Building a 23000 people startup! Work space design creating future of work

The new age is here with new collar jobs. Yes, the ones that bots are creating for us!

Meaning at work gets redefined with such evolving job types! The easiest representation can be found in the way work is treated at new age offices.

What are these new age offices? Are they all about colorful walls and beautiful chairs? Why does a visionary who starts a firm spend so much to design every inch of it? More importantly when everything is destined to turn into a hygiene factor, no sooner, then why did leaders like Steve Jobs invest so heavily in creating Spaceship, which is not just a work space but work of art! Why do the firms in Silicon Valley take workplace design so seriously?

meeting place

Elon Musk in a tour of his office space shows how open and connected is the engineering floor. The senior management shares the same work space along with rest of the team.

How does this impact? Let’s take a step back and reimagine the old offices that were more about maintaining hierarchy with opaque walls between each work space. Birth of the industrial revolution has placed every work flow in a batch-processing manner. Machines or people are neatly placed in rows separated by walls, cabins and cubicles. With the era of sophistication these walls were replaced with glass which brought in more light to the rooms.

As we drew closer to the end of the industrial era and more into the age of bots, the paradigm shifted from cubicle to commitment. Work is no longer about “how” but “how soon”! When result remains the only measure to work, the speed at which the work is delivered gets completely redefined.

Well these are not just mouthful of theories but action-oriented formulas that are changing organizations. With the future of work being redefined, let’s see how and where it is being developed. And this is all happening in India, right in the business district of Mumbai!

Building a 23000 people startup

Alfian Sharifuddin, Managing Director , Head of Technology & Operations – DBS Bank India, reflects, “Being deeply rooted in the traditional banking system remained time-tested and it made the transition into a 23000 people startup, even more interesting! We had to scale up not only with strategies but also with visible cues including modern workspaces” That hits the target as excel sheets, pie-charts and rising graphs comes and it starts with what we see around us! The speed of work depends on how we treat urgency. Cutting across layers remains an understatement when you are building an aircraft, while it’s flying in the air

meeting zone

Work happens in the white spaces and it is no longer a cliché. Open work areas that promote collaboration. Hence, why mull on an idea endlessly when you can get it resolved at the speed of thought!

Activity-based-work station in DBS Bank India headquarters at Nariman Point not just encourages a free flow of communication amongst employees but also the decision-making authority.

The transition to the ’23000 people start-up’ began with the old version of office that was replaced with thought oriented spaces, which could be accessed by employees at any level. The silos were targeted to be broken to an extent where even the CXOs weren’t allowed to personalize their office only to ensure that this doesn’t build any boundaries. Often the aura of a room portrays the impact of the discussion that is taking place in it. The presence of a leader in his/her personalized office impacts anyone entering it Much as it may help the one who might be allocated the room, it can effectively act against the one walking into it.

The thoughtfulness of the design is highlighted when the noisy area graduates to silent zones for people to focus and work on projects that require zeroing down of attention. The noise meter, put on every work zone, interestingly resembles a traffic signal that can blink in color to show the decibel level. This takes the cake on managing a healthy noise level at work, which works for all!

The fun zone has been designed with Apple TV and arena to encourage relaxed moments and celebrate lighter team moments. This spirit of enjoyment flows into work with colorful pods and phone booths.

Phone Booth

The fish theory comes alive when the concept of fun at work doesn’t just remain restricted to the HR initiatives but is included in every day moments through fun-filled, meaningful interactions in a relaxed environment.

pods

Open and free work spaces allow for greater interactions with the freedom to operate from any corner as deemed fit for the departments to interact. Alfian points out, “The marketing team and digital banking team interact all day long, that’s how, they are placed in the same zone just as the ground floor hosts the cash transaction team and the operations team as the documents from the bank is passed directly from the retail branch in the same building and floor. The work space is designed for the future to accommodate bots and drones. The tables would be soon enabled with wireless charging station and meeting rooms manned by Alexa or any other AI for the enterprise.”

Future of work holds gig economy and geographically based talent to its core. Hence, a meeting room with two large screens allows multi-locational video-conferencing.

How about a work space that can be transformed into a large auditorium for town halls without making any changes? Just walk up those stairs and you have a stage, as shown in the picture attached below! Would such openness to connect, allow free flow of communication on a daily basis?

