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Being in charge of a large WordPress business… Yoast – #016

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This week we’re talking to Marieke van de Rakt, the CEO of Yoast. We met at WordCamp in Berlin earlier this year and had a fun and wide ranging chat.

She’s fairly new to the CEO role, having recently taken the helm from her husband Joost who started the company many years ago, but she’s got some big ideas.

The conversation is wide ranging… we talk about the history of Yoast SEO and how it was that she came to be CEO. We also chat about what she wants the company to do in the near term; changes that she’d like to make.

We also discuss some of the areas that WP and UP is interested in and she shares some of the things that they do at Yoast to ensure that their employees are happy at their work.

Conversely, we also get into the subject of how Marieke makes sure that she is able to cope with over 100 people who depend upon her and the decisions that she makes.

It’s a lovely chat and I hope that you enjoy it!

Interviewed by Nathan Wrigley.

We hope you enjoy the show, please do subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Spotify. We’re always looking for feedback, if you have any thoughts or comments, please do reach out.

And remember… Together we can #PressForward 

Featured on this podcast:

Marieke van de Rakt

Marieke van de Rakt

Marieke is the CEO of Yoast, a WordPress SEO solution installed on over 5 million websites. She has…

PODCAST TRANSCRIPT

Nathan Wrigley: 00:00 Welcome to episode 16 of the PressForward podcast. I’m Nathan Rick Lee and I’d like to thank you for joining us once again, and if this is your first time with us, I hope that you like it and that you find it useful. Maybe you’d like to make listening to this podcast a regular thing and if so, you can subscribe to us on your favorite podcast player and this can be done and by going to WP and UP.org forward slash podcast dash Ffeed

Nathan Wrigley: 00:46 The PressForward podcast is created by WP and UP. We’re a nonprofit working in the WordPress space to help you, your colleagues. In fact, anyone, the work is just beginning, but it’s already demonstrating that it’s much needed. For example, WP and UP have provided roughly two and a half thousand hours of companionship and mentorship. We have over three and a half thousand members. Volunteers have donated 5,000 hours and there have been over 6,000 event attendees. We’d love for you to get involved and involvement could mean many things. Maybe you could help us out financially and if you’d like to do that, you could go to WP and UP.org forward slash give or maybe you’d like to get involved with WP and UP. If so, then please visit WP and UP dot org forward slash contact or look for the social links in the website’s footer. Perhaps you’d just like to explore the content that we’re creating and if that’s the case, then there’s a blog at WP and UP.org forward slash blog it’s always getting fresh content and it’s a great place to go for a quick read. You can also help us out by sponsoring this podcast just like Green Geeks have done.

Nathan Wrigley: 02:28 PressForward podcast is brought to you today by Green Geeks. Green Geeks offers an awesome managed web hosting platform that’s built for speed, security and scalability whilst being environmentally friendly. Enjoy a better web hosting experience for your WordPress website, backed by 24 seven expert support and we do thank Green Geeks for helping us to put on the PressForward podcast.

Nathan Wrigley: 03:03 If you happen to be a regular listener of this podcast. Then you’ll know that a few months ago we took a team to WordCamp EU in Berlin. I was tasked with interviewing as many WordPress’s as possible and I did just that. It was great standing in the corridor watching the nearly 3000 attendees file in and out of all the talks happening. The fact that we chose the corridor was great. It meant that people could find as easily, but it also meant that there was quite a lot of background noise, but I’m sure that you’ll be able to listen to this episode and enjoy it. Despite that, the interviews that I did were really fun to do and they were really varied. Also, you can catch the ones that have already been released in the PressForward podcast feed.

Nathan Wrigley: 03:55 Okay, so on to today’s episode. Today I talk with Marieke van de Rakt rocked the CEO of Yoast. I’m sure that you’ve heard of Yoast. It’s an SEO plugin which is installed on over 5 million websites. Marieke is fairly new to the role of CEO having recently taken over from her husband who is also called Joost. We have a lovely warm chat about the past and future of the company, how Marieke runs things now that she’s in charge. And we also get onto the subject of diversity in bud press. She’s very close to Marieke’s heart and the WordPress community in general, and why it can be so warm and friendly. And so without further ado, I bring you Marieke van de Rakt.

