I sat on the plane in Slovenia and landed in this big, hot, colourful, sometimes hectic, but always interesting city, which each day grows closer to my heart – Delhi.
But let me start at the very beginning of my story. I applied for volunteering work in ETASHA through GLEN – Global Education Network of young Europeans, to work on the field of communication for three months, and luckily got the opportunity to join an amazing team in ETASHA.
In this blog I want to share with you my experience of the work environment at ETASHA, because I think that the most important thing is to have a positive one. In the end we spend at least 8 hours working on all our working days, which is a great amount of time in our lives.
So what makes Etasha so unique that I want to write about it? Working here is different from most of other organizations or companies, especially from capitalistically oriented companies in Europe, and I dare to say, also from lots of other Asian companies.
Here it`s all about people. Being a part of ETASHA means being a part of a family. Colleagues here don`t share only mutual enthusiasm for their work, but have also lots of favour and kindness for each other. What I find especially positive for a working environment are team lunches. Every day we sit down together, share the most delicious food and have the nicest lunches that you can have with your colleagues. Yes I know that it sounds a bit cheesy, but believe me, that`s really how it is.
The whole organisational spirit is based on mutual satisfaction and appreciation for one another. Every month there is a team meeting and I had the opportunity to be a part of one, which was held at Meenakshi` s (President of ETASHA) house and let me tell you, that was certainly not an “ordinary” one. There were lots of new information, sharing opinions, success stories which motivated all of us, feedback, constructive criticism, but most importantly you could smell the team spirit, positivity and aspirations for being even better in the future. And there was also laughter, lots of it, and also tears. What an emotional meeting, I loved it!
Four of team members had their birthday in the past month so we celebrated together with a delicious chocolate cake and Bengali dessert – Ras Gulla, after having a lunch which was Meenakshi`s treat. Emotions got even more intense when Meenakshi announced that two members, Ian and Vindhya are leaving ETASHA. You could see on their faces that is really hard for them to leave this “family” and I can say, especially for Ian, because I work with him every day, that he`s one hell of a guy and I will definitely miss him and his sense of humour. And both of them will be for sure missed from the rest of the team.
I shared this story with you because ETASHA is a good example of a successful organization and its leadership. It always begins with leadership. But there is a big difference between a good leader and a bad one. A good one always listens to his employees and makes them feel safe in their work environment, put them before profit and doesn`t forget the importance of team buildings. All this reflects in employee’s sense of belonging which is the most important thing for any sustainable company. And this is missing in today’s world.
Nowadays still too many leaders think there has to be hierarchy and that they should reward employees who are best in stabbing others, for getting their way. Unfortunately I had experienced it in my past and must say that it was just horribly when you could see how people are afraid for their jobs because they think they can`t do better and they don`t feel appreciated because they are treated as exchangeable goods.
Collaboration is where the magic happens. And it stays there!