We have a range of tools that employees use to communicate and collaborate with each other from different locations around Europe, MS Office Suite (Outlook/Teams/SharePoint), Slack, Zoom, Anaplan and HiBob. We encourage cameras on during video calls and have channels on Teams and Slack for both work-related and non-work-related communication. We also encourage regular meetups for working collaboration & brainstorming. One of our core Values is Teamwork, so it is critical that we have the right channels open to allow for collaboration.
We share big picture strategies & vision with our employees at regular intervals throughout the year, e.g., Kick Offs, Quarterly Away Days, All Hands Calls, Fortnightly Roundups. We also distribute our 40-page detailed strategy playbook with the company, so that everyone can see exactly what we are focused on and how we are progressing with our strategic actions throughout the year. We do this for two key reasons: 1. It is important we’re all aligned on our strategic objectives 2. If we are clear on our strategic priorities + actions, we believe it will help our people to hang their own personal SMART objectives off those strategic actions. This document includes: our Vision, Mission, Purpose, our Strategic Objective, our Strategic & Opportunistic Territories, & our Detailed Strategies by Function.
Bedford is on an accelerated growth trajectory across EMEA, opening an additional nine branches in the last 2 years, alongside our established UKI and German branches, enabled by recent investment from Keensight Capital. Our close relationship with Anaplan and their recent takeover by Thoma Bravo has further solidified the confidence our employees have for achieving our vision to be the Number One Anaplan EMEA partner.
We are a very diverse and inclusive company (with over 27 nationalities and 31% females out of 110 employees), and we believe that all voices should be heard, and ideas listened too. Feedback is extremely important at Bedford, and we have many channels where employees can have a voice and be heard, from our fortnightly pulse surveys, our #asktheleadershipteam slack channel, our weekly Pod (team) meetings, monthly 121 catch ups with line managers, #thankyouthursday peer-to-peer recognition slack channel etc. As a leadership team we review every piece of feedback monthly and use it to help improve as a business and keep our employees happy. We are also honest with our people and want to highlight how important their feedback is and that its heard, but also that we cannot action every item on the feedback list, rather explore the common trends for improvement and discuss. However, it is important that we are transparent on our thinking with them at all times, this is the most important aspect and we provide a leadership review of Bob survey feedback each quarter.
We like to celebrate our people and often ask them to contribute to blog posts and videos with their own opinions and ideas. A recent LinkedIn post which was very well received was our International Woman’s day post, hearing how our female employees feel supported at Bedford. We also ensure we acknowledge people’s different religious holidays and customs, and celebratory events such as Pride. Employees celebrate these by posting photos and comments on our #sharethejoy slack channel. We also have an ‘Awareness Committee’ who meet monthly to plan and action promotion of key days and events, both internally and externally.
To really foster and develop our people, we challenge ourselves to excel in the following three areas:
Bedford needs to be a great place for people to work, with a great culture and a clear vision for the future. A fun, open, safe and supportive environment where people feel like they can develop in their careers in the way that they want.
Progression & Development: Having a clear progression framework for every role within the business, and all our employees have personal development plans and objectives set for them that align to both their personal development and to the progression framework for their role. We also have an ‘Ignition’ programme, which new joiners are a part of for their first year. This programme has a dedicated Enablement lead who provides extra support and development opportunities for new employees, so that they are able to upskill quickly and progress within their roles.
We talent map our people and are implementing a ‘Future leaders’ programme for top performing employees to fast-track their development and assist with succession planning and the rapid expansion of our company.
We provide an annual training budget and training days for every employee to utilise to develop themselves. Providing an e-learning platform with tailored courses to complete to contribute enhance their skills for their roles.
We host bi-annual functional team away days, monthly lunch and learns and have slack channels dedicated to knowledge sharing amongst the team. Innovation is one of our values and we encourage our people to be innovative in their roles and share new ways of thinking and new ways of implementing the Anaplan tool to the best effect for our customers. We are also constantly asking for feedback on how we can iterate and improve our internal processes as well as we scale.
On top of their weekly Pod meetings and monthly 121’s where they discuss their work, objectives and development, we conduct formal bi-annual reviews where employees are set clear SMART objectives which form part of their personal development plan.
We also host quarterly away days for line managers to provide training and share knowledge so they can better support and develop their people.
Remuneration package: we aim to be in the top quartile of similar size organisations in our space and use a third party company ‘Market intelligence’ to benchmark this for us.
We ask not only the leaders in the organisation, but our aspiring leaders to foster a spirit of engagement and improvement within their teams.
Everyone lives and breathes our Bedford values each and every day. ‘PITCH Quality’ is the acronym for our values of: Partnership with Anaplan; Innovation; Teamwork; Customer Focus; Humility and Quality.