Nathan Wrigley: 04:50 it is Saturday. It is Saturday. Saturday. It’s Saturday. It’s the second day of WordCamp proper. Uh, we had three days. It was a contributor day to begin with and we stood in the hall outside track number one. I’m joined by Marieke van de Rakt. Great. Yes. Better was earlier, but no, it was nice pronunciation. Yeah, we’re all like, we’re all experimented with this lovely new audio equipment that we’ve got, but we’ve got Marieke on today. Um, you may have heard of Marieke if you in the WordPress space, it’s probable that you have, do you want to just introduce yourself quickly?

Marieke: 05:27 Uh, my name is Marieke van de Rakt. I am the CEO of Yoast and people probably know Yoast because of our SEO plugin. Yeah.

Nathan Wrigley: 05:37 So you’re CEO of yes, yes. Quite a recent since I’ve been CEO for half a year now.

Marieke: 05:43 So yeah. Yeah. So I mean, we all know who the previous CEO, yes, I know him well.

Nathan Wrigley: 05:48 Yeah, yeah, yeah. How did that transition go?

Marieke: 05:51 Well we talked. So my husband is Joost, the founder of Yoast and um, we’ve talked about it. I think fr since I, I, I joined the company, but even before that I was always interfering with the company. But when, when I properly joined the company, he, I think it was my first day when he said, but in the end you should be the CEO. Um, I think Joost is the best product manager in the world and he is a really good marketeer, but he, um, well I was always the one saying, we should think about this. We should make decisions. Not that I would make the decision because we do that with the four of us, with our two other partners as well. But I was always pointing them and saying, we’re going to do this now. We’re going to go this way or we need to decide something. And within the company the company culture thing was always mind thing as well.

Marieke: 06:45 So then at one point, but I was always scared so I was like, no, you funded this, I can’t take over. And then at one point he didn’t ask me for a year if I wanted to be CEO. And I was like, if you asked me now I’m going to say yes. And then I know a meeting in which we were the four of us and he’d just said, but you don’t want to be a CEO. And I was like, I do want to be. And then he said, well then you are, you’re CEO now that was it. There was it really? Yes. One day to the next and yes. Wow. And it is a transition because he had to get used to and I myself had to get used to being the one that people want to talk to. Yeah.

Nathan Wrigley: 07:24 So this is a question I’ve wanted to ask you for ages. How do you cope with Yoast, the, the business and Yoast? The comp, sorry, the individual. So I want to ask you a question like, you know, really, do you ever switch off from Yoast? But I can’t ask that question because it’s got two possible outcomes

Marieke: 07:45 and we have, we always say Yoast, which is the Dutch and it often gets confusing because I um, well our private life and our professional lives are very much intertwined. It’s just, and that’s the way we chose things to do. So we have four children together, aged 13 to four, so it’s rather small and we like to take care of them as well. And having a company together, it gives you great flexibility in doing that. So two days a week those picks up the child’s two children from school until next week I’ll do that. And one day a week we just leave them. They have no, we have a ever like a daycare as some sort of facility after school as well. But that gives you space to do that. And of course at nights being an international company, we have a lot of meetings, but then they’re all Tibet. Well usually. So it’s sort of works and we are both very passionate people. So we, um, have discussions all the time, but it works for us.

Nathan Wrigley: 08:55 Your children are going to have an amazing understanding of search engine optimization, you think broader than any other child on the planet.

Marieke: 09:03 I know all day they do nothing but they don’t speak English even. And they have, they violin lessons and ballet football. They do just the things children do.

Nathan Wrigley: 09:14 Has anything changed since, since you became CEO? Have you, have you made any sort of like deliberate, this is a line in the sand, but I would like it to go from what it was to what, to what I would like it to be, or have you taken the approach that

Marieke: 09:26 I was always, yeah. So, so it was always, my approach now is not, it’s always been our approach to begin with. But being CEO sort of made me feel like the Lord of the rings thing. You put on the ring and then you instantly feel different. I felt more responsible for all of the people who are in our office. There’s a lot of people. Yes. Yeah. And they all need food and, and, and money. So that’s that. That was a burden that was heavier. The minutes I was CEO. For me personally, I am sorry, I’ve started some projects. I would like to have more people involved with making product decisions within the company. So we have a, a project now, which is called a product focus project, which I have different groups of people. I don’t know if it’s in there. We have different groups of people working on ideas on how to make Yoast SEO better. And um, and in September we’ll have an internal event in which all the ideas will be pitched and then we’re going to pick the one we’re going to build first because they’re all great ideas. So that’s something I like to do to talk with everyone in the company and see which ideas come up and what we can do. So there are a few changes that you’ve made. Yeah, but I don’t know if I wouldn’t have made them if I wasn’t CEO. So that’s, yeah.

