At Q2Q IT, we love to meet like-minded professionals at various gatherings across Lancaster. Recently, I was lucky enough to attend a fantastic networking event for business leaders, which focused on culture in the workplace.

This particular breakfast meeting featured engaging presentations from James Batchelor, chief executive and founder of Alertacall Ltd, and Claire Smith, head of business development at Moneypenny.

The talks were so inspiring, they prompted a fantastic roundtable discussion surrounding some of the day-to-day challenges we – as business leaders – face when it comes to employee engagement. Of particular interest were the pros and cons of various rewards and renumeration options for creating a fulfilled and motivated workforce.

It might not seem like it, but we’re a fairly small team here at Q2Q IT, so in theory this should be an easier task. However, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that we already do a lot of the things that larger, more well-known brands aren’t yet doing!

We’ve ditched the traditional yearly appraisal process in favour of more regular catch-ups and focus less on tasks, and more on the behaviours we want to see, as well as the values that are important to us.

It’s important to visualise that too, and above the desks are five huge wall graphics which read: “Collaboration,” “Clarity,” “Responsibility,” “Efficiency,” and “Fun!” We refer to them constantly, to ensure we’re living and breathing such character traits daily.

There’s also our ‘employee of the month’ reward scheme, whereby colleagues vote for the person they think has gone ‘above and beyond’. This sets the tone for noticing – and rewarding – a fantastic attitude towards work and helps to focus the mind on the positives rather than any negatives.

I believe it’s crucial to have very open team meetings – meaning no subject is off limits – in order to encourage the flow of ideas. Also, they’re useful for maintaining transparency – keeping the Q2Q family abreast of any business development news, my own vision for the coming year, how we’re measuring up against our targets, and the role they play in all of that.

Monthly after-hours team development meetings play a vital role in ensuring we all share the same ambition for the future – and it’s one we shape together. The nature of the business means – for everyone to be involved – such discussions take place after hours, but we have food and drinks throughout, and they’re always fun.

We debate a different topic each time – often linked to a particular project we’ve been working on – and will always ensure there are some takeaway actions from each session.

As a business owner, I understand that I’m not always the first port of call when it comes to any worries or challenges, personal development ideas or questions over their career path. Yet, each of these are crucial elements for retaining a happy workforce. As such, anyone who wants an impartial discussion with a business coach, can do so at any time – we have one on retainer.

Team WhatsApp groups are also a fantastic way to keep in touch with the team and feedback – in real-time – when at a customer’s HQ. They’re also a great place to have some light-hearted dialogue with the rest of your colleagues – away from the pressures of the office.

Of course, we also have regular social events which are ‘designed’ as a collective to ensure there is no organised fun. Then there’s ‘cheesecake Wednesdays’… the less said about that, the better.

It’s taken two years for us to implement each of these activities and benefits – alongside plenty of input from the staff themselves – and I’m proud to say it’s really transformed the vibe within the office.

We’ve gone from a bunch of hardworking – which we still are – yet mildly stressed and chaotic individuals, to a true tech family which loves coming to work and helping tackle clients’ IT challenges. Plus, it’s true what they say about happy employees being more productive!

If you’re reading this and there’s a question mark over the culture of your office, hopefully we’ve sparked some ideas around what you could do. Of course, if you like the sound of life at Q2Q and would like to find out more about the IT services we provide, get in touch with us here.

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    Technical IT Support illustration at Q2Q HQ Lancaster, Lancashire and the North West