Founder, Katherine Travell talks ‘The Futureboard working culture, making mistakes and nights out in Soho!”….
We have worked hard and invested time and energy in our company culture. It’s become one of business drivers and a way in which we differentiate ourselves from our competitors; which is extremely hard to do in an economically pressured market.
We describe ourselves as people who are inherently interested in other people; we have empathy towards candidates, clients and each other. This approach engenders an atmosphere of freedom to succeed.
On reflecting on our culture, I have tried to summarise some of the things we have done to help build such a positive working culture. I thought it was worth sharing these thoughts for the benefit of others leading teams:
- Appreciating differences – on joining Futureboard, every employee completes a personality questionnaire, the feedback is shared with the individual and other team members. It has proved to be an excellent way to understand different people’s strengths and help avoid unnecessary workplace personality clashes.
- Giving feedback – everyone has performance objectives and goals that they are working towards, which helps give people focus and clarity about what they need to achieve. In addition, we have adopted a 360 review process, which has meant team members are getting a perspective on their performance from more than just their line manager.
- Offering development opportunities – as much as possible, we try to give all of our employees various ways to develop both personally and professionally; this has been through working on stretching projects, going on secondment to a client, training in a new skill, such as project management or solution selling and supporting professional development, such as CIPD.
- Welcoming mistakes – we try to handle mistakes calmly and make sure they are used as learning opportunities. Otherwise, team members won’t take the chance and if they do mess up, they’ll try to hide it instead.
- Staying client focused – we have consistently focused on our client’s needs, which is much more inspiring that simply thinking about revenue. We constantly strive to build better relationships, a better service, a better experience all round for our client’s. This helps drive the right activity and the right decisions throughout the team.
- Rewarding good behaviour – our bonus (not commission) scheme rewards both financial/quantative targets as well as teamwork and behaviours aligned to our company values. This helps drive positive day to day behaviour.
- Social time – we don’t need much encouragement to spend time with each other in/outside of work. Over the years we have literally climbed mountains, browsed the Christmas markets in Brussels, baked cakes for one another, embarked on comedy fundraising projects, held many an office party and danced the night away in Soho.
We have managed to retain 100% of our permanent employees in the last two years and have grown some amazing talent that is now shaping the future the business. We are not without our confrontations or disagreements, but generally speaking coming into work every day is a pleasure and it’s great to see people motivated and happy.