Audi

Meaning@Future of Work

Dr.Brent Rosso, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Management at Montana University, defined some of the elements ingrained behind the design philosophy of such workplaces, best aligned to the Future of Work:

  1. True calling: You needed a new disruptive and authentic one to accommodate your growth.
  2. Make a difference: Every day you are allowed to be a part of not just the idea generation and implementation but also a part that solves the problem of your customers and you see the change in progress!
  3. We are all in this together: An open work space that breeds belonging!
  4. Feel valuable: Self-efficacy is synonymous with what we deliver at work. Empowerment evolves from the choice and responsibility to excel. A conducive environment that inspires authenticity creates leaders for tomorrow
  5. Sacrifice to a greater cause: Imagine the CEO of your firm, who has worked all his life to get there, treats himself as an equal and not the stature he has achieved! Not only is the door to his office open but also his office space, which is available for others to access in his absence!

Now take a moment and look at this picture, imagine this is the work space for all that you are chosen to deliver, that builds not just your self-efficacies or your bank balance, but also the future of work that you are part of!

seaview

Yes, a job like that defines every moment with the meaning at work, a gorgeous sea view and pays you as well!

Live de vivre!

Gig Economy and HR Compliance

Gig Economy is on the rise with IT skills requiring professionals to work on project for shorter duration.  As reported by Livemint, the IT flexi staffing market in India, worth $3.04 billion in 2016-17, is expected to grow 14-16% annually to become a $5.3 billion industry by 2021, [Source: Indian Staffing Federation Report].

Most of the skills that are turning into jobs were not grouped as a job so far.  Tenured jobs are giving way to gigs.

As experts to the HR Compliance and Audit how would you manage this for an employer? The emerging skill groups do not have a clarity in terms of jobs. They are mostly work-based than designation or even salary-band based roles! Hence, which are the areas critical to Compliance that an employer must care for while hiring the Flexi-Employee?

Would the retirals be managed by the employee? If so, how ? How would the benefits be managed?

Join the discussion in here: Comply4HR

Deferred payment at Voonik: HR Compliance

Voonik , an online fashion brand has deferred the payments for its 200 employees by 3 months. As reported by Money Control, Voonik’s CEO and Co-Founder Sujayath Ali said those who will quit the company will get a month’s salary as the severance package. He added the company “is currently one or two months away from EBITDA (earnings before, interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation) profitability.

Subir Chatterjee, Compensation and Benefit Head says, ” Help me to understand this better. The founder deferred the salary to achieve EBIT? So far I know salary is part of operating expenses, don’t they have to book the salary as future liability? Operating Earning comes much before EBIT.”

Pratik Vaidya, MD Karma Management added, “Very few organisation understand the value of human capital & asset rather than treating as Operating expense. Audited Companies that defer salary and other incentive payables & sheepishly roll back in future when their employee leave”.

Subeer Bakshi, CHRO Bajaj Allianz reflects, “Agree that it’s going to be problematic, but it’s a well-intentioned alternative to lay-offs. That’s laudable, and I hope the employees buy in!”

What impact would this have on HR compliances to be maintained in the company. How would the EPF contribution, ESIC if any, other Retirals and tax deduction be managed by the employer in such a situation?

join us for more on this => Comply4HR

Women as driver to growth in the age of driverless cars !

Where does women stand, in the age financial meltdowns, geo-political differences and AI? 1 robot out of 4 factory workers in Maruti. The numbers looks even more interesting in totality with 2400 robots at Manesarand 5000 facility. Are we still competing with men for jobs and seats at Premier Institutes? Where does this lands us especially when women have lesser access to education and finances?

India ranks 87th in Global Gender Report 2016 with highest participation of women in education and health sector. Does this set any target for us?  The report further showed that the highest level of penetration remains in the Education and Health sector with fewer women in Technology and Policy making !

With equal participation we can add upto 28 trillion by 2025 which is equal to a combination of US & China’s economy . So what do we need to build this equality ? What are the building blocks that can affect growth ? Law and order , financial independence and education?

These are few laws worldwide that instils sexism so deep that imagining equality remains light years away! When we restrict women legally how does it impact her participation socially rather financially?

