How Startups Are Building Strong Office Cultures
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The augment of startups in India has led us into perceiving jobs in a totally different way. Earlier, the usual definition of a job meant arriving and leaving at a certain time, dressing for the job and being super-nice to your boss, but these days we find entrepreneurs who aren’t even certain of which place they’ll be working from the next day.
When such informality is introduced at a place of work, the line between a boss and employee fades, which is great for team work. However, it also means getting work done from your employees without being strict and making sure that the employee does not take advantage of their boss’s friendly behavior
To create a startup ambience, what entrepreneurs need is a perfect blend of formal and informal work culture. To know more, we asked few entrepreneurs how they achieved this balance in their office and what their office culture is like and this is what they had to say.
Ashwin Jain, Co-founder, Driven
What keeps our team motivated is the excitement we create in our fleet and the technology that is consumer friendly. They enjoy the same experience and joy what the client gains from being a driven customer, the best in cars, bikes and bicycles. It’s literally a dream come true for every member of our team to be amidst exotic machines and to be able to drive them / ride them and to be able to deliver the unique experiences to the clients.
Ambika Sharma, CEO, Pulp Strategy
At Pulp Strategy, we inspire employees to take control of their work and give them the freedom of expression, and personal creativity. We appreciate the power of the individual and what each individual contributes to the overall vision. We have Knowledge sharing sessions where team members share expertise related with team members.
Our policies and benefits are structured to enable work life balance. fFor example, we give 7 weeks off in the year including a 2 weeks for rejuvenation / recreational leave. We allow for work flexibility and also allow for sabbaticals when employees need time off personally.
At work, we try not to let stress bog us down, we have a daily, weekly and monthly initiatives which keep the work place lively. There is a ‘Comics lounge’ which has comics, books and light reading as well as board games. We have a cricket team, which plays on weekends, and host a 10 minute daily work out session on the floor, the SparkPlug factory on the last Friday of every month.
We also have Monthly R&R program called, the master blaster, where each department nominates a team member who has shown extra initiative, innovation, effort beyond the regular, The MasterBlaster as we call it, has high standards and is very competitive. We give experiences like, a weekend trip for 2, movies at the Director’s cut, parasailing, hobby workshops etc so our master blasters can relax and feel celebrated.
Sushil Baranwal, Founder, Morphedo
We at Morphedo believe, that anyone who can sustain working in a startup has the capability of being an entrepreneur. We encourage people to work with limited supervision as we want to create a culture where everyone feels like an owner of their responsibilities. We appreciate and support when people take initiatives and make sure that an ear is given to all the ideas that are brought in. We believe in experimental learning and allow people to implement their ideas.
We are developing a culture where it’s okay to fail and get up again than to hesitate from trying. While hiring, we rate a candidate more if he has the capability to be a leader than a follower. We tend to imbibe self-learning among the team members. Our team is small and to keep the team in high spirits, we maintain transparency. Updates on every progress of the company is shared and celebrated with the members, this gives them the sense of ownership.
Ritu Malhotra, CEO, Renomania
Starting up and working if one can, at times, be very hectic and nerve-wrecking. We have to take care of a lot of things simultaneously and in such situation, it is essential to have a highly spirited team. We, in Renomania, work together like a family and apart from team outings, we also have regular brain storming sessions and employee appreciation days. The second half of the day can be rather long and boring so we try to maintain the energy with some light music. We understand the importance of work satisfaction and make sure that our team is happy.
Sunil Bakshi, CEO, Infiniti
Our operation is all about team work. Our team lives together on the yacht for seven months, and works together for successful operation. Everyone is an expert in their own field so everyone is treated with respect. We don’t have a formal boss – employee arrangement, it is always teamwork that is prized above all. The most important thing is to be cool-headed. Even in difficult situation, everyone is advised to always keep their cool.We all wear T-shirts emblazoned “Team Infiniti”, including me; I am also basically part of the team. Communication, debriefings, get together are encouraged. Our team is motivated by being part of our unique journeys, and of shared dream of taking diving in India to a new level. We get to meet amazing people from all over the world, and show them something they’ve never seen before. So everyone is focused on that and the incredible energy of being in the islands’ pristine environment.