Career Stories is an article series about the people who work at Kindred. For this article, we sat down with Mette Lorenzen, Head of Customer Service, to talk about passion, customer support and development.
Tell us a bit about yourself Mette, what is your passion?
I am originally from Denmark, but I have lived in Malta for over 10 years now. I am passionate about a lot of things, but my biggest passion is food and the experiences you can create through food. I travel the world based on where the good restaurants are and explore cultures through food. I also enjoy cooking; in fact, I enjoy it so much that I have started my own side business, Mettelina Cupcakes, which is a small gourmet cupcake business. It’s where I get to express my creative side in a different way outside of job at Kindred.
How would you describe what you do?
I normally describe my job as leading a big team at Kindred, where my main responsibility is to ensure that we provide the best support and service to our customer. We also ensure that our people have the best place to work, are happy and have the tools and circumstances to offer this to our customers. We are basically the team who is there for the customers for anything they might need help with, and our most important asset is our people.
How did you end up in current position at Kindred?
I have been at Kindred since 2012, but I had previous experience from Customer Service both as an agent and as team manager, and I worked closely with Customer Service in my previous roles at Kindred. I was previously working with our newly acquired companies, where I was responsible for the integration of Customer Service. Here I got a lot of insights into how we could build our united Customer Service team, so when the Head of Customer Service role became vacant in 2017, I applied for it. It has been a great challenge, but I have a brilliant team and the company allows us to be flexible and creative, so it is still rewarding two years later.
It’s often said that learning is a lifelong process, how does Kindred help employees to develop and pursue new interest?
Kindred does a lot in this regard. It starts with your manager, with whom you discuss your development in regular meetings, covering your interests, passions and development needs. In my case, I had explored very different areas of the business and wanted to become more specialized. My manager guided me to the relevant courses and training programmes, and ensured I got certified in project management.
When I realized I wanted to improve my leadership abilities, I received training with a consultant, internal leadership courses as well as a personal coach. I also got an internal mentor and I got to have weekly calls with one of the members of the executive team. The great thing about Kindred though is that it is not up to the managers – everyone has a voice and can request a potentially relevant development.
Kindred was recently recognized as a Great Place to Work by the UK’s Best Workplaces 2019. Why do you think 87% of employees think Kindred is a great place to work?
I think many would answer the people, but I guess what that really means is because of our culture. That’s why I think Kindred is a great place to work – we truly live by our values; you feel it in the office, in any context and whenever you engage with other employees. Part of our culture is that we build on trust and everyone has a voice, which means that you can make a difference and have influence, which is highly motivating.
Kindred is proud to employ people from all over the world, what’s the best thing about working in such a multicultural environment?
It truly opens your mind and I believe you get more inspired and thinks more creatively. You learn that there might be other ways to look at things and other solutions than you know, similar to when you are travelling and learn about different cultures and mindsets. I believe we become our best possible selves and reach new potentials when we learn other ways to see things.
Tell us more about Kindred Academy, how does that work?
It is basically our internal university, where any employee can attend courses of interest and relevance. We also use it for mandatory online trainings, to stay on top of knowledge around e.g. compliance and responsible gaming, which is something everyone at Kindred puts a lot of time and effort into, in order to be leaders in trust.
What is one moment that you will always remember from your time at Kindred?
I have many, but one would definitely be when we gathered all 1200 employees around the world for a big kick-off in Rome two years ago. I had just started in my role as Head of Customer Service and it was my second week. I had an important task for the event: providing everyone with laptops, to be able to work remotely. We had temporarily moved the entire Customer Service department to Rome for the event, as we never want to compromise the customer. This had never been done and was quite complex and logistically challenging, but exciting as well. Since I was completely new in the role, this experience was considerable and memorable on many levels, and we pulled it off and had a great event, while serving our customers from Rome for a few days – it was truly amazing!
Finally, what advice would you give to someone who is starting out their career at Kindred?
Be yourself, take responsibility and be passionate about what you do and use your voice, because you have one and can make a difference!