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Recordent's "CEO For One Day" Program Has Won Considerable Name In Market
"Employee interaction has increased with positive enthusiasm post application of this program."
Terming the program as having ‘serious fun’, Recordent will encourage its employees to get a holistic understanding of the organization and its processes and goals
Winny Patro, CEO & Co-Founder, Recordent got into a candid conversation with BW' Journalist and explained in great details of how this policy came into inception and its impact on its employee base.
Q1. Many companies today are drawing up unique initiatives to keep the employees engaged and build healthy competition within work environments. What made Recordent come up with the “CEO For one day” initiative?
The program's main goal was to give our employees a genuine opportunity to make a difference in the company. We are committed to cultivating a great workplace culture, and through this program, selected candidates will get a bird's eye view of the company. At the end of the day, we want to empower all of our employees, not just managers. We want every employee to feel important, influential, and heard when making these critical decisions. It demonstrates that the company values its employees and is willing to provide opportunities for advancement. It not only demonstrates that decision-making isn't always black and white, but it also emphasizes that it's perfectly fine to fail, and learn from it. They can actually feel what it's like to influence change.
Q2. What is the participation process followed in order to select the one CEO for the day?
When the initiative was launched, all Recordent employees were encouraged to participate, from new hires all the way up to the L3 band (i.e. AVP). The only requirement was that the participant have worked for the company for at least 6 months at the time of application.
On a monthly basis, we select three candidates for the CEO for One Day program. For instance, one for each of July, August, and September 2022. The applicants' reasoning, situational judgment, and personality fit are evaluated in three stages: the first is an online assessment, the second is a group discussion, and the third and final round is a personal interview. We understand that this process is similar to that of most corporate interviews, but we chose to use it here because it gives them the impression that they are interviewing for a "new role" at the company, making it interesting and exciting for candidates.
Q3. Is this initiative a form of skill-building activity? If yes, which skills of an employee will be emphasized, by giving them a chance to be in this position?
Yes, you have got that correct. Recordent's leadership created this initiative with three core skills in mind in order to instil them in its employees. They are: Leadership, Critical Thinking Development, and Accountability. One of the most important skill sets that leads to overall employee development is critical thinking development. Our program helped employees logically connect ideas, scrutinize and evaluate arguments, find inconsistencies and errors in their own work, solve complex problems, and engage in reflection by focusing on the same. Additionally, leadership and accountability go hand in hand because they enable successful management.
Q4. What are the major changes you have experienced at your organization since the "CEO for One Day" initiative was announced?
At this point in time, it is too early to measure any major change that Recordent has experienced since the announcement of the programme. The only thing worth mentioning is that employee interaction has increased with positive enthusiasm, but nothing measurable as of yet.
Q5. Being a CEO is a huge responsibility and has many tasks to fulfill on a day on day basis. As a CEO for one day, what works is the employee expected to complete in the form of his “new duties”?
The CEO for the Day has a checklist of actions and tasks to complete. We have daily standup calls with respective teams and require participants to go through all of the organization's work streams. A typical day would begin with him/her and the Chief of Staff discussing and prioritizing business strategies, finalizing partnerships, consulting on MOUs, Investments, Recruitment, and Finance Budgeting. He/she shall briefly cover - Discussing marketing communications and customer issues, as well as potential solutions followed by a detailed discussion with the Analytics Team examining the Power BI dashboards such as Unit Economics, Revenue Trends, Market Coverage, and Geographies. Analyze trends and patterns in how visitors engage with websites using Google Analytics and CRM, and use CRM to review leads, status, and efficiencies. Furthermore, engage with the Business Development Teams and product Teams, discussing the pressing issues and balance the near-term priorities with long term goals. Last but not the least, he will be involved with the Finance Team at the basic level.
Q6. Apart from a skill-building activity, was there any concern that you wished to address through this unique initiative at your organization?
We have learned over time (as previously stated) that employees may be apprehensive about taking on management and leadership responsibilities. Some may not even think about it. To some extent, as employers, we can understand the employees' reluctance. However, as an organization, we want our employees to develop professionally as well as personally. Having said that, we wanted to create a program that would assist our employees in reaching their full potential and exploring their work interests. We wanted a program that would give them a real-life taste of leadership and allow them to choose how they wanted to grow. The lessons that will be taught during this program are ones that can be applied in a variety of situations. We have overall received a positive response from our employees thus far, and we hope that this will continue.
Q7. HR departments in every company, big or small, have felt the need for employee welfare initiatives, especially post the pandemic. What do you think is the reason for this?
The events of the last 18 months have prompted businesses to prioritize employee health and well-being on multiple levels, including how employees feel, where they sit, working hours, work-life balance and more. It also necessitates a renewed focus on the employee experience, which has changed dramatically as a result of remote work. I advise HR to focus on critical inflection points, which I refer to as "moments that matter." Employees hired in the last year, for example, may have never visited the office or met their boss and co-workers in person. This reality necessitates the development of new types of mentorship and employee engagement programs.
Q8. What has been the experience with the first employee who successfully became Recordent's "One day CEO"?
Aditya Bhartia, Associate Manager – Product Development, was the first employee to participate in the One day CEO Program. Here is the quote from him.
Aditya Bhartia Quote:
“I would like to share some thoughts from my experience. For me who comes from the product management field, which is generally close to the CEO's way of working to experiencing the hands-on day-to-day tasks of a CEO was a steep learning curve but absolutely thrilling. I believe everyone should get this kind of exposure and get the opportunity to experience such a day at least once. There are a million parts in an aircraft that help it fly. We might not have a million but every department/vertical compliments each other and results in collective growth”
His key takeaways as a CEO include: It is critical to be in sync with your colleagues on a daily basis, both operationally and strategically. Even if you are an expert in your field, assisting other departments with your skills is essential in a start-up. A data-driven approach is directly proportional to our company's success and growth.