Nathan Wrigley: 10:43 You spoke earlier about the, well, I think I’m right in saying that you’ve got about a hundred people.

Marieke: 10:48 Yes. I think 90 in our, in our, in our offices. So in the Netherlands and then we have about 20 who are scattered around the earth. They’re mainly doing support and we have some core contributors, but the largest part is in our office.

Nathan Wrigley: 11:02 Okay. And you also mentioned that you felt, I can’t remember the exact words. You used something they’ve got to eat, you know, we’ve got to pay them. How did, I couldn’t cope with that. I literally could not cope with that burden. How do you, how do you manage that?

Marieke: 11:17 Yup. Well do not think about it. So of course you have to strategize and think about growth and you have to get, and we’re doing great and we never have any investors. So everything is ours. And we just grew with the money we made ourselves. We’re not risk takers at all. So there’s not, so there’s never been a month in which it would be, um, hard to pay salaries. We’re always really able to do that. So we’re growing really slow compared to what we could have done if we were those risk-takers. But where we’re really not.

Nathan Wrigley: 11:53 Okay. So that obviates that in a way, you know that the, the, the money coming in is, is more than equal to the money going out. Yes. Every month.

Marieke: 12:00 Yes. Yeah. Wait more equal. And then we have, um, but then every now and then we have this events, like we have our Yoast Con event and then everyone is in the same room and I look at them and I’m like, no way. Yeah.

Nathan Wrigley: 12:14 There is a hundred of them, actual bodies.

Marieke: 12:15 And they all look at me and expect me to say something. So yeah, yeah, yeah.

Nathan Wrigley: 12:23 You’re the boss. Yeah. So 80 or so, or in the office? Yeah. Nope, almost 90 okay. 90 so you’ve got a few that are distributed. Yes. All over the world. Yes. How do you, how do you kind of interact with them? What mechanism do you have to, to make sure that they’re doing what, what you would like them to be doing on a day to day?

Marieke: 12:40 We have a Taco. Okay. Taco is our support. I don’t know this you don’t know Taco? No, you can’t not know Taco. He’s the most famous person in the WordPress community. This person, sorry, I thought it was going to be a bit of software. Oh, it’s just a person. Taco is our Taco used to be an organizer at WordCamp Europe last year and he is, um, he’s our support lead. I don’t know what his title is. He’s just Taco and um, he has weekly meetings with everyone. I think it’s Zoom or Skype or something. And um, every now and then we bring them all through the Netherlands. They’re coming in August I think. And then there’ll be a Yoast Camp for Nice, for all of our, at least for the people that work with us for a longer period of time. They’ll come in the office and we’ll do some training and get to know them a little bit.

Speaker 5: 13:25 But that’s hard. So I have two different sets of employees. We have the ones that live around the globe and we have the ones that are in the office and they, they have a different approach. Yeah, yeah.

Nathan Wrigley: 13:37 Do you enjoy actually hanging out with them in the same room? At the same, yes. The Yoast event. Is that, is that like a highlight? Yes, yes. Yeah. Yeah.

Marieke: 13:43 Because yeah, we had the last year at someone came from,from Bangladesh. Was He? I think yes. And he never traveled outside of Bangladesh before and he, yeah. So we really had to help and nourish him and give him food that he could eat. Yes. But um, that makes the bond if you met someone in person that makes you that much stronger and uh, yeah,

Nathan Wrigley: 14:08 You can probably hear in the background we’re surrounded by, like I can probably see about a hundred people milling around this, so we’re in a WordCamp event. It is obviously all about the WordPress community. Yeah. What’s your take on the WordPress community as compared to any other community? I mean, obviously you’re heavily, heavily, heavily reliant upon WordPress that is the center of the business model. But do you think there’s something special about this bunch of people? Yes. Yeah.

