Career Stories is an article series about the people who work at Kindred. For this article we sat down with Georgios Svarnias, Talent Development Partner based in Malta, to talk about passion, Talent Development and the journey as a Kindred employee.
Tell us a bit about yourself Georgios, what is your passion?
My higher education was in the field of finance. I chose that because of my love of numbers and working out probabilities. After being employed in finance for 3 years I realized that in addition to being passionate about numbers and probabilities, I really love interacting with people as it acts as an energy booster for me.
How would you describe what you do?
My job is to ensure that my colleagues do not lack any of the tools they need to deliver great work, as well as be able to improve or attain new skills in order to grow and do the job which best fits them. The latter is especially important to me as it brings fulfilment to my colleagues, giving me the best reward of all – their smiles.
How did you end up in current position at Kindred?
Looking back, I feel it was a natural progression, but it did not come easy. Early on, my manager noticed the positive response I got from communicating openly with our customers and prompted me to go for a trainer role in customer service. I was fortunate to have another great manager who showed me the ropes and trusted me to run with it, building both my confidence and skill. With Kindred focusing heavily on training and developing its employees, I soon had the pleasure to be assigned a team to support me in delivering our work. A team of highly skilled colleagues who helps me grow on a daily basis.
It’s clear that Kindred emphasizes the possibility to change career without changing employer. How would you say Kindred supports and invests in its employees?
Kindred has a Talent Development team dedicated to creating internal developmental programs which allow for growth opportunities and knowledge sharing in multiple forms. With the support of the wider HR team, these programs and overall growth culture help to satisfy and fulfil our very talented employees, but it also motivates the staff to stay with the company and develop their careers here.
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 believe it’s because of the way we treat each other. We have core values, as most companies have, but what we definitely do great as a collective, is to live these values and not just gaze at them on a wall... We all keep each other in line with them and respect each other’s efforts to uphold them. It’s not easy on a daily basis but if you truly have a team around you, it is achievable. I actually really like Mondays, from the moment I receive the first smiling hellos from my colleagues in the morning, it’s my favourite example of why I think Kindred is a great place to work.
Kindred is proud to employ people from all over the world, what’s the best thing about working in a multicultural environment?
That anything you assume as standard, is not! What a person from my country may think is acceptable behaviour, certainly doesn’t apply for someone else’s country and culture. You need to grow yourself beyond your own limits, respect everyone’s views, especially when you disagree and constantly push yourself to get more understanding of others. The reward is fantastic!
Tell us more about Kindred Academy, how does that work?
The Academy is where anyone can find plenty of courses and education offered by the company. From thousands of online courses, both internally and externally designed, to instructor-led management courses, or as a way to request other specific training. It allows us to record ongoing and completed training and provides insight into what our colleagues needs.
What is one moment that you will always remember from your time at Kindred?
I will never forget my first day. I walked into the company dressed up as an ‘accountant/finance’ guy – meaning suit and tie. As I walked across the customer service floor to my team and looked at my new colleagues dressed in the most relaxed way, I got two feelings simultaneously. The first ‘what an idiot I feel like and I must look like to them’, and the other ‘this is the place for me, ‘just do a good job’ mentality and be yourself with no need to pretend through a pretentious dress code’.
Finally, what advice would you give to someone who is starting their career at Kindred?
You just hit the jackpot if you are not scared of challenging and developing yourself, while being part of a supportive and inspiring team of people who have every background you can imagine from practically every part of the world. Enjoy it!