SwiftKey's SXSW Interactive panel on AI selected for 2015
October 21, 2014
March 4, 2014
We’re incredibly pleased to announce that we have made the prestigious Sunday Times Best Small Companies to Work For list for the first time – this follows a rigorous and lengthy process which saw every staff member interviewed. Our very own Chief Commercial Officer Lucy Yu gives us her top tips for transforming company culture below!
The annual shortlist surveys 250,000 employees from almost 900 organisations across the country and rates attitudes towards a range of workplace factors, covering everything from personal growth and wellbeing to investing back in the community.
SwiftKey ranked 54th in the list and was awarded a BCI (Best Companies Index) Score of 751. Anything above 738 is categorised as ‘Extraordinary’ and given 3* status so this is a great result! Breaking down the figures, we were given an impressive 0.933 (out of a possible 1.0) for the company as a whole and 0.934 for people’s perceptions of their immediate manager. We also received an average 0.938 for leadership which reflects the high standards we try to work by.
We’ve enjoyed a fantastic run of recognition recently for the quality of our workplace culture which is testament to the fantastic people that make up our workforce. We are officially defined as a ‘small’ company by industry standards, but that doesn’t mean we should be neglecting investment in company culture – the two needn’t be mutually exclusive. Here Lucy gives a quick rundown of what makes our company culture great and why:
1 – Form in informality: At SwiftKey we have a healthy disregard for hierarchy and status symbols with a very flat team structure and thriving hot desk culture – it is this sort of attitude that builds the respect of other members of staff and helps to foster a good working relationship with others.
2 – Social lives: We are big on extracurricular activities, the more obscure the better – flying trapeze anyone? The more you get to know and like the people you work with the easier it is to get along and share knowledge in a working environment.
3 – Give back: We offer a wide range of opportunities to invest in the community and staff can incorporate volunteering time into their weekly schedules on company time. We extend our support to businesses in the surrounding area by using their goods and services for regular office catering and annual events.
4 – Stop and… Listen!: It’s an obvious one, but listening to and addressing your employees’ feedback ensures that staff can see the direct result of their contribution. At SwiftKey we have a strong culture of recognition with colleagues able to nominate their peers for a special effort award which fosters a fantastic mutual respect and appreciation among our employees. We have also implemented an online system which anonymously polls staff on everything from how happy they are to choosing which animal SwiftKey is most similar to – it turned out to be a labrador, because they are loyal, energetic, fast and smart!
5 – People, people, people!: Last but absolutely not least, are the people you hire. From the company’s conception the high calibre of our recruits has always been the number one priority for SwiftKey. Will they contribute to our culture? Are they a leader in what they do? Potential staff are evaluated by a wide range of individuals including the peers they will work alongside to sense-check how they’ll fit into the team.
One final thought – we find that food is always the way to a colleague’s heart. Our kitchens are well-stocked daily with an array of sweet and savory treats, and our Best Companies celebrations last week are a case in point – champagne, chocolate fountains and a quite staggering cake decorated with staff members’ faces, made by our very own Rachel Newett, accounts assistant by day, baker extraordinaire by night! See our Instagram account for more images, and remember to look out for the official Sunday Times online list when it comes out next Sunday 9th March.
Sarah and the team
Our latest job vacancies
SwiftKey rated an ‘extraordinary’ workplace
Our recent win for PR Week’s Best Places to Work award