Creating a workplace that's great, unique & happy.

Culture Aug 13, 2020

We all need a workplace where we get a sense of belonging. An environment where work is challenging yet intriguing. A workplace wherein we get to be on a mission that drives us  to make a difference in the world through our work. A space where we celebrate success and failure alike, as it's all part of the experience to be more, together.

For any voyager the usual first instinct is to have a state-of-the-art boat to have a successful voyage. But is having a well built boat enough to navigate through the uncharted waters and rough sea? Can it spearhead the rising tides without motivated and skilled seamen?

Same is the case with how the workplace works.

While there is not a single answer to above questions, at 'n' we are harbouring a thought-process in which each of us try to be better than yesterday every single day and in the process become a captain of the ship in our own rights.

Here are a few ways in which we are trying to make it a better place for our seamen:

Lead the right culture.

This goes without saying but still, we will iterate this again. Over the past four years of our existence, we have realised that when someone talks about the best companies they are silently referring to its people and its leaders who make it great.

Quoting Facebook's former culture manager, Molly Graham "80% of your culture is your founder."

"Companies tend to reflect everything about them — their personality, strengths, weaknesses. So when you start defining culture in an intentional way, first look at yourselves.[…]

If a founder is competitive, the company will be more aggressive and competitive. If they are analytical and data-driven, the company will tend to make metrics-based decisions.”

Employees look up to their leaders. They tend to match their personas. So calling out  to those entrepreneurs who have built or are in the process of building something on their own, carefully self-measuring their own conscience is key as that is what the company's culture will be built upon. Your people and the culture will be as you are.

Transparency leads to the best work.

We have built a forum where each of us share where we stand openly and without any hesitation. We speak about progress whether upward or downwards, we speak about numbers irrespective of good or bad. A space that gives voice to every individual to express their ideas, admit mistakes, put forth opinions. A place that rewards failure and success alike because that's how we grow: by owning our deeds and by learning from our mistakes. An environment like this creates trust, transparency and team spirit amongst each of us, pushing everyone towards achieving more.

On these lines, the open letter from Airbnb's CEO, Brian Chesky when Airbnb had to layoff  upholds the true essence of transparency. Through this open blog, when he revealed the status of the company, the steps that would be followed in the upcoming days and most importantly how they were derived upon those, all of these created a cultural ideology that thrives on being kind even when the situation makes it difficult to be so. At the same time it created a sense of belonging to everyone, something, which is critical when upholding work and the mission.

Live the mission.

People like to contribute to a purpose which they trust. There are a lot of ways to make this happen. But this is how we approach it.

We have monthly discussions where we reiterate the true meaning of our mission. We talk about the impact our products are making and our future products will make. We discuss our future roadmap and each person's alignment with the same. We stay connected to the bigger picture and uphold that connection for everyone.

An insight, our folks keep repeating- Discussions like these motivate us to believe in the brand and play our own significant parts in building it.

Derive meaning from daily activities.

Show the people how their everyday contribution fits into the company's vision. Show them how each lego piece with their workmanship can shape the final masterpiece. Doing this, instils an awareness of accountability and responsibility in each of us. It lets us be a better self-judge and motivates to go beyond the edge.

On every Friday, everyone in our team drops in a summary on the primary communication channel, Slack. The brief is a measurement of our progress on the weekly objectives, an understanding of how each of our work contributed to the larger goal.

Build a community, not individuals.

Interaction between cross-functional teams drives ideation, imagination, creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. Besides, you get to learn more from the larger community.

In our monthly discussions when we share our experiences, learnings, work, it helps us create a space for shared knowledge and grow as a community.

Go on trips together, no matter whether it is to a nearby tea, coffee shop or a far-away place.

Taking a break to unwind and unplug from office life does wonders and blow off steam and revive- keeping self and the team motivated to work.

Before the remote-working scenario everyone in the team used to go out together once a week for brunch or spent quality time over cup cakes, samosas (Oh yes, food is at the core of our heart!). We also travelled together once a year to different cities, or get-away to a resort in the same city if a long break was not possible at the time. Our last trip was to Coimbatore and Cochin when our co-founder, Rejish got hitched. But that is a story for another day :)

While working remotely and in the Covid-19 situation, we cannot travel but we are taking one Friday off every month, making it a long weekend so that we come back to the virtual office, rejuvenated next week.

Celebrate each milestone in the journey.

Recognition on completion of successful years, an extraordinary effort of a team member in the hour of need, the courage a teammate takes to step out of her comfort zone, a team win or a birthday- be it anything; celebrate.

Here's a feel-good story from Crowdfire's book of wisdom- when there is a new hire, he or she pops a bottle of champagne, and the team then completes a choreographed dance performance in the new hire’s honour- celebrating a talented hire.

The list may go on, and all of these may sound like a Cliche but they are tagged such because they are true. When people are content with what they do, with whom they do, there is a space of trust, transparency, and sense of belonging; right there you have an irresistibly great workplace. No matter where you stand today, you can start building the enterprise of your dreams, this very moment.

We take pride in the work we do together.

For those who do not know about us, we are a group of happy-go-lucky people here to help build a meaningful world. With that broader goal, today we are helping enterprises adopt Digital Transformation and Industry 4.0 oriented solutions.

Interesting much? Well, do walk into our website- nftw.tech and let us know how it sounds :)

Manisha Dash

On a mission to help build a meaningful world for the people.