Startups bank on innovative HR tools to retain talents
Startups such as Taskbob, Shopo and Stayzilla, some known names in the space, had to shut up shop in 2017 despite they received funding, rendering many employees jobless
Given the poor survival rate and uncertainty in the startup space, retaining talents is a big headache for the new ventures. Besides lack timely funding, failure to scale, weak business model, high cash burn as well as the external factors such as GST rollout and the continued impact of demonetisation; getting right talents on board too is one of the reasons that led to the closure of many startups recently.
Startups such as Taskbob, Shopo and Stayzilla, some known names in the space, had to shut up shop in 2017 despite they received funding, rendering many employees jobless.
As startups can't afford to pay as high as information technology (IT) companies like Google and Facebook, among other IT giants; they take various innovative policies like giving young employees managerial roles, employees' stock options and flexible working hours to their employees to get right talents on board.
Take the example of Moglix, a B2B commerce company, which offers high performers stock options as a reward for their efforts. It has a structured mentoring programme for all employees to help them tide over difficulties faced by the employees at the personal and professional level.
"Our appraisal and reward systems, which is on a par with industry standards, is designed to keep employees appreciated and encouraged at all times. The company strength of 270 + employees in a short span of time stands testimony to the successful retention programmes and engagement activities at Moglix," says Saumya Khare, director operations at Moglix.
Ruchi Deepak, founder and director at Acko, says employees today want to go beyond their call off-duty and go an extra mile to take up tasks that challenge their routine.
"Our hiring ideology resonates the fact that most of our employees are driven by an entrepreneurial culture and here at Acko, they are given that opportunity to explore new arenas by giving them the complete autonomy to handle their projects without managers micromanaging them."
“Unlike big corporations, we don’t have a rigid hierarchical structure. Here employees can walk up to the senior management to discuss any concerns or opinions they have, without being confined to scheduled interviews."
Deepak says Acko believes that everyone has a different work rhythm -- some employees are most productive early in the morning while others prefer burning the midnight oil.
Our employees can work whenever they will be most effective and they are also given a provision to work from home to ensure that their work-life balance is maintained, she said.
Over and above, to enjoy the holiday season without having to compromise on team members' scheduled leave, Acko has introduced 'Mandatory Time Off' in the last week of December for all our employees.
The niche industry that we are in gives us an edge to hire the best talent in the market and we only aim to build "bonds beyond work" among our employees, she said.
They are our biggest asset and we make it our duty to create policies, and a work environment that motivates them to work hard, perform better and make their work life as stress-free as possible, she adds.
Monetary benefits are important but when employees get opportunities to share the success of the organisation by having ESOPs, they feel like being a part of the growth trajectory.
Premanshu Singh, chief executive officer of Coverfox.com, says people who join and work for a growth-stage startup are a different breed. They put in an extraordinary amount of hard work and take on challenging tasks with great enthusiasm every single day and in return, they expect not to be judged by their age or experience but what they are doing day-in and day-out. Which is what we essentially do at Coverfox, Singh says.
"We empower our employees to be decision makers in their own domain, we give instant gratification for good work, and we have room for people to grow into roles that match their talent. We shy away from 'market standards' when it comes to appraisals."
"And above all, we treat people as equals when it comes to work timings and leave policies, and not just as 'resources'. It is these little things that matter more to the millennials who are now the major chunk of any startup's talent pool.”
At Social Frontier we have four divisions - marketing,operations, sales and technology and we give equal opportunities to every employee to move across these verticals, says Abdulla Basha, co-founder of Social Frontier.
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