Leadership Profiles: Hanna Makowska

In the Leadership profile series, we aim to highlight our leaders who are living by our values and leading by example by promoting the culture for growth and innovation. 

Our next participant is Hanna Makowska, Area Manager in Wrocław, Poland. 

Hanna Makowska


How would you describe yourself as a leader?

As a leader, I focus on the people in my team. I support them, respond to their needs, and pave the way for their development by acquiring various projects. As a team representative, I consult with clients to carry out new tasks that will contribute to the growth of individuals as well as the team as a whole.

How does Etteplan support leadership and growth?

I must admit that Etteplan has been incredibly supportive of me from the very beginning. In 2018, I became a Manager of the Technical Communications team, and this was my first step on the leadership path. While I was guaranteed a lot of freedom, this had two sides. I was able to act on my own terms, but also had the opportunity to make mistakes, which helped me build on my experience. Not an easy path, but very educational. Of course, I reported it to my superiors, but I had the green light to act. I received support from them throughout my time as a manager. The two internal training courses I attended, Ette Coach and E-lead, were also especially useful. Both were well prepared, based on working in smaller groups where we worked on real-life examples. 
My team played a major role in my development. I get feedback from them, based on which I check what I can improve in my work, which activities I should develop, which initiatives to go into. 
Other departments - HR or marketing - also contribute to my development. They are the driving force for increasing the visibility of TCS (Technical Communication Solutions). There are completely new opportunities to present my team internally and externally. I want to take advantage of these - sometimes – completely new areas for me. By receiving support from others, I continue to grow and expand my horizons.


How would you describe the culture at Etteplan?

Culture, in the general sense, is something we all bring from home, and  is somethings we are influenced by. The organizational culture in Etteplan is at a very high level. I like that there is a low barrier for communication across all levels in the organization. Here there is an atmosphere of complete openness, even  our CEO Juha Näkki is open to listen to  suggestions and talk to employees. Colleagues are available to each other, what is a huge added value.
The organizational culture also manifests itself in the onboarding process. I make sure that new employees are introduced to their tasks, the team, and our way of working right from the start. The induction is structured which is greatly appreciated on both sides. When I talk to new colleagues after a few months, th this is one of the aspects that they highlight. Everything is planned, arranged, clearly communicated and there is a friendly atmosphere. Their opinion is very important to me. I constantly monitor how my team members feel at work because I care about their experience.

In what ways do you feel you have an impact on the company culture?

As much as you give of yourself, you also receive. Your contribution will be reflected in what you get. For my part, I get involved in all sorts of initiatives - looking for new projects and collaboration opportunities, organizing business events and team building as well. I think it also has a huge impact on the culture to present your point of view. Each of us can see the same situation differently, so we learn from each other.


Our values are: Customer oriented, attractive, and proactive. What do they mean to you?

Customer orientation is all about focusing on the business needs of the customer. A seemingly simple definition, but I take a broader approach. The client comes with a specific need and I ask additional questions during the meeting. I know from my experience that what they come with is the tip of the iceberg. I want to see what lies beneath. I take the long view, asking myself what value the client will get from working with us. Customer orientation is future oriented. 
Attractiveness is definitely an added value in business - both for the customer and the employees. Business is made up of people - customers and employees. We can confidently say that attractiveness affects both sides of the business, and they affect each other. Why should a customer choose Etteplan as a business partner? Because our offer is attractive. This attractiveness is also linked to Etteplan as an employer - it is something we build together so that everyone wants to work here and the company attracts new employees. The attractiveness of our offer also translates into the perception of Etteplan as an attractive employer - something we build together so that everyone wants to work here and so that the company attracts new employees. 
Being proactive means first and foremost coming up with initiatives outside and inside the organization. We do not limit ourselves to completing assigned tasks. Proactivity means developing competence, people and the company.

How do you see this in practice?

In the case of client orientation, during the meeting I try to get to know customer’s team. I ask about their business needs, find out what challenges they face. Sometimes a client asks me to prepare technical documentation, and I think: what about the future? Or will this documentation be modified, translated into other languages, updated? My job is to find the best solution that meets the client's needs in the broader perspective. 

When it comes to attractiveness, there are again two sides to the story here. One is the customer. I make sure that the cooperation with us is attractive, so as TCS we guarantee to take full care of project. Not only do we carry out our tasks, but we also give support. On the other hand, there is the attraction towards the employees. Here, I try to provide the best possible development conditions for my team - opportunities to develop their competences, providing a variety of projects, structuring the onboarding process. All these activities translate into building precisely the attractiveness of Etteplan as an employer. 

Being proactive is a daily occurrence for me. There is a lot going on in our team, we are involved in various initiatives such as participating in conferences, organizing meetups, networking meetings, as well as training sessions and presentations for clients.

Wildcard: If you could offer one piece of advice about anything, what would it be?

Especially nowadays, when we work remotely, overcommunication is better than no communication at all.


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