We had some questions for evermood co-founder Lara about her platform and living team culture. The interview tells you all about her honest opinion and her advice on the topic
Lara, what’s behind the concept of evermood?
In one of my old jobs, I had a manager exhibited sexist behavior towards me. I told Marvin, now my co-founder, about this and we thought long and hard about possible solutions for employees who find themselves in conflict situtations or have to deal with other taboo topics in their work environment. That’s how our mission started. We wanted to create a digital safe space, so to say. Now, the original evermood concept has evolved into a holistic media library where we have curated more then 200 videos and articles about topics like stress, burnout, bullying, depression. We are trying to make access to that library as easy as possible.
Back then, you were part of our Accelerator program and called yourselves “Lytt”. What’s your verdict on the program?
The program enormously helped us to refine our idea by giving us access to expert knowledge. I remember things like a workshop with the SAAS institute, networking events, many contacts with Hidden Champions from OWL, and very honest but also very critical feedback on the business cases.
In the program, we acquired basic knowledge that is still helpful to this day. Also, you can’t underestimate how emotionally invaluable it is to be part of a community which treads the same path, where people can support and push each other towards the goal. The community – that’s what imbues the whole thing with life.
Did you ever think about moving into the B2C market with your idea? Or were you always convinced that you’ll go B2B?
We didn’t experience these conflicts in some general siutation but very specifically in a work environment. Also, from day one. we were passionate about bringing topics that are usually stigmatized in the workplace into the spotlight. This idea of trying to change a whole culture was always so elementary to our motivation that we never really considered B2C.
And now your company has grown with that idea. Can you tell us a bit about your regular customers?
We have a very colorful customer portfolio that comprises both small companies and large enterprises, among them the Deutsche Bahn and the Bertelsmann Stiftung. We have developed our content in a way that makes it especially relevant (and affordable) for companies with 50 employees and more so that we can cover a broad spectrum with our product.
Taking “spectrum” as a cue: You cover a large spectrum both in your customer portfolio and your content portfolio. Do you want to stay diverse or do you plan to focus on a specific area?
The value of our platform lies in treating such diverse topics such as bullying, stress, frustration, workspace anxiety, and private problems. That’s why we are looking for partners on all levels, whose contents we can incorporate into our platform, making it as multi-faceted as possible.
Lara, how do you feel about leading a team of now 12 people?
It’s something that is incredibly fun. The topics company culture and personnel management are instrinsically very important topics to me. Starting with OKRs, which give everyone realistic and motivating goals, to restrospectives, to regular, shared offsite meetings.
How would you describe your style of leadership?
Phew, that’s a good question. I believe, I’m a very empathetic but also empowering person. If things aren’t going well, I’m by nature someone who bounces back easily and someone who motivates people.
How do you embody your company culture and your platform in your own team?
People say that doctors are the worst patients. I hope that’s not true in our case. We try to be role models as best as we can; and we’re using our own tool. Meaning that our employees always have access to knowledge, exercises, and courses in our database. We also have something that we call a routine touchpoint, where we talk about our routines, examine what we’re working on and where problems might emerge, especially concerning work-life-balance. We regularly start surveys in our team and have started offering wellness and sports activities. For example, we are bonding more as a team if we go to spinning classes together.
Does your team react well to all the offers?
Yes, definitely. We always notice that we have to communicate these opportunities well and create space for them. Then, these things go well with the team.
In all honesty: How do you yourself deal with stressful phases?
Thanks for asking, Dana. I was just thinking that so far everything sounds too much like perfect world. In many things, I myself I’m not the best role model or the kind of person who always manages to take a break or takes care that their working hours remain on a psychologically healthy level. I also do have quite a bit of impostor-syndrome which I’m trying to address by being kind to myself. I think, everyone has issues they have to deal with. Especially for me, it’s the resolution to find a better work-life-balance. This also makes my style of leadership better and more empathetic. I saw a lecture once where someone said “If you are fatigued, you can’t act morally”. I think there’s a lot of truth in that.
Did you already have a situation in your team where you noticed someone being completely overworked?
Yeah, sure. We like to give people a day off when we notice that that person needs a break.
What’s your practical advice on treating yourself mindfully in your every-day worklife?
I personally am a huge fan of have a really great morning routine. I’d advise anyone to find a way to start the day with more serenity. Journaling is also a good way to keep track of what makes you happy and what could be improved upon. In our team, we also do small meditation sessions together. Although, I believe that people deal very differently with meditation. Everyone has to find out which method is best for them. The most important thing is that you become more aware on how to treat yourself mindfully.
You want to actively prevent stress buildup in your startup?
Find out how to keep your team and yourself mentally healthy.