We took some time out with Kay Jarvis, Tevva’s HR Director, to discuss #WhyTevva, the key ingredients to a healthy workplace, and how Tevva HR supports its employees through rapid growth phases and a freight industry revolution. Kay shared with us what she envisions for the new era of working at Tevva at their new home, and how Tevva is as much a people business as it is about creating technology that matters.
What surprised Kay early on in her career was that businesses were not prioritizing their people. She was fortunate enough to be given exposure to HR roles early on in her career, which helped her gain a deeper understanding of how the division works. There, she realized how human resources genuinely impacts the core of a business.
“[HR] is the differentiator between a business being successful or not, and it doesn’t matter if you’ve got the hottest technology, or the smartest idea. If you don’t have the people in place to deliver the strategy of a business, it’s not going to work.”
When the opportunity to join Tevva came along, Kay was in a position where she wanted to better align who she is as an individual with where she was professionally. She was particularly attracted to Tevva, sold on both COO Peter Domeney’s vision for the company, and and CEO Asher Bennetts’ passion for the technology and impact on the environment when she heard that they were developing and bringing to market a product solution for green freight. “What really sold me was the fact that this technology, if we do it right and get it to market, is going to make an impact to our world.”
As the Human Resources Director, Kay has a lot of exposure to the works closely with the leadership and is thrilled with how the dynamic of that team has developed in a relatively short amount of time. Describing the work environment and team members as humble, driven, and exciting, “I wake up every day, and I genuinely enjoy what I am doing… being a part of Tevva; it’s a fantastic place to be and we have a fantastic team because we all want Tevva to succeed.”
“What’s exciting to me now is that the team that is being formed and the leadership journey we are going on means we are able to create something very special,” she describes. “Our goal seems more tangible now, and the reason is that we are all coming together as a team to achieve it, we’re starting to get a collective understanding of where Tevva needs to be, what we need to be doing now and how we need to move forward.”
When trying to sum up what sort of a place Tevva is to work; no ego, fair, fun, diverse, courageous — these are the words that come to the fore — but Kay is keen to underline the truth — that you can’t contrive them or buy them, they have to genuinely exist, and in Tevva they genuinely do!
When describing Tevva’s new planned headquarters, near London, Kay is incredibly enthusiastic about the plans Tevva has to establish a home for their company and employees. The new location, able to house hundreds of employees and expanded operations, is an enormous milestone for Tevva, which just last year had an employee headcount of just around 40 people across two small, but capable locations.
The move to the new home will also come with the opportunity to create new ways of working, introducing new technologies in the new facility, Kay explains Tevva’s ambition to create an extension of home for their employees, that is highly integrated with the local community. She describes an adaptable environment in which members of the Tevva team can create their ideal work set up, along with multiple break out spaces, welfare spaces. Tevva recognises that not just through its products but through its people it will impact the world for the better — we’ll be working with the local community, we’ll be open and integrated with our ways of working both internally but with the community too.
When asked about building a team in a high growth environment “We have to equip our people with a different set of skills — life and personal skills. We are going beyond the norms and skillset for the jobs they do. We are equipping our people with life skills and personal development skills; anything from change management to life coaching to behavioural coaching. Understanding where we are as an employer, to be able to enrich the lives of our employees is what will prepare them for a high-growth environment.” We welcome and hire on behaviours, the rest Tevva is prepared to teach.
Where does Kay see Tevva in five years’ time?
“In five years’ time, Tevva will be a name that people will know. Tevva will be a workplace where people will want to be. Tevva will be a truck that people will want to drive. Tevva will conjure up the thought of care to our world.”