A Little Background:
My name is Ender and I thought of penning down my experiences as an employee of SparkUs and sharing them with you. I am sure many of you would be able to relate, and I will be more than happy if this strengthens and motivates you in some way.
I had a chance to be a part of a highly reputed global consultancy firm, which I was very excited to be a part of. But then I switched to a much smaller technology company, namely SparkUs. Let me take you through this brief journey that made me take this step.
I am pretty much aware of the differences in sector dynamics, the environment, the scale, etc. All I am trying is to share my thoughts with the consideration of the circumstances at that time and with my individual objectivity as much as possible.
My first day and my days through the consultancy firm:
So, it was my first day at work and I was very excited to start my gleaming new job. I had freshened up, had breakfast, suited up, and in my mind was all prepared to learn and create value.
With time, I realized that my only job was nothing more than ticking the boxes. The customer already knew what to do but they did not have enough human sources. To achieve the obligations on an operational level, they hired us and we did the work. The service we provided was just man-hours, not knowledge or improvement. One day, I just questioned myself that if I do not provide any knowledge and since nobody consults with my team, why am I a consultant? And if there was a bigger purpose to our work that I was missing, nobody told me anyway.
From what I understood, this was just a corporate numbers game to show growth. From my side, this understanding immediately swept in and created an emotion of deception. Also, I could see this had become a part of the culture. Everybody within the organization had accepted this situation because everybody saw this company as a stepping stone in their career. Nobody was imagining a future there and no one had aspirations for staying long. Furthermore, this created an environment unavailable for innovation, nobody was lasting enough to finish the innovative project in a sustainable manner.
Personal and Professional Setbacks I was Dealing with:
The workplace environment led to an unimaginable amount of demotivation, lack of trust, decreased engagement, and communication problems. The only feedback I got was a number on a system. I never had a conversation regarding my performance, the areas that I have difficulties in, or the things I did well. Without any feedback, it was becoming very hard to develop and analyze yourself.
Outcome of all this was that I was putting in bad quality work and it started to take place in circles. With so much demotivation, I was constantly putting bad quality work on the table, which needed re-work. As a result, I was spending more time on a single task that demotivated me further and this vicious cycle continued.
It’s obvious that the company is also affected as much as the employee in such scenarios. Unhappy employees cost a lot as they create an inefficient workforce. The company loses its talented people and to replace a talent, it costs almost 4 times more compared to retaining the current.
New Switch and the Wonders I saw:
When I switched to my new job, I was really surprised with the level of communication. The main difference was the feedback culture. I always knew the importance of a good feedback culture by now, but I understood it more clearly here. The working dynamics are much faster. Without good communication, working at this level of pace and efficiency is impossible.
Another thing that I found is a common value within the organization. We have a common target and purpose. This motivated me so much. Now, I am not just working to survive, I am trying to achieve a goal with my team together. The collaborative mindset transforms into a quality, productive workforce.
The functional interrelationships between subordinates and customers, enables me to develop myself and contribute more to the company. The crème de la crème part is, I am also giving feedback to my superiors/leaders too. This creates trust, which is essential to succeed.
I feel valuable and I want to contribute more.
To sum up, a good feedback culture, less hierarchical, more accountable environment, changes everything. This is a key component in what we call “Coaching Culture” here in SparkUs.