Part 2 - Employees
In my post on the Wylde IA Happiest Workplace Awards, I talked about our lovely working environment, the many opportunities colleagues have to get to know each other, and how this reflects back on the service we offer our clients.
In this post I want to talk about the second of our three themes for what we do to create a happy workplace - our employees. We’re careful to find people that enjoy the type of work we do, help them to be successful at it, and recognise their achievements.
Our main recruitment season runs from September to February. We attend a number of university careers fairs and invite applications for developers, for both summer internships and graduate positions. At the moment we’re receiving around 15 applications a week between the two positions and we’re only looking for around 10 people in total! There are a lot of applications to screen, phone interviews and face-to-face interviews, and these are all spread across members of the recruitment, development and senior management team. The interview questions themselves have all been written in-house to try to accurately find people with the right skillset for working at Ghyston. We occasionally need to fill other non-developer roles, and for this we always come up with tailored interview questions and exercises and spend equally long, per place, looking for the right person.
One challenge that we are very aware of is finding brilliant people who will enjoy working the way we do, whilst actively seeking to improve the diversity of the team. As a result, we are always monitoring and evolving our processes. It’s not an exaggeration to say that recruitment is hugely important to us and the time and effort we put in reflects this.
Once we find the right candidates to work at Ghyston, we put a lot of care into making sure they are looked after and are happy here. Everyone has a line manager to guide them throughout their career and there are clear growth paths laid out in advance. New starters always spend their first few weeks with us getting to grips with the basics of their role, learning the way we do things, and getting to know the team through a few social events. After that, learning is generally on-the-job and continues for the rest of your career, through peer-review, knowledge sharing sessions, attending conferences, and personal development time. This learning is also supported by other activities such as “lunch and learn” sessions, where lunch is provided and a relevant talk given by a member of staff, and “pizza and programming” evening sessions for developers to do more fun coding after work. We love to support individuals to grow in ways that are good for both them and the company, and regularly support employees to do other qualifications and courses, both inside and outside of work time.
Culture of recognition
Finally, we have a culture where we love to recognise each other for doing a good job. We do this by highlighting individual achievements through our regular internal newsletter, through “hero of the week” awards, and by giving meal-for-two vouchers for exceptional work or effort. Moreover, we reward all of our staff through our generous profit-share bonus scheme, with boosted bonuses going to employees who regularly go above and beyond their immediate job role.
Focussing on each employee’s individual strengths and rewarding staff for doing a good job allows us to provide our clients with a brilliant and motivated team. Our year-on-year retention rate of over 90% speaks volumes for the commitment of our staff, and the continuity of service this affords is another reason our clients love working with us.