Clarasys has won a coveted place in The Sunday Times 100 Best small Companies to Work for 2019 awards for the second consecutive year. As we wait eagerly to see where we have been placed, I’ve been thinking back to last year when we first won the award. At the time I was relatively new to the company, finding my way around a completely new set of processes and tools, which presented a big culture shift.
In the past year there have been many highs and one or two lows as I navigated my way around a new professional way of life. As I continue on my Clarasys journey I wanted to share a few things I’ve learnt about our unique culture, one that has contributed towards our success.
Open feedback culture
Having an open feedback culture is an essential part of improving and growing a company. You could relate it to building a product – establishing what users like or dislike most about the product will help you to improve the design. At Clarasys this is something we embed into our way of working. We are trained in how to make feedback conversations easy and productive. We also incentivise feedback through Kudos, a platform where we can give praise for hard work which then feeds into a small bonus. Reviews can be given both anonymously and directly through our company-wide retrospectives. At any point, if I feel I need to give or receive feedback I’m encouraged to speak out.
At Clarasys we operate a flat hierarchy and truly live by it. By removing the excess layers, we dramatically improve communication and collaboration and we take on greater responsibility. Our internal ways of working use agile principles and are shaped to give employees, regardless of seniority, a chance to mould a part of the company. Whether it is HR, Marketing, Business Development or Finance, anyone can work on the roadmap for an area, take on on a ‘story’ within our internal sprints or just express any ideas they have directly to the product owners or senior leadership team. This was a brand new experience for me. Being exposed to conversations with senior leadership gave me insights and knowledge I don’t believe I would have gained elsewhere so early in my career.
Collaboration is one of our core values and we are encouraged to continually share ideas. Our online ‘Chatter’ tool allows us to seek company-wide collaboration and our research tools give us access to the most up-to-date studies and techniques. Of course, simply talking to the person next to me in our open office will usually give me the answers, advice or inspiration I need.
In 2018, when we won 18th place in The Sunday Times Best Small Companies To Work For category, we had 60 members of staff and one UK office. One year on, we have almost doubled in size and gone global with a new office in the US. It’s great to have our hard work and the culture we’ve built recognised. Now we’re keeping everything crossed in the hope that we’ve edged further up The Sunday Times leader board.