Yes, this may or may not sound exciting. But when it happens this is something that is thrilling.

Typically a company decides that you get x percentage this year as your hike is based on your performance and an appraisal meeting even though the percentages are usually pre-decided. Or you will fall in a bucket of A/B/C/D according to the work you have done – Ahem! But usually it depends on the rapport you have kept with your reporting managers.

Something isn’t right here!!!!

Sahaj decided to do things differently. To give some context, a few months before our first hike (April 2015), one of our founders arranged for an office wide discussion during our monthly Gram Sabhas (all team member discussion) where we were asked to fill a percentage next to our name in a google spreadsheet that we think we deserve as our hike. No questions asked! This is not a simple exercise though we pride ourselves in giving simple solutions to clients 🙂

This is something new of its kind – being given an option to tell what hike you expect. . But we came up with our own percentages and an average was decided. Folks in the company were in unison that people with salaries above an amount will get a hike of the average percentage while people with salaries below that amount will get a higher percentage hike. Uff!!! This was over. Remember, ours is a open salary system and we were being asked by the founders itself on an occasion what should be their salary numbers…

Fast forward to the 2016 April hike. Like 2015, a call was arranged couple of months before the hike period. We thought it was going to be the same exercise. The founders left it to our discretion as usual. Few of our fellow sahajeevis came up with an idea of why we repeat the same things that other companies do. We asked ourselves “Can we do something different – What else this time? So after a brainstorming session post Gramsabha, the outcome was ‘Profit Sharing’. The primary thought behind profit sharing was that since we say that everyone at Sahaj owns the company and is equally responsible we should also share the company’s profits.

We concluded with the following. Based on ESOP’s – Note: This is not Vesting. Vesting or Non Vesting doesn’t count for Profit Share. If you vest, you get dividends and that’s separate- team members get a certain percentage hike as usual in April 2016 and twice this year (October 2016 and April 2017- we will get a share of the profits made in the last six months. In April 2016 got the hikes as usual and profit sharing was out of our mind over the period. During September’s Gramsabha we were told that we will have our first profit sharing in October. Nice, especially since Diwali was approaching :))

Then again the interest group got into a discussion in end and Akash ran across the financials for us (even though he sends company financials every month). He wanted each one of us to come up with a number for the profit share. We have to reserve some money for our future operations, given that Chennai had a new office and we are setting up an office in the US. We, the CEO’s – that’s what Akash said 🙂 – came up with the numbers after our own calculation. And at the end a number was decided. It was an achievement even before we got the money in hand. Terrific!!!

So all employees on the payrolls of Sahaj get profits and shareholders of sahaj (founders and team members who have chosen to vest their ESOPs) got a dividend. To manage the cash flow, we thought we can do this in two batches – Oct and Nov cycle

During the October pay cycle we got our share of half-yearly profits in our bank accounts. This is quite amazing and for most of us, since there were unexpected expenses during the year the profit share helped. The profit share also doubled up as a Diwali bonus. :))

The main thing to note here is not the money. Its about how a collective decision was taken and how we work not as an employee for a company but as an owner of the company taking decisions like we would if were running our own company. I haven’t heard or seen this culture else where and I would be happy to know. Since we are not big in numbers – Headcount wise and we are connected pretty well and can experiment with ways to run the company. these stuffs.

Lets see what April 2017 has in store for us. Till then we look forward our next half yearly profit shares:). If you are intrigued about this process or have some fruitful idea for April 2017, let us know and we can have a detailed discussion.

Magizchi !!!