Marieke: 14:34 I love WordPress.

Nathan Wrigley: 14:35 What is it about them?

Marieke: 14:36 They are nice. Yes. Yes. Why? Why that? They like you to succeed.

Nathan Wrigley: 14:41 Yeah. Yeah. I just think it’s something about like the open source nature of it. Yeah. There’s a lot of people contributing with no payback.

Marieke: 14:48 Yes. Although there are a lot of contributing and they do want payback. So, and it’s a hard equilibrium to practice. But overall the, the environment is very welcoming to people. And I think at Yoast we want to do the same thing. So we mimic that vibe or something. And I’ve, so we are in the SEO community and in the WordPress community. And when I first started going to conferences, I pretty much quickly decided that I wanted to go to WordPress events and I did not want to go to the SEO events. And there are wonderful SEO people because yesterday Alida Soliz was talking on stage and she’s sees from the SEO community and she, she’s wonderful. She’s a wonderful person. But, but there are a lot of, well there’s a lot of people not wanting you to succeed. They, they are very critical, much more critical than, than usually in the work. If, if I get questions on stage there all night, I don’t know what to say behind my back, but at least in the room, people are nice. Yeah. Yeah.

Nathan Wrigley: 15:55 Do you think, do you think there’s sort of like areas, because if this community that need, put it this way, you, I’ve written down here that you’ve, you’ve started something called the women’s empowerment program. Yes. Presumably there are bits of the community that you would like to be differently represented. Yes. Um, tell us a bit about this.

Marieke: 16:13 So this is an internal program at Yoast that’s four for the first to say is that WordPress is doing so much better than all the other conferences? Yes. So, so we have much more female speakers and female people who come here compared to at our tech conferences and we’re still at a tech thing. So we’re doing good. But that doesn’t mean that we’re done here. And so within our company, we now notice that although I am CEO, we tend to have a lot of men in the layer right beneath me. And they’re also very, um, dominant man. And I think I adapted their strategies because I can do exactly the same like they’re doing. And I wanted to coach them women and also look into our own culture. What are we doing that maybe makes it difficult for a woman to to grow into that next level.

Marieke: 17:09 So then in the, it could be a coincidence, but it’s something to explore and something to be conscious about that we all grown up in a world which is dominated by men and that will have an effect. All of us women and men equally.

Nathan Wrigley: 17:24 So you see a change though over time. Yes. It’s getting better. Particularly the WordPress. Yes.

Marieke: 17:29 Yeah, yeah. WordPress is doing great. Yes. If you compare what percentage of women were speaking at a WordCamp like five years ago, it really went up. It’s hard to find those numbers, but I try and that really went up. So from, from like 20 to 40 which is amazing in a few years.

Nathan Wrigley: 17:51 Yeah, it’s a, it is, it isn’t. But coincidentally, just as you were, just as you were talking, I just quickly glanced at the stairs and just, just was making a sort of mental note of the number of female and number there was. It was more ladies than I would have assumed. So that’s great.

Marieke: 18:05 But you do see if you don’t pay attention, so people asking questions, it’s usually the man that asks questions. I in such a big room because, um, yesterday when Matt was talking, they said women are allowed to ask questions to the MC said there and hour I thought good but I s I still thought, but I don’t, I don’t have the guts to get up there. And, but maybe if more women would do that and it would be an example for other women too to do the same.

Nathan Wrigley: 18:38 Did you, did you know that on Friday there was this thing organized by Petya Raykovska, um, I think it was called kids camp or something. Yeah. That’s great. Yeah, you can bring your, so speaking of you know, diversity and getting everybody through the door, you could bring your children and they would, I think the age group was sort of, I think they said anything eight, eight up to 16 something like that. And then they would, they would educate them in WordPress. Yeah. They get them. So like playing, you know, creating custom post types and all of that. I just wondered if you’ve ever thought of bringing your own, your own four kids.

