A recent report shared that the average 5-8 years an employee spent at one organization – once considered normal, is no longer the operating norm. The duration of an employee’s tenure with an organization has dramatically changed in the last few years. A shift in employee priorities and culture at the workplace have resulted in a tenure of 15-18 months as the new long-term for employees.
But why is this happening? Employees today value workplace culture more than ever. What they get out of work, how much they enjoy it and the quality of life it enables for them have become the determining factors of staying with an organization for a long period of time. While money is important, employees are now prioritizing fulfillment.
This brings me to a significant occasion: I recently completed 5 years at Awign. Needless to say, there’s a lot of pride and satisfaction I feel about this milestone. 5 years, half a decade. Quite a commitment, don’t you think? Surprisingly, it never felt long enough. I have been thoroughly engaged, challenged and pushed to grow by leaps and bounds during this period. The journey has been nothing short of a thrilling adventure of challenges and problem solving.
I joined Awign 5 years ago as an Intern after I completed Mechanical Engineering in Bengaluru. As an Intern, I had my hands full with a diverse set of projects which kept me going. 4 months in, I was retained to continue as a Marketing Executive. Since the start, I felt like I had the room to explore and experiment with things to make them my own. Within 6 months, I was given the responsibility to become the manager for a new addition to the team. In the next 1.5 years, I was promoted to lead the marketing department, where I was heading a team of 25 people. This is the first time in my career I was given the opportunity to become a leader, take responsibility and guide the way forward for the marketing function at Awign. Of course, a lot of learning was involved in this process!
Thereafter I moved to project management when I was 3 years into the system, and became a Senior Project Manager only 6 months into the role. Ever since I joined Awign, I was given the flexibility and opportunity to choose which direction I wanted to take my career in. My skills, abilities and competencies were matched to different job roles to unlock my true potential. About 6-7 months back, I became the Functional Head for Last-mile Delivery vertical at Awign.
Here’s the thing: If you want to grow in a young start up – and if you want to grow rapidly, you need to be cognizant about how you get things done. Here are my top 5 learnings:
- Be solution-oriented: A growth mindset always strives to find a solution to the problem, rather than fixating on the problem itself. This is something I learnt during my 5 years at Awign. Working in a young startup means you will be in a dynamic environment around multiple challenges which need resolution. In this type of an environment, the goal is always to provide a clear and quick solution at the earliest possible.
- Keep healthy competition: When you work with tons of young, talented and hard-working people in an organization, it motivates you to push yourself and put out your best version. Harnessing this competitive spirit helps you deliver better results, drive higher performance along with contributing to both professional and personal growth.
- Being Logical: In the last 5 years, I have learnt time and again that one needs to think logically through everything in order to make good decisions, solve problems, develop innovative ideas and set clear goals. Logical thinking also helps you increase your effectiveness at work and boost your productivity, along with success as you use the right strategies and approach to work.
- Be Patient: At the workplace, I think we value speed along with quick and tangible results. However, I have learnt that it takes time to build things. Patience is an important attribute I have learnt to cultivate within myself. I remember, in my early days at Awign I used to get frustrated waiting for things to turn around according to the desired speed. But soon after, I learnt that all good things take time – products which are rushed into, often fizzle out at the sight of a challenge.
- Focus on one thing at a time: One of the most critical learnings has been to take one thing at a time. First of all, working on multiple tasks or projects at once might be stimulating to many people – however, focused attention on one thing helps you dive deeper and increase productivity on the time you invest into that work. Second, working on multiple things at once also overwhelms you and drains your energy at the end of the day, which is not a sustainable practice for the long term.
I believe that if you want to grow at any organization, especially a young organization – these are some of the attributes you must practice consistently to maximize your own potential. Of course, there have also been concrete reasons why I have stayed at Awign for 5+ years now. Everyone understands how important the culture of an organization is for any employee to continue with a company for the long-term. For me, Awign has provided the best environment to grow in a limitless fashion. Every employee at the organization is hard-working, and puts in their best effort everyday to build the organization and push it towards success. As a fairly competitive person, this motivates me to harness healthy competition and do my best as well. Moreover, the collective energy of this workforce also pulls you closer to the company’s goals, mission and vision as well. Everyone strongly believes in the purpose of this organization and what we are trying to achieve here, the countless lives we are trying to impact. Being a relatively younger startup, there have been many challenges we have faced in the last 5 years including Covid when our revenues flatlined, but this challenging-environment has enabled me to think bigger, get creative and become more purpose-driven as well.
Of course, leadership plays a strong role here as well. As co-founders, Sarthak, Gurpreet and Praveen have always ensured that employees have the freedom and flexibility to make crucial decisions and drive positive outcomes the way we know we can.
You know the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child”. That’s how I feel about Awign. We are all collectively, actively and with accountability taking action to develop this organization. The recent ESOP buyback and the provision to liquidate vested equity also acts as a reward for the work we have been putting in. Every person in the organization is deeply invested to make a difference and help the organization grow, and help 100mn+ unemployed people gain meaningful livelihood opportunities.
I guess this only happens when you create an organizational culture where people grow, with the organization.