I come across this interesting conversation in a message board about employee m

otivation and company culture. there was a question raise regarding employee man
agement in Pakistan. Its a long conversation but an interesting the insight it
offers on IT company owners and managers point of views
Question Asked
I pay competitive salary and bonuses to my employees in Pakistan however I have
difficulty motivating employees in Pakistan working on IT projects, I find it ha
rd to manage and motivate them to work and complete just their duty hours. Apart
from asking for unfair salaries and bonuses they don't do much.
No only they either work using my equipment and hours for external projects also
at the same time keep looking for new positions regularly. After I fire them th
ey come back asking for job again in a few months.
Please tell me how to handle Pakistani Employees?

One Person point of view:
How do you hire? Do you hire the types that join you for a 5-10K increment (ie v
ery little)? When performing interviews, ask specifically why they want to leave
their current employer. Anyone who says that they're looking for higher pay alo
ne is a big red flag; do not hire. Anyone who comes up with a bullshit reason an
d cannot satisfy you, Do Not Hire. These people are the least loyal and are job
hoppers. Avoid them like the plague. And always reference check without exceptio
Do you believe in what you do? Working the 9-5 shift, salaried and routine is al
l fine but if you want high retention; you must strive for a higher goal. Why is
it that you do what you do? Eg, Ericsson does not sell telecom-boxes, they sell
better communications solutions that help people communicate better. Management
needs to believe in this vision and constantly indoctrinate the employees with
it. A higher calling gives more meaning and clarity thus more satisfaction. Look
to yourself and realize why you do what you do.
Do you eliminate the bad? If you get 50 emails 30 of them so-so, 19 of them spea
king good about you and 1 of them bad mouthing you, saying bad stuff about you;
which one do you open first? You open the bad one, despite all the positive stuf
f. The bad is always more powerful than the good. You don't think long about som
ething good you did but if you have a fight, you'll fret over it the next few da
ys. So, eliminate the bad. This is a very low bar, a great company would work to
wards making the work environment great as well but at the minimum you should ge
t rid of glaring problems.
In addition to above remember that where ever there will be a social system ther
e will always be politics. This is not a bad thing; your employee #1 will always
wield more influence than #132. What you need to work on is to eliminate bad po
Maintain high trust. Don't say things you don't mean. Don't pass on the blame to
higher management. Don't make promises you can't keep. Even in earnestly, don't
say things which are out of your control esp. comments about the future. This w
orks both ways.
The above point works both ways; the employees must also work to maintain and es
tablish trust. Reward those who maintain their word (deadline, deliverable, comm
itment etc). For those who don't; work with them to learn why and fix their issu
es. If it can't be fixed, fire them. Eg: if a programmer is bad in giving estima
tes its usually because he's too new & needs more experience to realize what is

When it comes to rewarding them do so in ways that is valuable to them. If these products/services are delivered then chee r these employees. The two-way-street: As an employer. Have lunch with them. You will do so even when the employee is going through a tough time. Giving them responsibility makes them think about the product /service as their own and changes their prospective on 'work'. you pay your employee market or above market salary. Act like the best major league team. Does your company believe in respect and equa lity (this is so basic but then again. In return your employees should und erstand that you as a company can have rough patches as well and when these patc hes do come in. Further reading: Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams (mandatory reading for software/IT man agers) The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't (by Bob Sutton) Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits. You're a team. Keep hydrated. Create a positive company culture. Passion. another might like a tardy benefit (can come late) etc. Make people want to work for you. fire non-performing players. The most important reason why people stay is because of good people. not a family: Families don't fire non-performing members but spor ts team do. Ask yourself: if we pay the same salaries as anot her company. If it's theirs. your troops must be able t o fall in line behind you and fight any battle with you even a losing one. and Purpose (by Zappos Inc CEO ) The Netflix company culture (presentation on their amazing culture) Another person reply: . why would a candidate join us not them? Or why will their employee join us at no additional monetary compensation. Are the opinions of em ployees important and do they show up in important company decisions? Do you val ue and encourage mentorship? How do you deal with failure? Do you have a "forgiv e and remember" policy (good)? Or do you punish those who make mistakes (bad)? Bond with your employees. If you're the commander. But if a relationship doesn't help you or the employee then part ways. Show everyone just how great a manager/leader can be. People will work for a lot less for the se benefits (in terms of pay). retain good people. go on a hike with them. Give ownership. another might love music and wou ld love a signed CD of coke studio another might like a monetary raise. they should stand by you and fight to see another day. Sports teams have a goal and families are primarily a support struct ure.productivity. Be a great leader. Share y our vision. Make employees responsible for key parts of the product or servi ce and make them accountable. Be generous and care. Understand them. One employee might prefer getting more days off as a reward. great leadership. som e require mild and some require a stronger reprimand. Be g ood. One-size-does-not-fit-all. Create a bond that is social. Your answer to this question wil l be key in determining how you are better. Same applies for reprimands. There's a lot more that goes into making a company culture that becomes a great place to work and you hire great people. Be visionary. Yo u will understand that they can't always perform at 110% and life sometimes thro ugh them a curve ball. t hey'll do whatever they can to make it successful rather than clocking in at 9 a nd out by 5. Hire good people. this is Pakistan). Lead the troops. There's no point i n being in a relationship that doesn't help you. based upon good shared-e xperiences. Inspire people. Another reason is incompetency in the domain of Software Estimatio n (you can fix this by having a senior explain to him how to do better estimates ) finally you have generally domain-area incompetency (fire right away unless yo u have a lot of money to train your people while they're incompetent) or lack of motivation (find out why the de-motivation is in place and fix it).

