Focusing On Company Culture
Our 'uWrite' employee interview series continues with insight into how we maintain our uMotif identity and culture as the company grows.
Our third interviewee is Louise White, Head of People & Culture. Louise was the fifth uMotif employee and specialises in helping fast growing companies scale.
Louise, thank you for your time. Could you tell me a bit about your role at uMotif?
My role is for the people that work at uMotif. I am responsible for the whole experience of being an employee here – and that involves the full employee life cycle as well as the way we work together.
What sort of culture does uMotif have?
An open and transparent culture that encourages teamwork. This reflects the way our co-founders have always worked together and are developing the team.
This open culture is necessary as the company grows at speed with new departments, roles and processes being put in place to create a foundation for the future. I recognise that such a fast-paced environment is not for everyone. This means that resourcefulness, creativity and proactivity are highly valued at uMotif.
uMotif was founded with a vision to help patients improve their health and live better. The overall company culture is underpinned by our core value of putting the patient first in everything we do. We are united in our goal to improve clinical research and make it more patient-friendly, and this permeates through the entire organisation.
Is it a challenge to maintain a company culture?
It sure is! It's one of the biggest challenges I face. There are a few ways we tackle this. The most important is having a rigorous hiring process. This is to make sure we hire the best people for the company not just the role. It means that being a great team fit and aligning with our culture and values are equally prized as job skills.
It's also key to develop and maintain traditions. These are formed when a company is small and we have a number of company rituals that keep us together. Our Monday Morning Meeting (MMM) involves the entire company taking time every week to share status updates and ensure cross-team alignment. It also includes an 'Inspiration' section where anyone shares a story from the last week (including our surprisingly controversial 'pet corner'). We also hold a quarterly meeting called 'uNite' to refocus our goals and socialise as a group.
We don't always get everything right first time. Which means we focus on continuous improvement and being honest with ourselves to make the company a better place.
What makes uMotif a great place to work?
First and foremost – the product. We have a great platform that patients love to use. We constantly collect feedback from our users which is shared with the team. It's exciting to be at the cutting edge of a fast-moving industry and be part of a company that's taking off.
It's also the people – friendly, talented and hard-working. I feel privileged to work with some of the best in the industry. It's a source of pride for me to contribute to growing such an extraordinary team.
We invest in our people and make uMotif a nice place to work. This doesn't always mean beer stocked fridges, bean bags and ping pong, but making an appealing social environment. This we do through our weekly full team MMM, lunch and learns, our uNites, company social events, and trainings. Not to mention other perks such as having an extra day off on your birthday!
You have created a specific onboarding process. Why is that?
To make everyone feel welcome and get them up to speed as soon as possible. The first day of work for a new employee is critical. It sets the tone for their whole experience at uMotif. Get this wrong and all that effort to secure top talent is at risk. Get this right and it pays dividends in the future. Not just for the company, but the employee too.
Sounds hard to manage it all! Why do you do it?
Because I care about making uMotif a great place to work. I believe in what we are trying to do as a company - making a difference to patient's lives and making clinical research better and more efficient.