Collaboration is at the heart of the way that Opencast plans and operates. We achieve this teamwork through internal structures that encourage our people to share their voices and inform our business planning. These include:
– communities of practice in areas including software development, agile, user-centred design and architecture
– five people-led internal working groups, informing and directing our work in key areas of business activity
– an ongoing quarterly staff engagement survey
– a quarterly annual conference focusing on company priorities
– a corporate development structure that seeks client work that matters to our people.
Our people have a stake in the future success of Opencast through our share options scheme. That gives them an incentive to stay and help grow the business. An annual bonus rewards our people for the company’s growth.
People experience partners support our people on their personal and professional journeys, and we offer free learning and development with access to training they want.
Regular all-company events bring people together to celebrate progress on projects across the business.
Our charitable programme gives our people a say in good causes we support, including which 10 charities to support in our 10th year.
A range of internal and external initiatives ensure respect for all and that all voices and ideas are heard and valued. These include:
– promoting diversity and inclusion across our work, led by a staff-led inclusive change group. We’re proud to be a Stonewall Diversity Champion – the leading UK employers’ scheme for inclusive workplaces, and a member of the Tech Talent Charter
– hard-wiring inclusion and diversity into our recruitment and interview processes
– celebrating diversity through social events for all our people, such as women’s day and Pride Week
– ensuring all our employees feel welcome, respected and represented. Tools to help this include transitioning, dignity at work and parenting policies.
– working hard to ensure a more diverse workforce, including on gender, nationality and educational background. We have people from over 20 different nationalities working at Opencast, for instance.
We want our people to use their time at Opencast to achieve their professional and personal goals.
Opencast has in 2022 taken a big step forward in its commitment to provide the best support for its people – with a new team of ‘people experience partners’ ensuring that everyone in the business has someone advocating for their needs.
Among ways our people can develop are through free online Udemy courses, as well as through the Pluralsight platform offering free technology training .
We give all our people access to books in the Opencast library, featuring industry-specific, career-enhancing or personal interest reading.
At Opencast we live and breathe our values. Five distinct values define how we work as people and as a business. These values, developed across more than a decade of work, inform our behaviour with our clients, partners and with each other. Opencast’s five values are:
1. We make a difference
2. We build trust
3. We enable people
4. We work together
5. We do the right thing.
We have been working together over the past two years to define clearly what our values should be, what they mean to our people and how they impact on them. (See company video above).
We encourage Opencast people to take the initiative. It’s a philosophy we call ‘Don’t Step Over the Milk’ – meaning you should pick up the milk when you arrive for work. In practice this means being proactive and taking responsibility for work beyond job descriptions.
Quarterly staff engagement surveys measure team satisfaction, and we respond to findings in changes to working practices
Pastoral support comes via ‘people experience partners,’ and we offer peer ‘buddies’ new staff. ‘Hive Fives’ allow staff to share praise online.
With most working from home, we mail regular ‘goody bags’ including gifts, food and other treats.
Tom Lawson, Opencast’s chief executive, is passionate about helping people grow with the business.
Tom is determined to preserve and strengthen the company’s people-first culture and values, insisting that “while our growth is important, looking after our people must always be the top priority”.
That determination has been the driver behind our creation of a new team of people experience partners, ensuring that our people are looked after and listened to.
Tom has driven an ongoing dialogue with our people to ensure they have interesting and varied work. He insists on light-touch hierarchy and open-door access to company leaders.
A radical share options scheme, recently introduced, gives all Opencast people a stake in the company’s success. People have the option to buy shares at today’s price.
We offer competitive salaries, an annual bonus and a 6.5% contributory pension scheme. Family-friendly policies include enhanced maternity pay and shared parental and adoption leave.
A healthcare policy allows our people to claim back health costs, and we support wellbeing with counselling services.
Opencast offers its people the chance to lease a new electric or hybrid car, and operate a cycle to work initiative. We match-fund individual charity giving and support payroll giving.
Opencast has emerged from the pandemic with a new forward-looking hybrid approach to where people work.
We had to adapt to our entire team moving to working remotely from home following lockdown – but this was no obstacle to us continuing to deliver great services for clients or maintaining our company culture.
Our new flexible hybrid policy does not impose a requirement on our people to be in an office – but rather be led by the principle of working in the right place at the right time to deliver work. We empower our people to make hybrid work in practice.
Opencast is a growing team of specialists who work at the heart of government, global finance and growth enterprise with a range of technology and digital consultancy services. Our OpenCulture empowers independent-minded people in our mission to do the right thing for our clients, our team and wider society. Opencast specialises in developing end-to-end enterprise solutions for government, health and social care providers and global financial services, as well as for renewable energy and regional enterprises. We provide services in digital architecture, user-centred design, software, digital & technical delivery, DevOps, cloud & platform engineering, and live services support.
Unit 2, The Kiln, Hoults Yard, Newcastle‑upon‑Tyne, NE6 1AB, United Kingdom
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