How Digicorp Evolved into an ‘Employer of Choice’ Through a Culture of Innovation, Inclusion, & Impact
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When we started in 2004, tech ventures were yet to become mainstream here in India, and the startup wave had still not hit the country. The focus on people and human resources as a separate stand-alone function was largely limited to large corporates and MNCs.
But even then, as a fledgling tech startup with just 8 people in the team working out of a small office in Ahmedabad, we were thinking of ways to build a people-driven organization. Our products were already user-driven, our design was human-centric, and our processes were customer-oriented. So externally, we were already people-focused right from the start.
But bringing it within the four walls of our organization meant building a culture that endures. From day one, our leadership’s role in establishing a transparent, productive, and inclusive culture has been undeniable. Having said that, we were also among the few startups that invested in a full-fledged HR function very early on. Instead of seeing it as an unnecessary overhead, especially in the early days when we were cash-strapped, we saw it as the means to build, nurture, and scale up an excellent team that can power our growth engine effectively.
Since then, there has been no looking back.
Throughout the journey, we have created a strong culture of innovation, inclusion, and impact. We want to share the key philosophies that helped us the most.
Let’s get started!
Our Culture = Our Values in Action
You can have all the right strategies in the world; if you don’t have the right culture,
Digicorp has emphasized enabling open conversations right from its inception. It is impossible to get 100% from an employee without making them feel a sense of belongingness and trust. At Digicorp, any team member having any concerns can approach their peers, line managers, the HR manager, and even the senior management.
Creativity is not brewed in cubicles. At Digicorp, no one has a personal cabin – not even our top leadership. Having an open setup with simple, ergonomic desks that are comfortably knit together fosters open communication among our team members.
We use a meticulously drafted HR policy to communicate what it means to be a member of the Digicorp family. It is a document that has been written in a manner that is very easy to understand, engaging to read, and simple to implement.
A good example of this is how we have been able to convince every employee of the fact that we are here to help them grow and not get hung up on every minor mistake that they make.
As champions of the old proverb, “Work hard, play harder”, we celebrate every major occasion, religious and non-religious holidays, and festive seasons with great enthusiasm. We also have sports and other cultural activities to help team members to unwind and bond with each other outside of work.
Hiring Right Has Always Been Sacred for Us
Acquiring the right talent is the most important key to growth. Hiring was – and still is – the most important thing we do.
Apart from technical expertise and various key components like attitude, cooperation, and research mindset, we also assess the overall culture fit of the candidate with Digicorp during the hiring process itself. This includes asking 15-20 questions that determine the overall alignment in values and actions between the potential candidates and our organization.
We also use the HR round to identify any potentially difficult personalities and devise strategies on how to make them learn better and faster while remaining open to changes and accepting any mistakes at work and during general team interactions. Apart from collecting feedback from the HR lead, we also incorporate feedback from the team leader and the line manager to see how each employee has evolved and grown since joining the organization.
We Ensure a Great Start with Mindful Onboarding
Onboarding is an art. Each new employee brings with them the potential to achieve and succeed.
As soon as an employee joins Digicorp, two things happen. Firstly, they are provided with a joining kit consisting of all the necessary information, a list of contact numbers of everyone in the organization, and formal introductory emails from the HR team to help new employees feel seen and heard in their new role.
Secondly, they are assigned ‘buddies’ from among their peers who can informally familiarize them with how things work here at Digicorp. This prevents them from being overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information to be processed in the first few days. On the 10th day from their date of joining, we share a questionnaire with them, requesting them to let us know how their first few days have been.
The feedback on the first few days is crucial to map the critical elements of the onboarding process – like whether the role is matching the new employee’s expectations, and whether she or he is feeling comfortable and well settled in her/his new role. Such feedback is again collected after the first 3 months and then every year after that. This philosophy of proactive feedback-seeking at frequent intervals has enabled us to watch out for potential challenges in ensuring employee satisfaction well ahead of time and plan accordingly.
Post-COVID, we adapted this elaborate process of employee onboarding to make it completely virtual. We compressed the week-long onboarding process into a 2-day virtual tour that included sharing recorded video messages from senior leadership and key functional heads, sharing introductory videos about Digicorp and the various key stakeholders, shooting email introductions for new joiners, scheduling virtual one-on-one conversations for new joiners with each relevant senior within the team, and assisting them virtually with any queries regarding the company’s policies, values, spoken and unspoken rules, and generally accepted code of conduct.
We were able to quickly turn around the physical onboarding process into a virtual experience because of our deep understanding of why we are doing what we do and a keen focus on how to make the most of any circumstance, no matter how adverse or challenging.
We Go Beyond Jobs: We Build Careers
The way to achieve your own success is to be willing to help somebody else get it first.
Digicorp provides the best tools and infrastructure for our employees to work with, and deliberately hand-picks projects that are exciting, challenging, and makes a difference in the market.
We conduct proper due diligence to ensure that we are landing projects with enough opportunities to innovate and grow, and the right opportunities for learning. This boosts the morale of every employee in the organization.
Each team member is valued for her/his input toward improving the key outcomes of the project. They are provided with the opportunity to voice their opinions and an open platform to air their concerns.
Team members are also encouraged to contribute to other projects if they wish. Subject matter experts are brought in as and when required in a project. This fuels plenty of cross-functional learning and nurturing of young talent within the organization.
As soon as an employee joins us, for example, a training plan is devised for them which is updated and attuned every year as she/he makes progress with us. We meet the pre-identified training needs through various means like in-house sessions, on-the-job training, and courses on major learning platforms like Udemy.
We believe in giving credit where it is due. Hence, there is a culture of recognition, appreciation, and professional validation all across the organization. For formal appraisals, we follow a systematic process encapsulating the OKR method – i.e. the ‘Objectives and Key Results’ approach which ensures that hard work never goes unrewarded on our watch.
Our Employee Benefits Resonate with Individual & Collective Needs
Work/life benefits allow companies meaningful ways for responding to their employees’ needs.
At Digicorp, we recognize that competitive salaries are just the beginning. Just like employers expect their employees to come up with new and meaningful ways to contribute to the company goals, the employer must also devise novel approaches to pass on the benefits to the employees.
While we make a conscientious effort to ensure that our remuneration is well above the industry norms, we also provide other financial benefits to our team members. We have a profit-sharing model, for example, that enables our team members to gain directly from Digicorp’s success. We also facilitate the availing of interest-free loans to our employees to help them meet their personal and professional milestones at the cheapest rate possible.
Simultaneously, we provide other benefits like mediclaim, reimbursable leaves, generous maternity leave for expecting women and new mothers that are fully paid, and a training budget for each of our employees every year to invest in their professional development and capacity building.
With our people backing us at every step, we have grown from strength to strength. Today, we are a 55-member organization with offices in India and the U.S. We have served 300+ happy clients and have productized 15+ ideas to launch 4 successful ventures.
More and more people perceive us as the ‘employer of choice’ and are joining us in diverse roles and capabilities. They come from a wide range of socio-economic, educational, demographic, and industrial backgrounds, but have one thing in common. Each one of them has found passion, purpose, and meaning with Digicorp!
To know more about us, visit https://digi-corp.com/.
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