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Business or BusYness

chandigarh Updated: Dec 22, 2013 10:36 IST
Madhusheel Arora
Madhusheel Arora
Hindustan Times
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“If you really want to get anything done, ask a busy man,” US comedian Lucille Ball.

Shorn of technicalities, all business is getting the job done as efficiently as possible with the most profitability. However, it is a bitter unstated fact that most people looking for jobs do not like to work and most young educated youth today occupy themselves not necessarily as a mission. For the majority, there is a huge disconnect between job and work, and this has implications for business and society, especially for an agrarian state like Punjab and its capital Chandigarh.

For 461 jobs, we had lakhs thronging the tricity. Why? Do we ever see people with ideas throng a venue like this? Clearly this is time for introspection. How will we make agriculture attractive, for one?
The most important reason is that the educated young, headhunters’ clients in a sense, have forgotten learning to learn. Some placement-consulting firms have closed now and their chiefs are looking for jobs.

You might think this is getting into philosophy but has serious costs and concerns for businesses, from the humble ‘karyana’ shop in our neighbourhood to an IT start-up in SAS Nagar. There are simply no people available to man our workspaces. Everyone wants to be the skipper, the crew is on leave.

Everywhere you look, you get people complaining that there are staff shortages in their office. Even if you consider that some of this is exaggerated, then why do we see a decline in standards at our public places and institutions? Clearly, young Indians’ attitude to work has changed.

We all know people who want business, but love ‘busYness’. People are busy, but are not contributing to business in any worthwhile manner. This is manifested in not volunteering for opportunities at workplace, wanting to lead before adequate legwork and petty ego wars that plague most organisations.

Another is the inability or the apathy of a worker to do anything involving physical movement in an office, due to automation. Overconfidence in purported abilities is another roadblock to productive work. Others get into a trance and work like a zombie for years, unless one fine day they get a reality check from the organisation.

Most organisations have responded to the situation by getting more innovative with the way they channelise their resources to identify, nurture and reward the real workers and talent. Here it is more common to reward people when the going is really tough.

Perhaps the saying ‘If you want peace, prepare for war’ has not been given adequate attention by people at top management echelons.

We need to understand that labour and staff shortages have been a long-time coming. There are deeper reasons for the situation like defunct vocational educational facilities, poor basic schooling, corruption that breeds overconfidence, rural-urban divide, breakdown of rigid caste hierarchies and just plain lack of planning. For instance, we desperately need teachers, yet we put existing BEds through the rigmarole of tests to get jobs. To conclude, it is instructive to see that while the young and the restless sit unemployed, grass at most front lawns needs mowing.

madhusheel.arora@hindustantimes.com