Love your job

Brian Wilkinson blog: Love your job

In my October blog, I spoke about the steps on our journey to become Gattaca and of how fundamental our values are to our Group culture. Having covered off our ‘Take Pride’, in this blog, I wanted to focus on our second value – ‘Love your Job’.

This part of our value statement is, as you would expect, all about enjoying the work we do. I do love my job and I aspire that everyone who works at Gattaca should have that same feeling of excitement and passion for their work. In the people industry that is recruitment, we can help instil the same sense of enjoyment by finding people the right job for them - literally 'promoting our candidates' in line with our company purpose. From a client perspective, by finding the right people for their vacancies, we can take some of the heavy lifting from our hiring managers and their HR teams, helping them to enjoy their job all the more.

Why I love my job

Loving my job has a lot to do with the industry I’m in. I’ve worked in recruitment for over 35 years and when I was recently asked what it is that's made me stay in the business for so long, it was an easy question to answer. I love working in a people driven industry because no two days are the same and I love the opportunities recruitment has given me to learn about a lot of different sectors and skill sets.

Importantly, a lot of the enjoyment I get from my job is down to the positive working culture at Gattaca. Over the years, I’ve worked with and for a number of recruitment companies - large and small - and I’ve learnt what a difference the workplace culture makes to the level of enjoyment and engagement we take from our jobs.

As CEO of Gattaca, I see it as a crucial part of my role to create a positive working environment. Not only is it nice for people to get on with their colleagues and enjoy their work, but from a business point of view, having a positive culture helps to retain staff and attract new talent into our business.

The importance of a positive workplace culture

The recent Voice of the Workforce research conducted by our specialist brands Matchtech and Networkers highlighted just how important company culture is for staff retention. More than 4,000 engineering and technology professionals from around the world took part in the research, sharing their views about their industry and their career within it. When asked what would make them leave their current employer, around 40% said a negative culture would be one of the most influential factors.

So what are the signs of a positive culture and how do you create one within your business?

Aside from regular one-to-one meetings between employees and their managers and performance reviews throughout the year, one way we keep in tune with how Gattaca employees are feeling is by commissioning independent staff engagement surveys on a regular basis. Conducting this research enables us to determine the level of satisfaction across the business; and to make any necessary changes to enhance the working environment based on employee feedback. In our most recent survey, conducted in June 2016, we received an 82% staff engagement score - well above the industry and even support services benchmark - and we continue to strive for upper quartile results.

Another indicator which I believe is increasingly important is the Glassdoor employer rating. Sometimes described as a ‘TripAdvisor for employers', this online platform allows previous and current employees to post reviews of companies they have worked for. For employees, it provides an anonymous platform to give their employer - and potential recruits - feedback on what they like and don’t like about their current or past employers. For the latter, it offers the chance to learn how employees really feel about working for them - feedback Gold! I frequently review our company page and personally respond to each review, discussing relevant comments with my management team and giving credit - or taking corrective action - where appropriate.

More generally, throughout the year we arrange a number of events which help recognise the hard work of our employees and reward their efforts. This includes weekend trips abroad, a day at the races and a grand awards ceremony at the end of the year. In fact, for the first time last year we had a global staff awards programme, which saw high performing Gattaca employees from around the world being rewarded with extra annual leave and cash towards a holiday of their choice.

On a day-to-day basis, one hygiene factor which I hope makes Gattaca a great company to work for is our infrastructure. We invest in our environment to ensure our offices are comfortable and sociable places to work and conducive to productivity. Just this month we have opened a new office in Germany, in the vibrant city of Munich and I am pleased to say that earlier this week our London team has relocated to their new office in the Cottons Centre in London Bridge. Our new riverside home will be a fantastic space for our London team to enjoy. Elsewhere around the world, our Singapore team has moved into the tallest building in the city, Guoco tower, and our Beijing team also moved into their new space in March.

Other infrastructure investments include our leading edge websites and new intranet. To come is the roll out of our new CRM - Bullhorn - and the trial of Office 365, all with the aim of giving our staff access to the best systems wherever they are in the world, in the office, on the road or at a client site.

There are so many other factors which affect how much we all enjoy our jobs and I'm sure you can think of some not mentioned here which are important to you. If so, please respond and let me know - I'd love hear your ideas!

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