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Today : 07.02.2020

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Corporate Mods. Suit is career maker's best friend.

If you are a long term worker at a large corporation and are never promoted, you should change your dress style.

This is the conclusion driven from the recent survey conducted by HR Partners Company. Its specialists tried to analyze to what extent the corporate dress style is common in Russia and in what way Russian companies differ from western ones. HR polled overall 75 companies both Russian and local branches of western companies in the result of which the Russian dress code appeared to be approaching the western one. However there are some interesting differences partly accounted for by the specifics of Russian national management style.

Thus, in Russian companies the dress code is required more frequently than in western companies (79% vs. 70 %). Yet that does not prove that Russian companies' employees dress more strictly. Simply business culture is not deeply rooted in Russian companies which oblige to confine the employees to some regulations. "Most likely some things stand for granted in western companies, like the clothes you can and cannot wear , whereas in Russian companies it must be put down to writing ", says Igor Chepkasov, the Operations Director of the HR Partners. The HR manager of Deutsche Bank's Moscow branch Maxim Makarov shares the same view. "We do not have a written dress code, though everybody is aware of it by common law", says "We expect our employees to look business like and do not welcome people who wear T-shirts and loose jeans"

"Our people are featured to wear casual clothes instead of a suit. The matter is buried in the free and unconceivable Russian soul, therefore Russian companies have to commit dress code to paper", agrees Tatiana Dobrovolskaya, the HR manager of Landia Companies Group.

The dress code was introduced to Landia 3 years ago when a document was drafted for managers to recommend to their subordinates about the looks. However, as a result not all departments of Landia fall under the general rule. The holding comprises multi-trend companies. One of them sells packages and aims at western customers, so it had to maintain the dress code which is only suit. "At another company selling the rolled metal product we never managed to introduce the dress code. Later we came to a conclusion that their clients who are constructing company do not need that", says Dobrovolskaya.

On the other hand Russian companies provide fewer legal opportunities to relax once a week. There is casual Friday in most western companies (64%) and only 44% in Russian ones. According to Chepkasov this is due to the inhibited and inflexible nature of Russian managers which manifests I the fact that if common requirements to looks are introduced, then you should always stick to them with no exception.

Perhaps it is not that correct, as casual Friday is another tool of motivation, this is the way to celebrate the end of the work week. What is more, there is a tendency in some companies to get together at a bar. However, the companies that have casual Friday consider it a motivating factor. "Importantly the person feels more comfortable these days compared to the previous "suit days", says Igor Dubinnikov, the HR manager of Trinity Automotive Group. According to the guidelines handed to the new staff of the company those employees who have no business meetings scheduled on Friday can business-like, although it does not have to be a "suit'. However there are some restrictions here as well, e.g., jeans can be of any color, like black, brown, but not blue, as they may look untidy if are not ideally washed. Yet, the most curios peculiarity of the dress code in Russia is that it often concerns to managers.

The dress code policy refers to every single employee in western companies (91%), while in Russia it refers to 68% only. Besides, 12 % of the companies surveyed stated that this relates to managers only, whereas amongst western companies similar surveys have not been observed.

Indeed, if passing through the corridor of a Russian company you come across a person wearing a suit and a tie, you can definitely say he is a manager, or a member of a security staff. Once promoted employees often change their clothes style for a stricter one.

'Class distribution' by looks is convenient for common employees as they can wear whatever they fancy and feel comfortable in. On the other hand, it can hinder your career. The person who dresses according to the dress code will be viewed by the management as being more professional. All other conditions being equal he will be the first to be sent to training or to be promoted. "If you want to be a boss, dress like a boss", agrees Yelena Labsine, the HR manager of OST companies group.

Consultant's Advice on Ethics of Relationship between Employer and Employee.
The Bought Souls

Does it ring the bell when amid the night your boss calls you to ask a burning question? Or when he claims you society in his leisure time?

Everybody seems to feel the same in these situations: a mixture of protest, blunt irritation or anger and ... helpless doom. If the labor agreement suggests buying the soul, why does it cost so cheap?

The civilized world business is typified not only by structured business processes, but also by the ethics of relationship between the stockholders and the hired personnel. Intrusion into privacy of any level employee cannot be considered as a granted norm and an indispensable right of a manager.

