The skeptical and the cynical

By Krishna Setlur
General Manager- Human Resources Samsung (SISO)
One cannot term employees as 'negative' based on their behavior, as most of their dysfunctional behavior can be attributed to situational circumstances. Such an employee would be aptly termed skeptical or cynical. Now keeping the scientific temper in mind, one would have to say healthy skepticism is always welcome. It should in fact be encouraged by the organization. These are the employees who are thinking beyond their routine work and most likely have a lack of clarity with the vision of the organization. In such a case the HR has to sit down with the employee and provide more clarity into the matter. It would only improve the employee's stance with the organization. The HR should at the onset, clarify the non-negotiable practices in the organization and prepare the employee to 'live with differences' he might have. When this is done at the very start, then there is no room for the so-called 'negative employee'. There are exceptions in the organization though who believe that nothing good can come out of a policy. One needs to realize that such cynicism is a state of mind and is not permanent. The HR would have to deal with the situation that is causing the mindset rather than the personality itself. Considering human complexity, each situation would be unique made different more so by the reactions recorded by individuals. Here it would be redundant to have policies or one blanket rule for such exceptions because they are bound to be different. These are individuals who have to be dealt with by the HR on a one-on-one term rather than through a bulk policy. Each cynic will have his own challenges and no one general solution will work. People can't be programmed to work according to the policy in situations, that take the situation into consideration. It is the HR's job to manage all these difference of the individual.