Fund-raising may have come easy for startups.It’s the people matters that appear to be rather tricky . For some, establishing a unique culture is proving to be tough, while for others it’s about ensuring new hires remain as engaged as those who began their careers at the start of the company’s journey .
Simplilearn, a professional certification provider, has a practice called `Free Look Period’, which allows the employee to understand the role, team dynamics and work culture. It’s an opportunity to ensure that the new hire and the company are a perfect fit. The firm is now creating a new post for head of culture. The objective, said COO Gerald Jaideep, is to link the core values and vision of the company with business goals and to replicate behaviours in people to ensure they deliver.
At Belong, on the other hand, engagement of new employees starts much before their actual joining dates. A few weeks into accepting the offer, respective teammates start engaging them at multiple levels by inviting them to attend in-house events. “We believe greater a Belonger’s exposure to the company and its people during their early days, higher their ability to bring their best.
By the end of the first week, all of them would have attended at least one customer and one sales meeting and shared their learnings, met each team in Belong and understood how we are all aligned,” said Vijay Sharma, co-founder & CEO, Belong, which uses data analytics in hiring. Every alternate Friday , Belong has `demo days’, where teams demonstrate what they are currently building or shipping. The company believes this creates a sense of ownership among new members and gives everyone a sneak peek into what’s getting launched and how it’s going to impact customers.
To measure engagement of teams on a regular basis, mobile payments platform Paytm has developed a tool called `Pulse’. It’s an anonymous survey which is looked upon as an important mechanism by the manager and the team to get honest reviews.
The objective is to deep dive and resolve issues wherever the scores are below organizational average. Amit Sinha, VP-business planning and people, Paytm, said given the chaos in which startups operate -putting in 10-12 hours of work daily -the tool is essential to gauge employee engagement levels. With a staff strength of 4,000 and growing, Sinha said while the older employees are in sync with the company’s culture, it’s for the new hires that such tools are more useful. The tool has helped in identifying some gaps in the induction process which the company is working to fix.
B Mohan Kumar, founder director & chief evangelizing officer of iAccept Softwares, uses special training imparted to its employees as a tool to make them feel valued. “This makes them feel privileged for getting a chance to get trained in areas where even their peers have not got an exposure,” said Kumar.
Vinaya Bansal, co-founder, The Predictive Strategy Group, who has worked in a startup for six years, said early employees can also be the ones who are most likely to become disengaged after the company enters a growth phase. “With VC funding coming, a startup tends to grow overnight from a toddler to adolescence and then to middle age,” said Bansal.
Processes and structures give rise to hierarchy . Soon, formal appraisal processes are put in place and suddenly , the early joiners find that the very reasons of joining a startup don’t exist. But it’s a phase all startups must go through, if they wish to grow.
Source: Economic Times