Get to know Floriane Hibelot: “My path from Consulting to Operations Manager”

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Floriane, could you introduce yourself?

I come from a little village in Bourgogne. I lived there until I was 16 years old and then I moved to Dijon. As a student, I travelled a lot. After having lived in England and Taiwan for a while, I finished my studies under the Barcelona sun. During all those years, I really enjoyed learning Chinese which led to me spending a lot of time in Taiwan and China.

When you were younger, what did you want to do?

I wanted to be a psychologist. That was until I realised their offices bore no resemblance to what you saw on TV…🙃  

I have always liked being in contact with people. I enjoy getting to know them and trying to help them progress and manage certain subjects.

What were you doing before WeMaintain?

At the end of my studies, after having moved every six months during the last four years, I wanted to settle and spend some time in one place. I decided to follow a pretty standard path: consulting.

For two and a half years, I was a digital transformation consultant for services and the public sector. It was a great experience and amongst other things, I learnt how to put in place efficient work methods and create and optimise processes.

I learnt how to get out of my comfort zone through being sent on different missions all over France, during which I had to manage enormous transformation programs. I discovered lots of different work methods: visual management, how to run a workshop or a meeting - skills that I didn’t even know existed beforehand, but now I use them every day!

Why did you change and decide to join WeMaintain?

After 2 and a half years, I was starting to get a bit bored. I felt like a bird trapped in a cage. I knew that I still had a lot of things to develop, skills to learn and risks to take but that this wasn’t going to be possible at Capgemini Invent. Consultancy is a very structured universe with a lot of hierarchy already in place and not a lot of space for innovation or initiative.

After a lot of thought, I decided to follow a JoinLoin training session and find out what opportunities there were outside of consulting (other than joining one of my clients). For 8 Saturdays, I met a lot of different people and startups. And during one of these meetings, I heard a talk given by Jade, the co-founder and COO of WeMaintain.

I recognised the values that I had when working for Capgemini Invent in the public sector, aligned with the ones that WeMaintain had. One in particular was giving back value to jobs which have been forgotten/bypassed by digital advances or overly micromanaged - a situation which does not occur only in the lift industry.

So, I decided to apply as a Customer Success Manager at WeMaintain but in the end, I wasn’t chosen for this position. But I had really enjoyed the interviews and felt we were on the same wavelength, so I got in touch again one month later with my sights set on joining them in another position.

At that time, they had started to identify a need for someone who could scale up the engineers’ community. I joined WeMaintain in this new position and the rest is history.

So now, my job at WeMaintain is to develop and scale the model that we have created with our engineer community. A community which has doubled since February 2020!

I define and setup the processes, rules, promises and limits of WeMaintain’s model. It is the framework which allows the engineer community to grow alongside WeMaintain.

My daily tasks can be very different from one month to another. My responsibilities include:

  • Meeting with the engineers who would like to join this new model
  • Measuring the quality of service provided by the community
  • Work with the engineers to put in place new processes, with a view to continuously improve the service they provide
  • Focusing on urgent and time-sensitive problems which need to be resolved
  • Discussing the engineers’ needs with the product team
  • Accompanying our engineers on sites to understand how lifts work

I use a lot of my existing knowledge to put in place and optimise processes, to create a long lasting and solid model. Beyond that, it is mainly a people orientated job and every day I have to make sure I understand their needs.

What has been the biggest “shock” since you changed?

I have realised that inertia in the workplace can exist when there are only 3 people. In fact, even when there is just 1 person! I thought that the phrase “we have always done it like that” was only said in big companies. But inertia exists in people, not in companies. Whatever the size of the company, it is important to fight against inertia.

What do you like the most about working at WeMaintain?

At WeMaintain, everyone can be and is the same person at work and at home (that’s the value that we call “uniqueness”). As a consultant, I only really showed 10% of my personality but now, I can truly be myself.

What would you do if you weren’t at WeMaintain?

I would look to join another small company as I like the energy they give off. Maybe I would try a different job, so I could continue to learn - perhaps Product Manager ?

What would you tell someone to convince them to join WeMaintain?

For me, we really practice the values that we preach (care, grit and uniqueness).

Also, it is really cool to not be in a “normal” industry. It is a little bizarre, but so interesting to work in a sector not many people are familiar with and where there is so much to do. As it is quite unexpected, it always provokes a good reaction at a party. 🎉

If you leave a big company to join a small company, the change can be quite a shock. We have to use our initiative and the word “autonomy” takes on a whole new meaning. That is something to bear in mind before making the change because it might not suit everybody.

WeMaintain is looking for new talents to join our team - you can find them here!

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