Promoting The Merit System



In developing countries like Nepal, finding a job is very difficult. Even qualified people are forced to remain out of job for lack of job opportunities. This speaks volumes for a large number of people remaining unemployed. The fact that a lot of people are going abroad in search of jobs every day is testimony to the existence of the acute unemployment problem in the country.

Everybody wants to have a bright career. After getting a job, one’s aim is to climb up the hierarchical ladder. The merit system dictates that those whose performance is good and who contribute to the organisation in a better way than others get a promotion in recognition of their performance. But where the merit system is pushed to the backseat and nepotism, favouritism and sycophancy are ruling the roost, good performance has no meaning.
Such a situation is widespread in private organisations, where appointment is hard to get if one has no ‘jack’ or if one fails to provide a bribe, even if one is highly qualified and talented. This is equally applicable to the civil service as well. In our country, even transfer, especially to a lucrative office, involves nepotism, favouritism, sycophancy and bribery.
After entering an organisation, improving one’s career will be the order of the day. Here, the ‘x-factor’ is at work all the time. It is not that all the people have entered the organisation through jacks or bribery; some have entered it through open competition through their own qualifications and competence.
Those who are far from nepotism, favouritism or sycophancy are a suffering lot. Despite their good performance, they are always left in the cold. They are hardly promoted and are given the lowest number of grades. Those with the ‘x-factor’ get promoted over their heads. Their voices go unheard before the management. Even if there is a grievance cell, their voices are not listened to by the management. They may be stuck in the same post all their life. They may have to work under their bosses who were once their juniors. This will cause a feeling of frustration in them.
Such people are like deadwood in the eyes of the management. The management does not bother whether they stay back or weigh anchor. If they leave the organisation out of frustration, the management will be happier because they can recruit their men as a replacement for them. It is, however, hard for them to switch over to some other organisation for lack of the proverbial x-factor. As such, they are bound to remain in the organisation despite a setback in their career.
The success of an organisation lies in the performance of its people. The human resources, together will sophisticated logistic support and technology, have a pivotal role in making the organisation successful. Generally, an organisation is a melting pot of both good and bad performers.
If an organisation is staffed by very good performers, its performance will be very good. If it is staffed by under-performers, it cannot maintain its position. But a mix of both high and low performers keeps the organisation going. This generally applies to all the organisations.
The philosophy of human resources management dictates that there should be the right man at the right time at the right place. But this philosophy has been defeated by the demonic forces of nepotism, favouritism and sycophancy. The merit system, which encourages good performers to work with even more zeal, has lost its meaning and been a rara avis. The forces of nepotism, favouritism and sycophancy are so entrenched that it is very tough to rid an organisation of them.
Attitudinal change
The management of an organisation is helpless before the forces of nepotism, favouritism and sycophancy. To get rid of such forces, it is imperative on the part of the management to undergo attitudinal changes and think about their organisation rather than about their men. They should take it as their religion to award high performers regardless of whether they are their men or not. If only a fair and judicious policy could be developed, all the people in an organisation would work to the best of their competence and knowledge and contribute to the success of the organisation to the greatest extent. This will discourage duty shirkers and lazybones and inspire them to work better. This is what the beauty of the merit system is all about.
Every organisation should bring into practice the merit system. This has many benefits. The merit system will enhance the efficiency of the people in an organisation. It will help an organisation to keep itself on track and overcome tough competition from its rivals in the market. So it is the need of the hour for every organisation to promote the merit system rather than its men in order to remain on the crest of success in this highly competitive market.
(Source: The Rising Nepal)