Transforming Indian Start-Ups into One of the Best Places to Work At

Date:   Friday , June 03, 2016

Headquartered in Mumbai, Healthenablr offers two distinct products for doctors (Pocclinic) and patients (Poccare) through which the doctors and patients can co-ordinate with each other in a quick, efficient and hassle-free way

Over the past decade, the Indian IT boom has made news the world over. Today, our markets are open to investors across the globe and our engineers and IT professionals have settled in places far and wide. But perhaps the best part of this growth of our economy is the fact that start-up companies are becoming more and more popular today, particularly with the younger generation, who are energetic and full of vibrant ideas.

Start-up companies in India haven\'t had it easy; there\'s capital to arrange for, expenses to cater to and a government to deal with. As someone who might have your own newly launched company, you may be wondering - what can you do to make sure your employees not only do their jobs, but also enjoy it? How can you convince them to stay with you, despite being a fledgling in the field?

Here are a number of ways to make your start-up an amazing place to work in-

• Focus on having a small, strong team of workers. Having a lean team has a number of advantages – each member is devoted to the other and it becomes a team in the truest sense, with each holding the other up. But on a more concrete note, lean teams allow for more individual learning and productivity; each person has to multitask and work twice as hard to make up for the lack of manpower; so the exposure to the industry and the work is much more. This means that you have strong leaders to take over later as your company grows and growth of the individual in the job – which is a personal aspiration for many – is multifaceted!

• Involve your employees in value-making. As we said, in any start-up, the core team is going to initially be extremely small; get all 50-100 of your new employees to come together and identify the core values of your company! Don’t start with a direct conversation – you’ll have the extroverts leading and the introverts being quiet. Instead, get them to write down the values they think the company should have and then, share these values amongst yourselves before you decide on the ones you want your company to make official.

• Set-up your office according to employee preferences; given that Indian real estate is extremely expensive, you may or may not have a full office to give them! So work with what you have – bring in the best tables and chairs you can afford. Make sure the air conditioning works. Have a coffee machine and a water-cooler installed, even if you can’t have a full break room. Make sure you have proper sanitary toilets that are in working condition!

• Have a good, comfortable dress code that all your employees enjoy. While you yourself may be fond of western business-casual wear, many Indians may or may not be comfortable – take into account your employee preferences. Keep it simple, keep it open to change.

• Decide on what type of work culture you’d like; are you planning on keeping your doors open to all workers, even after your business takes off well? As CEO, ideally, you should interact with all your employees on a regular basis; have routine coffee breaks and team lunches together. You need to boost the morale of your team, so spend time together even on your days off. Watch the latest Bollywood release together in your office space on a day particularly allotted for that – make sure your employees know how much you value them.

• Think seriously about the company policies you’re going to put down – remember that these will be in operation for a long time, even after the core team is joined by many more people. Ideally, the policies should benefit both the management and the workers, but in reality, it’s a very fine line that you must be careful with. For instance, if we are discussing paid and unpaid leave policies, you want to be cautious. You can give your workers a certain number of paid holidays, but you can’t afford to be too nice either! Work out something that helps both of you – take your employees’ opinions into account initially, leaving enough room for changes later.

• Appraising your workers’ abilities and contributions is something you have to do regularly – fix a routine check. Be sure to let your team know well in advance that their work is going to be under inspection; look over their work and then give them appropriate feedback. Be critical, but not mean. Soften harsh criticisms with praise where credit is due. Be fair, be polite and be open; don’t pretend to accept their work if it’s shoddy because you don’t want to step on toes.

• Make sure your workers feel valued and want to stay around. A simple ‘Good Morning’ and a ‘Great job today!’ in the evening will make them feel like they’re doing something valuable. Also see if you can offer them additional services; for instance, if you’re working late into the night, especially for the womenfolk (given how dangerous Indian roads are), can you offer them a ride back to their homes? Can you fix up a couple of beds at the office and have them sleep over? See where you can give them a bit extra and you’ll find team morale sky-rocketing!

Ultimately, any start-up\'s greatest asset is its people. Make sure you and your team are a cohesive unit, presenting a united front to investors, customers and any other stakeholders - enjoy your time, both on the clock and off it, together, so that you\'re building a work culture that others will be happy to join.