Work Culture at S’NCE: How We Became a Great Place to Work.
The new year brought with it wonderful news: S’NCE is a Great Place To Work! This certification attests to the fact that most of our employees take pride in what they do, are happy to work with their colleagues and consider S’NCE a great place to work.
For the uninitiated, Great Place To Work is an institute that analyses employee well-being and identifies companies that create the best conditions to allow their teams to successfully develop their careers. It does so through an employee evaluation survey modelled on data collected over a period of 30 years of research, extracting strengths and areas for improvement in the company.
It was from this survey that it all started a few months ago. Our entire team took part in the questionnaire: this high level of participation across the entire company means that the data collected is very relevant. Not least is a Trust Index of 82%, an indicator of the level of trust both between employees and managers and towards their work and the company, as well as among colleagues themselves.
Of those who participated in the survey, 97% said that S’NCE is “an excellent work environment”.
That said, what could make us even prouder? Perhaps knowing that Cohesion- defined as confidence, warmth, and collaboration — and Credibility- interpreted as a mix of competence, integrity and two-way communication — are values that are very much present in our company according to more than 80% of employees. This percentage is by no means trivial, especially in view of the historical moment we are living in, which has kept us physically distant from each other, and probably will do so for some time to come. Distant but united.
How did we achieve this result?
Nothing comes about by chance: Great Place To Work certification is the result of years of work and refining our processes, our corporate culture and our working environment.
At S’NCE we have always been strongly focused on people: the concept of WE is at the heart of our vision and philosophy, both of which aim to ensure a balance between hard and soft skills, between private and working life, between the benefits of a small company and the satisfaction of a large company. This is where we started.
We encourage work-life balance.
It is no coincidence that the first of the strong points to emerge from the survey is precisely that of Work-Life Balance, which takes the form of benefits aimed at making people as comfortable as possible in organising their private and working lives.
We listen to everyone’s needs.
Listening is another distinctive element that our team highlighted in the Great Place To Work survey. The organizational model of S’NCE is flat, there are no hierarchical restrictions but a total openness towards colleagues from all levels of the company.
Frequent feedback and interviews help us to guarantee ample space for everyone to express their vocations and needs for growth, and to bring reflections and proposals for improvement to the company. We try to help even the most introverted express their point of view and to do so, over the last few years, we have involved professional communication and listening coaches and created training materials delivered through company channels, such as our internal newsletter or intranet.
Trust and responsibility as key factors.
Communication tools like these, allow us to work on our cohesion and have kept us close even during the lockdown periods dictated by the ongoing pandemic. We have always tried to maintain a family and intimate atmosphere, avoiding programmes that encourage competition and focusing on organisational solutions that keep motivation high. Over the years, we have built solid relationships based on trust, which translates into an individual sense of responsibility and a willingness to work for the common good of the company, even in difficult times or when mistakes are made, when it would be easier to blame external factors or other colleagues.
Our recruitment plan is therefore always extremely targeted: each new person who comes to S’NCE is given full confidence in managing their time and activities. Individual empowerment is an essential factor: not surprisingly, it is among the strengths that emerged in the Great Place to Work survey, as it was identified in colleagues at all levels by 97% of the respondents (compared to an average of 90% calculated for the best Swiss small companies in 2020).
A culture fit for everyone.
During the selection phase, we assess soft skills very carefully. We believe that they are vital to build a supportive work environment that is as functional as possible both internally and with regard to direct client relationships, where one person may be better suited than another.
The values we look for during the selection process include curiosity, critical thinking, responsibility, respect for others and their opinions, inclusiveness, emotional generosity, passion for one’s work and a drive to enrich one’s professional skills through experience in the field. Creating a work environment based on these skills means avoiding people who are only focused on feeding their ego, thereby creating the best conditions to offer our customers products that are always innovative and cutting-edge in a setting built on closeness and complete trust.
In fact, 94% of the respondents of the Great Place To Work survey believe that our customers would rate our service highly (compared to an average of 83% calculated for the best Swiss small companies in 2020). And there is nothing more satisfying than reading feedback like this: the people at S’NCE love what they do.
A common growth plan.
There are also more “material” benefits that we guarantee to all our employees. These include a relaxation room, a fully equipped dining room, a pantry with snacks and fresh water and free company parking. There are also more structured benefits such as insurance and a pension plan, better than those required by law, the guarantee of full remuneration even in the event of illness, accident or maternity and an annual budget dedicated to individual training.
We have always invested heavily in training, dividing it into individual and group training activities, so as to create value within our competencies and express it in the work we do every day for our clients.
What does the future hold for us?
We believe that this Great Place To Work certification is a starting point, not a finishing line, and an incentive to do better and better to ensure a great place to work for our employees.
We plunged into a very competitive market in terms of culture and work environment and emerged with our heads held high, achieving above average results with respect to the best small companies in the Swiss Great Place To Work ranking. The evaluation survey produced a handful of critical responses, and none of them had extremely negative overtones.
We welcome any feedback that reveals areas for improvement, and we intend to tackle them in the near future.
There is a relevant input coming from our industry, the digital sector: everything is becoming more and more complex and competitive. To solve this complexity, you need people from different disciplinary backgrounds who are able to work together and think outside the box.
We will therefore continue to invest in our strengths, work-life balance, training, targeted recruitment, active listening and ordinary and extraordinary benefits. These are the ingredients that stimulate everyone to give their best, that make you feel part of a solid, efficient, stimulating group of which you are proud to be part.