9-to-Thrive: Cultivating the best culture for your employees

A company is only as successful as its employees. And when you empower your employees, the heights they can achieve are endless. As we all spend so much of our lives at work (albeit less so since the rise in hybrid working), we really believe in the importance of enjoying who you work with and thriving in the environment that is created.

Whilst it is easy to say, ‘we have a good work culture, we finish early on a Friday!’ how important is that to the people who work for you? How happy does this make them on the other 4 days of the week?

We appreciate that priorities and circumstances can change, so we try to take a flexible and open-minded approach to identify what our employees will benefit from and how we can contribute to the overall happiness of their lives.

Flexible working arrangements

Gone are the days of everyone being in the office 5 days a week, and at Webtrends Optimize, this is no exception. We encourage our employees (who are able to) to be in the office 3 days a week. However, we know this does not always work. Therefore, we try to be flexible as possible and appreciate that sometimes working from home is easier and more convenient. But we feel having the guidance there encourages people to come in more regularly which ultimately creates a nice working environment when the office is busier (which for us is often a Monday!).

As our team has expanded, so has the geographical regions. A lot of our Demand team are now based in Norwich and operate on a remote working basis. Whilst they visit our head office in Egham and attend events in London as often as they can, their main base is nearly 150 miles away. Whilst for some companies, this may seem like a difficult way to work, for us, it suits all parties. We want to keep attracting top talent and working with the best people we can, whilst ensuring the arrangements still suit them and their lives outside of work.

We even have some employees based even further afield. One of our Engineers has recently decided to move back to Greece to be closer to his family. Whilst we will be sad to not have him around as often, we are completely open to a remote working culture if that is in the best interests of the employee. Similarly, a member of Sales team has recently moved to Spain with his family. This is something they have always wanted to do, and the timing finally aligned for them. Helping our employees live the life they have always wanted is something we are passionate about. We also know that this helps people to be better at their jobs and it creates a mutual understanding of trust. So, it’s a win-win all round!

Creating an environment people want to work in

Whether you like it or not, if you work fulltime, most of your life will be spent working. So, enjoying where you work and who you work with is incredibly important (and yes, we did steal that straight out of our CEO’s onboarding guide…). With this in mind, we try to get the balance right between working and socialising.

On the first Monday of every month, we have Pizza Monday. This is a good way to encourage a lot of the team to be in at one time and provides the opportunity to catch-up about non-work-related things. And by this we mean debate about whichever VAR controversy has occurred over the weekend… But more than this, it allows relationships between different teams and people at different seniority levels to

We also host team socials throughout the year with a variety of themes. This could be a bake off where everyone brings in some baked goods, a pool tournament in the office, a work curry night, socials in London, or anything else that is suggested. Twice a year we get everyone together in Brighton for an all-expenses paid for trip to celebrate another fantastic year. Everyone stays over in a hotel, and we spend the day playing cricket (in the summer) or doing Christmas activities and enjoying a meal out (at Christmas). This gives everyone the opportunity to unwind and spend some time together away from the office. It also brings together the whole team wherever they are, which is always fun! A big part of ethos is charity involvement. We always encourage our team to attend charity days and events and again will cover travel and accommodation. For us, this is a really enjoyable way to spend time together and also give back to local communities we support.

Compassion is key

Whilst claiming you give your employees ‘flexible’ working arrangements is all well and good, it’s important to show up when it really matters. As part of our culture, we make sure that our employees know they can take personal time as and when they need it. It goes without saying that if they have a doctor’s appointment and it is more convenient for them to work at home then that’s fine. But we also appreciate life is not always straightforward. If there are some deeper problems our employees are facing, like bereavement, health issues in any capacity, or anything else, we make sure they have as much time as they need.

Genuine shared goals throughout the business

A large part of the success of our company is in relation to a genuine vision of what we want to achieve. Our team works so well because we know we all have each other’s back and will help to pick up the pieces if something goes wrong (in work or personal life).

We believe that having employees who are happy and enjoy coming to work ultimately provides the best results for the business as well as contributing to the overall well-being of each employee. As well as being colleagues, for the most part, we all like each other too. We know are fortunate to be able to say that, but it is also down to the culture we have created and continue to promote. We believe in working for our employees as much as they do for us. We all have a shared understanding of how capable our technology is, and we will continue to surround ourselves with the best team and partners to deliver the best results to our clients. And we will continue to support each other to make sure this happens!