Pictured at the opening of Ricoh’s new Irish headquarters in Airside Business Park, Swords, Co. Dublin are (L to R) Phil Keoghan, CEO, Ricoh UK and Ireland; Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD; and Gary Hopwood, General Manager, Ricoh Ireland.
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 Ricoh?
Established in 1936, Ricoh provides high quality print, document and consulting services to businesses around the world. Ricoh Ireland has Irish headquarters in Swords and a document services centre in Glasnevin, with around 90 members of staff in Ireland and a further 35 to 40 people supporting the business from the UK through a shared services centre.
Understanding the workforce
“Our people are our greatest asset – in fact, people are the greatest asset of any organisation – therefore it is vital to find out what’s working and, perhaps more importantly, what’s missing,” says Gary Hopwood, Managing Director, Ricoh Ireland.
An employee forum which serves as a conduit for communication across all levels and departments, serving up food for thought and inspiring new policies.
“At Ricoh Ireland, we understand that the modern workforce wants more, which is why we have incorporated additional benefits such as two days of volunteering per year for every employee. This reflects the value placed on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) by the new generation who not only want to contribute to the business but society as a whole,” Gary reveals.
“We’ve found that CSR activities are high up on the list of priorities for millennials and generation Z,” he continues. “ That’s why we offer employees opportunities around fundraising and charitable events. And it does make a difference because more and more staff get involved every year.”
Staff have been involved in charitable activities including fundraising for LauraLynn Children’s Hospice and a partnership with St. Kevin’s College in Finglas, which aims to introduce children to the world of work.
There is also a fun and fundraising European Ricoh Football Tournament: “For it, we’re flying out to Salou to play alongside 23 other Ricoh teams from across Europe. As well as raising money for charity, it’s a great social occasion and a chance for people of various nationalities to integrate.”
Reward and recognition
Ricoh’s unique reward and recognition scheme allows employees to nominate each other, fostering feelings of goodwill, and highlighting helping each other out, mentoring and inspiring each other.
“Called ‘Lighting the Way’, this online system allows employees to thank and acknowledge other team members who have given them encouragement or support. On a monthly basis, nominees are entered into a draw for prizes. Every quarter, the management team then selects three individuals for bigger rewards,” Gary explains.
“At Ricoh Ireland, we believe it’s important to show appreciation for each other and motivate the entire team to go the extra mile,” he expands.
“Investing in the development of our employees through learning and professional development opportunities is another key focus of ours,” he continues. “From online courses to classroom sessions, technical skills to management training, our aim is to enable employees to excel and enhance their abilities in order to fulfil their own potential and the objectives of the business.”
Within this focus on skills is a commitment to utilising new technologies and to create a workforce adept in using them and responsive to the needs of the modern working environment. “Agile working is central to our ethos and something that we enable using our own technology, including unified communication systems and interactive whiteboards,” says Gary. “Being able to work from home, on a customer site or in transit is crucial in this day and age because people are always on-the-go. Furthermore, it’s necessary to ensure that the team receives the relevant training and can upskill to avail of the latest tools and technologies available to them. People’s roles will continue to transform in the years to come, therefore the support provided by businesses needs to reflect this. We want people to see their journey within Ricoh Ireland as a career path, not just a job, which is why we invest in their futures.”
Gary says that while culture has always been integral to Ricoh, in recent years they have become even more focused on delivering a positive, collaborative and supportive company ethos in recent years. “For me, culture and strategy go hand-in-hand; without one or the other, success is not possible.”
Diversity and inclusion is another important strand of this. “No matter what the company or industry, all business leaders should be working to bring balance to the ratio of men and women in the boardroom and within senior management positions,” states Gary. “In association with the UK, our ‘Women Ahead, Moving Ahead’ programme is helping to make this happen by providing management training for females within the junior management team.
“Of course, it shouldn’t just be a male/female focus; all employees should feel acknowledged, valued and motivated. That’s why our open-door, non-hierarchal structure is effective; it ensures that everyone can speak openly and honestly. In turn, this benefits the business because it establishes an inclusive and collaborative workplace. “
The numbers add up
Having surveyed the impact of policies and initiatives put in place, Gary is confident that it is significant, and has the numbers to back this up: “Currently, 64% of our workforce is actively engaged, with a further 27% engaged, which means that more than 90% of the team is engaged in what we are doing. That’s extremely positive. Moreover, active engagement has risen from 22% in 2013 to 64% in 2018, showing a dramatic increase and demonstrating real progress. These figures really speak for themselves in terms of how far we’ve come as an organisation and the culture we’ve nurtured.”
The Employee Experience Award sponsored by Irish Life will be held in October and nominations are closing soon. 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.