facebook .1.. Internet. so that everyone can see everyone's desk . 4) never hire back the fired one.. And always reference check without exception. First person reply This is an obvious question of company culture and like I've said. 2) have firewall in place and put rules on job sites. The company culture which I propagate is the opposite of it. Anyone who comes up with a bullshit r eason and cannot satisfy you. 360 reviews. So by enforcing some discipline you are actually helping them in longer run as they are themselves too naive to understand that.. also irrespective of how trust-worthy someone is there are a few things which have no place in workplace. I don't want to microma nage you if you say you'll complete assignment X and delivered by CoB day after tomorrow then you can do whatever you like. Having said that here is what you can do to take control of a somewhat hopeless situation: 1) everyone should face windows/walls. e. If it hel ps you relax and unwind.. my experience so far is that most people (in Pakistan at least) fail to distinguish between use and abuse of services at work e. I k now the milestones we've agreed upon will be met by you. and then work hard on retaining them there is no point in putting efforts on people who cann't be trusted.. They differentiate but choose to ignore it. have fun! In return I know you'll get the job done. about the so-called contradictions. smart and disciplined. that is what casual leave can be used for i. put restrictions on them and trust them not make intelligen t decisions and think that they are naive. Youtube. university sites.. These people are the least loyal and are job hoppers. there is a gray.. timings. People are not naive at all. The company you want might want to monitor everything people acces s over the Internet.g. youtube etc. Whether . come in at whatever time you like so long as you get the job done. How do you hire? Do you hire the types that join you for a 5-10K increme nt (ie very little)? When performing interviews. you can have off-hour access rules for them. Anyone who says that they're looking for higher pay alone is a big red flag. take time off from your work to do whatever you want.. 3) regularly ask them to grade each other. ask specifically why they want tp leave their current employer. printer.g. do not hire. facebook. employers pay employees to do work or to spend time on things that helps them perform better. Avoid them like the plague. trust is not in black and white... We're fine with emp loyees accessing Facebook. Orkut or whatever it is they want. hire people who are hard working.. one size does not fit all. But if you don't deliver then I will come down on you and reevaluate you. if there is a cricket match going on and its really important then one should take casual leave stay at home and spare the employer for that day instead of checking cricinfo every 5 min. so if increment is more than 10k then its fine :).e. Do Not Hire.

in my company firewall is off (it was active some time ago when t here was abuse).. if properly supervised are more productive when compared to being given a free ticket to "b e themselves". second person reply Although the suggestion I gave was for "a hopeless situation" but i do think suc h rules (if thought necessary and inevitable) are better be implemented from day 1 as changing such rules in later.9) hours off office. My senior employees w ould never allow newed employees to goof-off in ways that would hurt the team an d the company.. So one really need to see financial and technical impact of all decisions for this duration. lets say. PS: for my company. i like my developers to come on time and go on time. google has. so that the y are ready for next project from word go..doing assignments. specially at wrong time. . Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams (mandatory reading for softwar e/IT managers) a very interesting book but there are a few advices in it on which you must thin k twice before implementing them as it in Pakistan. as i am into services so i definitely want my staff to be on time.. my perception is that the k ind of company that i own or any other similar company that has around dozen or two people cannot have the same sort of liberty as. 1.this behaviour is encouraged is company culture specific. I make sure I protect them and listen to them. where we are doing custom development. Most P eople join these small companies for at max 2 years. in my situa tion. plus i really believe that in Pakistan a large number of developers. there are many different types of companies. i will rather enforce my people to have school like atmosphere so that when they don't have real task they better b e spending time on upcoming relevant technology . Still. and 'r elax' with their family and have quality (24 . In return. have negative effec t.. By the way.