Marieke: 19:15 I I would like to, but they don’t speak English. That makes it so much harder. So my oldest, who’s now 13 he would be able, and then we have this other thing in the Netherlands and that’s called, you can take your children out of school. They get really upset if you do that. You show. So we were bounded by laws. Yes we do. We actually do an indigenous one downtown. We have a course every year in which we teach children how to do WordPress. So we have two a year I think, and then a bunch of youngsters. It gets up in the in and those elements of the school were press making. So my daughter made a WordPress website about France. I don’t know why she just wanted to make something about France and it’s great.

Nathan Wrigley: 19:59 I was speaking to somebody just before I spoke to you and they were saying, making the point that um, the, the, the benefit in later life now, I hadn’t really made this connection, but the benefit in later life, having educated your, your children with things, you know, technologies like that is you can draw a line, you can connect with future prospects. And I hadn’t really made that connection to care. I’ve got three kids, I’m going to go home now and I’m going to force them to use WordPress.

Marieke: 20:24 Oh. And to learn a bit of code. That’s a good thing to, uh, to do. And they have that. They’ve all kinds of fun games now on the iPad and stuff. So yeah. My children games. Yes. Yeah. My children all do that. Yeah.

Nathan Wrigley: 20:37 So we’ve had a, we’ve had a quite an interesting year in WordPress. A lot has changed. So from just like from the business point of view, the Yoast point of view, how’s, how’s the last year? I mean, we all know that we’re talking about 5.0 and gotten broken. Yeah. How’s it all gone? Has there been horrible bumps to get across? Has It been painless? Oh No. Yeah.

Marieke: 20:57 Oh well. For us two years ago, WordCamp Europe and in Paris, the Gutenberg was announced. We did not know that. Um, and it had major consequences for our blog and that’s integrated in the editor. And we had just made plans before at what we wanted to do and we set all those plans in the refrigerator or I don’t know if that’s the Dutch expression on ice. And then one, then we were first reluctant like Gutenberg and then decided, Oh, we have to get on board because that’s the only way we’re going to, so we had, we spent our best to follow up or spend a year working on Gutenberg. Did also other things, but we had to get in there to make sure that we could integrate with the new editor because otherwise we would be, um, well kind of

Nathan Wrigley: 21:50 business I guess. But did that, did that development cost and that the southern need to put people onto a problem, which previously previously didn’t exist? I can only imagine that was slightly unwelcome.

Marieke: 22:01 No, it was, but that does not. It was, it really was. So we were annoyed, but then later on there are lots of beautiful aspects in Gutenberg, so if you can beat them, join them. That’s usually the game we play against. That’s a nice motto. Yeah. And then advanced right, to make it even better. I make sure that that we were able to integrate with other plugins. We’re also able to integrate with the editor was really important. And then we had our CTO was one of the leads and 5.0 so we could actually make something out of it in the end. But that meant that we, we were set back in our own development agenda a bit.

Nathan Wrigley: 22:42 Yeah. That, that’s what I was meaning very suddenly your, your, your roadmap for the next two years is kinda called great big dent in it. Yeah. You’ve got to, you know, repurpose this person and this person. And yes, I do remember that. I do remember that. I don’t know if it was Yoast, the person who I read a tweet from probably w where it was clear that, oh, this is, this is, we didn’t know this was coming. This is slightly unwelcome.

Marieke: 23:04 And we didn’t know that that was coming to, to, so we were in the plane. Yes. And I, when Gutenberg was actually released, nobody knew what it was. Common interest in time. Yes. Yes. December, yes. Just before Christmas. Yeah. Just before birth come to us. Oh, we were there. Okay. Yeah. And uh, so these types of things can be annoying, but we just, um, we try to live with that in the end. Gutenberg is a great, um, product, I think, and has lots of opportunity for us with Schema for example. But maybe we would have then further along if we didn’t have to have that built built with other people. Of course.

Nathan Wrigley: 23:54 you did it really, really well. Thank you. Yeah, no, I mean, you know from this position where I don’t want this. And then it felt to me like all of a sudden Yoast were putting stuff out far in advance of anybody else. And so the first implementation of all sorts of things inside of Gutenberg I saw on the Yoast blog.

Marieke: 24:14 Yeah, that’s true. But still there are other things going on in the Google side, which we couldn’t pay enough attention to. At least that’s what’s, that’s what I’m feeling now. Like we’re a bit behind and scheme and we have the best ski, my implementation, but we’re not, we’re not, we have not rolled out everything yet. So there are other plugins who are doing a way more strapped jobs than, but they have more and we’ll get there. But we would have been there if, if we had focused on it previously and we had to focus on that editor. Okay.

