As a college kid who had just started up after dropping out of a predictable engineering course, my path ahead was pretty unclear then. The reason for taking the drastic step was certainty of things I didn’t want. A tightrope was being perceived as a highway by my young self, and my determined jaw had led my family to trust the efforts.
They chose to wait and watch, and subconsciously, so did I.
Hammer and Mop grew from a scrappy two-people effort to a full fledged home cleaning brand with surprising speed. The core values stayed strong till the end – focusing on people and offering consistent, superior customer service. Our inexperience in the beginning led to naivety – which was often a blessing in disguise. Situations were always presumed to be better than they really were, which helped us sail through choppy waters. Optimism and a dogged belief in the good of what we did helped us stay strong, and happy patrons was a sign of it being worth the effort.
I’m glad I exited the business after four years, because a next step was crucial to my personal growth. The experience of building a brand had helped me be aware of my strengths and weaknesses, and it was high time I focus on the former. Thankfully, I have had the fortune to merge the setup with SILA, a way larger organization which shared our core values. It provided me the opportunity to step away from what other people do better at, focus on sharpening my existing skills and improve the complementary ones. As a result, being on board at SILA has effectively been a sharp step up for my career – as I now broadly focus on how 2000+ employees can work efficiently, thus helping us meet our revenue targets.
Organizational Development (OD), Organizational Behaviour (OB) and Organizational Effectiveness (OE) were not the terms I was comfortable using last year. The absence of formal training in the field of human resources ensured that I look at these sciences with pure wonder, for something I had been learning by trial and error all this while had actual terms in the real world. The experiments based on my innate beliefs and compilation of notes taken after studying books were real world case studies, and the understanding was only getting better every passing year. I had realized that perhaps, what had really driven me all these years was the ability to drive change through inspiring transformation in people, by appealing to their better senses and guiding them towards a common mission, the big picture.
The whip cannot inspire a person with no hope, the whip cannot deter a person who has faith. I chose to move ahead with faith, and it has always worked.
The first step included working with (and leading) the human resources & marketing communications teams at SILA Solutions (facility management) and Mr. Homecare (on demand home services), our primary customer facing companies. Ensuring the buy in of the human resources team was crucial, and we expanded the team with those requirements in mind. Currently, the HR team at SILA focuses on the administrative and strategic aspects with equal vigor, which has resulted in subtle yet significant change at all levels. Evolving the way we communicate internally and with external stakeholders was an essential step – and the teams have been pleasantly accepting of giving our conversations a level up. This is helping our positioning in the market, for our customers experience a marked difference, and it’s easier to appear trustworthy when the emails & phone calls are immaculate.
Opening up internal communication channels leads to greater trust within departments, makes them open to change and improves overall morale of the workforce.
Revisions in the performance management system has laid stress on conversations within teams, which has led to greater clarity and improved retention. Conversations with the respective heads of departments have been more fruitful, since ‘team reviews’ are conversations-focused and include the intangible aspects of employment. The results have been promising.
The next step includes bringing our remote locations closer, and on the same platform – which means integrated satellite offices, ensuring smooth information flow and increased closeness in remote teams. Considering we are a services business which hires people of a certain skill set on the field – it would be crucial to have technology-enabled real time updates from all sites, thus empowering us to take better decisions, quicker.
Thus, it is going to boil down to ensuring that all teams are motivated, empowered and well structured. It will help all team members to be sure of what they are doing, and where it is leading us all. It will help us garner better customer satisfaction reports, leading to faster growth. Ineffective areas could be weeded out, and strengthened. This would help us close the gap between net profitability and target profitability.
I’m excited for the next big jump. Thank you for your love and support.