Workhuman (or Globoforce as it was previously known) is the world’s fastest-growing integrated social recognition and continuous performance management platform. But what about the team behind the award-winning product?
Following this year’s win at the Work Happy 100 awards, we spoke to Niamh Graham, Vice President, Global HR to find out more about the company’s recent rebrand and how it aligns with their famously caring culture
According to Niamh, the move to Workhuman was more of a natural progression than a jarring transition. Workhuman originally started out as the company’s thought-leadership event five years ago. The time felt right to combine both brands into one clear forward-thinking company.
‘’We did our own research, we asked clients and internally we talked about it a lot,” says Niamh. “We just felt like the time was right and that it made sense. It’s really meaningful to us because essentially that’s what we do, we bring more humanity to the workplace. Our technology enables us to do that. As an organisation internally, we practice what we preach. We do what we say. We are what we do. Bringing it all together has been a wonderful experience for us as a whole organisation.’’
And it seems like the proof is in the pudding. Workhuman received lots of nominations for a Work Happy award based on their thoughtful and kind culture. Niamh believes that the secret to their success lies in their unshakable values which have been part of the company since it was founded.
“Our company core values of respect, determination, innovation and imagination have stood the test of time. They have been our company values from the very beginning. Those values in conjunction with our CEO who has been with us from the start. His leadership, his focus and his guardianship of our culture have been instrumental in terms of how our culture has evolved and elevated as the company has grown.’’
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The brand has seen extensive growth in the last few years. Maintaining a strong ethos and company culture has been a key focus in the face of all of the exciting changes.
‘’We’ve grown 20pc year on year from a headcount perspective’’ explains Niamh. ‘’It’s tremendously important that we keep grounded and that we stay focused on our people and culture – and not get caught up in all the elements and things that are happening as a company as well.’’
With this extensive growth comes plenty of opportunities for staff growth and development. Employees are encouraged to upskill with ample study leave and tuition assistance. They’re also supported when applying for other positions within the company.
“We’re fully committed to supporting employees,’’ comments Niamh. ‘’We want to help them to grow and develop. We have so many opportunities as we continue to grow and evolve. That’s why we’re such an attractive business for candidates coming in. They know they will have opportunities faster than they would in other organisations.’’
Another aspect that attracts candidates to the company is their impressive flexible working options. Employees can choose their own working hours (within reason) and schedule work around their personal life instead of the other way around. This has been instrumental in attracting candidates who value their work-life balance.
Niamh can appreciate this perk on a personal level. “I’m a full-time working mum, I travel a lot and my husband works. It’s important for me to be able to drop the kids at school. Many of our working parents opt for that. Some members do the opposite, they come in early so they can be there for the school pick up or afterschool sports clubs.’’
This flexible policy is only achievable thanks to the high levels of trust within the organisation. Every team member is given autonomy and the chance to be in charge of their own career.
Niamh explains this, further stating: “We have very high trust levels here. That’s really important and a key element of that overall sense of belonging and purpose. Employees can feel that. They’re happy in their work, they enjoy what they do, they feel part of a team, culture and mission.’’
That sense of belonging is echoed in their community work. Workhuman is actively involved in their local area, donating supplies to local schools and helping with environmental initiatives. Every year employees are given a volunteer day where they can help out at a local cause whether that’s an animal shelter or a nursing home.
The team have even set up their own Workhuman Gives charity that is run by employees. The organisations that they choose to support are selected by staff members.
’’A number of organisations that we have given support to have been driven by our employees through personal or family situations. Whether it’s children’s hospitals, cancer research or MS. A great thing about our culture is our employees feel like they can talk about what’s going on in their lives. When employees approach us asking for help, we absolutely jump on that because what better way to show that we care.’’
This caring and holistic approach is central to everything that they do. Workhuman doesn’t just look after their employees while they’re at work, they look after the whole person.
This means making employee wellness and health a top priority. The company frequently holds talks on nutrition, mental health and resilience. Their spacious Park West office has a designated wellness room on the top floor with a stunning view of the Dublin Mountains. This bright space can be used for yoga, pilates, personal workouts or even meditation.
The staff canteen is fully stocked with healthy cereals and fresh fruit. Employees are encouraged to take the stairs and more active members can enjoy running clubs and excellent cycling facilities.
It’s clear that Workhuman practices what they preach. They view their employees as well-rounded, complex individuals. There are no one-size-fits-all policies, they simply operate an open culture where everyone can be themselves in order to do their best work.
Niamh describes it best when she says, “It’s important that people can be open about whatever is going on in their lives. Whether that’s good or not so good. It’s about allowing people to bring their whole selves to work and caring for people no matter where they are in their life or what’s going on at home.’’
Work Happy 100 Judge Will Brightling says, ‘’Workhuman has a great culture that drives transparency and every employee is made to feel as important as the next. Aside from offering great benefits and development, Workhuman continuously encourages its staff to really grow and learn from their last project. This encouragement to improve and provide feedback strengthens relationships between staff members.’’