Date:   Tuesday , April 03, 2012

There is a famous saying by Andrew Carnegie, an industrialist who led the enormous expansion of the American steel industry in the late 19th century - "Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments towards organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results". This quote best explains the importance ‘individuality’ plays in team dynamics and productivity. ARM as a company is relatively small in terms of employee strength. The company, globally, has a strength of around 2000 people of which, ARM’s India operation consists of around 350 employees. This is what people would call ‘a small organization’. When a company of our size, creates the impact ARM has globally, it is understandable that each and every member plays a mission critical role in the company’s growth.

In order to ensure effective and optimized productivity from our employees, while maintaining employee morale, ARM pays a lot of attention to Employee Development. Every individual, when he joins a company, and along the journey, will have a set of goals he has set for himself. A person’s individual aspirations are what define him not only as a professional, but also as a person. We believe as a company, that a manager must know how to harness these aspirations, motivate the person to attain them and, most importantly, nurture and direct these aspirations to fit into the goals and aspirations of the company. The company also needs to take the time to appreciate every employee’s interest areas as well as understand what his/her strengths and weaknesses are. This is not only important in improving employee productivity, but it gives the employee a feeling of belonging, which in turn leads to an increase in commitment.

After a period of time, it is important for a manager to carry out a gap analysis on all his/her employees. This will give a manager a chance to assess employees’ strengths, their growth potential and areas that need to be addressed. Post this analysis, it is important for the manager to sit with employees and discuss the areas of concern and deliberate on how existing gaps can be closed. Conversation is extremely important in any relationship and the frequent interaction between a manager and his/her team members is no different. Once the areas and reasons for the gaps are identified, it is essential that managers provide employees with support and solutions to help them address any issues hampering their work. This will help in both boosting morale as well as helping a person grow and improve the required skills. This will in turn add increased value to the team and help increase productivity.

At ARM, we believe that our talent is the biggest asset. The talent our company attracts belongs to a very niche sector and it is critical for ARM to be able to harness the best of its employees. In the competitive landscape we operate in, all companies, including our competition are always on the lookout for relevant talent. Hence, attracting the right talent is important, but retaining the talent we currently have is imperative. Our hires include fresh graduates, who we train for a year post recruitment. This is a critical juncture in their careers and the right time to instill a sense of belongingness and make them understand how they can grow with the organization. If they see the potential to contribute more as they learn and gain experience, they would like to stay with the team.

And if they get excited about the technology, positive environment and the long term goals of the organization and company, there is very little chance for them to jump ship for a small increase in pay from another company.. A lot of time goes into training these recruits and it is important to retain them. This is where Employee Engagement plays a huge role. It is important to create, within every employee, a sense of belongingness, commitment and involvement to a larger unit. There are two types of pride which every employee must feel: Pride in one’s own work; Pride in one’s company. We at ARM want our employees to feel a sense of pride in every single energy efficient electronic product present in the market and take pride in the role they have played in designing those products. This sense of pride will definitely increase individual productivity, as well as increase the employees’ commitment to the company.

There are many techniques a manager can practice to build employee engagement. The first and most obvious method is to monitor the office culture, i.e. Harmony within the team. It is important that employees not only understand their roles, but also understand and respect the role others play in the big picture. Employees should focus on the company’s mission. It is also important for the manager to communicate the organization’s objectives to the team. Though high standards need to be set, a manager’s expectations of his team always need to be realistic. The Manager should have confidence in the team and allow them to chart their own roadmap to completing objectives. The manager also needs to give regular feedback and, more importantly, be approachable to feedback. Again, Communication is Key. And, recognition of a job well done goes a long way in sustaining good employee morale.

Employees who are made to feel that they add value to an organization are always highly committed and they create a positive energy in the organization. Finally, it is important to recognize team work and create an environment where the knowledge sharing happens regularly. A strong succession plan helps to identify and develop the talent at every level and the individuals can see their growth opportunities. In conclusion, the saying ‘There is no “I” in Team’ most certainly holds true. But every individual player in the team forms an important cog in the overall scheme of things. Hence, for a company like ARM, the importance of every single person in the company cannot be overstated and therefore Employee Development and Employee Engagement are certainly important activities in the company.