20 years in Sluno company: Martina Tvardková
Where did you come across Sluno?
I just came from Australia, where I spent three years in various temporary jobs. I was 27 and decided to find a stable job in the Czech Republic. I found Sluno through an advert and found it interesting to work in an IT company.
How was the interview?
It was led by the then HR manager Hanka Bobrovská. It was challenging and funny at the same time. At that time, psychological tests were still being done and there was also an interview with an English lecturer who had fits of laughter at my Australian accent. It was for the position of assistant to the CEO Marta Nováková, so she was not absent from the interview. That was the hard part. Marta straight up unpacked everything that awaited me in the position, only to scare me and then reassure me that I would somehow manage.
How were your first years in Sluno?
I worked as her assistant for less than two years. After that, I was offered a job as an HR manager so I could move on. Within a month I was trained and in another six months I went on maternity leave for five long years. However, on my return, I had another move, this time to Renata Apeltauer’s marketing team. I got back into HR after two years, when the then HR manager left. I expressed interest in her position and was accepted. That’s what I love about Sloan, the opportunity to move across different departments and positions in the company.
I started out in HR on my own back then. It was all sorts of work: contracts, communication with the authorities, recruitment, employee training. Almost everything we do today.
What was 2022 like?
A year full of changes. Katka Štefková, the head of the HR department, went on maternity leave and I replaced her. Two new faces, Lucka and Eva, were added, so we all had a lot of training and taking over the agenda.
What did Sluno teach you?
That nothing is forever and the work of an HR manager is constantly changing. Over the past 20 years, several people have changed positions as CEO and management, and I have come to understand that each brings with them a different style of work and a different approach. This has a big impact on the work of the HR department and the priorities it focuses on. I am quite conservative and it took me a long time to learn to accept change as part of the circle of life. But since then, things have been easier and adversities have suddenly become opportunities.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
I was never bored at work. Of course, some tasks are repeated every month, but there is always something new to think about and new challenges. I both enjoy and find it a bit frustrating that nothing is ever definitively done. But that’s normal, because everything moves on, can be improved or done differently. With big corporate events, I’m always nervous about how the event will turn out and what kind of response it will get, but at the same time, it’s a moment I look forward to.
What does your normal working day look like?
With coffee, without which I would be useless, I go through my mail and plan what I will do that day. That changes 90% of the time during the day, and I end up doing something completely different. Part of the agenda, of course, is administration. But I also have regular meetings with management and marketing. I spend time with new employees during on-boarding, and I also meet with others on various occasions. I am in charge of organising staff training and these days I am working hard on preparations for the annual appraisal.
What would you like to accomplish by the end of 2023?
I would love it if we could get the project of creating a new HR website and new recruitment videos off the ground. I would like to automate the HR department processes a bit more and use some tools to eliminate routine work.
What do you like to do and where do you get your energy for work?
My favourite thing to do is to go outdoors, either on foot in the mountains or by bike. Every year I recharge my batteries on traveling family vacations. In recent years we have gone to the Pyrenees or the Balkans, where we spent most of our time in Montenegro and Northern Macedonia. This year we are planning Scotland.
I liked the national parks in the western USA the most. If I look at the map and see where we’ve been, I wouldn’t go back to the same place, but the parks in the USA are worth it.