In a successful modern business, the happiness of the people working in it is the most important business priority. There is a real understanding from the management team that we need to look after our people, to look after our customers, which in turn builds a great business. The Yapily leadership team is very passionate about diversity - we have 24 different nationalities amongst our 90+ Yapsters and 25% of our people are from black, asian, mixed and other ethnic backgrounds, we’re also tracking social mobility amongst our people. There is a lot of work to do but we’re passionate about improving life for all our Yapsters and making sure Yapily is a company that is a truly inclusive and a great place to work.
What are the main responsibilities of The People Team?
The People Team is responsible for the experience that people have when they work at Yapily. We want our team to have their careers and their lives positively impacted through working with us. It’s a very ambitious target!
Traditionally HR has been responsible for the ‘processes’ that people go through at different stages of their employment. Being a people professional is more about focusing on the individuals we have hired and ensuring they thrive both professionally and personally, in the mutual best interests of both the company and the individual. Our work is varied, from ensuring we hire the best talent from all parts of our society, to employee benefits, creating strategies for developing our talent, developing wellbeing initiatives and everything else in between.
It is not easy meeting every one of our diversity goals as fast as we would like to. We don’t have a huge team tackling these initiatives like many large corporations, but we do have the ability to make real change. Working in a start-up is great because of the variety of projects that we get to work on and in particular, working so closely with the people who are building our business; designing solutions and initiatives that work for them.
What has been done so far and what is next?
Our main goal for the first 12 months has been to set up The People Team and to help the business scale efficiently, putting strategies and processes in place to support the development of our team and attract new talent.
Since The People Team was introduced at Yapily, we’ve conducted a lot of surveys and have listened to feedback about how people are feeling, to get data on where we should improve. After assessing the initial feedback we got from the team, we decided to tackle these projects:
Structured onboarding programmes
As the last year has proven, virtual onboarding needs to be planned and executed just as efficiently as in-person onboarding. So we’ve designed and implemented onboarding programmes that are specific to departments/functions in the business. This helps the new members of the team learn about Yapily, get to know the business/team and settle in smoothly.
Talent development programme for our people managers
As we grow as a business, we want to empower our people managers and their teams to be the best they can be. We’ve introduced training and development to ensure that our people managers have the toolkit and support needed to lead and develop and inspire their teams effectively.
Improved our pension scheme
Based on feedback we got from the team earlier this year, we’re implementing a salary exchange scheme and we have moved pension providers to ensure our team gets the best return on their pension.
Formal pay reviews and career development conversations
We’ve successfully initiated annual pay reviews and are now encouraging monthly career development conversations. This is to ensure that we’re considering what each team member values, wants to learn and achieve from their career.
Regular feedback loop
We’ve introduced a regular timeline of internal surveys and feedback sessions, so that the team has the opportunity to shape our future People initiatives.
Next, the team will be working on diversity initiatives with a particular focus on inclusion and gender diversity. We’ll be looking at increasing our parental leave provisions and developing our Learning & Development agenda.
A quick note from the team:
Katie Kyle, People Lead at Yapily: "It’s humbling that so many people want to develop their careers with us and we take that responsibility seriously and are working hard to develop a great place for them to thrive."
Mary Kawa, People Coordinator at Yapily: "Although I’m new to the People team, it’s clear to see that Yapily is committed to engaging our Yapsters and supporting their development. This human approach is what drew me in and what really makes Yapily stand out."