WORK & LEISURE
Work and leisure are carefully separated by Indian workers.
While lesiure is a very necessary aspect of family life, work is considered
far more important. Family vacations and weekend outings are often
abandoned in order for the typical Indian employee to complete a project
or help other employees with their work. For that matter, interaction
between workers, both in and outside the workplace, is very integral.
Close relationships, especially between those with familial ties, is considered
near-sacred in the Indian culture.
DIRECTION & DELEGATION
Delegation of work is a perk of upper management. In the
Indian culture, it is seen as a fringe benefit of sorts. Many, if
not nearly all Indian workers, jump at the chance to prove themselves.
Work, not to mention a steady paycheck, is so valuable in India, that any
chance to prove one's worth is a sought after opportunity. Keeping
this in mind, there is never a lack of volunteers to help "the boss" with
his or her next big project. The chance for an employee to forge
a bright new career is always in the mind of the Indian employee, and this
is never forgotten by upper management. Whether one considers this
taking advantage of lower-ranking employees, or affording them an opportunity,
there is never a lack of volunteers.
Loyalty is a major part of the Indian culture. Loyalty to
family is the highest priority, with loyalty to one's employers ranking
a close second. Again, the average Indian worker is trying to forge
a strong career so they can keep their steady paycheck. Competition
is high between the employed and unemployed, and loyalty is one way to
keep the job one fought so long and hard for.
While the literacy rate is atrocious by American standards, the
separation of educated and uneducated Indians is very clear. Attending
a University is very rare for Indians, and such individuals are usually
politically connected through immediate or even distant relatives.
Due to this rarity of quality employees, their work is highly sought after
and very well-compensated for.
To reiterate a point made earlier, competition is the driving force
behind the hard-working, loyal Indian employee base. Without the
competition for the jobs afforded those who work hard enough, or are simply
lucky enough, to hold them, the Indian business culture would look quite
different. Competition drives workers to work harder, and to give
up more of their time for the company. Upper management realizes
this, but they do not blatantly take advantage of the situation.
Religious issues, such as kharma, weigh heavily on the Indian mind, and
treating others with respect in the workplace is an unspoken law.
TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT
Not much time or money is devoted to training and development.
What resources are devoted to this are usually spent on those employees
who have political or familial relations that force the employer to hire
those rare individuals. For the masses, very little resources are
spent. It is a very Darwinian work culture in that regard.
As it was stated by an Indian citizen, "Learn or leave."
Time, of course, is very important to the aberage Indian employee.
As always, there never seems to be enough of it. After spending an
average of about ten to twelve hours at work every day during the week,
the typical Indian worker goes home to shop and provide for his family.
Off-hour business connections, family time as well as leaisure are expected
to all be nurtured during this meager "down-time".
Note: Having recently attained a new job at an Indian business
here in the United States, "Alex" is afraid that speaking about this issue
in too great a detail could jeopardize that job. In order to protect
his identity, the name "Alex" will be used, and other names and places
may be changed as well.
Alex had just been appointed to a management position here in the United
States. After working for over thirty years in India, Alex had made
the proper connections and proven himself both a competent and trusted
employee. Shortyl after moving to the United States, though, Alex
realized that things worked very differently here than in India.
Alex dealt with financial statements quite a bit and soon began to realize
that the expenses of the business were double, if not triple what they
should have been. Realizing this was costing the company more than
twenty thousand dollars per year, Alex saw this as a major opportunity
to save the company money, while ensuring his employers that he was the
right man for his new job.
After some subtle questioning and a bit of footwork on Alex's part,
he found out that the expense issue was being caused by his immediate supervisor.
Not sure how to broach the subject with his superior, Alex waited till
the two were at an informal, after-hour dinner meeting. Alex told
his supervisor about the artificially high expenses and the supervisor
grinned and nodded. Alex was asked to "look the other way", and he
too would be allowed to use the expense account for personal uses.
While his new job paid better than in Inida, the cost of living had
increased as well. Being able to take his wife out to dinner now
and again would not be so bad, nor would buying his teenage son a new bike.
Never before had such luxury been afforded him, and even with his next
promotion, he would not make enough to comfortably do these things for
his family. On the other hand, his company was depending on him to
do his job. And to do the job properly, no less. The choice
was easy for Alex to make, and the compromise seemed like a reasonable
one. Alex told his supervisor that if the expense account would be
used less and less over the next few months, that he would not report the
abuse. Alex went on to state that if the abuse continued, the supervisor
would be reported for his abuse of company funds.
Over the course of the next few months, the abuse ceased and Alex was
never forced to uncover the abuses. Much of the praise for this cost
cutting fell to the supervisor, but Alex does not mind. Instead,
Alex is happy that he is holding a steady-paying job, that he has the job
security that he has always sought, and that he received a promotion just
last month for his dedicated work to the company.