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Summarizing my Two-years as ‘Kaizener’

Author: Aditya Rawat

As they say, all good things start with a decision to try. Applying for the job of Author & Client Nurturing Officer at Kaizen AMS was one of those things for me. It is a decision which I have always cherished and will cherish in years to come.

The term Kaizen is derived from two Japanese words ‘Kai’ & ‘Zen’ which means ‘continuous improvement’. It is something which is clearly evident in each of its processes & functions. This approach of continuous improvement is the reason why Kaizen has some of the biggest brands in its clientele. The vast amount of credit of this success goes to its expertise, excellence, credibility, trust, and above all efforts to achieve.

So let me share my experiences with Kaizen AMS and what makes it so great.

1. Efficient Interview Process

At several top-notch consulting and management firms’, the interview process is very lengthy and lasts between 6 to 12 months. The primary reason for such a lengthy interview is every single stakeholder wants to evaluate the candidate on all the required skills. However, I can say from my experience, when organizations follow such a lengthy interview process they run a risk of losing many potential candidates as they get hired by some other company during the interview process. Thus, it’s always wise to have a shorter interview process. 

My entire interview process at Kaizen AMS lasted for just 7 days. 3 rounds of interviews and I got an invitation in the form of an ‘Appointment letter’ to be a part of the thriving Kaizen Family.

I firmly believe that the interview process is not only the test of the skills of the interviewee but the interviewer too. The interview process also puts the skills of an interviewer to test on how quickly he/she can judge whether a candidate is a right fit for the organization. Undoubtedly, Kaizen AMS gets a ‘perfect ten’ on this parameter.

2. Employee First Approach

To build a happy clientele, you must have happy employees first as they are the ones who serve your clients. Until the employees are satisfied with what they are doing, they can never make the clients happy. 

The ‘Employee First’ approach is embedded in the culture of Kaizen AMS. The company always puts its best foot forward when it comes to employee satisfaction. The best example I can share is even at the time of economic slowdown in 2020 due to Covid-19,  when companies of all sizes were performing layoffs at a vast scale, Kaizen AMS didn’t lay off any employees due to poor business climate. The company forecasted the economic slowdown well in advance and was well-prepared for it even before the first lockdown was exercised. Thanks to the wisdom and expertise of its visionary leadership.

Unfortunately, it is a common adage of the global corporate sector that layoffs are the easiest way to cut costs, however, that’s not true. The companies spend millions of dollars in the name of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), building brand image, marketing, etc. to look ethical in the eyes of the clients, investors, and all stakeholders, however, they lose it all in no time when they perform layoffs as it spreads a bad name about the company in the industry. Furthermore, when the market returns to normal, these companies find it challenging to attract fresh talent as no employee will be interested in making a career with a company with an unstable future. 

From my experience, I can say, trust is the foundation of every relationship, be it personal or professional. Layoffs also hurt the confidence and productivity of the entire workforce as they also work in the fear of losing their job which is detrimental for the productivity and the business of a company. Kaizen AMS’ leadership understands the value of the employees and tries to save the cost through automation, implementing innovative techniques, and adopting the best industry practices rather than resorting to layoffs.

3. Strategy is not Confined to the Head honchos

In most of the world’s leading corporations, the strategy revolves around only the C-level executives, VPs, and Directors. However, that’s not the case with Kaizen AMS. The company firmly believes that talent has no boundaries and a good idea can come from any part of the organization. Kaizen involves each employee while designing the company’s strategy. 

When I joined Kaizen AMS, I was excited to learn that the company encourages all good ideas and practices coming from every part of the organization. Mr. Fadi Nwilati organizes brainstorming sessions on a bi-weekly basis to listen to the ideas of every team member and provides quick approval as well as his expert opinion on how to go about it.  This makes employees feel more inclusive and privileged that their opinion really matters. This approach also makes ‘Kaizeners’ more dedicated towards their role. 

