It’s now less than a month until the UK Employee Experience Awards 2019.
On 15th May, a record number of companies will arrive at the Park Plaza Riverbank in London in order to present their entries, network with other professionals and attend the awards ceremony in the afternoon.
As the day approaches, we’ll be shining our Awards International spotlight on some of our fantastic entries, asking them about their initiatives and their hopes for the upcoming awards.
This week, we’re delighted to profile Geeks Ltd – a bespoke software developer based in Morden, south London.
A Microsoft Gold-certified partner, they pride themselves on their efficient delivery of software projects, describing themselves as ‘fanatical about quality and getting things right first time.’
This year, they’ve been shortlisted for six categories at the UK Employee Experience Awards. One of these is Best Company to Work For – SME. According to our own category description, this award is for companies who ‘promote collaboration, learning, and open communication to nurture passionate people in a great environment.’
For the first Awards International Finalists Spotlight, I had the chance to catch up with Mark Saunders – Commercial Director at Geeks Ltd – to ask him about expectations for EXA.
So how do Geeks think they’re going to do?
‘We’re hoping to win!’ Mark said of the upcoming awards finals. ‘We’re a small business so we’re really looking forward to seeing some larger organisations there. It’s fantastic for us to be at the same event as really big players in the industry, and we think we stand a good chance of winning!’
Having researched Geeks’ office online, I got an initial impression of their working environment: loads of breakout areas, a great canteen serving healthy food, and plenty of fun activities like table tennis around.
But it was talking to Mark that gave me a more thorough understanding of what makes Geeks a great place to work, and why they believe they can win this award.
‘It needs to start from within, from the people at the company. You need to engage staff and create the right culture. You’ve got to start off with the right cultural values and then realise them throughout the company.’
And what are Geeks’ values?
‘We believe in efficiency, positivity, quality innovation and growth. When you’re hiring, you need to make sure you find people who are in keeping with those values.’
Finding the right team is the first piece of the puzzle. But it’s the systems you put in place for your employees that can really bring out the best in them. What kinds of policies have they enacted at Geeks?
According to Mark, ‘the most important thing was opening up lines of communication. We’d always believed in the importance of communicating well, but recently we’ve found that you need to empower everyone to share their ideas, both junior and senior.
‘We like to think of it as a ‘communication cascade’, but one that’s ultimately a circle. Managers need for their ideas to spread throughout the company effectively, but it’s important that staff suggestions can travel up through the business as well.’
To engage the staff, Mark says that Geeks refined their employee survey techniques into something ‘far more specific and impactful than a simple Yes/No surveys, which meant we were able to improve the information flow throughout the business.’
After speaking to Mark, his enthusiasm for working at Geeks really comes across, as does his belief that good social connections amongst employees is vital for success. How do they achieve this at Geeks?
‘In terms of social engagement, everyone in the office normally goes to lunch together. We think it’s really important to have a time of day when you’re not just talking about work – it enables you to recharge and resume your work with a fresh approach.’
When I ask Mark about how they plan to celebrate if they win, the camaraderie amongst the Geeks team is evident.
‘If we win, we’re going to have a big party. There’s only two of us attending the awards but we want to celebrate with the whole office if we win!’
We’d like to wish Geeks Ltd the very best of luck for the UK Employee Experience Awards 2019.
If you’d like to attend the awards, come with your team to watch other presentations, compete, win and celebrate! Visit our booking page before all the seats are taken!