Should I Tell My Colleague About His Body Odor?

Hello Amit,

Thanks for sending regular emails on the HR subject and enlightening me like always.

I am sharing with you a problem, however I do not know how to convey it to the person concerned.

Please help. I have a colleague of mine in our team with a very strong body odor. He has a great sense of style and dressing. By just looking at him you can’t even make out that he will not be conscious of his body odor. He is well qualified but seriously I would not want to be even in the same room when we are told to work together. How should I tell him so that I am not going to hurt his male ego?

Jessica

 ——————————————————————————————————————————————————

Hi,

I have always believed and experienced one thing in life.

People will accept and appreciate your inputs, if they feel that your feedback is for their own good and that you truly care for them.

You ought to sound “GENUINE” so that things work on the positive side.

I think your colleague is not ignorant on his body odour, it’s just that he himself might not know about it.

What I can make out from your mail is that you really want to help him so I see no way of you hurting his male ego.

Communicating effectively is a vital point here. 

According to me there can be 2 approaches here.

personl hygiene

You can go up to him and can tell “My dear friend you stink. Use a deo or people might stop talking to you. 

OR

You you may suggest him that “My dear friend, as I am working with you for sometime now, I am a bit concerned and would like to suggest you to use a deodorant for hygiene and personal health. My intentions are to help you as I think this will help you in your career and would also increase your efficiency at workplace. Hope you don’t mind on my inputs as I see this will help you in the long term

Which approach you think will be more effective?

Second one….RIGHT?

On the first go it may come as a surprise to him, as there are some people for whom personal hygiene doesn’t matter that much. There are people who make it to adulthood without understanding which parts of their bodies need a good soaping regularly. Even though there are quite a number of deodorants in the market these days ranging from strong to mild (depending upon your stink capacity, people however ignore this basic hygiene aspect and consider it a bad investment.

So if your colleague is one of those guys, on the cheaper side ask him to wash his clothes regularly. So, if you guys share a good rapport, you need to explain to him in a polite manner that this may prove bad for his career. A bit of soap, some deodorant and laundry detergent would help him resolve this issue.

Further, if this thing is pointed out by a senior person, it could result in embarrassment for him. Make him understand that your discussion around this topic is for his own benefit and not that you would like to insult him. Your sense of genuineness will play a big role in this communication. I know being a female it would be challenging to convey such a thing but you never know your help may shape his career in the long run.

Further, I would ask you to suggest him to see a doctor as his stinking thing can be based on some medical problem, hence recommend him to bring it up as soon as this problem doesn’t become obvious to all. Secondly, if you feel that you would not be able to deal with it address it to your HR as a hygiene issue and let them take it up with him.

What do you think on my approach on this subject? These things sometimes becomes sensitive if taken wrongly by an individual. Let me have your views on this………please reply in the comments section below.

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.

 

Hi,

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.

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? 

Hi,

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 :)

Warning: Is Someone Else Stealing The Credit For Your Work?

I was surprised to see him present my work as his own! He didn’t even bother to acknowledge me for it. What should I do? What should I do so this never gets repeated again with me in future? 

Ever experienced like this before in your life…… 

How many times have you ever felt that your co-worker is getting the credit for all the hard work that you are doing?

Do you feel betrayed or disheartened when he/she is getting recognized for, which in fact, you deserved?

You slogged day and night only to see someone else climbing the podium and taking the award.

Are you looking for a job change because you are being overlooked or under appreciated?

If you are part of the corporate culture, I guess many of us would have felt this way in some or the other time in our career. 

But most of us shy away from talking or telling their Managers about it.

Why?

Let’s face it.

We don’t want to be viewed as a “whiny child” 

OR

We feel scared to raise our voice.

There are only two kinds of people who are really fascinating – people who know absolutely everything and people who know absolutely nothing.”  The Picture of Dorain Gray

In this post, I would like to expose you on how you can work on ways to get credit for your work. But before we dive into the “how part“, let us first do something which is logical, will enhance your credibility and professionalism in the eyes of the management and your manager.

Still with me…

Good!

Let Your Manager Know About it First.

