An avid coder, an inquisitive Team Lead who loves to explore, and an outspoken Soliton! Meet Nishanth Rangasamy, the winner of the Team Player of the Year award for 2021 – 22, as he talks to us about building well-knitted teams, his mantra for virtual team bonding, the advantage of being transparent and much more.
1. Congratulations on the winning team player of the year title. What was your reaction to winning the award? And how did you feel when your parents congratulated you on stage [the congratulatory video messages from family members were played on the big screen at the Biz Day event]?
It was totally unexpected! I felt that it was an achievement when I saw my name on the nominee list, but winning the title was overwhelming! I have always loved working with different people, and I am happy that they felt the same way!
My eyes welled up the moment I saw my dad’s face on the big screen! My entire family congratulating me made that day so special!
2. Can you tell us about your team and the projects that you are involved in?
I have been working on 3-4 projects over the past year. One of these projects was a long one and had a big team. Since I was leading this, it was a pre-requisite to connect with many people and to develop a great team bond. Apart from this, I have worked on a couple of large-sized projects, that required a lot of exploration, and which is something I really love doing! It’s all very dynamic and thrilling, and I am really enjoying it!
3. In work from home mode, networking and collaboration has been very difficult, with team members working from different places. How did you still manage to ace it?
Well, for me, it has been a 50-50 take. 50% of the people I worked with were those whom I already had a great bond with, which made collaboration quite easy.
For the newbies, it takes time to build trust. The trick I use is to make myself transparent. Being transparent and open is the best way to solve a problem. This creates a sweet spot that can help people bond. I also have a feedback tracker where we record the team’s experiences, shortcomings, goals etc. Transparency and tracking the team’s goals are my 2 tips for a great team bond.
4. How do you onboard a new member into your team, especially virtually?
I have one-on-one connects, at least twice or thrice a month. These connects are completely non-technical and helps me to understand the person better. This has worked out really well for me in building a great bond.
5. What does your typical day look like?
I am a very process-oriented person, hence I plan and schedule my tasks very religiously. I usually begin my day at 8 am and focus on key tasks until 10 am. My team is up by that time, and I am pulled into team meetings and other tasks until about 1 pm. I set aside a good amount of time for family between 1 and 5 pm. I resume my work after this and close the day by 9 pm.
6. What are your other interests/hobbies?
I love to develop new habits and see how far I am able to stick to them. For example, one of these was to start tracking my expenditure way back in 2017; I still continue with this practice. Apart from this I love to binge watch web series, F.R.I.E.N.D.S being my favorite! (I’ve watched it over 18 times!)
7. Lastly, is there any golden rule that you believe in for building a great team rapport?
Involving your team in all decisions. Involving everyone’s ideas in a decision, be it an experienced engineer or a newbie, creates a great impact and greatly boosts the confidence of the entire team, enabling them to contribute more and achieve more.
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