Future of happy employees

People leave bosses not companies.

According to a survey one in two people leave their company because of their boss. So there is a 50% probability that if someone left your team, it is due the discord between the employee and their manager.

Manager is the reason for an employee’s success and growth in an organization. He is their caretaker, their adviser and their peer. If a manager does not play this role effectively, organizations lose best of their talents and ultimately pay the price in the long run.

Why does this happen? Is the Manager at fault all the time?

It is not the manager’s fault completely. In the dynamic environment that we work in, manager is not only required to do get things done from others but is also answerable for his own projects and deadlines. This is when the other responsibility takes a back seat.

Keeping up with every single person in the team is a hard task. You cannot know everything about everyone at all times.One definitely needs help / assistance.

An assistant who knows all about your team, their performance, their competencies, their weakness, their strengths, their professional goals and their performance. This assistant on demand can give you all the information and help you be the manager that your employees dream about.

How great would that be?

Pretty cool we thought, and hence brought Mili into existence.

So who or what is Mili?

It’s an age of connectivity and creativity, an age where one way of being connected is simply not enough. While social media networking showcases fantastic ways of innovation in being connected, corporate too are cashing in on the hype.

Traditional approach of quarterly, half yearly or annual appraisal processes involve last minute scrambling of ratings and rewards often ended with little or no room for personal as well as professional improvement.

Mili is your personal assistant/companion who triggers messages according to your interaction with your team members. The App analyses the pain points of your employees and helps you help them overcome these. If an employee’s performance is low because of lack of a certain skill, the app prompts you to send him for a relevant training, the app also follows up with you WRT the outcome of the training. If you haven’t interacted with your team for a long period of time it reminds you to interact with them.

What does Mili do (explained in 3 points)
Engaging Disconnected Teams — Constant companion for Manager to engage with employees and drive results
Performance Development — Track and manage performance & team learning through live interactions
Data Driven Talent Management — Real-time data and analytics to drive manager’s decision
Analytics Screen

Let’s talk tech:

An idea is just the beginning, the next step was to bring it all together, a tougher challenge at hand.

Choosing a tech stack was the first step. We had an added advantage here as there were 3 developers with us who had the knowledge of 3 different technologies. (C#,RoR and Objective C)

The languages we used were as follows:

  • Ruby on Rails
  • HTML & JavaScript
  • Objective C

Two days technically means an approximate of 20hrs to finish a hack. So as much as our engineers love to write original code, in this sort of a time frame, it only makes sense to use appropriate tools which gets things done faster.

Snapshot of what we achieved in 2 days:

Hack day 1:

  • Design Prototype: Marvel is ideal for creating fast, click-through prototypes for web and mobile apps. Checkout our awesome designs here
  • API design: Mili relies heavily on APIs. We went with Rails 5 with api only mode. Rails provides a set of defaults that allows developers to get up and running quickly, without having to make a lot of trivial decisions.
  • User Interface: Bringing the prototypes to live was very challenging for the iOS developer as we were demanding pixel perfect implementation of the design. (looks matter, don’t they :P)

Hack day 2:

  • Analytics/Insights: Mili collects a lot of insights about the employees and it was quite challenging to represent the data in different charts. We chose to use the following libraries “Highcharts’, ‘D3.js’ and ‘Plotly.js’
  • Push notifications: Implementing push notifications on a mobile platform, especially in iOS, is not the most straightforward task. After some research we chose to use ‘One Signal’ — it just took 15 minutes for us to set up ‘one signal’ as they have automated almost all of the back-end effort

The requirement from the start were very clear. We knew exactly what we wanted and what the end goal was, hence we were able to prioritize and divide our work accordingly. This is the sole reason of achieving all that we showcased through the app in 2 days. We did not have a single change in our requirements which kept our focus at its best.

Our Pitch Tricks and the rest

After the cake is iced we needed to present it to the client (our judges). ‘Never judge a book by it’s cover’ they say, but packaging matters a lot. A good pitch is one which is short, crisp and gets the audience hooked on to you. We had leading HR Professionals as our judges, hence it was ideal to customise our pitch to that audience, having said that we had a couple of them who were not from that industry, so the trick was to use examples that everyone connects to instantly and weave a story around it. Everyone loves a good story.

The pitch was divided into 5 parts,

  1. Problem Statement
  2. Solution
  3. How the solution works
  4. Why would the solution work
  5. Why the problem at hand is of the utmost importance to resolve

We were one among the very few teams that finished their pitch in time. We didn’t spend time in explaining the app separately, the PPT was in flow with the pitch, and so was the demo. Had we separated the both we would have ended up taking a lot of time. We also focused on only the star attractions and left the rest to show if needed during the Q&A session. We had already jotted down a list of things that the judges would ask us as we did not showcase everything, leaving room for some doubt in their minds, which later on we would resolve :) pretty good trick and it worked in our favour.

What we loved about the 2 days was the understanding within the team. We were all exactly on the same page at all times. We leveraged our mentors to the fullest. Lunch room talks gave us insight from a competitor’s perspective and brainstorming sessions helped us understand each other’s perspective and ideas. Small things like these go a long way.

And that folks is the recipe for success.. Oh and it also helps when you have an awesome sauce team :D

Arun | Mithun | Govardhan | Sourabh | Nikita | Raksha | Dileep — the winners :)