Nathan Wrigley: 24:44 I think you know, yeah, it’s going in the right direction. Do you, I’m changing tack completely. Do you, do you like, do you like these events? Do you like coming to this stuff? Yeah. Does it speak to you? Do you come in the room at you like a, a sort of confident person that can walk in and just, hello?

Marieke: 24:59 I never think of myself as a confident person, but uh, I guess I guess I can fake that yes, I act like a confident

Nathan Wrigley: 25:07 yeah, but you don’t, you, you, you know, do you come here for what? I mean, it strikes me that there’s kind of like all sorts of different approaches to turning up to an event like this. You know, you could come here with your business hat on and I want to make new leads and meet new companies and make some money. You Invest,

Marieke: 25:21 I have that hat as well, but I also have another hat. I also, um, I have a lot of friends here, which I’ve met over the years. So I usually see them again at to WordCamp Europe events. Um, I’m also therefore the after party. That’s one of the things that for, yeah, that’s why I liked that. You’ve only got about five hours and I have to talk in between. I’m also a speaker here, so, and that’s something and we generally take the approach of trying to, to educate or tell something to our audience. So that’s, that’s a different approach as well. So we are, and we’re helping people, a lot of support questions. I just got a question for someone who’s from Greece and she uses a different alphabet and she didn’t know how to, what to do with a slug. I don’t know either, but we’ll figure that out. But I like having those conversations with clients, with people that use our product and don’t know what to what to do with the talks then. Or do you generally sort of hang out in the corridors and um, no, I don’t go to lots of times I’ve seen the, the talk of Omar and a talk of Aleda and it’s like mad yesterday and I’ve been in a workshop previous before this and I’ve done a lot of interviews.

Nathan Wrigley: 26:32 Yeah, yeah, yeah. Sorry, I’ve added to your burden what, forgive me, but what, what is your talk later today? What you will be speaking.

Marieke: 26:40 Um, we’re talking about how to engage an online audience. So we’ve had Yoast Academy online course platform and I think we’ve learned a lot about how to keep people’s attention and how to make people finish a course or, and that, that could be translated to how you do that on your website. So we’re going to give some of our thoughts on how to make sure that people stay on your website or engaged and come back. That’s fine. Yup.

Nathan Wrigley: 27:03 What’s on the, what’s on the agenda for the next year for Yoast? What’s the, what’s the plan? How will it change?

Marieke: 27:09 We have a lot of schema coming out. We have, um, we already announced that we were going to do live indexing with Google, but then there was a security thing, but Google is sold this, they say, they say that they shut the totals. So we’re going to work together with Hampton to make that happen. And then we have this project I’ve been running and then in September we’ll know which awesome new thing we’re going to do, which will come from our people who work in the company. It’s going to be an exciting year. Exciting. Always.

Nathan Wrigley: 27:41 Yeah. Lots of good stuff. Yeah. Do you, um, do you like SEO is quite, it’s quite a sort of interesting field to be in when you’re not switched onto like company mode and you sort of go out to the restaurant with your, your real world mates. Do you end up talking SEO.

Marieke: 27:57 sometimes? All sorts of, I talk a little about children and um, politics and movies. I can talk about other things.

Nathan Wrigley: 28:07 I really can’t. I am that guy. I just thought why not talking about work for us? It’s boring. Nathan, have you heard of WP and UP, which is the T shirt on where yes, because Barbara. Yeah. Yeah, yeah, exactly. No. Um, do you, so this goes back to your company, your team. Yeah. Do you, do you have any sort of things in place for when aspects of their work life or you know, things that go wrong in their life? Did you have sort of policies or anything to sort of help?

Marieke: 28:38 We are currently doing policies, but before that we just did human because where we’re growing so we don’t have anything in writing. But I think in all where our, our HR policies is is one sentence is be good to your employees because then they’ll be good to you. So we’re, I think we’re really considerate and how to help people manage work life balance where pretty hard and not working late. So we kick everybody out of the office and all that’s good. Yeah. Five 30 I think. But then still some of them still work late even though we tell them not to. So that’s a hard thing. That’s like you talking about workers all the time. That’s really hard. We have a gym in our office and let people exercise for an hour with a personal trainer. And that’s good for your physical health, but also good for social because there’s no better bonding than hating the personal trainer together.

