This week: Siete Hamminga, CEO and founder of Robin Radar Systems, wore a bunny suit to show his appreciation for his team.
How do you stay calm – as a person and as a CEO?
“As for myself, I take walks regularly and I sit in my garden, enjoying the sunshine. That eases my mind. Business wise, it really helped us to come up with different scenarios and to perform stress tests. We did what they call ‘confront the brutal facts’. Those insights gave us peace of mind. We’re lucky that we’re a healthy company, so we don’t have to fear for our future existence.”
How do you navigate between operating in the short term and the long term?
“The first few weeks of the intelligent lockdown, we were primarily short term focused. We had to make sure our employees were safe and were able to work remotely. Thinking out the different financial scenarios, gave us space to focus on the long term again. We decided we didn’t have to change our plans for the future. In fact, we expect the new situation could offer new opportunities for our business. It’ll just take a bit longer to get there.”
How do you keep your team motivated?
“At first, we made a miscalculation. We thought that now everyone was working from home, there would be a lot of time to work on projects or ideas that don’t get enough attention in the normal work flow. It soon became clear that working from home is a challenge for many – especially for those who have children – so we decided to nuance that plan, for now.
We came up with a few things to keep morale up. Every Friday, we send out a video message with contributions from the team on what is being achieved. During Easter, we decided to help the flower growers in the area, by buying their flowers and delivering them personally to our employees – wearing silly bunny costumes.
We noticed that many employees felt guilty about their loss of productivity. This was our way of saying: we know these are challenging times, we see you and we value what you’re doing.
Of course, we do still expect from our employees that they’re delivering what they’re supposed to – as long as that is reasonably possible. Trust and responsibility are two of our core values, so we have trust that our employees are doing what they can.”