31 July 2015 14:25:55 IST

‘Two in a box’ model can make it work for Falcon

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The hiring of 30 new management trainees has clearly set off ripples of change across the relatively smooth functioning of Falcon Ltd. When the programme was thought of, it was clear that the Leadership Council wanted the initiative to be given the importance it deserved. However, a month after the management trainees joined, several issues cropped up between the employees and the new recruits.

We point out the problems and give the following suggestions:

The problems:

Managers’ perspective

> Four graduates left within a span of a month

> A lower pay hike for the existing managers and better salaries for trainee managers may lead to a revolt

> Fresh hires are inexperienced at interacting tactfully with dealers and service outlet staff

Trainees’ view

> No clarity on schedules and deliverables from managers, hence, difficult to gauge learning

> Infrastructure challenges

> Bureaucracy, leading to delays in decision-making


Based on the situation at Falcon and our personal experience working at different organisations, it is recommended that Vanchi should take the following steps:

The heads of different verticals where vacancies exist should have a say in the hiring process, and a checklist of attributes they draw up should be part of the evaluation criteria. This would reduce the probability of biases creeping into decisions and enable a fair and just work environment. The programme structure and work assigned to trainees should break down responsibilities to a basic level in consultation with the heads of verticals so there is clarity in the expectations of the leadership council.

Basic facilities are a problem area as the training programme was conducted after several years and should have been planned better. Nevertheless, the managers could have made temporary arrangements to facilitate the work and, in parallel, plan for long-term infrastructure to be put in place.

Ideally, the training programme should be based on a “Two-in-a-Box” model, where each trainee is linked to an existing senior employee. This would encourage the senior managers to value the trainee’s inputs and make it easier for them to accept new ideas and feedback. One major issue could be the communication gap. While the older employees prefer personal communication, the trainees may consider this unnecessary as technology allows faster communication through e-mails, mobile phones and messaging services. The two-box model could lead to positive change in the organisation and allow an employee at any level to directly raise concerns. It would greatly reduce bureaucracy and enhance productivity.

Since the trainees and their senior colleagues would be working towards the common goal of the organisation’s success, it is important to create mutual respect among them. The department heads should frequently emphasise the future plans of the company, the value additions of the younger generation and how hiring the trainees fits into the firm’s long-term vision. Town hall meetings and one-on-one interactions would go a long way in achieving this. On the other hand, the communication with the trainees should highlight the importance of experience, knowledge base and network of senior level employees.

Also, the new trainees should be given a brief session on the nuances of handling dealers and customers, which is very important, and it should be included as part of the training programme.

Open to learning

The trainees, being open to learning, must realise the impact of negative communication.

Further, there should be a common platform (social media within the organisation) for people to interact on a casual basis. They should eventually learn to work using one another’s strengths and create great teams. There should be a balance in the decision-making process. The senior managers and the trainees should be asked for feedback on the training programme structure and progressive changes should be made based on mutual discussions.

(The writers are pursuing a post-graduate programme in management from IIM-B)