A Ybrant workforce
September 17, 2007 – Ybrant Technologies believes in the philosophy that ‘trust breeds efficiency’. Renuka Vembu finds out how freedom with responsibility brings out the best in its employees.
Ybrant Technologies is a company providing holistic services in the field of digital marketing. It follows a non-intrusive culture, which is transparent and fosters freedom at the workplace, based on a platform of trust. The company’s work culture facilitates the development of more ‘happy employees’ and provides everyone with an identical opportunity to enhance their skills, both personally and professionally. Ybrant empowers people with lots of responsibilities to make them aware of their functions and accountability in the organization and with its clients. Employees start managing clients and projects very early in their capacity as compared to others in the rest of the industry.
Since their clients are based out of the US, the company engages its workforce in building regular communication through workshops and client relationship building training programmes, which thereby sharpens their skills. They also apprise them of various time zones, a general acquaintance with the American culture like making them familiar with the jargons, chat etiquettes, understanding the importance of meetings, adhering to schedules and deadlines, etc.
All this is done with a view to maximize customer satisfaction and trust which are essential to succeed in business. These mannerisms and etiquettes also sow the seeds of a strong value system around an individual that will help in any walk of life. Ybrant also makes conscious efforts by constantly raising their quality and productivity standards so as to make the environment more challenging and competitive, which may otherwise turn out to be mundane and monotonous.
Freedom and flexibility
The organization gives special ‘time flexibility benefits’ to women employees to cater to their needs. This may be on the lines of having to attend to dependents at home or being unable to travel to work regularly during pre and post delivery times or difficulty to commute during monsoon season when there is heavy downpour.
Flexi-time benefits are also offered to employees who need to be in touch with clients during night times or after office hours. These employees have the liberty of working for a few hours during daytime and then from home as per their schedule with clients. This privilege facilitates flexibility, thus avoiding any undue pressure on people to work long and odd hours.
The office of Ybrant is also Wi-Fi enabled and there is an intranet messenger, which everyone is expected to be logged into at all times. This makes possible easier, effective and timely communication and the dissemination of information effortless. The workforce is provided with ‘laptop allowance’ to encourage employees to carry their own laptops which gives them the liberty to work from anywhere within the organizational premises, freeing them from their cubicles.
When asked how the company ensures that there is no undue advantage taken by the employees to this freedom of movement, Suresh Reddy, Chairman and Managing Director, Ybrant Technologies replies, “I believe that being honest to the client, to oneself, and to peers is of great importance. Our philosophy is that ‘trust breeds efficiency’. And, once we trust them and make them accountable by generating hourly reports, they find themselves responsible for the job given to them and in turn their best is brought out.”
|< 20- 28 years||80 percent|
|> 29 years||20 percent|
|Others (BA, BCom, etc.)||5 percent|
Setting ethical standards
Since honesty is not a trait that can be taught or inculcated or forced to be followed, the company and its senior taskforce let their actions speak and send out the right message to the young newcomers. The organization ensures and rigidly pursues the ethical route and acts fairly whenever it is a matter of ethics versus business. Ybrant also has an intranet-based knowledge repository. This acts as a real-time resource to all employees and adds to the efficiency. Also, they have begun using applications like Wiki to act as the central point for knowledge sharing.
The company gives an extensive two months training to fresh recruits and has a 15-day model for people with experience.
Each person who is new to the job or the post is given HR and behavioral training on at least 8-10 topics like team management, task management, time management and self-motivation. Mounting pressure on putting together all the essential requisites of soft skills and the need to develop an overall personality has taken the focus away from the traditional importance given only to process related training.
Each new recruit is diligently given a clear job description with a roadmap to his/her career path. This avoids the clash of organizational aims and personal ambitions. Once on the job, the workforce has quarterly job appraisals and yearly performance appraisals. This re-ensures that both the individual and the organization are in sync with each other. During the job appraisal, long interactions take place between the team leads and the team members on a one-to-one basis. This process helps identify the needs, satisfaction levels and any shortfalls that exist in the company. It also acts as a platform for employees to address their grievances and suggestions without any hesitation. And issues, if any, are taken up with the reviewers at top level for improvement.
The performance of employees is tracked through Monthly Review Meetings (MRM) and weekly reports. The second is not only sent to team leads, but also to clients, so that they are apprised of project progress.
In an endeavor to ensure that every individual understands quality and productivity-the two main aspects important in today’s scenario, Ybrant’s taskforce are trained on seven QC tools and are encouraged to measure their work.
Their individual targets are set on quality and productivity parameters. They try to benchmark their work against the best practices in the world. Being an ISO 9001 certified organization, their quality processes are well knit and followed.
Ybrant Technologies specializes in the digital marketing space. Reddy explains, “Digital marketing is a highly fluid and evolving market. We keep track of evolving trends by being in constant touch with clients, participating in expos, subscribing to industry newsletters and encouraging our employees as well to do the same. Quality awareness training, lateral thinking, creativity training, time management, team management, self-motivation, QC tools, search techniques, etc., help in process related working.”
Employees are urged to keep themselves updated with the latest tools and technologies, which will add to their existing knowledge base. This will lead to tapping their creative thinking and thereby boosting the productivity standards. By means of all these skills acquired, coupled with the trainings imparted by the company, the teams are in a better position to take advantage of new requirements of clients. Knowledge-sharing sessions, wherein team members discuss within or across teams on business trends, unique projects, customer service experiences, etc., help building cross-functional skills and knowledge across the organization.
Responsible corporate citizens
Ybrant believes in nurturing socially responsible corporate citizens. The company conducts annual blood donation camps. It provides incentives like helmet allowance to its employees to encourage socially responsible behavior. It promotes a culture of ‘learning more rather the working alone.’ Activities such as book reading clubs, fitness clubs and health/awareness clubs are prevalent that build bonding among employees.
Simple acts of fun are ingrained in their way of work making it more enjoyable than feeling burdensome. Team lunch-outs every month, weekly or monthly events like movies, ethnic day, Hawaiian day, etc., create a fun atmosphere in the workplace that increases productivity, boosts morale and has a positive effect on the bottom line. Monthly recognitions like quality conscious employee, productive employee and knowledge sharing employee, adds to the existing vibrant environment.
Reddy summarizes, “Leadership is something that the people imbibe in Ybrant, as there are ample opportunities and lots of responsibilities that are entrusted on them. In a nutshell, ‘leadership evolves from responsibility and accountability at Ybrant’.”
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