How to Build an Employee-Centric Culture

Mahim Mishra of TalentQuest shares his secrets for cre­at­ing bonds across your team.

Mahim Mishra is the pres­i­dent and CRO of Tal­en­tQuest. Tal­en­tQuest pro­vides a tal­ent man­age­ment and devel­op­ment plat­form that auto­mates tra­di­tion­al tal­ent process­es, lever­ages behav­ioral sci­ence, gen­er­ates pre­scrip­tive insights and guid­ance, and allows orga­ni­za­tions to shift from a one size fits all solu­tion to an indi­vid­u­al­ized approach to tal­ent man­age­ment and development. 

In addi­tion to being unique in its offer­ings across the board, Tal­en­tQuest boasts a healthy com­pa­ny cul­ture that is cer­tain­ly brag­wor­thy. We recent­ly caught up with Mahim and he spoke on the impor­tance of employ­ee cen­tric­i­ty and cre­at­ing bonds across your team.

TalentQuest’s Unique System

Tal­en­tQuest was found­ed 50 years ago. There has been a lot of evo­lu­tion over the years, both in terms of the busi­ness mod­el and the work­ing environment.

Tal­en­tQuest was found­ed by two psy­chol­o­gists in 1972. The com­pa­ny spe­cial­ized in per­form­ing behav­ioral assess­ments for orga­ni­za­tions that were look­ing for new can­di­dates. At the time, they record­ed all of their assess­ments with pen and paper. 

In the mid-1980s, the com­pa­ny start­ed to shift towards soft­ware. They cre­at­ed an assess­ment with 16 para­me­ters to deter­mine com­pe­ten­cy in poten­tial hires. Then, the com­pa­ny real­ly began to grow around 1985. They invest­ed more and more into their new assess­ment pro­gram and focused on build­ing a team. 

From those behav­ioral assess­ments, Tal­en­tQuest was able to deter­mine what dri­ves an employ­ee. They went on to cre­ate suc­ces­sion plan­ning” to go along with the assess­ment, and that’s how the com­pa­ny grew its process which sets it apart from its competitors.

Based on the ques­tions from the assess­ment you can pro­vide tal­ent insights and it can map team strengths and weak­ness­es. Most com­pa­nies will do an assess­ment and tell you where the per­for­mance gaps may be, while Tal­en­tQuest goes a step fur­ther and shows skill gaps and gives advice on how to fill them.

It rec­om­mends cours­es, free mate­ri­als, and books (they have a library of 250 resources) that you can take to help close those skill gaps. The com­pa­ny fol­lows the life of employ­ees’ devel­op­ment with­in an orga­ni­za­tion and even offers con­sult­ing. That in and of itself speaks a lot about what is so impor­tant to Tal­en­tQuest: the employ­ee expe­ri­ence.

Employee Centricity as a Core Value

Tal­en­tQuest was always very US-cen­tric, but now they also have an office in India. A lot of the devel­op­ment work for soft­ware is done in India and a large por­tion of their employ­ees are cur­rent­ly locat­ed there. That means that their team is sep­a­rat­ed by over 4,500 miles and works in dif­fer­ent time zones.

This could nat­u­ral­ly pose a prob­lem with­in the com­pa­ny cul­ture. As the world moves more and more toward the remote work busi­ness mod­el, it begs the ques­tion: How to cre­ate brag­wor­thy cul­ture when your team is scat­tered across the globe?

The answer? Always put your employ­ees first.

Hav­ing employ­ee cen­tric­i­ty as a val­ue is cru­cial for Tal­en­tQuest. High­er-ups with­in the orga­ni­za­tion trav­el to India mul­ti­ple times a year to con­nect with their employ­ees. They even go so far as to put their employ­ees above prof­its. Team mem­bers actu­al­ly feel that they have a stake in the company. 

When peo­ple feel hap­py at their job they will be more pro­duc­tive. Tal­en­tQuest takes this idea very seri­ous­ly — they give their employ­ees an annu­al sur­vey on how they feel at work. They take a good hard look at the results and are always work­ing on improv­ing sat­is­fac­tion met­rics and scores. 

They do oth­er things like cel­e­brat­ing wins, big or small. They have an Employ­ee Appre­ci­a­tion Week, team events, awards, and cel­e­bra­tions like Anvil Day in India. From a cul­tur­al per­spec­tive, Tal­en­tQuest does much to pro­mote employ­ee sat­is­fac­tion. Most of all, they make them feel val­ued and ful­filled at work.

Creating a Bond Makes a Difference

Most orga­ni­za­tions have a head­quar­ters where the cul­ture lives. It’s where you find all of the perks, ben­e­fits, and rela­tion­ships nec­es­sary for a sense of belong­ing. For com­pa­nies like these, it’s only nat­ur­al that remote work­ers feel like out­siders. Things couldn’t work more dif­fer­ent­ly at Tal­en­tQuest. The com­pa­ny has gone to great lengths to make sure that they are inten­tion­al about con­nect­ing folks around the world. 

Covid has giv­en peo­ple the flex­i­bil­i­ty to work from any­where and to work dif­fer­ent hours, which means there is a lot of choice on the job mar­ket. You can stand out and attract tal­ent by focus­ing on the bond that you cre­ate with your peo­ple. It’s not always the pay­check that binds you — com­pa­ny cul­ture goes way beyond that. You need to have a shared vision of where you’re going together. 

Focus on get­ting employ­ees to meet togeth­er and con­nect. This can be in the form of in-per­son meet-ups, com­pa­ny-wide cel­e­bra­tions, and even remote after-work bond­ing ses­sions. That’s how they will come togeth­er and real­ize the shared vision of where the entire com­pa­ny is going. If you’re in a lead­er­ship posi­tion in your own orga­ni­za­tion, con­sid­er trav­el­ing to meet your team where they are. Allow the rela­tion­ship between employ­er and employ­ee to be more per­son­al so that you can share that vision and mis­sion together.

Find­ing ways to bond over that vision and mis­sion is per­haps most impor­tant when build­ing a healthy and ful­fill­ing com­pa­ny cul­ture. Focus on build­ing and solid­i­fy­ing those work­ing rela­tion­ships so that your peo­ple feel like they’ve made a home for themselves. 

When you can do that, you’re one step clos­er to cre­at­ing a cul­ture that every­one will ben­e­fit from. Remem­ber: when your cul­ture is brag­wor­thy and your employ­ees feel appre­ci­at­ed, every­one wins.

Check Out the Full Episode

Inter­est­ed in learn­ing more about how build­ing an employ­ee-cen­tric work­place cul­ture? Check out the episode of The Brag­Wor­thy Cul­ture pod­cast on Apple or Spo­ti­fy. On this episode of the Brag­Wor­thy Cul­ture Pod­cast, Jor­dan Peace talks with Mahim Mishra, Pres­i­dent and CRO at Tal­en­tQuest. Mahim dis­cuss­es the impor­tance of employ­ee cen­tric­i­ty (not just hav­ing it as a logo on a wall), how Tal­en­tQuest dealt with Covid (no lay­offs, no pay cuts), and why employ­ees need to bond togeth­er, even though remote work­ing is becom­ing more pop­u­lar (it’s one of the best ways to get every­one on the same page about vision).

Look­ing to build your own Brag­Wor­thy Cul­ture? Fringe can help. Fringe is the num­ber one lifestyle ben­e­fits mar­ket­place. Give your peo­ple the pow­er of choice and save a ton of admin­is­tra­tive headaches by con­sol­i­dat­ing exist­ing ven­dors and pro­grams into a sim­ple, auto­mat­ed plat­form. Talk to our team to get started.