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Company Culture And Value System: Significant In Unstable Situations

“But in the midst of all that uncertainty and lack of clarity, there lies a wild beauty. A hope. Possibility. The promise of something bigger than us happening just beneath the surface that we can’t see.”  - Mandy Hale.  With this beautiful thought, we must learn to embrace each situation as it comes and persist through it by believing in our company’s value system. An organization aims to create a culture for employees to thrive, build a value system to function unanimously and a path that leads to company driven goals. Fundamentally, these are the pillars for a successful company to survive, grow and lead. However businesses are meant to be risky affairs, be it managing teams, tackling profits and losses and to add an element there are always a few unforeseeable situations that tend to disturb the normalcy. While in difficult situations naturally the competition to run businesses in an unaffected manner and constantly be at disposal of continuity pushes companies to focus on deliverables and expect employees to contribute to the best of their capabilities. During this process, seldom organizations waive out the importance of maintaining and managing culture for employees to be equally productive. There are various elements to this, naming a few would be: Need for Communication, Enhance Engagement Plans, Shaping and Adapting to changes in Culture, Importance of being Relevant and Curating Team Activities. Need for Communication Expectations, Functionality and Execution are bound to change during undetermined circumstances, how do we cope with this? Communication is the key! Managers, Team Leads, HR’s require to be vocal, clear and transparent about the situations, their effects on our organization and how we are planning to overcome this. Also, encouraging a two way communication is essential, hearing out employees, their problems, opinions and addressing them in a right manner boosts employee morale. Enhance Engagement Plans Seldom it has been observed, during unprecedented situations employee engagement process takes a backseat. It is beneficial to always keep employees involved and engaged irrespective of the ongoing state of affairs. Productivity is a result of highly engaged individuals and teams. Improving engagement plans is number-one step to help employees overcome any coercive situation stemmed out. It must be a collaborative effort within teams and their respective reporting managers to devise plans that works best for the team. Companies should revamp the engagement plans analyzing the need, requirement and abilities of their teammates as whole. Shaping and Adapting To Changes in Culture Company culture must top the hierarchy chart in any organization. Each company has its own unique way of setting up culture which caters to their teams and aligns with business values. There is no universally acclaimed rule to design culture, it is a collective endeavor between the leaders and teammates which define the organization in its truest sense. Every business venture starts with right set of values which is observed by individuals involved with a vision to create a harmonious culture and for teams to imbibe it. Undecided situations might hinder the regularity and ethnicity of culture, however as Leader/ Founder it is one’s obligation to mold the culture in a way that helps stimulate the business and employees to not lose out on the essence of being in a well-organized entity. Another perspective is that of considering steps to assist employees to accept and adapt to the changes made. Importance of Being Relevant All possible circumstances beholds unique challenges, identifying them makes it easier to subsist with the situations. Being vigilant of situations around, their effects across various sectors, curating some coping mechanism helps an organization to sail through. The need is to stay Relevant! For Example: Currently prevailing COVID-19, demands one to stay relevant and updated from a business standpoint. Recognizing the requirements which market commands, being technically sufficient will help companies to cater to those requirements. This arises a need for employees to be evenly relevant with regards to skills and Managers to guide them through this. Relevancy indeed becomes a crucial factor within productivity program. Curating Team Activities Following the above pointer, where relevancy is a necessity curating team activities that inculcate and involve employees to stay relevant seems favorable. Organizations should plan activities around informative topics and skills for mutual benefit of employees and company in common. One can always involve informal elements to it, to maintain a good balance of employee relationships. Team Sectona strides to hold up with present-day crisis through this astounding quote and sharing a link to exhibit how we do it!! “Challenges are what makes life interesting. Overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”
Priyanka Joshi April 22, 2020

