Ryan Havis, one of our newest Leadooers, shares his views on joining Leadoo and how he's found it so far...
TL;DR I'm going to stay...
Are you a part of the great resignation? I was, and I didn’t even realise until after the fact.
If you’ve been avoiding news outlets for a while, I wouldn’t blame you, but you’ll have missed the articles about a big shift taking place, first reported in the US but apparent in the UK too, of people leaving their jobs and moving on to pastures new – or at least hoping to!
It makes perfect sense that the pandemic got people thinking, no one really had a choice. So much has changed in people’s lives over the last couple of years. Some families have sadly gotten smaller, some families have grown, some new ones just started. People have been locked indoors for days and weeks and months on end, working from home if they’ve been lucky enough, but sometimes really just alone with their thoughts. Indeed, I can’t not mention those who still had to go to a place of work; I doff my hat to you all.
In May 2020, among the most popular search terms when people were looking to move home were things like ‘garden’ and ‘home office’. Almost immediately, priorities started to shift as people were forced into bizarre and extreme circumstances. Perhaps they simply realised how easily they could continue doing their job at home and how much they liked not commuting. But beyond this, so many people received harsh reminders of what’s most important to them in life; values we can all agree on like health, family, and time spent doing things that truly bring you joy.
One man that I spoke to sometime in Summer 2020 told me that he and his wife had fallen in love all over again, after losing touch over the years of getting up early and commuting to their places of work, coming home to a quick and easy dinner, then melting in front of the TV for a couple of hours before doing it all over again. He said the lockdown restrictions had allowed them to get to know one another again and fortunately, it went quite well!
I thought I’d share that because I am, in fact, a big softy. I dined out on that for ages!
One size doesn't fit all
Personally, I had been eyeing up the benefits of working from home, flexible hours, etc. for quite a long time pre-March 2020. I appreciate that these things are not achievable in every line of work, but as one person commented on LinkedIn recently, “18 years of progress has been made in 18 months.” Well put.
Now, I’m not trying to single out and champion working from home. It just happens to suit me very well. Going into the office absolutely has its merits. I have friends that really thrive on the camaraderie of office-based work, and of course no one could overstate the usefulness of set routines. I suppose the biggest takeaway I think any company should have from the pandemic (if they hadn’t already figured this out for themselves) is that one size does not fit all.
By far and away the best thing about accepting that one size does not fit all, is that you then have to focus on the people in your organisation. You have to get to know them, understand them, respect them, and actually value their differences. That is what underpins company culture. And it’s all well and good for a company to say they do these things because it’s a lovely sound bite for HR and PR, but unless they genuinely do it, their pudding will eventually be found sans proof.
Of course, a company defines its own values and will set out to instil the culture that it wants, but that doesn’t make it a top-down thing. So, I wish nothing but good luck to any organisation that wants a 100% office-based, do-as-you’re-told, rigid, with-no-room-for-individuality culture. They may find that they come unstuck when trying to build an entire workforce of people who truly value those things too. Especially now.
Starting at Leadoo 💙
This (finally, you might say) brings me onto my new employer. One that so far has evidenced that they truly value each individual, and plays an active part in prioritising each person’s wellbeing, happiness, and fulfilment in their role. There are a number of cliches about first impressions that I won’t use here, but I will say that my first impression of Leadoo has been a bloody good one!
Firstly, somewhat ironically, I was able to meet everyone in person at the annual off-site kick-off event which they graciously invited me to before I’d even started – good timing. It’s a pretty young company, but it was plain to see how passionate everyone is about the part they play in its continued success. Note: If a company cares about its people, its people will respond in kind. There were no weird cliques or divides between different teams, or between different levels of authority. It was a fantastic social event, with just the right amount of talks from the management team and guest speakers about the company’s plans and vision for 2022 and beyond.
When I got started, I couldn’t believe the amount of support and resources available to me to learn from. There are pretty ambitious plans for growing the head-count here and they are doing all they can to make sure that each newbie is properly onboarded and looked after. Bravo. I am very grateful to the individuals in my team who still go out of their way to make sure I’m learning, understanding, and doing OK.
Not everyone in the company works from home all the time, I just happen to. But, that doesn’t exclude me from joining virtual coffee catch-ups or even just seeing a little red dot appear when someone has messaged me on Slack for a friendly chat to see how I am and exchange stories from the weekend. Also, re Slack: The Leadoo pets channel is life.
There is a very friendly community here, which is impressive considering there are people in (I think) 6 different countries. That to me says a lot about what the company truly values and how they attract the right people.
I haven’t spoken about my actual job, which I am very much enjoying by the way, because I’m writing this for anyone who is on the fence about leaving their current employer, not necessarily their current job. Although one thing I will refer to again is that this is a young company with lots of success to date and big plans for growth, so there’s ample opportunity for you as an individual employee too.
Align your values
My grandad reminds me that “Jobs are made for people, not the other way around.” But this is his closing statement following the story of him working off-shore and it wearing him thin because he was away from his family so much of the time. The things he truly valued were outside of his job and actually, outside of the company too. He left and opened a little shop with my nan and quickly became a happier, healthier person. Go figure.
If you are in a situation where you don’t feel like your employer’s values and priorities are aligned with your own, then you are a shoo-in for being a part of this movement. Especially if, like so many, you have a newfound sense of importance placed on health and happiness. The “great resignation” isn’t about people just leaving their jobs, that’s what’s known as missing the forest for the trees. It’s about a collective reprioritisation of values, among all companies’ most valuable asset: People. So, if companies don’t get on board, they’ll get left behind.
If you’re looking for an employer that truly values its people, then here is a good place to stop your search. You’ve found us.