Let’s start off by saying- who doesn’t love perks?! They are the little things that make everyday life that bit much more enjoyable. Everything from cheaper cinema tickets to free gym membership. That’s why TalentRocket sat down with Hannah from Perkbox to discuss what life is like at their company.
Hi Hannah, first of all, what actually is Perkbox?
Perkbox is the UK’s fastest growing employee engagement platform. We help businesses of all sizes to boost the financial, emotional and physical wellbeing of their team by providing employees with on-the-go-access to a variety of perks, ranging from free phone insurance and 2 for 1 meals out to major gym, hotel and supermarket discounts.
Our online Rewards & Recognition system encourages both top-down and peer-to-peer recognition and our Wellness Hub and 24/7 employee assistance helpline boosts wellbeing, reducing sick days and helping your team to work at their full potential.
With all this focus on employee wellbeing, Perkbox sounds like a great place to work, what differentiates it from other companies you have worked at?
Perkbox is unique in many respects, ranging from our business model, to our target audience and our B2B and B2C marketing strategies.
However, our main differentiator, and something we are particularly proud of, is our company culture. Our people are at the heart of our business and one of our key focuses is driving a happy and engaged workforce internally.
We promote a very horizontal hierarchical structure, meaning that all teammates, no matter their position in the company, are accessible and approachable. Visitors describe the ‘palpable buzz’ that is immediately apparent as you walk through the door.
The company is growing at an exceptional pace – it really is an incredibly exciting time to be a part of the team. The people that work here are doing so because they love what they do and because they want to make something exciting happen in the market.
When you work for a small business, your team become a second family, and this is what has happened at Perkbox. Now we are striving to maintain that unique culture as we grow.
What is the culture at Perkbox actually like?
We are a mission-led business: our team is motivated by the aim of making workplaces happier and more productive. At the core of our business is our people and our culture; workplace happiness isn’t just a philosophy we sell but one we practice too.
We allow everyone to be themselves and find any excuse to celebrate, whether someone has just closed a new deal, we’ve hit our monthly sales targets, or simply built a new desk that doesn’t collapse or putted the golf ball in a hole in one.
We’ve adopted the local pub as our own – it’s practically an en-suite to our office, a dangerous distraction on the journey home. There’s a Perkbox member there representing the team most days of the week! It’s a great place to mingle and bond outside of work. Oh, and it’s open every day. In the office, our teams operate as one single seamless unit that focuses on growth and delivering on our promise to our users.
All of our departments are connected and support each other in reaching our shared goal. We follow the belief that ‘anything is possible’ – a fantastic vision that means we continuously strive for the ‘unachievable’ and, above all, we always do this as a team.
What benefits do you think having such a strong culture has had on Perkbox?
It’s not an industry secret that a good company culture and fun working environment increase employee motivation and engagement and, ultimately, boost profits and bottomline. Our company culture affects us both internally and externally.
Within our office, there is a great energy and buzz (potentially helped by the constantly circulated sweets)! Everyone is actively encouraged to give their input and to voice their ideas and opinions. This way, each and every member of the Perkbox team is a part of a collective achievement.
You only have to bear witness to one of the daily standing ovations and rounds of applause for individuals who have succeeded to realise that we have a strong culture of peer-to-peer, as well as top-down recognition, and one which drives further high performance. Externally, having a team of engaged employees has a huge impact on the level of our customer service, satisfaction and retention. This contributes enormously to our financial success.
How have you ensure that your culture hasn’t been compromised or lost as the company has expanded?
This is one of the biggest challenges faced by growing businesses – it’s easy to create a ‘family feel’ with a team of 10, or even 20, but as the business grows, culture is easily diluted. Our mission-led vision ties us all together.
We have whole team meetings on a monthly basis to ensure we’re all singing from the same hymn sheet and we go above and beyond to make sure that new recruits understand the Perkbox values and carry the Perkbox spirit.
Right from the recruitment and onboarding process. The incredible qualities that Perkbox has as a company are special for a business that is a year old and we’re excited to see what the future brings as we grow!
Given you are the perks gurus, what perks do your own employees get?
Perkbox employees are treated to a wealth of perks. We of course have access to the platform itself, but we’re also provided with free and healthy breakfast, snacks and drinks throughout the day. We have opt-in monthly yoga classes, our birthdays off, and have a very open-door policy to pets…the more, the merrier! (Unless they bite, then HR gets involved.)
We also have a long-standing ‘Friday beer trolley’ tradition: new joiners (and/or anyone who has made a fool of themselves during the week) push a trolley full of cold beers around the office at 4.30 every Friday, introducing themselves and integrating with the team. It’s a brilliant way to meet everyone.
That sounds great, what about Perkbox HQ- can you tell us a bit about your office?
We’ve recently expanded significantly, increasing our headcount to over 110. However, we’ve managed to leave some space for fun.
Our new offices are an amalgamation of questionable music, ping pong tables, video games, a mini ferris wheel, fairy lights, swing chairs, table football and picnic benches. It’s a scene that makes for, as someone once described it, ‘a beautiful mess’. Walking around it often feels a bit like you are in a minefield – there are scooters and hoverboards to dodge, as well as the thousands of branded stress balls in the air at any one time.
The latest company-funded trend is one of artificial plants, and not small ones. Our office now somewhat resembles an amazonian jungle… It sounds intimidating, and to be honest it is a bit really. We’ll get used to it.
Speaking of jungles, how do you navigate the jungle of emotions that new starters go through (see what I did there)? What I am trying to say is- how do you welcome your new employees onboard?
At Perkbox, we are strong believers that the onboarding process is crucial, so we pull out all the stops to welcome our new recruits with open arms.
Every employee is fully supported by a mentor and by the team they’re working in from the very start. We take them out to lunch on their first day and present them with our Culture Book for some bedtime reading.
As mentioned above, the new Perkboxer trudges through the office delivering libations to existing staff – always warmly received. It’s a great way to introduce them to the team and puts a smile on everyone’s face (or maybe that’s the beer). Our shiny new team members also get immediate access to their own Perkbox account – none of that waiting about for 3 months malarkey.
The average age of your company seems to be relatively low, how do you accommodate the infamous “millennial” generation?
The things that motivate millennials are unique and often go unrecognised in businesses. This is something we talk a lot about, and have experience in. Millennials aren’t solely motivated by financial rewards – they also look for opportunities for career advancement, feedback, recognition, non-financial rewards, continued personal development and a good work-life balance. So, though we do use financial motivations as incentives, they are offered alongside a variety of others in a holistic approach to motivating our team.
We use our own digital badge system to encourage peer-to-peer recognition – one of the most powerful motivating forces amongst millennials, we have regular 360 employee reviews that provide our team with the opportunity to talk about how they are finding their workload, as well as receive feedback on their performance.
We also have our very own Perkbox University: a series of ‘classes’ set up during working hours designed to help employees to broaden their professional skills, whether that is in sales techniques, copywriting skills or presentation skills.
We really value both career and personal development and this allows our employees to continue their education, to develop within a professional sphere and further their knowledge and understanding of the way the business functions on the whole. In fact, we have just hired an industry veteran in L&D to make sure that we are at the forefront of team development.
Thanks a lot to Hannah for answering our questions!
If you’d like to find out more about how Perkbox can help you to attract, motivate and retain your star employees, please visit perkbox.co.uk.