During the lockdown, we got an opportunity to engage in a conversation with the HR of Design Cafe, India’s fastest growing interior design company, a funded startup with a vision to make beautiful and professionally designed homes a reality, one home at a time. We connected with Rahul from the HR team and got his perspective on some innovative policies at Design Cafe, that set them apart from other organizations, adding a unique flavour to the many ways in which they bring in more joy at work each day!
Here are some of his top picks
Appreciation Is Key
He strongly feels appreciation can lead to motivation in people and therefore help them bring in the best to the table. Even a simple, but genuine ‘Thank You’ goes a long way. Just let the other person know that you value and appreciate the hard work they have been putting in. At the organization level, appreciation is done on the basis of performance and exhibition of values.
Building Skills and Abilities Is The Way
In the midst of the lockdown, the company put together a solid plan on investing in people development. They believe that the truest form of keeping an employee engaged, is to provide opportunities to build skills that help them grow. In this context, Design Cafe has started putting together strong training and development engines for their business functions, managers and leadership.
Being Team Centric By Choice
There are usually 3 kinds of company philosophies, broadly speaking. Profit centric, customer centric and people centric. Says Rahul ‘we prefer being in the third category’. They feel when you are team centric, your people feel safe and know they are valued. A happy and inspired team is more equipped to bring in and retain happy customers and this combination of a great team, with delighted customers will inevitably lead to profits as a natural outcome.
To encourage healthy competition, this startup has awards such as best performing center. This gets the employees within a center to have a common sense of pride. To encourage inter team camaraderie, they have something called the Culture awards, where they recognize employees in monthly town halls for upholding the values in the company. Apart from this, every nominee also gets a personalized message with their entire team and the founders marked on it, as a token of appreciation.
Rahul says, “Our leave policy is slightly different from the others. Being people focused is central to all we do at Design Cafe. So, when a team member is celebrating their birthday or anniversary, they can take the day off to spend with family and loved ones. I think this goes a long way in demonstrating our people’s centricity at work as much as we do it with our customers.”
‘Happiness is a state of mind. Although it is difficult to ensure that people are happy at all times’ he says.
Here are a few ways in which we bring joy at work
- Fairness – Create an environment which is fair to all and where everyone feels they are heard. Everyone gets equal opportunities and no discriminations are made whatsoever.
- Career progression – All round growth and development are imperative for employee happiness. Therefore, it’s critical for an organization to provide opportunities for their employees to train, develop and improve. The more structured the approach, the more the employee will feel happy and engaged.
They should fundamentally feel good about coming to work and feel good about the job they do.
Team building and why?
In addition to the above, he reiterates that team building exercises are equally important. ‘We constantly emphasize the importance of giving more weightage to collaboration than competitiveness. While some element of healthy competition is necessary to keep everyone going, the end goal is very clear – customer satisfaction with an understanding of each team’s capabilities to deliver the same. “Every employee in the company has an internal customer. If they think about how their actions will help their “customer” achieve their goal, the organization starts operating more effectively, leading to long term success. At the core, we hence keep urging people to make promises that they can keep”– says Rahul.
With a vibrant pack of 500 plus people on board, the ship of Design Cafe is for sure making waves in the world of the business of design and happy living, by creating happiness at their workplace first and then allowing this happiness to show in their teams’ work, as they bring delight to thousands of homes across the country!