Easee working – Kwaku Boateng
What makes our culture truly People First? We get this question a lot. Our answer? Like our brand name, that’s actually quite simple.
We believe that People First should be lived and invented by, yes, the People. Because who better to determine whether something works or not than those who are actually doing it?
That is why we like to give insights into our company culture through our own people. In this recurring feature, they talk about the perfect business culture, bottlenecks, work-life balance and more.
What is People First to you?
For me, People First is quite simple: always look at yourself first. If you don’t know who you are or why you do things, how can you be there for others? I also think it’s important to take other people’s feelings into consideration. When you operate from negative energy, you radiate negativity yourself. When you act from love, respect, and modesty, you will notice how contagious this positive energy is.
How do you know an organisation is doing it right?
By looking at the vibe of the employees in a company. How do they carry themselves? What is the energy that they radiate? When I first started working for Easee, I went to Norway to visit the Easee head office. I saw how cheerful and friendly everyone was. The positivity could be felt through the entire building. It was then that I realised what a privilege it is to work for a company that really cares about its people. A company where people are heard and seen. Where people ask for feedback and are listened to and where they get the support they need.
This way, a company becomes a workplace that people are happy to wake up for every morning. And that in turn makes for happy employees. For me, that’s the most important pillar for measuring the success of an organisation. Happy employees contribute so much to success that profit and growth come naturally. For me, Easee is the ultimate proof of this. You don’t even have to ask people to do their best, they do it automatically because they feel part of our company’s vision.
Do you see any bottlenecks to a People First business?
Personally, I don’t see many bottlenecks or drawbacks to a People First business. There will always be people who ‘abuse’ the freedom, but that too is a matter of letting go and trusting. Everyone has their own process.
How is your current work-life balance?
My current work-life balance has definitely improved. In the past, I worked for organisations where I really took the work home with me. This caused a lot of stress. Many of my colleagues suffered burnouts. This is bad enough on its own, but on top of that they felt as if it was their own fault. You can imagine that this also seeped into their private lives. In my opinion, work and private life are closely connected: when things are not going well at work, you carry these worries with you into your private life. When these colleagues finally returned, you could always see the same pattern: they couldn’t care less about the company anymore. Even in their work, they were only doing the bare minimum. All ambition had trickled out. If you don’t look after your people, that’s the risk.
I, too, had to be careful at one point not to get overworked. This experience was a wake-up call for me. I had to start guarding my own limits better. Working life is sometimes very hard, and unfortunately in many organisations people will feel they are on their own. It is therefore important to learn to say ‘no’. Only you know your limits, and in order to make them clear, they have to be stated. It helps to work for an organisation that gives you all the resources you need to become better at it. Where you are encouraged to guard your own boundaries and where you feel safe to do so.
Now that I work for Easee, my work-life balance is much better. I feel at home, I do what I like, I recognise my own limits and I feel that I am able to indicate them. The result? I experience less stress; I don’t take my work home with me (emotionally) and that also benefits my private life. It is an ongoing process, but I know for sure that I will never let things get as far as they did back then.
What do you think the future of business management will look like?
There must always be pioneers. Innovators who dare to break the patterns. When this proves to be profitable in the long run (both financially and personally), companies are bound to embrace this new way of doing business. The example Easee (and other companies with a similar culture) are setting is so positive that I expect many companies to learn from it and that this is the future of business.
What advice do you have for companies that want to improve their culture?
Create a safe environment where employees have the space to express themselves and be who they are. Really show it instead of just shouting it for the stage. For example, schedule regular check-ins, or, as CEO, address employees monthly, put them in the spotlight and celebrate successes. Plan meetings in which you don’t talk about work, but about feelings, feedback, touching topics, personal differences. And during working hours, because that too is part of working for an organisation. We call it the Culture Box meeting, but each company can do it in its own way. I’m not the most outspoken person, but I notice that I look forward to the Culture Box every time. It also proved to me that the culture really works and is not just hot air.
Would you like to read more about the Easee culture? Or are you curious about our vacancies? Take a look at our career page.