How to Become a Sunday Times Best Places to Work Winner, Twice

What comes first, an HR award or the people strategy? HR Grapevine spoke to Liz Dowling, Chief People Officer at VIOOH about an impressive second year win as one of The Sunday Times Best Places to Work.

Fresh from this May’s awards, VIOOH, pronounced ‘view,’ the leading premium global digital out of home (DOOH) supply-side platform, announced it has once again been recognised by The Sunday Times as one of the Best Places to Work in the UK, for the second year in a row. It has additionally been awarded the Best Places to Work Spotlight Award for Women due to its bespoke approach to facilitate work-life balance and especially for mothers returning to the workplace. It was also ranked in the top ten Best Places to Work: Medium Organisation (50-249+ Employees) category. The accolades are both enviable and mind-boggling. Liz Dowling, Chief People Officer explains how giving VIOOH employees a platform to collaborate on people policies and programmes has powered engagement and created a culture in which everyone is heard and valued, while a ‘#makeithappen squad’ ensures that feedback is acted upon.

The Sunday Times ‘Best Place to Work,’ is a nationwide workplace survey that honours and celebrates Britain’s top employers and acknowledges the best workplaces for women, LGBTQIA+ community, disabled employees, ethnic minorities, younger and older workers, and wellbeing. VIOOH was founded just six years ago and as a newish business, winning such an award is even more impressive, let alone twice in a row.

Liz Dowling

Chief People Officer

The global digital out of home supply side platform is growing at a pace. There are 180 VIOOHers with further contingent offshore resources based in other locations such as India. Within the People Team, there are seven staff, split between people experience, people operations, talent acquisition and then on demand subject matter experts are hired as and when needed.

Dowling says that VIOOH’s is committed first and foremost to being a great place to work which may seem rather apt for the award they have just won. “I think that in this day and age that’s quite special.” She adds that it flows through everything they do and is the reason there has been incredible growth The turnover this year is less than 2% which for any business but particularly one in tech is pretty unprecedented and also one in which the employee numbers climb above 150.

We co-created our entire employee experience during COVID with a programme called Future VIOOH

Liz Dowling | Chief People Officer at VIOOH

You wonder what the secret is and if there is some Harry Potteresque wizardry here that enables a tech scale-up to not lose its staff to competitors.

The answer is of course, no, but there is some magic involved in turning normal people strategies on their head and adapting them for the future of work. Dowling explains. “We co-created our entire employee experience during COVID with a programme called Future VIOOH,” she had the vision to design the workplace for a post pandemic era and delved into the way work is performed and operated while at the same time looking at health, wealth, happiness, and growth. Dowling shares how the business used a few platforms for online collaboration such as Google meetings to jamboards and virtual coffee rooms which she describes as ‘App Disneyland.’ The programme resulted in the development of three pillars - flexibility, safety and people first which have underpinned their people strategy.

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