Shivika Garg, Support Manager at Condeco’s branch in Gurgaon, India, successfully manages the support department. Shivika is an experienced professional and has extensive experience in production support environment.
In her second year at Condeco, Shivika has transformed the communication and engagement levels within her department. Although very modest, Shivika is a shining star within the support team, and prides herself on a team which has developed open communication and collaboration.
Leadership in the workplace
“You are joining a new company in a leadership position, become a part of the team first” – Shivika’s father
My team is very important to me. It’s vital to create an atmosphere of open communication>; as a business leader, you need to understand everyone’s personal story and the individual behind the job title. In my team, everyone is looking to improve and develop their own skill sets.
Leaders should have a true interest in their teams’ personalities and their workplace needs. It’s so important to establish a sense of trust with my team, where we can share experiences together, by talking, listening and sharing over a cup of coffee.
“Everyone is different, and that’s what makes it a great place to work.”
As Generation Z are beginning to enter the workforce, and starting their first jobs, what advice would you give your younger self?
The best piece of advice I can offer is to learn to manage your time. Striking a work/life balance is the key to success in both areas. Don’t take your work home. Keep it in the office.
My advice to them is to be stubborn when it comes to pursuing their goals, to stop listening to bad advice or to people who tell you that it’s just too difficult or that you’re not going to make it. Don’t listen to them! Another thing: don’t overthink it. Sometimes you can spend a lot of time hesitating or worrying about the outcomes. Just do your thing, keep going, don’t think about it too much, and everything will be okay.
“Seeing other team members thrive and excel, living their dreams doing meaningful work that they love should help serve as encouragement to others.”
Who are your influences?
There are many influences (politicians, world leaders, business leaders, celebrities, journalists) in our society, who inspires and influences you?
My dad influences me>; he has always been there to support me and regularly offers me advice in my personal and working life. I still remember during my first every internship, it was bad weather and I thought about skipping a day. I spoke to my father who gave me a pep talk, saying: “never skip a day; you have to show up as you never know what is going to happen today”.
His positive words stayed with me, and the underlying message of showing respect to your role and responsibilities and giving all you can has stuck with me to this day. Most importantly, my managers or the team I have worked with have always been very supportive and have understood my strengths.
“However small or large, you should always accept the responsibility for the work assigned to you”
What has been your biggest challenge in the workplace?
Handling a large group of employees can be a big challenge; there are plenty of personalities to manage, and getting this right can be a massive benefit to your business. One of the first tasks was to open clear and concise line of communication to everyone, removing any preconceived perceptions the team may have. We opened up all channels for the team to learn and discover about each other, creating a sense of community and rapport.
“I don’t want the door to close, communication should always flow.”
Having a large workforce brings with its knowledge and experience, how do you effectively use all your talent to problem solve and bring innovation in technology?
Understanding your team and their skills is vital to success; we do this through monthly catch-up meetings, which help our business leaders connect with the team. In our team, we have provided a continuous learning experience, which includes training sessions for everyone and collaborating via digital tools such as Slack. It is important to understand the past experience or background of every team member.
Their experiences might help us in achieving what we have been striving for from a long time. Communication is key to successful problem solving, and using the right technology in the right space can any issue in harmony.
“One [skill to have as a manager] is a desire to solve problems. I like to knit, which is a form of problem-solving.”
Generations in the workplace
Every generation brings new workplace advancements, innovation and technology. How do you effectively motivate each different generation (baby boomers, gen x, millennials etc.)?
The team is a very diverse group of people, across all ages, genders and backgrounds. As well as individuals, each generation brings their own set of complexities and different elements, but as long as you have compassion and understanding for everyone’s work/life balance and can be flexible, then managing a diverse range of generations won’t be an issue.
Reward and recognition programmes, no matter how small or large, are a great way to drive productivity and employee engagement. Being the customer service team, we have initiated monthly rewards for our team, for example, we run a voucher incentive (cash/dinner vouchers/movie vouchers) for individuals with the high customer satisfaction survey results for the month. We also have a “Wall of Fame” where we pin up positive comments from our clients about specific team members. All these small initiatives just boost up the confidence of the team and strive them to achieve more.
“Having a community, even just someone else to talk to who’s in a similar experience, helps you support one another.”
Women in technology
What does being a woman in technology mean to you?
Being a woman in technology, as you can imagine I’ve had my share of gender discrimination in previous roles. I think there is definitely a lack of women in technology. A lot of times I see computer science being marketed towards kids with robots and video games, which are typically things boys are more interested in, but the truth is you can do anything with technology.
Every day we interact with technology in hundreds of different ways and all of those are opportunities to make a difference in the world. I have always been a positive person and won’t let one person’s view change the course of my ambition or career choices, so I have kept on moving forward. Here at Condeco, gender, age or background has never stood in the way of anyone’s career; the managers across the globe have always been supportive and recognise you for your talent and ambition.
“My personal mission is outreach towards young girls (to show them) this is what a career in technology can be.”