8 May 2016
A question I am often asked is how do we manage growth in the business? Having catapulted from a team of just two to more than 250 across UKFast and our brands, it is something that I am still learning.
It is always an incredibly proud moment when we announce our growth in the press. The past few months, we’ve announced our 2015 financial results showing revenues of £34.9m, we’ve announced our £40m fund with RBS to spearhead further expansion and, yesterday, we announced 100 job vacancies.
This is where I think the answer lies. Managing growth comes from managing your team and the recruitment of new employees.
With demand for our eCloud and the hands-on support we deliver skyrocketing, we are finding clients want accountability and someone at the end of a phone. It’s a service that can’t be replicated by mass hosing providers, and it’s proving very successful. You get all the control of a dynamic and scalable cloud that launches in seconds with the service synonymous with great British service.
Building something like this requires great people and lots of them. Great people are essential.
It doesn’t matter how incredible the product is if the service and the team don’t match that level.
That’s why we put so much focus into having an extraordinary workplace and invest in the development of our team. Money only motivates you for so long and, whilst we make sure that salaries and bonuses are competitive, we know that in the long term, it is growth and development that drives people forward.
UKFast University’s state-of-the-art training and development centre represents a £4.5million investment, it was a big risk to dedicate such a big sum but I had, and have, no doubt of its value. We are equipped for the future with our incredible training team, we’re training the next generation at the same time and we’re reaching out to school and universities. Education and training is at the very heart of our engagement and growth strategy.
And it seems to be working. Last week we ranked 5th in the Great Workplaces Top 100 Places to Work list (mid-sized category) which sees hundreds of UK businesses battle it out for the top positions. Fifth. I can honestly say that that is one of my proudest achievements thus far. Of course, I want us to be first, but we will keep working toward that. Next year is our year!
In the meantime we’re growing and within that growth we’re doing all we can to maintain our culture – that’s what, I believe, makes us stand out.
Even before we saw such growth, I’ve always seen the value in rewarding your team and creating an environment where people love coming to work. It is essential.
Last year we upped the ante taking our workplace to the next level. This included an ice-rink outside the office at Christmas, ski trips to Switzerland with as many of the team as possible, movie premiere screenings and, one of my favourite days, a ‘Zoofari’ takeover at Chester Zoo.
Summer also saw one of my suggestions that I think caused the most confused faces. Asking our team of builders to arrange tens of tonnes of sand to transform our car park into a full-scale beach, allowing the team to take advantage of the good weather, was hilarious! You should have seen their faces!
This year we’re going further and bringing back ‘UKFest’, a mini festival for the team and their friends and family. A full weekend, all-expenses paid, camping, music and entertainment. The last one that we held was incredible. It’s extraordinary to get the whole team together to say thank you and reward them with something that they would never expect.
Our newly created roles will be filled through a series of recruitment days during the coming months. Our Dreams Team are doing an amazing job responding to the applications that are already flooding in.
If you are ready for a challenge, if you work hard and play hard, if you want to work somewhere extraordinary, let me know. You can register for recruitment days on our website.