We always knew CONTEXT was a good place to work, but now it’s officially one of the best in the country, according to Great Places to Work. A massive “thank you” should go out to all those whose hard work made this possible.
The value of Great Places to Work
Great Places to Work (GPTW) is a highly respected industry voice on a mission to help improve workplace culture and CSR. As part of its efforts it releases an annual Best Workplaces ranking, announced this year on 3 May. Its unique methodology is what sets it apart. It comprises two elements: a Trust Index employee survey; and a Culture Audit, where experts appraise any HR and management policies designed to help drive engagement.
This methodology makes it a particularly credible way to measure workplace culture and engagement. In fact, many organisations apparently use it as a stand-alone work assessment tool, helping HR analyse where it’s performing well and which areas might need attention.
Engagement and innovation
After identifying the award as a focus for us back in 2013, we’ve done much to transform the company, and we will not get tired of looking for new ways. A CONTEXT-wide questionnaire identified seven areas of improvement, ranging from salary and benefits, to training, communication, and – my favourite – more fun! A focus group was set up to tackle each, with an executive team sponsor and employee(s) on each group.
The succeeding three years has been a constant journey of improvement which has seen us introduce a range of fantastic new initiatives. These have included:
- Summer family outings at Hever and Leeds Castles
- End-of-year Christmas party River Thames cruise
- Much greater focus and investment in training
- IT training and English classes
- Two People Days, company-wide meetings designed to foster bottom up feedback during which we listened to and learnt from each other on areas in which we could improve
- New air conditioning
- A two week salary bonus in 2016 – 2017 bonus still pending Q2 results
- A range of innovative new benefits – including healthcare benefits, early leave on your birthday, discounts in local restaurants and stores, etc
- A new STAR recognition system
Getting better all the time
It goes without saying we’re all delighted to have been named as one of the UK’s Best Workplaces. It’s testament to all the hard work that’s been put in over the past three years, and will help us grow as a company by attracting the brightest and best going forward.
But I also have to say, this is the beginning. We’re onto something special here and we’ll certainly not be resting on our collective laurels. The challenge going forward will be to continue listening to and engaging with our employees, working to introduce more innovative new initiatives, and ultimately, to continue making CONTEXT an ever greater place to work.