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“We empower people to challenge the status quo”: Employsure’s founder on work culture

By shifting away from a focus on individual capabilities, emphasising company values and providing staff with a pleasant and supportive work environment, Employsure has produced excellent results, according to founder and managing director, Edward Mallett.

Last month, the employment relations and WHS solutions provider ranked thirteenth in BRW’s 2016 Most Innovative Companies List and was named the 21st best place to work in Australia among companies with 100 or more employees by Great Place to Work.

Mallett said Employsure’s workforce of nearly 400 employees receives more than 2,800 advice calls per week from its client base of 10,500 businesses. He attributed the company’s strong growth, since launching in 2011, to its ‘unique performance equation’.

“The equation, performance = capabilities x values2, ensures staff are constantly empowered and company values remain at the centre of everything,” he said.

“By removing the focus of performance from being centred on capabilities, Employsure has seen an increase in staff satisfaction, retention and ultimately, an increase in overall business results. A cookie cutter approach to work and culture simply will not cut it in the age of innovation and start-ups. By embedding innovation at the core of our work, we are able to create a unique work environment for our team along with personalised and tailored solutions to suit each client.” 

Mallett provided Dynamic Business with insights into the work culture and strategies that fuel results at Employsure:

“We’ve built a culture of empowerment”

“Employsure is a disruptor in every sense of the word. We are providing Australian businesses with a new and more efficient way to deal with their workplace relations issues. We have brought together a team of elite professionals into one place, offering our clients access to their expertise around the clock. Prior to Employsure, time-strapped business owners had to individually access this kind of support, generally in a costly manner.

“As a company we have challenged the status quo, and have built a culture where we empower our people to do the same. We only employ people who want more than a job and want to be part of something bigger – to truly support Australian business owners.

“The fact that our staff work with people from very different fields adds to our culture of openness, adaptability and transparency, which we focus on heavily through our culture-focused recruitment and performance appraisal approaches. Training is also fundamental. Being a new type of business, we are asking our people to learn new skills every day, so we have to support them on this journey.”

“We introduced a strong team ethos at an early stage”

We are committed to providing our employees with a workplace they can be proud to be a part of. Having seen firsthand the impact culture can have on team morale and performance, we recognise its pivotal nature.

“When taking part in the Great Places to Work study, our engagement score was well over 90%. In addition, our Glassdoor reviews show 4.6 star rating and a 91% recommendation rate which is, I believe, directly connected to this.

“We have established a culture where individualistic tendencies and pure capability do not thrive. This has helped build a strong team ethos in a short space of time. Introducing this at such an early stage of the company, despite the demands of rapid growth, has been crucial to our success.”

“Our recruitment team drives success and culture”

“Recruitment is critical to our culture. In fact, we have made the recruitment team the gatekeeper to Employsure’s culture and success. They are responsible for driving and governing values based recruitment for us, ensuring that we only take on people who are culturally aligned, and then invest in leading, learning and development to cultivate high levels of capability.” 

“I try to present staff with a compelling story”

“As a professional services business, our team is our business. Without them, we do not have a service. Understanding how to relate to everyone as an MD has been a learning experience for me. For a lot of founders, the vision and strategy courses through your veins, sometimes for many years before the business even gets going, and it can be assumed that everyone else feels the same and shares your vision. The reality is that you need to express this to the team, presenting a compelling story and helping them understand what you hope to build together. I try hard to achieve this now and hope that our team would agree that we are all well aligned.”

“Recognition indicates our strategies are sound”

“Our vision to 2020 is to set solid foundations for all businesses, starting with fair and safe workplaces. We know from our own experience that this is a crucial building block for growth. Being deemed a Great Place To Work reinforces that our strategies for building a strong culture are sound, however the benefit comes from actually investing in people and culture. By keeping Employsure a pleasant and supportive place to work, excellent results ensue.”

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James Harkness

James Harkness

James Harnkess previous editor at Dynamic Business

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