Mithi’s Hall of Fame 2014

Rewarding and Recognizing Mithi’s In-House Stars of 2014

Any organization that operates with a view to grow bigger with time needs a healthy, engaged and enthusiastic team.

Related: The Mithi way to build great teams

Rewards, Recognition and Appreciation

Mithi believes that the core way to engage people in a team and bring out their best is to give them challenging assignments, allow them the freedom to do their best on those assignments and also encourage and support initiatives that have a lasting impact on the business.

Recognition, in simple terms, means acknowledging someone’s hard work for:

  • Specific accomplishments that they have achieved
  • Actions or initiatives taken
  • Attitude or behaviour demonstrated at the workplace

Doing it the Mithi way

The Mithi culture, over the years, has been rewarding and recognizing those individuals (and teams) who work towards achieving the company’s goals with its core values in mind by exceeding expectations. Mithi combines appreciation with recognition in the form of expressing gratitude and realizing the value provided by its employees in front of all their peers, by citing specific instances or examples of the things the awardees have done (which have, in turn, had a positive impact on the business of the company).

At the core of Mithi’s values is undying respect for the associates; and we take pride in our constant endeavours to maintain a professional workplace – a hub of opportunities where our associates can thrive. We wish to be recognized among the leaders in nurturing and promoting a diverse-yet-inclusive workforce, which works in a collaborative environment with a strong familial culture.

We value people. The company goes above and beyond trivial monetary perks to build employee loyalty and indirectly fuel Mithi’s growth, in line with its vision and mission.

As another eventful year floats away and a new year beckons, here’s a pat on the back of our stellar performers who added value to Mithi’s growing business repertoire in 2014:

The Mithi Way to build Great Teams

The-Mithi-Way-to-build-Great-Teams

Mithi’s Monthly meet – A Core HR initiative

In the modern business world which is witnessing the rapid growth of emerging markets, small and mid-sized enterprises are constantly on their toes to be somewhere close to the benchmark set by the industry leaders. And while infrastructure, strategy, and operations are at the forefront of a business plan, ‘execution’ is what makes it click. Think execution, think people.

No matter what the business, (more often than not) it is the human resources that make it or break it. How to manage a diverse group of individuals is the biggest question that entrepreneurs face while running a business.

Engaging employees through high-involvement work practices is a way of life every business, large or small, would like to develop.

Interpersonal and group communication holds an invaluable place in business dynamics. Despite the daily bombardment of phone calls and emails, the age-old concept of ‘meetings’ is what proves to be among the most effective ways of sharing information, discussing, deliberating, giving/receiving feedback, and collaborating to make unified business decisions and plans for the future.

At Mithi, we have consciously developed a culture and a system of conducting in-house meetings on a monthly basis, apart from our daily work-related meets, to address the aforementioned points.

We understand that a healthy team adds value to the organizational alignment and directly or indirectly results in quality improvements (and therefore, customer satisfaction). For this very reason, we strive to keep all our associates ‘in the know’ – whether it is the status of a project, or research, or customer feedback (positive and negative), or the financial angle, or the promotion plans of Mithi.

The focal aim, of Mithi’s Monthly meet, is to create a transparent, competitive and constantly motivated environment at the workplace.

Here’s a sneak peek at our meticulously planned event:

Event Management and Leadership

Every month, this baton is passed on from team to team. Whether it is the backend support guy sitting at his desk all day long, or the product developer who racks his brains to come up with the next ‘Whoa!’ idea, everyone is involved in the planning and execution of Mithi’s Monthly Meet. To make the job easier for all, we pass on the month wise responsibility of managing the meet from team to team. The event not only gives our associates a chance to prove their mettle in their scope of work, but also improves their leadership and managerial skills in terms of handling the meet effectively and efficiently.

Teamwork, Planning, Collaboration and Decision making

Planning, organizing and executing a technical project may be easy for our employees, since they are experts in those domains. But when it comes to doing the same for an event like this, it requires much more than technical knowhow. We encourage individuals to come together and work in teams to surpass the standards set by the teams executing the meet in the preceding month(s). To organize this meet, the teams need to decide a leader from among themselves for the event, meet frequently to decide on a theme and content of the meeting, assign roles to the different members to execute on the plan and monitor the execution of the plan to the finest detail. Every monthly meet is an opportunity to reset the benchmark of the quality and content of the meet.

