This quote has greater relevance in my life especially after joining Tata Motors Limited (India) as Finance executive at Jamshedpur, Jharkhand State, India. After passing out graduation in commerce, I wanted to join an organization that has unique set of work culture i.e. diverse, experienced, reputed and of course provides scope of learning and growth. It was not so easy to find such organization until one fine morning I got a call from Tata Motors for face to face interview on January, 4, 2018. I put my resume a month before was not expecting to get a call for the job. It was challenging too because going to another country which is so different from my homeland from language, culture, life-style and many more aspects. I took challenge and I flew to India for the interview and thankfully I got selected for the post. In this report, I am going to share my real-life learning experience during the induction and training session which ended recently in March 12, 2018. Working in a diverse culture, different work style (methods and applications), relationship with co-workers (socialization) and social learning, barrier in communication are the 5 important terms that will reflect in this report in way of my experience during these three months. [Sinha, J. B. (1990)]
Life@Tata Motors Induction program
As mentioned earlier, until we experience personally, it is very difficult to tell or guess about any organization culture. I heard and searched before I joined but reality is something different. I thought it wouldn’t be so difficult to work here as I have friends from India and they share their experience about India, Indian culture etc. I thought it would be the financial aspects that I had to learn within 3 months and I would be ok but in reality, it was much more than that.
I have been with diverse people around in my academics thus I had idea at the start of induction regarding different people I have to interact with. I was the only one who had to go for induction thus challenge became double as I had no one to ask who was new. The very first day Human Resource Manager told me that I had to meet and greet people mostly alone and he is not going to accompany. It was the first shock as normally HR accompanies new personnel to introduce but here I had to introduce myself and also to know others. Despite being an extrovert, I faced lot of difficulties to interact and know each other as everybody seemed busy. I had no idea how would I approach so approached HR to address difficulty. He took a session and made me understand the real reason. He wanted me to realise the diversity in workplace and relationship with employees should be more of informal than formal as this helps to create bonding and coordination with each other in work and that is the work ethic and culture here. This was good learning experience for me which is completely different that we have in west.
I knew that taxation and other financial regulations are different in India thus I prepared for it but what really surprised me workstyle of Tata. Normally, we that an employee is expected to work their own and to report senior after work. But here in induction, I found that I am expected to help others even if I have works left and they will do same. Normally, an employee is answerable to his/her senior but here if a worker comes and asks about his salary or any pay related issues, even if it is not our boundary still we are expected to help him/her to get their work done. This was completely new way to do work which I was not expecting to do. Meanwhile, I had to unlearn many things to get Indian financial system in mind. [Barbera, K. M. (2014)]
Office canteen, a place where to relax sometime to get your energy back and to have conversation with colleagues. In Tata Motors canteen, there is a slight difference which makes it unique. I found that there is no separate canteen for employees, executives or workers. All sit at one place and even all have to take their meal (if you haven’t carried your own) by standing is a queue where no such position or designation priority. Each individual is served same meal and they have to eat whatever they have taken as its rule.
While induction program, I was given training about Indian society study. I was not aware of such programs as my job has nothing to do with society still I had given that training for full 3 months of induction apart from technical aspects such as “How Tata celebrates festivals, birthdays, superannuation, social events, welfare etc.? The training was to make me realise the role in each such events. I found that each employee here is expected to attend all such celebration whether they belong to it or not.
Since the day I joined organization, I found myself like alien most of the time.as till date I found not only multi-regional people but also multi-lingual people who speaks in their language inside office most of the time. Even I see people having groups on that basis. I know English and slightly French and German. I had to face lot of trouble to talk with employees and especially with supervisors and workers who are unable to understand my ascent. Later HR instructed me to learn basic Hindi and sign language as which are used to communicate here. For ex- If I have to take bus to go to foundry department, then I have to tell route no. and site no. to helper and I will be there. If I have to ask for files, then I will use file code to get it. Slowly, I am learning the signs and also little bit Hindi to work here properly. [Srivastava, A. K et.al2012]
Overall, till the induction period, it has been challenging but at every phase, I learnt something new.
Diverse Work culture- Tata Motors Limited I found it as the most diversified working environment I have ever heard. Here not only I find people from different regions but also from different countries, religion, race etc. I found at least 10% of work force are from different country such as China, Nigeria, Kenya, Bangladesh, USA, UK etc. I learnt by working in a diverse culture that talent and knowledge come first than any such division. Opportunity should be equal to all. Diverse culture helps in understanding people from other culture and learn good things from them. It also brings lots of ideas, suggestions etc. to make organization better. [Mitra, R. (2011)]
Work style- Earlier I used to think that if I do work properly, I would take organization ahead and also I would grow better. Here I had to answer everyone who came for help. Initially I found it funny but later I realised that it is the co-operation and coordination building which helps to carry out work in better way. As all works are linked thus if each will cooperate with other, no such miscommunication will take place and one will get help from many people to overcome problems. [Ajadhyaksha, U. (2012)]
Socialization- Canteen of Tata is really a nice and new experience to understand the concept of socialization. Normally, differentiation is maintained but here no such differentiation. Here every individual working is same and should be respected. Eating with workers give a lot of ideas and knowledge at ground level. It also builds relationship of blue and white collar to run organization smoothly. [Godiwalla, Y. H et.al2015]
Social learning- The training about celebration was a new thing for me. In west, hardly any such training is given but here this is an important part of socialization where each one is expected to participate. From the training I learnt that when you celebrate with others, it not only motivates the other person but also sends a positive message for all those people that they will get support at any point of time in future as well. Integrity and brotherhood are the two things I understood from the training program.
Barrier of communication- I expected this barrier but I didn’t know, it wouldn’t be such a big deal for me after induction. Initially I faced difficulty to converse with people but using sign languages and learning the local language during training session helped a lot to talk with people. I realised that if we are in a place where our common tongue is not suitable then using kinetics and learning basic local language will help to cope with situation. I am now confident as if someone doesn’t understand my ascent, I can use kinetics which he/she will get. It is given to all personnel here. [Totterdill, P.,et.al2014]
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