Its your first and foremost responsibility to inform your manager on something which is upsetting you. Any “decent boss” will always like to know why you feeling that ways and I am keeping my “fingers crossed” that your boss is decent and genuinely thinks for your development. So your first thing is how to approach him, sounding genuine, and not making yourself talk like a “whiny child”. 

The Art Of Sharing Information – How To Approach Him? 

Your gesture and your tone should sound as if your are “concerned” and not that you are “complaining” about anything.  You are not here to question on why your co-worker was recognized rather you want to inquire on what basis a recognition was given and where you need to do things differently.

This will open doors for a discussion on 2 points:-

a) The Criteria Behind the Recognition

When your manager will hear your concern, he might be in a position to share with you that the person got recognized for something else and not for the project that you both were working on. This will help to clear your doubt on whether that person actually took credit for your work or not. Sometimes, without thinking, we start assuming things based on our perceptions

In case, he was recognized for the same project that you both were working, you can ask your manager as to what was the evaluation criteria behind the recognition.

Was it for a specific contribution or project deliverable?

Was it for a single person or the entire team?

Was it for some time duration?

These things will help you develop a better understanding on how things were viewed by the management and why didn’t your name appeared on the “list”. It will also help you to know how your manager perceives your work and how you should get recognized or what are your prospects for getting recognized in future.

b)  Your Role and Contribution

If the recognition was based on the same project work, you now have an opportunity to share with your manager the role you played in the entire project. Take all the back up data, reports, files etc as a proof on what amount of effort and work you did for turning that project into a success. 

May be you discover that your manager genuinely didn’t realize your efforts you had put in the project or he himself was annoyed with the management’s decision on not including your name in the recognition. Things will fall in place, once you start communicating with him.

Sometimes, communication, done in a structured manner, does help in clearing the air and reducing confusion and future confrontations.

Its not always easy to get the credit that you truly deserve. One can do great work, but if no one knows about your contribution in the results, you will never get recognized. People tend to work “behind the scenes” and are not interested in “blowing their own trumpet” as they think its against their morals and values. Some people are smart enough to take the credit, when credit isn’t due to them. This is a common practice followed in the overly competitive corporate world today.

Don’t let “Perceptions” turn into a “Reality“.

Its not always easy to change well established “Perceptions“.

 get credit for your work2

See How Easily You Can Learn to Do These 5 Simple Steps To Get Credit For What You Deserve.

1. Let Your Manager Be Informed on All Projects That You Are Working On

Keep your boss or manager in loop on the the various projects that you are currently working on. This information sharing with him will help you in two forms.

a) He knows the level of your participation and can share this information in relevant forums across the organization. Most of the senior managers have the privilege of representing their function or department in various platforms in an organization. This way others will also know about your role and contribution and in turn help them to evaluate your role at the time of the recognition.

b) He will build trust and appreciate your gesture that you like to keep him informed on the projects that you are working on.

2. Create a Visibility for Yourself

Some people are tactful in “blowing their own horn“. To stop this behavior and let others know about your contribution, start sharing on what you have done to make the project a success. Create a space for yourself. Let people know of your capabilities. There’s a difference between “bragging” and “informing“. I appreciate that you take the latter approach for creating a unique visibility for yourself.

Don’t leave the door open for anybody to take the credit when something is actually yours.

3. Try Taking Projects, That You Can Handle and “Owe” Independently

Be confident and have faith in your knowledge and skills. Take initiatives. Become a solution provider. Be the first one to look for project opportunities that you can handle and “owe” them independently. Even a small project can result in contributing significantly in the overall organizational objectives.

Get out of your comfort zone and take things that you can manage easily in your platter.

4. Ensure That There Is A Proper And Timely Review Of All the Projects That You Are Working On

A timely and formal review will always help you in moving in the right direction. It will also do an informed communication to the concerned reviewer as to “who is” doing “what“. Make this review meeting on not just sharing results but also on how your ideas helped in achieving the desired results. These type of meetings  will directly impact how others will view you and your value in the organization.

Word of mouth is one of the oldest and the most effective forms of marketing. Let your work speak for you and help in establishing your brand. 

