We started Peakon to make everyone’s work lives – including our own – more fulfilling. Recently, we spent a few days out of the city discussing our long-term product vision and what kind of company we want to build.
Naturally, this got us talking about how we can become more engaged in work – and about the lessons we’ve learned from previous jobs. For the first post on our new blog, we thought we’d share five of our stories. How do they relate to you and your team?
The craft of helping people – Gustav Jonsson, Sales
A big part of my motivation comes from helping people. At some of my previous jobs, the support teams used template answers to customer questions – which almost entirely removed the feeling of helping someone when you respond to their question. The craft of creating a really useful answer was gone. The quality of the answers didn’t matter, we were just measured on how many answers we’d given.
My last job before Peakon was at Podio (aq. Citrix). I had the chance to start the support team there – so I could use my learnings to do things completely differently: no templates, real listening and answering in a human way. Almost five years later and the support team there still deliver amazing results with response times – and crucially – satisfaction (tNPS) scores way above average. The team also love their work as they know it’s their effort and skill that makes the difference.
Leading and building – Christian Holm, Developer & Co-founder
In every aspect of my life I find the biggest joy in building things. As a developer I spend a lot of time building software – but if computers hadn’t grabbed my attention, I think I would have become a craftsman of some kind.
In my career – as my responsibilities have increased over the years – I have at times had very little time to contribute directly to a product. While there are enormous challenges and rewards in running teams and managing a company, having a narrower role becomes less fun for me. If we’re launching a new feature and I’ve had a part in shaping it, it’s far more enjoyable.
Talking to customers is also highly important to me, so I can feedback what they’re saying into our product. Also, there are few more rewarding moments than when I can turn a customer with a problem into an advocate of the product, by quickly improving the product to fix a bug or better meet their needs.
In the live music industry you rely on a lot of voluntary work: bar staff, people to take care of the acts, floor managers, etc. That doesn’t mean, however, that the cost of hosting events is not very expensive. In my last job I joined when we were losing money and I urgently needed to turn this around.
Part of my approach was to make our finances far more transparent. I would involve the volunteers in our budgeting process and publish the income and expenses from every night. Suddenly, finances were everyone’s responsibility. Those free drinks handed out to mates of the bar staff stopped flowing, and people started devising new plans to bring in more revenue – for example, hiring a DJ to play after a gig to keep people at the venue. I could see that the volunteers really took pride in contributing in a new – more conscious – way.
Relishing big challenges – Sebastian Rehnby, Mobile Developer
I have always been a very curious person, and I am motivated by learning new things. In my professional life, that has often meant watching someone else being really good at their job and thinking “Hey, maybe I can also learn how to do that!”.
When I was at university – back in 2009 – a friend of a friend asked me if I knew how to develop an iPhone app for their company. I had no idea how to do it at the time, but figured I could probably learn it. So I said yes and two weeks later, I had the first version ready. He then asked me if I knew how to make an Android version, too. I thought “It can’t be much harder than iOS, can it?”. A few weeks later I finished that one as well! So to me, being engaged at work is about being given opportunities to acquire new skills and having my colleagues trust that I will deliver in the end.
Self evaluation – Michael Dean, Marketing
Marketing is obviously very focused on metrics, but it’s often surprising how few people in marketing departments – beyond the managers – know and understand the numbers they should be tracking in Google Analytics (GA).
As someone who produces a lot of content, the biggest change in my work was when I was given access to GA and taught the basics of using it. A new manager of mine then explained that my targets would no longer be production based (how many blog posts I could write or videos I could produce) but instead they would be results based (grow unique visitors to our blog by 10 percent month on month, for example). This completely changed how I worked. Now I “owned” this metric I stopped just churning out content and took a smarter approach – reviewing old content to learn what had performed best and building a new strategy based on that. I could also understand my own performance in real time by checking GA, and I didn’t need to rely on others to tell me how I was doing. As someone who’s highly self-motivated, this was a far more engaging and rewarding way to work.
We’d love to hear how these stories compare to your own experiences, why not leave us a short story in the comments below?