26 February 2018
Around 18 years ago, Gail and I set out to create an extraordinary workplace. We knew that people were at the heart of everything that we do, and that we had to add value to every single person we encountered as a brand.
Now, UKFast is renowned for its unusual culture. I’m told that as soon as you walk into the Campus you feel the energy – it’s certainly not your usual office.
But where did that come from? Interestingly, it wasn’t from Gail and I: it’s all down to the team. Whilst we may have built foundations for the business, the team have driven the culture from the beginning.
Leaders don’t build culture
It was the team who cemented our core values and purpose; the team who chose the features of our new office space; the team who created fitness classes; and it’s the team who bring in their pets and families.
All of these come together to create something that Gail and I could never have dreamed of back in 1999 when we barely had an office space.
By accident or by design, together we’ve created a remarkable place to work. UKFast was last week ranked by The Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For as the ninth best workplace in the UK and the top workplace in Manchester.
It’s our ninth appearance in this list and second time in the top ten. It’s always a truly proud moment to receive recognition for the workplace and culture we have here, but this list is a little more special. The organisation ranks businesses based upon surveys completed by the team themselves.
How do you maintain a company culture?
As a growing business, we’re always learning how to grow and improve our environment for the team here. We’re developing the second building at UKFast Campus. With that, of course, will come challenges for how to manage a team working across multiple sites.
Empowering the team is one of the greatest lessons I’ve learned in business. When you empower the team and ensure they understand the impact they have on the business as a whole, the potential is huge.
Equally, respecting the work-life balance is absolutely essential as a business leader. Having flexibility, strong maternity and paternity packages, and the like is only going to make your team’s life easier and therefore make them happier and more productive.
I am learning so many lessons around creating and maintaining business culture but one thing is for certain: it’s part of your brand, your identity. Who do you want to be? What do you want to be known for? How do you want your team to feel at work?