What’s it like to work at EFY? What’s our work culture like?
Based on feedback from a lot of EFYians and ex-EFYians (including an interesting mix on glassdoor and Naukri.com), we have put together a list of aspects that best describe our values, work culture and politics.
We’ve not labelled them as Positives or Negatives, because we have come to realise that a positive for one, can be a negative for another. But, by sharing these aspects publicly, we hope that those who join us, will be taking an informed decision, and will find our attributes to have more positives than negatives.
WORK HARD. WORK SMART. BE SUPER PRODUCTIVE: EFY has a very strong focus on productivity, and the "very strong" is an understatement. We use tools like ActivTrac, Whats Up, Daily and Weekly Productivity Sheets to enable EFYians to monitor how they are investing their time, and how their output relates with their KRAs (Key Result Areas). We tend to get rather jittery with those who can’t seem to explain why they could not meet their goals nor how they spent their time. MISTAKES ARE GOOD: We value those who ‘learn by mistakes’ and that too quickly. Keywords like “Root Cause”, “Opportunity to Improve”, “Long term improvement”, etc are part of our daily talk, and we are always learning and improving. But, we lack the patience to keep investing in those, who don’t learn, despite repeated mistakes. WORK-LIFE BALANCE: EFY values Work-Life balance and grants leaves at ease. Getting leaves approvals is never a hassle at EFY. We bundle Casual and Medical leaves together—so that you don’t have to request doctors for false documents. Rare exceptions occur when we have a major project—where an “emergency” for a week or two (in an entire year!) is declared in advance. FAMILY COMES FIRST: Family and Health comes first. That’s another saying that you hear often at EFY. There have been instances where even for critical projects, we have allowed the key team members to take leave, to handle their personal crisis—all thanks to an amazing comradery and ability of EFYians to expand their skills and expertise beyond their scope of work. In every situations, there’s been someone who’s taken up that mantle and delivered. 5 DAY WORKING (MOSTLY): Effective July 2021, most of our team are working in a 5 Day Working framework. Some teams like Customer Support, Process Coordination, Facilities & Admin, work on 1st, 3rd and 4th Saturdays. SEEK ENTREPRENEURS: We are always seeking “Future Directors” of EFY. We value entrepreneurship. We are always looking for EFYians who display traits and ambition to be entrepreneurs. We work with them, groom them, invest in their ideas—and launch their ventures, as part of EFY Group. And, we have a few success stories to boast! TECH DRIVES US: We use a lot of technology! We don’t only talk and write about technology—we use a lot of it. Sometimes, we believe (don’t say it openly) we overdo it. We even have our own home-grown software development team and google-sheet experts, who enable us to use the power of IT to automate almost every aspect of our work (there’s one exception though—see if you can catch it). TRUST-VERIFY-TRUST: We trust you, but we keep verifying whether you are worthy of that trust. Verification is in the form of KRA reviews, time sheeting, and many other innovative ways we keep coming up with. APPRAISALS: We have annual appraisals—without fail. We have them even after bad financial years. But, we treat Appraisal and Increment as two separate events. Appraising you does not mean that you will surely get an increment. The goal of an appraisal is to share with you how you're doing with respect to Key Responsibilities and Key Results expected from you. It also provides you a chance to share challenges being faced. Increments happen when the firm/division has done well, and the person being appraised has done well too. Typical difference between a good and a bad financial year is that in a good one: larger percentage of appraisees get increments and fatter ones. WE INVEST IN TRAINING: We believe it’s our responsibility to train our people, and build them for higher roles & responsibilities. We invest heavily in building training resources, and training our people when they join. We also sponsor them to attend different training programmes and conferences. But, a vast majority of the training is through capture of latest best practices on [email protected] and imparting through workshops and self-training modules. POWER TOOLS: MyEFY, [email protected] and [email protected] are three different IT platforms that every EFYian gets registered on, when they join. MyEFY is our internal positive-news-letter. [email protected] is our internal Knowledge Management tool. And [email protected] is our suite of software tools developed inhouse—to automate most of our tasks and reports. ENGLISH IS IMPORTANT: English is an important skill set for most roles at EFY. Being an English-centric media house, our reliance on the language is very high. The bigger challenge is that our standards for English are also very high, as compared to other firms. Often, people who thought themselves to be experts in English, find themselves having to redo their reading of Wren & Martin and extensively use tools like Grammarly and Spell Check. Eight out of ten roles at EFY are customer facing i.e. related to editorial, sales & marketing or customer support—and all of them require a strong command over the language. EMAILS & GOOGLE SUITE: We also rely a lot on emails and Google sheets. If you are not so comfortable with either, things can tend to get very uncomfortable for you. Thankfully, most who join us—turn out to be good at them, or fast learners. We even have our own video-training on how to manage emails efficiently! (It’s interesting to realise that most organisations do not train their employees on such basic tools, which severely affect their productivity.) FUN AT WORK? We don’t believe in “Fun at Work”. We believe in “Your Work Should Be Fun”. Over time, we’ve realised that there are two kind of people—those who have fun in not working—that gives them the biggest joy in their life, and then there are those who enjoy doing their work, and have fun while being in the ‘flow’. We’ve also realised that all of us are capable of enjoying our work—if we get the work we enjoy doing (that sounds like an iterative loop—isn’t it?). Hence, our biggest HR challenge is to recruit only those candidates who are going to love doing the work that they have been hired to. It’s not easy, but it’s a sheer delight to see such people do wonders—when the chemistry clicks. GET-TOGETHERS: We do have get-togethers and games that build comradery, but those are not EFY’s claim-to-fame features. We would rather be known for Super Productive employees and the 4-day-working firm! Politics is everywhere. Some firms agree to it openly, some discreetly. It seems, the only firm that won’t have politics is one which will have robots on its payrolls. We concede it’s there, and thus we keep working towards minimising its effects. CHALLENGING ROLES: Like all other organisations, we too have roles & positions that offer limited career growth. Yes! That’s an unfortunate truth. There are a few trainee, coordinator, support, roles where prospects for growth are limited. We try to have open discussions with EFYians in such positions, try and identify the skills they need to develop themselves for higher value-add positions—and promote/shift them. But, there are times this is not possible due to limitation of skill-sets or interpersonal skills of personnel. In such cases, we invite them to start looking for better options outside EFY. PROOF OF TRAINING: The proof of the above is the stories or LinkedIn profiles of many of our employees—who have grown from executive or trainee level roles to heading large teams and divisions. Plus, it’s common to find a person who joined in sales become a journalist at EFY. Even weirder lateral shifts have happened, but as long as the end-result is “work in fun”—we are ready to try. NO SEXUAL HARASSMENT: We don’t tolerate Sexual Harassment. We comply by all laws, including the committees needed to handle grievances, and take swift action—if a case comes up. INTEGRITY IS NON-NEGOTIABLE: We don’t tolerate compromise of Integrity. We neither accept gifts not do we give gifts. SALARIES ON TIME, EVERY-TIME: We pay our salaries, and on time (deadline is 7th). That’s one strange complement we get at times. We’re not sure if it’s a complement to us, or a taunt to others who don’t. OUR FUTURE GOAL: We are getting more and more nuts about productivity, because we want to have the most productive team in the country (and perhaps the globe)—so that we can now progress to a 4-day working week (Mon & Tuesday—office, Wed—off, Thur & Fri—office, Sat & Sun—Off!) If we don’t have the most productive people—our competitors will out-run us.