 

World Economic Forum reports women remain unpaid for 50% of her productive time at work. How does this add up to her pay?

Global gender index shows Iceland, Finland and Norway tops the chart and not the leading economies! Why is it so? Is it the access to education and policies at work that makes it happen? Few days back when Maternity Benefit act was amended in India, we had people worrying about women no longer being hired. Norway offers 44 weeks of maternity leave. No wonder they have 47% of women participation in Public sector and 26% in the private sector! When we have family friendly policies at work, we are no longer forcing a women to choose between family and work

This tweet sums up the support , policies, access to education and finances that we need! Here we have an young woman as a pilot to Air India taking the same official commute with her mother who works as an air hostess! This organisation isn’t a nimble-foot startup. It is not a super funded private company with loads of money to spend. Yet, that’s how strongly they have been balancing diversity.

40 economies that participated in Global Entrepreneurship monitor reports women Entrepreneurship rate rose by 13% whereas it was 5% for males. However in India , the perceived opportunity for women is 41% compared to their male counterparts. Anusha, who celebrated her 25th Birthday recently pitched her second startup to me. And she is not in Bangalore or Mumbai but in Vishakhapatnam. Her first startup is running successfully in association with Andhra Pradesh Government. According Deloitte report, Millennial women are bridging the gender pay gap. Are we planning anything to bridge the financial gap for the ageing women workforce too?

Where does the empowerment needs to happen? Anuja Shukla, head of Google for entrepreneur runs a project on her on own where she gets girls from age 8-15 to code. Revathy Roy , founder Hey Didi , formerly Vira Cabs, have trained more than 10000 women from socially backward classes to drive. She created employment for them through her startup. She empowered them to own their vehicles and earn out it, offering loans from banks with no collateral. Urvashi Neogi runs her profitable Event Management firm, Biz Integration with her Geographically based team. She doesn’t need a 9-to-5 at an office with face time from her team members.

Here’s a research by Adobe on Future of Work which says, future lies in collaboration and diversity of skills. So what does this imply? In the age where commitment to the work and the speed of delivery remain the only measure at work, do we still need the archaical work design? Would the jobs of tomorrow offer women more potential to deliver? Will the organisations of tomorrow have the bandwidth to build the leaders of tomorrow irrespective of gender?

If you have any HR Query or any query on Future of Work, Employee Engagement, Talent management, Women Empowerment, Retention or Business Strategy please write to me in here. Looking forward to learn more while finding solutions for you. This have been re-blogged from nabomita.com

Nabomita is the Founder to Nabomita.com. She is the Top 100 Women Achiever Awardee, awarded by Government of India , TEDx Speaker, Quoted on ForbesUS, one of the Top 20 HR Influencer in Social Media as declared by SHRM India and one among the Top 100 Technology Influencer in India. Connect with her on @nabomita_smiles , Facebook Page and Google+

‘Brand You’ works: My journey through building my own startup

Almost a decade back, at XLRI , Dr. Mathai Fenn taught us ‘Brand You’. When he said employers will hire you for who you are , we heard it as a theory. He defined , that the services you deliver and the value you create, is your brand. And that alone can get you around the world!

Today, I write this to share how this worked for me inspite of all the Financial Slowdown, Geo-Political changes and Robots taking away our jobs!

It’s been a great year ! And I am writing this to thank everyone who have been contributing to my success. It’s still feels as if it was just yesterday when I started on my own! A dream that I wanted to live but never knew would happen to me.

Almost an year back, I started working for me. Yes, I was finally the boss I wanted to be and work for 🙂

Initially, I had no plan for what I would want to deliver. There were many options to explore and I believed things would shape up as I would go along. It will remain one of the best decision I ever made!

I never knew what I did had any monetary value to it. I love building communities, connecting businesses, identifying solutions and delivering them. I feel strongly for causes I have been working for. And, I loved speaking about them. Initially, I couldn’t imagine it to be a profitable venture, till I had companies actually looking for it! It has been an exhilarating moment, each time I found a business house quoting a monetary value. The magic of getting paid to speak is immeasurable to me!

Evangelism arrived for me professionally! I had never imagined it would. I never knew the impact of what I did, till I started doing it for me!

