As I’m the HR Director at AXON UK, you’re probably reading this and thinking ‘well, you would say that wouldn’t you…’ And I think that’s probably a fair comment. However, there are some fundamental reasons why I do believe it to be true, on the basis of my observations and experiences over the last 18 months, since joining the company.
I could regale you with fantastic statistics related to our recent employee survey, and quote the details of the Best Place to Work result we achieved this year (9th best medium-sized place to work in the UK in 2016, thanks for asking!) But, and let’s be honest here, that wouldn’t make for a very interesting read. Instead, let me tell you one of the main reasons why it really is a great place to work, without reference to numbers or survey results, just as I see it, and if there’s one statistic between now and the end of this blog, you have my permission to skip to the next thing on your reading list!
A few years ago, I remember telling a senior manager that ‘people don’t leave jobs, they leave managers.’ Anyone who works in a team knows that the manager they have can make the difference between an incredibly positive experience where careers can thrive, and downright misery. At AXON, we know this to be true. Never have I seen a group of senior and mid-level managers who make it their business on a day-to-day basis to make sure that everyone in the team is thriving, happy and feels rewarded. It’s at the top of their people management agenda and there’s an emotional intelligence level that is exceptionally high, which means that our management team can sense the ‘feeling on the floor’ and quickly think of ways to make it better when it’s not what it should be. Recruiting and training our managers is a very important process, and a major part of the selection process is ensuring that people we recruit share our seven values: Collaboration, Respect, Integrity, Commitment, Quality, Innovation and Responsibility. This focus means that we continue to hire managers who also have this emotional intelligence and who recognize the importance and potential impact of their role as a manager, as well as having the right technical skills and experience.
Of course we have suggestion boxes, forums and committees of various kinds for everyone to have their say and contribute to the way the company operates, and we hold quarterly meetings where there is a frank and open discussion about the performance of the company and plans for the future. These help ensure we’re staying focused on being a successful company that cares about its staff. But to me, a big part of being a great place to work is about a state of mind and an awareness in all of our managers of the importance that our people are listened to, are happy and can thrive and progress in their careers. We all want to get it just right, and ensure that AXON remains a place people want to spend their time.
Obviously there are things that we could do better, and there is always room for improvement, and the very fact that we know and focus on this is one of the reasons why I believe AXON is a great place to work.
(We also have a seemingly never-ending supply of cake and chocolate which doesn’t hurt…)