This blog was written by Lisa Lee, Vice President of Global HR at Provar, as part of our ongoing Executive Series. 

During the pandemic, we saw a boom with tech companies like Provar competing for talent. With the rise of homeworking, geographical barriers were no more — people were in demand, and they were on the move. VCs were investing in tech start-ups, and growth was the word of the day until it wasn’t.

It has been a turbulent year in the tech industry — the global economy impacted by inflation, geopolitical issues, spiraling interest rates, and the continued effects of the pandemic have all made their mark. Investors have naturally become more cautious, and existing and potential customers are tightening their belts. We started to see hiring freezes and lay-offs in the tech industry throughout 2022, and just this week, Crunchbase News reported that 21,000 workers in US-based tech companies were already laid off in 2023.

As part of the tech industry, we have not escaped unscathed.  We, too, have had to let go of people we had hired to share a journey, and it has been tough on everyone in the company. In these circumstances, we are heartbroken, and becoming fearful as a result would be all too easy.  To move forward, we have to look forward as an industry and a company.  And so we will.  

People-First Provar in the New Year

We are looking forward to a fresh start in 2023. We have a mission to achieve — several!  We’re reorganizing ourselves and re-evaluating how we get things done.  One priority that won’t change is that we want Provar to remain a great workplace. That means continuing to focus on a people-first approach to our culture.  

We’re pretty early in our HR journey, but we already have great bones in the people here at Provar.  We have built a culture that genuinely cares about each other.  Yes, that can mean that it hurts a little more when someone moves on, but it also means that we look after each other.  This is never more important than in times like these.

One of the things that struck me instantly when I joined the company last year was our sense of community.  Everyone I met was welcoming, open, and happy to tell me all about themselves and what they do.  At the core of Provar is a sense of belonging, a shared sense of us all being in it together and always ready to step up.  As we rally behind our North Star Vision, we know we’re on a journey together to bigger and better things; we’re excited about it and ready.

Communication is Key

Communication is key.  Everyone says so!  For us, that means two-way communication, listening as well as speaking.  We all like to see ourselves as great communicators, but last year, we spent some time talking — and listening — to our teams about what that means and exploring how we can do it better.  In times of change, this is even more crucial.  Of course, as well as listening, we must act on what we’ve heard, address concerns, provide feedback and explanations, celebrate successes, and learn lessons.  We’re upping our game on the communications front, which doesn’t mean more meetings.  We’re working to make information more accessible to our people and provide more ways to listen.  Luckily, Provar people are not shy when telling us what they think!

Our values are a true reflection of who we are.  We are Visionary, meeting the challenges of a changing industry head-on. There is no place for complacency on our journey. The world is constantly evolving. Nothing stays the same for very long. What worked last year may not work this year. We will continue to evolve.  

Development & Education

As we innovate, we’re also developing. Another strong focus for us this year will be development for our people. It’s not just good for business; it’s suitable for all of us as humans to develop personally and professionally. It feels good to learn something new, and a real sense of achievement comes from it.  Our mental well-being needs to expand our knowledge. It keeps our minds open.  This year, we’ll be learning more from each other through mentoring and more formal learning experiences.  

Sticking with the theme of values — at the heart of our mission is Customer-Centricity. Nothing pleases us more than creating exceptional user experiences for our customers. They are our purpose, and we have an enormous sense of Pride in our product and people.  

Finally, we Trust each other, and we stand for equality. We stand together as one team, which will see us succeed as we reshape our future.  

Lisa Lee, VP of Global HR at Provar, contributed to this blog post. For more information on joining Provar’s ever-growing team, Please visit our job openings board.