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Episode 59:

Love as a Recruitment Strategy

Today we get a chance to sit down with Alka R Bharadwaj who works with us in our Bangalore office. We have a raw and honest conversation with her about the realities of HR and recruitment not only in our own company, but for all businesses alike.

Speakers

Feel the love! We aren't experts - we're practitioners. With a passion that's a mix of equal parts strategy and love, we explore the human (and fun) side of work and business every week together.

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Jeff Ma

Host

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ChrisProfile

Chris Pitre

Vice President

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Frank Danna

Director

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Alka R Bharadwaj

HR Executive

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Transcript

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Jeff Ma
We have such a cool episode for you today, we get a chance to sit down with Alka, who actually works with us but in our Bangalore India office, and Alka offers a raw and genuine look at the realities of HR and recruitment for our own company, but also for all businesses alike. She blew our minds with a whole lot of wisdom, truth bombs, and really opened our eyes to some of the easily overlooked ways that culture really makes all the difference. Enjoy the show.

Hello, and welcome to love as a business strategy, podcast that brings humanity to the workplace. We're here to talk about business, but we want to tackle topics that most business leaders shy away from. We believe that humanity and love should be at the center of every successful business. I'm your host, Jeff Ma, and I'm a director at Softway technology company that helps transform company cultures. I'm joined today by co hosts Frank Danna. Hey, Frank, how's it going? Hello, good to see and Chris Pitre. Hey, Chris! Hello!. And every episode, we dive into one element of business or strategy and test our theory of love against it. We have a very special guest today. For those of you that don't know in our audience, our company Softway has two offices, one headquartered in Houston, Texas, in the United States, and one in Bangalore, India. And our guest today is from our Bangalore India office, it is Alka R Bharadwaj. And she is an HR executive. But amongst all the many, many things she does for our Bangalore India office, she also happens to oversee recruiting. And we've invited Alka today to join us because she has incredible amount of experience and insight into the recruitment process. And her her knowledge and experience has really shed some amazing insights on how culture is impacted by it and interacts with it. So Alka, welcome to the show. How are you today? Hi, Jeff. I'm doing well. Thank you. Thank you so much for joining us. I know the time difference makes it difficult. I really appreciate you joining us today really excited about this conversation?

Alka R Bharadwaj
Definitely. And believe me, it's a lot quieter.

Jeff Ma
Yes. Good evening, and we always do icebreakers. So this will not be an exception. But as always, I'll make Frank first like to pick on from what? We're going to have the same question for all three of you. So we'll have time to prepare here. But Frank, you do not have time to prepare. But today's question is, what was your least favorite food as a child? And do you still hate it? Or do you like it now?

Frank Danna
My least favorite food as a child was my grandmother's Her name was more more Swedish. I called her mama, no one needed to know that she would make these stuffers spinach souffles like the microwavable spinach souffle, which is spinach and egg and cream. And I refused to try it. So she would make it it was microwavable. So who knows how much microplastic was in the food she was eating, but anyway, and, and for years, she would always and I would never want to eat it. I would refuse 100% of the time, never want to try it, never want to eat it. And then I forgot about it. And I was walking down the grocery store aisle a few months ago. And I saw it and I immediately got these incredible, like flood of memories of spending time with my grandmother and and seeing that. And I thought I've never tried this before I got it. I got to taste it. Like I've never experienced it. I despised it without even knowing what it tasted like. So I got home. I cooked it. I took a bite of it. And it was unbelievably good. And I realized that I had missed out on this delicious food because I was afraid of spinach. And I didn't want to have anything to do with spinach. And then I realized oh my gosh, this thing tastes nothing like spinach. It tastes a lot like heaven. So I think that was a

Jeff Ma
there you have it. So for all the for all the kids listening to this business podcast. This is a listen to Mr. Frank here. Got to try everything at least once. That's it. Chris, what was your least favorite food as a child? And do you still hate it?

Chris Pitre
My least favorite food as a child is and is continues to be meatloaf. It's the one thing that Oh, if God came down and made the perfect entree, like this will be the exact opposite. For me. It was just always it was gross because it was just like who wants to eat just like meat and mush together baked and you know, no matter and like everyone's like your mom makes the best meatloaf and I was like, I'll take your word for it but I'm not about to try it. And so if I was ever on the menu for dinner, I ate all the sides and everything and I will take like two bites of it and it's just like thing that I've I've never gotten into still won't eat. I just, it's it grosses me out. And so even now as an adult, my mom thought that I gotten over it and so she was like, she'd be like, Chris, we made dinner. I want you to come over and eat. And I was like, oh, would you cook? She like meatloaf. I was like, I'm gonna not be able to make it tonight. Like, you didn't consider me when you were making that meal like you. I'm fasting. Yeah, the psychological warfare. Like, if anybody says, Hey, I got to meetloaf. It's an offense. It's not a gift. It's not considering me. I was noted. And wagon.