Leverage Productivity and Skills while Working from Home

Sectona encourages Skill Development as a Productivity Program during Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the world at a scale and speed that we have only seen so far. Something that started as a slightest humor, now has farthing impacts on all sectors and sections of market and society respectively. Surrounded in these situations, it’s rather commendable, the world has united to fight these odds, all the sectors of societies have been contributing in their ways, here more specifically discussing of corporate-business sectors who have taken measures to overcome this. Direct Business Impact The COVID-19 has forced most of the countries into lock down, which has given room to most of the internet companies for adapting remote working options which also is the need of the hour. Though companies would be able to utilize remote working options, they would be likely to prepare their employees who are accustomed to remote working to navigate the challenges involved. This would of course include few factors, which are non-exhaustive of, physical environment, creating support networks to make successful transition to this new work structure, helping employees with a clear objective about the productivity expected out of them, building mutual trust, etc. Leveraging Productivity Employees are seldom bewildered while working from home of how they are required to contribute to the business adhering to their work responsibilities, what is the nature of flexibility, what are the expectations set and how do they work towards achieving it and most importantly how they are expected to remain productive while not being present in the physical office environment. Given the current situation, Immediate Reporting Managers have a crucial role to play to help their team mates understand their role and objectives to be fulfilled. A concrete plan to work collectively on leveraging productivity and assisting employees with a skill development program, works in favor of everyone involved. Sectona has always encouraged employees for enrolling to various trainings, keeping oneself updated within Training and Development program. With the outbreak of this pandemic and as a reflexive decision of opting for “remote working”, it was not much difficult for our Team Managers to curate Skill Development projects for their respective teams. As an organization, we take pride in being meticulously process oriented and working from home would not hinder that. Our managers followed an exclusively mutual process to help individual teammates take up new projects considering their interests and capabilities. Open & Transparent Communication: Sectona believes first key to managing remotely is to maintain good lines of communication. It might happen so, as employees are not available around, they might be unclear and uninformed of certain ongoing working aspects, wherein communication bridges the gap. It also helps managers to set up right expectations with regards to working from home, the amount of productivity required. Sectona has never believed in micromanagement. One way that our managers keep in constant touch is getting on a quick call while starting the day to understand the agenda and once in the evening to assess the progress. Keeping the teammates engaged and informed and being accessible for them is essential for our managers. Goal Setting: It is vital to understand individual interests of employees and whether they are aligned with organizational goals in assigning a skill to develop for teammates. This is only possible, with different layers of managers being involved who are also well aware about the engrossment and inclination of employees towards a certain topic in concern. Managers at Sectona had one-on-one interaction with their respective team members to setup a definite plan of skill development while working from home and keep the employees driven with a set goal to achieve and help them be motivated throughout the process. Identifying related Projects: Within an organization each functional department have collaborative tasks to perform whereas for an individual productivity it is essential to curate projects that are in line with the defined goals. To share a precise example, Sectona’s Quality Assurance team has been collectively working and assisting Product Development team through Manual Testing, however utilizing this remote working situation, the QA Team Manager identified a project that can be performed in an automated environment and have continued working towards the same while maintaining the manual testing patterns. Resources Resources become a necessity while deviating from basics that we’ve been doing, towards experimenting new skills and ideas. Sectona has setup online forums, training modules for employees to help make their process of skill development smoother. While not just through virtual platforms and recorded trainings, fellow teammates, seniors and managers can contribute and share their experiences and strategies within the team to assist each other. Time Management During such tough situations, of course a right balance between work and personal life is extremely crucial for our employees. A stress free mind is more productive when compared otherwise. The core idea followed by our managers is to allow flexible hours yet maintain consistency. Here, the concern is to avoid over-burdening employees while keeping them equally productive and organized. Two way Process “Individual commitment to a group effort-that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work”- Vince Lombardi. Complying with managers’ guidelines and views, employees at Sectona have well adapted to remote working and equally contributed to smooth functioning of all the business aspects. Needless to mention, all cross functional teams have been working in unison to keep the work unaffected, while Implementation and Product Support team has gone out of their way to help our customers experience an unrestrained remote working process through our PAM Solution product, matching the time zones of clients and customers across globe, extending an online-remote support through video-conferences and much more. Amidst these sturdy situations around the globe, Sectona is aiming to get the best out of this situation and support our clients. However, as we make remote working hassle free for our clients through our PAM Solution, it gave us an opportunity to leverage our product and experience it firsthand. We have exposed PAM to the internet of our office premises, which helps all the required cross functional teams have a remote access to their systems. While doing so, we focus on Access Permissions, Risk Management, wherein access is restricted to certain servers and leaves no room for copying or leaking the data. Additionally PAM is able to track the time duration of working on the server, which makes the remote working experience simpler. To keep it lighter and positive, we have been encouraging managers to conduct weekly video calls to engage with their teams, also conducting “Weekend Friday E-meetups” to ensure each other’s well-being, to exchange ideas on general know-hows and proposals to collaborate as a team and much more
Priyanka Joshi April 11, 2020

Journey of an Intern at Sectona

Internship is a keyhole for someone starting out to understand and get a first-hand experience of how things work in an organization. An internship gives you the opportunity to learn in a new environment where everyone is willing to help you as you are new to it. Like every year, this year as well Sectona conducted summer internship programs in the Research & Development department. This time around, as part of the internship feedback process, we decided to evaluate the intern experiences. Here is what some of our interns had to say about their experience of working with us - “The experience was wholesome, and I learnt a lot apart from the technical knowledge that I got over the internship period. A few of those were understanding how a firm functioned, role of all the individuals in creating and maintaining a product and working to the strengths of everyone here. I yearn to work for firms like Sectona who offer such privileges to grow and become a better version of themselves to all the individuals.” – Shantanu Das, Manipal Institute of Technology, Manipal. “I worked as a Technical Writing intern with Sectona for 3 months. Working with Sectona was an excellent learning opportunity, especially since I was new to the field of Technical writing. Here, at Sectona I got hands on experience as well as valuable guidance. Personally, I loved the working environment. People here are easy to bond with and are liberal in lending a helping hand” – Sneha Naranje, The English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU), Hyderabad. “The main reason I wanted to do the internship is to get some technical experience and work on a real time project and this internship has fulfilled that purpose. I have learned about how to research and do analysis on a problem which is the main role of a data analyst. I am sure this experience will be useful for me in the future.” – BVS Revanth, Manipal University, Jaipur. For an intern it is important to learn and gain as much knowledge as possible because that is what gives them experience and it’s their biggest asset. We are happy that our interns were able to get it. It has been our pleasure to have them intern with us. We wish them all the best with their future endeavours.
Shruti Kulkarni July 8, 2019