Nathan Wrigley: 29:36 That’s the best. That’s the best sound bite. Gonna use that.

Marieke: 29:39 And then, and then afterwards we’re all sore. We are less sore muscles and we walk round and then you see people and you instantly feel empathy because we’re all in this together. Yeah. So we do a lot of those things. Um, I think getting to know the people is the most important one because then you can think I’m reached out if something’s not going well, but we should make more policies. But that’s the thing with wrong a company. So we’re now making policies about working late. We never written anything down. We have ideas about that, but it’s not in our.

Nathan Wrigley: 30:11 I mean obviously I don’t run a company of a hundred people. No, I’m not going to like try and in any way claim that I know what I’m talking about. But yeah, it always sort of strikes me that if you take care of your employees and make sure that those, you know, stop working, put the phone down, go home, be with your family. Yeah. Here’s a gym, eat the right foods.

Marieke: 30:27 We have healthy food as well as vegetables and fruit. And we have now, because I work late at night and I tend to slack people and then they feel obliged to answer. Now we have this little icon whicj says answer the next working day. Oh Nice. And then I can get the stuff out of my head and talk to people and people know I don’t have to answer, I can answer tomorrow.

Nathan Wrigley: 30:49 Yeah. So taking care of your own employees presumably leads to better employees.

New Speaker: 30:53 That’s, that’s the dream. That’s works. And 90% of the basis, so there are, we won’t ask about video, but you can imagine that there are people who don’t fit that. And then, um, we, we don’t have many people leaving. So this, this early in the spring, one of our, two of our employees left. And that was how a year and a half ago when that happened, that never happens.

Marieke: 31:20 So that’s a big deal. I gave them an out of jail free card so they can write the card and post it to me a number, we’ll call them. And they are allowed to come back. That’s a great idea. So what the at somebody that you really didn’t want to go? Yeah, we just said we will do. We already have two people who left and came back, so I was like, I will make this easy for you. If it doesn’t work out, have a date on it. Just put it, we made a cart with a person in jail on it.

Nathan Wrigley: 31:49 That’s, that’s, I think that’s really nice. Yeah. I don’t know, but it sounds like you’re doing all of the things that we would, we went up progressive modern company.

Marieke: 32:00 We do. Yes. I think so. It’s okay. In which case I honestly have no questions. I finished. There’s no more. Thank you so much. It’s a great talking to you this morning.

Nathan Wrigley: 32:08 Yeah, it was really nice. Thanks very much. Enjoy the rest of your work. Thank you.

Nathan Wrigley: 32:26 One of the purposes of the PressForward podcast is to lift the lid on topics that don’t get talked about enough to allow people to share their stories so that others might listen and by listening they might gain an understanding that they’re not alone. There are other people out there who were faced the same situations that you are facing. They have found a way through and can offer support to you on your journey. Maybe that person is already in your life but they might not be and that’s what WP and UP is here for. To connect you with the support that you need,

Speaker 3: 33:08 [inaudible]

Nathan Wrigley: 33:08 PressForward podcast is brought to you today by Green Geeks. Green Geeks offers a specially engineered platform that gives WordPress users web hosting that is designed to be the fastest, most secure and scalable hosting available in multiple data centers. Their WordPress hosting makes deploying and managing WordPress websites easy with automatic one click install managed updates, real time security protection, SSD raid 10 storage arrays, power cacher and expert 24 seven support to make for the best web hosting experience. And we thank Green Geeks for their support of the PressForward podcast.

Nathan Wrigley: 33:52 That’s it for this week. Please let us know if you’re enjoying the podcast. If you’re finding it useful or helpful, you can reach out to us at WP and UP.org forward slash contact. And remember that this is a serious point to all of this, and that is that WP and UP is here to provide help and support that help is available to you or people you know and can be easily accessed the WP and UP.org website. Please spread the word about this new podcast. Tell your friends and subscribe on your favorite podcast player and remember that together we can hashtag PressForward

Nathan Wrigley