Frank Danna
Cancel the meatloaf order.

Jeff Ma
Yeah. Alka, finally get to you. What was your least favorite food as a child? And do you still hate it?

Alka R Bharadwaj
My least favorite food as a child was biryani and it still is. So I'm one of the Indians who don't really like it.

Frank Danna
What? Whoa. Like, the hot takes over here?

Alka R Bharadwaj
I am a vegetarian and there are vegetarian variants also. But still, it's not. It's not it's not. I'm not I'm not okay with it. anything but that.

Chris Pitre
My mind has this fear for your safety. Now, to be honest. Like, you just told the world like,

Alka R Bharadwaj
yeah, this is not the first time I'm getting these reactions have had this like whaaat! .Yeah.

Jeff Ma
Cancel the rest of the podcasts. We have to dig into this.

Chris Pitre
Going. I had some I've had some delicious vegetarian biryanis before and I'm just I'm just like, What? What What

Frank Danna
is it about? Is it the Is it the spices in it, though? The way they do the?

Alka R Bharadwaj
Yeah, so it's it is I feel it's too much spice, too many flavors put together and dumped in one. I mean, hey, you can use the spices in a better way. That was my opinion.

Jeff Ma
Incredible. Wow. Thank you for your vulnerability. Thank you.

Chris Pitre
You have just at least maybe a new segment of unpopular opinions on love as a business strategy, just to be like something that we consider for future episodes.

Jeff Ma
All right, well, let's dive into this. Alka, obviously, I want to start with you. Can you tell us in the audience a little bit about what your kind of role is? I know you do a lot of things. But in the context of today's topic, around recruiting, he talked about that, that process and your role in it.

Alka R Bharadwaj
Yes, so it's, I think I handle almost at least I touch base with every element of the employee lifecycle, from recruiting to their exit. So recruiting is not when they when we hired them, but rather when we aren't from from it. When the requirement comes like when there's a request for a new resource, from that time till the job post hiring than onboarding, then managing employee relations while they're here. And even if they choose to separate from us, I also take care of the exit procedures, exit interviews, and managing they're the other documentation that is required. So I touch base with employees at almost every site. So I am the first face of Softway, and the last, so my culture and how I how my initial conversation starts is from there, I have to make that impact and show what we actually do. So I have to be in the right headspace, even when I make one individual call to any candidate.

Chris Pitre
I mean, no pressure on you for sure. Not I am Alpha and Omega, all of that. But when it comes to your, your experience, I think it's important for some of the listeners and viewers to understand the difference between recruiting in the West versus recruiting in the east, especially in India. I know it blew my mind when I first found out about it, because it's, it's so different. And in a tech space because we are recruiting for more technical roles. and India is just it's, I call it a bloodbath. But that's not always the best way to picture it. But when you think about like the competitiveness aside, just with other employers, but also, you know, the mindsets and the societal pressures on a lot of jobs for these candidates, it weighs heavily, and it requires sort of a different approach and different strategies than you might consider in the US. And so if you could just illuminate some of the nuances and differences that you you understand about, you know, recruiting in India versus maybe in the US or the western Western world,

