"HR is about recognising potential and finding its place in the company’s vision"
"My passion has always been understanding people - what drives us, what hinders us, and what makes our eyes sparkle. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing our people happy, motivated, and doing what they do best," said Tjaša Dolinar about her work.
Tjaša is an HR specialist at Better. She is also a dancer, a reader, a mother to a one-and-a-half-year-old girl, and an occasional video game player. And she is a genuinely nice and warm person. After exploring other options, she realised HR was her passion, and she was born to engage with people, their growth and development, and company culture. She has been with Better for four years now and has just taken over all of the HR activities. "I really believe in the Better mission to provide better care for patients with the help of technology, and I believe in our teams who are working hard to make this happen," said Tjaša in an interview, where you can learn more about what drives her, what she is proud of, and what will she be doing in the next months and years.
What inspired you to pursue a career in HR? Did you always know this was what you wanted to do, or was it more of a coincidence that brought you where you are now?
While I was finding my true passion, my career went through several phases. It started with event planning, then marketing and sales, then some product development and project management. But in all my roles, I always gravitated towards people, spontaneously picking up HR activities, like recruitment, internal communication, development programs, etc. And those were the activities I always enjoyed the most. My first real step in HR direction was when I was working at an IT startup, and we were developing recruitment software for our internal use. It was love at first sight, and I knew what I wanted to do with my life. But my official career in HR didn’t start until I got the opportunity to meet Better and two amazing people I still consider my mentors. I’m so thankful they saw the potential in me and started me off on this wonderful journey.
For you personally, what is the most rewarding aspect of working in HR?
The best part about HR is seeing the direct impact your work has on other people. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing our people happy, motivated, and doing what they do best.
What drives your passion for working with people, and how does this passion translate into your approach to HR and employee relations at Better?
My passion has always been understanding people - what drives us, what hinders us, and especially what makes our eyes sparkle. Because that’s where our true potential and our success lie. For me, HR is about recognising that potential and then finding its place in the company’s vision. Metaphorically speaking, it’s about putting the right person in the right shoes, surrounding them with the right people, and providing the right equipment to follow their goals.
You have been with Better for more than 4 years now. Are there any specific aspects of the company culture that have kept you engaged and motivated in your role? Are there any changes or additions you want to make now that you also took over the HR activities?
We have some great initiatives and culture aspects at Better, and of course, there is always room for improvement. Our core culture and values revolve around our name, so it’s quite literal - we are about making things better and getting better ourselves. That’s something I identify very closely with, and it’s what drives me. The company-wide tendency to improve fosters a learning culture, a growth mindset, and an environment supportive of change and development. We plan to work even more on open communication and feedback, people empowerment, collaboration, diversity and inclusion, and to take our social responsibility even further.
Are there particular HR projects or initiatives at Better that you're especially proud of?
I have to say we have established an amazing well-being program. We call it Better in Flow, and outside partners are working with us to make sure our people get the best out of it. We have an expert for ergonomics and manual therapy available to everybody, we have a coach that helps us reach optimal performance and quickly process stressful events, and we support sports activities and different initiatives coming from our coworkers.
As you mentioned, well-being is an important part of the Better company culture. Are there any new strategies or initiatives that you plan to initiate to support the professional development and well-being of employees?
One of the newest initiatives is focused on our careers, development, and training. Under the working title BetterEDGE (Education, Development, Growth, Empowerment), we are creating a system for career path, knowledge transfer, and competency development. We just started, and we have a long way to go with this project, but the first steps were made successfully, and we are looking forward to the next stage.
The backgrounds and experiences of employees at Better are quite diverse, and we have employees in 4 different countries. How do you make sure they all feel included and that they belong?
This is a challenge we try to tackle on several different levels. First, we make sure the whole Better gets together once a month (either in person or online) for a monthly meeting where we get in sync with the vision, trends, novelties, and achievements. We have company-wide parties and team-building activities to bring everybody together outside work, and we try to include our colleagues in internal initiatives as much as possible. Besides that, we do a lot of work one-on-one to create an environment of inclusion and, above all, a safe space for feedback so we know what and how to improve in the future.
You have just recently returned from maternity leave. As a mother, how do you balance your professional responsibilities with family life? Do you have any advice for young mothers returning to their jobs?
To be honest, this has been, by far, the greatest challenge of my life. I'm lucky because we have a lot of flexibility and understanding at Better, so this makes it easier to navigate all the responsibilities the little ones bring. I find that the best way to do it is to be fully present in the moment. So, when I’m at work, my focus is fully on my activities here, but when I’m with my family, I try not to bring my work with me and focus on them completely. And, of course, it helps to take a day off just for myself, to recharge.
What does Better mean to you?
Better to me is a place for self-actualisation, growth, and for contributing to something that touches all of our lives at some point - healthcare. I really believe in Better’s mission to provide better care for patients with the help of technology, and I believe in our teams who are working hard to make this happen. Of course, it can be challenging at times, but working with such amazing people makes it all worthwhile.