From my experiences, I can say with utmost confidence that one of the biggest secrets behind Kaizen’s monumental success in a very short span is its culture of welcoming new ideas. Unlike many top corporations where work is more or less repetitive and pre-decided, Kaizen says an absolute “No” to the repetitive tasks and automates them to let technology take care of them. Kaizen’s top leadership always encourages employees to come up with creative deliverables and ideas every day which can have a profound impact on business. This culture always keeps employees continuously engaged and makes the work fun which an employee always cherishes. I have a long list of deliverables which I proposed to the Kaizen’s leadership and explained to them the reason why they are important for the company and their business impact and got immediate approval to work on it. This culture of encouraging creative ideas has not only worked well for the employees and the company but also for the residents living at Kaizen-managed communities. 

4. Transparency

Every company makes a last-ditch effort to build a transparent environment with no scope of politics, negativity, red-tapism, or any sort of discrimination. However, it’s a no-brainer that usually the reality is completely opposite at the ground level. It is always a hard nut to crack for many companies to execute the best practices in every department or team. Furthermore, things become worse as most of the employees hesitate to complain about discrimination or intolerant behavior with the leadership due to the fear of repercussions or losing the job. 

It was exciting & overwhelming for me to learn that Kaizen has a very open & transparent system of Townhall meetings where all employees can raise their problems or challenges they are facing directly with Fadi Nwilati, and Sara Nwilati – Head of Talent. One best practice which I have learned from these town hall meetings, something every organization can practice, is to keep the identity of the grievance raisers secret to foster the culture of transparency.

Being an industry leader with over three decades of management experience, Fadi understands it’s not always a cakewalk for the employees to raise their issues or complaint. Many fear that it can backfire. To overcome this situation, Fadi asks every employee to submit their queries & concerns through an anonymous platform before the town hall meetings begin and answer them accordingly. This way the identity of the employee remains discrete and their grievances get resolved without any hassles. I think this is the best way many organizations can practice to build a transparent and discrimination-free environment. This practice also discourages the wrong-doers as they know the leadership is just a Slack or mail away from the employee.

5. Teamwork

In today’s corporate environment of remote working, the concept of teamwork is losing its ground. Thankfully that’s not the case with Kaizen. Every employee at Kaizen is strongly committed to the betterment of the team. I can share one example. 

Last month, I had to write a Whitepaper on how each team at Kaizen uses PropTech to the best of their advantage. Writing this Whitepaper required coordination from eight different teams at Kaizen which looked like a ‘mountain to climb’ to me at the first sight due to their busy schedule. However, when I pinged the mentors of these eight teams on Slack to schedule a call with me, I got an immediate appointment for a meeting.  The entire process of meeting and capturing the required information took less than 2 hours and I was ready to write my next Whitepaper. Now, that’s what I call True Teamwork. The task which was a ‘mountain to climb’ for me earlier became a ‘walk in the park’ due to the support I received from every ‘Kaizener’. This reflects the robust commitment of every ‘Kaizener’ towards the company’s growth & progression.

6. Loyalty

Many employers perceive monetary benefits, financial incentives, etc. as a viable tool to drive the performance of an employee; however, I believe that non-monetary incentives have far-reaching effects. A simple gesture of cooperating with an employee whenever he/she needs assistance, providing a platform to the employee to use creativity, and having faith in his/her capabilities, continuously motivates the employee to strive for better results. This approach has been more successful in driving optimum performance of the employee at Kaizen. I can vouch for my Line Manager – Mr. Jatin Babla as well as my teammates Mr. Eyad Alsaidy and Miss. Rim Salman for continuously supporting me whenever I approached them for any sort of assistance. The team’s continuous support and faith in my work drive my optimum performance at Kaizen.  

Final Words

This blog is just a small summary of my ‘memorable experiences’ with Kaizen AMS as an employee. In short, having faith in its mission & vision, having faith in the employees, continuously innovating and implementing the best practices to create a WOW experience for the employees, clients, and tenants, persistence &  problem-solving attitude and always working for the betterment of employees and stakeholders have been the real secret behind Kaizen success story. The adage holds true in the context of Kaizen that, – ‘Real-world doesn’t reward perfectionists, it rewards people who get things done’ and Kaizen has always been a pioneer in getting things done for each stakeholder.