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 just 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. VC’s 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 both 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 already were laid off in 2023.

As part of the tech industry, we have not escaped unscathed.  We too have had to let go of people that we had hired with the intention of sharing a journey together, and it has been tough on everyone in the company. In these circumstances, we are of course heartbroken, and becoming fearful as a result would be all too easy.  To move forward, we have to look forward, both as an industry and as 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 actually!  We’re reorganizing ourselves, and we’re re-evaluating how we get things done.  One priority that won’t change is that we want Provar to still be a great place to work. That means continuing to focus on a People First Approach to our culture.  

We’re fairly early in our HR journey, but we have great bones in the people already 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 the sense of community that we have.  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 we’re 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 really 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, and this doesn’t mean more meetings.  We’re working to make information more accessible to our people, and also to provide more ways to listen.  Luckily, Provar people are not shy when it comes to 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 always 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 good for all of us as humans to develop both personally and professionally. It feels good to learn something new, and there’s a real sense of achievement that comes from it.  It’s important for our mental wellbeing to expand our knowledge, it keeps our minds open.  This year we’ll be learning more from each other through mentoring, as well as more formal learning experiences.  

Sticking with the theme of values — at the heart of our mission is, of course, 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 our people.  

Finally, we Trust each other, and we stand for eQuality, we stand together as one team and it is this that will see us succeed as we reshape our future.  

This blog post was contributed by Lisa Lee, VP of Global HR at Provar. For more information on joining Provar’s ever growing team, please visit our job openings board.