Today we had the chance to chat with Simão Saco. Simão Saco is the Growth Lead at Birdie Homecare Software, a fast-growing startup in the homecare industry.

Simão is responsible for demand generation at Birdie. He defines himself as a data-driven marketer, with an appetite for thinking, conceptualizing, and executing growth hacks for ambitious organizations.

We talked about how company transparency and vision are key for motivation and how to build a North star metric for the whole team. We also explored what it takes to build a great one-to-one relationship between a manager and a team member. The last topic we discussed was learning and how to change the way of learning in the workplace.

Here are a few highlights from our discussion:

About Transparency

"Transparency is key. Most of the time, lack of motivation comes from the lack of visibility that you have as an employee. You don't know what's happening, you don't understand the motives behind the things that are being directed at you. At Birdie, we operate on an almost unparalleled level of transparency. I know what the CEO does, I can access his diary. [...] I know the runways, I know everything there is to know."

The power of one-to-one meetings

"Don't underestimate the power of one-to-one meetings. [...] You can take the opportunity to understand your role within the bigger project. You won't get the chance to be friends with all your managers but what you can do is build a very efficient relationship with those managers. [...] We have a very structured way of doing one-to-ones. They happen almost no matter what every week. They do have an agenda and a ceremony process. It's like "How are you feeling on a scale of 1 to 10" and it goes both ways. It's not just the time for the manager to ask you how you're feeling and check up on your performance. It is also time for you to check up with them. What is your manager concerned about?"

"You won't get the chance to be friends with all your managers but what you can do is build a very efficient relationship with those managers."

Making time for learning

"If companies want the best know-how, want to be the best in practice, they need to give employees time to learn new skills. In fact, they should "force" employees to upskill. In a nice way, right?!"

Data Skills are key

"I can't stress this enough because if you're not feeling already this pressure, you will at some point. It's around data, modeling, and statistical analysis. I think the more in-depth in marketing and performance you go into, the more you will encounter roadblocks and you'll need structured learning around data. You'd really benefit from a professional learning approach around data. It's been a pain. [...] There's a lot of mathematical and logical learning that modern marketers need to have essentially, to be good at their job."

Happiness at work

"We need to reassess our relationship to work. [...] People go to work for different reasons. [...] It's a very hard metric to balance across a very diverse set of people. There are things however I think companies should focus on more and more. It goes beyond the usual 'throw money at it'. Especially for my generation.[...] It's around recognition and fulfillment. [...] There's also something around the development of a person. It can be pushed through definitely with learning. Being in a stimulating environment provides you with happiness I think."

Listen to the episode:

Are you in a hurry? Listen directly to what interests you:

  • Transparency (3:00)
  • Company Vision & The North Star Metric (4:30)
  • What is great management? (11:15)
  • One-to-one meetings (14:10)
  • Learning by yourself (19:00)
  • Dealing with roadblocks as a marketer (22:20)
  • Making time for learning (26:48)
  • The pressure around Data skills (33:00)
  • Happiness at work (37:10)