Kubus receives ‘Outstanding’ Best Companies Rating

When it comes to measuring employee engagement here at Kubus, The Best Companies process is still a relatively new concept. Introduced to our business last year by HR Business Partner Liv Duncan, this accreditation is regarded as one of the most prestigious standards of workplace recognition. We currently boast the second highest rating, having been awarded two-stars for ‘outstanding’ levels of engagement after our most recent B-Heard survey.

Having been with our company since 2018, Liv has been key to driving pivotal changes in the structure and culture of our business, all in the name of improving the general environment and making it a more collaborative, creative, and supportive place to work. The implementation of the Best Companies process serves to safeguard this immense progress, and our rating stands as a testament to the countless hours of time, effort, and energy that everyone has invested to make Kubus both the company, and the place of employment that it is now.

“When I first started here, there was no process for obtaining employee input or feedback on the decisions being made. Previously, company changes have been implemented via trial and error, with the hope that amendments would be a success amongst employees. This method was neither sustainable, nor helpful in maintaining or increasing employee satisfaction.”

Liv Duncan, HR Business Partner, Kubus.

Being able to provide feedback and give opinions is incredibly important for job satisfaction, and it has been one of Liv’s personal missions to make sure our employee Voice is heard.

“The Best Companies accreditation seemed like the best way to check in on how people were feeling. With the survey being completely anonymous, I feel like people are more inclined to be truly honest about their experience here.”

The focus on the employee Voice and gaining feedback through surveying has had an overwhelmingly positive effect on our business, not only from the perspective of increasing employee engagement, but also through cultivating a sense of trust and understanding between our employees and decision makers. One of the first issues brought to the fore in an assessment prior to the B-Heard survey was the concept of our in-office 40-hour working week. Many employees felt that this structure was outdated, and not compatible with a healthy work-life balance. The senior leadership team took this feedback on board and implemented a new system of a 37-hour working week with hybrid-working; demonstrating that employee concerns will be heeded, by implementing measurable actions and changes.

“The B-Heard survey gives us some really specific areas of improvement that we need to focus on, which is incredibly useful to drive change.”

A significant area of improvement identified within our first B-Heard survey was the drive for further efforts within sustainability, and also the ability to give something back to our local community. Having been at the forefront of pursuing our charitable efforts, Liv is passionate about engaging with our charity partners, so this immediately resonated. From this feedback, our existing relationship with Young Gloucestershire blossomed even further, and to date we have raised almost £17,000 to help sustain the incredible work they do to support young people.

“We’re really excited about our charity partnership with Young Gloucestershire. We occasionally attend their offices on a volunteer basis to do CV workshops and mock interviews with their young people, and each time we visit, it’s clear to see that we’re really helping to make an active difference in people’s lives.”

Whilst our employees do participate in ad-hoc volunteer work within the careers hub of the charity, we also aid them with fundraisers on a larger scale. Previously, we have organized bake sales, participated in the ten peaks challenge, and even had a few courageous team members perform a sky-dive, all to raise money for this worthy cause.

The B-Heard survey, having highlighted our employees’ desire to do more, has made us consider how we can further support our charity partnerships. One area we have been able to make change is by implementing a donation structure for our survey responses, wherein we give £5 to Young Gloucestershire for every survey response we receive.

“Seeing the impact of the changes we have made is a huge incentive for us to keep pushing and trying to drive our engagement and employee satisfaction levels to the top of the scale. This, coupled with our ability to raise money for charity through survey engagement means the Best Companies system is something I would like to keep doing for years to come.”

The survey results not only serve to quantify the ranking achieved, but they also provide insights into the areas of existing success we should be promoting more heavily. One particular highlight which we take a lot of pride in is our attitude towards Mental Health. We currently have four fully trained mental health first aiders available within working hours if anybody needs assistance, and all of our line managers have received mental health training to be able to provide better and more well-informed support to any employees that may be struggling. Additionally, all of our employees have access to an enhanced health and wellbeing hub, which signposts helpful resources and access to further support.

“Working in an environment where you feel comfortable and secure is always going to make you feel more connected, and given how much of our lives we spend at work, creating an enjoyable environment improves this even further. Better well-being translates to better engagement at work, and we want all of our employees to feel safe and secure if they ever need to ask for support. We all struggle at times. No issue is ever too big or too small, if it’s having a negative impact on you, let’s talk about it.”

The most significant area of success derived from the Best Companies system is within our talent acquisition for open positions, as we have found that this is a significant driver in encouraging people to want to work for us. It is mentioned frequently by candidates in interviews, as it provides them with peace of mind that not only is Kubus a great place to work in terms of benefits, support, and culture, but that their opinion within our business matters.

Given that we have moved from ‘good’ to ‘excellent’ within one year of implementing the Best Companies process, we see it as a huge success. Our initial B-Heard surveys gave us great insight into the parts of our business which had not been effectively monitored previously, and the process has helped us better understand our employees’ wants and needs. In order to keep building on this progress, Liv will be trialing the Best Companies enhanced feature package for our next survey.

The implementation of the Best Companies system is paramount to our success as a business. The feedback system is already helping curate a better culture and working environment, with more engaged employees who know their opinion is valued.

“We will continue to put as much time and energy into improving the business as possible, and we can see ourselves continuing with the Best Companies solution for years to come. We are really hoping to obtain our third star from our next survey, and we will continue to push beyond that to make sure our employees always feel valued, engaged, and supported.”

Written by Ellie Crane, Kubus.
Published on 31st May 2024