Change is not always easy. As we’ve seen over the last 18 months, the acceleration of change in the wake of a global pandemic, including major shifts in the ways we live and work, can be overwhelming. Combine that with rapid company growth and the need to constantly adapt to an evolving organization, and the result can be a complex, uncertain experience for employees.
These are the kinds of challenges Dipti Salopek faces at Snyk on a daily basis. We heard from her what it takes for a company to remain flexible, resilient, and closely aligned on their mission as the pace of change accelerates.
Dipti has a uniquely global background. She grew up in Mumbai, India, before moving to London, U.K. where she studied and got her first job. After seven years in London, she moved to New York where she has lived and worked with international companies for several years.
Until recently, Dipti spent her entire career working in HR at large organizations. But during her time in the Mergers and Acquisitions team at American Express, she found a passion for the smaller companies she was acquiring. Since then, she’s worked with a number of nimble, hypergrowth startups as a leader in HR and People Operations.
“We’re working on how we can continue to grow without encumbering ourselves with the weight of bureaucracy.”
Dipti found it was necessary to lean into flexibility and empathy during the pandemic, especially at a time when colleagues were forced into challenging circumstances, like looking after young children while working.
Whether it’s about offering remote or hybrid working, or hosting team offsites, Dipti emphasizes the need for flexible and understanding management. Not only will your employees appreciate it, but your organization will emerge stronger and more resilient to future challenges.
“It's just having the resilience to say, I'm going to experiment.”
Building alignment in a fast-growing startup is a never-ending task. It’s a case of constant iteration, pivoting on practices that might have worked three months ago but are no longer effective.
For Dipti, traditional top-down leadership models don’t cut it in environments of rapid change. Instead it’s about building a culture of experimentation and empowering front-line teams to make informed decisions. In a hypergrowth world, Dipti explains, you are sometimes your own biggest constraint. It’s worth asking yourself, “what can I do to remove blockers and facilitate progress?”
“Failure pivoted me in this direction where I’ve had the most wonderful career journey I could have wished for.”
Although it’s uncomfortable to live with the consequences of our failures, it’s often mistakes that are our greatest source of learning and growth. When a previous opportunity at Etsy didn’t work out, Dipti realized that working harder or dedicating more hours at her desk wasn’t going to solve anything. After a year, Dipti left the company, feeling a sense of failure that her role wasn’t as successful as she’d hoped.
Shortly afterwards, Dipti joined Snyk, a company opportunity that’s a far better fit for her which turned out to be a highlight of her career so far. Dipti stresses that it often takes failure to steer us in the right direction—often towards opportunities that we would never have previously considered.
Dipti is focused on building a truly global workforce, equipped to face the challenges of a hypergrowth company now, and in the future. To do that, she’s looking for people with experience working in global teams with exceptional communication skills.
She’s also working on creating forums where employees can find the information they need, quickly and autonomously. In a distributed company, knowledge exchange is crucial to ensuring information flows freely in the organization. Especially when the pace of change shows no signs of slowing.
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