Alka R Bharadwaj
right. So I think the IT boom in Bangalore happened when I was in school. And it still continues, although there was a recession in between. But there's never been a dearth of offers that the candidates have got the good technology guys have got ever, even though even when the pandemic hit, which was March 2020, even then the technology market in Bangalore was still booming, there were still people who are looking out for jobs, they were getting offers, not just one, but more than one. So what happens is, there's so many companies in Bangalore, you believe me, every area, even a residential house is actually converted into an office and like, there are 10-20 people who are working their culture, everything, all that is different, but you have a job, you have some technology work, you have a project work, and you can get the work done. And people go and do it, they don't care. So now what is happening, so there's so much competition, and I think it's still, I'm not sure how I think most of the huge giants, from like, the smallest of the startups to the biggest of MNC(Multi National Corporations), they all have set up shop in Bangalore. So for and, and since it's been remote, the The place is not a problem anymore, they can be sitting in any corner of the India and they can get three offers. And they can still get a you know, choose whatever, whatever job they want, when they can start contributing. So even And the worst part, or I don't know, I cannot say say the worst part, or I'm not sure. companies still have three months notice period. So even if I make them an offer, I have to wait for three months for them to join. And what happens that is in that three months, they have enough time to shop around. So if they are at a certain salary band, they ask for 50%, and sometimes even 100% hike because companies are willing to give it that is the gap that we have with talented people, the supplies less and the requirement is more. So I asked one of the candidates when I was calling him and I said can you do you know that you're asking for 100%? Raise? And he's like, Yeah, I know, companies can give me an I know, I'm, I'm worth it. So I am asking for it. And I'm not wrong. And I was like, Yes, it's fair enough. And there are there are definitely companies who are willing to give that. So in, in even if I give him 100% hike, there is no guarantee that person will join, because he still has three months or two months, still shop around. So they showed this offer that I've got 100% raise. So anything more than that, or you match me or give me more than that. And I'm going to come to you otherwise, I'm fine. I don't even have to. And there are even I meet those candidates also who already have two three offers. And they're still looking out. And when I asked him, okay, why are you still looking out, you already have what you want. They're like, it's always good to see what else I can get. And so in some candidates actually are honest that it's a startup, I don't know if there's a stability there. So I think and there is a variable component that most companies scale. Softway doesn't do that we whatever we offer is what we give them. But variable component is where a say 70% of it is actually paid and the rest 30% is based on the company's and the individual's performance. So it is subjective. And most a lot of companies where they've got huge offers, and they only have 70% of that as for sure. And the 30% is because based on the performance, they want something that is the way they can get 100% fixed. They want the same number, but they want the entire money in hand rather than them having to wait on their performance or the company's performance and all that. So

Jeff Ma
well. That's a that's very educated. Yeah. Very different. So I know, you know, we talk a lot about obviously love as a business strategy. We talk about a lot of culture and Softway is always at the center of that story. And not often enough, do we talk about the India office where this culture is, you know, we're a constant work in progress as an organization and as people but we also are trying, you know, not just in the United States, but also in India as well. But as you mentioned, the environment that the that the Bangalore office lives in all the surrounding companies in the talent pool and everything plays by like, as you just explained, very different rules. Can you talk about kind of how our approach to culture, and just where we stand and what what we value? How does that play with that? That difference? You know, like, where does our culture kind of fit? Where does it doesn't fit? Where is it a strength? Or is it a weakness? Those types of things just for that perspective?

Alka R Bharadwaj
Right. So I think it touches at every point like how I said, from when I make the job post, and when I start calling till the time, we have a we we let them go. So, I mean, not let them go. But in terms of if they want to quit, I'm sorry. So So in, in in, because because there is so many companies, so many talent requirements, there are these recruitment agencies who have dedicated recruiters and sourcing people. For them, it's just a job. You're just another candidate. And the calls are very mechanical. But I cannot do that, because I'm not an agency, I'm actually talking to get good talents to my company. So how I reached out to them how I talked to them? Am I polite? Am I rude? Am I being empathetic? If they're in a bad space? First, I have to ask them, okay, is it a good time to talk to you? Because they may be in the middle of meeting or they may be driving Not sure. So I have to put up that the how we are naturally at Softway, about how we follow or just be I think we just be our culture, it's not like we are trying to do something, we are being that as people. And I have to be that with that candidate. So there were some interns that we were hired. We hired last year, they completed their internship and one of the persons left so I asked him like, Okay, why did you choose us? What made you there are so many other companies that you can, that will that will get the same that you will get the same stipend from But Why us? So he said, You made the conversation easy. It was never difficult. The interview process was good. The technical panel who took my interview where he was great, I learned a lot from him. It was not just an interview, but it was more of a conversation. And then I went and met the HR manager and Sunil and Parthi who are our HR manager operations head. They made it as a conversation. So at every stage, you made it easy. And I was comfortable. So the candidate was made comfortable. And I think that is one of the spaces where we give them an experience, but it's not just a process. And that experience is what sticks with them even after they finish their internship or even even if they leave Softway, that experience and the time they had like it's it's more than the work that you do, or expi or the or the process that you followed. I think for every individual, it's how you make them feel, even when they are recruiting or even when they are separated because a lot of organizations make people's lives hell because just because they resigned and then notice periods are strenuous and painful and it's so toxic. And all they want to do is leave, so what is the point of holding on to someone who's decided to leave you that's always been bothering me right? If they know they have made a decision, at least at least you know, thank for thank them for their contributions for however long they were with you and then just you know ease their separation processes. Even even the separation process that we do at Softway. We make it easy on them, we talk to the IT teams to ensure to collect their assets. We talk to the employee Okay, this is your last day Have you decided on a transition plan. We talked to the PM if to see if they have understood and how the KT plan will go. And then we also ensure from our end, we also inform the accounts team so that they can ensure the payroll stops on the right time. And we ensure in terms of us that okay all the documents are in place it's being sent to them on the last day and we don't withhold their payroll for two months which a lot of companies do again, we we do the full and final settlement in that particular month in which takes so it doesn't hamper them. So all that is an experience. And while they are here while they are here, at any given point, any of their five six of us in the HR team and we have partnered with different track teams that we have. And at any given point we are their point of contact anything let it be your leaves your If you have having a lousy day, we always tell them, ping us, we will talk to you we are we always have an ear out for you. It's up to them that they want to choose to share it with us or not. But that also is because of the relationship that we build them. And because relationships and behaviors are the crux of our culture, it's, even if I have to give them a feedback, or if they want to give me a feedback, if I want to tell them something, ask them something, it always becomes easier if we build a relationship with them, and they have a relationship with us. So I think that makes it very important for me, like at every stage of the employee, how we are and the kind of experience we give all that matters.