Both Russian and Armenian owners are often misled by the fact that the extent of manager's loyalty should approximate to the level of his own loyalty to his own business. Meanwhile the payment in terms of compensation package disregards this fact.

The literary translation of loyalty stands for 'dedication'. A dictionary says that "loyalty is a characteristic of the staff determining its dedication and commitment to the organization, approval of its goals means and ways to achieve them, frankness and openness of labor motives for the organization". Yet the range nuances of the term breed too many definitions. E.g. loyalty is thought to be a general decency either typical of a human or not. In other words, there are people who find it natural to be loyal to the company they work, as there are people contrary to them.

The idea of loyal management is cherished by any owner to such an extent that some of them are ready to overpay for loyalty. This is explained by the fact that government does not provide Russian company owners with legal opportunities for their ownership, therefore business relations are built on the trust to the top management running their ownership. So the personal decency is far more prioritized than professional skills.

Seemingly the manager has his benefit: he can possibly compensate for the lack of professional experience by hypothetical loyalty, love and enthusiasm, i.e., he is sold head over heels, hence empowering the owner to exploit him. It is also a common practice for the over loyal manager to fail to cope with the tasks put forward to him and does not come up to owner's professional expectations. The harmed ambitions, offences and seeming underestimation of his work transform the manager's loyalty into open hostility. It should be stated that manager's true loyalty is often notable after he has left the company.

The situation is synonymous with marital relations. Only in case of manager's and owner's bond does the loyalty 'oath' not suggest the terms of 'until death separates them'. The parties are together as long as their interests are coupled and mutual efforts are efficient. But if their expectations of each other are not justified, they 'divorce', and the latter is known to cause both moral and financial loses for the parties even in matrimonial relations.

Unfortunately the Russian legislation does not provide insurance in either case. For one, the payment of an annual bonus to the manager who resigned before the end of a fiscal year is merely a good will on the owner's part. On the other hand, it is impossible to accuse the manager of shifting to the competitor's structure, of leading his team and clients after him. The so called non-compete agreement aimed to settle the affairs is not legally binding either in Russia or on Armenia. Then, both parties act in compliance with their moral principles. As a result their interpretations and views of each other's actions are polar.

Let's take such an ever pain causing matter as theft. Let's view it in the light of striking new company deals with the clients attracted from the previous employer. Should it be considered as property infringement?

The owners will shout 'yes' to a man. The hired managers, on the contrary, will be unanimous voicing that the earned relations are the part and parcel of their professional package, and that the means invested in managers are considerably fewer than their investment into business, i.e., were long ago paid back. Still, do they acknowledge that the contacts so far increasing their professional assets have been shaped through the exploitation of the company's name (its brand) and of its investment; therefore are the owner's properties?

Let's remember the classical business puzzle. If you divide the whole personnel into professionals and non-professionals, loyal and disloyal, then you'll have 4 groups. The first group will be made of loyal professionals who are the gold deposit of the company; they deserve the green light and similar benefits. The second group is composed of those who need further improvement. The members of the third group should be discarded, as they are non professional and disloyal. The question is what to do with the fourth group who are professionals bringing in considerable capital, yet do not share the company's goals, stance, so they are somehow disloyal professionals ...

The only solution proven to be effective under conditions of lack of legal mechanisms is the right motivation. The disloyalty is a result of a personal state in the company. Therefore the best antidote from disloyal concepts is a set of tasks stimulating manager's professional growth and development, coupled with compensation compliant with the results of his activities.

Nonetheless it is worth attracting the specialist not only as a professional, but also as a personality. Human ambitious nature longs for constant confirmation of its unique asset and value. Russian companies disregard this fact and treat their employees as an unbreakable, ever-lasting function. The only sacrifice they commit is a timely 'fuel provision' in the form of salary.

The wise owners who create a sense of social safety for their employees are certainly appreciated, as they win the struggle for the personnel's loyalty with other employers who do not take trouble for similar issues.

Generally speaking, there are very few people who are indifferent to the company's image, values and in-culture. It matters for all of us what integral part we make for the microcosms. If corporate policy and ideology run counter with our human values, then financial incentives fail to rescue

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