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Continued from Previous…
We have discussed several reasons for undesirable manners in the organizations in the last two blogs. In this last part, we shall summarize and conclude with some suggestions to improve the situation.
History of class discrimination, Lack of education, Lack of social development, Acceptance of foul language in social settings are some of the major contributors towards poor mannerism in general. The work life is not entirely separated from personal life, and we are not two different people at work and home. The fact is that as a community, we have lost whatever social etiquette our elders had cultivated in spite of the odds. Our literacy has (equivocally) increased, but our education has deteriorated, and our social interactions are at their lowest points. To add insult to injury, our moral, ethical values have been also been lost.
On one hand, the factors that promote good manners are in short supply, and on the other hand, the factors which prevent bad manners are gone. This is the sum up of why we have had a free fall into the abyss of poverty of manners. We have not yet reached the bottom, and the fall continues.
What should be done to revert/improve the situation?
Ideally, every problem should be treated from the root cause. However, when a problem is too chronic and too big, it should be attacked from various sides to get quicker results.
Following are some suggestions that may be considered.
- A code of conduct may be designed at the national level and implemented at the government departments. The same should be offered to private corporates as a guideline. I understand something like this probably exists already, but it has long been forgotten.
- The political, and non-political governments, create numerous ministries to accommodate allies and appease opponents. These are besides the standard portfolios. A ministry of Social Etiquettes and Development may be created and a person with good education and experience should be appointed as the Minister in Charge. It would be preferable if this position is given to a lady. The mandate of this ministry would be as follows.
- Establishment of Think Tanks and Discussion Forums
- Identification and documentation of causes of social deterioration
- Planning and recommendations for bringing change in the short term and long term
- Discussion on media, in public and in the institutions of higher learning
- Running awareness campaigns to promote social development
- Legislation may be done to discourage bad behavior through certain punitive measure. Probably, such a legislation may already be existing, and it may need to be brushed up and implemented.
- Strict Code should be issued to Media to stop airing public insults hurled at each other. It has become a norm that every talk show ends up in trading barbs and insults. The media should mute the voice immediately, if such a thing happens in any program. The guests should be sufficiently warned and may be disallowed to appear for some time
As mentioned above, the national code of conduct should be given to and enforced upon the private sector. It is like the fairly successful campaign by the Food Authority which has resulted in substantial improvement. Violations still occur but things have gotten better also. These would keep getting better if the staff involved does not fall into the usual practice of taking bribe and looking the other way. It is possible, though difficult, because an upright head of Authority can be found, but getting entire number of upright people as staff is a tall order. The effort is worth doing anyway.
Corporates may be encouraged in the beginning and forced later to display their code of employees conduct. The Human Resource departments should be engaged for this purpose. As our national psyche goes, violations should be penalized suitably.
The most lamented segment these days is Media, in all its segments, and for good reasons.
- Media owners are either too powerful, or with a dubious background, or representative of certain vested interests, or supported by non-state actors and so on. In fact, if real background checks are run, the majority would not qualify for getting media license.
- Different media have different motivations. Most want to earn money by any means, some also promote certain ideologies, or promote anarchy, or promote pessimism among public.
- None of the media is allocating even one hour out of twenty-four hours for airing a program for social development, people development, social betterment and for promoting good values. The dramas, and other programs telecast every day, highlight social evils in a way that promotes it rather than deterring it.
- None of the media is allocating any time for serious discussions and discourse on a subject of national importance. A certain number of people are occupying the positions everywhere. They are self-proclaimed experts on every subject, but their real contribution is dismal.
- Media has become so powerful that the government hesitates to touch them.
The media landscape needs urgent overhauling.
Where have all our intellectuals, writers, teachers, artists, thinkers, social workers, reformers gone? The dearth of ‘people of substance’ is so severe that our land has become barren. This is the reason our land is only producing toxic produce that we see as people on and off media.
O’ People of Substance! Please stand up and get counted. You are urgently needed.
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Dear Mr. Qureshi,
This topic is of high importance but less discussed. You have successfully enveloped all the possible dimensions of the topic. Good read!
Family plays an important role in the training and development of its members. One of the many causes of lack of mannerism at the workplace is the lack of training at the part of the family. Majority of us learn the language that we use from the streets we live in. The proper use of word is however not taught in the colloquial language. Most of us use that street language at the workplace too, which is not appropriate by any means.
I strongly recommend that we should use formal language in most of our communications with the colleagues, peers, customers and all other stakeholders. Proper training will yield the desired results.