Few of the most cherished moment have been speaking at the Think Tank by Adobe, and researching on Future of Work and presenting it in San Francisco, addressing World Forum for Responsible Economy by RESPCO Institute in association with French Government, delivering my first TEDx Talk at TEDx Bocconi U Mumbai, delivering Faculty Management Program at Rajagiri Business School, delivering the Keynote to more than 5000 delegates at E-Summit in Hyderabad, Inaugurating India HR Summit 2016, Inaugurating and delivering the Keynote at International Convention at SVIMS and many more!

I have been working with amazing business leaders, who have not just added on to my experience but even mentored me! I can not thank enough to those people who went beyond commercials to Special thanks to Ministry of Women and Child Development, Dr. Nanu Bhasin, Dr. Jessy Fenn, Mandar Joshi Executive Director TiE Pune, Vishwas Mahajan Trustee TiE Global, Urvashi Neogi Founder Biz Integration, Chitra Narayanan and

I can’t thank enough SHRM India for naming me in their Top 20 Influencer in the country and Indian HR Convention for celebrating my work. It was a joy beyond measure seeing Nabomita.com mentioned in the Ecosystem Partner to TiECon Pune!

Building a firm is all sweat and blood. But then its all worth it, when the world celebrates it with you ! The pain and challenges I went through seems small when I am acknowledged for my efforts. Thank you and cheers to every such moment !

If you have any HR Query or any query on Future of Work, please write to me in here. Looking forward to learn more while finding solutions for you.

Nabomita is the Founder to Nabomita.com. She is the Top 100 Women Achiever Awardee, awarded by Government of India , TEDx Speaker, Quoted on ForbesUS, one of the Top 20 HR Influencer in Social Media as declared by SHRM India and one among the Top 100 Technology Influencer in India. Connect with her on @nabomita_smiles , Facebook Page and Google+

Out of these 3 Job offers, which one should I choose?

“I’m currently at a crossroads between 3 job options and don’t know what to do! I’m working as an HR Coordinator in a top pharmaceutical company making pretty decent money for the role. However the role is a temp position and I want a permanent role with benefits. There will be a recruitment opening up within the next two months and I’m thinking of applying but I’m not too interested in recruitment, I have done it before and I would do it again but I would prefer something more diverse. The only reason I am considering applying is because I love the company I currently work for and would probably get a small bump in compensation. A full time role at my current company would also come with X amount, a year in tuition reimbursement which I want since I want to do my master’s degree. 

My second option is Employee Relations Analyst which would pay what I’m currently making but it’s 30 minutes longer of a commute and X/2 amount a year max in tuition reimbuirsement. This position seems interesting since I am very interested in ER but I don’t know if analysing data all day is what I would enjoy doing.

Lastly, the third option is an HR Associate role at a Forbes 10 company which pays 9,000 less than what I’m currently making but they pay 100% for your health insurance, comes with bonus and has unlimited tuition reimbursement. However the role would be supporting one other person in HR, it would only be 2 people in that particular office which seems ok but I’m concerned about future room for advancement. However, this would include ER, benefit administration, and more of a generalist role since I would be dealing with many aspects of HR which I like.

I don’t know which to choose or proceed with, recruitment role which I’m not too excited about but good pay and good benefits at the company I’m with, the ER analyst role which I’m sort of excited about and make the same as I’m doing now but longer commute, or work for a REALLY good company making 9,000 less with amazing benefits and an HR Team of two??

I have been in HR for 3 years and want to be sure the next role will be a good stepping stone into my career.” 

The choices are clear. Every role offers an option that can be easily compared to the other. However, the choice made now will define the future. It’s not merely about the next few years of employment, but also funding the Post Graduate Degree.

Even though the first option offers you the greatest salary, it is evident from your words that you don’t wish to work in Recruitment. Hence it doesn’t make any sense to consider that.

It seems evident that you wish to take up the second option. The longer commute and half the salary offered in comparison to the first employer doesn’t pose a problem as you want to work as ER. However, if you fail to enjoy that role, this choice might completely backfire! On the top, any cap on the tuition reimbursement needs to be considered very strongly, as it would increase the monetary burden at your end!

Salary as a parameter can be considered only for a short term. In case of the long term, it’s all about the brand and the support for the education. The job offer accepted now, needs to be the stepping stone for a better job placement once you receive the Post Graduation Degree. Hence, the third option with the Forbes 10 Company remains the best option.

