Engineers were trained in business communication, critical thinking and conflict management.
We at Kovai.co recently conducted “Communicraft” a two-day communication training workshop for our product engineers in the Coimbatore office. 100-odd engineers from different product teams were trained in time management, business communication, critical thinking, conflict management, and paying attention to detail. Sindhu Kalyanaraman and Sundar K K of city-based Ignite Akademi conducted the training programme spread across two weeks.
Kovai.co has always encouraged people to constantly upskill themselves so they see personal development in multiple directions. We have several programs, like an employee wallet, where people can get reimbursed for upskilling themselves. We also regularly conduct training programs for our employees to improve their productivity.
The latest in the series of such training programs was “Communicraft”. The aim was to enhance people’s sense of ownership so they lead by example. “People must know why they are doing what they are doing” says Sindhu. “This is especially true of product engineers who often have to interact and work with customers,” she says. “If people don’t understand how their work contributes to the company’s vision, they will all be sailing in different directions with their work achieving no purpose,” she adds.
Participants took up multiple activities, including games, group activities, role-play, brainstorming sessions, and watching a few audio-visual guides, followed by some exercises to be implemented after the program.
We wanted to achieve unity of thought. So we made every participant arrive at a monetary value of their contribution to Kovai.co’s vision statement, so they can now find ways to improve it, said Sindhu.
Enhancing communication with teammates and customers was an additional focus area. We want to establish an open transparent culture where people are comfortable giving and receiving feedback. People should also be able to disagree freely but accept & listen to different perspectives. We also want to enhance people’s sense of belonging, so they take on more ownership.
Critical thinking, as a concept, was also introduced to participants. A few more similar exercises were conducted to help people identify if they were critical thinkers and how to use their abilities.
The participants said the sessions were lively, gave opportunities to bond with more teammates, and, most importantly, made them take more ownership.
The workshop gave us much more clarity on what our heads expect from us regarding contributing to Kovai.co’s goals and missions. It was an eye-opener to understand the consequences of us missing out on doing something we consider small—like taking follow-up action on feedback, responding to feedback, or attending meetings. While the above may seem small to us, it does impact business, says Pavithira Rajendran, data scientist at Kovai.co.
Saranya Ramakrishnan, senior lead software engineer at Kovai.co, says the sessions helped her understand how to get her team to deliver better.
The sessions made me understand different people’s perspectives and why they sometimes miss out on doing what they should. Instead of giving up on the task, we have now learned to lead by example and get our team to perform more efficiently, she says.
With participants including members from different product teams, many observed that communication among them improved after the program.
It gave us a chance to bond with each other and probably an opportunity to collaborate or share knowledge in the future, says Pavithira.
The training has helped people propel their growth in a unified direction towards the same goal so progress is more focussed. We believe such training programs will also improve our work culture here at Kovai.co.