Why I Became a Tideturner: People and Planet - Turntide Technologies

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Why I Became a Tideturner: People and Planet

Lauren Forstater | Company Culture Share

I joined Turntide in 2021 for two simple reasons: “people” and “planet.” At the time, I wasn’t really looking for something new, but I had worked with Turntide’s Chief Information Officer Gary Roberts a decade earlier, and he suggested that I apply for an open position at the company. Well, I did, and the rest is history.

The People: Turntide Supports Both My Professional and Personal Growth
I knew something was different about Turntide even before finishing the interview process. Right away, I could tell this was a place filled with some incredibly smart and interesting people wanting to fight for the right things for the right reasons.

As it turns out, these same people also genuinely care about the professional and personal growth of their fellow Tideturners. This includes my immediate coworkers, of course, but also extends throughout a company culture dedicated to including and growing individuals—one of our five core values.

When I first started at Turntide in the summer of 2021, the company encouraged every employee to pursue both a professional and a personal objective and key result (OKR) each quarter. While Turntide’s personal-development program has evolved since then and no longer focuses on personal OKRs, the support I received in accomplishing mine continues to make a real impact in my life.

I wanted to become more present and focused, so I decided to start a meditation practice. With Gary’s support, I set up a series of goals that eventually led to daily 20-minute sessions. This new mindset has helped improve the quality of my work, allowing me to take a step back and approach stressful situations from a more mindful perspective. But it has also improved my personal life, affecting how I interact with my children and within my relationships with friends and family.

I’ve also gotten better at recognizing when I need to recenter myself throughout the day, a skill that Turntide actively nurtures company-wide in several ways. My favorite example takes place each week during our company-wide All-Hands meetings.

Although we’re a growing team with a lot to discuss, we always start these 40-minute meetings with two minutes of mindfulness, led by a different Tideturner. The actual activity differs depending on the individual, but the goal is always the same: to take a break from the work hustle to check in with ourselves.

Sometimes, the leader simply asks us to imagine our happy place. When I led the activity, I played an instrumental version of a Led Zepplin song and asked everyone to listen for the different chords and progressions.

Regardless of the approach, Tideturners get the opportunity to check in with themselves without cutting into their valuable personal time. I, for one, have really enjoyed this weekly reminder to care for myself. And as Turntide has dedicated more and more resources to my well-being, I’ve found myself dedicating more and more of my energy to growing the company and supporting our mission.

The Planet: Turntide’s Mission Aligns with My Personal Values
In order to save our planet, we must transition to 100% clean energy as quickly as possible. That’s where Turntide comes in. By increasing energy efficiency in buildings and transportation, two of the world’s biggest carbon emitters, we’re unlocking a realistic path to net zero.

That’s a pretty awesome goal. And while many of the benefits of working for a mission-driven company were obvious from the outside, others were more surprising.

For example, before joining Turntide, I worked for a great organization that was making cool content. While I enjoyed the job’s challenges and rewards at a professional level, some company goals conflicted with my personal interests. We wanted people to spend more time in front of their screens watching amazing programming, but at home, I was struggling to reduce my own children’s screen time. My work values were conflicting with my home values, and that just didn’t feel right.

At Turntide, that isn’t a problem. If anything, work influences my personal life in a positive way. My family is recycling more and being more mindful of conservation, like turning off unnecessary lights and composting more. My children see that you can work somewhere that aligns with your personal values and that can provide balance and enhance the quality of your life on both a professional and personal level.

If you’re working at Turntide, regardless of your exact position, you’re supporting a mission that impacts everyone on our planet: invent and scale breakthrough technologies to optimize how humanity uses energy. And since Turntide is one of the few companies making a real, scalable impact on global sustainability, I’m excited and willing to give my all to the mission.

Over my career, I’ve realized that work culture bleeds into your personal life, for better or for worse, so it’s important to find the right environment. Turntide is the right environment for me, and that has made all the difference.