Every brand brings in a professional exposure along with a standard environment, which frames the maturity and efficiency. You have worked for last three years, you are in the right stage to groom and optimise your potential further. You will gain an access to a great work environment, the alumni, and live the joy of contributing to the company’s success!

Even though you are doubtful about your growth in this role, it still is a better offer as it will pay unlimited tuition reimbursement! The 9000 less in the pay won’t matter for long , as they offer a bonus, which might take care of the deficit! The growth factor might not pose a question after the Post Graduation, as you will have the choice to look for a change.

A strong brand with a Generalist Role, would offer you a sound experience to land the next best job that you apply for. On the top, you won’t have any Education loan. I guess this seals the deal offering the best of both the worlds.

Rest I leave it for you to decide ! May the best job find you. Good luck !

If you have any HR Query or any query on Future of Work, please write to me in here. Looking forward to learn more while finding solutions for you.

Nabomita is the Founder to Nabomita.com. She is the Top 100 Women Achiever Awardee, awarded by Government of India , TEDx Speaker, Quoted on ForbesUS, one of the Top 20 HR Influencer in Social Media as declared by SHRM India and one among the Top 100 Technology Influencer in India. Connect with her on @nabomita_smiles , Facebook Page and Google+

An Odd task of preparing a Compensation Report for a small firm

“I’m the HR Executive to a small to mid-sized firm. I get asked a lot of odd tasks. Today topped the cake.

Management decided full time employees are taking way too many of their paid sick days. They also wanted to know the pay, benefits, down to every incentives offered to such talent bands. I suppose they want to be armed with some information regarding what other employers in the area offer. So they have me cold-calling Companies, consultancies and other employers with similar talent pool to get a consensus. 

It’s been pretty difficult getting this information, which is pretty much confidential. I was wondering what your opinions were on this task in general, is it really useful to them to know what other employers are offering? Is there another way I could go about getting this type of information?”

Congratulations on this initiative. No matter how odd this task may sound, it will empower you with valuable information with regards to compensation and benefits. Let this be your very first Compensation Benchmark activity at a small and a manageable scale!

To begin with there are reports on Compensation with bands and designation for every sector published by Aon Hewitt, Mercer to name a few. Top firms such as Willis Towers Watson and Michael Page can offer insights on the design. But then, these reports are costly. A salary survey would offer a comparative data on where the pay structure within your firm lies. Glass door and Payscale would offer you a broad over view to the pay range . If you research enough in the comment section for each firm you might be able to even gauge how far the benefits implemented. Job advertised on LinkedIn Monster , Naukri and IIM Jobs can share more data on the existing opening.

Segregate the data for every band, level, and designation in your firm and compare it to what your competitors are paying. Stay focussed on your region unless you have a Pan-Indian presence or hire out-station candidates. Factor in the education level and experience in years required to deliver the job. The standard of living for the cities where your firm have a presence needs to be considered.

Once you have your report ready, validate it within your HR network. Confidentiality is important, hence respect someone’s choice of not responding to you. You may try and validate the data through the employees to the firms in your sector.

Once you have every single data validated by at least 3-5 individuals from each firms, you should be good to present the report to the Management Team at your firm.

Be prepare with questions on valid the data is and how do you make it relevant within your firm. Prepare a plan to suggest the changes that needs to be made to optimise your current pay structure and benefits. Suggest a few measures to be taken during implementing the new plan. In case you are not completely aware of the Minimax calculation , consider involving an external consultant or an expert. Wish you all the best !

If you have any HR Query or any query on Future of Work, please write to me in here. Looking forward to learn more while finding solutions for you.

Nabomita is the Founder to Nabomita.com. She is the Top 100 Women Achiever Awardee, awarded by Government of India , TEDx Speaker, Quoted on ForbesUS, one of the Top 20 HR Influencer in Social Media as declared by SHRM India and one among the Top 100 Technology Influencer in India. Connect with her on @nabomita_smiles , Facebook Page and Google+

Are Interviews a good way to hire the right people in an organisation?

