As employees shift towards remote working due to the current coronavirus pandemic, companies are taking the required steps to make the changing environment and situation favorable for them.
With the belief that his company will play a critical role in the post-COVID world, Amit Sharma, CEO and Founder of ShopX (10i Commerce Services Pvt. Ltd.) talks about the steps taken by the company to overcome the challenges faced during the initial stages of the transition.
Monday Ready (MR): How has your organization embraced the current situation of COVID-19?
Amit Sharma (AS): ShopX is digitizing millions of small kiranas and neighborhood shopx, and the next 400 million consumers in India. At this time, our role becomes very critical because post-CoVid, we will witness a massive digitization of the Indian Retail and Distribution sector.
We are embracing this situation through three principles:
- Put people first. Not only your employees but also customers, partners, and suppliers.
- Be agile and innovative. Don’t hesitate to change the rules of the game, and to exhibit bold leadership. These are not the times to be ginger or show hesitation.
Don’t hesitate to change the rules of the game, and to exhibit bold leadership
Build partnerships. Explore who else you can work with. Build an ecosystem around you.
Monday Ready (MR): How is the organization evaluating the employee’s productivity and engagement during remote working?
Amit Sharma (AS): The most important principle in such times is to put people first. Putting the short term over the long term is a common mistake in organizations. So before productivity and engagement, we must think of the safety and well being of people.
Putting the short term over the long term is a common mistake in organizations
As it happens, ShopX is a highly digital organization. Everyone has laptops. We don’t have very strict start timings, and people often take work on calls. This builds an ownership driven structure rather than a micromanagement culture. Due to this, we were able to make a fairly smooth transition in these difficult times.
Monday Ready (MR): What are the top 3-5 KPIs being used in your organization to evaluate employee performance?
Amit Sharma (AS): We use a mixture of input and output metrics for every employee- input metrics refers to the activity goals a person can pursue (completing a task, making sales calls, signing up vendors, etc.), while output metrics refer to outcome goals (sales, profit, customer engagement, etc).
Every person has her own KRAs and KPIs. The important thing is to have a formal tech-driven system for managing and tracking KPIs, and we use a fully automated performance management system for the same.
Monday Ready (MR): What are your views on the need for a Continual/Periodic Employee Review system as compared to the generally followed Annual or Bi-Annual Employee Review process?
Amit Sharma (AS): Performance Review is not the same as Employee Feedback. While performance review can be carried out once in 6 or 12 months due to manageability reasons, feedback must be constant. I believe in REAL-TIME FEEDBACK. If something has to be shared, share it in real-time. It’s better to have a tech-driven system to share feedback with employees in a 360-degree fashion.
Share feedback with employees in a 360-degree fashion.
Monday Ready (MR): Can any opportunities in disguise be seen at this current time of Global Slowdown?
Amit Sharma (AS): Entrepreneurs always see opportunities. The greatest of companies have been built during times of economic or even social crises. What’s needed is bold leadership, and the willingness to think outside of the normal.
What’s needed is bold leadership, and the willingness to think outside of the normal
For example, we have realized that all leading brands want to work with ShopX because digitization of their value chains has suddenly become an unavoidable priority for them. We built a solution around this within 10 days and have launched it successfully within April 2020.
Monday Ready (MR): What is your advice to the managers & team leaders across organizations in the current scenario?
Amit Sharma (AS):
- Think long term, while keeping one eye on the near term opportunities. While speed and agility are key, think deeply about doing things that make sense over the long term. So do things fast, but do the right things.
- Care about people. The most important thing we can build in such tough situations is not our products or our business, but TRUST with people.
- Learn something new! This is a great time to introspect and think about the fundamentals.