding seniors and colleagues.

  • Provides great learning and development avenues.

  • Provides ample growth and career opportunities.

  • Have a very good rewards and recognition system. One of the well established is the Long Service Award function where the organization recognizes and appreciates the association of people from 5 years to 30 years with the company.

  • Developing villages and educating children as part of the corporate social responsibility initiatives.

  • TQM (Total Quality Management) Orientation of people which helps in creating customer delight.

Let me hear from you on what you think about your current company. What are the motivating factors for you? I would encourage you to share your company name but if you do not wish to share, its ok with us. 

It would be really nice if we can have the comments in the following structure:

Name of the current company: _____________ (if you wish to share)

Since how long you are been associated with your current organization: __________

Reasons for your association: _______________

I am eagerly waiting to hear from you.

Post your comments by signing up with Disqus or using any of your social media accounts. That ways your comments can be linked to popular social media sites. 

Why I’m Not Getting Promotion In My Job?


How Do I Get A Promotion In My Job?

Getting recognition at your place of employment for a job well done is something every employee wants and hopefully strives for.

Sometimes it may seem that no matter how good your work is, you are always overlooked by your boss at the time of promotions.

Here are a few reasons that may account for why you never get promoted, and tips to help you advance in your professional career.

Why You Don’t Get a Promotion & Ways to Get Promoted…

Why Do I Never Get Promoted? How to Get A Job Promotion

You may not have the skills to do the job.

While you might be doing a great job in your current position, your boss or manager might not be convinced or even know that you have the skills and strengths needed to perform well in a more advanced position.

Sometimes my employees have skills I don’t even know about,” said Michael Thomas, the HR manager of Satellite TV Depot. “I’ve been pleasantly surprised on more than one occasion by an employee who stepped forward and offered to help out in an area I did not know they were interested in or had a background in.”

Show your employer that you can handle the job!

You Don’t Exceed Expectations and Take Initiative.


Why would your boss not be sure that you have the skills to handle the new responsibilities that come along with a job promotion?

Because you haven’t taken enough initiative and proven that you can do more.

Again, you might be performing your current job responsibilities well, but if you really want that promotion you have to convince your supervisors that you can handle more than your current workload.

How do you do this?

You can impress the boss by doing more than what is expected of you and taking initiative with tasks that management might not associate you with or expect you to go for.


You’re Not Professional Enough.


You might be doing a great job with the responsibilities assigned to you, but are you the kind of person that might get into a verbal confrontation in the company break room or drink way too much at the employee Christmas party?

You might not want to hear it, but your boss is judging you on more than just how well you complete your job responsibilities.

If you really want a job promotion, start paying more attention to your etiquette and how you come across on a personal level in the workplace.


You Can’t Handle Constructive Criticism.


One way that you can tell how mature and dedicated an employee is how well they handle criticism.

Part of developing new skills is taking advice and criticism from others with more experience than you.

You’re not going to be perfect at every task the first time you try it, so don’t take it personally when your boss offers you tips on how to do better next time. If you freak out when your boss critiques your work, he or she might doubt that you can handle the added pressures and stress of a job promotion.


You Expect a Promotion.


No boss wants to give a promotion to someone who is making it too obvious that they expect and deserve to be promoted.

While it is a good idea to let the higher ups know you want to contribute more to help the company, you also don’t want to beat your boss over the head with constant reminders of how much you deserve to get a pay increase and promotion.

You might have been with the company longer than other employees, but remember that that alone doesn’t make you a shoe-in for the job.


How to Get a Job Promotion?


Not getting the promotion you have done the hard work to get can be frustrating. While it may make you want to pull your hair out, the best thing you can do is buckle down, work hard, and show (not tell) your boss that you really do deserve the next one.


What is your take on it?