Frank Danna
You know, so it's, it's interesting that you brought that up. Because, you know, if we want to have a little bit of a book time, page 29 of our book, if you want to turn with me there, physically or digitally, we've got our framework, which is the actual approach that we use as an organization and what we communicate to other organizations as how you can create better business outcomes through your behavior. And you showcased it, by the way you communicate it kind of every facet of the experience of an employee, when we are able to create a culture where we're able to treat each other well treat each other with humanity. We can unlock business outcomes, like cost containment, higher revenue, you know, better performance, operational efficiency, all of those things can be unlocked, by the way we behave. But there's a flip side to that, as well. And the other side of it is what happens when we aren't behaving well with each other. And and I think what's what's interesting about your position, and what you are working towards and working on is you have a very interesting vantage point for at least from my perspective around what it looks like the invisible cost of misbehavior. And, and I think that would be a very interesting kind of conversation to talk about. Because when most organizations or most individuals that we speak with, they say, how can you pinpoint what a bad culture is actually costing us? Because, you know, we, we have a good culture. But you may actually not be taking to account the impact of behavior as it pertains to the bottom line. And I think that would be an interesting kind of conversation topic around what you've noticed, and you've seen about how that can actually create, you know, the opposite of what we're trying to get, which is poor performance, employees leaving reduction in revenue. Can we start there?