Interaction, Communication and Presentation

Such an event poses an opportunity for the teams to stand in front of a crowd, compeer the entire event, coordinate the flow of the event and communicate the theme message and content. Teams work on presentation, short movie clips, and other creatives to ensure that their presentation to the audience is of a high level. This event gives an opportunity to the non-presenting teams to understand the work being done by the organizing team, their role in the business and also sensitizes them to that team’s work flows, dependencies on other teams, their efforts, successes and failures.

And the award goes to…

Recognizing the Top Initiatives in the last month and rewarding the stellar performers (Top Job)is on the top of the list of priorities in this event. It is initiatives like these that help Mithi to inspire and push its employees to put their best foot forward each time and collectively improve the operational efficiency. Every member of Mithi is encouraged to nominate their choice for the Top Job and Best Initiative award. A cross team panel sorts out the nominations and decides the award based on the long term impact these people have had on the business with their exemplary work and initiatives.

Related: Mithi’s Hall of Fame: 2014

Unity in Diversity

Bringing teams and individuals together, the monthly event provides everyone at Mithi an opportunity to bond with each other, thus enabling better relationships and fostering unity amongst the diverse group of talented individuals that represent the organization. Team members share their success stories on an organizational level, and this enables healthy competition on the intra-organizational level.

What was, what is, and what will be…

Mithi’s Monthly Meet brings closure to several ongoing projects. The event comprises of presentations, debates, and project reports, thus concluding the projects that have been successfully implemented/completed, and bringing into the picture the ongoing assignments.

We also make it a point to include several team-building and fun activities in these sessions by watching inspirational movies together, playing games, quizzes, and celebrating each other’s success.

Mithi fosters a culture of teamwork and the monthly meet has proved to be a successful exercise that has resulted in increased collaboration, creativity and alignment amongst the various teams and also within the teams.

From BYOD to CYOD: Almost impossible to ignore mobile devices in the workplace

BYOD - Bring Your Own Device

More than a decade ago, owning a mobile phone with a coloured screen was a sure sign that ‘you had arrived’. The next high was the advent of 2G technology, which allowed us to send multimedia messages. Further advances in technology brought us RIM’s Blackberry, which took this to the next level. Executives had now reached the zenith of connectivity by accessing their corporate emails via their Blackberry – a revolution in its own.

Circa 1994, starting with IBM’s ‘Simon’, technically the world’s first Smartphone, the journey has shown a tremendous advance in mobile technology. We have been through the Palm, the Nokia 9000, Kyocera, NTT Docomo and finally the iPhone and other Android Smartphones. You now have the ‘tablet’, which is cheaper than some mobile phones.

Today every ‘Smart Device’, under which I would include the likes of Smartphones, Tablets, Notebooks, and Phablets (and whatever else is in the making), are assured of having business applications like address book, calendar, appointment scheduler, calculator, world time clock and notepad, along with email clients. As these devices become more sophisticated, their use as the final destination for ‘all things mobile’ has become ubiquitous. An interesting aspect is that enterprise mobility is being pushed from the consumer (in this case, the employee) to the enterprise, rather than the other way around.

The concept of ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) is here to stay. To BYOD or not to BYOD is not the question anymore. In fact, it has become BYOD versus CYOD (Choose Your Own Device).

What started as a fun, exploratory and downright risky act of using your personal device for your office work, has now become regular, streamlined and structured. Enterprises are beginning to realize that they cannot avoid corporate data from getting into personal devices, and rather than forcing employees into stealth-mode BYOD, it is more pragmatic to encourage it at an official level.

CYOD provides a balance wherein it lets the employee choose a particular device from a range of IT-approved devices. It helps the organization to enforce at least a particular IT-approved level of security along with the advantage of having users assume some costs of buying the device. On the other hand, it gives the user technology familiarity, has a positive effect on employee morale, and gives a boost in productivity.