5. Give Credit To Your Team Members Who Genuinely Helped You In The Project Work

‘A Leader Should Know How to Manage Failure’ 

(Former President of India APJ Abdul Kalam at Wharton India Economic forum , Philadelphia , March 22, 2008)

I read this interesting excerpt from the interview of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam where he shared how the then chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization, Prof. Satish Dhawan held the press conference and took the entire responsibility of the failure on his own shoulders. One thing that was learnt from this episode was that “when failure occurred, the leader of the organization owned that failure. When success came, he gave it to his team“.  

 A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of the credit.

Did you ever experience that someone took your share of the credit? What did you do? Did you tell anyone about it? What was his or her reaction on it.? Share your experiences in the comments section below.

If you like the post and think that your friends or collegues can benefit from it, share it on Twitter and Facebook

One Powerful Word Which Will Help You Grow In Your Career

Yes and it is THE Most Powerful word which will Help you GROW in your career. Don’t Believe Me. Read On…..

How often do you say “Thank You“?

 

Many of you will be thinking “Big Deal” I say this everyday.

 

Hey listen. I didn’t mean the robotic “thank you” which you give to your sales person after your shopping at Shopper’s Stop.

 

Or the Thank You to the door boy who just merely opens the door for you at the restaurant.

 

What I’m talking here is the Honest and Sincere “thank you” which is not merely spoken but is felt from the heart.

 

Think about it for a moment…..How often do you really feel it when you SAY it?

 

My guess may be 60% of the times you feel it however, if you still like to learn on how to make it more impactful……don’t go anywhere.

 

Let me help you in appreciating and utilizing the power of such a wonderful word like “THANK YOU“.

 

You still with me?..Good :)

 

I wish everyday is a “Thanksgiving Day

 

Every person likes to be associated with an organization which promotes a culture of gratitude and recognition. Apart from salary and other benefits, each individual wants that his or her work be appreciated and recognized. One of the simple and yet powerful way of appreciating any individual is just by saying “Thank You”

 

Imagine a situation where you successfully completed an assignment given by your boss and he doesn’t say anything to you. He never tells you anything even if the work was very good. Next, in a similar situation, after your completion of the assignment he comes to your desk and acknowledges your work and says Thank You.

 

Does his appreciation mean anything to you? In 90% of the cases it does matter to you. And it will help you to be motivated for your next assignment.

 

Your “Quality” of saying Thank You can help you build your own brand, persuade your employees to work beyond the call of their duty and in turn will help you grow in your career.

 

  • Saying Thank You increases your chances of getting helped.
  • Saying Thank You increases your chances of earning respect.
  • Saying Thank You increases your chances of motivating people

 

I don’t mean here that from tomorrow onwards you start saying thank you to everyone for each and every task they perform. You should learn to say it Right and at the Right Moment. As you are cautious while spending money, similarly you should spend “Thank You” wisely.

 

I would consider Thank You as a catalyst which increases the rate of the overall Help Process. If you thank someone who helped you, you are likely to increase the chances of other people being helped by the same individual.

 

Few survey results reveal that saying thank you increases around 80% chances of others being helped against a mere 20% who would help even if they are not thanked. So you can possibly understand the power of such a simple word and how it can transform this entire world.

 

Would you like to help people again and again, even if they don’t thank or appreciate your gesture? If your answer is YES, then probably you descended straight from Heaven.

 

How would your sincere “Thank You” transform the organization you work for?

  • It will help your people exhibit behaviour you want them to repeat in future.
  • For building a culture of appreciation and recognition
  • To motivate your people to work hard and perform better
  • It is a non expensive form of showing gratitude towards others

 

Check out the link for 40 Ways to Say Thank You at Work.

 

Now coming on the main part, How can Thank You boost my Career growth?

  • By saying Thank you, you are likely to be helped by others and perform better in your job
  • It will enhance your delivery and productivity. Imagine a situation where you wanted to make a presentation to your boss and you took help of someone on doing the animations for it. Those animations helped you to showcase your creativity in a better way and ultimately get recognition and appreciation which will eventually be reflected on your appraisals
  • As you go higher in your career, you will be praised for your humble behaviour. And one of the ways of showing humility, is by saying Thank You
  • It enhances team spirit and motivates your subordinates to perform better. As none of us can work in silos, an individual’s performance is also judged on how well his team has performed.
  • As most of the organizations today promote a culture of team building, you will be considered a team player which will play a significant role in your growth aspirations
  • If you start saying thank you to others, you will see a significant change in your behaviour. You will have more positive and productive thoughts coming in your mind and believe me organizations want their people to be positive thinkers.