Alka R Bharadwaj
Yeah, sure. So I think it's very easy for people to say, because there are a lot of companies with very bad cultures who are still making great money. But what they don't see is what they're losing. So this happened when one of the teams at Softway, were known for their internal disturbances, there were certain issues, but in terms of delivery, and they were winning projects, they were doing great. And then it got us thinking as part of culture and comms, that okay. Okay, then where is tying into what is happening here, because there are disturbances, but they are generating revenue, how's that, and then I, it got me thinking and then, because I was also hiring, and I'll tell you how it's connected. So because of the internal disturbances, they were people leaving that teams, not just the team, but the organization. And then I, I was making the job post I was talking to like, the resourcing manager, the project manager, or not so many people who was who are, who are talking about what kind of replacements do we get, what kind of new talents do we get? And then that led to me thinking okay, when the person gives their notice, take from that point, the project manager has to stop everything, instead of making the team better. He has to address this. He has to go talk to someone, his senior, I mean, any organization for that matter, his senior or his peer, where it can be, how it can be addressed, should we retain them, should we not retain them? That's a conversation this time spent on that. Then coming next, okay. Then there's a talent allocation team that decides, okay, we don't have any internal talent. So we need someone new. That's another sometime that's spent there. Then They come to me, the HR team. And they said, Okay, we have to start recruiting, start your work, do what it takes. So from HR standpoint, technology becomes obsolete very, very quickly. Like, I think what is new today is old like tomorrow. So I need to rework on the JD(Job desciption). So I need to get the best of the tech guys in that meeting and then get the JD ready that sometime and then I have to post it in 1-1-1 of the websites. And I wait for them and I wait for the resumes for two to three days. So that I get I because I need to then get another technical person who can shortlist and it doesn't make sense each time there's only 10 resumes I call the person to shortlist. So I wait for like 30-35 resumes, which can come across in three to three days. And then I sit with them for half an hour and then shortlist. And then sometimes it happens that in those 30-35 estimates, I get just two good ones. So I know it's this portal is not working for me right now. So then I have to explore different portals. And the pricing is different. And each of these job posts cost something. I'm not saying that we shouldn't have it and we shouldn't get new talent, we should get new blood always into any organization because that will help build the new process. But I'm talking specifically about the replacement, which is connected to someone who left because of a behavioral issue of someone's behavioral issue on the team or more than one, I'm not sure. So it's very case specific. And then after I make the job posts, and then I have to schedule the interview in the next week, I set up at least five to six each week with different people say there are 30-30 resumes, who came sorry, 50 resumes, let's take 50 resumes that come in. Then we shortlist 20 of them. So I sheduled 20 interviews, and each of our technical interviews one hour, whoever is spending, I mean our internal talents, it's 20 hours worth of time. That's there's a cost of delay there. Then, in that 20 hours, say 10 clear the technical round, then comes the HR. In a term, we usually have two people. So in that 10 people 10 people into two, so there's another 20 hours that's invested. And in that say, five of them, clear both rounds, and I make them the offer. The competition is so so hard here that I can expect 50% offer declines, meaning if I make offer to five people, I can only be sure that two will join. And sometimes I can't even be sure of that. So and Okay, say with our luck, I get two people who who actually agreed to join us, then I have to maintain the connection during their notice period of one or two months so that they are engaged with us. And that is an investment that is definitely an investment. But it's also time, then what happens once they join, they immediately can't contribute even though they are experienced with freshers there is there is the time that we have to invest in training them and asking them what they learn in terms of experienced people, they come with the experience, but they also need to understand the project, they also need to understand the people, then that takes another two weeks, and then they contribute. So if you look at it, there is a huge delay.

Frank Danna
That's amazing. Time is money.

Alka R Bharadwaj
Yes. And that is cost of re-learning. Because if the person say the say all the behavior was good. Let's look at the other side note. Right? If the team does if teams are high performing teams, high functioning teams, good behavior, they will only look at how I can make the project better how I can make the code better. You know, and all of this delay won't be there and someone is also becoming unhappy while they're leaving. That will also cost our employer branding. Okay, okay, you're talking about it, but I didn't get to experience what you're talking about. Then we have to address Okay, how do we how do we how do we make you Okay, you've decided fine, but how do we make it easy for you? You know, and the person's last resort would be to leave before that. They might have spent or they might have tried. That is also an issue. And while all these interviews are happening, too many interviews also impact the interviewers mental health because they are taking away their time, other than their work time. So eight hours of work plus another hour, they spend that one hour is gone for them. And it's it's of no use if the person hasn't joined. So there is there is time, there is mental effort. And there is there's a cost of re-learning, that will again lead to delay. So if if the if there were high performing teams, and if the if they had a great relationship with the client, so we have a good, we have a great respect as an employer, we have a great respect as a partner for our client, because it's a great team, good people talk well, they match well. And I think even for them, because like how Mohammad says that most of our awake hours, we spend at our office, that actually they'll be having a satisfied job, like where they are happy, where, where they are they where they feel fulfilled. But if they're in, in a setting, which is constantly toxic, or if this, it's all an effort, right? It's it's it doesn't involve cost per se, but as a person is costing them as a company, it will cost at a at a stage and these things may not be monetary, okay, I can, I can give you the specifics of how much I spend for the job. But that time, the payroll that is given to me that is given to her, I mean, not payroll, so a salary that has given, it's all for the work that has been done. So everything is a cost. And, and I as a recruiter, if I don't have to, if if I didn't have to recruit so many people and in this market, imagine what I could contribute to, I could contribute to our culture, I could talk, I could have more one on ones with my people, I can build better relationships, I can improve and build on the culture that we have. But that is stolen from me because I need to fill in the gaps of the talent that we have

Frank Danna
stolen. Yeah.