We celebrate employees who showcase our values on our Thankyou Thursday slack channel, and employees nominate each other for our quarterly Value Champion’s award. (We had 66 different value champion winners for our six values last year, that highlights how aligned our employees are with our values!). We believe the successes we have as a business are down to the compounding effect of the consistency in our values over many years. The Bedford DNA is built every day, incrementally, and we can’t let up.
We do a variety of things to create a workplace that our employees love, they include a fortnightly coffee roulette, where we randomly pair up everyone in the company and ask them to have a 15-minute coffee chat on non-work-related topics. This has been a huge successful during the last 2 years and the team love them.
In-person events are really important to our employees, especially given we are a remote first company and our teams span ten countries. We host a Bedford kick off meeting for the entire company at the start of our financial year, then functional away days at the end of the summer and local holiday celebrations in December., as well as working as a team to undergo company wide challenges for charity. We provide employees gifts throughout the year, from welcome boxes when they join, SWAG at our away days and for our annual charitable challenges, as well as ad-hoc gifts for personal and professional achievements and recognition.
Our employees actively get together in their own time too, with payday pub visits, BBQ’s, tree planting and dropping in to visit each other on holidays.
We also have created Social Interest Groups, bringing people together remotely with similar interests and encouraging activities and challenges e.g., our TV&Film group provide recommendations on weekly themes, our sports group challenges people to take up a new physical activity or increase their weekly exercise time etc.
Our most popular slack channel is #sharethejoy where we encourage people to share photos of the things, they are doing that bring them joy. It’s a wonderful way of finding out what people are like outside of work, with family, friends, pets, hobbies, events etc. all making an appearance.
To keep everyone in the know about what goes on in the company, we have a fortnightly All Hands video call hosted on Teams, and on the alternative week we put out a fortnightly round-up to keep people up to date and provide shout outs.
We have a CSR strategy outlining our priorities for the year, focusing on communication, charitable commitments, improving our culture and promoting gender balance, diversity and inclusion. Our people our very focused on charitable giving, that feeds into our culture. Employees engage in charitable events and giving both independently and as a company. Last year we completed our charitable One Bedford Challenge, attempting to cover 3000km (the distance between our offices) by means of any physical activity, our people smashed the target by clocking up an impressive 4,343km and raised a huge amount for our three chosen charities; world Food programme, Water Aid and St Francis Hospice Dublin.
Exhibiting our values every day. In a recent video, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NX73t6VhBc) Cathal Doyle (CEO) said what gets him up in the morning is the values that Bedford is founded on. One of Cathal’s personal goals for Bedford Consulting is to ensure that it remains a great place for people to work where the team feel challenged, supported, and inspired.
When a new joiner comes into the business, Cathal also spends time with them in week one to share the Bedford 14-year history/story and where our values/DNA our founded and how important it is to us. This helps to set the tone on the expectations and standards we expect from them, and to be human first.
We focus on the top quartile when compensating our employees, which then allows them the flexibility to decide how best to use their money to support their lifestyle.
The emotional and physical wellness of our employees is important to us, and we have an Employee Assistance Programme in place, which employees can utilise for free to access support for their mental and physical health, as well as getting legal and financial advice. We also have a Wellness slack plug in ‘GuineaPig’ that encourages people to take regular short breaks and provides videos, varying in length from 1-15 minutes, on mindfulness, breathing techniques, physical work outs etc. to help re-focus and reenergise people throughout their day.
It is important to us that we have the right people working at Bedford who exhibit our values, we therefore have a referral scheme in place, where employees recommend those, they know for roles, and if they are successfully hired the employee is paid a referral fee. A third of our workforce has been hired through the referral scheme, which is testament to how much our employees enjoy working for us.
We believe we are among the market leaders on our parental leave schemes which is rare for companies of our scale.
It’s always nice to receive a gift, and line managers have budgets to purchase one off gifts for employees when appropriate such as recognition gifts / wedding gifts/moving house gifts/ Baby gifts etc. or even just a thank you gift, if an employee has gone above and beyond. We also offer gifts for people’s milestones at the company (e.g., 1, 3, 5+ year milestones).
We’re a company that enables businesses to connect their planning processes to make better, faster and more agile decisions and accelerate performance. We give businesses greater visibility and transparency using Anaplan.
Founded in 2008, we are a Gold Anaplan Partner and have been awarded Anaplan Partner of the year for EMEA for the past eight consecutive years. Anaplan is a global cloud-based planning software company.
We specialise in project implementation, software sales, health assessments, user clinics, and training. We also offer a first-class care programme.
With more than 100 deep-domain technical experts across EMEA, we have delivered over 700 successful projects for 400+ customers, we have been at the forefront of connected planning technology since our inception.
As one of the first Anaplan partners in EMEA and Anaplan’s selected delivery partner, we have been involved in implementations across all industries and areas of the business in some of the world’s largest companies.
We are remote first, with entities/branches across ten EMEA countries and physical offices in London, Dusseldorf, Oslo and Stockholm.
67 Wingate Square
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