Rocket Learning

Rocket Learning

Aastha Saumya joined Rocket Learning on July 17, 2022, after a particularly disappointing day. Usually, she barely opened social media, but that day she found herself on LinkedIn. She spotted an opening for a fundraising and communications associate position at Rocket Learning and applied, eager to start anew.

During the interview process, the team recognized her specialization in human resources and suggested the HR Manager position instead. Passionate about working with people and improving workplaces, Aastha accepted. What began as a bad day turned into a pivotal moment in her career.

Aastha’s story shows how unexpected opportunities can arise from challenging times. In this interview, she delves deeper into her role, her workplace philosophy, and her thoughts on work-life balance. Her insights provide a compelling look into the life of an HR professional dedicated to making work better for everyone.

Q: It’s been almost two years since you joined. What’s your most memorable moment from your time at Rocket Learning?

Q: Recently, I conducted an exit interview with a departing employee who said this was the best workplace they had ever worked at and credited the people and culture. It was nice to hear that we are making a visible difference and not just another HR team. That exit interview was one of the best acknowledgments for me.

Q: Can you elaborate on what a day in your life looks like?

Q: It’s a roller coaster. Some days are calm. Other times, performance management, training, or crises like a conflict or a breakdown require immediate attention. Most of my days involve strategizing, planning, and communicating with internal and external stakeholders. My team handles onboarding, training, hiring, conflict resolution, performance management, and more.

Q: What is your favorite part of your job?

Q: Navigating emotions at work. We spend almost half of our waking hours at work; I understand the importance of making workplaces better. I love using my emotions to create policies that consider the needs of new parents or address someone’s struggle at work, for instance. It’s about creating policies that genuinely serve their purpose, even if they are frequently evolving.

Q: Can you describe our work culture?

Q: For me, a great work culture is where people feel supported. It’s about comfort and knowing your team has your back, even on bad days. While we are on the right path, we aren’t 100% there yet. Our culture is built on learning and growth, collaboration, and innovation. We are given space to try new things, which makes work fun.

Read More: Meet Sai Prasanna Srinivasan: The Engineer Who Decided to Make an Unusual Career Move!

Q: What separates Rocket Learning from other organizations?

Q: Our adherence to values, led by the senior leadership, sets us apart. When I go out with my colleagues, I feel energized, not drained. We have meaningful conversations, which is a big deal. The founding team has done a great job in ensuring our values are not just on paper but practiced and set by example.

Q: What qualities do you look for in potential employees?

Q: Adaptability is crucial because we are a growing organization with constant changes. Collaboration and learning are key, as we have a culture of knowledge sharing. High ethical standards and a strong set of values are essential. We need mission-driven people who see this as more than just another job, especially in a nonprofit where our actions directly or indirectly impact others.

Q: What do you enjoy outside of work?

Q: I’m a huge nature lover and enjoy trekking, though I haven’t done it in a while. I also love spending time with animals and painting. I’m a Madhubani artist and do commissioned work.

Q: What are you most excited about for the future of Rocket Learning?

Q: I’m excited about our culture. We aim to be leaders in workplace culture, like Google. Our policies are evolving as we gain more understanding of workplace biases and how we can improve culture, aiming for a super inclusive organization where people enjoy their work and see it as a community rather than just a workplace.

Q: What is the People and Culture team’s one big goal this year?

Q: Ensuring better ease of work at Rocket. Employees should be able to focus on their tasks without worrying about ancillary issues. This includes better logistical support, clarity and transparency on policies, and setting up an HR Management Software to centralize everything.

Read More: Introducing Neha Gautam: Nurturing a Passion for People and Culture and Early Childhood Education

Q: How do you think Rocket Learning supports employee growth and development?

Q: We provide ample opportunities for growth and encourage collaboration and knowledge sharing, fostering an environment where employees can continuously learn and develop. We have an upskilling budget and development calls every week, for instance.

Q: How do you stay energized and motivated?

Q: I believe in the contagious nature of energy. Understanding that my energy affects others is crucial. If I’m feeling negative, I take a break before interacting with my team. Transparency with my team about my mood is important. Communication plays a key role, and I derive a lot of energy from my team, especially the People and Culture team.

Q: Talk to us about how you maintain a work-life balance.

A: It’s unrealistic to expect that work won’t sometimes spill over into home life. Instead of striving for an unattainable ideal, I focus on fostering a culture that promotes a healthy and supportive environment. On stressful days, it’s vital for people to know they have a team and a network to rely on. Stressful periods are inevitable, but they are also temporary.

Flexibility is key in managing work-life balance. When I feel overwhelmed, I should feel comfortable communicating my needs to supervisors or team members. 

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