Ashwin founded his first startup at the age of 14 and shortly thereafter dropped out of college to found OrganicApex, an online marketing consulting firm. At the age of 17, he was recognized as the youngest CEO in India. He then went out to start Synup in the year 2014. The company powers location intelligence for over 120,000 businesses and has raised over $6M in funding since inception. Ashwin has been a finalist in Forbes Asia 30 under 30 2018. He believes in a degree-agnostic approach to hiring and gives newcomers and college dropouts opportunities to skill themselves through an immersive, learn-on-the-job model.
How important is Employee Feedback in today’s high-flux organization?
It’s known and proven that communication is a powerful tool that can have a massive impact on the success of any organization. We at Synup truly believe that employee engagement is the key as it boosts productivity and also drives growth.
How is Employee Feedback done in your organization? And what are the challenges you face?
We are a company where the majority of employees are young – our average age is between 25-26. I make it a point to catch up with my employees through one-on-one lunches and dinners. I do this to know them better as individuals and to understand how they are liking their work, and if there is something they would like to change or improve their work or the process. The biggest challenge is that we’re working with millennials. As millennials continue to expand their share of the workforce, they like to change things around and enjoy working in an unconventional work environment. They get bored easily and tend to leave in a very short period of time. In order to retain them, the employers are increasingly stepping up to appeal to young, tech-savvy workers by digitizing and automating work and making communication as easy and transparent as possible.
How does feedback help in Employee’s Performance development & fulfilling the organization’s goals?
Employee feedback has a significant impact on employee performance, as at Synup I have personally had an experience by implementing one such feedback. We all know the typical work timing for techies across MNCs and tech startups is that they come in late and pull an all-nighter. This was the pattern even at Synup until a few months back. When I was having a conversation with one of our senior employees from our tech team, he suggested a change in the work timing for the team and mentioned how late hours don’t allow them to focus and also leaves them with no time to pursue other interests or hobbies. I gave this a thought and changed the tech team’s work timings to 8 am – 5 pm after some discussion with the team, and since then, it has worked wonders. The team has been more efficient since the change. This is something I implemented with other teams as well, so we keep rotating the work timings from team to team every 6 months or so.
How according to you can the feedback structure be made more effective so as to make business more productive & efficient?
Firstly, communicate with your employees. Start by cultivating a culture of learning and open communication. This will make your employees believe that they’re being heard. Have a monthly or bi-monthly performance discussion, where you can listen and attend to the hurdles that an employee is facing. This kind of discussion can be two-way where both of you can point out what is working and what’s not. Push your employee to perform better, keep the work culture flexible enough for them to learn and experiment. This will ensure that they not only excel at their work but will also keep them occupied and happy as they’re also developing new skills on the go.
Companies can start by leveraging talent management platforms to help employees set future goals for themselves. One can also have tools set up that can help employees track their goal progress, and receive ongoing feedback for achieving these goals. As a company, you can also organize external training/workshop to help employees learn something new, or be better at their job.