Our Head of Administration, Kristi Vaino, is the jack of all trades at Incorporate. She’s always busy, making sure information flows correctly and customers get all their questions answered. Kristi is responsible for our systems to operate effectively and documents to be in order. Thanks to an analytical and systematic nature, she is constantly at least two steps ahead of everyone else. Let’s take a closer look at her journey and how Incorporate has inspired and surprised her over time.
Tell us a bit about your background – where have you studied, worked, and how did you find Incorporate?
My journey to Incorporate has been pretty surprising. I would say, life kind of led me here. At high school, I studied humanitarian subjects and Swedish, intensively. Unfortunately, I haven’t had a chance to really practice my Swedish since. Before that, my field of study was sciences. At the university, I studied at the mechanics faculty, namely product development and production technology. I have switched sides quite a lot, but I realised that neither end of the scale was my favourite, and I had to find something in between. I passed many internships, e.g. in constructing and product development, and understood that this was too routine. I needed a job that would be diverse enough to keep me excited and that each day would be different.
In fact, I studied an extra year to take some additional subjects, and during that time I was looking for remote work. I chose really carefully where to apply, and I found a couple of places. I was finishing my studies, when I ended up at Incorporate. The job seemed interesting and versatile, and it sure has been – for almost three years by now.
You have been working at Incorporate for a while. What has your journey been like?
I would say that Incorporate has been constantly changing: job tasks differ, people come and go, changes are implemented inside the company. I started my journey as an Assistant in the Administration department. We had three people in that team – two assistants and our manager. After a year and a half, I was promoted to the Head of Administration. It was a smooth transition, because before the former person left, I was already helping out with many of these tasks.
Your position in Incorporate is Head of Administration. What are the main responsibilities of your team and what do your daily tasks include?
Administration is responsible for keeping different systems in order, up-to-date, and improving these. We also help out our Advisory team and support them a lot. We have two people in our unit. The other person deals more with all kind of paperwork and documentation – delivering, picking up, organising translations, etc. She’s always on the move and it’s pretty time-consuming.
On the other hand, I am responsible for administering and adjusting our CRM. I constantly correct it, create order, and systemise it – I need documents and contracts to be in place. I hate chaos. I need to solve a lot of things ad hoc. For example, our advisors need to get information or accountants need to confirm something quickly and this must be forwarded to our customers fast. Sometimes the pace is pretty intensive, but it’s exciting for me.
Regarding different systems, my job is archiving, customer management, and sales statistics. I handle incoming customer e-mails and forward these, also keep an eye on our yearly services. This includes sending invoices, monitoring and interacting with debtors, motivating them to pay. In general, Administration takes care of all the supportive work so that our advisors can fully focus on our customers. I feel like I‘m a jack of all trades, but it keeps me motivated.
What would you say is the most important aspect that Administration helps customers with?
The main value is definitely that we do all the background work which is not measurable. For customers, it’s important to run errands fast, get their questions answered quickly and professionally. We make sure that the information reaches the right person and gets delivered back to the customer. Concerning services, keeping the documentation in order is also on our hands. For example, some advisors are working from other cities, so our job is to make sure, for example, that the documents get picked up from a translation agency on time. Basically, we ensure that our business runs as smoothly and flawlessly as clockwork and our customers get the best service.
How would you describe Incorporate’s culture and working environment? How has it changed over time?
I guess it has changed, but what has remained, is a collective hard-working mentality and diligence. My colleagues contribute a lot, and I mean a lot! On a global scale, we are a small company, which is why we must be creative and initiative. Either of us doesn’t have a narrow line of work nor a very strict role. We are all working towards the same goal and, therefore, do what it takes to achieve the best result. You can be sure that you are never left alone with a difficult question or problem, as there is always someone in the team to give good advice. This is the magic of our workplace culture for me.
Are there any personal skills, traits, or beliefs that you apply to your work, and which help you achieve better results?
I am extremely analytical by nature, which is a benefit for the employer, but sometimes exhausting for myself. I profoundly consider what I do, think a couple of steps ahead, and don’t make hasty decisions. I always try to understand whether a change might have a hidden consequence, something that isn’t noticed at first sight. By doing so, my goal is to avoid duplicating work, running things back and forth. I’m also a perfectionist, I want everything at its maximum – our systems to perform better and the use of them to be clear for my colleagues. I love order and my mindset is that we must handle our projects without a mess.
Regarding the way I work, I set clear goals to myself and divide bigger tasks into pieces. I’m also a “list person” – you can find a lot of to-do lists on my desk. This way, I won’t forget what’s important to get done. When I accomplish something, this creates the feeling of success and satisfaction, but also provides a clear overview of my achievements. Being systematic and monitoring my work helps to set goals and celebrate progress.
Incorporate highly values the motivation and peace of mind of its employees. What keeps you going, but also helps you rest and switch off?
What helps me switch off is physical activity. I like to work out regularly. Currently, I’m building a new home, so I get all my necessary physical workout from the construction works. It helps a lot – I can focus on something totally different and not think about work. In addition, mostly in wintertime, I take part in car orienteering. I am also into motorbikes and not far from getting my driving licence. In summertime, I enjoy the beautiful nature of Estonia and go camping and hiking.
Incorporate is a company that doesn’t stand still. Has it in any way surprised or inspired you?
Incorporate has changed and surprised me a lot. I’m not referring to any change specifically, but in general. It is all very inspiring and motivating for me as an employee. Actually, I’ve also had to meet many new challenges in my work and I like that. When I became the Head of Administration, I instantly got a lot of responsibilities, e.g. started on improving our customer relationship management system. Sometimes I experience drawbacks, but that’s normal, and for me it’s motivating. I can learn and grow from it. I appreciate and try to remember the moments where changes have encouraged my personal growth. The mindset that Incorporate has – always reaching for the better – is like a breath of fresh air and favours a let’s-do-it attitude.
In your opinion, what makes Incorporate different from similar service providers?
We are 110% competent, have broad knowledge and understanding of the business. Our people are creative and don’t hold back their ideas. As a company with 10 years of history, we have gone through many changes, impacted by both internal and external environment. Our people are prepared for that and know how to handle these. We know how to cope with tough situations – this is our strength.
We also take care of our customers during their entire business creation process – our services do not end when the company is established, we support the new company owner from then on with different services, e.g. accounting or other corporate matter. I believe we create a safe and secure feeling in our customers – they have a personal advisor; they are never left alone, and there is always someone to turn to for help or advice, if needed.
This is how our Head of Administration, Kristi, takes care of our systems, documentation, and customer requests. You might have even got some good tips from her how to efficiently manage your daily work. Stay tuned for next stories, introducing our superb team members who make sure our customers get the best possible advice, guidance, and support for running their businesses.