Humans of Tech-Alyssa Krause-Gray
Meet Alyssa Krause-Gray! Self-proclaimed hippie and software leader. We talked about why she loves her work and how she supports and inspires her team during COVID.
What do you love about your role at Dematic? I really enjoy working with my team. I have some very bright individuals working with me and they’re really passionate about what they do. Passion is a hard thing to manage. You try to make sure people have the best support and that they get resources. You are also trying to help them with their energy levels... which might sound hippie, but in COVID-19 times it can be hard because people are demotivated, stuck at home, and some people are taking care of elderly family members. How are you dealing with COVID-19 as a leader? One-on-ones are sacred. I’ve told people that I won’t respond to meeting invites on Tuesdays. Tuesdays are one-on-ones for the entire team from 9am-4pm. Everyone gets half an hour, or more, depending on circumstances. I sit down with them and really go through things and ask them ‘ What do you need? How are things going?’ For some of my team, it’s a show and tell time, where they show me all the cool things they’ve done. For others, it’s a venting session where everything is broken and I have to ask ‘ How do we remove this stress for you? How can we divide your work so other people can work on it?’
We also do stand-ups every day. Like my hair, mine are a little unorthodox. I don’t know why but I get into a game show host mode but it keeps things moving. At the end, we do an open mic session where we bring things up to the team, brainstorm ideas, or ask questions. It really helps build camaraderie. What are things that personally give you meaning at work? I focus on optimizing people. I look at it from a holistic approach. This is where machine meets hippie. People are optimized in a plethora of ways. Mental health needs to be addressed. They need to have work-life balance. They have to find whatever works for them. You can’t have your workers disengaged, because they aren’t going to do anything, but you also can’t have them working crazy hours because they’ll get burnt out. The more you can get things off your plate, automate them, or remove friction - the more people can work to live rather than live to work.