Meet Irma Dambrauskė, our Global Head of People Experience. After joining TransferGo’s senior team almost two years ago, Irma is committed to leading our People Experience team, scaling up processes to support our company growth and delivering people-focussed initiatives.
Here Irma Dambrauskė discusses the importance of treating employees as customers, adapting to a pandemic, the frustrations of stagnation and the British brand that inspires her lifestyle.
“The idea of connecting to almost everyone in an organisation has always fascinated me…
I was born and bred in Lithuania, but after high school, I moved to the UK to study Psychology and Management at Bradford University. It was very different from the education experience I had in Lithuania. Over here (in Lithuania), things are a lot more academic but I found that it was much more about applied sciences in the UK. You really had to research real-time examples and cases. Since my degree was a joint degree, it was interesting to learn about both business and theory-based psychology as a science. It was challenging having to mix and match the knowledge but it was great.
During one summer vacation, I came back to Vilnius and did an internship in HR. The experience really got me interested in the field. For me, the idea of connecting to almost everyone in an organisation and understanding what each department does has always fascinated me. This is when I considered that this might be the field for me. So once I finished my studies in the UK, I returned to Vilnius and started a job in recruitment. It was a really good experience. I believe recruitment is the most dynamic department within the HR and People field. It was amazing to learn about different industries and types of positions while meeting other people and creating different networks within the industry.”
“It’s so rewarding seeing different stories and personal journeys develop—I love seeing the work we’ve done in action…
I love the feeling of connectedness we have on the team. We see so many different stories and personal journeys within the organisation and it’s always so rewarding seeing what people do professionally. Someone who might join as a specialist might eventually become a big leader. And it’s amazing to think that we helped them to prove themselves, supported them and solved their challenges. Seeing what we’ve done and given is great.
For me, a customer-centric mindset is important. Even though the ‘customers’ I’m dealing with are actually internal employees, I believe they should still be treated like our external customers. We still need to provide the best experience and that really drives me. I also really value professionalism—I think it’s important to have high standards, know your field and aim for high-quality results.”
“I get frustrated when things aren’t moving. In those situations, I have to take a step back and refocus…
In terms of what makes me tick, I can’t stand it when things aren’t moving. If we’re ever involved in a conversation that’s not leading to action, I have to take a step back and refocus. I have to think, ‘What are we doing here? What’s our goal? Do we want results?’ And if we do want to see results, then we need to keep taking action. Even if that means making some mistakes, it’s always really important that we move on from that spot.”
“I love the culture at TransferGo. Our people are always curious—they ask questions and they challenge things…
Since Covid-19 struck, I’ve found that our work culture hasn’t really changed much. Even though we’re working remotely, people have remained very curious. They ask questions, they care and they challenge things. And I really appreciate that. I think that’s what makes us TransferGo.
If we implement something, we need to make sure it delivers value. And this applies to everything—from our product to Customer Support to the People team. If things don’t add value, people will notice. I think it’s really important for our culture that we stay focussed on this.”
“Every day brings new challenges. It’s important to have a plan but I always make sure I’m prepared for the unexpected…
Every day is very different. That said, it’s really important for me to have a plan. And usually, this is related to what that month or quarter brings—things like onboarding, performance reviews, engagement studies etc. can all affect this. So I work with the calendar but I also dedicate time to ad-hoc things. Every day brings new challenges and things we’ve not planned, so we have to deal with that. It’s good to have a plan but I always make sure I’m prepared for the unexpected.
I’m currently managing two of our People Specialists, Greta and Ausra. It’s great working with different personalities and I find it’s something you can really learn from. You have these moments where you notice people thinking differently to you and that can be great. But what we all do have in common is a can-do attitude. If there’s a challenge or something we’ve not done before, we all place importance on tackling the next steps and figuring out how to move forward. If we experience something new, we get excited rather than dismiss it. We move straight away into the mindset of working out how we can implement it. And I think that’s really important.”
“I’m so proud of everything that the People team has achieved; we’ve proved to our employees that we’re a department they can trust…
I’m really proud of the progress and the level of trust that we’ve gained as a People team along the way. When employees or cultural survey results mention that they feel supported by the People team and they feel like the company really cares about them, it feels like such a great achievement.
Everyone on our team started roughly at the same time. And there’s a huge difference between how we’re perceived now and how we were perceived back then. I think this is one of Anna’s great achievements. She was a leader who inspired and embedded the idea that the People team is your partner and someone you can trust. I’m so glad that I’ve had the opportunity to work with her and implement these changes.”
“Covid-19 has brought on challenges, but I think we’ve dealt with it really well…
We’ve been continuing to employ and onboard people during the pandemic, but everything is now done remotely. This was a huge change for us as so many of our practices include physical contact. Greta managed to come up with a different approach to Newcomer’s Day and I’m so pleased about that. Usually, we’d have all of our new employees in the company come to the Vilnius office for the day with the team. But now, Greta’s incorporated a new networking event called Run the World, which means we can do this remotely while still keeping things engaging and entertaining. I’m so pleased she’s managed to make this change and continue providing this experience for our new hires.
I’m also really proud of our recent engagement survey results from December. Even though we’re all working remotely, we managed to keep the engagement score from the previous survey. Some of the elements even increased—for example, we now provide better support to employees working remotely. So it’s great to feel like we’ve dealt with Covid-19 and everything else that’s happened well.
It’s been difficult working from home and I really miss having face-to-face meetings and that social interaction in the office. But I’ve also discovered some new advantages—like waking up a little later and enjoying breakfast before starting work.”
“As we continue to grow and expand, it’s really important to me that we maintain our amazing TransferGo culture…
Our main goal for this year is to keep enabling remote work. Unfortunately, we don’t have high hopes that we’re all going to be back in the office anytime soon. This situation has shown me that we need to adapt to this new normal—particularly when employees have proved they don’t have an issue with it. They’re quite enjoying that flexibility and remote working. So as a People Experience team, we need to implement that flexibility and remote working option.
At the same time, we also want to continue further supporting our growth while maintaining our culture and keeping it alive. Sometimes companies can really lose their identity when they expand or grow too fast so we definitely don’t want that. I believe we need to aim for sustainable growth where we increase our team. But at the same time, we also need to have the resources onboard to support our culture and values.”
“I’m a big fan of MINI cars; they’re not just cars for me, they represent a lifestyle…
I’m a big fan of MINI cars. I really fell in love with the brand when I came over to the UK to study. I’m currently on my second MINI car. It’s a black and white Paceman that they don’t produce any more. It’s a 4-wheel drive that’s also still quite sporty. One day, I’d like to own a convertible. If I had the opportunity, I’d have all the MINIs in different colours.
I sometimes go to the orientation rallies here in Vilnius. They have season opening and closing events so I go there and meet up with people. But I don’t actually organise any MINI meets myself. For me, MINI cars aren’t just about driving. They represent weekends away and all sorts—it’s a brand that really resonates with me.”