In the Employee Experience series, sponsored by Irish Life, we ask leading companies’ HR departments about their employee engagement initiatives and how they have created the most optimal workplace for their staff.
PARTNER CONTENT IN ASSOCIATION WITH IRISH LIFE
What is Magnet Networks?
Magnet Networks is a cloud telecoms provider, offering solutions for business broadband, phone, hosting, hosted PBX and office-in-a-box cloud solutions. Magnet Networks has been providing fibre broadband to homes and businesses since being established in 2004, and this year saw telecoms veteran Stephen Brewer—who has previously held CEO positions at Vodafone, Cable & Wireless and Digicel—take over the management of the Irish business, allowing Group CEO Mark Kellett to focus on global growth, opening offices in India, Australia, Dubai, the US and the UK. There are currently 110 staff.
Flexibility and worklife balance
Magnet Networks staff, well used to working from home, coped smoothly with the great snow-in of 2018. Human Resources Manager Georgina Dunne, points to their “living what we sell” motto, ie using cloud services and their work-from-home enabled product—stating proudly that there was “no uncertainty” among their team during the unprecedented weather event.
Georgina highlights the attraction to today’s workforce of being able to be flexible about where they work, noting, “free broadband and flexible working greatly assists with employee retention and attraction, as do free VHI healthcare and pension contributions.”
Georgina continues, “Our employees’ lives have evolved over the years, becoming parents etc. and flexible working has really assisted their daily lives and they find they are more productive having a work life balance.” She cites initiatives such as an open door policy, the convenient location along with agile working availability, and the fun culture which all contribute to a happy workforce.
Whether working from home or in the office, Magnet Networks staff are working flexibly, keeping up with the most cutting edge work practices. “We believe Agile working is all about creating a flexible and productive environment,” says Georgina. Magnet Networks also provide hot desks in the office and the next developments on the cards will be standing desks and breakout areas for brainstorming.
Showing that employees are valued as people is underscored by a new initiative Magnet Networks put in place earlier this year, with a really human touch, giving staff a half day off on their birthday. “Flexible working has been part of our benefits for a few years now and our half day birthday benefit was introduced this May through our Values Team. We are constantly striving to ensure we add and tailor our policies and benefits as we grow.”
“This has really gone down a treat!” Georgina exclaims. “With the half day birthday implementation our employees said this makes them feel more valued and appreciated.”
An evolving culture
With a diverse workforce with staff from Ireland, England, the US, Australia, Poland, New Zealand, India and Pakistan Georgina says the culture of Magnet Networks as the company grows and becomes more sophisticated is hugely important and ever-evolving: “We have become a more ‘grow with your employee’ culture, we introduced more flexibility, we introduced new values…”
Among the new focus on values is the FRESH concept, launched in March 2018 . FRESH stands for Friendly, Respectful, Empathetic, Supportive, Honest. Each month there is a focus on a different value, for example:
- Excellence in Customer Experience every time
- Take ownership, deliver as one team
- Shape the future, be all we can be
- Challenge and innovate for growth
- Celebrate success, be quirky, have fun
- Earn trust through FRESH and open communication
Magnet Networks’ CEO Mark Kellett is a big advocate for CSR and that has permeated through the company culture. As Georgina says:
“We are a company that likes to focus on giving back – Our CEO Mark Kellett has been involved in fundraising and has taken part in the Iron Man challenge and Channel swim to build a school in Africa.
We are also involved with –
- Irish Cancer Society – Daffodil Day, Bake Sale
- Focus – Shine a Light Campaign – sleeping-out in solidarity with people experiencing homelessness in Ireland today.
It is becoming more of our culture leading by example to be more involved with charity work and our community.”
The Employee Experience Awards, sponsored by Irish Life, will be held 4th October and nominations are closing TODAY 14th September. Categories include: Diversity, War for Talent, Agile Working and the overall Employee Experience Award. If you wish to nominate your company please fill in a very short questionnaire here.