The advantages of allowing personal devices can be broadly listed as the following:

  1. Personal Productivity and Accessibility: Employees having 24×7 access to email and other Office business applications can help increase an organization’s global reach. It streamlines and speeds up business services like HR self-help or approvals.

    Related: You may be scanning your email more than 30 times a day

  1. Business Content and Collaboration: The ever-increasing volume of communications can now be more proactively managed. It allows the sales force to use their mobile devices in the field to engage prospects and customers instantaneously, thus driving higher sales and an enhanced level of customer engagement. Complete enterprise standard email collaboration allows employees to be virtual.

    Related: Want to improve Sales Productivity and Profitability? Give them a Mobile with Email Access

Some of the primary concerns with reference to using hosted email and other business applications over personal devices include:

  1. Security: Data leaving the premises unaccounted, lost or stolen devices increasing corporate data risk. A study conducted by Osterman Research reveals some shocking facts (shocking for organizations). Fifteen percent of the employees surveyed admitted that they believed that they have ‘none to minimal’ responsibility when it comes to safeguarding the corporate data that is stored on their personal devices. Ten percent went a step further to say that they didn’t even have a basic password or a PIN enabled on their device. Now if this isn’t a potential risk for organizations encouraging the use of personal devices for official work, what is?

    Related: Will 2016 be the Year of the Unemployed CIO?

  1. Personal Use: Organizations worry that allowing personal devices at the workplace could result in employees wasting precious work time to indulge in personal activities like chatting, using social media or exploring other forms of tech entertainment.
  1. Working with Organization’s Technology: Some personal devices may not meet the requirements for being fully compatible with the organization’s policies.

    Related: 7 WANTS of an IT Manager of a Small to Medium sized business

According to a new mobile phone forecast from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, more than 1.25 billion Smartphones will be shipped worldwide in 2014. That number signifies a 23.8% increase from the 1.01 billion units that were shipped in 2013. This is not including the global sales forecast of ~$240 million Tablets for 2014.

Enterprises have to accept and gear up for this change. The IT departments need to start formalizing policies covering acceptable BYOD usage, keeping in mind that it is still a relatively unexplored territory and the near future could bring many surprises.

The average office workers now expect the same consumerism that they have become accustomed to with their personal device, from their office device. Engaging the employee will be equally important as engaging the customer.

We can actually look at Hollywood to get a glimpse of how our not-too-distant future seems to be shaping up. With wearable devices just beginning to peek through the clutter, enterprise mobility is going to hit a whole new dimension. Advances in holographic technology, augmented reality (Google Glass), smartwatches, etc. will lead to the ultimate goal for an organization to allow any employee to be productive everywhere with their preferred tool.

Preventing a Disaster

A while ago, I wrote a note about disaster recovery i.e. how to quickly restore the services after a failure in the primary server. However, as the old adage goes Prevention is better than cure, here are some tips on how you can prevent system failures. This applies to all our customers including those who may have deployed an email disaster recovery system.

The two key characteristics of the email system that make it vulnerable to failure are:

We recommend the following to prevent failures at the different layers of the system.

Data Center

  • Install equipment in recommended temperature and dust control environments, with limited and authorized access for more reliability.
  • Ensure uninterrupted power supply of the required rating for the equipments.

Hardware System

Software System

Application Software Layer

Process Layer – Follow preventive maintenance procedures

Above all, have a bias towards Maintaining rather than Repairing.

When to use POP, IMAP or Web client

End users can access their mailboxes via web clients or desktop email clients such as Outlook / Outlook Express / Thunderbird etc. When configuring a desktop email client to check the incoming mail, the connection to the server can be an IMAP or a POP connection.

Organizations need to decide on a mail access policy depending on a number of factors such as the messaging server architecture, available bandwidth on the connections from the user’s desktop to the server, mail archiving policies, etc. The following paragraphs will help administrators decide on a suitable policy for individual users. System administrators can define a global policy or define different policies for individual users / groups of users.

POP access from a desktop email client

When to use POP access

When NOT to use POP access

Advantages

Limitations

IMAP access from a desktop email client

When to use IMAP access

When NOT to use IMAP access

Advantages

Limitations

Web mail access using a browser

When to use web mail access

Advantages

Limitations


Resources : Connect Xf with Access Devices