Back in 2017 we were named as one of the UK’s best workplaces for the first time. It was the culmination of several years’ hard work and we all agreed it was a fantastic achievement. But as any sports psychologist will tell you, consistency is the key to achieving great performance over time. It’s also the hardest thing to get right.
That’s why we’re delighted that CONTEXT has been named again this year on the list of UK Best Workplaces. It is a testament to our commitment to put our employees at the forefront of everything we do. But we also know that this journey has only just begun.
What makes a great place to work? You might know one when you see one, but can you define the criteria on paper? The complex and diverse requirements can make it difficult. That’s why Great Place to Work is so valuable. Over the past 19 years in the UK, the organisation has worked hard to define and refine the key qualities that help to build a great workplace culture.
To be recognised on its prestigious list, organisations must first complete a Culture Audit, based on 17 questions in 10 key practice areas: Hiring, Inspiring, Speaking, Listening, Caring, Developing, Thanking, Celebrating, Sharing and Leaving. Then employees complete a Trust Index survey covering 19 business areas in order to reveal the key relationships between respondents and management, their organisation and their fellow staff members. This survey aims to get to the heart of what makes a high-trust workplace culture: Credibility, Respect, Fairness, Pride and Camaraderie.
What’s new this year?
We must be constantly looking for ways to improve, as our industry, society, and working practices evolve. That’s what we’ve tried to do at CONTEXT, building on a uniquely warm, welcoming, hard-working and diverse culture over the past 30 years.
Some of the new innovations introduced during the past 12 months include:
• The introduction of several new teams focused on: Health & Wellbeing, Communications, and Innovation. These work on ways to improve the working environment, encourage the sharing of information inside the organisation, and support the creation and execution of new ideas
• A new approach to hiring: based on a new graduation scheme run in partnership with leading universities including Imperial College, London
• A new source of inspiration for employees: live monthly updates from offshore colleagues via video link-up
• Improved transparency and engagement: this included the sharing of financials with employees
• More focus on recognition: for example we ran a scheme in Q4 using a star voucher which staff who gained recognition from their colleagues for excellence could redeem at a local bakery
These might seem like small steps on paper. But they’re just a tiny snapshot of the wide range of initiatives we’ve undertaken over the past 12 months to keep on striving for a culture of workplace greatness. Thanks to everyone who has worked so hard to make our latest recognition by Great Place to Work a reality.
We’re celebrating our achievements today, but rest assured we’re already planning our next steps to continue moving CONTEXT up the rankings of the UK’s best workplaces.
© CONTEXT 2019