I love this question as it highlights every blind spot, that turns a deal breaker for the new talent to survive in an organisation. However, is Interview a good way to hire ? Yes you have the best of the processes to filter talent initially on the basis of acumen through General Assessment, which includes Quants, English and a Psychoanalysis Test. There are 30 or 50 questions in each section to asses the threshold skills.

This purely clarify the skills to effectively respond to those areas within a short span of time. Then follows the initial rounds to test the specific skills for the role. For the roles in IT , its the Technical round with Practise Managers interviewing the candidate either on phone or in-person. The only skill is tested on this round is technical. It works the same for the Support functions be it HR or Finance. Once the Practise Managers give a green signal, it moves to the Hiring Manager. For a mid-level role , it could be the direct Reporting Manager. In case of a bigger scale, it is often the Team Lead or Manager.

A standard process such as this, ensures the best pre-wiring of the pitfalls that can cost you a bad-hire. But will that alone save your firm from a bad-hire?

I have been through numerous process of hiring, where in, I was included in a dialogue with the leaders within the organisation and their teams for months. There was no promise of hire, but rather, offering a rich conversation. It was only after a long right-fit activity , I was hired. I must say, those were few best roles I worked at. I know several organisation owners, who allows the candidate to identify the fit rather than assessing them. Yes, its a reverse approach to make sure the candidate willingly take up the role knowing every pitfall. I even know firms that allows a candidate to intern at a role before being hired for it.

A startup I know works in an agreement with what the candidate agrees to deliver in what point of time. The roles and timelines are closed on that. Needless to mention, it decides the pay package too!

Crowdfire, created a community with meet-ups for designers and System Thinkers. The brainstorming during these meet-ups not just brought up newer ideas for the product and trouble shooting the flaws, but also created a rich talent pool to hire when need be!

The downside to such a process is speed and time. Hiring requirement with a strong TAT or an urgent back-fill won’t be able to contemplate this.

Hence, coming back to the question, does interviews bring the right people to the job you are hiring for?

If you have any HR Query or any query on Future of Work, please write to me in here. Looking forward to learn more while finding solutions for you.

Nabomita is the Founder to Nabomita.com. She is the Top 100 Women Achiever Awardee, awarded by Government of India , TEDx Speaker, Quoted on ForbesUS, one of the Top 20 HR Influencer in Social Media as declared by SHRM India and one among the Top 100 Technology Influencer in India. Connect with her on @nabomita_smiles , Facebook Page and Google+

Recommended reading: Future of work , If bots are taking away your jobs , New job or old 

Managing Exit: Withdrawing a verbal resignation

“I own a midsize company and today I had a senior staff member resign to me as soon as he came in. I accepted his resignation and asked him to hold tight as I gathered my thoughts on next steps. 2 hours later he said he was withdrawing his resignation.

Can I accept his verbal resignation? I don’t want to keep him around any more as he explained to me that it was time for him to move on and that he felt it was time for a change. 

I think something happened to his other opportunity and is trying to backtrack. I’m certain he will keep looking for another job anyway.”

What would you do if you were caught up in a similar situation? It’s easy to decide an yes or no , but let’s look into the process , before you decide.

A resignation requires the submission in writing. It needs to be clearly stated why the resignation have been tendered. The employer needs to then start processing the conversation. First of all, as soon as you receive a resignation, please issue a letter sharing the resignation have been received and it is under due consideration.

Then arrange for a detailed discussion with the resignee and your HR Team. You may or may not include the reporting manager depending on the request of the resignee. Often the employee submitting such a request has some grievances which needs to be heard in isolation. Incase the employee is fine, organise a meeting with the Reporting Manager and the HR Business Partner.

Understand in details, why the employee is resigning and how would the knowledge transfer happen. Make sure the duration for release, transfer or responsibilities and sharing of every information is agreed and signed off.

In case an employee doesn’t want to serve the Notice Period, please share the process. If as an employer you allow them to buy-out , please explain the calculation and the final number that the employee needs to pay.

Once the resignation process has moved to the acceptance stage by the employer, share if you have any implication on resignation withdrawal. Clearly state beyond which point can the resignation still be re-considered. Draw a timeline, such as if the Notice Period is 3 months long, define the period for re-consideration will lats till end of the first month.

Plan your talent accusation during the Notice Period. In case you can’t hire or the employee do not want to serve the notice period allocate the responsibility to a team member and initiate the Knowledge Transfer.

