In our search to identify amazing workplaces, we came across Shuttl, a pioneer and category creator for seat-based, bus mobility market for corporate travellers.
Co-founders Amit Singh and Deepanshu Malviya like to chase possibilities that have the potential of positively impacting the lives of people and through Shuttl, they are on a joint mission to take the pain away from daily commute while simultaneously reducing congestion on Indian roads.
Shuttl directly addresses the dual challenge of congestion and pollution to provide a carbon-efficient, space-efficient, safe, and cost-effective transport solution for urban India. Shuttl also drives entrepreneurship by providing bus owners on its platform with latest technology, better financing, and relevant training, to help them scale and participate in offering safer, greener, and more efficient services.
Treat employees like people, not resources and move away from a transactional contract to a purpose-driven one” says, Vishal Naithani, Head – Human Resources at Shuttl
The above statement goes a long way to describe how a small shift in the thought process of the management can create a lasting impact on how employees would feel about themselves and their workplace.
Below is an excerpt of an interview with Vishal Naithani, Head – Human Resources at Shuttl to understand how and what his organization does differently to create an amazing workplace for their people.
What according to you is the role of employees in an organization?
Any organization expects its people to add significantly through their individual knowledge, skills & behaviours to its ultimate mission & vision. The key here is to traverse this path together, and make this journey symbiotic and mutually enriching vs. a transactional employment relationship.
What according to you are the most important elements to retain employees?
Empathy & personal Well-being: organizations with a heart will always see highly-tenured, actively engaged people.
A shared Vision: One will always chase a goal if they see meaning and a personal connect with what the organization delivers and the problem statement that it’s trying to solve.
Do you feel that Employees’ happiness plays a key role in their performance/retention/morale?
Absolutely. Infact their happiness and well-being is THE most important factor in their morale and work performance. An organization that cares for their people’s well-being will always support them with possible monetary help, work-flexibility, agreed time-off or atleast a listening ear to their people.
What measures /activities do you undertake to keep your employees happy and motivated?
- Work content & responsibility – Being a growth stage startup the possible learning curve at Shuttl for young Talent is tremendous! There is so much to do and so much to solve for people with the right attitude (Learning Agility). We identify such folks and ask them to possibly fill shoes bigger than their size. The ones who confidently take up this challenge are the ones who’ve learned at breakneck speeds in their formative years vis-à-vis their peers in larger companies.
- Being Empathetic towards people – We do not see our relationship / contract with Shuttlrs (i.e. Shuttl people) as purely transactional. And when people see that you are committed to their personal well-being as well as their professional success, it creates magic! We care immensely for people’s well-being and are highly supportive in their times of need.
- Engagement / Office events – We have an internal people engagement team called ‘E-squad’ that is responsible for all engagement events in office. The team comprises of representatives across teams and is thus not an HR-led, tick-box activity. From office parties and festivals celebrations to arranging speakers for our guest talks, E-squad does it all.
What difference do you observe in Employee behaviour and performance after such an activity?
Since most of the initiatives that I spoke of above are ongoing in nature, their impact is not immediate or short-term in nature. These are long-term investments that we make in our people and most of them are smart and reasonable enough to reciprocate with equal commitment towards the organization & chase a common goal and focus on our shared vision.
Basis the following parameters, do you feel that your Organization is an amazing workplace?
- Flexibility in thought and appearance: Absolutely! With a startup DNA, flexibility and experimentation is in our genes. Our Core value #Innovation fosters idea-generation and coming up with better solutions to existing problems. Experimentation and challenging status-quo is also something that we appreciate. We also do not have a defined dress-code and anyone can walk into the office in casuals or formals whatever makes them feel comfortable and do superlative work.
- Transparency of Information: We are an open, transparent and honest workplace. The fact that #Candour is one of our 7 core values speaks more than I can say of the importance of transparency and openness at Shuttl. People are easily approachable and open to share information, this is a fact that most new joinees have highly appreciated Shuttl.
- Training & Development: Our co-founder Deepanshu believes, a “student” mindset makes Shuttl an amazing place to work in and this provides a spectacular opportunity for the entire team to constantly demonstrate a problem solving approach at work.
- Understanding of Company’s goal and culture: I believe we were very lucky to define our company Core Values (that finally drive the culture) very early in our existence. In addition to this, we also finalized the company’s vision statement of ‘taking pain out of daily commute’ at the same time. Post that, there has been a lot of work on not only communicating but assimilating our core values and vision in our HR processes. Whether it is identifying the right talent, reviewing people’s contribution or recognizing someone at Shuttl, our core values play a pivotal role in decision making across the organization.
- Role clarity: As an early stage startup we looked for generalists who could help us manage multiple domains and bring-in versatility basis their varied experience and interest. However, as Shuttl matures and embarks on its exciting stage of Growth, roles have become more granular and we are on a lookout for exceptional domain experts who have absolute clarity on what they are supposed to chase from day 1.
We are proud problem-solvers and most of the folks are curious and learning agile to chase any new, interesting problem that unfolds at work even if it’s outside their core domain.”
What do you feel you/your organization should do differently to become an amazing workplace?
We have done a pretty decent job till date and are surely on the right path, but yes, there is some distance to be traversed still. We will continuously, religiously keep looking at our Core Values as our guiding principles to take both, people and business decisions. Secondly, structured interventions around learning & development and creating modules around those is what we will focus on in due course of time. Lastly, we will keep driving innovation, learning agility and entrepreneurship that is core to us and work on creating platforms that gives Shuttlrs a chance to further showcase and act upon these attributes.
Any suggestions to help other organizations become amazing workplaces?
Organizations, especially HR teams should move away from traditional, transactional, feel-good activities to offer something to people that they will closely identify with and cherish.”
Give people a genuine reason to relate to the organization at a deeper level so that they look forward to be at work every day just like they love being around their families. Do bear in mind that this should in no way result in misuse of the trust that the organization entrusts them with nor should there be any compromise with work deliverables. It is a very thin line that HR professionals tread, but if done the right way the result will be absolute gold dust!