Employees That Play Together Work More Productively Together
Written by: Jason Trussell, Senior VP and Regional Manager, iGATE Canada
It’s actually true – a workforce that has fun together builds trust, engagement – and increased productivity.
Everyone needs a circle of friends – and when employees feel they have compatible peers at the workplace, the workplace is a more comfortable, pleasant, peaceful place to be. At iGATE, we’ve confirmed this through research, and developed several structured employee engagement programs in response. These include peer groups where our employees interact, around favorite sports, favorite teams, favorite TV shows – whatever their interest; and structured employee engagement programs.
For example, we celebrate ‘Thank God it’s Monday’ to kick off the week in a high energy way. Every Monday, lunch is accompanied by our own in-house, all-employee band, which has grown from seven to over 30 employee members. This has been going on over five years, and just keeps getting stronger.
It’s a fun way to get people involved and engaged. We also build camaraderie by eliminating a lot of those irritating aspects of work – we strive to reduce meetings and meaningless paperwork; and many of our peer groups help employees learn new skills and pursue new interests. Our aim is to create a high happiness index and add meaning to our employees’ lives – all 27,000 of them.
At iGATE, we take a comprehensive, integrated approach to people management. We’ve worked to understand what truly motivates the workforce, through numerous surveys and studies, and we’ve developed a best practices approach from leaders around the globe. This approach has inspired outstanding employee engagement, and helped us consistently deliver quality service and solutions to our clients in Canada and worldwide. We’ve received the ‘Practice of Excellence’ award from the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), for its Competency based Career Planning and Management System; and we are one of only two companies globally who have been assessed at People CMM® Maturity Level 5 – a framework from the Software Engineering Institute (SEI), USA that comprises state-of-the-art, best practices for Human Capital Management.
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This commitment serves us well. See how it works for your business - get a little fun going at your office and see how spirits – and productivity – improve!
Jason Trussell is Senior Vice President and Regional Manager, iGATE Canada, the first Business Outcomes driven integrated Technology and Operations (iTOPS) solutions provider. iGATE delivers effective IT solutions to over 360 Fortune 1000 clients spanning such industries as: banking & financial services; insurance & healthcare; life sciences; manufacturing, retail, distribution & logistics; media, entertainment leisure & travel; communication, energy & utilities; public sector; and independent software vendors. For more information, visit: www.igate.com.
Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl
Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.
With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.
You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?
I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.
We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.
What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?
I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.
The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.
I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.
What does success look like to you?
I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.