The Exit process on the final day needs to have every area signed off including handover or responsibilities, duties and any Office property assigned to the employee. Seal the process with Release Certificate.

Once you have a rock solid process in place, your employees would know there are little chances of diversions. This kind of an elaborate timeline would allow you to re-think your own decision on releasing the employee. You will be able to weigh every cost of a new hire to training your existing employee. Restructure is easy, when you are sure of the result you want to achieve.

Hence, every room for verbal back tracking will be avoided! Decide for yourself, if you want to release an employee who wanted to resign, or hold on to someone who has realised you are far better than his options? At the end of the day every employee would leave your firm, someday or the other. Its up to you to optimise the talent and the time you have with them!

Recommended: Why should your pay remain secret , Future of work , Open Door 

 

What it takes to build an empowered community

Why were the communities built ? Did someone actually start the trend right in the beginning of time? Or were they formed because human beings are social by nature! We are driven by goals which often echo as a common goal, when like minds come together. A group of people doesn’t form a community till there is a common thread of thoughts, willingness and purpose, that binds them together. Tribes were formed for survival. But each tribe developed an unique culture through the practices, the group involved. In time, communities moved beyond every boundaries and semantics with the internet changing the game. Online portals were initially formed for interest , then moved to need , hence emerged the ‘Community of Product’ and ‘Community of Practices’. When millions of people joined in to contribute to a discussion, the term ‘Crowdsource’ lost itself to the value created. Contributions driven by the need to help others, even without an identity which became an order of the day. Offline communities had a purpose to serve with the members interacting through regular meet-ups. Corporates initially used communities to build loyal consumers but moved to social and green world, responding to the environmental changes. Are there any other pattern through which communities have evolved? Let’s find out what builds a community!

On 4th of March The Mentorprenuers organised Women Power 2nd Edition at IIT Bombay. I feel honoured to share that I was invited to moderate the panel on ‘Growth Hacking in Business: Building Empowered Community. The speakers to my panel were Revathi Roy, Founder DeeDee and Vira cabs, Riddhi Doshi Founder Lajja, Neha Kare Founder UniMO and Neha Aggarwal Community Outreach Baby Chakra.

It was interesting to note how these offline and online communities were formed and why. Revathi Roy shared, she loved to drive and felt the need of women drivers even when it was unheard of. Hence, her service started way back in 2007, making her a pioneer. She built the community of close knit drivers who came from the social background with little and bare minimum income. For her it was an ordeal to convince them and then train. However, looking back she holds a numero uno position with the largest numbers of trained and professional women drivers. She went through challenge when the policy on driving license was suddenly changed last year. But then, she used it to turn the tide for the best. She used the gold mine of the trained drivers to build Hey Didi or Deedee as it is called now. Here she offers last mile delivery with the same women drivers. She offered everyone a two-wheeler on a loan with no collaterals attached. The amount was deducted from their salaries. In case you are wondering why this service is important, well we have cases where the delivery boys were either attacked or attacked the lone living women! Here’s an advertisement to support the point on how such women drivers and last mile delivery by women is making the world safe!

 

Next we had Riddhi Doshi , sharing why she built Lajja. For her it was important women speak up about the sexual issues that are shunned. She built Lajja where women feel safe to speak up and have the experts to guide them. It was very brave of her, given the conservative background she had. But then, that became the driving force why she was determined to build a community where women finds a voice!

Neha Kare, founder UniMo had a similar story to share on why she built the community which includes both the online and the offline model. She felt the need for the community of Mothers who required a support system with their peers to remain intellectually and emotionally active. Motherhood often comes with women being drained of every attention towards themselves. Hence, Neha created this million strong group where Women come forward to find ‘Me-Time’ through activities such as Bappa-thon where they cleaned up the sea-beaches a day after the idols were immersed in water. Her activities are directed towards building a responsible system where Mothers can use their time to change the world.

Neha Aggarwal, shared Baby Chakra was built purely to provide a support to the Mothers who look up on the internet for every information , products and services for their babies. In today’s world with nuclear families growing by manifolds, the mothers rarely find anyone who can guide them with exact information, right when they need it! Hence the online portal with the live discussion forums and experts answering them remains the best solution.