April 26, 2022
2 mins read

Achieving New Highs with Open and Inclusive Teams

April 26, 2022
2 mins read
Mae Emuslan Mae Emuslan
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I’ve been a part of Toku since 2018 when I joined as the first NOC (Network Operation Centre) Engineer here. Before joining, I worked in the telco industry – not on the cloud side, but the physical one where we had to install hardware and infrastructure. I was previously the NOC Team Leader. Presently I am a Voice Engineer helping to troubleshoot various networking and VoIP issues.

Even though I am comparatively younger than many of my team members, I’ve had the privilege of working closely with several experienced colleagues who provided me with support and taught me many new things about the field that allowed me to improve.

Strength in Toku team’s diversity

When the company first approached me to lead my team despite knowing I was comparatively young, I knew that I was in a startup that worked differently from others in the Philippines. It was like no matter our age, background, or position, everyone – including the higher management – saw us as team members with something to contribute. They always value and recognize our contributions in meaningful ways, which I think is pretty unique in the industry.

Come to think of it, Toku is really diverse and inclusive compared to other companies.

I can literally feel and see it happening in my day-to-day workflow. You’re always working with a team member from one country, and other team members from multiple countries. I see my team learning from each other’s working style every day. So, you might think that after a few years, we might look and behave more uniformly.

In reality, it’s THE OPPOSITE.

I still see a big difference in working styles and habits in my international team.

It has not impacted our team’s cohesiveness and effectiveness. In fact, I think diversity has made us stronger!

We all recognize that we can improve by being aware of our own limitations. And to overcome those limitations, we can learn from others – even if they might be from a totally different country, culture, religion, age group, or some other background. This is what makes me stay in the company.

I want Toku to be…

Open. I mean open in terms of organisational structure and culture. In the Philippines, many companies have rigid hierarchies and even if that has its advantages, sometimes it makes it difficult for people to share ideas, improve, and grow. In my experience, Toku is growing rapidly, yet still has a flat, open structure and culture now. I have personally seen the CEO, Thomas reaching out to individual team members regardless of their seniority or position.

This rarely happens at other organisations where you would have to go through multiple layers of hierarchy.

I hope Toku continues to retain this level of openness because I see it as a strength even when the company grows – and it is growing fast. Being open allows your team to feel safe enough to make some bold decisions and take ownership of them, instead of always seeking someone else to take the initiative.

As long as Toku remains open like this, I foresee the company will grow from strength to strength for many years to come.

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