Root of the matter

Mayur Patel (CEO, Proflex Systems) believes getting to the root of the issues and challenges is important to find the solution

Q.What are the key qualities you look for while hiring an employee?
A. I personally look for people who seem positive in their attitude. People with positive attitude bring positive energy into the team. Candidates with high energy level and confidence are preferred. Ability to get along well with people is another important quality that I look for. One has to be a good team player. Candidates who are willing to help others in areas that may not come under their domain score high compared to candidates who just limit themselves to their own work.

To me, technical skills are important but if a candidate lacks attitude, even with good technical skills, he or she may become a bottleneck rather than becoming a contributor in company.

Care needs to be taken while selecting a candidate, as their cultural background and adaptability will decide how soon they can settle down in new environment. Cultural background of an individual plays an important role here. As this is influenced and inherited from the family, they come from organisations they have worked with.

Q. What relationship do you share with your employees?
A. PROFLEX is no less than a family. In today’s world, employees are equal stakeholders in business and company belongs to them as much it belongs to the promoters. Without such ownership it will be difficult for people to deliver to their potential.

For success of any business, you need people in the team who can deliver. For us, it is not an individual, but the team as a whole that delivers.

Q. How do you motivate and inspire your employees for better performance?
A. People who do their job with hard work know well the requirements of their job. They are aware of what is to be done for improvement in different areas. But, when they come to you or you see them not performing to expected levels, you need to understand and listen to their problems and challenges in their own words. It is quite possible that when they start narrating the problem, they start understanding the roots of the problem as well. Solution found without understanding the roots will never solve the problem. It is always better to help them find solution rather than suggesting any solution. Motivation is required to keep you going, nudging problems aside, overcoming challenges and staying on the path of success. If you equip your team to find their own way, you do not need to motivate them often. You just need to see that they are focused and on the right track.

75It is important to recognise, encourage and appreciate good performance. It could be done by email or a letter. But the best way is face to face. Appreciation of good work encourages team members to do even better and that inspires others also. Monetary rewards are also used to recognise good performance, but their use has to be done judiciously as it does not improve performance in all areas. It is not money, but the sense of achievement that has to be made stronger in each individual’s mind and that has to become a driving force for them to improve their performance. Once this is mastered, individuals will give good performance repeatedly and growth is always there for them as they perform well and contribute more.

Q. How do you deal with the successes and failures of your employees?
A. Success must be celebrated. It gives sense of achievement for all the hard work put in by team members and it is also a recognition of effort. This encourages you to plan your next success.

Success is a result of many ingredients and it cannot be attributed to one or two individuals alone. For a company, it starts with defining a goal, making people aware of it, aligning them with the goal, developing strategy, allocating resources, ensuring their full utilisation and flawless execution of strategy.

However, success comes only when all members are able to give more than 100 per cent. At times, it comes as a result of favourable external factors also. But such success will not come repeatedly, so one has to first define the parameters of success and then work hard to taste it.

Failure helps in realising importance of success. Great learning comes from failures only, as they are always critically analysed. When team members fail, we need to stand by them, give support and show direction that can help them overcome failure. When they lose, or do something wrong, we need to empathise with them rather than finding faults. This will help them realise what has gone wrong and they will find solution that can prevent them from repeating mistakes.

Honest acceptance of mistake helps in developing a character of an individual, and strong character has a role to play in delivering high performance. By encouraging such behaviour, you make people more responsible for what they are supposed to do.

Q. How do you ensure the workplace is fun and employees are engaged at work?
A. Our HR team plans activities throughout the year. We celebrate all the major festivals, birthdays of employees and have picnics.

To develop competitive spirit, games are arranged among internal teams. Cricket matches, tournaments of indoor games are also organised where we see enthusiastic participation. We have created a platform where people meet informally, mingle and interact with each other on topics other than work.

This ensures better alignment among team members and it helps them understand other individuals and their personalities better. This increases other’s acceptance and creates cohesiveness among cross-functional teams.