Jeff Ma
I really appreciate you breaking down all the nuances of where these like this, this costs comes out of the process, because I think, I think a lot of people, especially our audience here probably understand that a high level that turnover is bad, it costs something and there's a there's a there's that inherent cost to it. But hearing the all the specific places where time, money, energy and inefficiency is sucked out of a an organization is, is is so important to hear. And and I love that you connect it all the way back to behaviors, because that's the kind of message I think that's hard to get through to people. Because people don't realize that whether you're a manager or anybody just in an organization, when you are in that meeting, and you have that feeling or you see someone say something or do something that's just wrong, and a lot of times we just end up being like, well, that's, that's just Chris, that's just how he is. And we all kind of just accept those types of things, right? Like, we don't connect, that that that thing that we're accepting is this is this starting point for all this other really, you know, even if you're just here to do the job, even if you know you don't care about culture, you don't care about love or people you just want business success. Well, like people connect that that that very Hey, you still have to care about behavior. If you're here just for the work, your work is impacted. Because when that team member when that person who did that goes and upset somebody else or reaches a certain point for another team member and that team member leaves that team members void falls back on you that that work that's left that that knowledge transfer you have to do for the next person who comes in that that extra rework you have to do to relearn what they were doing and fix it. All that comes back to you. And so I try to you know, I struggle I'm so glad you shared this because I think people don't get that like some people like I respect people who are like, I'm not about you know, lovey dovey stuff. I don't need to, like, become friends of my co workers. I'm like, fair, but it doesn't mean you can disregard what the impact of culture to a business so thank you so much. For sure.

Alka R Bharadwaj
Yeah. And it's it's not even just about the behavior, right? I'm not telling that go love that person or give them a hug. No, don't. But like have you had had a day where someone said something very mean to you. And then your day was off because I've had days where it Started with a lousy meeting where someone really treated me in a certain way. And I couldn't make recruitment calls that HR should do for two hours. Because I know I should be in a good headspace to talk to a candidate because it's my first touch point with him or her. And it's just that simple. So imagine those teams were the leads for the managers are so toxic, and people are almost dying every day just to work. Instead, just imagine them being happy. And imagine how much the productivity can increase. It's not like they have to love their job to do it, know, whatever they are doing their headspace will be in a certain way where they can actually contribute.

Chris Pitre
And I think the other thing that many leaders Miss is, how much of a person's role isn't documented anywhere. Right? So yes, we can have knowledge transfer from the team. But the reality is that most of the knowledge that someone leaves with is not documented, I think it's like, it's a crazy high percentage things over 40% of a person's role is not documented. And so if you're expecting someone to step in, even in two weeks, let's say they get fully up to speed on the project, the client, etc, they still have to fill in 40% plus of the previous person's knowledge in order to be as effective as the person that left who may have been a high performer. And so when you factor in that type of hidden costs, where you're like, Well, why can't this team get it back together? They were such high performing team, we could go analysis, like what's going on? And that costs the business, and many leaders just don't understand that impact.

Alka R Bharadwaj
What you said is like, totally right, because when you said that, all I could think was, if I was a client facing person, and I felt a certain relation with him or her, I just leave, the relationship also goes away. And that person would have built that kind of trust in me. And that is irreplaceable. The person, the new person will have to forge a new relationship and build a new kind of trust or spend enough time and you know, consistent deliveries for that person to be trusted. But they'll that that. What do you say that that reference bias? I don't I'm not sure. Reference

Chris Pitre
referent power?

Alka R Bharadwaj
No, I think it's where you know, someone and you want the next person to be the exact copy of them.

Chris Pitre
Yeah. recency recency? Yeah, yeah,

Alka R Bharadwaj
I think

Chris Pitre
that's fine. You're just saying, Yeah, yeah, we don't just say so the person. So if a client had a relationship with someone that left, they're expecting the next person to be just as good or the same or similar or treat them the same. And when that isn't realized, even if that person is great, even if that person is still handling the business of the client, is still not the same, and therefore the client sees the partnership differently.

Alka R Bharadwaj
And I think it impacts a lot for the client, too, right? Because, like, it's like replacing a friend in another company.

Chris Pitre
Yeah. Yeah. In services, much of the work is sort of therapeutic for clients, right? Like, I always tell everyone that, like, we hear the clients real feelings, they can be honest with the vendor more so than they can be with their boss. You know, the fact that, you know, I think it's what, over 50% of people trust strangers over their bosses. Right? We build that relationship where they confide in us, they share their innermost sort of feelings about the company, the direction the project is going, the direction the bosses are getting. And to have that sort of stripped you know, you can't transfer trust, trust is non transferable. So you can't just put somebody new in in the blank, well, it's still software, right, and then expect the same depth of relationship to be there. It hasn't rebuilt over time.

