Open doors, no cubicles, and breaking bread together
Gopi: There are times when the managers would have the most experience and would make the decision, but a minimal hierarchy means that everyone has a say. Every team member has their roles clearly articulated and there are no instances of what a senior member says, becoming set in stone.
Gopi: There needs to be clear, well-articulated accountability of tasks – and in a way that the person is conscious of how accountable s/he is. We despise long meetings at Myelin, but we try and conduct regular short meetings that have clear agendas and can be wound up quickly.
But if there are situations when people are not able to perform, we approach it sensitively:
Step 1: Diagnose the problem but proceed with the benefit of doubt: Team members are trying to solve large-sector problems, it’s not easy.
Step 2: See if they’re getting the right time, the right training, and the right guidance to solve the problem.
Step 3: See if there’s a lack of motivation to solve the problem for reasons personal or otherwise. Articulate the reason and address the lacunae that need to be.
Step 4: Identify if the individual needs increased coaching. Coach a skill.
Step 5: If coaching doesn’t work and if there are mental blocks, allow the individual to find other opportunities—in the same organisation or outside.
Find Your Ikigai
“The happier the team member, the more productive s/he is. If
you squeeze the life out of the team members in your company, it won’t
Gopi: I push people to find that intersection of what you’re good at, what you’re passionate about and what the workplace needs. Today’s workforce is not going to be happy without the personal angle and hence ikigai becomes even more important. From a company’s standpoint, it’s about what the individual can add and what can be monetised. But we try to take this a little further, so in our media and entertainment solution, it’s not just about individual entertainment but also about reducing carbon footprint. It’s about marrying what can be monetised with value-driven propositions.
Allowing down time
“We don’t simply think of work-life balance but life balance because work is part of life.”
Ganesh: At a start-up you’re always running against the clock. You might end up not having time to even sit back or sit across from your teams. Every Friday, we have scheduled open agenda lunch talks where people discuss their projects, which gives people a chance to sit back, relax and see the bigger picture.
It’s why unlike many start-ups we have a health insurance policy in place. We want employees to feel comfortable and be assured that in case their health is affected, we have their back. I learnt this the hard way. In my previous organisation, I had a terrible bout of illness and I was hospitalised for several days. But my team was extremely supportive and made it very easy for me to take time off and return when I had fully recovered.
Pizza parties, birthdays, team lunches, retreats where we do a lot of group activities, bond as a team, and blur the boundaries of team functions are some of the few ways we come together.