Human-centered is caring about every employee genuinely.
Dictated by Diana Lu, Senior HR Specialist, iKala
Written by Iris Hung
Compared with the software startups I've worked with in the past, iKala displays a greater degree of flexibility. Within reason, the company gives the workers enough room to try new ideas. It maintains an open attitude that encourages innovation, and it does not berate or punish employees for unintentional mistakes.
For new members of our company, besides orientation on the first day and onboarding training, they are also invited to go onstage and introduce themselves during our TGIF all-hands meetings. TGIF is a company-wide event where newcomers can quickly get up to speed about what's happening in the company. What's more, from their first day of work, the company encourages managers to schedule regular one-on-one meetings with the new blood to help them evaluate their own work and set performance goals.
Another practice that's worthy of note is that after a full month with the company, HR will also conduct a one-on-one meeting with the new employee. A newly hired employee is bound to have questions about the new environment; they may still be unclear about the rules and processes within the company, or about their own career paths. For those who lack work experience, they may even be unsure about how to solve the problems they face, how to ask for help, or how to ask the right questions. Usually, I try to guide them so they can figure out what is confusing them, or what kind of obstacles they are facing, by themselves. In this way, they learn their role is not only to ask questions, but to try to figure out the answers. This helps them come up with proposals they can discuss with their managers, after which they may discover an even better solution. In essence, I want newcomers to learn to think for themselves and to acquire problem-solving skills. Such meetings at the end of the first month not only help employees grow, they also effectively alleviate any difficulty a newcomer might face, such as trouble adapting, a loss of direction, or a sense of frustration.
I am one of the more senior members of the HR department in the company. I have empirical data and past experiences to rely upon. Whenever there are new employees on my team, I always try my best to help them, even if I am not appointed their mentor. Every time someone asks me a question, I do more than provide answers—I explain the reasoning behind my methods and why my way works. This allows newcomers to learn about the company more quickly. It also gives them a chance to think, to analyze and comprehend what they've learned, and to discover a new way of working that suits them best.
At iKala, HR is given plenty of room to demonstrate our professionalism. The company also adopts a comprehensive approach to hiring new talent. We conduct peer interviews with potential candidates because different members of the team may think of new aspects to consider. In addition to what the job position requires, we also carefully consider whether iKala is suitable for the interviewee, and what kind of future they can expect to find here. Our coworkers express their full confidence in and utmost respect for the HR department. For example, during interviews, some departments may express interest in a certain candidate, but HR may have doubts or misgivings. Most of the time, the team is willing to take our professional advice under serious consideration, and review whether the candidate is fit for the position.
Many people say the HR department at iKala is different, because the HR departments of many other companies are indifferent—they don't contact you unless strictly necessary, and most employees are unwilling to proactively bring questions to or discuss matters with HR. I believe iKala's HR is different because we give from our hearts, and we provide our colleagues with the greatest support we can. In return, our coworkers reward us with their respect and trust. This is part of the innate beauty that flows within iKala, and it creates a sustainable, positive cycle of reciprocation.