 

So saying thank will make you and others feel Great. Let’s do something today so that we become better people.

As John F. Kennedy once said,

“We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.”

 

I would like you to take sometime out and say THANK YOU to people who have helped you in your life.

People who have helped you to create a difference in this world. People who must have inspired you to be what you are today. People who helped you to perform better.

 

I would like to kick it off by thanking “Evil HR lady“, Suzanne Lucas, the woman behind one of the most successful blogs on Human Resource Management, who is an inspiration for my blog on HR. I started following her blog in 2009 and since then have been a fan of her writings and her take on the HR world.

 

 

I am also thankful to Shauna Moerke (better known as HR Minion) who runs the famous HR carnival and every month she sends reminders to us for submitting our best work for the upcoming HR carnival. 

 

Further, I would also like to thank all my ardent followers, commentors and blog subscribers who share their experiences with me. I am grateful to be a part of this Great HR Community

“THANK YOU”

HR Department – Can HR have FRIENDs at Workplace?

Reading the above statement, there are two opinions coming up for discussion:-

a) HR developing friendship at work, can give rise to a conflict, if the disciplinary issue is against his own friend.

b) Friendly HR department which is well versed with the culture, knows the pulse of the employees and the management.

 

What do you think? Should HR be friendly at work place?

 

What Do People Generally Think of the HR Department?

HR is evil. They have their own way of working. They hire. They Fire. HR people are not emotional. HR doesn’t understand the market. You cannot be friendly with them. HR department work in silos. They are less aligned to the business. They only work for the interest of the management.

 

With people already having such inhibitions in mind for HR people, it is a difficult task at hand for them to develop healthy and cordial relations with their people. Having said that, can HR become your best friend at work? Yes!! Absolutely. People value and respect if you have your principles in place. You know what is right and what is wrong. You know to say ‘NO‘. Even if you are friendly with your people, you ought to know how to set the expectations in place and everyone must understand that all are working for a cause. In discipline or misconduct cannot be tolerated even if the culprit is a friend. You need to take the right approach at the right time. So again coming back to where we started, does socializing really help in the long-term?

 

If you ask my frank opinion, I would say the real essence lies in how you bond with your people and the organization. You need to enjoy your work. At the end of the day, it’s all about team work and how you align yourself with people and your ability to work collectively as a single cohesive unit. People come to those who listen, can understand their problem and offer solutions to them. Your bonding with the people will not only instill confidence but will also give strength to them. Keeping in mind that your job takes precedence over friendship and you need to separate them when it comes to performing your duties.

 

So, if HR department has friends at workplace, how can it benefit everyone:-

 

a) Stressful people or those under pressure, sometimes look for a shoulder for support. In such a situation the bonding will definitely help in addressing their grievances.

b) HR is responsible for creating a friendly environment. Even in a conflict situation, it’s an HR who helps in solving that situation.

c) Being friendly with people will help an HR to know if anything is going wrong or against the policies of the organization.

d) People tend to open up more when they feel comfortable with someone. Being friends will definitely help in performing our duty well. After all at the end of the day, we are responsible for creating a conducive work environment and a disgruntled workforce will only hamper our performance.

e) HR can become influential while communicating any management decision to the people.

 

How to PREVENT going overboard?

 

a) Even if we are friends, we need to keep up a certain level of professionalism. An HR must know how to stay on the edge. Becoming over friendly will be just destructive.

b) In HR, you are part of various internal discussions which are confidential. You should not divulge any critical information even if someone is close to you.

c) Don’t be too emotional with someone as it then becomes difficult to separate work and friendship.

d) You decisions should not be biased if you know someone. Do not let the world see you as playing favourites.

HR department must balance of being friendly and approachable still maintaining professionalism at the same time. None should feel that you are sharing their information here and there. What are your views on the overall discussion or the points mentioned so far.

“What do you think? Does HR friendships work or do not work?”