Thinking

Michelle Obama – Inspiring the Clarasys Team

This month, we attended the Women in Tech World Series Online Festival and listened to an inspirational talk by former First Lady Michelle Obama.

This month, we attended the Women in Tech World Series Online Festival and listened to an inspirational talk by former First Lady Michelle Obama.

The festival brought together 10,000 tech professionals and was designed to offer strategies and tools to support women in their careers.

When Mrs Obama spoke about employer/employee relations, it reminded me that Clarasys is already blazing a trail in this area.

In many larger organisations, it’s easy to see how people just become another number. The big machine needs to keep turning, and it doesn’t matter who is pedalling to keep it going. But Mrs Obama urged delegates to get to know the whole employee by understanding individual circumstances, and remembering they aren’t just a number.

Mentoring

At Clarasys, we are proud of our mentoring system which pairs up new recruits with experienced hands. This relationship isn’t just for a finite period at the start of a person’s Clarasys journey. It’s for their whole career with us, and many lifelong friendships have been made over the years.

We have regular social events where we let our hair down and get to know each other for who we really are. And we offer a wellbeing programme which means people can reach out for help when things get tough personally. Let’s face it, we’ve all experienced life’s twists and turns. By taking this approach, we ensure our team is well-supported. But the business also benefits. In return, our people are incredibly loyal.

Sitting with failure

Mrs Obama’s advice about learning to sit with failure and not allowing it to define you is a big one for us at Clarasys. We understand we aren’t always going to get things right the first time. By taking an agile approach, we learn what does work and what doesn’t, and we rapidly recalibrate to take a different approach. A so-called ‘fail’ is an opportunity for us all to learn and do things a different way. If we need help, we reach out, discuss a new solution, and put it into action.

Working iteratively is successful because it’s simpler to change something a short distance down the tracks, rather than at the final destination. As Mrs Obama said, it is important to learn that we don’t always win. Picking ourselves up and trying again is a secret weapon.

Share your ideas

We also heard Mrs Obama urge us not to feel invisible at work. She told us never to wait to be seen before speaking up, or let someone’s treatment of us define us. We need to remember that it’s important to keep going and share our ideas.

Clarasys is an organisation without a pecking order. Everyone is equal, from our graduate trainees right up to our CEO, and no idea is a bad one. We have regular catch ups where everyone is encouraged to speak up and these provide a safe space where ideas are welcomed. We often find that one person’s nugget of an idea mushrooms into a grand plan when everyone puts their heads together. And because we have a strong D&I policy, we have more representation which means more solutions are arrived at based on a real understanding of needs.

Together we are strong

There were many other standout speakers at the event, but it was this speech that really resonated with me. We will continue to improve the way we work at Clarasys, ensuring every person is valued at our organisation and included in the decision-making process. We do this because together we are strong.