The backbone of any organisation is its connectivity and team spirit.
“I really don’t care!” said Jay, one of our desktop/mobile app developers, to me as I tried to deduct his salary. This dates back to March of this year.
In the mid of March this year, I sat down to fill in my monthly progress report for Ubblu. After 25 odd minutes of recollecting I came to the heartbreaking conclusion- we hadn’t made any progress since February. To top that, our overall productivity was at an all-time low.
Trying to wrap my head around it, I started asking myself questions like- “Am I not a good leader to my team?”, and “Do I not command enough authority as a team leader?”
After a lot of introspection,
I discovered that I wasn’t questioning the work-culture and connectivity in my organisation.
After a few days of digging deep, I figured out a faulty pattern in our work culture – A few of my team members would work (and work hard they would) but would be very casual in terms of respecting deadlines.
This repeated order of missing deadlines, not communicating for extensions, and not giving regular updates of work done, was the reason behind our degrading connectivity and eventual loss of productivity. This was probably one of the most vital Eureka moments for Ubblu.
In the next step, I had to confront these employees and make them aware of their shortcomings.
Spoiler alert- my being an introvert, did not help much.
Coming from a space of working with freelancers, I decided to have a monetary penalty attached to this casualness. This would serve as a negative motivation for them to not give due importance to connectivity. Therefore, out of their payment structure, I allocated one part to sending work updates, following deadlines and communicating for a deadline extension.
With this perfect idea in mind, I thought the crisis was over. And I heaved a sigh of relief.
Only to find out that, taking this action was adversely affecting the relationships I had with my employees.
One of my then co-worker Jay (name changed) started growing bitter towards me. Also, after a point of time, he got used to the deduction of his salary.
This left me baffled. So money was also not the ultimate solution to boost connectivity.
Once again, I started doubting my leadership abilities. Frustrated, I decided to take matters into my own hands and went straight to Google (the irony here) and typed “How to deal with employees who do not meet deadlines?”.
I came across this article, which suggested that I should “sit down and talk to the employees“.
During the initial phase of Ubblu, I had gone for easier and virtual modes of communication and connectivity like emails and Trello Boards. Now, the idea of holding regular meetings hit me hard against my personality of being an introvert. But I was willing to do whatever it takes to make Ubblu successful. So, I decided to give it a go.
I realised, that boosting connectivity essentially requires effective and regular communication. This probably was the second most vital Eureka moment for Ubblu.
I also realised the lack of a personal touch in all my employer-employee relationships. I needed to be more collaborative and interactive.
Another of my then employees, Nancy (name changed), who was also a freelancer had a habit of running for perfection and more often than not she would completely dismiss the time restraints because of that.
So I experimented scheduling a telephonic meeting with her for one day. I also remember quoting Zuckerberg that day, and telling her that, “Done is better than perfect”. Barring the novelty and awkwardness on that day, it was actually a great way of reminding Nancy of all the deadlines that she was supposed to follow.
Gradually her stance in the meeting changed from “Sure Mohit, I’ll do it tomorrow” to “Sure Mohit, on it”. And that was a living example of the effectiveness of meetings.
Slowly, I started to inculcate this habit in all my team members, new and old. And within no time the quality of connectivity in the organisation was at an all-time high.
Over the years, and with my journey of founding around 4 companies I have realised that regular and timely meetings are the backbone of a healthy work-culture in any organisation. And here is why-
- they establish a sense of belongingness in the organisation.
- they give a regular check of the ground reality of the tasks.
- they give us an idea of our current position vis-a-vis our goals.
- they promote a healthy culture of respecting deadlines by acting as reminders.
- finally, they improve the overall productivity and connectivity.
By Sai Mohit, Founder/CEO Ubblu