Tilbageblik til Indien: Anerkendelse
This is my site Written by ;o] TT on 22/11/2009 – 9:25 pm

I min filoprydning faldt jeg lige over en artikel jeg skrev til vores interne nyhedsbrev lige efter at være ankommet til Indien. Den handler om én af de første kulturforskelle jeg stødte på efter at være ankommet til Bangalore. Jeg tænker at den muligvis har bredere appel, end blot til Danske Bank ansatte, så den kommer lige på bloggen.

Artiklen er på engelsk.


By Thomas Tøth, May 15th 2009

On one of my very first days here at the DCI in Bangalore I was invited to a somewhat peculiar arrangement: Over the month of February a Quality Assurance Campaign ran and the people responsible for the smooth execution were all invited to this arrangement where they were called to the podium one by one and received a handshake from management as well as a book. At first – I must admit – I found it to be a very strange experience: “Why the heck do they receive awards – they are just doing their job?”, I said to myself.

A couple of days ago I attended a similar arrangement. This time the monthly “What’s happening in Danske Bank and DCI” meeting. As a reoccurring part of the agenda on these meeting the Indian Associates with the highest scores on the performance feedback are mentioned by name (by the way – 16 [sixteen!] people scoring 5.0 in average – not bad, huh?)

Somehow the exhibition and recognition of individual performance did not feel as odd to me this time. Maybe I am quickly adapting to The Indian Way but these events surely made me think: Could we (Danes, that is) learn something here? Now, I am pretty sure that an arrangement where Danes are called to a podium and applauded for their work would turn out to be a disaster – the infamous jantelov still rules (for non-Danes: jantelov is the typical Danish who-do-you-think-you-are attitude) but still the question remains: Could we learn from this?

By now you have probably guessed that my answer would be yes we can (it seems to be a popular phrase these days). I can only speak for myself, but I do not need to think hard to remember people I have had the pleasure of working with whom I never actually told that they were doing a great job. Now, it’s your turn – spend 30 seconds thinking about this very simple question: Do I exhibit verbal appreciation to colleagues that I believe is doing a great job?

I am sure all of you can come up with at least a couple of colleagues that you haven’t actually expressed your appreciation to. And here is my plea to you – tell them: “Great job you did last week”, “thanks for always being ready to help”, “I appreciate what you did yesterday” et cetera. And don’t just slap them on the back and wrap the praise in sarcasm!

Now, I know that even this small gesture of appreciation may lead to discomfort and some sort of embarrassment for many Danes (still fighting the infamous jantelov) so those of you that has the privilege of working with Indian colleagues go test it on them and tell them what you think they are doing really well. I guarantee that they can handle the praise without any discomfort – and on top of this it’s a huge motivational factor; they actually think it’s nice to know when they are doing a good job – and how would they know if You don’t tell them? And if You are feeling really courageous try delivering the acknowledgement in plenum and not just one-on-one.

Try it out on your Danish colleagues too. I bet that with a little time to get used to a more appreciative working culture we would all thrive on it and experience extra motivation when being praised by both managers and peers when doing a good job.

Oh by the way – I recollect promising a postcard:

Dear all,
India is fantastic. Bangalore is a huge and hectic city with loads of shops, great restaurants of all sorts and a lively and very local atmosphere on the shopping streets – but the traffic is absolutely horrible: an inferno of auto-rickshaws and cars sounding their horn while shifting lanes and turning at random or simply driving between lanes. Luckily the chaotic traffic is sufficiently compensated by friendly people all around, a very nice climate and a picturesque countryside.

From India with Love,

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