Alka R Bharadwaj
I'm not talking about it as a third party. If you guys didn't know, I was also an engineer earlier. So I was actually a QA on one of the client projects. And I had to interface with a client for a certain for for certain things for some sign offs. And the first few weeks was very mechanical, very transactional, and at every call, I would have with them I would naturally ask How's the weather? How are you doing? Just before it starts and it built relationship over time and after a while, they will trust me, even if I recommend something to them. That was the power of relationships. And I couldn't do it if if I wasn't in the headspace or if I wouldn't give importance to them as a person but not not as not just as a client But okay, they're also humans. They were in the UK and they had lousy weather on a lot of days. It was rainy, it was foggy and they still made it to work. It was a big deal for them.

Frank Danna
Yeah.

Chris Pitre
I love the UK. I consider that you know, God misting and giving, you know, some very beautiful green grass. Like when you fly into London, I'm telling you that grass is just beautiful, the grass is greener. So I think it's just a cost they have to pay. But you know, but also also the benefit is that you get to wear some really nice coats. The coats in London are bar none. So it just makes sense that I see it. Like so I hear you it's still you know, rainy, you know, foggy.

Alka R Bharadwaj
Let's have a Seneca session there, Chris.

Frank Danna
Let's go. I think I think it's interesting because, you know, oftentimes we talk about love on this podcast is literally called love as a business strategy. But again, that the core tenants and the pillars of love that we're talking about are these tangible, actionable ways that we treat each other. Right. So we're not talking about giving people hugs, we're talking about trusting, we're talking about being inclusive, being empathetic, being forgiving, being vulnerable, being empowering. And when you have that, in a team, or in a group of people, you're naturally able to bring your full self and you're, you're able to create an environment for others to feel like they can bring their selves as well. And Alka, what I was thinking about too, is how long it takes for someone to know they're unhappy in a team, and then make up their mind to leave and how much wasted opportunity by someone not even wanting to show up and do the work but being like being forced to or having to, because they just have to do the job. Right. And so I think that that matters, that even that that timeframe from when it could be weeks, it could be months, it could be years, when someone says I'm not happy here. And I'm kind of done. But they're still showing up to work. I think that's an interesting way of connecting those dots to is thinking about the impact that that has, when someone has already checked out from a team. And, and the the outsized role that a leader has, in being able to produce a relationship, like you mentioned, that is founded on being more inclusive, or empathetic or vulnerable, or even forgiving, right. And that's why we talked about this so much, because we're trying to help people and organizations see themselves not as having to use the word love. But it's having to act in ways that create an environment for people where all of this unnecessary stuff doesn't have to happen. And where you retain talent that truly wants to be a part of the team, and you're able to get great work done and not miss out on revenue.

Alka R Bharadwaj
I think another thing is the mistake, what we say when we giving we are giving back to the community. It's not that you don't you have to go teach like 50 students or send money to somewhere. If you are being part of the system, if you're being part of any system. You are including people in you and contributing to someone to our employees, mental health or your organization's success. Everything is giving back to the community because who are who was community, we all our community. And if you don't, if you don't have to plant like 100 trees to make make a point. Just Just get more happy people on the planet. I think that should be a big deal.

Jeff Ma
I love that this is an author,

Frank Danna
this is pure, this is pure fire, like what you're talking about right now is just . Like, think about that for a second. It worked. Yeah. Executive Producer Maggie says taken me to church. That's what she just said, Take me to church. What is community but people and we we treat people well inside of a company and they go home and are happy and they treat their family well, and they care for their their parents and their relatives. And they they do for others as a result of feeling included? Like it's just it's as beautiful.

Chris Pitre
Can we sort of like shift gears a little bit and like right now and in many of our podcasts, we talked about the positive sides of sort of retaining the talent and like the regretable, which are some people that you don't want to leave. But what we rarely talk about is when there are people who are not living those values, and what do you do with them, because most more than likely, those are not the ones who are leaving on their own time. Those are not the ones who are you know, getting recruited and or entertaining offers because one, they're likely more comfortable and their behavior and they've gotten away with a lot. They've been rewarded for their loyalty. You know, we have been guilty of rewarding people for loyalty at Softway. But I know that that's also a challenge for many people, which is, you know, what is accountability inside of this culture and, you know, as a recruiter, as someone who's again through that entire employee lifecycle, what does that look like when you have those misbehaviors from people consistently, that is costing great talent, like how do you or what do you recommend for listeners and viewers who might be in a situation where it's like, I want my bad ones to maybe leave if they're not on board, and I want to keep the good ones. But that also means that the good ones have to endure at some to some degree, these behaviors that we know are not good while we try and uproot and sort of prune where necessary.

