On a hot summer afternoon, while I was driving to home in the berserk traffic of Delhi, my phone rang. I parked my vehicle in the bylane and picked up, only to find Sunidhi shrieking in excitement. She had the most pleasant news to share- we had been recognized among India’s Top 50 Great Mid-Size Workplaces for 2018. Second time in a row…Whoa…man!
Ofcourse, I joined her in all that mad shrieking and we kept on congratulating each other for this achievement. All I wanted to do at that time was to get out of the window and shout out loud to let the whole world know that we are a Great Place To WorkⓇ organization. Alas! all that I could do was to honk my way out from the bizarre traffic!
After reaching home, I shared the news with my family and we celebrated the win in our own little way. All I longed for was to get back to the office the next day and share this news with my team. That night, the excitement got the best of me and I was reminiscing about the string of events when I got the news of the award last year. I vividly remember how I had jumped out of the bed excited at 11:30 PM in the night when Tarun had shared the news with me. The feeling of that moment still gives me goosebumps. And, the magic of the moment had continued again. 🙂
Flashback to 2017, an early morning newspaper apprised all of us of the good news. The Mint had published the names of companies who were on the list with us. We had been ranked #37 among India’s top 50 Great Mid-Size Workplaces– 2017. But after a few months, we started thinking- what really got us here? Was it the right practices? Was it the love that people had for Quovantis’ culture? What should we continue to do or start doing if we want the magic to continue?
Why in such a state of dilemma, you ask? Because I couldn’t believe that we got recognized on the same platform as some of our role model companies.
My expressions of excitement and being puzzled were like a kid when they get a box of chocolates and their parents tell- “Go, knock yourself out, and eat all of them.” The kid at that time can’t choose to go wild in excitement or question their parents motive-“Really? They want me to eat the entire box? Really?”
Yeah, I had the same emotional conflict.
Of course, I had to be puzzled. Not that we haven’t tried to do everything possible to run a company where “people come first”. All I knew was that we had our heart in the right place and maybe, maybe whatever we were doing was making sense and having an impact on Quants. The recognition came as a clear reassurance to it.
You see, all these years, we had been questioning ourselves if we are running the company as if it was a Great Place to WorkⓇ. We were constantly asking the proverbial- “are we there yet?” And, then to finally get the recognition and that too with some admirable companies was equivalent to someone telling us – “Hey! You have arrived at your destination”.
Really? I thought we were miles away from the destination.
That sense of happy disbelief led me to look at what we were doing as a company and what could we be doing better. If we were a Great Place to WorkⓇ then what can we do to remain one? If our people were happy then what can we do to make them delirious?
Thank God for that disbelief that I ended up working with people in the company to see what can we do better; not only in our people practices but strengthen the message of our core values as well.
When I look back, I can’t help but wonder a sense of contentment with what all we had experimented as a group this year. There are so many frameworks that were born out of our experiments-
Strengthening our onboarding practice
It’s no news that there is a direct correlation between effective onboarding and employee retention and engagement. They say that if a new employee is going to quit, chances are it will happen within the first six months. So the first step was to make them fall in love with Quovantis on their Day 1.
We had always been appreciated for our onboarding practices. But we wanted to do more. We took it upon us to continue with what was working plus add the Quovantis recipe to the onboarding experience. We went on to decorate the workstation of the new Quant with pictures of their family and friends along with welcome messages from their new team members. So on the day when a new Quant joins us, the warm wishes from the person’s team makes them smile and gives them a feeling that they are welcomed into the family & new setup, wholeheartedly.
Connecting with the senior leaders over chai
Last year, we had the Sutradhaar or the Buddy, where we paired the new Quant with another Quant who would help them settle and know more about how things work at Quovantis.
This year we went a step ahead and introduced the“Chai pe Charcha” where we have the Senior Leaders (our Director and VP) taking the new Quants out for Chai to get to know them better. Chai – because India runs on chai, and charcha because we really believe that conversations bring people together.
For our love for discussions, there is yet another way where Quants can voice their opinion- “Practices pe Charcha”. This platform allows Quants to give their vote in– Yay! or Nay! to any new process/framework. They can choose to accept it or say no to its implementation.
It’s done in a democratic manner and makes sure that nothing is implemented just out of whims of management.
Camaraderie of Quants
This is another aspect that has been consistently appreciated by everyone. The mutual trust and respect among people is one thing that we are proud of.
The 360° feedback mechanism helps team members to share candid feedback for peers which then gets circulated to the fellow Quant so that they get appreciated as well as know the areas of improvement transparently.
A culture of appreciation and respect
We all want to be accepted, applauded and appreciated. It is basic human nature. Being appreciated gives us a sense of satisfaction and approval. It motivates us to put in our best efforts.
I would not say that the culture of appreciation is some practice that we implemented at Quovantis, but I would say that we made Quants aware about practicing this more often. We promoted the idea of celebrating small wins and appreciating team members for their commendable efforts.
So every time we notice something admirable, we appreciate the Quants on our internal platform called FeedbackSocially. It has become a norm now to see some or the other team member getting appreciated for one of the core values they had displayed while at work.
Apart from that, we have created open channels for Quants where they can share their opinions. We make deliberate efforts to constantly stay in touch with them. There are various platforms for them to share their feedback such as company update, skip level 1:1s and Time with Tarun where they can come over and share their concerns.
I like to believe that this recognition is not just about the number of practices that we have at Quovantis. Rather, it is the focus and efforts that we put around them to measure their effectiveness. More so, as and when we realize that something isn’t working or we need to implement some changes in the practices- we do it without even batting an eyelid.
Afterall, that’s what, I believe, has got us this award. And, we wish to continue being recognized as a Great Place to Work, year after year!