Great Place to Work is a global institution and consultancy that performs annual reviews of workplaces across the world. For the first time, they have ranked the Best Workplaces in IT for 2017 in the UK, recognizing 31 of the best organizations to work for in the sector. All of us at Nintex are pleased to announce that our Nintex EMEA office ranked as the third best place to work in the ‘small’ category.
Nicola Cresswell, Senior HR Business Partner, deals with everything employee related at Nintex EMEA, from talent acquisitions and employee benefits to building relationships and development programs.
In today’s post, Nicola shares why Nintex is one of the best places to work in the UK.
First, congratulations on being a best place to work! For those that might not be familiar with our Nintex presence in EMEA, what is the focus?
We’re predominantly a sales organization. Around 50% of the workforce is dedicated to sales, working alongside our Customer Support, Marketing and Finance teams. We’re a pretty diverse group. We have offices in Dubai and South Africa (and can speak 32 languages between us!) but we’re based mainly in the UK. Our London office has tripled in size in the space of three years; we have around 70 people working here now, which is far more than the 13 or so when I first joined. It’s great to be able to quantify that growth over the years.
What are some of the biggest challenges organizations in the IT sector currently face, and how has Nintex tackled them?
I think in many sectors, but certainly IT, trust and engagement are common issues. Not that there is a complete disparity, but that it’s an area that could be improved—more and more people are looking to work for ethical businesses that are doing ‘the right thing’, not just by their employees but by their customers and partners.
“Finding a sense of attachment is crucial to having workers believe in your product and business. In terms of how I think Nintex deal with it, it’s about creating that sense of attachment. And I think that stems from innovation.
I think the young demographic in our office keeps us innovative. Generally, management are in their 30s, with our individual contributors in their 20s. They’re a demographic that is all about innovation; they’re looking for rapid feedback so they can keep improving. So, we made a change toward one-on-one feedback sessions with employees. We removed annual performance reviews where we’re focusing, perhaps too heavily, on looking back. Instead, we perform quarterly check-ins to see how things are going and what is coming up for the person in the next quarter. It’s more informal and has been well-received.
Everyone says, ‘IT is forever changing’. We want a workforce that is adaptable to change. Our approach to that is recognizing when something’s not working, and understanding we are going to need to change or adapt it. We can’t be frightened to make those kinds of decisions. The IT sector is changing so fast, especially at Nintex where we are bringing out new and updated products so frequently. We need, maybe more than just want, a workforce that is willing to change direction.
One of the ways we facilitate that is being flexible in how people operate in their own time. The traditional ‘nine-to-five’ culture isn’t really the case with us. We have created new teams, like our account team, renewals and customer support teams who often need to be in the office for the learning and training aspect. Then you have sales teams, they’re often doing a lot of traveling. So that 9-5 culture isn’t as prevalent for us as it may be for other IT companies. And to go back to the notion of trust—that kind of flexibility can’t function without high levels of trust between management and staff.
Best Place to Work highlighted a talent shortage in IT. Has this been the case for you?
I’d say ‘talent’ is too hard to quantify. We look to bring in people from the same network to get a cultural fit. Obviously, the appropriate skills are needed to do their job, but if it’s a scenario when someone is perhaps missing those skills or experience to some degree, but fit with our culture and our values, they’re going to get hired based on that.
It’s no secret that the culture side of things is harder to teach compared to the tech side. Our recruitment process would be a chat with me and meeting with a line manager and team member. That’s an opportunity to get face-to-face interaction to really see what the person is like and for them to look at us. That’s something we value more than skills or experience, to some extent.
Because that’s harder to teach than technical skills.
Right. Because you’re going to be working with these people day in, day out. They need to be someone you and everyone can gel with if you’re going to get the best from everyone in the business.
Is that what makes Nintex one of the best places to work in the UK?
It really is our people. You get to work with your friends—what’s better than that? We’re a group and we’re not afraid to give feedback to help each other be our best. It’s a vibrant place to work. The people that work here feel like they have an impact on the company. And that gives them inspiration, which is key to a highly-engaged and highly-passionate workplace.
Of course, we have to be accepting that people’s situations change. If anyone leaves the business, I’ll do exit interviews and interview prep or look at their CV before their next job interview. I’d hate to come into work and not enjoy my job. So, if someone says it’s not the right role for them you need to accept that and help them move forward.
How did your Best Place to Work application take shape?
We came together to submit our application for the Great Place to Work, gathering ideas and thoughts from the team to have as much involvement with the program as possible.
One of the best question-and-answer in the survey was this: “Overall, is this a great place to work?”; 98% said “yes.” Everyone that works here wants to. The survey found there was a real trust between managers and employees, as I’ve mentioned. The managers trust employees to do their job and vice versa. People at Nintex aren’t here because their manager has given them a task to do. They work here because of things we’re going to be doing, now and in the future.
It’s good to see that the survey results, and the award from Best Place to Work, kind of reaffirm what I’ve been saying—that we’ve developed a culture people believe in. And that’s what I believe makes Nintex truly stand out.
Tom O’Byrne—CEO of Great Place to Work—further indorsed Nintex as a thriving workplace within its press release: “Nintex has validated the strength of their leadership and commitment to creating the kind of culture which attracts and retains the best talent and where people have pride in what they do and want to do their best.
Congratulations, once again, to the entire Nintex EMEA team who will be moving to the medium-sized workplace category next year, and we wish them the best of luck!
Interested in a career at Nintex? Visit https://careers.nintex.com/ to see current open positions around the world: London, Bellevue, WA; Irvine, CA; Melbourne, Kuala Lumpur, and Tokyo.