Alka R Bharadwaj
I think that, so, yes, what you said is, right, so when, when there are people who don't believe in this period end up impacting people who actually are living it, and it will be like, Okay, why is why are the rules different, I'm doing my best, but you're still being very mean and bad person to me. So I think feedback for me has worked like, I'm not perfect, either. I've had my days, I've been mean to certain people. But when actually people bought it to my attention, it was difficult. receiving feedback is not easy. But I've also realized it was my biggest gift because I didn't wait to be so unchangeable that until then, if imagine, my manager, or any of you guys also had waited enough to give me that feedback. And after a certain point, I realized that that is working for me and I won't change. So I will continue to be a mean person for everyone that I meet. And when I was told that Alka, what you said was not right, I think you should have shouldn't have said it in this way. And I was like, I'm so sorry. I will, thank you for keeping me in check. That was the most that has worked for me. So I think if you truly care for someone, instead of, instead of. You know, being all fluffy about it, just tell them where they're going wrong. And I think at that point, they may hate you. But I think true, the most close friends and the truest friends of mine, have have called me my shit when I was that bad person. And that's why I trust them that they are true. And they are trustworthy, because they are not just about my good things. They also see my bad things and tell me that they have the they have the right. It's not just about the right it's about their true caring for me that they have told me that okay, you have your you're not doing it right. And I think for for anyone who's facing that kind of issue, instead of talking to everybody else, or which I have done, which I was guilty of? And I think I would I recommend that they directly talk to them. And we'll call them out like, Hey, I'm not feeling good about what you're doing. And I think you should think about it. And if they still don't think it's on them, or at least you know, you tryed. If you don't try if you don't say, they tell right? If you don't ask the answer is always No, it's like that. So if you don't tell them, they will never know. And that timely feedback is important for anybody and nobody is perfect. Everybody can change for the better. It's like an English exam where there's always a better way to write an essay. You never get 100 on 100. Every person that I think everyone can change for the better. And it's just the choice of them if you want to be better, or if you still want to be stuck in the muck that you want to be. Well,

Jeff Ma
I'll go that's you're just full of true wisdom. And I really appreciate all the all this stuff. It's amazing.

Alka R Bharadwaj
No, I've made so many mistakes that I have to do that.

Jeff Ma
Wisdom.

Alka R Bharadwaj
I'm still making it though,

Jeff Ma
that's. So oftentimes, in this show, we're often narrowed in on on individual, like we would narrow it on like a leader and we narrow in on just one person's role on a team and things like that. And I really appreciate this conversation, because I think we don't zoom out often enough to see the end end process, as you mentioned, even I call it recruiting to start but really, it's more than recruiting it's like from sourcing all the way through the process and joining and then while they're working, and then when they leave is a whole life cycle, where culture is infused in every single part of it. And I really appreciate the amount of detail you share here to give all of us that open our eyes to just how much goes into that and just where culture can actually fit in every piece of it. And you know, I think that perspective is so important because when we get narrowed when we narrow down to two specific we get over, you know, we get too focused on just oh, we just got to be nice to people and we have to take care of it. It's important, but we also forget just this true business. The revenue impacts the true cost. And the true big picture of it all, why it matters, why we call it love as a business strategy, because the business benefits and hurts from these, these types of things. And so that was why we want to talk to you today. And we got that in more. And, and some philosophy mixed in there and everything and just amazing insights. So first and foremost, thank you so much, Alka for being here today. But also for continuing to, you know, every day away from this show, putting in the effort to make sure that love is felt included, and experienced as Softway. So thank you so much for everything that you do. I'll go first and foremost,

Chris Pitre
just thank you.

Alka R Bharadwaj
Thank you for having me. It was a nice conversation.

Jeff Ma
Absolutely. And I know this wasn't like, we know, Frank invited you. And at first it was like, You were like, Oh, I don't know if I want to go. But you you you were an amazing guest. And I really really, truly appreciated all the wisdom you shared, I learned a lot. So thank you for that time and staying up late to do this.

Alka R Bharadwaj
Thank you so much.

Jeff Ma
For our audience. Hope you enjoyed that. I know I did. Thank you for tuning in. I want to make sure I always always remind you to please check out our book. It goes into detail about all these things that we talked about. And you can find it on Amazon and other retailers. please do check it out love as a business strategy. And on the podcast. We post the episodes every Wednesday. If you like what you hear, please do tell your friends. subscribe, give us a five star rating, all that good stuff. And with that, I want to thank Frank and Chris as well. And as always everybody have a good day.

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